January 2014 http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/4047/all en The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the <em>Ed Sullivan Show</em>), <em>Guitar World</em> celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.</p> <p>The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work. </p> <p>In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement. </p> <p>For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>50. Across the Universe</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be… Naked</em> (2003)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. </p> <p>He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, though overdubs of strings, background vocals and electric guitar obscured the delicacy and intimacy of his performance. </p> <p>The release of <em>Let It Be… Naked</em> in 2003 set the record straight, offering a bare-bones acoustic mix of the track that even Lennon might have approved of. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eOfRD8zO2MQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>49. Flying</strong><br /> <strong><em>Magical Mystery Tour</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>The strongly pulsing tremolo on the rhythm guitar makes the instrument sound as if it’s riding slightly behind the beat, giving the song a druggy languor appropriate to its title. (In the film <em>Magical Mystery Tour</em>, “Flying” accompanies scenes shot high above the clouds). </p> <p>The crystalline acoustic guitar that appears about 13 seconds in lends the song a country vibe, culminating in a tasty double-stop lick that lazily meanders down the fretboard. Heavenly.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>48. Helter Skelter</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>It’s not a stretch to say the Beatles prefigured heavy metal’s doomier side with this 1968 Paul McCartney track. </p> <p>For this recording, McCartney set aside his bass duties and strapped on his Fender Esquire to deliver the track’s brash rhythm work, while Harrison performed the searing leads on Lucy, the 1957 Les Paul Standard gifted to him by Eric Clapton. </p> <p>But the best work here is performed by Lennon on, of all things, a bass (either a Fender Bass VI). His sloppy but inspired playing propels the song along and provides its main rhythmic interest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QWuXmfgXVxY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>47. Yesterday</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s melancholy, acoustic guitar–driven ballad marked a symbolic, pivotal point in the Beatles’ career as a band in that it was their first song in which any of the members—three in this case—did not participate in the performance. </p> <p>McCartney tuned his guitar down one whole step for this song (low to high, D G C F A D) and performed it as if it were in the key of G, with the detuning transposing it down to the concert key of F. </p> <p>This may have been made for the sake of putting the vocal melody in a more optimal key for McCartney; it certainly made the bass notes sound deeper and richer, while the slackened string tension contributed to the thicker texture of the chord voicings.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>46. For You Blue</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Written by Harrison, this seemingly straightforward blues workout in D stands out as a bouncy oddball in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>Not only is it one of the band’s few forays into 12-bar-blues territory; it also finds Lennon stepping into the uncommon role of lead guitarist, supplying a spirited solo and fills on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap-steel guitar in open D tuning. </p> <p>To make things even weirder, he uses a shotgun shell as a slide. In addition, there’s no bass on the recording; McCartney performed on piano and the song received no overdubs.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>45. Free As a Bird</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Released in 1995 as a post-mortem Beatles track built upon a John Lennon home demo, “Free As a Bird” makes a valiant attempt to resurrect the spirit of the group’s glory days. </p> <p>While some will quibble about the lackluster songwriting, it’s hard to find fault with Harrison’s stinging slide work. Starting off with a few restrained lines, Harrison lets his playing soar on the solo, the one moment in which the song truly takes flight. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J4PGoJuKvTM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>44. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)</strong><br /> <Strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Recorded quickly in a single session, this rocking reprise of the album’s opening track features some fiery lead guitar work from Harrison. </p> <p>Written as a bookend to the album-opening title track, the reprise is both faster and a whole step lower than the original, although halfway through it modulates up a whole step. (Modulation is a technique rarely found in the Beatles compositions, “And I Love Her” being another example from the group’s catalog [see entry 30].)<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>43. I Will</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This quiet love song, written by McCartney, features only him on lead and harmony vocals, two acoustic guitars and scat-sung “vocal bass,” with Lennon and Starr providing percussion. </p> <p>McCartney overdubbed, on top of his main, strummed guitar part, a second, melodic part played in a rockabilly lead style reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist Scotty Moore, picking out syncopated, ringing melodies built around a first-position F6 chord shape with decorative, bluesy hammer-ons from the minor third to the major third. </p> <p>Years later, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton played a similar line on the chorus tags to “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>42. The Ballad of John and Yoko</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>In this 1969 musical telling of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding and honeymoon, Lennon’s acoustic strumming sets up the song’s infectious rhythm, while his electric guitar fills play call-and-response with his vocals. </p> <p>The track was written and recorded in April of that year, fresh off the sessions for <em>Let It Be</em>, in which the group attempted to get back to their rock and roll roots. That might have inspired Lennon’s musical direction with this track, which he closes with an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Dorsey Burnett’s “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes,” which the Beatles covered early in their career. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QY-ftTvsC7M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>41. Yer Blues</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Lennon wrote this 1968 song as a rude sendup of the electric blues boom that had taken London by storm, but the suicidal feelings he expresses were a sincere articulation of how he felt trapped both in his unhappy first marriage and in the Beatles. </p> <p>Likewise, his primitive two-note solo could be regarded as mocking disdain for the genre’s slick white imitators, but he plays the riff until it’s as raw as his emotions. He would pursue this protopunk style of guitar playing further on his 1970 solo debut, <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6dDw_3H0XKg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>40. Help!</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em></strong> </p> <p>The Beatles’ mix of acoustic rhythms and electric guitar leads from 1964 through the end of 1965 helped greatly to define the sound of folk-rock. </p> <p>Written in the midst of his “Bob Dylan phase,” “Help!” shows Lennon continuing to divulge the vulnerability express on previous songs like “No Reply” and “I’m a Loser,” with the acoustic guitar providing the requisite balladeer instrumentation. </p> <p>Here, Lennon robustly strums out the rhythm on his 1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 12-string, with Harrison contributing jangly lead lines and three-note descending passages on the choruses with his Gretsch Tennessean.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>39. Dear Prudence</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This 1968 composition is arguably one of Lennon’s greatest achievements as a guitarist and demonstrates his development at the time into a bona fide acoustic fingerpicker. </p> <p>Having recently learned a basic eighth-note Travis-picking-like pattern from British pop star Donovan, Lennon put the newly learned pattern to great use in compositions like “Julia,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and, most brilliantly, “Dear Prudence,” applying it to an ethereal modal chord progression he invented, which he performed in drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E), using the two open D strings (the fourth and sixth) as ringing drones, or pedal tones throughout the majority of the song. </p> <p>The thumb-picking pattern goes fifth string, fourth string, sixth string, fourth string and repeats consistently through the changing chords, interrupted briefly at the end of each verse.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>38. If I Needed Someone</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists. </p> <p>Case in point: George Harrison’s 12-string riff on “If I Needed Someone.” Played in a second-position D-chord shape with a capo on the seventh fret, the line was based on Jim McGuinn’s chiming guitar work in the Byrds’ mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney.” </p> <p>In the mid Sixties, Harrison and McGuinn had formed a mutual-admiration society: “If I Needed Someone” featured Harrison’s second Rickenbacker 360/12, a rounded-off 1965 model that resembled McGuinn’s 1964 Rickenbacker 360/12, which McGuinn bought after seeing Harrison’s first Rick in the film <em>A Hard Day’s Night.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jjm28jTZDw8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>37. Day Tripper</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Lennon and McCartney’s hip-shaking 1965 hit is a thinly veiled ode to “weekend hippies” who embrace the drug counterculture when they’re not pursuing their careers. </p> <p>McCartney referred to this song and “Drive My Car” (recorded just days earlier) as “songs with jokes in” them, but there’s nothing laughable about this track’s swaggering guitar riff, borrowed from the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” and given a liberal dose of self-assured attitude. </p> <p>Lennon reportedly plays the solo, most likely using his Sonic Blue Fender Strat, while Harrison’s guitar parts were probably recorded with his Gretsch Tennessean.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>36. Think for Yourself</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>The Beatles had been interested in creating distorted guitar tones since at least 1964, when they attempted unsuccessfully to use a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “She Loves You” and “Don’t Bother Me” (see entry 23). </p> <p>They were more successful with Harrison’s excellent 1965 composition “Think for Yourself,” for which McCartney plugged his Hofner bass into an early version of the Tone Bender fuzz pedal, created by electronics designer Gary Hurst and eventually marketed by Vox. The result is the harsh-sounding “lead bass” tone that bobs menacingly—and memorably—alongside Harrison’s lead vocal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L0Rd1KVfdEc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>35. Mother Nature’s Son</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Throughout this song’s verses, McCartney fools you into thinking that he’s playing more than he actually is by filling out the harmony with his vocal melody. </p> <p>For example, while the ear hears a very strong D-to-G movement in the first two bars of the verse, all McCartney is actually playing is D to Dsus4; his vocal melody intimates the G chord by moving to B, that chord’s third. The verse also features, in the third and fourth bars, brilliant oblique motion—where one voice moves up or down while one or more other voices remain stationary. </p> <p>By moving the root of a B minor chord, B, down to the minor seventh, A, and then down to the sixth, Gs, while keeping the notes D and F# constant above this descending line, McCartney implies a slick progression of Bm D (or Bm7) E9. He does the same thing at the very beginning of the song.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>34. Girl</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Lennon conjures up this song’s dreamy, Gypsy-like reverie by capoing his Gibson J-160E at the eighth fret, making the guitar sound similar to a mandola. </p> <p>Harrison furthers the vibe on the third verse, playing a mandolin-like melody on Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic. But the crowning touch comes at the coda, when a third acoustic guitar enters, playing a Greek-style melody that’s plucked at the bridge with sharp strokes, making it sound like a bouzouki and further emphasizing the song’s smoky, old-world aura. </p> <p>The British group the Hollies would copy the effect on their hit “Bus Stop,” recorded at Abbey Road some six months later. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GlcuRGXiwNw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>33. Birthday</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Like “I Feel Fine” and “Day Tripper” (see entries 12 and 37), “Birthday” delivers a classic and memorable guitar riff. Whereas those previous two songs veered from the traditional 12-bar blues formula, “Birthday” hews closely to it during its verses. </p> <p>McCartney and Lennon wrote the song in the studio during an evening session, which included a recess during which the band went back to McCartney’s house to watch a TV broadcast of the 1956 teen film <em>The Girl Can’t Help It</em>. The soundtrack—which included performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent and other Beatles’ favorites—undoubtedly contributed to the song’s raucous vintage rock-and-roll vibe.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>32. One After 909</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>This tune had been in the Beatles’ song bag for years, surfacing first as a rickety blues-style shuffle at a March 1963 recording session.</p> <p>By the time they tackled it again during their January 1969 rooftop performance at Apple, the Beatles were nearly finished as a group, but they were at long last able to breathe life into the tune, revving it up with a rock and roll beat and laying into it like the seasoned performers they were. Harrison delivers a stellar country-rock solo, using his rosewood Telecaster. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IVN9ROEZIkE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>31. Norwegian Wood</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This acoustic-rock masterpiece, written by Lennon, is not unlike “Here Comes the Sun,” in that it’s a folky chord-melody type of accompaniment that could easily stand on its own as a solo instrumental, with the vocal melody conveniently woven into the chords.</p> <p>However, unlike “Here Comes the Sun” (see entry 4), the melody sits in the middle, rather than on top, of the chord voicings, and is performed with more full strumming in a flowing 6/8 meter. Lennon performed “Norwegian Wood” as if the song were in the key of D, the verses being in D major and the bridge sections switching the parallel minor key of D minor, and used a capo at the second fret to transpose everything up a whole step, to E major and E minor, respectively.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>30. And I Love Her</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It’s overshadowed by the Beatles’ more innovative songs, but “And I Love Her” demonstrates a leap in the group’s harmonic sophistication and musical arrangement skills. </p> <p>Harrison performs delicate arpeggiations on his 1964 Ramírez nylon-string classical acoustic, while McCartney subtly propels the song along with his soul-inflected bass work. A modulation from the key of E to F on the solo ramps up the drama and keeps the song from flagging. The final chord, D major—the relative minor of F—delivers surprise and emotional uplift that allows the song to end hopefully, in keeping with the optimism of the lyrics.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>29. Not Guilty</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Recorded for 1968’s White Album but unissued until the release of <em>Anthology 1</em> in 1995, this Harrison track was a lyrical response to his fellow Beatles, who felt that their trip to India at his urging to study transcendental meditation had been a waste of time. </p> <p>It’s hard to understand why this track was abandoned, especially after the group devoted more than 100 attempts to the rhythm track. Harrison’s guitar work is especially superb, from his sinewy lead lines to his sizzling tone, achieved by placing his amp in one of Abbey Road’s echo chambers and cranking it up for maximum effect, while he performed, safe from the volume, in the studio control room. </p> <p>Harrison eventually re-recorded this song for his self-titled 1979 album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bwLk6xLCzio" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>28. Old Brown Shoe</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Dishonorably relegated to the B-side of the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (see entry 42), this 1969 Harrison composition is one of his best. His stinging guitar work is at times reminiscent of Clapton, especially on the solo, where he plays his rosewood Telecaster through a Leslie cabinet, his preferred effect of the period. </p> <p>In addition to guitar, Harrison plays organ and, by his own account, the buoyant bass line. “That was me going nuts,” he said of the bass work in a 1987 interview. “I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>27. Michelle</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Another great example of McCartney’s innate gift for songwriting/composing, “Michelle” features, in its intro and elsewhere throughout the song, the previously mentioned standard “minor-drop” progression heard in “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “All My Loving” (see entries 7 and 16). </p> <p>The song also includes some rather clever and original harmonic twists and turns, such as the use of, in the second bar of the verse progression, the dominant-seven-sharp-nine (7#9) chord pointed out earlier in regard to Harrison’s “Till There Was You” solo, which, in both songs, is voiced “widely,” low to high: 1(root)-5-3(10)-b7-#9. Lennon, by the way, would later also employ this same chord voicing in “Sexy Sadie,” a chord that he, McCartney and Harrison all learned early on from a friend and local guitar-hero in Liverpool named Jim Gretty and dubbed “the Gretty chord.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>26. Cry for a Shadow</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>In 1961, unknown and looking for a break, the Beatles supported British rock and roll singer Tony Sheridan on a recording date in Hamburg. While there, they recorded two tracks of their own, including this Harrison-Lennon guitar-instrumental written in the style of U.K. pop group the Shadows (hence, the title). </p> <p>The recording provides early evidence of Lennon’s steady and dynamic rhythm guitar work, as well as McCartney’s melodic skills on the bass, which he had just begun playing. But it’s Harrison who shines, making the most of the trite melody with double-stop licks and generous use of the whammy bar on his Strat-style Futurama electric guitar. </p> <p>He ends the song with a major sixth—C6, specifically—a voicing that would become a signature Beatles coda on songs like “She Loves You,” “No Reply” and “Help!” (see entry 40).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/m1VMr29eUeo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>25. Hey Bulldog</strong><br /> <strong><em>Yellow Submarine</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s lead guitar work had characterized most of the great solo guitar moments on the Beatles’ records during 1966 and 1967. But with “Hey Bulldog,” recorded in February 1968, Harrison came charging back with a guitar solo that’s heavier and hairier than just about anything in the group’s catalog. </p> <p>For the song, he played his red 1964 SG Standard, using a fuzz box (most likely his Tone Bender) to give his sound a snarl befitting the song’s title. Recalls engineer Geoff Emerick, “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream." Equally outstanding is Paul McCartney’s buoyant bass work, which is practically a lead instrument on its own.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>24. I’ve Just Seen a Face</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Written by McCartney and musically inspired by the skiffle movement that was popular in the U.K. in the late Fifties and early Sixties, this up-tempo knee-slapper features Lennon, Harrison and McCartney all playing acoustic guitars, with Ringo Starr providing percussion (brushed snare drum and overdubbed maracas). </p> <p>The lyrical instrumental intro features a bass-line chord-melody, played (most likely by Harrison) on a 12-string, which serves to octave-double the bass-line melody, over which McCartney and Lennon flatpick a single-note melody based on double-stops, mostly sixth intervals, played up and down the G and high E strings in a quick, unbroken triplet rhythm, beautifully outlining the underlying chords with ascending and descending note pairs.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>23. Don’t Bother Me</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s first solo songwriting effort for the Beatles sounds like nothing else in the group’s catalog. With its moody minor chords, propulsive drum beat and tremolo guitar, this 1964 track has more in common with California surf music than it does the American rock and soul that inspired the Beatles’ music at the time. </p> <p>The tremolo—provided by Harrison’s Vox AC30—gives the song an air of menace appropriate to the song’s title, and its use here marks the first time the group used an electronic effect on a finished recording.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>22. Octopus’s Garden</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>By 1969, George Harrison had put down his sitar to focus on his first love, the guitar. The results are apparent on <em>Abbey Road</em>, which features his most fluid and confident playing to date. </p> <p>On “Octopus’s Garden,” one of Ringo Starr’s rare Beatles-era tunes, Harrison calls on his country/rockabilly influences for the first time since the band’s pre-psychedelic days. The intro is a slick masterpiece in the major pentatonic scale, the same territory Dickey Betts would later visit on “Blue Sky.” The song’s fun, twangy solo could sit snugly among James Burton’s work on Merle Haggard’s late-Sixties albums.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CUFcfXgW_dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>21. Till There Was You</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>With this charming early cover of a love song from the popular 1957 Broadway musical play and 1962 feature film <em>The Music Man</em>, the Beatles demonstrated their stylistic versatility as they authoritatively breeze through the song’s harmonically sophisticated, jazz-like chord progression. </p> <p>Harrison’s solo break conveys a musical savvy on par with that of a veteran jazz improviser, as he strongly outlines the underlying chord progression, producing a perfect melodic counterpoint with the bass line by using arpeggios and targeting non-root chord tones, such as the third or ninth, on each chord change. </p> <p>Also impressive is his incorporation of two-, three- and four-note chords into what would otherwise be a predominantly single-note solo to create jazz-guitar-style chord-melody phrases, as well as his superimposition over the five chord, C7, of a daringly dissonant Gb7#9 chord (voiced, low to high, Gb Db Bb E A), a trick known in the language of jazz as a tritone substitution. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>20. Good Morning Good Morning</strong><br /> <strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: There aren’t many ferocious, brash and screaming guitar solos in the Beatles’ catalog. That said, Paul McCartney’s razor-sharp solo on “Good Morning Good Morning” is all that and a bag of chips. </p> <p>The 13-second-long treble fest, played on a Fender Esquire through a Selmer amp, features a strong East Indian vibe, perhaps a nod to George Harrison’s burgeoning fascination with Indian religion and music. </p> <p>Like its stylistic predecessor, McCartney’s “Taxman” guitar solo (see entry 3), “Good Morning Good Morning” incorporates open-string drone notes and rapid-fire descending hammer-pull slides, mostly along one string, in this case, the B string.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>19. I Need You</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>By 1965, the Beatles were making noticeable strides in their arrangements and instrumentation. A prime example is “I Need You,” one of two George Harrison compositions to appear on <em>Help!</em> </p> <p>The recording represents Harrison’s first use of a volume pedal. The guitar’s dramatic, almost pedal-steel-like volume swells—which frame Harrison’s curt, suspended chords—only add to the song’s wistful lyrical content. </p> <p>The volume pedal was a step up for the band; the guitar swells heard on “Baby’s in Black,” which was tracked the previous summer, were the result of John Lennon turning the volume knob on Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Tennessean as Harrison played it.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>18. You Can’t Do That</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>On February 25, 1964, the Beatles entered the studio with an exciting new piece of gear: a Fireglo 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12. George Harrison had received the guitar only 17 days earlier when the band was in New York shooting its initial Ed Sullivan Show appearance.</p> <p>The song’s chiming intro riff, with its middle-finger hammer-ons from a minor third to a major third within the chord, offered a taste of what lay ahead for the guitar, which would see heavy action onstage and in the studio through 1965. John Lennon performed the guitar solo on his new Jetglo 1964 Rickenbacker.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EYa5YkJu4Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>17. Let It Be</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>As Beatles obsessives know, there are three versions of George Harrison’s solo for this track: the original, recorded in January 1969 with his rosewood Telecaster (available on 2003’s <em>Let It Be… Naked</em>); the second, recorded the following April with his Tele through a Leslie rotary speaker (released on the single “Let It Be” in 1970); and a third version recorded in January 1970 using his “Lucy” Gibson Les Paul through a Tone Bender (released on <em>Let It Be</em>). </p> <p>Nice as the first two are, they have nothing on the third, a blistering performance that raises the song’s drama to a higher level of emotion.