Do you dream of being faster and more graceful with your right hand?
There is a counterintuitive shortcut to gaining more speed and sensitivity in your playing. Before we dive in, this can be implemented along with challenges such as the sweep picking challenge.
When you play pop or blues music on a steel acoustic, you mostly use your plectrum, which allows you to position the edge of your hand on the scratchplate. This gives you stability but at the same time tends to ‘spoil’ your hand as it misses an opportunity to develop flexibility, dexterity, and ultimately speed and expression range.
Freeing you hand will help you develop velocity and more confidence in your guitar playing. As a result, you can open your style to a whole new level of versatile expression, and you’ll start trying out acrobatics of the likes of Rodrigo and Gabriela.
As examples in rock and blues, guitarists like John Frusciante and Jimi Hendrix tend to have their hands very loose when they strum. As this can be a mess when applied to steel acoustic, they often use their left hand to mute strings they don’t want to sound and to avoid unwanted noises.
This ‘liberation of your hand’ will allow you to be a more versatile guitarist and tackle a wider variety of genres, so you will be a treasure of a practice buddy.
Flamenco Will Grow Wings on Your Right Hand
Whatever style you do, learning some flamenco techniques will help you develop speed and flexibility in your right hand in a way that will blow your mind.
…even if you are a plectra fundamentalist!
You will even start typing faster on your laptop (I just came to this realisation as I write this piece). But most importantly, you will be more motivated and confident in your guitar learning.
One of my clients spent 15 years playing blues and rock. He invariably played electric guitar with a plectrum. One day he bought a flamenco guitar because he wanted to learn some flamenco techniques and songs.
During his first classes, he wouldn’t lift his right pinky off the top of the guitar. He needed to work hard to remove this habit, because it helped him gain stability and play the strings he targeted.
Now that he is a confident flamenco player he tells me how learning these techniques has supercharged his rock playing, as he is now more confident with where his right hand is at any given point. This allows him to move it around upwards and downwards and calibrate the strength with which he plays.
And now his pinky is supporting his right hand as it flies, not as it sleeps on the scratchplate!
2 Flamenco Techniques You Should Learn Today
Note: It’s imperative that you practice both techniques very slowly. Once your muscles have memorized the motions involved, you can speed up. A metronome can keep your ego under control.
Abanico (‘fan’ in Spanish) is one of the most characteristic techniques in flamenco. Used mostly as a closing lick, it requires your hand to be completely lifted. You simply need three strokes to do a cycle, and you typically use one cycle per black note.
This technique can be used with different fingers. Here is a common cycle:
- Thumb up – lift your whole wrist
- Ring down – your index finger is still lifted and your wrist goes half-way down
- Index down – the whole of your wrist goes all the way down
If you do this fast, you will perform a very dynamic motion with your hand, and no one will really understand what the heck you are doing…
To get a better sense on this technique have a look on this tutorial video on “Abanico technique”:
2. Supported strumming (rasgueado apoyado)
This is where you place your thumb on the 6th or 5th string and you attack the strings with your fingers one by one quickly.
There are as many variations as you have fingers. As with the abanico, you typically perform one cycle per black note.
1-finger rasgueado (2 strokes)
- Shoot your index finger down attacking all the strings at the same time.
- Move your index finger up. Attack all the strings at the same time.
2-finger rasgueado (3 strokes)
- Middle finger goes down
- Index finger goes down
- Index finger goes up
Make sure your cycles are seamless. To achieve this, you can prepare your middle finger as you shoot your index finger. This also applies to the 3- and 4-finger versions.
3-finger rasgueado (4 strokes)
- Ring finger goes down
- Middle finger goes down
- Index finger goes down
- Index finger goes back up
4-finger rasgueado (5 strokes)
- Pinky finger goes down
- Ring finger goes down
- Middle finger goes down
- Index finger goes down
- Index finger goes back up
At first, you may think going from the last stroke of a cycle into the first stroke of the following cycle is impossible. Keep practising slowly and prepare your fingers strategically!
Here is a tutorial video on “Supported strumming” technique:
These two flamenco techniques will help you stretch your hand to a whole new level of versatility. As you start practising these techniques with higher speed, you’ll soon realise how powerfully you progress.
So, go and try this technique today and improve your playing in the most unusual way.
Guest Post Bio:
Alvaro Antona is a flamenco guitar teacher and artist. With a 20-year career teaching and performing flamenco guitar all over the world, he now offers a free 20 minute flamenco guitar consultation for those who live thousands of kilometres from the nearest guitar strumming maestro.
More Articles on Learning Guitar:
- Learn Guitar: Top 5 Beginner Guitar Lesson Courses
- 5 Places to Get Modern Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons Online
- 13 Great Country Acoustic Guitar Lessons on YouTube
- Top 5 Places for Online Acoustic Blues Guitar Lessons
The post Two Flamenco Techniques to Enhance Your Right Hand appeared first on The Guitar Journal.
I can’t let this slide. Australian newspaper The Herald Sun has just published a tribute to Malcolm Young, and look at the title of this front-page pointer.
Bass? BASS? BASS!?!
This is inarguably one of the greatest, most solid rhythm guitarists of all time, from one of the most popular bands of all time. I don’t know who the f**k goofed up to make this abomination of a headline a reality but holy crap, is it really that hard to go to Wikipedia and double-check this stuff? Absolutely ridiculous and a massive insult to Malcolm and all AC/DC fans. I mean, if you needed to write a cheesy headline, how about ‘Back In Black’ or ‘We Salute You’ or maybe just ‘Malcolm Young – 1954 – 2017′? This is like saying Ringo was The Beatles’ guitarist, or Adam West played TV’s Robin, or that the Herald Sun is a respectable newspaper. Every day this Facebook page seems more and more justified.
One of my favourite albums this year is The Church’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity. It’s a beautiful, deep, swirling, emotive record that represents everything great about the band’s psychedelic, atmospheric melodicism. They’ve just released a live video for the track ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why,’ which the press release describes as…
‘…A psychedelic dip into the complex consciousness of lead singer Steve Kilbey, the video highlights the latest single’s shimmery tones and experiential ambivalence on life’s purpose. With a video that transports the viewer to a rainbow coloured utopia, ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ stands true to the church’s signature exploration of existence.
‘Flowing through with the inherent theme of water, their latest single exemplifies Kilbey’s explanation of the mind’s uncontrollable influence. “I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain…The way I write lyrics is very stream-of-consciousness. I never question them until we perform live” Steve says. Producing ten songs spanning 45 minutes of pure sonic bliss, their latest record Man Woman Life Death Infinity came in strong at #1 on the 100% Australian Independent Record Labels Association independent albums chart.
