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Gary Clark Jr.’s Modern Mojo

Premier Guitar - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 02:00
Get inside the techniques of a modern blues master and add some fire to your solos.
Categories: General Interest

The Beat Keeps Coming with Lari Basilio and her Guthrie Govan Signature Charvel

Charvel Guitars - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 13:50

Brazilian guitarist Lari Basilio recently dropped a quick, but cool video of her putting a Guthrie Govan Signature Charvel to work with some incredibly clean licks.

A former lawyer who opted instead to pursue her true passion as a guitarist, Basilo has incredible technique and versatility and has shared stages with music greats Paul Gilert and Hamilton de Holanda.

Check out the video of the ex-attorney-at-law below and watch the fancy finger-work yourself.

Basilio is always dropping new videos on her YouTube channel, which you can subscribe to by CLICKING HERE.

Categories: Manufacturers

Frank Zappa's Full Three-Night Stand at the Roxy Captured on New Box Set

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 13:49

In December 1973, Frank Zappa & the Mothers performed five concerts across three nights at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Though portions of the recordings taken from these performances have been released in a couple of forms over the years—primarily in 1974's Roxy and Elsewhere and 2014's Roxy by Proxy—they have never been released in their entirety, until now that is.

The Roxy Performances—a seven-disc set capturing the performances in their entirety, in addition to recordings taken from rehearsals and soundchecks prior to the shows—will be released February 2, via Zappa Records/Ume.

The band's lineup at the time of the performance was comprised of Zappa, keyboardist George Duke, bassist Tom Fowler, trombonist Bruce Fowler, tenor saxophonist and vocalist Napoleon Murphy Brock, percussionist Ruth Underwood and drummers Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson. During the performances, the band mostly played material 1969 and beyond, including cuts from Uncle Meat, Hot Rats, Waka/Jawaka and Over-Nite Sensation. You can check out the full tracklist below.

“This is one of my favorite FZ line-ups ever. This box contains some of the best nights of music Los Angeles has ever seen with their ears at an historic venue," Ahmet Zappa—who co-produced the collection along with Travers—said in a press release. “Hold on to your hotdogs people. This box is the be-all-end-all. This is it. This is all of it. It’s time to get your rocks off for the Roxy.”

You can preorder The Roxy Performances here.


12-9-73 Show 1

1. Sunday Show 1 Start 4:59

2. Cosmik Debris 11:33

3. “We’re Makin’ A Movie” 3:16

4. Pygmy Twylyte 9:08

5. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:19

6. Cheepnis 3:44

7. Hollywood Perverts 1:07

8. Penguin In Bondage 5:54

9. T’Mershi Duween 1:56

10. The Dog Breath Variations 1:44

11. Uncle Meat 2:29

12. RDNZL 5:14

13. Montana 7:49

14. Dupree’s Paradise 15:25

TT: 76:43


1. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 10:29

12-9-73 Show 2

2. Sunday Show 2 Start 4:08

3. Inca Roads 8:27

4. Village Of The Sun 4:19

5. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) 4:01

6. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 13:22

7. Slime Intro :59

8. I’m The Slime 3:34

9. Big Swifty 9:01

TT: 58:25


1. Tango #1 Intro 3:50

2. Be-Bop Tango

(Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church) 18:12

3. Medley:

King Kong

Chunga’s Revenge

Son Of Mr. Green Genes 9:46

12-10-73 Show 1

4. Monday Show 1 Start 5:31

5. Montana 6:57

6. Dupree’s Paradise 21:26

7. Cosmik Intro 1:05

8. Cosmik Debris 8:05

TT: 74:57


1. Bondage Intro 1:52

2. Penguin In Bondage 6:54

3. T’Mershi Duween 1:52

4. The Dog Breath Variations 1:48

5. Uncle Meat 2:29

6. RDNZL 4:59

7. Audience Participation - RDNZL 3:08

8. Pygmy Twylyte 4:05

9. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:21

10. Cheepnis 4:49

11. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 10:21

12-10-73 Show 2

12. Monday Show 2 Start 5:13

13. Penguin In Bondage 6:33

14. T’Mershi Duween 1:52

15. The Dog Breath Variations 1:46

16. Uncle Meat 2:28

17. RDNZL 5:11

TT: 67:50


1. Village Of The Sun 4:05

2. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) 3:54

3. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 6:56

4. Cheepnis - Percussion 4:08

5. “I Love Monster Movies” 2:10

6. Cheepnis 3:35

7. “Turn The Light Off”/Pamela’s Intro 3:59

8. Pygmy Twylyte 7:23

9. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:22

10. Tango #2 Intro 2:01

11. Be-Bop Tango

(Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church) 22:08

TT: 62:46


1. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 15:39

Bonus Section: 12-10-73 Roxy Rehearsal

2. Big Swifty - In Rehearsal 2:50

3. Village Of The Sun 3:13

4. Farther O’Blivion - In Rehearsal 5:34

5. Pygmy Twylyte 6:17

Unreleased Track

6. That Arrogant Dick Nixon 2:19

12-12-73 Bolic Studios Recording Session

7. Kung Fu - In Session 4:50

8. Kung Fu - with guitar overdub 1:17

9. Tuning and Studio Chatter 3:38

10. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) - In Session 1:22

11. Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow - In Session 9:49

12. Nanook Rubs It - In Session 5:41

13. St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast - In Session 2:46

14. Father O’Blivion - In Session 2:31

15. Rollo (Be-Bop Version) 2:36

TT: 70:31


12-8-73 Sound Check/Film Shoot

1. Saturday Show Start 2:20

2. Pygmy Twylyte/Dummy Up 20:25

3. Pygmy Twylyte - Part II 14:25

4. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) 3:42

5. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 6:01

6. Orgy, Orgy 3:39

7. Penguin In Bondage 6:30

8. T’Mershi Duween 1:53

9. The Dog Breath Variations 1:45

10. Uncle Meat/Show End 4:01

TT: 64:46

Categories: General Interest

Forgotten Guitar: Danny Gatton Performs on 'Nightwatch' in 1989

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:33

Danny Gatton. who was born in Washington, D.C., September 4, 1945, began his career playing in bands while still a teenager.