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Izts5y5Fw8Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>16. All My Loving</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>For this pop song’s thumping, quasi–jump blues, rockabilly-style groove, Harrison crafted a convincingly authentic Chet Atkins/Carl Perkins–like solo break that clearly demonstrates his familiarity with that Fifties Nashville style of electric guitar soloing. </p> <p>Employing hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique), the guitarist acknowledges and gravitates toward the underlying chords in his melodic phrases, employing country-style “walk-ups” and “walk-downs” and plucking double-stops (pairs of notes) to sweetly and effectively outline the chord changes with a pleasing thematic continuity. </p> <p>Lennon contributed an energetic rhythm guitar part, one that he later expressed being rather proud of, which propels the groove with tireless waves of triplet chord strums, similar to those heard in the Crystals’ song “Da Doo Ron Ron.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>15. Ticket to Ride</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This proto-heavy-metal track was the first Beatles recording to feature McCartney on lead guitar and the last on which George Harrison used his Rickenbacker 12-string. McCartney plays the note-bending fills at the end of the bridges and on the outro, while Harrison plays the song’s arpeggiated riff and Lennon handles rhythm guitar. </p> <p>But the heaviest part might just be the droning open-string A notes that Harrison overdubbed on the verses, suggestive of the classical Indian music he would begin to explore later that year.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>14. Dig a Pony</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>The song’s driving, bluesy riff is as durable as any that Muddy Waters ever wrote, but the 1969 recording is also notable for Harrison’s smoky guitar work on his rosewood Telecaster—from the double-stop licks on the verses to his confident and impeccably developed solo. </p> <p>You can hear Harrison’s signature style beginning to develop here, with the smoothness of his lines pointing toward the fluid slide style he would develop over the following year. His guitar tone is also very similar to that of “Octopus’ Garden” (see entry 22) recorded later that year, for which he may have also used the rosewood Tele.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kkzKSORYtVk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>13. Nowhere Man</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>According to Harrison, he and Lennon perform the song’s bright, chiming solo together in unison, using their matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters. </p> <p>Lennon also revealed to guitarist Earl Slick, during the making of Lennon’s 1980 album <em>Double Fantasy</em>, that the solo was recorded through a pair of small amps with a single microphone positioned between them. The Strats’ trebly nature was further accentuated on “Nowhere Man” by boosting the high frequencies via the mixing console. </p> <p>“We wanted very trebly guitars,” McCartney says. “They’re among the most trebly guitars I’ve ever heard on record.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>12. I Feel Fine</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Audio feedback was just an annoying electronic phenomenon until the Beatles used it as an attention-getting way to start “I Feel Fine.” The song itself is a rather standard riff rocker inspired by Bobby Parker’s 1961 R&amp;B hit, “Watch Your Step,” but its distinctive intro came about by accident when McCartney played a low A note on his bass as Lennon was leaning his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric against his amp. </p> <p>The note set Lennon’s guitar vibrating, and its proximity to the amp caused the sound to feed back. “We went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!’ ” McCartney recalls. Yes, that too. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fZUb_NJZ4To" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>11. Blackbird</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney recorded this beautiful song’s gentle, fingerstyle acoustic accompaniment on his Martin D-28. </p> <p>He creates an elegant, classical-guitar-style chord movement by using two-finger chord shapes exclusively, most of which form 10th intervals on the A and B strings, in conjunction with the open G-string note, which he picks in opposition to the chord shapes and employs as a droning common tone. </p> <p>His unique fingerpicking technique relies largely on his thumb, which he uses to pick bass notes, and index finger, which he uses for pretty much everything else, employing brushed downstrokes and upstrokes and often brushing across two or more strings. </p> <p>This often results in notes that are “ghosted,” or barely articulated, a “flaw” that is a testament to his innate musicality—McCartney’s touch is charming and greatly contributes to the overall feel of the song. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6c2kJrWqZqc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>10. “Something”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist. </p> <p>His <em>Abbey Road</em> contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and throughout the album is masterful. Harrison’s mellifluous lead lines, in particular, are more expressive than anything he’d done before, demonstrating his newfound confidence and evolving connection to his instrument and creative muse. </p> <p>Performed with his “Lucy” 1957 Gibson Les Paul played through a Leslie speaker, the solo simmers as Harrison turns up the heat on his melody and dynamics, then cools it down with bluesy restraint. </p> <p>“George came into his own on <em>Abbey Road</em>,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered this and other <em>Abbey Road</em> sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mBjt7EsWbWE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon was composing some of the heaviest rock and roll in the Beatles’ catalog in 1969, and this song—true to its title—is among the most crushing, thanks to an abundance of doubled and overdubbed guitar lines that give it some serious sonic heft. </p> <p>Lennon wrote the song for Yoko Ono, with whom he was newly in love, and the result is a spellbinding exercise in obsessive repetition, from its lyrics—consisting almost entirely of the title and roughly five other words—to the ominous guitar lines that recur throughout it. </p> <p>Clocking in at 7:47, the song is also one of the Beatles’ longest. </p> <p>And although it consists of nothing more than a verse and a chorus repeated several times, it is rhythmically one of their most intricate tunes, switching between 12/8 meter and 4/4 rhythms alternately played bluesy and with a double-time rock beat. Few other artists could have made so much with so little. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uo1i9uTaCFQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. I’m Only Sleeping</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s startling backward guitar solo on this Lennon-penned song is one of his greatest guitar moments on 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>.</p> <p>Over the previous year, he had used an expression pedal to create a volume-swelling sound, similar to a reverse-tape effect, on several tracks, including “Yes It Is” and “I Need You” (see entry 19). </p> <p>But for “I’m Only Sleeping,” Harrison wanted to hear his guitar truly in reverse, a decision undoubtedly inspired by Lennon’s own retrograde vocals on “Rain,” recorded earlier the same month, April 1966.</p> <p>Rather than simply improvising guitar lines while the track was played backward, he prepared lead lines and a five-bar solo for the song and had George Martin transcribe them for him in reverse. Harrison then performed the lines while the tape was running back to front.</p> <p>The result is a solo that surges up from the song’s murky depths, suffusing it with a smeared, surreal, dreamlike ambience. Within a year, Harrison’s idea would be copied by such psychedelic rock acts of the day as the Electric Prunes, who employed it on their 1966 hit “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” and Jimi Hendrix, who used it to great effect on “Castles Made of Sand.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1MMDugt8ZRk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. And Your Bird Can Sing</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>This middle-period Beatles gem, written primarily by Lennon, features Harrison and McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.) </p> <p>Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the key of D, using a capo at the second fret to transpose it up a whole step, as he did on “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and “Julia.”) </p> <p>The quick half-step and whole-step bends that Harrison and McCartney incorporate into their parts here and there in lock-step fashion are particularly sweet sounding. Heard together, they have the precise intonation of a country pedal-steel part performed by a seasoned Nashville pro. </p> <p>The harmonized lines that the two guitarists play over the “minor-drop” progression during the song’s bridge section, beginning at 1:05, reveal their musical depth and sophistication and command over harmony beyond the basic “I-IV-V” pop songwriting fodder.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f_P71QAEZKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. A Hard Day’s Night</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It lasts all of roughly three seconds, but the sustained opening chord to this classic Beatlemania track is one of rock and roll’s greatest and most recognizable musical moments. </p> <p>Bright and bold as a tolling bell, it loudly announced in 1964 not just the start of the Beatles’ latest album but also the dawning of a cultural transformation that owed nearly everything to the group’s influence. </p> <p>The song was written to order for the Beatles’ feature-length film debut, <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em>. According to George Martin, “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning.” </p> <p>The dense harmonic cluster that Martin and the group created is the result of four instruments sounding simultaneously: Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, both strumming an Fadd9 chord (with a G on the high E); McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, plucking a D note (probably at the 12th fret of his D string); and Martin on grand piano, playing low D and G notes. </p> <p>The resulting chord has been described as, technically, G7add9sus4, but to millions of eager listeners in 1964, it was simply the sound of an electrifying new era.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/70QfHtKdh_0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Revolution</strong><br /> <strong><em>1966–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>At the time that this 1968 track was recorded, distortion was well established as an electronic effect for guitarists, but no one had ever used it to the extreme that the Beatles did here. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for “Revolution 1,” the slower version of the song, which the Beatles recorded in May and June of 1968. </p> <p>Emerick had abetted his efforts by overloading the preamp on the microphone used to record Lennon’s guitar, but even this wasn’t enough for Lennon, who told the engineer, “ ‘No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!” </p> <p>By the July recording of “Revolution,” Emerick determined that he could distort the signal even more by patching Lennon and Harrison’s guitars directly into the mixing console via direct boxes, overloading the input preamp and sending the signal into a second overloaded preamp. </p> <p>“I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott, “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.” </p> <p>As Emerick himself notes in his 2006 memoir <em>Here, There and Everywhere</em>, it was no mean feat: the overloaded preamps could have caused the studio’s tube-powered mixer to overheat. “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kk6BAIy1MeU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Here Comes the Sun</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s jangly chord-melody playing on this song is exemplary. Using first- and second-position “cowboy” chords with a capo at the seventh fret, the guitarist loosely doubles and supports his catchy, syncopated vocal melody by working it into the top part of his acoustic-guitar accompaniment. </p> <p>He does this by using a “picky-strummy” technique (similar to what Neil Young would later employ in his song “The Needle and the Damage Done”), in which the pick hand gently swings back and forth over the strings in an unbroken down-up-down-up movement, like a pendulum viewed sideways. </p> <p>In doing so, Harrison selectively grazes certain strings on various downbeats and eighth-note upbeats, resulting in a seemingly casual mix of full-chord strums, single notes and two-note clusters that form a pleasing stand-alone guitar part that could easily appeal as a solo instrumental performance. </p> <p>The high register achieved by using the capo so far up the neck—the song is played as if it were in the key of D but sounds in A, a perfect fifth higher—makes the guitar sound almost like a mandolin, an effect similar to that achieved by Bob Dylan on “Blowin’ in the Wind” (also performed capo-7).