Blogs en The DIY Musician: Who Is Shovelman? <!--paging_filter--><p>The American traveling freak show of the past is mostly gone. Its striped tents and curious discoveries behind the curtain have been replaced by two-to-three-minute-long viral videos of freaky people doing freaky things. </p> <p>Instead of paying a dime to see Grace McDaniel (the mule-face girl) or the 750-pound Bruce Snowdon, we get videos of something called Shovelman.</p> <p>God bless my fellow freak DIY musicians. They never stop applying guitar strings to random objects! This is one of several viral videos showcasing a guitar built from a shovel. </p> <p>I decided to pull back the freak show curtain and learn a little more about this guy. After some tracking down on Facebook, I was able to snag him for a quick interview. (For the record, he only goes by Shovelman. I have yet to discover his true identity.)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: What gave you the idea for the shovel guitar?</strong></p> <p>The shovel guitar was built for me by my strange uncle, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, and runs a "found object" art gallery. He doesn't play guitar but turns all sorts of things into guitars. He's built guitars out of tires, washboards, semi truck parts and stop signs. I worked for him for a while at the art gallery where I would play the instruments for patrons at art openings. Usually I would wear a business suit and stand up in the gallery window displays as part of the art instillations. </p> <p><strong>What was the shovel used for prior to concerts? </strong></p> <p>The shovel was found at a lumber yard and wasn't for sale. He had to convince the hardware store employees to sell it to him. I think it was used to shovel gravel.</p> <p><strong>How long did it take you to build? </strong></p> <p>It was built quickly, in one night. My uncle has a crew of small people who assist him with all his builds. They attached all the parts with hardware, and no welding was done. There's a notched-out handle from a meat grinder for the nut, and an antique drawer handle for the bridge. No fretboard. An old typewriter-set holds the strings above the bridge. The pickup is a DeArmond Korean knock-off from the Fifties. I had to really work with effects to get it to sound good at all. </p> <p><strong>Have you found satisfaction in the shovel or do you plan on building more instruments? </strong></p> <p>I'd like to release a few more Shovelman albums. I have one record that just needs a few more adjustments and I'll be able to release it into the wild. I have new guitar concepts in the works all the time. </p> <p>I'm at the point where art-guitar builders give me parts all the time. Phil Sylvester of <a href="">Pheo Guitars</a> just gave me an odd-shaped wooden guitar body. I get advice sometimes from Ken Butler in New York. I have done some tinkering of my own. I'm interested in attaching lights to a lap steel for a space-age guitar concept. Although these things take time.... </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Where are you from, and where can we see you in concert? </strong></p> <p>I now live in Portland, Oregon, but I perform mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area since that's where I started out. I've opened for an eclectic array of different groups and solo acts. I've opened for Primus with a circus group I perform with. I've opened for Beats Antique, the Motet, Kaki King, Scott Biram, Jolie Holland, Reggie Watts and many others. I plan on doing more shows up and down the west coast. </p> <p><strong>Does a shovel guitar get you more women?</strong></p> <p>I'll just say the shovel guitar tends to attract a certain type of woman. They tend to be the type of gals that are strong and can fix anything. </p> <p><em>You can learn more, purchase downloads and get Shovelman’s concert schedule at <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><em>Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at <a href=""></a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="">Holler!</a><em> is on C.B. Gitty Records.</em></p> Shane Speal Shovelman The DIY Musician Blogs Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:04:39 +0000 Shane Speal 25405 at 15 Ways to Improve Your Tone — Without Breaking the Bank <!--paging_filter--><p>Your guitar playing starts with your sound. After all, it’s your sound that the listener reacts to before you’ve played even five notes.</p> <p>Here are 15 quick and easy ways to get your tone in shape without going broke.</p> <p><strong>1. Pick a Winner</strong></p> <p>Many guitarists underestimate just how much their pick choice affects their tone. Smart guitarists will carry a pocket full of them in different gauges: lighter ones for strumming, heavier for single-note picking. While it requires that you adjust your technique, switching from a medium to a heavy pick can do as much to thicken your tone as swapping out a single-coil for a humbucker. Opting for a light-gauge pick on strummed acoustic in a band setting will help the part sit better in the mix. And you can’t complain about the cost. There’s no cheaper way to change your tone.</p> <p><strong>2. Learn to Unwind</strong></p> <p>If you play really loud or with gobs of gain, stay away from overwound pickups—they’ll only muddy up your sound. A lower-output pickup, on the other hand, will help maintain clarity while the volume and gain, or both, supply all the girth and sustain you need. The greatest rock tones of all time—including Eddie Van Halen’s “brown” sound—were created with relatively weak pickups.</p> <p><strong>3. String for Your Style<strong></strong></strong></p> <p>Strings come in flavors as well as gauges. If you’re seeking a classic jazz sound, flatwound or half-rounds will get you close to it without having to spring for an archtop. And if you want to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan, .009s ain’t gonna cut it—try using at least .011s. You’ll also want to tune down to Eb, not only to deepen your tone further but also to ease the added tension that comes with bumping up your gauge.</p> <p><strong>4. Go Wireless</strong></p> <p>In other words, practice without plugging in. You want to make sure you’re not using the mask of high gain to cover sloppy or uneven playing. Try to get the best sound possible out of your instrument before you plug in using just your fingers, and the rest will follow.</p> <p><strong>5. Speaker Up</strong></p> <p>Perhaps you like the way your old combo feels when you play but aren’t crazy about its tone. Before you trade it in for a new one, consider changing speakers. A more efficient speaker model can make a huge difference. In addition to taming nasty high end or beefing up lows, it can actually make your amp louder.</p> <p><strong>6. Call the Cable Guys</strong></p> <p>Use low-capacitance cables to wire your pedals—and make your own pedal board. Companies like George L’s and Planet waves offer kits that allow you to customize cable length to suit the spacing of your pedals. And cutting down on total cable length will improve your tone, too.</p> <p><strong>7. Move It on Over</strong></p> <p>Play those G, B, and high E string licks on the D, A and low E strings instead, higher up the neck. Why? Those strings offer a fatter sound. Work on your finger strength until you can bend that D string as you would the B string. And keep in mind that stronger fingers will improve your tone in general. This is one reason Jeff Beck sounds so good. The rest is because he’s Jeff Beck.</p> <p><strong>8. Kick in the Overdrive</strong></p> <p>Learn to love your overdrive pedal. Sure, we all agree that power-amp distortion is the best, but unless you’re always in a position where you can crank it and yank it, you may not be able to reach optimum volume levels. Find yourself an amp with a great basic tone, then supplement it with a solid overdrive. That way you’ll be able to control your overdriven sound no matter how loud of soft you’re playing.</p> <p><strong>9. Stop Bottoming Out</strong></p> <p>Turn down the bass. That big bottom you’re putting out is just going disappear into your bassist’s bandwidth the second you’ve counted off the first tune.</p> <p><strong>10. Get Buffer</strong></p> <p>Consider adding a small buffer amp, like the Radial StageBug SB-15 or the MXR MC-406, to your effects chain. This will help restore the frequencies lost as your signal travels through a host of pedals.