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SJ-200 Vintage

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 09:16
Categories: Manufacturers

McSwain Guitars Debuts Fear and Loathing Model

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 09:16
A collaboration that features original art from Ralph Steadman.
Categories: General Interest

Songwriter Studio

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:07
Categories: Manufacturers

Jazz Guitar Christmas

Guitar Lifestyle - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 05:22

By: Russ

Aloha! Years ago, I was on the search for an easy jazz standard to learn. I had tried and failed at so many before and it was always a frustrating experience. But then I found a transcription of “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (which is my wife’s favorite song, so I was familiar with the tune) and it was broken down two different ways: There was a single-note transcription for beginners and then there was the chord melody version.

I learned the single-note version first (obviously) and then, as I became more comfortable with the song, started to incorporate the chords into the song. Sometimes it was difficult and I backed off, but after a while I had it nailed (but kept the single-note run for the bridge to give it more of a guitar solo feel). Because I knew the single-note version, I never became too frustrated when I was learning the chords because I could always revert to the single notes. The song would stay the same and it didn’t have the catastrophic crumbling that a song would normally have when you don’t know the next chord and that turned out to be a huge inspiration.

I wish all instruction was like this.

And then I found Jazz Guitar Christmas by George Ports from Hal Leonard. It breaks down thirteen Christmas songs (a favorite genre of mine) into two versions: easy and harder. It’s not single-note transcriptions, but it also isn’t very difficult. Even the graduated version doesn’t veer too far into the impossible and the harder one is built on top of the easy transcription meaning that you’re still going to hit those same notes as before, but they’re incorporated into bigger chords or there are some more notes between them.

Honestly, I could see how some people would think that there is some wasted potential here because two version of thirteen songs could easily be twenty-six songs, but I think this is a solid way to learn new material. You make it as easy as you can to get the student into the tune and practicing it for fun, and then you build on top of that with more difficult material, but now they have a safety net when they play.

In the education world, it’s called known-to-unknown and it basically means that if you saw the end goal (the more difficult version of the song) and there wasn’t a clear path to that end, the student would be intimidated and psych themselves out or lock up. But if you took what they knew (basic guitar skills) and taught them the easy version of the song, they would know the melody, tempo, and feel and the end wouldn’t be nearly as daunting.

The book costs only $9.95 and it’s worth it not only because it’s a great collection of Christmas songs that, once learned, you’ll be able to impress friends and family alike on a quiet night by the fire as snow slowly falls outside the window, but because it serves as an excellent example of an instruction technique that is just getting a toe-hold in education systems. That alone makes it worth it to me, but yeah, learning Christmas songs and sounding good is also pretty cool. And come on! It’s ten bucks! Just buy it and see what I mean.

Categories: General Interest

Speaker Geeks: Strange Brew

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 03:00
What happens when a Deluxe Reverb meets an Electro-Voice EVM12L?
Categories: General Interest

Throwback Thursday: Jackson Browne Sings ‘For Everyman’

Acoustic Guitar - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:04
 Jackson Browne Sings ‘For Everyman’
No hype needed here… Just a deep and powerful performance by one of our greatest singer-songwriters of one his all-time best songs, “For Everyman,” the title track of landmark second album, released in 1973. As relevant today as it was back then.  —Blair Jackson 

Andrew Molina GHS Strings

Guitar Lifestyle - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 13:09

By: Russ

Aloha! Before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I was going to be buying an ukulele for me at least, but was trying to get the kids interested in it as well. I found a video of an amazing player tackling Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” and my daughter, a huge Swift fan, was intrigued.

I was more interested in the player, though. Andrew Molina is amazing. He’s got that infuriating combination of making music that sounds very difficult to play while looking like it’s the easiest thing in the world for him. That combination makes you feel a mix of inspiration and hopelessness.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen more of Molina’s videos and my favorite to date is “Surfing Jaws.”

It’s got that same combination of skill and an easy look, but melody is so solid and unrelenting that you could hum the whole thing. While there’s a ton of virtuosity on display, the song never takes a back seat to the melody and that’s why it’s so strong. In short, it’s the perfect instrumental. I love it.

So, as a fan of Molina’s, I was pleased to see a string set from GFS curated by Molina. I asked for a review set and, when they arrived, strung up one of my tenors and had some impressions.

The first was that they don’t magically make you better. That being said, there are some attributes to them that, over time, will make it easier to get better.