</p> <p>Also noteworthy are the ringing and musically compelling arpeggio breaks that punctuate the song in various spots, such as after the first verse (immediately following the lyric “It’s all right”) and during the bridge/interlude section, behind the words “sun, sun, sun, here it comes.” </p> <p>Harrison employs a highly syncopated “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2” phrasing scheme in the first instance and “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2” in the latter, creating a rhythmic “hiccup” that resets the song’s eighth-note pulse. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/n6j4TGqVl5g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Taxman</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Bassist Paul McCartney had first demonstrated his six-string talents on 1965’s <em>Help!,</em> where he played lead guitar on several tracks and performed on acoustic guitar for his song “Yesterday.” </p> <p>But McCartney would truly come into his own as a guitarist with this cut from 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>. His stinging solo, performed on his 1962 Epiphone Casino through his cream-colored 1964 Bassman amp, is a stunningly sophisticated creation, drawn from an Indian-derived Dorian mode and featuring descending pull-offs that recall Jeff Beck’s work on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things,” released earlier that year. </p> <p>How the solo came to be played by McCartney—and not Harrison, who wrote the song and was the Beatles’ lead guitarist—is a story in itself. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Harrison struggled for two hours to craft a solo before producer George Martin suggested he let McCartney give it a try. McCartney’s solo, Emerick says, “was so good that George Martin had me fly it in again during the song’s fadeout.” Portions of it, played backward, were also applied to the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows.” </p> <p>Apparently, Harrison didn’t feel slighted. At the time of making <em>Revolver</em>, he was ambivalent about his musical ambitions and pondering Indian mysticism, to which he would eventually convert. </p> <p>“In those days,” he said, “for me to be allowed to do my one song on the album, it was like, ‘Great. I don’t care who plays what. This is my big chance.’ I was pleased to have him play that bit on ‘Taxman.’ If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YtksJEj2Keg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. While My Guitar Gently Weeps</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has become one of George Harrison’s signature tunes, but when he wrote the song in 1968, he couldn’t get his band mates to take an interest in it. </p> <p>Frustrated, he asked his pal Eric Clapton to sit in on the recording session for the track, hoping his presence would put the group on its best behavior. Clapton accepted the invitation and delivered a performance that remains a high point in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>For the session, Clapton played a 1957 Les Paul “Goldtop” that had been refinished in red. He’d purchased the guitar in New York City sometime in the Sixties and in 1968 gifted it to Harrison, who nicknamed it Lucy. </p> <p>The guitar was already in Harrison’s possession at the time of this recording. When he picked up Clapton to take him to the studio for the Beatles session, the famous guitarist was empty handed. “I didn’t have a guitar,” Clapton recalls. “I just got into the car with him. So he gave me [Lucy] to play.”</p> <p>Harrison was concerned that Clapton’s solo was “not Beatley enough,” as the group was by the time of this recording well known for its sonic innovation. </p> <p>During the song’s mixing stage, the group had engineer Chris Thomas send Clapton’s signal through Abbey Road’s ADT—Automatic Double Tracking—tape-delay system and manually alter the speed of the delay throughout Clapton’s performance, making the pitch sound chorused. (The effect is especially noticeable in the final measure of the second middle-eight, after the line “no one alerted you.”) Ironically, while the solo is one of Clapton’s most famous, he was never credited on the recording. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F3RYvO2X0Oo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. “The End”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>A song called “The End” might seem an ironic place to start a list of the Beatles’ 50 greatest guitar moments. But the round-robin solos that bring the track to its exhilarating peak are without question the group’s most powerful statement expressed through the guitar.</p> <p>Here, for a mere 35 seconds, three childhood friends and longtime band mates—Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon—trade licks on a song that represents, musically and literally, the Beatles’ last stand as a rock group before they broke up the following year. “The End” is the grand finale in the medley of tunes that make up much of <em>Abbey Road</em>’s second side. </p> <p>As such, it’s designed to deliver maximum emotional punch, and it succeeds completely, thanks in great part to the sound of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon rocking out on their guitars, as they did in their first, embryonic attempts to make rock and roll some 12 years earlier. </p> <p>“They knew they had to finish the album up with something big,” recalls Geoff Emerick, the famed Abbey Road engineer who worked on the 1969 album. </p> <p>“Originally, they couldn’t decide if John or George would do the solo, and eventually they said, ‘Well, let’s have the three of us do the solo.’ It was Paul’s song, so Paul was gonna go first, followed by George and John. It was unbelievable. And it was all done live and in one take.”</p> <p>Much of the song’s power comes from the sense that the Beatles are making up their solos spontaneously, playing off one another in the heat of the moment. As it turns out, that’s partly accurate. </p> <p>“They’d worked out roughly what they were going to do for the solos,” Emerick says, “but the execution of it was just superb. It sounds spontaneous. When they were done, everyone beamed. I think in their minds they went back to their youths and those great memories of working together.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5bcxHlMxnSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments#comments Articles Damian Fanelli George Harrison GW Archive GWLinotte January 2014 John Lennon Paul McCartney The Beatles Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:03:43 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti, Damian Fanelli, Jimmy Brown 20443 at http://www.guitarworld.com Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Visualizing Melodic Shapes on the Fretboard http://www.guitarworld.com/wild-stringdom-john-petrucci-visualizing-melodic-shapes-fretboard <!--paging_filter--><p>This month, I’d like to delve deeper into concepts for expanding scalar ideas across the fretboard. </p> <p>As in the previous columns, I’ll demonstrate how to move diagonally across the fretboard to connect scale positions, an approach that I employ to a great extent to play melodic phrases and solos. </p> <p>Let’s start with a series of phrases that are all based on the E Aeolian mode, or E natural minor scale (E F# G A B C D). <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> details a series of three different three-note phrases, each played in a three-notes-per-string pattern and starting with the index finger. I begin in seventh position and play through the first six notes of E Aeolian. </p> <p>In bar 2, I shift up to ninth position and play a six-note pattern that begins on the fifth degree of E Aeolian, B, sounding the notes B C D E F# G. Finally, I move up to 11th position to play a six-note pattern beginning on the second, or ninth, F#, sounding the notes F# G A B C D. </p> <p> The high D at the end of the phrase is useful, because it can easily be bent up one whole step to the E root. By connecting all three patterns this way, I am moving up the fretboard in a diagonal path that covers a lot of range. </p> <p> A great way to practice this pattern is within a steady series of eighth-note triplets, as seen in <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. Use alternate (down-up) picking throughout, and strive to make the position shifts seamless. Once you have these “shapes” for each six-note group under your fingers, you should be able to move freely from the A string to the D and G and back, using just your ear to guide the melodic phrases you create.</p> <p> Within the first six-note phrase, we have the notes of an E minor triad: E G B. Now let’s look at how we can apply notes from this series to create different chord types. In <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, I demonstrate voicings of Em, Esus2 and another “wide-stretch” Em voicing from the notes found in this pattern. I can then play melodic fills based on it. </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 4 </strong> offers a more expanded example of this concept. I’ll often use this approach to create chordmelody-type ideas, such as that shown in <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>. Here, I’m using the open low E note as a pedal tone played against various two-note chords. I also like incorporating the ninth, F#, into Em voicings, resulting in the wide-stretch Em(add9) shapes shown in <strong>FIGURE 6.</strong> </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 7</strong> puts a twist on this idea by adding the second, also F#, to an E minor triad, E G B. Lastly, I use note combinations from the pattern to create a series of two-note chords that live in E Aeolian, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 8.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/APity4lRWgs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-10%20at%202.09.53%20PM.png" width="580" height="604" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 2.09.53 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-10%20at%202.10.09%20PM.png" width="580" height="334" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 2.10.09 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-petrucci">John Petrucci</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/dream-theater">Dream Theater</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/wild-stringdom-john-petrucci-visualizing-melodic-shapes-fretboard#comments Dream Theater January 2014 John Petrucci Wild Stringdom Artist Lessons Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:04:33 +0000 John Petrucci 19912 at http://www.guitarworld.com It Might Get Weird: Ra Power — McMahon Artistry Ankh Guitar http://www.guitarworld.com/it-might-get-weird-ra-power-mcmahon-artistry-ankh-guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>The ancient Egyptians' numerous cultural achievements included the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Telecaster. </p> <p>What? Actually, Scott McMahon of McMahon Artistry built this Telecaster adorned with Egyptian hieroglyphic carvings during the 21st century. He also gave it an appropriate name: the Ankh.</p> <p>“The artwork tells the story of King Tut's resurrection,” McMahon says. “The graphics are adopted from a painting in King Tut's burial chamber where he is being given the symbol for life-the Ankh. </p> <p>"The all-seeing eye of Ra is on the headstock. To honor Tut's father Akhenaton, I included a spell from the Book of the Dead around the side of the guitar, paying homage to the creator of all things.”</p> <p>McMahon used traditional tools to carve the body entirely by hand. He carved the depiction of Isis in a traditional relief style and employed chip-carving knives for the rest of guitar. </p> <p>“That replicates the Egyptian style of 'sunken relief' popular during the 18th and 19th dynasties and allowed me to achieve this piece's fine detail,” he explains. “Using power tools might decrease the time it would take me to complete a guitar, but only old-world tools can provide the fine detail that this piece needed.”</p> <p>The one-piece basswood body is decorated with gold-leaf embellishments, but because McMahon wanted to replicate sandstone carvings he left most of the wood in a natural state, finishing it only with amber shellac and an oil finish. Other features include gold-color copper-alloy frets, 24-karat-gold strings, and stainless-steel screws, brass fine tuners, and titanium string blocks made by Floyd Rose.</p> <p>The Ankh is just one of McMahon Artistry’s several hand-carved masterpieces, which include the Diamondback, the Chief and the Celt. McMahon will build whatever a customer wants on commission, and he’s currently working on a Mayan-inspired piece for his personal portfolio. His work was on display at this year’s NAMM show at the Floyd Rose booth. The Ankh is also available for sale, should you need it for your Iron Maiden tribute band’s <em>Powerslave</em> set.</p> <p>For more info, visit <a href="http://mcmahonartistry.com/">mcmahonartistry.com.</a></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/it-might-get-weird-ra-power-mcmahon-artistry-ankh-guitar#comments It Might Get Weird January 2014 McMahon Artistry Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:19:39 +0000 Chris Gill 20464 at http://www.guitarworld.com Man of Steel with Steel Panther's Satchel: The Benefits of Simplicity, and How to Play “Community Property” http://www.guitarworld.com/man-steel-steel-panthers-satchel-benefits-simplicity-and-how-play-community-property <!