</p> <p><strong>11. Cut Down on Saturated Fat</strong></p> <p>That saturated sound that makes you so excited in your bedroom will make your hottest licks disappear once the rest of the band starts playing. A tad less distortion will allow your audience to actually hear the sweep picking you’ve been practicing for the past five years.</p> <p><strong>12. Let Your Voice be Heard</strong></p> <p>Your guitaristic voice lies largely in your dynamics—that is, the manner in which you attack the strings with both hands. The more distortion, gain or compression you use, the more of these dynamics you’ll lose—and with them your individuality as a player.</p> <p><strong>13. Don’t Repeat Yourself Too Often</strong></p> <p>Dirty effects aren’t the only thing that can rob you of your touch. Time-based effects like delay, chorus, flanging and reverb can really sink your sound into the mix too. Add the natural reverberation of the club or hall where you’re playing and it’s bye-bye note definition. To use effects sparingly is to use them wisely.</p> <p><strong>14. Read the Room</strong></p> <p>Tailor your tone to the situation. If you’re playing in a keyboard-less trio in a dry room, you can get away with more of everything than if you were playing in, say, a 10-piece band with a horn section in a high-school gym. You can use more distortion, chorus, delay and reverb when there are fewer competing instruments in the same frequency range. If the room is soaking up your ambient effects (delay and reverb), turn them up. If the room is echoing like a mountain yodeler, turn them down or off.</p> <p><strong>15. Bring the Noise</strong></p> <p>Finding fresh sounds often involves breaking the rules, so chain those fuzz boxes together, run the reverb into the flanged delay, crank up the low end—and stand back!</p> Blogs Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:05:53 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25392 at Buskers' Rights: Know the Laws of Street Performing <!--paging_filter--><p>A recently circulated video of Andrew Kalleen being arrested for busking in the New York City subway system has caused a lot of concern in the music/busking community. </p> <p><a href="">You can watch the video here. </a></p> <p>Andrew was armed with the correct citation showing the MTA’s rules that permitted him to play; however, despite his repeated attempts to get the arresting officer to understand the law, the officer arrested Kalleen.</p> <p>There's a lot of ignorance out there, folks—a lot of people who want to tell you “YOU CANT DO THAT!” when, in fact, you can. </p> <p>This video is proof that you can be armed with the right information, be completely on the side of the law and still be denied your right to play. It's best to be fully informed, and then, wherever you are, carry a copy of the relevant law with you. </p> <p>Busking, also known as street performaning, has a long and storied past, enriching our culture since time began (although there were fewer street corners back then). As cities got more crowded and security measures more enhanced, and certainly after 9/11, more regulations have been implemented and enforced. </p> <p>Unless there are strict anti-busking laws in your area, it's usually OK to start performing on public property as long as you're not obstructing people or creating a nuisance. If you're asked or told to leave, and you don’t know the law, the best practice is to just leave. </p> <p>On private property, however (including many open-air markets and fairs), you should always get permission first. It's always best to check the ordinances of the towns in which you’d like to perform and then print out whichever rules and regulations protect you. Be forewarned that many places require <strong><em>permits</em></strong>, and many of them require <strong><em>auditions </em></strong>to obtain permits. Some only host auditions only once a year.<br /> .<br /> • <strong>London's</strong> Underground has a limited number of licenses and requires auditions, which take place once each year.<br /> • Un-amplified busking in <strong>New York City</strong> is allowed almost everywhere in the city, except within 50 feet of monuments. Performing on a subway platform is protected by the First Amendment, but not if you step onto a train.<br /> • <strong>Chicago</strong> requires a permit for every public performance, and there are designated hours and noise limitations.<br /> • <strong>Boston</strong> requires an audition, a criminal background check and liability insurance in order to play in some parts of the city.</p> <p>Kudos to AidanKS; <a href="">be sure to check out his post, which has more city-specific information.</a></p> <p>Got a permit to play on the streets? That's great, but it's not good enough to play in most subway/metro stations. Almost every one of these has its own rules and regulations. If you look online, you can find info pertaining to live performances. Here are a few links to visit:</p> <p><a href="">NY MBTA Subway Performers Program</a><br /> <a href="">San Francisco BART</a><br /> <a href="">DC Metro, section 100.10</a></p> <p>There are organizations popping up all around the world to connect buskers and help share information, including <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a> </p> <p>Knowledge is power. Be prepared to combat ignorance, and go forth and engage in your chosen “free speech activity.” You can make the world a brighter place.</p> <p><em>Singer-songwriter Laura Zucker wins over audiences with a hard-won perspective and a positive spin. The imagery of her songs and stories ring so true you might think she’s read your diary—and you’ll find yourself humming her melodies for days. She’s a two-time finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition in Texas, winner of the 2013 West Coast Songwriters Association Best Song of the Year and has received numerous accolades and awards from the organizations around the world. She has released four CDs of original songs with the latest, <em>Life Wide Open,</em> released in late 2013. Find tour dates, music and more at <a href=""></a></em></p> Acoustic Nation Busking Laura Zucker street performer Blogs Blogs Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:47:25 +0000 Laura Zucker 22957 at The GAS Man: Should You Buy That Vintage Wreck? Part 2 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="">In part one,</a> I discussed my own experience in successfully buying a vintage guitar in need of major repairs.</p> <p>Spending money on any guitar that requires substantial repairs before you can play it is a risky proposition, even more so when it’s a vintage example and its originality can be affected. But buying beat also gives you a chance to get a guitar you might not be able to afford otherwise.</p> <p>Part three will give you some specific questions to ask regarding the repair work, but here are general questions to consider about the guitar itself.</p> <p><strong>Has a competent repair person looked at it?</strong></p> <p>You need to know all the issues with the guitar. If you’re not buying from someone who does and can give you an accurate assessment, arrange for an expert to look it over inside and out. This will tell you what is wrong with the guitar and what it will cost to repair or restore. When it comes to vintage guitars, ignorance is expensive. If you’re not an expert, get the advice of someone who is.</p> <p>In the best of all worlds, you should arrange to bring the guitar in for a detailed repair estimate before purchasing. </p> <p><strong>What will its value be when it’s repaired?</strong></p> <p>It’s easy to end up with a guitar that will cost more to restore than buying an all-original version would have set you back in the first place. Don’t spend $3000 to end up with a $2000 guitar that’s no longer all original, especially if you’re buying it as an investment. It’s one thing to overspend if the guitar has emotional value, such as your dad’s old Eko. But realize you probably won’t get all your money back if you choose to resell it later on.</p> <p>You may be better off buying a guitar that doesn’t have issues to begin with. And you almost certainly want to avoid having work done that devalues the guitar. For instance, stripping the original, worn finish from a vintage instrument and refinishing it may make it look like new, but can also strip a third off it’s value. </p> <p><strong>How much do you like the guitar?</strong></p> <p>You’re going to invest time and money getting this guitar fixed up. It’s not worth the effort if you don’t care much about the result. I have only bought damaged guitars twice, and they were for models that I had wanted for a long time but couldn’t justify paying top dollar for.