Filmed on their recent USA tour and edited by Eden Mullholland, the music video offers fans a taste of what to expect on tour. No strangers to the live stage, following a sold out run of Australian shows in 2015 and having previously pulled a 20,000 strong crowd at Primavera Sound, the church embark on a killer eight date national tour, tomorrow – barely touched down from 29 cities across the USA. Joined onstage by special guest, former Remy Zero (UK) guitarist Jeffrey Cain on keys, additional guitars and vocals, the tour will blend almost 50 years of classics with a burst of new songs off their latest record. The band’s Newcastle shows are nearly sold out with the church’s Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne shows set to sell out in the next week. With under 50 tickets left for each show, fans are encouraged to move quick if they want to see this seminal Australian outfit for their first local dates in two years.
Snatch up last minute tickets for the Man Woman Life Death Infinity tour NOW.
Man Woman Life Death Infinity vinyl is available here.
MAN WOMAN LIFE DEATH INFINITY TOUR
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
FRI 17 NOV | ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, NORTH PERTH WA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
SAT 18 NOV | DUNSBOROUGH TAVERN, DUNSBOROUGH WA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
THU 30 NOV | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
FRI 01 DEC | 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC (18+)
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets
MON 05 DEC | LIZOTTES, NEWCASTLE NSW SOLD OUT
Tickets available from www.lizottes.com.au | 02 4956 2066
The post The Church share new video for ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ ahead of tour appeared first on I Heart Guitar.
This 1906 Martin Model America is somewhat of a mystery to me. I've done some quick searches and have found mostly links to pinterest posts. That, and the page I got these pictures from.
What I cannot find is the "why'.
I have no idea what the advantage would be to having a double bod in such a way.
Does anyone know?
© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
On Sunday, November 19th, 2017, the Fine Musical Insturments department of Skinner Auctions, will be offering the remaining guitars and musical instruments from the estate of J. Geils.
|The New Guitar Summit|
Though he is best known for his guitar work in the J. Geils Band, Geils went on to play Jazz guitar in the Boston area. He was part of the New Guitar Summit with Duke Robillard, and Gerry Beaudoin.
|J Geil's Italian sports cars at KTX|
In addition to his musical career, Geils also owned and operated KTR Motorsports, a business that serviced Italian sports cars. He also had a degree from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in mechanical engineering.
The upcoming auction at Skinners features some of J’s favourite guitars; including a beautiful 1940 D’Angelico Excel Archtop model, that is expected to fetch between $6,000 to $8,000.
|Stromberg Master 400|
Also featured is a rare 1940 Stromberg Master 400 archtop guitar, that has a price tag of $8,000 to $12,000.
|1954 Fender Stratocaster|
An original sunburst 1954 Fender Stratocaster (the first year this guitar was offered) is being offered at a price of between $25,000 to $35,000. This guitar is in pristine condition.
|1952 Les Paul|
A 1952 Gibson Les Paul gold top guitar that has the original P-90 pickups and trapeze tailpiece is among the items being sold. This guitar is expected to fetch between $8,000 and $12,000.
|Gibson Nick Lucas|
Geil’s 1929 sunburst Gibson Nick Lucas Special acoustic guitar is being offered for $5,500 to $6,500.
|Ignacio Fleta guitar|
His rare handmade 1976 Ignacio Fleta classical guitar is being offered for $20,000 to $30,000.
|Lloyd Loar Mandola|
J. Geils also owned an original 1924 Gibson Lloyd Loar H-5 Mandola. This is the larger version of the F-5 mandolin. It is being offered at between $35,000 to $55,000.
While they are not guitars, the upcoming auction also features a fine Italian violin ascribed to maker Annibale Fagnola that has an estimated worth of between $10,000 and $15,000.
For those of us that would like to own a guitar that belonged to a music legend, but can’t ante up a lot of money, do not despair. Some of J’s less valuable instruments are on the block, and the bidding for these instruments starts at just $20 USD.
This 1950 Vega Duo-Tron electric archtop guitar is being offer for a bid starting at $20. The volume and tone controls are mounted on the guitars trapeze tailpiece.
|1940 Vega Electric guitar|
Also offered is a 1940 Vega electric archtop with a unique slanted pickup. This is reminiscent of a similar Gibson model of the same era.
A 1955 Harmony Monterey archtop guitar, with an added DeArmond pickup is offered as well.
A 1965 Harmony Stella guitar is also offered, that will certainly sell in a low price range.
|Gibson EH-150 Lap Steel|
J’s 1937 Gibson EH-150 lap steel, along with its original case is being offered. It is in pristine condition.
|Broken 1977 Les Paul Double|
I’d love to know the story behind this next guitar being offered. It is a 1977 Les Paul Special. The neck is broken in half, and all the parts are gone.
Two vintage guitar amplifiers are also on the block.
|Epiphone Electar Amp|
One is a gorgeous 1939 Epiphone Electar Zephyr that has a stylized wooden cabinet, with a large wooden E design over the grill.
The other amplifier up for bid is a 1949 Supro model 1600U amplifier.
|J Geils Estate Auction|
There are many other items offered at this auction, that include Senhheiser and Beyerdynamic microphones, a group of speaker cabinets and amplifiers, guitar cases, speakers, awards, photographs, gold and platinum records, road cases, recording equipment, tour jackets, and tee shirts.
And trumpets; J played the trumpet and collected them.
Check out the online catalog.
Click on the links below the pictures for sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)
Modern Acoustic Blues finds contemporary artists reviving the older, more country-derived styles of blues in its myriad strains. The form places a great deal of emphasis on instrumental expertise, providing the genre with some astounding players who do more than merely replicate older styles.
So how do I propose to rank the best 25 Acoustic Blues Guitarists in the world? Well, I’m going to dodge the issue a bit.
I’m going to put down 25 guitarists that have dominated the field. But I will refrain from ranking them #1, #2, #3, etc. I think that’s as close as I can get. I’m sure you’ll discover some great inspiration for both listening and learning from.Add other worthy players to the comments below so that the list is truly complete. Thanks!
Here We Go…
Guitarist/vocalist Keb’ Mo’ draws heavily on the old-fashioned country blues style of Robert Johnson while keeping his sound contemporary with touches of soul and folksy storytelling. A skilled frontman as well as an accomplished sideman, he writes much of his own material and has applied his acoustic, electric, and slide guitar skills to jazz- and rock-oriented bands.