--paging_filter--><p>For this month’s column, we’re going to focus on a Steel Panther song that is so great and so hooky, it’s pretty much impossible to imagine that it even exists. “Community Property,” from our 2009 album, <em>Feel the Steel</em>, contains a grand total of four chords, which, to me, is a good thing. Simplicity can be great.</p> <p>For example, I want all of my girlfriends to only have one vagina. That’s enough for me. </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> illustrates the song’s opening chord sequence. The coolest thing about these chords is that they all incorporate the open top two strings, and I only have to move one finger to switch from one chord to the next. When I go from Asus2 to C#m7, I add the ring finger at the fourth fret on the A string. To switch from C#m7 to Bsus4, the index finger moves down to the A string’s second fret while the ring finger moves up to the fourth fret on the D string.</p> <p> Simple! The quick shifts between Bsus4 and E5 are made by lifting the ring finger while simultaneously barring the index finger across the A and D strings at the second fret. Even simpler!</p> <p> The chorus section uses the same chords, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. The song is in the key of E major, so this progression is known as a basic I-IV–V (“one-four-five”) in E. Notice that the E note on the D string and the B note on the G string never move; they stay in the same position for all of the chords. Brilliant, right? I know, because it cost a lot of money to hire the team of songwriters that wrote the song. </p> <p> Even the bridge section uses the same chords (see <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>), and this progression is the one I solo on. I’ve gotten more girls on my jock from this one song than you’ve had in your life—and I don’t even know how old you are! <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> illustrates the solo, which, overall, is very melodic and is based on the notes of the E major scale (E F# G# A B C# D#). </p> <p> I end the solo, however, with a very fast tapping phrase. On the top two strings, I use my middle finger to tap at the 19th fret while pulling off between the 16th, 14th and 12th frets. The tap then moves down to the 18th fret, and the lowest fret-hand note moves up to the 13th fret. </p> <p> Practice this lick slowly and build up the speed because it’s, like, bitchin’ly hard to do. This is the last installment of Man of Steel. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ve learned nearly as much as I have over the course of these lessons. See you on the road, bitches!</p> <p><strong>PART ONE</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888567753001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888567753001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <strong>PART TWO</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888573896001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888573896001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-06-12%20at%2012.01.19%20PM.png" width="620" height="629" alt="Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 12.01.19 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-06-12%20at%2012.01.51%20PM.png" width="620" height="364" alt="Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 12.01.51 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/man-steel-steel-panthers-satchel-benefits-simplicity-and-how-play-community-property#comments January 2014 Man of Steel Satchel Steel Panther Artist Lessons News Lessons Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:09:26 +0000 Steel Panther&#039;s Satchel 19913 at http://www.guitarworld.com In Deep with Andy Aledort: Unraveling the Mysteries of Chicago and Texas Blues Shuffles, Part 1 http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-unraveling-mysteries-chicago-and-texas-blues-shuffles-part-1 <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Be sure to check out my new website, <a href="http://www.andyaledort.com/">andyaledort.com</a>, which has all of the latest gig info, gear, lesson (private and Skype), session availability and more!</strong></p> <p>There may be no more an enduring sound that has spanned the long, diverse history of popular music than the blues shuffle. </p> <p> Born from the boogie-woogie sounds of jazz piano in the very early 20th century, the swinging shuffle groove is built from an insistent and repetitive forward-leaning rhythm that is generally written in 12/8 meter—wherein four consecutive beats are each subdivided into three evenly spaced eighth notes—and comprises a repeating quarter-note/eighth-note rhythm that sounds like “da—da, da—da, da—da, da—da.” </p> <p> In this edition of In Deep, we’ll unravel the guitar artistry of three masters of the blues shuffle: Chicago’s Jimmy Reed and Muddy Waters, and Texas’ Lightnin’ Hopkins. </p> <p>The first blues boogie/shuffle to become popular was “Pine Top’s Boogie,” released in 1929 by pianist Pine Top Smith. By the mid Thirties, the boogie rhythm had been adapted to many different styles of music, including the swinging big-band jazz of Benny Goodman, the jump blues of Louis Jordan, hillbilly music and country-and-western swing. But the shuffle rhythm also has origins in the late Twenties recordings of such seminal Delta blues figures as Charlie Patton, Willie Brown and Tommy Johnson. </p> <p> Delta blues pioneer Robert Johnson recorded the classic blues shuffles “Dust My Broom” and “Sweet Home Chicago” in 1936, and shortly thereafter, essential artists such as Son House, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins developed blues music, and the intricacies of the shuffle rhythm, to a fine art form.</p> <p> Let’s begin with the great Chicago bluesman Jimmy Reed, who penned blues shuffle classics like “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby,” “You Don’t Have to Go,” “Bright Lights, Big City,” “Baby What You Want Me to Do” and many others. To say that Reed’s songs have been influential would be a huge understatement. </p> <p> It’s impossible to imagine the blues guitar lexicon without his influential playing style and well-loved, oft-covered songs. Reed often performed with guitarist Eddie Taylor, and the manner in which they played complementary chordal and single-note melodic parts together laid the groundwork for the two-guitar approach later expounded upon in the blues rock of the Yardbirds’ Chris Dreja and Eric Clapton (and, later, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page), and the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Brian Jones (or Jones’ successors Mick Taylor or Ron Wood). </p> <p> Richards refers to the intertwined sound of the complementary guitars in the Rolling Stones music as, “the fine art of weaving.” Employing a thumb pick and his bare fingers, Reed would use his thumb to lay down driving rhythms on the lower strings while fingerpicking melodic lines on the higher strings. <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> illustrates a rhythm part along the lines of “Baby, What You Want Me to Do,” played in the key of E. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/andy%201.png" width="620" height="676" alt="andy 1.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/andy%202.png" width="620" height="307" alt="andy 2.png" /></p> <p> The pickup bar features a rolling double hammer-on on the D string, followed on beat one of bar 1 with an open low E and a trill on the G string to the major third, G#, played simultaneously. Both the trill lick and the rolling double hammer on provide complementary melodic content to the insistent rhythm sounded on the lower strings. In bar 9, B7/A is played by combining B7-type lines with the open A string, yielding an unusual, and signature, effect. Bars 11 and 12 serve as the “turnaround,” with single-note phrases based on the E blue scale (E G A Bb B D) setting up the “V” (five) chord, B7. </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> is based on another Reed hit, “You Don’t Have to Go,” which sounds in the key of F. Reed would move the capo up and down the neck to change keys, which enabled him to play all of his songs in the same manner—as if he were playing in the key of E without a capo (for example, “Bright Lights, Big City” is played with the capo at the fifth fret, sounding in the key of A). Akin to <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, a repeated melodic pattern is established on the higher strings, alternating against the driving rhythm part on the lower strings.</p> <p> Again, B7/A is used in bar 9, and the turnaround lick in bars 11 and 12 offers a slight twist, setting up a return to the initial lick from bar 1. A complete exploration of Reed’s music is required listening for any aspiring blues guitarist. Also check out the great tribute album, <em>On the Jimmy Reed Highway</em>, recorded by legendary Austin, Texas guitarists Jimmie Vaughan and Omar Kent Dykes in 2011.</p> <p> Texas blues master Lightnin’ Hopkins was a virtuoso guitarist who often performed solo, developing a chord-melody style that greatly influenced blues-rock icons Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Like Reed, Hopkins combined fingerpicking with the use of a thumb pick. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/andy%203.png" width="620" height="487" alt="andy 3.png" /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/andy%204.png" width="620" height="507" alt="andy 4.png" /></p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> is played in the style of his song “Katie Mae,” and throughout, intricate melodic lines on the top three strings dominate the solo guitar performance. To execute these parts, alternate between the thumb and either the index or middle finger (or both used simultaneously). At bar 5, the “IV” (four) chord, A7, includes a simple melodic pattern on the high E string, moving between G at the third fret and the open string. These single note lines are also based on the E blues scale. </p> <p> Muddy Waters, known as the “Father of Chicago Blues,” learned much of his guitar style from listening to Son House and Robert Johnson. He also fingerpicked with a thumb pick, and his initial solo recordings, such as “Feel Like Going Home” and “Rollin’ Stone,” became hits. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, played in the style of “Rollin’ Stone,” features a consistently alternating low-string/high-string figure, adapted later by Hendrix as the basis for “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).” Of the four parts illustrated, this is the most complex, so work through each bar slowly and carefully, striving for rhythmic precision and clean articulation.</p> <p><strong>PART ONE</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888573934001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888573934001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <strong>PART TWO</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888611436001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888611436001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-unraveling-mysteries-chicago-and-texas-blues-shuffles-part-1#comments Andy Aledort In Deep January 2014 Muddy Waters Videos In Deep with Andy Aledort News Lessons Magazine Thu, 15 May 2014 16:23:39 +0000 Andy Aledort 19918 at http://www.guitarworld.com United Artists: 15 New Signature Guitars That Can Help You Channel the Spirit of Your Favorite Ax Slinger http://www.guitarworld.com/united-artists-15-new-signature-guitars-can-help-you-channel-spirit-your-favorite-ax-slinger <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>Guitar World</em> brings together 15 new signature guitars that can help you channel the spirit of your favorite ax slinger.</strong></p> <p>Ever since guitarists started gaining fame and fortune from their artistry, there have been players who wanted to emulate them. In response, guitar makers have created signature model guitars bearing the names of celebrated musicians.</p> <p>As far back as the 1830s, top luthiers like Johann Stauffer and René Lacote were collaborating with leading guitarists of the day, including Luigi Lagnani, Fernando Sor and Napoléon Coste, to create custom models. This includes what are possibly the first seven-string guitars, designed by Coste and Lacote, some of which bear Coste’s name handwritten on the label inside the body.</p> <p>The premise back then was much the same as it is today: as well-known and accomplished guitarists achieved new vistas of tone and technique, they lent their names and/or expertise to the design of instruments that—presumably—could help ordinary players attain similar musical feats. Even if you lacked the creative soul and dexterous fingers of a Sor, Hendrix or Vai, at least you could have the same kind of guitar.</p> <p>The vogue for signature guitars escalated in the late Twenties and early Thirties as our modern concept of celebrity took shape around new innovations in entertainment technology such as phonograph records and movies with synchronized sound. The prime example of this phenomenon is the Gibson Nick Lucas model flattop acoustic, which was introduced in the late Twenties.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/name-game-history-signature-guitars">For the rest of this story, head here. In the meantime, check out the 15 signature model guitars in the photo gallery below!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/united-artists-15-new-signature-guitars-can-help-you-channel-spirit-your-favorite-ax-slinger#comments Jacky Vincent January 2014 Joe Satriani Seth Avett Acoustic Guitars Bass Guitars Electric Guitars Galleries News Features Gear Magazine Tue, 06 May 2014 12:25:20 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20510 at http://www.guitarworld.com Review: Dean Standard Series Gran Sport and Thoroughbred Stealth Guitars http://www.guitarworld.com/review-dean-standard-series-gran-sport-and-thoroughbred-stealth-guitars <!