<br /> What do you intend to do with the guitar once it’s repaired?</p> <p>Decide whether you are fixing it to play or sell. For playing, it’s all about sound and function, for selling, it’s that as well as originality of parts. In the latter case, you may have to spend a lot more time and money to track down original parts.</p> <p><strong>Do you mind non-originality?</strong></p> <p>I’m the only one playing my repaired 1950 Gibson J-45, so I don’t care that the bridge, nut, endpin, and part of the heel aren’t original. They function just like the original. Since I didn’t plan on selling my guitar the issue wasn’t about investment value, it was bang for buck.</p> <p><strong>Can you start small, perhaps with a fixer upper?</strong></p> <p>Maybe you can start by getting a guitar you can use and fix as you go. I once bought a 1952 Tele that had the wrong bridge pickup and needed new frets. Worn as it was, at least it was playable until I saved up the money to buy a vintage pickup and have the frets replaced. </p> <p><strong>Can you tell how it’s going to sound and play before you fix it? </strong></p> <p>Buying a guitar that is in pieces is much more of a crap shoot. In the case of my J-45, even though it needed a neck reset, I already knew it sounded amazing, and was likely to sound better and certainly to play better once the neck angle was corrected. The price you pay should reflect the odds of it turning out the way you want.</p> <p><strong>Will it sound and play the same as an original version that didn’t need repairs? </strong></p> <p>My J-45 came back sounding and playing better than when it left. That’s because with the cracks cleated, the heel repaired, and the neck reset at the correct angle, it was in the proper mechanical geometry to work as intended. But if you buy an old Gibson whose top is beyond repair, don’t expect it to sound like an old Gibson when it comes back with a new spruce top.</p> <p><strong>Are you willing to gamble?</strong></p> <p>Despite your (and your luthier’s) due diligence, surprises can crop up, and it’s still possible you may end up with a wall-hanger. </p> <p>I once brought a 1930 Gibson L-0 to the owner of a very reputable vintage guitar store, because I was concerned it might have a broken cross brace. He looked inside the soundhole with a mirror and assured me it was structurally sound. After I bought it, I found out both main braces were indeed broken and the entire back had to be removed and new bracing fitted. Oops.</p> <p>OK, now that you have an idea of some of the issues involved, in the final part of this series I’ll give you some specific questions to ask your luthier before you buy.</p> <p><em>William Baeck is a writer, photographer and hack guitarist living in London. You can check out his webpage at <a href=""></a> and reach him on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter.</a></em></p> The GAS Man William Baeck Blogs Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:22:17 +0000 William Baeck 25385 at Beyond the Fretboard: Why Musical Purity is Overrated <!--paging_filter--><p>In July, I wrote a column called <a href="">"Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places."</a> </p> <p>In it, I encouraged every musician to step outside of their comfort zones and listen to different styles of music. </p> <p>The main motivation for that article came after I saw a Dave Matthews Band concert. I had never been a fan but was impressed by the musicianship and the fluidity in which the band moved from song to song and jam session to jam session.</p> <p>The experience of that concert helped to re-charge my batteries and made me think differently about how I approach music. Specifically, I began to pay less attention to the superficial importance of genres.</p> <p>Musical categorization can be a useful way to cull through the seemingly endless supply of solo artists and bands that are out there in our current paradigm. However, one crucial drawback to categories is that they can create a sense of musical tribalism. </p> <p>Rock, pop, metal, alternative, blues, jazz and hip-hop have die-hard fans who firmly believe the best aspects of their favorite genre lie in its purest form. Mixing these styles together can be thought of as blasphemous by some, an attempt to dilute their purity. </p> <p>But is this really the case?</p> <p>British author Matt Ridley is somewhat famous for writing and publicly speaking about the benefits of human collaboration. He posits that when ideas "have sex" with each other that technological and cultural progress occurs at a much faster rate than if those same ideas were separated in perpetual isolation.</p> <p>Ridley contends that the increasingly elaborate combinations of ideas humans concoct is the driving force behind our preeminent status at the top of the food chain. He also acknowledges that the internet has helped make possible a new and unprecedented era of creative "cross-fertilization" we've never seen before.</p> <p>When we apply this mentality to the context of music, the possibilities are endless. Kids growing up today have access to a vast and eclectic music catalog, all at their fingertips. This has the potential to slowly chip away at the concept of rigid categories. </p> <p>Young people no longer have to rely solely on their parents', siblings' or friends' personal music collection. They can discover and listen to artists as diverse as Django Reinhardt, Pantera or Beethoven. All on their own. These young people will then start learning instruments, form bands and begin creating new and exciting styles that will be hard to categorize. In many ways, this is already happening. </p> <p>For example, in today's landscape, the genre of metal no longer represents what it did 15 or 20 years ago. It has branched out into so many diverse sub-categories, which might alarm some purists. But this is helping metal (whatever that title now means) stay at the cutting edge of musical innovation.</p> <p>I recently went to see a band called Ever Forthright at a small club in New Jersey. To some passive listeners, they could seem to be your run-of-the-mill, eight-string guitar chugging metal band. But after thoroughly listening to their debut album (<em>Ever Forthright</em>) or watching their live performance, you will instantly regret that rush to judgement. </p> <p>They infuse some of the heaviest aspects of metal; guttural vocals, demonic guitar riffs and machine-gun-precise drumming with the instrumental textures of jazz-based piano (among other synth sounds) and saxophone. On top of all this, the vocalist effortlessly transitions from low growls to melodic and well-harmonized singing arrangements. Oh yeah, and he's also the guy playing the saxophone!</p> <p>Now, you could argue that this style of progressive/experimental metal will have a hard time breaking into the mainstream of the metal world. However, I think the trend for avid music listeners is moving into this direction (groups like Animals As Leaders, Periphery, Between The Buried And Me and Tesseract come to mind). The breaking down of barriers will lead to the gradual acceptance by many of mixing what used to be considered incompatible styles. All of these things will persist as the cross-fertilization of human creativity continues, thanks in large part to the internet.</p> <p>The internet was once considered the death knell of the industry and was feared by some musical heavyweights. In hindsight, this fear predominantly stemmed from an economic concern. </p> <p>But now we're seeing the positive effects the internet is having on the expansion of all creative endeavors. Genres and categories will still have their place in the artistic realms of literature, film and music. </p> <p>But the tribalistic tendencies of the die-hard fans might begin to fade away with time. Listeners will likely be less judgmental and more accepting of all types of music in the future. And bands such as Ever Forthright and others like them are helping to make this a reality.</p> <p><em>Photo: <a href="">join the dots</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a></em></p> <p><em>Chris Breen is a New Jersey-based guitarist with 14 years of experience under his belt. He, along with his brother Jon (on drums) started the two-piece metal project known as <a href="">SCARSIC</a> in 2011. Due to a lack of members, Chris tracked guitars, bass and vocals for their self titled four-song demo (available on iTunes, Spotify and Rhapsody). They have recently been joined by bassist Bill Loucas and are writing new material. Chris also is part of an all-acoustic side project known as <a href="">Eyes Turn Stone</a>. Chris teaches guitar lessons as well (in person or via Skype). If you're interested in taking lessons with Chris, visit <a href=""></a> for more info.