- There’s a lot of material to choose from when listening to Russ, but a popular song to start with is “Everybody Be Yoself”.
- More info on Keb’ Mo’.
Steven Gene Wold, commonly known as Seasick Steve, is an American blues musician. He plays mostly personalized guitars and sings, usually about his early life doing casual work. Like T-Model Ford, Seasick Steve began recording his own music much later in life than other musicians. In the 1960s, Wold started touring and performing with fellow blues musicians, and had friends in the music scene including Joni Mitchell. He spent time living in San Francisco. Since then, he has worked, on and off, as a session musician and studio engineer.
Jim “Jimbo” Mathus first gained fame as the co-founder of the retro-swing outfit the Squirrel Nut Zippers. But after the group’s messy breakup, he went on to a prolific career as a guitarist, songwriter, and producer, defining his own brand of revved-up blues and roots music. Using a variety of stage names, including James Mathus, Jas Mathus, Jimbo “Hambone” Mathus, and Jimbo Mathus, he first began stepping out on his own as a sideman with one-time Zippers’ violinist Andrew Bird.
Henry Saint Clair Fredericks (born May 17, 1942), who uses the stage name Taj Mahal, is an American blues musician. He often incorporates elements of world music into his works. A self-taught singer-songwriter and film composer who plays the guitar, piano, banjo and harmonica (among many other instruments), Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his almost 50-year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific.
Kelly Joe Phelps
Vancouver, Washington-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter Kelly Joe Phelps continues to expand the parameters of modern blues through his strong commitment to literary songs and his expressive yet simple guitar stylings. While casual listeners may call Phelps a bluesman, his playing is so fluid, dexterous, and improvised he obviously has the soul of a jazz musician. Kelly Joe Phelps grew up in Sumner, Washington, a blue-collar farming town. He learned country and folk songs, as well as drums and piano, from his father. He began playing guitar at age twelve.
Corey Harris has earned substantial critical acclaim as one of the few contemporary bluesmen able to channel the raw, direct emotion of acoustic Delta blues without coming off as an authenticity-obsessed historian. Although he is well versed in the early history of blues guitar, he’s no well-mannered preservationist, mixing a considerable variety of influences — from New Orleans to the Caribbean to Africa — into his richly expressive music.
Cephas & Wiggins
The duo of acoustic guitarist John Cephas and harpist Phil Wiggins enjoyed a partnership spanning several decades, during which time they emerged among contemporary music’s most visible exponents of the Piedmont blues tradition. Their music, rooted in the rural African-American dance music of Virginia and North Carolina, showed the influence of Blind Boy Fuller, Gary Davis, and Sonny Terry, with a broad repertoire consisting of Piedmont blues standards as well as an eclectic sampling of Delta stylings, R&B, ballads, ragtime, gospel, and country & western; onward from their 1984 debut, Sweet Bitter Blues, Cephas & Wiggins’ sound applied sophisticated traditional instrumentation and modern gospel-edged vocals to both traditional standards and their own hard-hitting compositions, offering a soulful acoustic option to electric blues.
- Check out their tune “Richmond Blues” and you’ll sense the scope of their playing.
- More info on Cephas & Wiggins.
Overseas, he was a genuine hero, performing for thousands. But on his L.A. home turf, sand-blown Venice Beach served as Ted Hawkins’ makeshift stage. He’d deliver his magnificent melange of soul, blues, folk, gospel, and a touch of country all by his lonesome, with only an acoustic guitar for company. Passersby would pause to marvel at Hawkins’ melismatic vocals, dropping a few coins or a greenback into his tip jar.
William Christopher Smither is an American folk/blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. His music draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, and modern poets and philosophers. By 1969, after living in several places around Cambridge, Smither moved to Garfield Street in Cambridge and often visited Dick Waterman’s house where Fred McDowell, Son House and other blues musicians were known to congregate. It was there that Smither first performed his song “Love You Like a Man” for Waterman’s friend, Bonnie Raitt.
Christopher Watkins, a twenty-something rocker from the San Francisco Bay area, is turning a whole new generation of teenage and twenty-something alternative rock fans on to the eternal hipness of the blues. Watkins, who uses the stage name Preacher Boy, is backed on his club shows around the Bay area and other parts of the West Coast by his band Natural Blues.
East River String Band
Eden and John’s East River String Band are a New York City-based duo who play country blues from the 1920s and 1930s. The members are John Heneghan (guitar, mandolin and vocals) and Eden Brower (ukulele and vocals).The duo often have other musicians sit in with them, including Dom Flemons (formerly of Carolina Chocolate Drops), Pat Conte (of the Canebreak Rattlers and Otis Brothers) and Robert Crumb (of the Cheap Suit Serenaders).
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream.
David Allen Slater
David Allen Slater is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, composer and graphic artist who successfully released his self-produced debut CD, Influenced, on August 15, 2009. Gaining exposure for his music through the web, David was asked to participate in the Windows 7 collaboration with ReverbNation just 2 months after the release of his first album. His song, Run Away, was distributed through this collaboration on Playlist7 and branded with the Windows 7 logo.
Chris Thomas King
Chris Thomas King (born October 14, 1962 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is an American blues musician and actor. He is the son of blues musician Tabby Thomas. In the 2000 movie O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, he played legendary bluesman Tommy Johnson. On the “O Brother…” soundtrack he plays Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”. In the 2004 movie Ray, he played bandleader Lowell Fulson. He has also appeared in several documentaries about the blues and about music.
- I’ve been listening his many songs, but my my personal favorite is “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”.
- View more on Chris Thomas King.
Guy Davis (born May 12, 1952) is an American blues guitarist and banjo player, and actor. He is the eldest child and the only son of the late actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Davis says his blues music is inspired by the southern speech of his grandmother. Though raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural south from his parents and especially his grandparents, and they made their way into his own stories and songs. Davis taught himself the guitar (never having the patience to take formal lessons) and learned by listening to and watching other musicians.
Bjørn Berge takes the Blues and Rock to the next level! He performs with and without band. You wouldn’t notice the difference. The man is a band on his own. Maybe thats why ‘they’ call him the ‘string-machine’. Even the drumming is taken care off in a ‘sole-man-performance’. Just a kick of a heavy, worn out boot on a wooden box for basedrum for example. His fingers play like he sold his soul to ,…. (Fill it in yourself) His voice speaks for itself. Blues to the utmost ground.