--paging_filter--><p>Most guitar companies have an obvious identity, both in styling and tone, and usually offer a few time-honored shapes and variations on a theme. </p> <p>Dean Guitars has so many models and shapes that it can be hard to pigeonhole the guitarmaker, something that becomes clearer when you consider the range of artists who play the company’s instruments—from Dave Mustaine to Eric Peterson to Michael Schenker to Leslie West. </p> <p>But the common thread running through all Dean guitars is updated yet traditional American styling and a palpable tonal edge. </p> <p>The new Gran Sport and Thoroughbred Stealth exemplify Dean’s in-your-face niche, honoring the spirit of long-established vintage instruments with an attitude that satisfies a more aggressive audience. </p> <p><strong>Gran Sport</strong> </p> <p>The Gran Sport’s slightly offset and asymmetrical horned cutaways resemble the classic styling that we associate with massive open chords and stinging lead lines. A Fifties-style C-shaped, set mahogany neck keeps the tuning stable and adds some tonal girth to the relatively thin mahogany body. The rosewood fretboard is bound and features 22 extra jumbo frets on a 24 1/2–inch scale. </p> <p>Dean’s overwound DMT Equalizer bridge model and DMT Nostalgia neck model humbuckers pump the saturation beyond vintage standards, with a standard three-way toggle and dedicated controls for volume and tone. Players who sweat the details will like how Dean’s designers created consistently artistic morphs of the Dean Wings, beginning at the headstock and continuing in the non-trapezoidal pearl inlays and pickguard. </p> <p><strong>Performance</strong></p> <p>Some of the thinner mahogany guitars with lightweight vintage hardware are known to ring excessively in high-gain and high-volume situations, but the Gran Sport’s sealed Grover tuners and modern stoptail and Tune-o-matic bridge negate this tendency. Although it exhibits enough clang to deliver convincing vintage clean and overdriven tones, the Gran Sport really comes alive when driving a bright high-gain lead channel, offering fat mids, excellent string separation and thick lows. </p> <p><strong>Thoroughbred Stealth</strong></p> <p>Dean’s Thoroughbred Series includes about a half-dozen single-cutaway variations, some with demeanors that are sweet and happy, others that are sleek and nasty. The black satin-finished Stealth model falls squarely in the latter category. It’s built expressly for the player who wants nothing less than intense high-gain tones, serious low-end girth and wicked harmonic squeals. Note definition is enhanced by the mahogany body’s arched maple top and classic, low mass Tune-o-matic bridge and mini Grover tuners. The set mahogany neck is carved into a substantial C shape and set into the body on a 24 1/2–inch scale. </p> <p>The Stealth is extremely fast, thanks to an ebony board, round crowns on the 22 extra jumbo frets and Dean’s Ultra Access neck joint, which effectively removes the neck heel so that the neck’s hill seamlessly blends into the contoured lower cutaway. Active EMG pickups include the usual pairing of a model 81 in the bridge slot and a model 85 in the neck position, each with its own volume and tone controls. </p> <p><strong>Performance</strong> </p> <p>The Stealth’s amalgamation of mahogany, maple, ebony and active EMGs is a common configuration in the world of metal guitars, but this Dean’s base tone strikes a lower bell than other guitars of the ilk. It’s in no way muddy or lacking the EMG-powered upper-harmonic thrust—it’s just darker and more sinister through its range, and sustain is always better from guitars with a naturally low-resonant pitch. Plugged into any of the high-gain offerings from Mesa, ENGL or Hughes &amp; Kettner, to name a few, the Gran Sport delivers gut-punching low-mid chunk and deep solo tones. </p> <p><strong>List Price</strong> Gran Sport, $599; Thoroughbred Stealth, $699 </p> <p><strong>Manufacturer</strong> Armadillo Enterprises Inc., <a href="http://www.deanguitars.com/home.php">deanguitars.com</a></p> <p><strong>Cheat Sheet</strong></p> <p>Extra body length and a substantial C-shaped neck help the relatively thin Gran Sport sound as full and deep as bulkier mahogany planks.</p> <p>Active model 81 and 85 EMGs infuse the tone with preamp-born harmonics while simultaneously delivering the Thoroughbred Stealth’s innately deep resonance and long sustain. </p> <p><strong>The Bottom Line</strong></p> <p>For players who want radical tone and slick playability but prefer the feel and look of a traditional package, Dean’s Gran Sport and Thoroughbred Stealth individually offer classic styling with the teeth-baring tonal snarl that we’ve come to expect from this Tampa-based company. </p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888632863001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888632863001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-dean-standard-series-gran-sport-and-thoroughbred-stealth-guitars#comments Dean Dean Guitars January 2014 Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Sun, 27 Apr 2014 18:13:06 +0000 Eric Kirkland, Video by Paul Riario 19908 at http://www.guitarworld.com Review: Seymour Duncan Whole Lotta Humbucker Pickups http://www.guitarworld.com/review-seymour-duncan-whole-lotta-humbucker-pickups <!--paging_filter--><p>London in the early Seventies was the center of the guitar universe, the place where some of the greatest players of the classic rock era were living, performing and recording. </p> <p>Seymour Duncan was there too, sought by the famous and soon-to-be-famous for his skills as a guitar tech and his ability to uniquely rewind a pickup so that it matched a player’s voice and style. </p> <p>Duncan’s pickups were an ingredient in the signature tones of guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and scores of others. </p> <p>One of the era’s most recognizable and iconic sounds came via one of Page’s Gibson Les Pauls that Duncan loaded with a pair of his specially rewound humbuckers, known for their incredibly powerful, clear top end, unbridled midrange and multidimensional crunch tone. Seymour Duncan’s new Whole Lotta Humbucker set of bridge and neck pickups precisely recreates that magical tone and provides access to the legendary sounds that forever changed the world of rock guitar and inspired millions to begin their musical journey. </p> <p><strong>Features</strong><br /> Seymour Duncan builds these pickups with the balanced magnetic field offered by rough-cast Alnico 5 magnets and 42-gauge plain-enamel wire, wound in his special pattern. As is typical, the bridge model is hotter than the neck version, but both have the characteristically raw, overdriven effect on the amp. Four-conductor leads allow players to tap coils or set up phase-inverted tone colorations, and Duncan is offering them with black bobbins or nickel covers. </p> <p><strong>Performance</strong><br /> Tone may be subjective, and it is certainly dependent on the player and other equipment, but playing the Whole Lotta Humbucker set through a Marshall half stack is history incarnate. It’s scary to hear this tone recreated so accurately, and it’s enlightening to experience how much of the player’s intention can be captured by a truly great set of pickups. What’s just as interesting is how nuanced and energetic these medium output pickups of yesteryear sound when combined with modern high gain horsepower. </p> <p><strong>List Price</strong> black, $269 (set); nickel, $319.99 (set)</p> <p><strong>Manufacturer</strong> Seymour Duncan, <a href="http://www.seymourduncan.com/">seymourduncan.com</a></p> <p><strong>The Bottom Line</strong><br /> Whether you’ve spent a lifetime lusting after this tone or are just now realizing that vintage recreations are the key to discovering your personal sound, Seymour Duncan’s Whole Lotta Humbucker is a timeless work of copper-wound art. </p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888632846001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888632846001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-seymour-duncan-whole-lotta-humbucker-pickups#comments January 2014 Seymour Duncan Accessories News Gear Magazine Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:47:56 +0000 Eric Kirkland, Video by Paul Riario 19911 at http://www.guitarworld.com Review: Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini Pedals http://www.guitarworld.com/review-dunlop-fuzz-face-mini-pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>Of all the early fuzz-pedal circuits, the Fuzz Face is by far the sweetest sounding, with smooth and even sustain, harmonic overtones that complement the base note and chords (instead of fighting them), and compressed attack that provides violin-like tones. </p> <p>This has made the Fuzz Face the choice of discriminating tone connoisseurs throughout the ages, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa and many other guitarists of note. </p> <p>Now Dunlop has updated the legendary Fuzz Face with its Fuzz Face Mini pedals, which provide the same timeless circuits in a much smaller round housing along with features modern players demand. </p> <p>Dunlop has even lowered the price to match the reduced, pedal board–friendly size.</p> <p><strong>Features</strong></p> <p>Dunlop offers three different flavors of the Fuzz Face Mini: Germanium, Silicon and Jimi Hendrix, which come in red, blue and turquoise cases, respectively. All three feature volume and fuzz controls, true-bypass switching, a laser-bright status LED, AC power jack and easy-access battery door while they retain the classic round shape and skip-pad “nose” of the original, albeit at less than one-third the overall size. In fact, using right-angle plugs, one can fit all three Fuzz Face Minis into a space a little larger than the footprint of an original Fuzz Face. </p> <p>The Germanium Fuzz Face Mini uses slightly mismatched germanium transistors just like the first version of the Fuzz Face featured in the Sixties. The Silicon Fuzz Face Mini offers the same specs as an original 1970 Fuzz Face and features a matched pair of BC108 silicon transistors. The Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini offers a circuit identical to that of Dunlop’s JHF1 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face, based on Hendrix’s own Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face from 1969–’70 and featuring BC108 silicon transistors.</p> <p><strong>Performance</strong> </p> <p>The magic of a Fuzz Face is how well it integrates into the signal chain, becoming an active, dynamic part of it instead of just a component to switch in or out at will. The square-wave distortion it produces is undeniably over the top, but it’s warm, smooth and one of only a rare few true fuzz effects that sounds good with chords. </p> <p>The distortion cleans up nicely when the guitar’s volume control is backed down just slightly, allowing players to easily dial in the desired fuzz effect, from just a touch of hair to full-on fuzz assault at will. The Silicon and Jimi Hendrix versions deliver the most gain, with the Hendrix being the less aggressive of the two, while the Germanium version sounds sweeter and darker. </p> <p><strong>List Price</strong> $170.61 (each)</p> <p><strong>Manufacturer</strong> Dunlop Manufacturing, <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/">jimdunlop.com</a></p> <p><strong>Cheat Sheet</strong></p> <p>The pedals have circuits identical to full-size Fuzz Face pedals, true-bypass switching, status LEDs, AC adapter jacks, and easy-access battery compartments.</p> <p>The Silicon and Jimi Hendrix versions feature BC108 silicon transistors while the Germanium version has a mismatched pair of germanium transistors</p> <p><strong>The Bottom Line</strong></p> <p>Reducing both the size and price of the legendary Fuzz Face, the three Fuzz Face Mini pedals provide three distinct classic fuzz flavors that deserve spots on your pedal board.</p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888630536001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888630536001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-dunlop-fuzz-face-mini-pedals#comments Dunlop January 2014 Jim Dunlop Effects News Gear Magazine Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:10:43 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 19910 at http://www.guitarworld.com Tribute to The Beatles: Virtuoso Al Di Meola Puts His Signature Style on 14 Fab Tunes http://www.guitarworld.com/tribute-beatles-virtuoso-al-di-meola-puts-his-signature-style-14-fab-tunes <!--paging_filter--><p>Whether he’s racing with devils on Spanish highways or chasing aliens in Arabian deserts, Al Di Meola has enjoyed a career highlighted by new musical adventures in exotic locales. </p> <p>His latest call of duty? Recording a tribute to one of his favorite bands—the Beatles—at London’s Abbey Road Studios.</p> <p>Di Meola's new album, <em>All Your Life</em>, finds the guitarist lending his intricate cross-picking and flamenco flourishes to 14 Lennon/McCartney compositions, all in a stripped-down, acoustic setting. Highlights on <em>All Your Life</em> include “I Will,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Michelle,” “Eleanor Rigby” and a mesmerizing version of “Because.” </p> <p>The all-instrumental album was recorded with a range of guitars, including a 1948 Martin D-18, a Gibson J-200, a Taylor and a pair of Ovations, though the primary “voice” is provided by Di Meola’s Spanish-made signature Conde Hermanos nylon-string guitar. </p> <p>Di Meola says that melody was a factor in his choice of songs—but it wasn't everything. </p> <p>“I think all Beatles songs have strong melodies, but that wasn't enough,” the guitarist says. “I wanted to do my signature thing, which is where I syncopate the arpeggiated chords. If I didn't have enough harmony to do that with, it wouldn't work. ‘Come Together’ wouldn't work because it's basically one chord. But with ‘Blackbird,’ there's a lot of space for me to do my thing.