</em></p> Beyond the Fretboard Chris Breen Blogs Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:43:47 +0000 Chris Breen 19113 at How to Construct Classic Eighties-Style Metal Guitar Parts <!--paging_filter--><p>Back in the Eighties, during the heyday of metal, bands like Van Halen, Judas Priest and the Scorpions were releasing incredible, killer albums packed with amazing guitar playing. </p> <p>Today, I feel that the majority of metal is more focused on rhythmic parts with less harmonic movement than what I think of as the approach representative of Eighties-style metal. It is from that perspective that I put together the three “classic” metal-style riffs.</p> <p>During the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) days of the late Seventies and early Eighties, bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were forging blazing, melodic metal earmarked by powerful and memorable song riffs. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1</strong> is indicative of Iron Maiden’s style: above the progression of three different pedal tones, shifting two- and three-note chord shapes create the melodic content that keeps this part interesting and moving forward. </p> <p>I begin with an open D5 power chord, using the D string as a repeating pedal tone, and by simply changing the note on the G string, I can move from D5 to Bb/D to G5/D. Be sure to palm-mute all of the open D pedal tones while allowing the higher strings to ring clearly. In bar 3 into bar 4, I shift to an F5 power chord followed by C/F, sounded by lowering the high F on the B string one fret to E, played in unison with the open high E string. </p> <p>After the second ending (bar 5), I transition to the key of A minor, with sliding two-note power chord shapes fretted on the D and G strings, supported by an open A-string pedal tone that is picked in consecutive 16th notes. In bar 8, I move down two whole steps to F5 and use the fretted F note as the pedal tone, followed at the end of bar 9 with a shift from F5 to C5, performed by simply moving from F to G on the D string while keeping the C note on top.</p> <p><strong>FIGURE 2</strong> is played at a slower tempo, and, as with <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, the melodic content in this riff is provided by the simple movement of two-note chord shapes sounded above a pedal tone. In bars 1–3, the open A string provides the pedal tone, over which I play a sequence of double-stops that imply Bm, Am, G and F chords. In this example, the melodic element comes from the highest note in each double-stop. </p> <p>Let’s wrap up with a lick reminiscent of George Lynch with Dokken or Queensrÿche, specifically from the latter band’s <em>Operation: Mindcrime</em> period, in terms of the overall approach to the riffs and the feel of the rhythms. </p> <p>In <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, I begin with an A5 power chord followed by a repeating open A-string pedal tone, and at the end of bar 1 I use sliding two-note power chords to transition to F5, followed by D7/A, which I sound by moving from F up one fret to F# on the D string. In bar 4, I use the opposite movement, shifting down one fret from D to C# on the A string to change from D5 to A/C#. At the end of the riff, I use pull-offs on the A string to set up the two-note C5 and D5 power chords. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/May2015.jpg" width="620" height="763" alt="May2015.jpg" /></p> May 2015 Metal For Life Metal Mike Chlasciak Videos Blogs Features Lessons Magazine Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:38:39 +0000 Metal Mike Chlasciak 23801 at Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Combining Triad Arpeggios to Form Polytonal Chordal Allusions <!--paging_filter--><p>I often use triadic arpeggio forms within my riffs and solos as a tool to create rich-sounding, poly-chordal sounds. </p> <p> I’d like to continue in that vein by presenting different ways in which to move from one arpeggio form to another, using a series of specific triads that complement one another well.</p> <p> Let’s start with the triads F# diminished and D major, as shown in <strong>FIGURES 1</strong> and <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, respectively. The F# diminished triad is built from the notes C, F# and A, and the D major triad is built from almost the same set of notes, D, F# and A. Both <strong>FIGURES 1 and 2</strong> show these triads as played in fifth position for comparison. </p> <p> If I wanted to get a bluesy vibe, I’d use the D major triad and combine it with the F# diminished triad, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. Here, the C note is heard as the b7 (flat seventh) of D, implying a D dominant-seven tonality.</p> <p> Now let’s try combining the F# diminished arpeggio with an A minor arpeggio—A C E—as shown in <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>. The combination of these two sets of notes gives an F#m7b5 arpeggio (F# A C E: see <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>). These licks work well over an Am chord, as the inclusion of the F# note, the major sixth of A, implies an Am6, A Dorian–mode type of sound.</p> <p> As you probably have noticed, all of these arpeggios are played on the top three strings, and I often like to incorporate sweep picking when using arpeggios like this. <strong>FIGURE 6</strong> illustrates a combination of an Em7 arpeggio—E G B D—and a Gmaj7 arpeggio—G B D F#. As denoted in the example, in order to sweep pick these arpeggio shapes properly, begin with an upstroke on the first note and then use a single down-stroke to rake across the top three strings to play the next three notes. </p> <p> The form ends with another upstroke. I then slide up to 10th position and reverse the process, beginning with a down-stroke and then using a single upstroke to rake across the top three strings, moving from high to low. <strong>FIGURE 7</strong> offers an example of applying this approach to the chord progression Em7 Am9 F#m7b5 Gmaj7.</p> <p> This is the last installment of Wild Stringdom for now. I hope these columns have been useful to you and have served to broaden your knowledge of the guitar while building up your chops. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you out on the road!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-30%20at%2010.38.33%20AM.png" width="620" height="693" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 10.38.33 AM.png" /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-30%20at%2010.39.19%20AM.png" width="620" height="339" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 10.39.19 AM.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> April 2014 Dream Theater John Petrucci Wild Stringdom Videos Blogs Lessons Magazine Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:00:44 +0000 John Petrucci 20542 at The Byrds' 10 Greatest Guitar Moments <!--paging_filter--><p>From 1965 until their breakup in 1973, the Byrds were a bona-fide electric-guitar powerhouse.</p> <p>During the California band's initial—and most popular—incarnation, Jim McGuinn turned the 12-string Rickenbacker 360 guitar into an institution.</p> <p>Its glorious trademark "chiming" sound actually became <em>the band's</em> trademark sound—a sound that even influenced the almighty Beatles.</p> <p>As the years went by and the hits piled up—"Turn! Turn! Turn!," "Eight Miles High," "My Back Pages" and "Chestnut Mare" among them—the band's original lineup—<a href="">Jim McGuinn,</a> <a href="">David Crosby,</a> <a href="">Gene Clark,</a> <a href="">Chris Hillman</a> and Michael Clarke—went their separate ways, leaving McGuinn to pilot the plane with a host of new musicians.</p> <p>Luckily, a true guitar legend was waiting in the wings: Clarence White.</p> <p>A master of chops-busting bluegrass guitar, White, who initially recorded with the band as a session guitarist but became a full member in mid-1968, intertwined his formidable fingerpicking, flatpicking and hybrid-picking technique on his Tele with the use of a device he helped invent (with Gene Parsons), the <a href="">Parsons-White StringBender (also known as a B-bender),</a> which allowed him to recreate pedal steel guitar licks with stunning accuracy.</p> <p>It also should be noted that three members of the Byrds—White, McGuinn and <a href="">Hillman</a>—have (or have had) their own signature-model guitars or basses. This, I assure you, is uncommon.