Woody Mann is an American Blues Guitar player, using a picking style. Woody was first taught to play the blues by the Rev Gary Davis. Woody still plays many of his songs in tribute and has expanded his range over many styles including Jazz, and syncopated guitar picking. Woody has collaborated with many names in the Jazz and Blues industry from the British White Blues singer Jo-Ann Kelly, Son House and Dori Previn.
Watermelon Slim and the Workers
Bill Homans, professionally known as “Watermelon Slim”, is an American blues musician. He plays both guitar and harmonica. He is currently signed to NorthernBlues Music, based out of Toronto, Ontario.
Homans has been performing since the 1970s and has been linked to several notable blues musicians, including John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Champion Jack Dupree, Bonnie Raitt, “Country” Joe McDonald, and Henry Vestine of Canned Heat.
Robert Anthony Plant CBE (born 20 August 1948, West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England) is a British rock singer-songwriter famous for being the lead vocalist of one of the most influential bands of all time: Led Zeppelin. He is known for his powerful style and wide vocal range. After Led Zeppelin’s breakup following the sudden death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, Plant pursued a successful solo career.
Rory Gallagher (1948-1995)
William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and brought up in Cork, Gallagher recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste during the late 1960s. His albums have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Gallagher received a liver transplant in 1995, but died of complications later that year in London at the age of 47.
John Clayton Mayer is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and raised in nearby Fairfield. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, but disenrolled and moved to Atlanta in 1997 with Clay Cook. Together, they formed a short-lived two-man band called Lo-Fi Masters. After their split, Mayer continued to play local clubs—refining his skills and gaining a following.
Stefan Grossman is an American acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and singer, music producer and educator, and co-founder of Kicking Mule records. He is known for his instructional videos and Vestapol line of videos and DVDs. He also gives lessons on “How To Play Blues Guitar”
Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen, is an American blues, folk, and rock guitarist, best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #54 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists.
Leo Kottke is an acoustic guitarist. He is known for a fingerpicking style that draws on blues, jazz, and folk music, and for syncopated, polyphonic melodies. He overcame a series of personal obstacles, including partial loss of hearing and a nearly career-ending bout with tendon damage in his right hand, to emerge as a widely recognized master of his instrument. He currently resides in the Minneapolis area with his family. Focusing primarily on instrumental composition and playing, Kottke also sings sporadically, in an unconventional yet expressive baritone described by himself as sounding like “geese farts on a muggy day”.
Brozman was born to a Jewish family living on Long Island, New York, United States. He began playing the guitar when he was 6. He performed in a number of styles, including gypsy jazz, calypso, blues, ragtime, Hawaiian music, and Caribbean music. He also collaborated with musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds, from India, Africa, Japan, Papua New Guinea and Réunion. He has been called “an instrumental wizard” and “a walking archive of 20th Century American music”.
More lists of top players:
- The Top 20 Dobro Players >>
- Top 25 Fingerstyle Guitar Players >>
- Top 25 Best Bluegrass Flatpicking Guitarists >>
What happens when an unconventional band of critically acclaimed musical virtuosos reunite to perform a tour with their original band line-up for the first time in 40 years? Their fans line up for tickets to see them play.
Fans of the The Dixie Dregs (aka The Dregs), are excited for the Dawn of The Dregs Tour, which begins in Clearwater, Florida on February 28 and continues with shows on the East and West Coasts through April of 2018.
Since announcement about the tour, Dregs fans from around the world have responded with enthusiasm. A date at Atlanta’s Center Stage sold out in a matter of hours, and the other shows currently on sale are tracking to sell out in advance of their dates as word spreads about the tour.
“We knew there was still an audience for the band, but the degree to which they have responded has been overwhelming,” said Dregs bassist, Andy West. “A fan from Canada posted on our Facebook page that he has tickets for at least four shows, and may get tickets for other shows as well.”
Those are some dedicated Dregs fans.
Getting The Band Back Together
Reuniting the original members of the band after 40 years is a story within itself. Andy West continued to create music and play in several solo projects, but his daytime job for most of those years was as Technology VP for a high-level software company in Arizona. Violinist, Allen Sloan went back to school, became a practicing anesthesiologist in North Carolina. Keyboardist Steve Davidowski continued to make a living from music as a session player in Nashville, and currently plays with various bands near his home in North Carolina.
Original Dregs drummer Rod Morgenstein maintains his position as the original drummer of the multi-platinum selling ‘80’s band Winger, is a member of the band Jelly Jam with Ty Tabor (King’s X) and John Myung (Dream Theater), and is also finishing his twentieth year as a much sought-after Professor of Percussion at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
For guitar aficionados, Dregs co-founder and chief composer, (and long-time Ernie Ball Music Man signature artist) Steve Morse needs no introduction, and his place in the pantheon of guitar greats is certain. Although his gig for more than 20 years has been as guitarist for Deep Purple, his career started with the Dixie Dregs.
The band traces its true beginnings to the band Dixie Grit, which started in a Georgia high school with Steve on guitar and Andy West on bass. Dixie Grit morphed into the Dixie Dregs at the University of Miami School of Music, where Allen Sloan (violin) and Rod Morgenstein joined up with Steve and Andy, who were the “dregs” of Dixie Grit. The members of the Dixie Dregs remained committed to attending the University of Miami School of Music, which hosted a lively and talented musical community during their tenure, including future greats Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, T Lavitz, and Bruce Hornsby, among many others. In 1975, the group’s demo album, The Great Spectacular, was recorded at the University of Miami and then re- released on CD in 1997.
After graduation, the band moved back to Augusta where Steve Davidowski (keyboards) completed the band that would eventually emerge and become known simply as The Dregs. The band paid its dues and honed its skills playing in bars and venues throughout the South in the mid-70s. They established themselves in the firmament of American instrumental music, seamlessly fusing rock with progressive and jazz elements to create a uniquely instrumental-driven style that has stood the test of time.
Based on a short demo and a tip from former Allman Brothers keyboardist Chuck Leavell along with legendary Allman/Dregs tour manager Twiggs Lyndon, Capricorn Records signed the Dixie Dregs to record Free Fall (1977). The success and critical acclaim of Free Fall announced the Dixie Dregs to the world, and after its release, they would become a cult favorite band that would have a lasting influence on much of modern rock.