</p> <p>“A lot of jazz guys have done their own covers, but there's usually so much re-harmonizing and altering of the melody that you’d never know it's a Beatles tune. I didn’t want to do that. My intent was to bring in the sophistication through rhythm as opposed to altering of harmony, which would take the prettiness away. I wanted to preserve the beauty of these tunes.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/27XQsC-eIgE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/al-di-meola">Al Di Meola</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/tribute-beatles-virtuoso-al-di-meola-puts-his-signature-style-14-fab-tunes#comments Al Di Meola Damian Fanelli GWLinotte January 2014 The Beatles News Features Magazine Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:30:32 +0000 Damian Fanelli 20516 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Name Game: A History of Signature Guitars http://www.guitarworld.com/name-game-history-signature-guitars <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>For nearly two centuries, signature guitars have allowed players to sound more like their idols—and helped manufacturers sell more gear. Guitar World presents a history of the ever-popular phenomenon.</strong></p> <p>Ever since guitarists started gaining fame and fortune from their artistry, there have been players who wanted to emulate them. In response, guitar makers have created signature model guitars bearing the names of celebrated musicians.</p> <p>As far back as the 1830s, top luthiers like Johann Stauffer and René Lacote were collaborating with leading guitarists of the day, including Luigi Lagnani, Fernando Sor and Napoléon Coste, to create custom models. This includes what are possibly the first seven-string guitars, designed by Coste and Lacote, some of which bear Coste’s name handwritten on the label inside the body. </p> <p>The premise back then was much the same as it is today: as well-known and accomplished guitarists achieved new vistas of tone and technique, they lent their names and/or expertise to the design of instruments that—presumably—could help ordinary players attain similar musical feats. Even if you lacked the creative soul and dexterous fingers of a Sor, Hendrix or Vai, at least you could have the same kind of guitar. </p> <p>The vogue for signature guitars escalated in the late Twenties and early Thirties as our modern concept of celebrity took shape around new innovations in entertainment technology such as phonograph records and movies with synchronized sound. The prime example of this phenomenon is the Gibson Nick Lucas model flattop acoustic, which was introduced in the late Twenties. </p> <p>Lucas was a key figure in the guitar’s ascendancy over the banjo, which had been popular with dance bands of the era, and he recorded what is hailed as the first guitar instrumental record, “Pickin’ the Guitar,” backed with “Teasin’ the Frets,” in 1922. Lucas was seen by crowds of moviegoers playing his Gibson signature model while singing “Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips with Me” in the hit 1929 film Gold Diggers of Broadway, which today serves as an early example of guitar-industry-related product placement. </p> <p>Another trend in the Thirties and Forties was to honor guitar teachers and big-band jazz players with signature models. Guitar culture is littered with names like Roy Smeck, Harry Volpe and George Van Eps, who are remembered today more for lending their names to signature guitars—for Kay, Epiphone and Gretsch, respectively—than for their music. </p> <p>Signature models became even more prominent as the electric guitar began to go viral in the mid Fifties. The best known of these, of course, is the Gibson Les Paul, which was introduced in 1952. Les Paul had become known in the mid Fifties as an accomplished guitarist, technological innovator and early television personality through his work with singer/guitarist Mary Ford, not to mention Paul Whiteman, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. He was an ideal choice to lend his name to Gibson’s first foray into the solidbody electric market following the runaway success of Fender’s Broadcaster/Telecaster at the dawn of the Fifties. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CChQUNmi7cg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Of course, the guitar that bears Les Paul’s name was mostly designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty. Paul’s only contributions were the initial models’ goldtop finish and the original trapeze tailpiece, which most guitarists hated because it wasn’t conducive to palm muting and was hence quickly replaced by the Tune-o-matic stop tailpiece. </p> <p>These days, guitarists who lend their name to a signature model often have some input on the instrument’s design, but the Gibson Les Paul is a case in which the artist allowed his name to be used to increase the product’s prestige and, hence, its sales. </p> <p>Then there are legendary quasi-signature models, like the Fender “Mary Kaye” Stratocaster. The Mary Kaye Trio were a Las Vegas act who hit the Billboard charts in 1959 with their song “You Can’t Be True Dear.” When Mary Kaye and her group were depicted in an ad for Fender’s mid-Fifties Stratocaster with White Blonde finish and gold-plated hardware, this gorgeous and highly collectible iteration of the classic Strat design became forever associated with her name. </p> <p>The other great signature models of the Fifties were the Gretsch archtop electrics that bore Chet Atkins’ name on the pickguard: the 6120, Country Gentleman and Tennessean. Known as Mr. Guitar, Atkins was a widely respected country player and the producer of many of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits for RCA records. Several of the Atkins models were adopted by later players including Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran and George Harrison. </p> <p>Which brings up an interesting point. While the Sixties were an era of guitar innovation—thanks to musicians like George Harrison, Roger McGuinn, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix—none of them had signature models in the Sixties. The big signature guitars of the era were jazzy high-end archtops like Gibson’s Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow and Trini Lopez models. While companies like Rickenbacker, Vox and Hofner certainly advertised their association with the Beatles, there was still an industry-wide feeling that rock music was a passing fad and not to be enshrined with something as serious and lasting as a signature model. </p> <p>If you were an incipient rock and roll guitar player in, say, 1965 and you wanted to sound like George Harrison, you’d do your best to find a Rickenbacker 360 12-string or a Gretsch Country Gentleman—by no means an easy feat at the time. The thought of buying a guitar with Harrison’s name on it, or one designed by him, wouldn’t have entered your head. One simple reason for this is that the influential rock guitarists of the day were, for the most part, playing recent stock models. There was no sense of “vintage” at the time, and no aftermarket replacement pickups, hardware and so on with which to customize a guitar. </p> <p>All that changed in the late Seventies and early Eighties, when guitarists began to value older instruments more highly than newer guitars. This was also when the advent of replacement pickups, hardware, bodies and necks from companies like DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, Allparts and others brought about a vogue for “hot-rodding” guitars.</p> <p>A key instrument in this phenomenon was Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein, a bricolage assembly of parts from different manufacturers (including a Stratocaster-style body) born of Van Halen’s desire to combine the best tonal qualities of Gibson and Fender’s archetypal rock and roll electrics. By this point in time, it was clear that rock music was here to stay, and Van Halen’s hybrid approach to guitar building was brought to market in a series of popular signature models such as the Kramer 5150 and Charvel EVH. </p> <p>Virtuoso metal guitar playing did much to fuel the market for innovative signature models in the Eighties. Perhaps the most wildly popular examples of this trend are Ibanez’s Joe Satriani signature models (the JS Series) and Steve Vai’s signature Ibanez JEM models with their flashy “monkey grip” body cutout. </p> <p>Just as George Harrison ignited Beatlemania on a Gretsch Chet Atkins guitar and Johnny Ramone made punk rock history on a Mosrite Ventures model, Vai’s seven-string JEMs were eagerly adopted by a new generation of rap metal and extreme metal players. Players ranging from Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Schaffer to Tosin Abasi were inspired by Vai to play Ibanez seven-strings and would go on to have their own signature models.</p> <p>But the signature model market hasn’t all been about metal. When Fender got into the game in 1988 with its own line of signature Stratocasters, the company honored Eric Clapton as well as Yngwie Malmsteen with their own models. Both guitars incorporated custom features originated by the artists themselves, such as Malmsteen’s scalloped fretboard and the Fender Lace pickups and midrange boost circuitry that Clapton favored at that time. Signature Strats bearing legendary names like Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix all hit the market in the ensuing years. </p> <p>Today, signature models are a vital part of pretty much every guitar manufacturer’s product range. And you don’t necessarily have to be a virtuoso to get your name on a guitar these days. Along with supermodel girlfriends and free designer clothes, a signature model guitar is one of the standard perks of modern pop stardom.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/name-game-history-signature-guitars#comments January 2014 Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:51:57 +0000 Alan Di Perna 20494 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar World Visits Alter Bridge's Mark Tremonti and His Private Stronghold of Axes, Amps and Pinball Machines http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-world-visits-alter-bridges-mark-tremonti-and-his-private-stronghold-axes-amps-and-pinball-machines <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an excerpt from the January 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus several photos of Tremonti's gear and more — including the Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Songs, Andreas Kisser, Jimi Hendrix, a guide to new signature model guitars and John Petrucci's monthly column — <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=TremontiExcerpt">check out the January 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></p> <p><strong>Castle Rock: <em>As Alter Bridge release </em>Fortress<em>, their fourth studio disc, GW pays a visit to guitarist Mark Tremonti’s home and his private stronghold of collectible axes, amps, and pinball machines.</em></strong></p> <p>“That’s our first Alter Bridge Gold record,” guitarist Mark Tremonti says, gesturing toward a plaque in an upstairs room of his Orlando mansion. </p> <p>It’s an unusually hot October day and Tremonti is showing <em>Guitar World</em> around his house. In the same room, he directs our attention toward a row of smaller, magazine-sized frames. “We’ve got some <em>Guitar World</em>s up there.</p> <p>“We have bigger plaques,” he continues, shifting the focus back to the number of RIAA awards he’s received for his work with Creed, Alter Bridge and, his favorite, comedian Larry the Cable Guy. </p> <p>“But I kind of screwed myself for space, because you can’t display anything bigger than a magazine cover in that area. It just turns out that once we started running out of space, records stopped selling in the world. Platinum records just don’t happen anymore. It kind of worked out.” He laughs, then points at a Creed display. “That one is for 20 million records sold.”</p> <p>We’re in town today under the auspices of his hard-rock band Alter Bridge, who released their fourth album, <em>Fortress</em>, in September. The record contains some of the band’s hardest-hitting numbers to date, running the gamut from the metallic yet catchy single “Addicted to Pain” to the more reflective “Peace Is Broken,” which contains an impressively blues, partially fingerpicked solo by Tremonti. Tonight, some of those songs will get their live debut at the band’s first U.S. show in two years, held at the city’s House of Blues.