</p> <p>If you'd like to find out more about White, who was killed by a drunk driver in 1973, be sure to check out my <a href="">Ode to the Original B-Bender, Clarence White of The Byrds and Kentucky Colonels.</a></p> <p>Below, we revisit 10 of the band's greatest guitar moments, taking their entire official output—including recently released archival live albums—into consideration. The songs are presented in no particular order. </p> <p><em>Editor's Note: Even though Roger McGuinn went by his birth name, Jim McGuinn, prior to 1967, we will refer to him as Roger for the remainder of this story.</em></p> <p><strong>For more about the Byrds, visit <a href="">their official website.</a> To catch up with McGuinn and his current projects, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Chestnut Mare"</span><br /> <strong><em>(Untitled)</em></strong> | 1970 | <strong>Main Guitarists:</strong> Roger McGuinn, Clarence White</p> <p>Although it's not the first track that comes to mind when considering a list of the Byrds' finest guitar tracks, "Chestnut Mare," an epic song about one tenacious man's quest to capture a very special horse (so special that "she'll be just like a wife"), is actually a perfect choice. </p> <p>It combines McGuinn's trademark electric 12-string picking with White's top-notch acoustic work—with a bit of White's electric B-bender Tele thrown in for good measure. </p> <p>The guitars, which—let's face it—are <em>everywhere</em> on this track, are the canvas on which the song's story is so vibrantly painted; perhaps the guitar high point is the fine interplay between McGuinn's Rickenbacker and White's Martin during the song's emotional breakdown section.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)"</span><br /> <strong><em>Turn! Turn! Turn!</em></strong> | 1965 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Roger McGuinn</p> <p>No other song—including "Mr. Tambourine Man" (which did not make this list)—sums up the Byrds' early, "America's Answer to the Beatles" period quite like "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)." McGuinn's playing on the track is—for lack of a better word—sublime. Note that he's hybrid picking, playing the melody with downstrokes while providing his own rhythm part in the form of ringing or droning notes and banjo rolls. As always, his 12-string Rickenbacker is front and center.</p> <p>Since you've probably heard the original Byrds version of this song 43,747 times, we've decided to include a more recent video that shows McGuinn playing the song alone, complete with close-up shots of his fingering, finger picks and all. It's from an instructional video McGuinn made several years ago. Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Buckaroo"</span><br /> <strong><em>Live at the Fillmore—February 1969</em></strong> | 2000 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Clarence White</p> <p>Feel free to argue, but if you had to choose one album that best demonstrates White's electric-guitar prowess, it'd be <em>Live at the Fillmore—February 1969.</em> The musicians on the album are McGuinn on his 12-string Rickenbacker 360, Gene Parsons on drums, John York on bass and White on his B-Bender Tele. He never puts it down, so there's no escaping it.</p> <p>The most impressive guitar track on the album is the band's cover of Buck Owens' killer-catchy instrumental, "Buckaroo," which finally exists on YouTube. White rips open his bag of B-bender licks—and never closes it. Even his mistakes sound good, like the random open string he hits at :32. Play this one good and loud, people.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"The Bells of Rhymney"</span><br /> <strong><em>Mr. Tambourine Man</em></strong> | 1965 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Roger McGuinn</p> <p>Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists. 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 McGuinn’s shimmering guitar work in the mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney,” which you can hear below.</p> <p>All McGuinn really had to go on was Pete Seeger's acoustic version of the song, which was based on a poem by Welshman Idris Davies. While Seeger also played the song on a 12-string, and even embellished the solo portion with brilliant, out-of-nowhere minor chords, McGuinn and the Byrds simply took it to new heights—something they did often, especially when it came to Bob Dylan songs.</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 <em>A Hard Day’s Night.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"</span><br /> <strong><em>Sweetheart of the Rodeo</em></strong> | 1968 | <strong>Main Guitarists:</strong> Lloyd Green, Clarence White</p> <p>Yes, we're bending (that's a play on words, folks) the rules and including a pedal steel guitar performance on this list. The studio version of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," a cover of a <em>Basement Tapes</em>-era Dylan tune, features a stunning performance by Nashville pedal steel legend Lloyd Green. His tone is actually a bit confusing because it sounds like a guitar (I thought it was a guitar for years when I was a young'n).</p> <p>Listen to Green's note choices; it's a lesson on guitar solo composition, regardless of what instrument he's playing. </p> <p>“I was young and open to any new music if the steel fit, and [the Byrds] were gonna let me be a part of it," <a href="">Green told Vintage Guitar in 2008.</a> "I thought it was the most wonderful thing. The first song was gonna be ‘You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,’ the Bob Dylan song. I said, ‘Where do you guys want me to fill?’ And they said, almost in unison, ‘Everywhere!’ I said, ‘Say no more!’ And if you listen to that song, almost from the first note to the end there’s steel guitar. I play too much, in retrospect—certainly not the way I would play it today."</p> <p>We've also included a live version of the song (second video) featuring White's B-bender spin on Green's original pedal steel guitar part. This 1968 TV appearance puts the emphasis on White, his still-Nudie-sticker-free Telecaster and his Parsons/White StringBender (not to mention some fine-looking Sixties women). </p> <p>Random side note: Be sure to check out Green's pedal steel playing on Paul McCartney's 1974 tune, "Sally G."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Black Mountain Rag"/"Soldier's Joy"</span><br /> <strong><em>Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971</em></strong> | 2008 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Clarence White</p> <p>Meet Clarence White, the bluegrass shredder. Before joining the Byrds, White was blowing minds (including the mind of the great Doc Watson) as a member of the Kentucky Colonels. His brilliant acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on a vintage Martin D-28, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, even site him as a key influence.</p> <p>After the Colonels, White became a session player in Los Angeles (even playing on several Byrds albums before officially joining the band). Through his time with the Byrds, this high-octane bluegrass medley stood out as a high point of the band's live shows.</p> <p>Note that the version below is <em>not</em> the recommended <em>Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971</em> performance (which isn't available on YouTube), but it's pretty much just as good—and it even shows White and the gang in action, which is a rarity.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Lover of the Bayou"</span><br /> <strong><em>(Untitled)</em></strong> | 1970 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Clarence White</p> <p>This live selection sums up the best of White's rare "fuzzed out" guitar attacks. Kudos to White—a former bluegrass picker (as we've mentioned 40 times already)—for coming up with creative and unique rock solos in a time when Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee and Jimi Hendrix were competing for the listening public's attention (and money).</p> <p>Honorable mention to McGuinn, who continued to showcase his Rickenbacker 360 in 1970 and beyond, even though its jingly-jangly "season" (1965 to '66) had temporarily passed.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Eight Miles High"</span><br /> <strong><em>Fifth Dimension</em></strong> | 1966 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Roger McGuinn</p> <p>"Eight Miles High" starts off like a train—a massive, chugging steam locomotive that stops for absolutely no one. Its cargo? McGuinn's relentless jumble of dark and spider-like notes—all furiously played on his 12-string Rick.