Steve Morse Signature Guitars
For 30 years, Steve Morse has been rocking with his serial number #1 model of the original signature guitar that bears his name. Featuring a classic double cutaway design, four custom DiMarzio pickups and intuitive switching layout, this signature guitar affords effortless playability, comfortable yet solid construction and a full range of tonal possibilities. Due to his virtually non-stop playing over that time, he has had the luthiers at Ernie Ball Music Man refret the instrument more than 10 times. At The NAMM Show 2017, the Ball family surprised Steve by giving him serial number #2, which had been in the company vault, virtually untouched, for decades.
The SMY2D celebrates the 20th anniversary of signature Music Man artist Steve Morse. Combining the beautiful elegance of figured maple with the distinctively voiced Poplar tone-wood, custom Dimarzio pickups and simplified intuitive pickup arrangement, the SMY2D delivers the feel and playability one would expect from such a high caliber instrument, but more importantly retains all the unique signature elements Steve has relied upon throughout his amazing career.
Dixie Dregs Tour Dates
Find out if Dixie Dregs is heading to a town near you by checking out the dates below and be sure to visit their website for info on how to get tickets and info on the latest dates added to the tour.
02/28/18 CAPITAL THEATER CLEARWATER, FL
03/01/18 PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL
03/02/18 THE BELL AUDITORIUM AUGUSTA, GA.
03/03/18 CENTER STAGE ATLANTA, GA
03/05/18 CHARLESTON MUSIC HALL CHARLESTON, SC
03/06/18 CAROLINA THEATER DURHAM, NC
03/07/18 LINCOLN THEATER WASHINGTON, DC
03/09/18 SCOTTISH RITE AUDITORIUM COLLINGSWOOD, NJ
03/10/18 NEWTON THEATER NEWTON, NJ
03/14/18 THE RIDGEFIELD PLAYHOUSE RIDGEFIELD, CT.
03/16/18 TOWN HALL NEW YORK CITY
03/17/18 BEARSVILLE THEATER, WOODSTOCK, NY
03/19/18 WILBUR THEATER BOSTON, MA
03/21/18 CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS – THE EGG ALBANY, NY
03/22/18 CARNEGIE MUSIC HALL PITTSBURGH, PA
03/23/18 KENT STAGE KENT, OH
03/24/18 THE VIC THEATER CHICAGO, IL.
04/11/18 PABST THEATER MILWAUKEE, WI
04/14/18 BOULDER THEATRE BOULDER, CO
Watch Steve Morse demo his signature models below.
Working on guitar technique can often seem as separate from your soloing workout. You learn technique, put that away, then work on soloing concepts, keeping both separate in the woodshed. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. When you choose the right exercises, you can build your chops and increase your soloing vocabulary at the same time.
One of these exercises is string skipping.
String skipping builds coordination, dexterity, and fluidness in both your fretting and picking hands from a chops perspective. It also helps you break out of running up and down scales in your solos, something that handcuffs many jazz guitarists when soloing.
Use the material in this lesson to build your technique, then take string-skipping to your solos as you add this technique to your soloing ideas as well.
String Skipping – The Major Scale
The first string-skipping exercise runs that concept through a major scale shape.
The pattern is built by playing every second string (6-4-5-3-4-2-3-1), skipping a string in the process.
Go slow with this first exercise, especially if this is your first run at string skipping. Start without tempo, then when you get the hang of the exercise, put on a metronome and work slowly in time on this pattern.
From there, increase the tempo to challenge yourself further, and take it to other keys when ready. If you know other major scale fingerings, you can take this pattern to any major scale shape you know.
Audio Example 1http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Audio-Example-1-Chops.mp3
String Skipping – The Melodic Minor Scale
Moving on, here’s the same string-skipping concept applied to a melodic minor scale shape.
Run this exercise slowly with a metronome in the given key to get started. When that’s comfortable, slowly raise the metronome to increase the speed and difficulty of the exercise.
Lastly take it to other keys as you move this shape around the fretboard, build your chops, and increase your soloing vocabulary at the same time.
Audio Example 2http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Audio-Example-2-Chops.mp3
Now that you worked two different scales with the string-skipping technique, you can take that concept further. To get you started, here are two scale shapes to learn and apply the string skipping technique to. Memorize these scales and then put on a metronome and run string skipping through these shapes.
Speed up the metronome over time, and when ready, take these shapes to other keys in your studies.
Lastly, after you work these two fingerings, take the string-skipping concept to any and all scales you know or are working on.
C Mixolydian Scale
G# Altered Scale
String Skipping Blues Solo
Now that you’ve learned how to use string skipping to build technique when working scales, you take that technique to a blues solo. This 12-bar solo uses mostly string skips, with a few non-skips thrown in here and there for variety.
Learn this solo to bring string skipping to a musical situation. When ready, put on the backing track and jam along to the G blues progression below, creating your own string-skipping lines along the way.
The post String Skipping – Chops Builder and Soloing appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..
Moniker Guitars has just unveiled the new Rival Series, a really unique chambered guitar that is made in the USA and features Seymour Duncan pickups for a mere $879USD. I think this is a great way to offer a certain degree of customisation while keeping costs down: essentially it’s the same basic guitar but with different faceplate and pickup options, and Moniker appears to have put a great deal of thought and care into designing and instrument that will effectively ‘become’ whatever pickup configuration you order. Go for some Duo-Sonics and you’ll have a great indie instrument. Select the Hot Rodded Humbucker option and you’ve got a powerful rock or metal machine. Other options include Strat, Tele, Lipstock or Phat Cat (P90 in humbucker housing) style pickups. I’ll be reviewing one soon, but in the meantime here’s a video and the press release.
Moniker Guitars launches the Rival Series, a unique chambered body guitar, designed to “rival” any other on tone, feel and price.
Austin, TX – October 23, 2017 – Moniker Guitars has launched the Rival Series, a bold electric guitar design intended to “rival” any other on tone, feel and price. In striving to build a guitar focused on those elements, Moniker has reimagined the instrument and how it can be built in the United States at a retail price that is under a thousand dollars.
Rival Series guitars feature an offset body shape made of maple with a matching maple neck and fretboard. The inside of the body utilizes a unique chambering pattern known as “Rival Ribs” to add resonance and warmth to the guitar. The Moniker website allows you to choose one of six styles of Seymour Duncan pickups to dial in the exact tone you’re looking for. On the outside of the body, the maple frames your choice of a colored Reso-acrylic faceplate. This creates a striking visual contrast between the faceplate and the natural wood. The hardness and reflectiveness of the Reso-acrylic top helps to bounce sound throughout the chambered body.