The first is that they’re made slightly thinner than average strings, but with greater tension. The result is a strong, punchy tone that doesn’t sound muffled or boomy like some ukulele strings do.

The second is that, with that added tension, there’s a little more force involved with fretting them (and a slightly better chance of making notes go sharp) but that’s okay because added tension reduces the amount of distance a string will travel when plucked/strummed/picked. The result of this is a lower likelihood of the string hitting the frets above your fretted note and creating a buzz. Because of this, you can lower the action on your uke and use less force to press down on the strings.

So, basically, you would only have to exert slightly more effort if you kept the action on your ukulele high, which is no longer a necessity.

Additionally, with the greater tension and less string travel, the strings snap back to where they should be faster and it doesn’t take long at all to appreciate that fact as your fingers know exactly where to go to pick the next note. This is hugely beneficial when tremolo-picking in particular.

With strings that go back to where they should faster, and the lower travel space/time giving you the opportunity to lower your ukulele action and make playing easier, it’s easy to see that, while they won’t magically make you a better player, they’ll give you some added features that will make playing a little easier, which will only benefit you in the long run.

I think this string set is a good investment in experimentation. I say buy a set, throw them on your ukulele and see what I mean. You don’t need to adjust your action or anything to get a feel and appreciate them for their tone and playing potential.

Categories: General Interest

Rise of the Northstar Recording New Album with Gojira’s Joe Duplantier

Charvel Guitars - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 11:18

French rockers Rise of the Northstar have announced that they are currently underway recording the follow-up to their debut record Welcame. For the new effort, the crew even flew to Silver Cord Studio in New York to work with fellow Frenchman and Charvel signature artist Joe Duplantier from Gojira.

Everyone involved sounds fired up with the collaboration.

“If touring in Japan was always our goal, making an album in New York, one of the most influential cities in the world, with Joe Duplantier producing, is one big challenge,” said Rise of the Northstar. “We’re here to enhance our blend of metal and rap and to take it to the next level.”

Duplantier also shared his thoughts on working with the up-and-coming thrashers.

“I’m excited to contribute to this album — Rise of the Northstar is badass,” Duplantier said. “Their approach of music is so direct, and they drive their career the same way. Definitely a great experience for me.”

Stay connected with what ROTN is doing by following them on Facebook HERE.

Categories: Manufacturers

Top 10 Ernie Ball Music Man Bestsellers 2017

Ernie Ball Music Man - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:07

As we wrap up the year, we thought it would be fun to take a look back and share which of our instruments were most popular. From long-time favorites like the StingRay bass to newcomers like the St. Vincent, Valentine, and Modern Classics, a healthy medley of instruments are represented. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a recap of the best-selling Ernie Ball Music Man instruments of 2017.

 

1) StingRay 4H 3EQ Bass Guitar

First introduced in 1976, the StingRay has been revered as one of the most iconic bass guitars in history. The StingRay was the first production four string bass to feature on-board active equalization. The flagship of the Music Man line, today’s StingRay is the same as it was some forty years ago featuring a solid roadworthy construction, massive hardened steel bridge, elegant oval pickguard, 3+1 tuning key configuration, and the ever popular Music Man humbucker. All of which combined produce a look, feel and sound that are remarkably unmistakable.

 

2) Monarchy Majesty 6-String Guitar

 

The Monarchy Series Majesty is constructed with a through-neck design of mahogany and flame maple top; available in 4 rich translucent finishes. The Monarchy Series Majesty comes with chrome or black hardware featuring a custom John Petrucci Music Man Piezo floating tremolo bridge and Schaller locking tuners.

 

3) Majesty 6 String Guitar

 

The Majesty is the result of John’s unwavering demand for performance, playability and race inspired design. One of the most ergonomic and perfectly balanced instruments available, The Majesty features neckthrough body design, unparalleled upper and lower fret access, economical in-line control knob placement and new digital pickup switching capabilities which effectively eliminates delay between pickup selection. The Majesty is the exemplification of everything we know a John Petrucci signature model to be – innovative technology, versatile performance, and a sleek modern feel.

 

4) St. Vincent Guitar

Envisioned and designed by St. Vincent with support from the award-winning engineering team at Ernie Ball Music Man, the unique electric guitar was crafted to perfectly fit her form, playing technique and personal style. Crafted in Ernie Ball Music Man’s San Luis Obispo, California factory, the St. Vincent signature is available in black or custom Vincent Blue, a color hand-mixed by Annie. New colors for 2017 include Polaris White, Heritage Red, Tobacco Burst, and Stealth Black. Featuring an African mahogany body, Ernie Ball Music Man tremolo, gunstock oil and hand-rubbed rosewood neck and fingerboard, St. Vincent inlays, Schaller locking tuners, 5-way pick up selector with custom configuration and 3-mini humbuckers, the guitar also comes complete with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky guitar strings.