</p> <p>The song, which strikes modern ears as an early stab at psychedelia, is actually nothing of the sort.</p> <p>"We started out with the folky thing, mixing Dylan and Pete Seeger with the Beatles, then we dabbled in a bit of jazz fusion with 'Eight Miles High,' which was misconstrued as psychedelic." McGuinn told <a href="">Uncut earlier this year.</a> "It wasn’t meant to be, but it was branded that way."</p> <p>"'Eight Miles High' is out there," McGuinn adds. "It’s spatial. I was trying to emulate Coltrane’s saxophone with my Rickenbacker. It’s got a lot of what Coltrane was going for on <em>India,</em> which was to capture the elephants in India with his wails, and there’s that tabla beat. He was trying to incorporate Indian music into jazz, and we were trying to incorporate his attempts to do that into a rock’n’roll song. So there’s a lot of things going on."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"Sing Me Back Home"</span><br /> <strong><em>Live at the Fillmore—February 1969</em></strong> | 2000 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Clarence White</p> <p>If you read the "Buckaroo" entry above, you already know about <em>Live at the Fillmore—February 1969,</em> which gets my vote as White's go-to "guitar album" (in terms of his electric-guitar playing). A few years ago, it even made <em>Guitar World's</em> list of the <a href="">30 best shred-guitar albums of all time.</a> </p> <p>Although I don't think of White as a shredder (except for when he played bluegrass), he certainly works his way toward "shred country" on the Fillmore version of this Merle Haggard tune, which also was a favorite of former Byrd Gram Parsons.</p> <p>It's another B-bender masterpiece that shows off White's bouncy, psychedelic-cowboy style, complete with a brilliant turnaround at 1:24. It's cool to hear the Fillmore crowd show their appreciation after the solo at 1:43, while McGuinn is already singing the song's next verse.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">"She Don't Care About Time"</span><br /> <strong>Non-album B-side of "Turn! Turn! Turn!," now included on <em>Turn! Turn! Turn!</em></strong> | 1965 | <strong>Main Guitarist:</strong> Roger McGuinn</p> <p>"She Don't Care About Time," one of many brilliant compositions by the Byrds' Gene Clark, is known for its very early incorporation of classical music into popular music (Take that, Yngwie Malmsteen). Notice how McGuinn cleverly inserts a heaping helping of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" into his 12-string Rickenbacker guitar solo.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/swing/rockabilly band <a href="">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City instrumental surf-rock band <a href="">Mister Neutron,</a> also <a href="">composes</a> and <a href="">records film soundtracks.</a> He writes's <a href="">The Next Bend</a> column, which is dedicated to <a href="">B-bender guitars and guitarists.</a> His latest liner notes can be found in Sony/Legacy's </em><a href="">Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.</a><em> Follow him on <a href="">Facebook,</a> <a href="">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="">Instagram.</a></em></p> 10 Best Songs Byrds Clarence White Damian Fanelli Lloyd Green Roger McGuinn The Byrds Top 10 Guitar World Lists Blogs News Features Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:06:11 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25374 at Guitar Tricks: Eight Things You Need to Know About Arpeggios <!--paging_filter--><p>As you advance in your guitar studies, you'll surely come across the term "arpeggio." </p> <p>Arpeggios are a great way to add color and complexity to your playing. You can make riffs out of them, use them in solos or even create melody lines with their fluid sound. </p> <p>Nearly all of the greats use arpeggios. Yet, if you're like a lot of guitarists, you might be shying away from them because you fear being overwhelmed by the "Twin Ts": theory and technique. If you have a basic understanding of how chords work, though, it's high time to get your feet wet. </p> <p>Here are eight things you need to know to help demystify the arpeggio. </p> <p>01. <Strong>What an arpeggio is exactly</strong> The word arpeggio (ar-peh-jee-oh) comes from the Italian word arpeggiare, which means "to play a harp." (If you can visualize harpists, they often articulate notes by plucking the strings one at a time.) Arpeggios, often called broken chords, are simply notes from a chord played individually instead of strummed together. </p> <p>02. <strong>What arpeggios can do for you</strong>. Arpeggios create a fast, flowing sound. Besides using them for speed in playing, arpeggios add a kick to improvisation skills. Because an arpeggio contains all the notes of its chord, you can use them in your solos and link them to what's going on in the chord structure beneath you to create cool sounding licks. Arpeggios always sound good over their matching chord in a progression, therefore, they generally form the melodic home bases and safe notes for improvising guitarists. <a href="">This guitar chord chart will help visualize the notes of each arpeggio on the guitar neck.</a></p> <p>03. <strong>Scales vs. arpeggios.</strong> Let's clear up any confusion you might have between scales and arpeggios. Scales are a series of notes played one by one that fit sonically within a particular key signature (e.g., G major scale would be G, A, B, C, D, E, F#). Arpeggios, on the other hand, are a series of notes played one by one that consists of the notes within a particular chord (e.g., G major arpeggio would be G, B, D). Like a scale, an arpeggio is linear: it's a set of notes you play one at a time. Unlike scales that contain some extra notes not always played in chords, arpeggios use only the notes found in a single chord. Both scales and arpeggios can be played in ascending, descending or random order.</p> <p>04. <strong>Arpeggio shapes.</strong> As with scales, there are a variety of shapes to learn when playing arpeggios. There are generally five CAGED shapes for each arpeggio, except the diminished 7th, for which there is just one. Learn arpeggios in different positions on the neck so you become familiar with the shape of the arpeggio rather than concentrating on which frets to put your fingers in. Learn the shapes one at a time. Although you need to get all five of the shapes down—eventually—it's far better to be able to play one perfectly than five poorly. Practice moving from one arpeggio shape to another, back and forth and back and forth.</p> <p>05. <strong>Which arpeggios to learn first.</strong> The best guitar arpeggios to learn first are the major triad (1, 3, 5) and the minor triad (1, b3, 5). The major and minor triads are the most common and most used guitar arpeggios in all of music. While a triad contains only three notes, an arpeggio can be extended with chords like a major seventh, a 9th, 11th, 13th, etc., giving you endless possibilities.</p> <p>06. <strong>Different picking styles.</strong> There are several ways you can play arpeggios—alternate picking, legato, <a href="">hammer-ons</a> and <a href="">pull-offs</a>, sweep picking and tapping are among them. (For the more experienced player, there also are lead techniques you should be confident with for playing arpeggios at higher speeds, such as string skipping and finger rolling.) Experiment with each way of playing these arpeggios to see which one works best for you and your particular style. </p> <p>A note here about fingerpicking: While fingerpicked chords are technically arpeggios since the chords are broken up, the individual notes aren't typically muted after they're played and thus ring together. The listener can literally hear the entire chord from the vibrations of each individual note. Arpeggios typically only have one note playing at any given time and are a slightly different idea from broken chords. </p> <p>07. <strong>Grab the arpeggio by the "root."</strong> When you're brand new to arpeggios, you always want to start and end on a root note (the note upon which a chord is built. Literally, the root of the chord.) This will help train your ears to hear the sound of the scale. Start on the lowest pitched root note, play up as far as you can, then go back down as low as you can, and then back up to the root note.</p> <p>08. <strong>Form and speed.