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Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists

The Guitar Journal - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 13:05

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…


Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Keb Mo

Keb’ Mo’

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.


Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Seasick Steve

Seasick Steve

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - 3

Jimbo Mathus

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Kelly Joe Philips

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - 7

Corey Harris

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Cephas & Wiggins

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Ted Hawkins

Ted Hawkins 

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Chris Smither

Chris Smither

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Preacher Boy

Preacher Boy

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - East River String Band

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).

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - David Allen Slater

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Chris Thomas King

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Guy Davis

Guy Davis

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Bjorn Bergen

Bjørn Berge

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Woody Mann

Woody Mann

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Watermelon Slim

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Robert Plant

Robert Plant 

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Rory Gallagher

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - John Mayer

John Mayer 

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Stefan Grossman

Stefan Grossman

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”

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen

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.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Leo Kottke

Leo Kottke

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”.

Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists - Bob Brozman

Bob Brozman

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 post Top 25 Contemporary Acoustic Blues Guitarists appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

Categories: General Interest

Dixie Dregs Original Line-up Back On Tour

Ernie Ball Music Man - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:30

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

The Steve Morse

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 Steve Morse Y2D

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.


Bonus Content

Watch Steve Morse demo his signature models below.

String Skipping – Chops Builder and Soloing

Jazz Guitar Online - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 07:02

Jazz Guitar Monster Chops

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 1


technique 1


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 2



Going Further

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


Guitar technique C Mixolydian scale


G# Altered Scale

Guitar technique 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.


Backing Track


Audio Track




Jazz Guitar Monster Chops

The post String Skipping – Chops Builder and Soloing appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..

Meet The Moniker Guitars Rival Series

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 17:05

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.”

The post Meet The Moniker Guitars Rival Series appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

The Top Six Things We Learned From A Day To Remember’s Rig Rundown.

Ernie Ball Music Man - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:51

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.


Bonus Content:

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.


I Heart Guitar Podcast Episode 5: Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian, Lindi Ortega

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:48

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.

Categories: General Interest

Blues Land by Jerry Reed – Solo Guitar by Neil Hogan

Acoustic Snapshots - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:14
http://TotallyGuitars.com I have been messing with Jerry Reed’s Blues Land for quite a while now and it is finally starting to take shape. One of the obstacles was that the original was done with a back up band, and maybe even multiple guitars so I had to come up with some ideas as far a […]
Categories: Acoustics

St. Vincent Performs on the Graham Norton Show

Ernie Ball Music Man - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 09:38

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

Quitting time

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 15:40

I spend most of my time in the house, where my shop is, hunched over the bench, worried about bumps or awkward curves in my carving, thinking this new batch of varnish really isn't the right color.  Sometimes I'm practicing tunes, wondering if I'll ever learn how to play the fiddle.

It's nice to quit for the day, step outside, and see something that just is what it is.  Knocks me down a gear or two, and that's a good thing.

The Woods So Wild by William Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

The Eagles Force by William Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

Terra Tremuit by William Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

Fantasia by William Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

Dies Sanctificatus by William Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

Swing 59 by Charlie Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

Spanish Guitar Blues by Charlie Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

Blues For Felix by Charlie Byrd

Creative Guitar - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:04
Categories: Classical

The Glues That I Use

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 10:25
While the most visible features of a fine quality guitar are the materials and craftsmanship used in conjunction, another factor that contributes to quality are the adhesives used to hold it all together.

Jose Oribe, The Fine Guitar, 1985

I want everyone to know that I am not receiving any money from any of the glue manufacturers that I will talk about in this post. These are the glues I use when I make a classical guitar or on other shop projects.

Here are my go-to glues.

Titebond and Titebond II are PVA glues that I use for glueing the scarf joint on a guitar neck and the heel block to the neck shaft. Titebond sets quickly, has gap filling properties and when I do my part on making a good joint, the glue line is almost invisible. Fish and hide glues tend to absorb the water present in shellac and can become dark making the glue line more pronounced.

I also use Titebond to glue the joints for the tops and backs for the same reason. I don't want the glue line to stand out.

LMI yellow glue is pretty amazing in how quickly it sets, you can mill parts glued with this within 90 minutes after clamping. It dries very hard, almost as hard as hide glue, a big consideration for string instrument makers. It is believed that hard glue joints make the transmission of energy easier and quicker, this helps that instrument sound better.

The only drawback about the LMI glue is if the glue is too cold, it becomes chalky. I have found that if I use this glue when it is below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity, it will leave a white residue in wood pores. That makes for more work especially when using this glue on walnut or East Indian rosewood, I spend more time washing out the glue than working on the guitar.

That said, it is great glue.

I can't say enough good things about fish glue. I usually purchase fish glue from Lee Valley which is a high quality glue that I like very much, however, the smallest bottle is 16oz. in size and it takes me almost two years to use an entire bottle. I bought this small bottle from LMI and wow! this stuff will glue your fingers together!

I use this high tack glue to glue on binding strips and sometimes, if I am not in a hurry, I use it to glue the braces onto guitar backs.

This is the stuff!

Granular hide glue is simply amazing! It has a much and sometimes more shear strength that "modern" glues and dries glass hard, again, that is better fro energy transference.

I use hide glue where it really matters in guitar making - glueing the braces onto the top and back, the linings to the sides and glueing the back onto the guitar.

Every wood worker should try hide glue at least once on a project. Just make sure you have a heat gun handy to warm up all the parts that will be glue together.

Adhesives are what you make of them, each has their advantages and disadvantages, you need to experiment to find what works best for you and your projects.

Now, turn off your computer and get out into the shop!


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