 

5) Cutlass SSS Guitar

The Cutlass features updated vintage spec electronics, a super smooth modern tremolo system and lightweight alder body are welcome refinements to the Cutlass. Oversized 4 over 2 headstock with straight string pull provide superior tuning stability and flawless craftsmanship throughout make the Cutlass a perfect culmination of old world aesthetics and styling with modern design and playability.

 

6) StingRay 5 HH Guitar

The first bass designed by Ernie Ball Music Man, the Stingray 5 was unveiled in 1987 and has been an industry standard for extended range basses ever since. With its powerful punchy sound, the added flexibility of additional pickups and a comfortably contoured body the StingRay5 satisfies even the most demanding of players.

 

7) Valentine Guitar

The Ernie Ball Music Man James Valentine “Valentine” guitar features a slab ash body, two Ernie Ball Music Man designed pickups (1-humbucker/1-single coil), with 3-way custom wired lever switch, coil tap, modern hardtail bridge with vintage bent steel saddles, 25.5-inch scale, oil and wax rubbed roasted maple neck with 10-inch radius maple fingerboard, 22 stainless steel frets, oversized 4-over-2 headstock and compensated nut, designed for superior tuning stability.

 

8) JP15 6 String Guitar

The JP15 features a lightweight African mahogany body with a figured roasted maple top. The subtle yet beautiful Sahara Burst satin finish compliments the flame or quilt figuring with stunning effect. Roasted maple neck and fingerboard adds just the right amount of snap and brightness while providing more stability in ever changing climates. The JP 15 is powered by twin custom Dimarzio Illuminator pickups, piezo bridge system and on board 20db gain boost. Available in 6 or 7 string with Music Man JP tremolo, 3 way Toggle pickup selector and Music Man hardshell case.

 

9) StingRay4 HH

First introduced in 1976, the StingRay has been revered as one of the most iconic bass guitars in history. The StingRay was the first production four string bass to feature on-board active equalization. The flagship of the Music Man line, today’s StingRay is the same as it was some forty years ago featuring a solid roadworthy construction, massive hardened steel bridge, elegant oval pickguard, 3+1 tuning key configuration, and the ever popular Music Man humbucker. All of which combined produce a look, feel and sound that are remarkably unmistakable.

 

10) StingRay Guitar

The StingRay guitar features updated vintage spec humbucking pickups, a super smooth modern tremolo system and off-set lightweight African Mahogany body. The sound is big and bold when needed but smooth as glass if desired thanks to the perfectly voiced custom pickups. 3-way switch accesses versatile coil combinations while oversized 4 over 2 headstock with straight string pull provide superior tuning stability. Flawless craftsmanship throughout make the Stingray a perfect culmination of old world aesthetics and styling with modern design and playability.

 

SG Custom

Gibson Electric Guitars - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 08:27
SG Custom
Categories: Manufacturers

How to Choose the Best Acoustic Guitar for You

TrueFire - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:21

These days, acoustic guitars are more popular than ever. With so many great singer-songwriters and acoustic guitar players, it’s no wonder why. If you are looking to get into the game then you need to remember that your guitar should feel like an extension of yourself, but finding that perfect fit is no easy task.…

The post How to Choose the Best Acoustic Guitar for You appeared first on TrueFire's Guitar Blog.

SJ-200 Snake Bite

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:55
Categories: Manufacturers

SJ-200 Wildfire

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:53
Categories: Manufacturers

Hummingbird White

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:52
Categories: Manufacturers

SJ-200 White

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:51
Categories: Manufacturers

Super 200 Birdseye

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:51
Categories: Manufacturers

Songwriter 12-String

Gibson Acoustic Instruments - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:50
Categories: Manufacturers

Larry Carlton Christmas Guitar Song Lesson: “Silent Night”

TrueFire - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 04:00

Larry performs this intermediate level arrangement of Silent Night in this video performance lesson. Click here to download the full christmas song guitar lesson with tab and notation! Silent Night (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small…

The post Larry Carlton Christmas Guitar Song Lesson: “Silent Night” appeared first on TrueFire's Guitar Blog.

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