When it comes to feel, the first thing players notice is that the Rival chambering reduces the weight of the guitar to a mere 6.8 pounds. The acrylic top cuts away to allow for a contoured wood arm rest and a contoured neck heel allows easy access to the upper frets. Both body and neck are coated in a thin satin top coat to preserve the natural feel of the wood.
Customized Rival Series can be ordered through the MonikerGuitars.com at a retail price of just $879. The guitars are built in the same shop where Moniker has been building its Customer Series guitars in Austin Texas.
“Our experience with our Custom Series line is what led us to develop the Rival Series.” says owner Kevin Tully. “We’re fortunate in that we’ve had the opportunity to speak to every single one of our customers and learn what they’re looking for. Beautiful finishes are important to many customers and on our Custom Series line, we spend a lot of time working on finish. But most people are just looking for great tone and great playability and they’re on a budget that doesn’t allow us to spend hours and hours on finish work. The Rival Series is the result of of prioritizing the fundamentals of the instrument and marrying them together in a clean and simple modern design. We’re extremely proud of how it has come out looking, playing and sounding.”
Ernie Ball champions A Day To Remember were featured in Premiere Guitars Rig Rundown, which featured Music Man Artist Josh Woodard and his collection of Sting Ray Basses. The interview was right before an exciting show at Nashville Marathon Music Work’s.
Here is the Full Video:
Here are the Top Six Things We Learned:
#1 – ADTR Neil Westfall relies on Ernie Ball Strings Not Even Slinky for Drop Tuning.
Neil likes the feel of Not Even Slinky gauges on his signature model to keep the tension on his drop tuned guitars.
#2 – Don’t Trust the audience with your gear.
Josh Woodard learned the hard way about trusting the audience with his main bass and they ended up tearing it to pieces and walked away with a souvenir.
Click below to hear the story.
#3 – Flame Roasted Necks have a great feel and Electronics all stock through his Kemper.
A recent trend thats been changing the game for artists has been roasted maple necks. Josh Woodard loves the feel of his Ernie Ball Music Man Sting Ray with roasted birdseye maple.
Click below to hear what Josh thinks about the Roasted Neck.
#4 – Josh Woodard likes his Ernie Ball Music Man Classic Sting Ray with Power Slinky Bass Strings.
Josh loves the sound and feel of fresh strings.
#5 – EBMM Legend Mike Herrera inspired Josh Woodard to join the Ernie Ball Family.
“Mike from MXPX plays them, He is an awesome bass player. I was like yeah, I’ll try them out and I never looked back. They hooked me up, it has been an awesome relationship “
#6 – Kevin Scaff uses a combination of Beefy Slinky and a Custom Gauge for different drop tunings
Kevin Scaff likes Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky on his Drop C tuning and a Custom Gauge for his Drop A tuning.
Closer look at Josh Woodard’s Music Man Sting Rays:
Custom Classic Ernie Ball Music Man trans Sting Ray color with a slightly contoured body, stock electronics.
Stock Classic Ernie Ball Music Man Sting Ray with a roasted birdseye maple neck.
Get your Ernie Ball Music Man Sting Ray from your local dealer and check out the specs on our Ernie Ball Music Man website.
It’s the ‘Sorry About My Cold!’ Episode, featuring Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian and Lindi Ortega! The episode should be hitting your podcast catcher of choice right about now, or you can listen in the widget at the bottom of this post. Please leave a review if you’re listening on iTunes, and if you’d like to support the podcast and blog with a couple o’bucks, patreon.com/iheartguitar
Gilby Clarke is heading to Australia for some intimate shows in November and December, hitting Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra! He’ll be at:
Thursday 30th November – Crowbar – Brisbane
Friday 1st Dec – Cherry Bar – Melbourne
Saturday 2nd Dec – The Basement – Canberra
Sunday 3rd Dec – Frankie’s – Sydney
Tickets are on sale now from hardlinemedia.net
Derek Sherinian was one of the very first people interviewed for I Heart Guitar when it started (read that original interview here). As a keyboard player he’s one of the greatest guitarists you’ll ever hear. He has a real understanding of how a guitarist plays, and that’s part of what has made him such a great fit in bands like Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Black Country Communion and his own Planet X. And now he’s in the supergroup Sons of Apollo with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto. Their debut record Psychotic Symphony is out now. Visit their site at sonsofapollo.com.
This is the second time I’ve interviewed Lindi Ortega. The first was for Australian Guitar magazine about two years ago to promote her album Faded Gloryville. Earlier this year Lindi released an EP called Til The Goin’ Gets Gone, and she’s heading down here to Australia for a run of shows including the Queenscliffe Music Festival. Visit LindiOrtega.com/tour for full dates and ticket info.
The post I Heart Guitar Podcast Episode 5: Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian, Lindi Ortega appeared first on I Heart Guitar.
As previously reported, to tie-into the recent release of her latest album, Ernie Ball Music Man signature artist Annie Clark released a very limited (12 pieces worldwide) MASSEDUCTION edition of her STV guitar. The guitars’ aesthetic is an extension of the unique visual world of ‘MASSEDUCTION.’ Although now sold out worldwide, the guitar was available in four neon colors: blue, lime, pink and orange (with leopard print pickguard). The guitar also came with a deluxe vinyl copy of ‘MASSEDUCTION’ and a signed back plate. Annie continues to tour with her own originals of the guitars, and has made a number of appearances and performances, including on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and on The Graham Norton Show in the UK. In the Graham Norton clip, Annie performs “Los Ageless” and then joins Norton, Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Josh Gad on the couch, to discuss her new album and the creation of her signature model. Norton asks if the guitar is available to buy, and jokes that he’s buying one for Dench for Christmas. Watch the clip below.
“I designed a guitar that is gender-inclusive. It is incredibly ergonomic for any gender…I’m a smallish person…so I designed a guitar with a smaller frame in mind, and a rock monster tone”. – St. Vincent
Although the MASSEDUCTION version of the STV nearly sold out worldwide, the production version is still available in several colors, including Stealth Black, Tobacco Burst, Heritage Red, Polaris White, and St. Vincent Blue, a color hand-mixed by Annie. This month, we also have a Ball Family Reserve edition of the guitar in light translucent gold that features an African mahogany body stained with a light translucent gold finish for a classic, vintage look, a roasted flame-figured neck complemented with a rosewood fretboard and custom St. Vincent inlays and a beautifully accented, hand-shaped white binding. The Ball Family Reserve edition is limited to only 23 pieces…so if you want one you’d better act fast.