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7M9QxzpTjec" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>But prior to that event, Tremonti has invited us to his home, an expansive estate in a gated community in Orlando’s tony Windermere neighborhood. He lives next door to what’s known as the Versailles house, an as-yet-unfinished, 13-bedroom mansion that will have cost $100 million by the time it’s finished. </p> <p>Notable neighbors include Shaquille O’Neal, ’N Sync baritone Joey Fatone and former New York Yankee Johnny Damon, the latter of whom will attend the Alter Bridge concert later tonight. But despite his locale and opulence, Tremonti comes across as humble. In fact, the 39-year-old is dressed like his fans, wearing black jeans and a T-shirt repping Projected, a band that Alter Bridge and Creed drummer Scott Phillips founded after the last Alter Bridge album. </p> <p>As he takes us around his home, pointing out collector’s items—including a guitar that Stevie Ray Vaughan once played, and his many valuable pinball machines—it becomes evident that guitar gear has taken over his home. Cables are stuffed in cabinets, and tablature books brim to the top of dresser drawers. The hallway between his home recording studio and his bathroom houses a neatly stacked pile of amps and effects—his “giveaway pile.” He admits to becoming “creative” in his storage techniques, but that might also be because he’s the father of two boys.</p> <p>His sons—Austen, age 8, and Pearson, 4—are the reason his house is so elegantly decorated for Halloween. A wraithlike creature with a jack-o’-lantern head graces his doorway, skulls sit on the table in his foyer, and an artfully positioned skeleton sits at his grand piano, just begging to bang out the chords to “Monster Mash” or some other seasonal song. As we settle into places at Tremonti’s kitchen table—the sun-drenched nook where he and Alter Bridge vocalist-guitarist Myles Kennedy jig-sawed together the songs on Fortress “like puzzle pieces”—he explains that home life for him revolves around fatherhood.</p> <p>“I work hard to be a good father and husband,” he says. “I wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning to help feed the kids while my wife is making their lunches.” But at the same time, he works enough to instill his work ethic in his boys. “Sometimes my kids will ask, ‘Why do you have to work?’ ” he says. “And I’m like, ‘You see that cool toy you got right there? That’s because I work.’ ”</p> <p><em>Photo: Justin Borucki</em></p> <p><strong><em>For the rest of this story, plus several photos of Tremonti's gear and more — including the Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Songs, Andreas Kisser, Jimi Hendrix, a guide to new signature model guitars and John Petrucci's monthly column — <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=TremontiExcerpt">check out the January 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/January2014.jpg" width="620" height="805" alt="January2014.jpg" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alter-bridge">Alter Bridge</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-world-visits-alter-bridges-mark-tremonti-and-his-private-stronghold-axes-amps-and-pinball-machines#comments Alter Bridge January 2014 Mark Tremonti Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:53:08 +0000 Kory Grow 19949 at http://www.guitarworld.com January 2014 Guitar World: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Tremonti, 15 Signature Guitars and More http://www.guitarworld.com/janaury-2014-guitar-world-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments-jimi-hendrix-mark-tremonti-15-signature-guitars-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p>The all-new January 2014 issue of <em>Guitar World</em> is <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWJAN14">available now!</a></p> <p><em>Guitar World</em>'s January 2014 issue counts down the Fab Four's 50 greatest guitar moments from their hit-making history. Also, <strong>the Beatles</strong>' <em>Live at the BBC</em> disc gets remastered, and now includes a companion, <em>On Air — Live At The BBC Volume 2</em>.</p> <p>Next, missing for years, a set of newly released recordings and footage from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival reveals the <strong>Jimi Hendrix Experience</strong> at a bright spot in their brief and troubled history. </p> <p>Also in the January issue, <em>Guitar World</em> pays a visit to <strong>Alter Bridge</strong> guitarist <strong>Mark Tremonti's</strong> home and private stronghold of collectible axes, amps and pinball machines. </p> <p>We then bring you 15 new signature guitars that can help you channel the spirit of your favorite ax slinger. PLUS, the history of artist axes; where Myles Kennedy finds his greatest musical inspiration; a eulogy for <strong>Lou Reed</strong>; and much more!</p> <p><strong>Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass</strong></p> <p>• The Beatles - "The End"<br /> • The Black Keys - "Gold on the Ceiling"<br /> • The Who - "Pinball Wizard"<br /> • Attila - "Payback"<br /> • The Velvet Underground - "Sweet Jane"</p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWJAN14">The January 2014 issue of Guitar World is available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/janaury-2014-guitar-world-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments-jimi-hendrix-mark-tremonti-15-signature-guitars-and-more#comments January 2014 The Beatles News Features Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:22:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20079 at http://www.guitarworld.com Hole Notes: The Pick-Style Nylon-String Work of Iconic Axman Willie Nelson http://www.guitarworld.com/hole-notes-pick-style-nylon-string-work-iconic-axman-willie-nelson <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos are bonus content related to the January 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=JanuaryVideosPage">online store</a>.</em></p> <p>With a career spanning more than half a century, country music superstar Willie Nelson has had his share of highs and lows—from penning timeless classics like “Crazy” (as popularized by Patsy Cline) and relishing his reputation as a pothead (the Legalize It advocate is also the founder of the Teapot Party) to nearly losing his assets to the IRS in the early Nineties. </p> <p>Since 1969, his trusty guitar—a weather-beaten, battle-scarred Martin N-20 nylon-string classical, nicknamed Trigger—has remained by his side, becoming part of Nelson’s sonic signature, as characteristic as the man’s distinctively nasal singing voice.</p> <p>Nelson was influenced by western-swing artists like Hank Williams and Bob Wills as well as swing-jazz geniuses Louis Armstrong and, his favorite guitarist, Django Reinhardt (he plays Django’s “Nuages” at almost every concert).</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/16306022&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/hole-notes-pick-style-nylon-string-work-iconic-axman-willie-nelson#comments Hole Notes January 2014 Willie Nelson News Lessons Magazine Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:54:03 +0000 Dale Turner 19927 at http://www.guitarworld.com Missing for Years, Recordings and Footage from 1968 Miami Pop Fest Represent a Bright Spot for Jimi Hendrix Experience http://www.guitarworld.com/missing-years-recordings-and-footage-1968-miami-pop-fest-represent-bright-spot-jimi-hendrix-experience <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an excerpt from the January 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus the Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Songs, Andreas Kisser, Mark Tremonti, a guide to new signature model guitars and John Petrucci's monthly column — <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=TremontiExcerpt">check out the January 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></p> <p><strong>Sunshine State: <em>Missing for years, a set of newly released recordings and footage from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival reveals the Jimi Hendrix Experience at a bright spot in their brief and troubled history.</em></strong></p> <p>By mid-1968, the hippie movement was in full flower across America. Young people were growing their hair out, dressing and thinking in new ways, tuning in, turning on and dropping out to the beat of a wild new style of psychedelicized heavy guitar music as performed by colorful groups like Cream, the Who, Blue Cheer and, of course, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. </p> <p>And so it came to pass on a breezy May day in 1968 that Jimi Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell mounted a makeshift stage atop a flatbed truck at the Miami Pop Festival. </p> <p>Held at the Gulfstream Park horse racetrack, Miami Pop was the first big rock festival to take place on the East Coast of the United States. It was a heartfelt emulation of California’s Monterey Pop Festival, the event that had hosted the Experience’s explosive U.S. concert debut the year before. </p> <p>As they climbed onto Miami Pop’s unconventional stage, Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell were seriously wacked on STP, a powerful, speed-spiked hallucinogen. The festival organization itself was shambolic at best. Yet despite these factors, the trio turned in an exemplary performance at both their afternoon and evening shows that day, and it is remembered as one of the historic Jimi Hendrix concerts. </p> <p>Resplendent in a frilly white shirt and wearing an outsized medallion and a big floppy hat, Hendrix stroked, humped, caressed and brutalized his Olympic White maple-neck Fender Stratocaster, teasing anguished cries and fiery torrents of feedback frenzy from it. </p> <p>The 50,000 or so rock fans in attendance that day witnessed a performance that few of them would forget. But this great Hendrix concert was almost lost to history. Multitrack audio tapes and film footage of the event went missing in the messy aftermath of the Miami fest, when the event’s second day was rained out and things turned ugly, and they remained missing for decades. </p> <p>But now they’ve resurfaced, newly and pristinely remixed and restored by longtime Hendrix engineer and co-producer Eddie Kramer, the man who recorded the Miami gig in the first place. The new album <em>Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival</em> captures the sound and fury of that momentous Florida day in all its glory. </p> <object width="620" height="365"><param name="movie" value="http://videoplayer.vevo.com/embed/Embedded?videoId=USQX91302296&playlist=false&autoplay=0&playerId=62FF0A5C-0D9E-4AC1-AF04-1D9E97EE3961&playerType=embedded&env=0&cultureName=en-US&cultureIsRTL=false" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://videoplayer.vevo.com/embed/Embedded?videoId=USQX91302296&playlist=false&autoplay=0&playerId=62FF0A5C-0D9E-4AC1-AF04-1D9E97EE3961&playerType=embedded&env=0&cultureName=en-US&cultureIsRTL=false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="620" height="365" bgcolor="#000000" wmode="transparent"></embed></object><p> The set appears in tandem with a new PBS <em>American Masters</em> biography of Hendrix that is arguably the best film documentary on the late guitarist ever assembled. The public-television documentary will also be released on DVD under the title <em>Jimi Hendrix—Hear My Train A Comin’</em>. DVD bonus footage will include two complete songs from the Experience’s Miami set, surviving snippets of other live songs and in-depth interviews with both Eddie Kramer and Miami Pop Festival organizer Michael Lang. </p> <p>“The Miami concert was one of the legendary lost Jimi Hendrix performances,” says Hendrix historian John McDermott, the man responsible for unearthing the Miami film and tapes. “The cool thing about the material is that it captures the Experience at a great time. They’re excited. They’re up. The crushing intensity of their first U.S. tour—where they did 66 shows in 60 days—had passed. They’d survived that. They’d had a little bit of a break in April and had just started work on the album that would become <em>Electric Ladyland</em>. </p> <p>“And here in mid May, they go down to Florida and have a good time. They stayed at the famous Castaways hotel.” The Asian-Polynesian-themed resort complex was the go-to playground for both visiting celebs and vacationing Americans in the Sixties and Seventies. “They jammed at the hotel bar,” McDermott says. “Mitch Mitchell took a lot of eight-millimeter movies of them hanging out at the pool. So I think it is a nice payoff for all the hard work they had done since coming to the U.S. in February of ’68.”</p> <p>What makes the music from Miami and these scenes of band camaraderie even more poignant is the fact that the Jimi Hendrix Experience would soon cease to exist. The Experience split up a little over a year after Miami Pop, in June 1969, and when Hendrix appeared at the Woodstock festival that August he had a different group behind him, one appreciably less tight and dynamic than the Experience.</p> <p>The mobile truck belonging to Florida’s famed Criteria Studios had been engaged for audio recording. “It was an eight-track setup, pretty primitive,” Eddie Kramer recalls. “We just got a feed from the stage. We were using the P.A. mics to record. It certainly gave me a taste of what was to come at Woodstock.” </p> <p><em>Photo: Ken Davidoff/<a href="http://oldrockphoto.com/">OldRockPhoto.com</a></em></p> <p><strong><em>For the rest of this story, plus the Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Songs, Andreas Kisser, Mark Tremonti, a guide to new signature model guitars and John Petrucci's monthly column — <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-14-the-beatles/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=TremontiExcerpt">check out the January 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/January2014.jpg" width="620" height="805" alt="January2014.jpg" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimi-hendrix">Jimi Hendrix</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/missing-years-recordings-and-footage-1968-miami-pop-fest-represent-bright-spot-jimi-hendrix-experience#comments January 2014 Jimi Hendrix Interviews News Features Magazine Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:40:52 +0000 Alan di Perna 19973 at http://www.guitarworld.com