</strong> To play arpeggios, you should mute each note immediately after picking it by lifting the fretting finger. This will keep the notes from "bleeding" into one another and sounding like a strummed chord. Every note needs to sound individually. Start off slowly. Perfect your form before you add speed to the mix. You don't want to develop bad habits that you will have to correct later. </p> <p>For more on playing arpeggios, give <a href="">some of these "how to play arpeggios" guitar lessons</a> a try, as well as Ben Lindholm's <a href=";s_id=1310">"10 Ways to Play Arpeggios."</a> </p> <p><em>Kathy Dickson writes for the online guitar lesson site <a href="">Guitar Tricks.</a></em></p> Guitar Tricks Blogs Lessons Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:38:02 +0000 Kathy Dickson 22866 at David Gilmour Plays the Blues — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Although it's safe to say there's always been a strong blues influence in David Gilmour's guitar playing, we don't often get to hear him play in a straight-ahead, full-on blues context.</p> <p>Which is why this video—taken from the 1988 <a href="">Les Paul &amp; Friends</a> concert in Brooklyn, New York—is so interesting.</p> <p>It shows Gilmour, wearing his finest late-Eighties garb, jamming on a I-IV-V blues progression in G with Jan Hammer on Keytar and Tony Levin on bass. If nothing else, It's fun to witness the Pink Floyd guitarist's raw power in this context. </p> <p>"Is it correct to think there's something of a blues guitarist in you?" <a href="">asked Billboard of Gilmour in 2006.</a></p> <p>"I am a lover of all sorts of different music," Gilmour replied. </p> <p>"I love blues, and every piece of music that I have listened to has become an influence. But you're right, there's a distinct blues influence within what I do but at the same time I am not frightened to step out of that. I don't even think whether I play the blues or not, I just play whatever feels right at the moment. I also will use any gadget or device that I find that helps me achieve the sort of sound on the guitar that I want to get.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" 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="/david-gilmour">David Gilmour</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> David Gilmour Videos Blogs Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:20:26 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25377 at From Sweep Picking to Banjo Rolls, Guitarist Performs 40 Guitar Techniques in One Solo — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Check out this YouTube video of an unnamed guitarist performing 40 different guitar techniques in one solo.</p> <p>He starts off with hammer-ons, works his way through some very nice one-hand tapping, two-hand tapping, sweep picking, plus banjo rolls, slapping/popping and much more.</p> <p>After the solo, which is performed on several different guitars, he provides tabs to everything he plays. In all, the video is about 23 minutes long.</p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> WTF Videos Blogs Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:18:26 +0000 Damian Fanelli 19620 at Ghost Pedal Creates Wah Effect Without Physical Pedal — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Semi-recently-ish (Hey, this is a blog, not an earth-shattering news item!), a group of students from Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering developed the Ghost Pedal, a wireless device that uses sensors attached to the guitar player's foot to create a wah effect—minus the physical pedal. </p> <p>"Because Ghost Pedal is wireless and does not have a physical pedal, guitar players can activate and use their wah distortion effect anywhere on stage at any time," said Robbie Hoye, part of the the Ghost Pedal team at the university in West Lafayette, Indiana, talking to the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch. "They also have the ability to deactivate the effect whenever they choose."</p> <p>Once the Ghost Pedal is turned on, the user enters a 10-second mode during which the variable resistor calibrates the ability to flex the foot from the floor. After calibration mode, the guitarist enters freeplay mode.</p> <p>"During freeplay, the user actively manipulates the wah level by changing their foot's angle from the floor," Hoye said. "The calibration mode adapts itself to modify the resistance sensor to each user and their foot flexibility at the touch of a button. Ghost Pedal and traditional wah pedals use the same motion to activate the wah effect; the guitarist doesn't have to learn a new motion."</p> <p>For more on this story, give Google a try. For some reason, there's not much out there.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> WTF Videos Blogs Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:14:19 +0000 Damian Fanelli 14930 at Gear Review: Outlaw Effects 24K Reverb, Quick Draw Delay and Five O’Clock Fuzz Pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>Outlaw Effects recently showed up to the party—the ongoing effect-pedal party, that is—blurring the lines of boutique and budget effects in a micro-sized box. </p> <p>I recently got my hands on the company's 24k Reverb, Quick Draw Delay and Five O’Clock Fuzz. </p> <p> First impression? Everything is well marked. This sounds like a given, but I’ll occasionally try a pedal named something like "The Woodpecker." Next I’ll spend 20 minutes figuring out what the "Beak" and "Sapsucker" knobs do. With Outlaw Effects, Tone is a tone knob, Sustain means sustain. Kudos, Outlaw!</p> <p>Each pedal features staggered input/output jacks, top-mounted 9-volt power jacks and true-bypass switching. The case is a hardy aluminum that's well suited for gigging.</p> <p><strong>24K Reverb</strong> has three knobs; Reverb, Tone and Decay. There's a three-way toggle switch to select between Room, Plate or Spring reverbs. In the clip below, I started with a subtle Spring reverb, followed by a deeper, surf-inspired Plate reverb and finished up rolling the Tone back for a darker deep Room reverb.</p> <p><strong>Quick Draw Delay</strong> features three knobs; Echo, Time and Repeat. Echo is the volume knob of the effect. The overall vibe is more of a vintage-inspired delay than a cleaner, modern delay. Time offers a range of 20ms to 620ms. My clip starts with a cool basic delay to fill out a rhythm guitar part. I end with a lick and crank the Repeat all the way up. By rotating the Time knob, you can channel some self-oscillating madness.</p> <p><strong>Five O’Clock Fuzz</strong> was, by far, my favorite, and not just because it has a mustache drawn on it. The knobs are Level, Sustain and Tone. While many would blow by this thinking it’s a Big Muff copy, hear me out. In the clip hear it goes from a smooth Eric Johnson-style fuzz to a razor-thin thrash tone. To finish up the clip, I wanted to show how it can hang as a fat bass fuzz pedal too.</p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Average Street Prices:</strong> 24K Reverb, $89; Quick Draw Delay, $59; Five O’Clock Fuzz, $49.99</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown Outlaw Effects Effects Blogs Gear Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:20:11 +0000 Billy Voight 25364 at Guitar Chalk Sessions: Three Nuanced Quality Indicators of a Good Tremolo Pedal <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an abridged and shorter version of a lengthier <a href="">article highlighting seven tremolo pedals</a> that fit the descriptors mentioned here.</em></p> <p><strong>Tremolo is an incredibly simple effect.</strong></p> <p>In its most raw form, it’s little more than the raising and lowering of your signal’s volume.</p> <p>And not only is tremolo one of the oldest and most recognized effects in the electric guitar’s history, it’s also been traditionally implemented via analog circuitry within amplifiers.</p> <p>Today there are still a lot of amps on the market that come packaged with a tremolo effect.</p> <p>To name a few:</p> <p>• <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440012299&amp;sr=1-16&amp;keywords=guitar+amp,+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=4d2738d6d1c783ef89465f9b79ad2fd6">VOX AC15C2</a><br /> • <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440012313&amp;sr=1-26&amp;keywords=guitar+amp,+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=b21b80ab3cf761e7f6223dc78f897544">Fender ‘68 Custom Vibrolux</a><br /> • <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440012313&amp;sr=1-29&amp;keywords=guitar+amp,+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=d7d75bab502f6712c49d908b32cfe046">Marshall 1973X</a></p> <p>These amps (among many others) carry their own tremolo that’s built-into the amp’s channels and ready to use. More often than not, they sound pretty good.