The Making of the St. Vincent
Ernie Ball Music Man artists, James Valentine and Adam Levine, along with the rest of the critically-acclaimed band, Maroon 5, released Red Pill Blues today, the band’s sixth studio album. The 10-track album features already released collaborations with SZA (“What Lovers Do“), A$AP Rocky (“Whiskey“) and Julia Michaels (“Help Me Out“). The band previously shared the Snapchat-themed album artwork on its own account, while frontman Levine promoted it on his account, too — hinting that the cover is simply just a sign of the times.
“We all use Snapchat, and the Filters have become a huge part of the culture,” Levine told Billboard. “We thought it would be funny to take some more straight-ahead band photos and sprinkle in a little fun.”
Get it now here or stream it on Spotify and watch a recent performance of “What Lovers Do” from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon below.
As we’ve previously reported, both Adam and James can be seen playing their Ernie Ball Music Man guitars on stage when out on tour. Adam has been playing custom colored Ernie Ball Music Man Axis guitars. James is of course sporting his signature Valentine model, which was awarded “Best in Show” when is debuted at NAMM in 2016.
1. “Best 4 U”
2. “What Lovers Do” feat. SZA
4. “Lips on You”
5. “Bet My Heart”
6. “Help Me Out” with Julia Michaels
7. “Who I Am” feat. LunchMoney Lewis
8. “Whiskey” feat. A$AP Rocky
9. “Girls Like You”
“Red Pill Blues” Tour Dates
To support the album release, the band will be back out on tour beginning December 30th. Check out the dates below and visit their website to get more info on tickets.
|DEC 30-31, 2017|
MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER
LAS VEGAS, NV
|MAR 03, 2018|
EXPLANADA CARDALES DE CAYALA
GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
|MAY 30, 2018|
|JUN 01, 2018|
|JUN 02, 2018|
GOLDEN 1 CENTER
|JUN 04, 2018
|JUN 07, 2018|
TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA
|JUN 09, 2018|
AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA
|JUN 10, 2018|
|JUN 12, 2018|
SAN ANTONIO, TX
|JUN 14, 2018|
SMOOTHIE KING CENTER
NEW ORLEANS, LA
|JUN 16, 2018
|JUN 17, 2018|
|SEP 07, 2018|
VIVINT SMART HOME ARENA
SALT LAKE CITY, UT
|SEP 09, 2018|
PEPSI CENTER ARENA
|SEP 11, 2018|
KANSAS CITY, MO
|SEP 13, 2018|
ST LOUIS, MO
|SEP 14, 2018
|SEP 16, 2018|
WISCONSIN ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS CENTER
|SEP 18, 2018|
XCEL ENERGY CENTER
SAINT PAUL, MN
|SEP 20, 2018|
BANKER’S LIFE FIELDHOUSE ARENA
|SEP 22, 2018|
KFC YUM! CENTER
|SEP 23, 2018|
|SEP 25, 2018
|SEP 27, 2018|
AIR CANADA CENTRE
|SEP 29, 2018|
PPG PAINTS ARENA
|SEP 30, 2018|
LITTLE CAESAR’S ARENA
|OCT 02, 2018|
CAPITAL ONE ARENA
|OCT 04, 2018|
|OCT 06, 2018
|OCT 07, 2018|
|OCT 10, 2018|
|OCT 12, 2018|
WELLS FARGO CENTER
|OCT 14-15, 2018|
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
NEW YORK, NY
Watch James Valentine discuss the creation of his signature Ernie Ball Music Man model below and check out our round-up of fan-sightings of the model here.
You might have seen him playing alongside Kilter as his live guitarist, but now it’s time for Australia’s own Timi Temple – aka Timothy Lockwood – to unleash his own intoxicating music with the release of his psychedelic new single ‘Sands of Time.’ Timi’s a big gear nerd like the rest of us and when the idea of doing a post about his top five favourite pieces of gear came up, he came back with the completed list in, oh, like 20 seconds. So here it is! Take it away, Timi.
1981 IBANEZ ARTIST 2630
This guitar is just brilliant ~ I remember being a super poor uni student just getting into jazz and I needed a ‘jazz box’ style guitar ~ unfortunately after trying a Gibson 175 for a while my shoulders and neck started to cramp up (being 5’6) so I settled to find a 335 type. I couldn’t afford a Gibson so started looking for alternatives and found this gem… and I couldn’t afford this one either haha ~ I begged the guy who owned it, but he didn’t budge, deflated I left but this is where persistence pays… I made offers to the seller for months (probably about 6 months) and finally he obliged, on the promise that I send him a picture of my first gig with the guitar and that I continue to love it… well that was easy peasy! I got the guitar for a steal and to this day it remains one of my most prized possessions!
1981 ROLAND BOLT 60
A different story, this amp was a hand me down from Dad, it’s the amp I learnt to play guitar on. It never sounded good for some reason, and neither of us could suss it out, so, to storage it went and I started my love affair with different amps… I went through a Mesa Lonestar, a Fender Twin, a MI AUDIO Revelation, and finally a Jackson Ampworks Britain 3. None of the amps were giving me that satisfied feeling, I was still searching and it wasn’t till I had to repair the Britain that I decided to take the Bolt60 in for a service as well… I got both back and out of curiosity tried the Bolt60… it was perfect! I think it’s got to do with the peculiar half tube half solid state make up of the amp… it takes pedals so well, but also has 0 breakup as loud as you push it. Not sterile though… I just love it!!
PAUL COCHRANE TIM PEDAL
This pedal has my name on it. It’s automatically going to be favoured haha, but in all seriousness, if all the amps I owned morphed into a pedal (with my name on it) this would be it! It is absolutely organic and it’s my Swiss army knife of drives and lead sounds. I even leave this pedal on all the time at some gigs and just roll back on the volume knob to clean up. This is my desert island pedal. Did I mention it’s my favourite colour blue too?!?
1971 IBANEZ LAWSUIT 4001
Alright, in truth, I’ve totally got the love bug for the early Ibanez lawsuit model stuff, after buying the 2630 mentioned above, I spiraled into a frenzy, and for good reason too! These guitars and basses are just the holy grail for playing feel ~ and damnit I just realised I forgot to mention, I actually replace the pickups in all these Ibanez guitars with a local Sydney guy called Rob from Sliders Pickups.