</p> <p>But what if we don’t own an amp with tremolo built-in?</p> <p>Further, what if we just don’t like it? A lot of <a href="">guitar players prefer</a> their effects in a stompbox on the floor in front of them. If that’s the team you’re on, you might wonder, “What is there to know about tremolo pedals in the digital age?”</p> <p>Or what quality indicators do you look for if you’re going to buy one?</p> <p>While the difference between a “good” and “bad” tremolo pedal is a smaller gap than a good and bad delay, there are still some quality indicators to be aware of.</p> <p>And they can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for.</p> <p>There are primarily three of these indicators.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1. The Waveform Selector</strong></p> <p>There’s some digital processing science and mathematics that go into what a waveform actually is, but for our purposes, a tremolo waveform is essentially the pattern that the volume sweep of the effect will follow. </p> <p>There are primarily three different waveforms that a tremolo can take:</p> <p><strong>1. Square</strong><br /> <strong>2. Peak</strong><br /> <strong>3. Sine</strong></p> <p>On cheaper or lower-quality tremolo pedals, the default tremolo waveform will be sine and will likely go unmentioned.</p> <p>Better quality tremolo pedals, that you can get in <a href="">guitar shops like Long and McQuade</a> or from <a href="">boutique manufacturers,</a> will often give you a switch that allows you to toggle between all three. It’s easily spotted on pedals like the <a href=";qid=1440013157&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=wampler+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=88a45c8510b19b1d43f07626856372e2">Wampler Latitude Deluxe:</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-27%20at%2012.50.13%20PM.png" width="360" height="252" alt="Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.50.13 PM.png" /></p> <p>Those three squiggly lines underneath the switch represent the three waveforms. From left to right, <strong>square, peak</strong> and <strong>sine.</strong></p> <p>This gives your pedal a significantly more versatile array of sounds and provides the entire spectrum of the tremolo effect.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2. Correcting the “Volume-Drop Problem”</strong></p> <p>Though tremolo is a simple effect, it’s notorious for causing what’s known as the “volume-drop problem.”</p> <p>This occurs because of the constant raising and lowering (sweeping) of your signal’s volume. That means your tremolo effect sets a low and a peak, where the peak will always match the volume of your guitar’s signal output.</p> <p>This is fine, except for the fact that a majority of the effect’s time is spent between the peaks, giving the illusion that your guitar’s volume has been lowered.</p> <p>Good tremolo pedals correct this by adding an external volume knob, like the one on <a href=";qid=1440012998&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=keeley+boss+tr-2+mod&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=44d46134a1ae38d2d083d5ef79b5b94f">Robert Keeley’s Boss TR-2 mod.</a></p> <p>Other tremolo pedals deal with the problem via interior circuitry, but it’s always something to keep in mind when you’re scoping them out.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>3. Depth and Tone Customization</strong></p> <p>It’s tempting to assume that all a tremolo pedal really needs is a depth and rate knob. After all, it is a fairly basic modulation effect.</p> <p>But the higher-quality tremolo pedals pack a lot of customization into their boxes. </p> <p>Consider, for example, the <a href="">Strymon Flint Tremolo and Reverb</a> with the following parameters:</p> <p><strong>Intensity / Speed / Mix / Decay / Color</strong></p> <p>That’s not even mentioning the three different tremolo modes and the optional expression pedal. All this is not to say that you can’t do well with a more basic configuration, but know that the tweaking options are out there. </p> <p>And in many cases they’re worth the extra investment.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Why not just stick with the amp?</strong></p> <p>A lot of guitarists are strictly analog, which means the tremolo pedals of our day might fall flat as they’re usually analog simulations via digital circuitry. </p> <p>So there’s a case to be made for sticking with what might be considered a simpler and more pure form of the effect.</p> <p>It’s really just a matter of preference.</p> <p>Because there are advantages to both. But if you’re going to go the pedal route (which is my personal preference) it pays to know where you’re going to get the most quality and what the most desirable features of a tremolo pedal are.</p> <p>Besides, waveforms make great dinner-table conversation.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Your Thoughts</strong></p> <p>Have thoughts or insight into tremolo pedals and their quality indicators? Feel free to share them in the comments section or hit us up via <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Facebook.</a> We can always learn more from each other.</p> <p><em>Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of <a href="">GigNroll</a></em></p> <p><em>Robert Kittleberger is the editor of <a href="">Guitar Chalk</a> and a staff writer at <a href="">Guitar Tricks</a>. You can get in touch with him <a href="">here</a> or via <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Facebook.</a></em></p> Bobby Kittleberger Guitar Chalk Sessions Effects Blogs Gear Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:00:27 +0000 Bobby Kittleberger 25359 at Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King Play "Pride and Joy," "Born Under a Bad Sign" and More in 1983 — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>On December 6, 1983, up-and-coming guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan got together with blues legend Albert King at CHCH-TV studios in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.</p> <p>The result was one hell of a jam session—that almost didn't even happen.</p> <p>Initially, King wasn't going to do the show because he apparently didn't know who Vaughan was. As in, he didn't realize Vaughan was actually "Little Stevie," that skinny kid who used to sit in with King when he performed in Texas. </p> <p>Of course, once he realized who Vaughan was, it was smiles all around. </p> <p>The session, the first of two collaborations captured for TV, was recorded for one of a series of live TV sessions recording the performances of various artists. The show was called <em>In Session,</em> and the jam session was released on an album (also called <em>In Session</em>) in 1999.</p> <p>Below, you can experience a small sampling of the album and DVD (which was finally released in 2010). There's "Pride and Joy," "Texas Flood," "Call It Stormy Monday" and "Born Under a Bad Sign," a popular King tune (written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell) that was famously covered by Cream in the Sixties. You can find the rest of this session on YouTube if you're interested.</p> <p>You'll notice that King—the wise old pro—is clearly driving the proceedings, but he goes out of his way to feature the younger Vaughan wherever possible, which was nice of him—and awesome for us. Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/swing/rockabilly band <a href="">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City instrumental surf-rock band <a href="">Mister Neutron,</a> also <a href="">composes</a> and <a href="">records film soundtracks.</a> He writes's <a href="">The Next Bend</a> column, which is dedicated to <a href="">B-bender guitars and guitarists.</a> His latest liner notes can be found in Sony/Legacy's </em><a href="">Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.</a><em> Follow him on <a href="">Facebook,</a> <a href="">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="">Instagram.</a></em></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="/albert-king">Albert King</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Albert King In Session SRV SRVDF Stevie Ray Vaughan Videos Blogs Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:59:50 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25363 at