Anyway, this guitar I actually got from an old collector out west in Mt Druitt, he had carpal tunnel or something so couldn’t play anymore but loved the stuff ~ I messaged him querying the 4001 and he told me to come around and play for him… That same weekend I was supporting ICEHOUSE who happened to be one of his favourite bands, so I got him free tickets and he sold me the bass, AGAIN on the premise I use the bass at the Icehouse gig hahaha, another easy win!
CUSTOM TONES LLC ETHOS OVERDRIVE
Okay so this little guy is kind of a two in one whammy ~ This pedal has a speaker out emulator and such a sweet preamp section, it’s saved me on at least a dozen gigs where backline amps have failed… I just go DI to desk and the tone and feel is sick! A trick to going direct like this is to have a single foldback dedicated to just being your ‘amp’ you stick it behind you and crank it and boom, it feels normal again… no one likes having their guitar amp shoot them in the face (sorry audience haha) having it behind you just feels natural. I think this pedal is based off the elusive Dumble amps, I haven’t tried a steel string singer, but I watched Robben Ford play in Sydney one night and I got to talk to him afterwards and this is the pedal he used into two fender twins… Good enough for Robben good enough for TIMI haha
SUPER SPECIAL MENTION
Goes to my persian rug that I took all these photos on… $10 from Bunnings and I got a sausage sizzle while I was there too… massive win.
And my two guitar straps which were hand craved by my uncle in Thailand for me!
If you know me, you probably know that I love both vintage and modern guitar designs pretty much equally. Some days I love nothing more than playing my 50s-style Les Paul Traditional or my ’62 Reissue Strat. Other days I’m all about my headless Kiesel Vader or my Roadflare Red Ibanez RG550. Well Gibson have gone and combined two of my loves in the one guitar: a Les Paul Axcess with Floyd Rose and – gasp! – neon finishes! It’s available in Neon Green, Neon Yellow, Neon Blue, Neon Orange and Neon Pink. Personally my pick of the bunch is the Neon Green. Look at that thing.
The bodies are Mahogany with a 2-piece Maple top, with a Mahogany neck and Richlite fingerboard. The neck is a Slim C-Shape, and the pickups are a 496R neck humbucker and a 498T in the bridge position, with push-pull pots for coil splitting.
Pics below, more info here.
The post New Gibson Neon Les Pauls Are The First Good Thing To Come Out Of 2017 appeared first on I Heart Guitar.
It’s about time! Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner has been flying the flag for the mighty Flying V for years now, and his customs with the oversized pickguard are some of the coolest Gibsons ever. Now there’s an Epiphone version with Floyd Rose, EMG 66 and 57 pickups and that distinctive pickguard.
More info here.
This is a roundup of a few things I’ve been enjoying this month:
1. Doom Side of the Moon – This is a side project from Sword guitarist Kyle Schutt. As its name suggests, this is a tribute to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s a fairly faithful interpretation, while adding in some of the “Doom” elements that Sword is known for. I’m enjoying this one more than I thought I would.
2. Elixir OPTIWEB Electric Guitar Strings – I’ve tried several versions of Elixir strings in the past, and none of them have stuck. I’ve been playing Ernie Ball Slinkys for over 20 years, so I’m very familiar with those, and the Elixir coated strings have felt too different to change. However, I recently had a chance to try out some of their new OPTIWEB coated strings, and I’ve actually been enjoying playing these. These feel much more like the Slinkys and had a brighter tone than other coated strings when first used. Additionally, they’ve so far remained a bit brighter than the Slinkys I put on my other guitar at the same time. It remains to be seen how much longer they’ll last than the Slinkys, which will be the real test of whether these are worth the price premium.
3. Milligan Vaughan Project – This is a collaboration between Austin veterans Malford Milligan and Tyrone Vaughan. They recently released their debut album, MVP, and I’ve been enjoying it. There’s nothing particularly new about the album, but it combines some really nice guitar work with Milligan’s distinctive vocals making for an enjoyable album.
4. Analogman Beano Boost – A friend of mine picked up a Beano Boost about a year ago and he’s been encouraging me to pick one up ever since. I finally picked one up not too long ago, and it’s really added an extra dimension to my amp. It’s based on the Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster with a few added tonal options. It can get quite fuzzy with the boost rolled up, but it doesn’t get muddy like every fuzz pedal I’ve tried. It works best into an amp that’s already breaking up at least a little.
5. That Pedal Show – This has been one of my favorite YouTube channels lately. Dan and Mick play off each other really well and have different enough styles that you can get a pretty good feel for the pedals that they test. New episodes come out every Friday, and there’s a nice backlog to keep you entertained while waiting for new episodes.
Aloha! To close off this series of uke books for music from the 1990s, I’ll admit that not ALL great music comes from the 90s and we should never limit ourselves to just one decade. Even if it IS the greatest decade of music, it in no way discounts great music that came before or after it.
So, with this being said, we can expand our view a bit to something the 1990s had a lot of and incorporate music from other decades to fit the theme.
I’m speaking of acoustic rock.
Acoustic Rock (an Ukulele Chord Songbook) comes with 60 songs, written in my favorite fake-book style with chord boxes at the beginning of the song and then just chord names on top of the words where changes happen. To me, this is the least distracting way to learn music, even if you’re just focusing solely on strumming along (all the other books in this review series also feature musical notation so you can transcribe the melodies if you wanted). I LIKE strumming along to music. I like singing along as I strum. Because of this, I really like books like this.
It’s also not a giant book. 60 songs is a lot, but because it’s not the size as a standard music book (not to mention the saved space by not including musical notation), the book is more than manageable, able to be thrown in a gig bag and brought along with you wherever you go to play.
Those 60 songs cover way more than just the 1990s, too. In addition to 90s offerings (“3 AM,” “Iris,” “Wonderwall,” “Torn,” “Tears in Heaven,” etc) there are songs from before (“American Pie,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and more) and after (“21 Guns”). The real meat of the book is from 1999 and before, though, with all sorts of classics at your fingertips.
The reason I find this book so compelling is that acoustic rock is usually anthemic in some regard. When most people think anthemic songs, they think about the songs that are loud and electric – the ones that have tons of oomph behind the choruses. But I think there’s a very strong case for quieter songs because these are the ones that we sing along with in the car and feel more of a connection to (which makes singing it all the more meaningful).
Overall, this is a super valuable addition to your collection of music books because you can keep pulling from it for different moods, eras, and purposes. It’s got a lot to offer an ukulele player, so check it out and see what you think!
Until next time!