Danny Gatton. who was born in Washington, D.C., September 4, 1945, began his career playing in bands while still a teenager.

He began to attract wider interest in the D.C. area during the late Seventies and Eighties, both as a solo performer and with his Redneck Jazz Explosion.

He also backed Robert Gordon and Roger Miller. He contributed a cover of "Apricot Brandy," a song by Elektra Records supergroup Rhinoceros, to the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát.

Gatton’s playing combined musical styles such as jazz, blues and rockabilly in an innovative fashion, and he was known by some as the Telemaster. He was also called the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, and the Humbler, based on his ability to out-play anyone willing to go against him in “head-cutting” jam sessions.

His skills were most appreciated by his peers such as Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle and his childhood idol, Les Paul. However, he never achieved the commercial success his talent arguably deserved. His album 88 Elmira Street was nominated for a Grammy 1990 for the track “Elmira Street Boogie” in the category Best Rock Instrumental Performance, but the award went to Eric Johnson for “Cliffs of Dover."

Check out the video clip below for his appearance on the TV show Nightwatch, where he gives some interesting insight into his career at that point, as well as an excellent performance to close the show.

Jonathan Graham is an ACM UK graduate based in London studying under the likes of Guthrie Govan and Pete Friesen. He is the creator of ForgottenGuitar.com, a classic-guitar media website, and is completing his debut album, Protagonist, due for release in 2016. Updates also can be found at Graham's YouTube channel.

Categories: General Interest

10 Great Songs Over 10 Minutes Long

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:10

Guns N' Roses — "Coma" (10:16)

When Guitar World asked new Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke which song in the band's back catalog was the toughest to learn, he answered with no hesitation, "Without a doubt, 'Coma.' I still don't know it. It's like this 15- or 20-minute song with no repeats."

On a pair of albums with no shortage of long, challenging songs, "Coma" stands out as perhaps the most challenging and definitely the longest. While the live version could peak at nearly 20 minutes in length, the studio version came in at just over 10, plenty of time for Axl, Slash and Co. to pack in everything but the kitchen sink — and that includes a defibrillator.

As Gilby implied, "Coma" lacks any semblance of a definable chorus, all the more fitting for a song that sees the band taking listeners on a visceral journey through the mind of a coma patient.

Oh, and when we asked Gilby what his favorite Guns N' Roses song to play was, he said, "Oddly enough, 'Coma.' I really love playing it because it's different every time."

Iron Maiden — "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (13:43)

The list of bands that could write a 13-plus-minute song based on an 18th-century poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and make it rock is pretty short, and the only one ballsy enough to try it — and succeed — was Iron Maiden.

The band's longest and perhaps most-ambitious undertaking to date, Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" closes out Powerslave with a re-telling of Coleridge's epic tale of a maritime curse, which includes a pretty grim scene of a sailor stuck at sea with the corpses of his shipmates for a week after he allegedly brings a hex upon the ship for killing an albatross.

The track put an exclamation point on the classic Maiden era, serving as a fitting bookend to an astounding trio of albums that also includes The Number of the Beast and Piece of Mind.

Led Zeppelin — "Achilles Last Stand" (10:25)

Listening to the pummeling, proto-Maiden gallop of "Achilles Last Stand," you'd never know the song was written during one of the darker points in Led Zeppelin history.

Most of Presence was written and recorded while singer Robert Plant was in convalescent period after suffering serious injuries in a car crash in late summer of 1975. Despite all the trials and tribulations — which included Plant being wheelchair-bound for most of the rehearsals and recording sessions — the band miraculously recorded Presence in just 18 days.

Plant would later say that "Achilles Last Stand" and "Candy Store Rock" were the album's saving grace, thanks to "the rhythm section, on that it was so inspired."

Indeed the track is a testament to the raw power of Zeppelin's dynamic rhythm duo, with John Paul Jones holding down the galloping rhythm while Bonzo pounded away in furious fashion.

While the track and the album are often looked over by casual fans, Jimmy Page — who recorded the orchestral overdubs in a single session in Munich, Germany — would later call Presence the band's "most important album."

Tool — "Rosetta Stoned" (11:11)

Even without its nearly four-minute intro, "Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman)," Tool's "Rosetta Stoned" still clocks in at an impressive 11 minutes and 11 seconds of acid-tinged hard rock.

Among Tool's downright heaviest numbers, the song pushes and plods its way through a lengthy narrative, backed by Adam Jones' grinding, off-kilter guitar riffs and the always-potent rhythm section of bassist Justin Chancellor and drummer extraordinaire Danny Carey.

While much of singer Maynard James Kennan's opening spiel might be lost on listeners, the track tells the tale of a high-school dropout encountering an extra-terrestrial that looked like "a blue-green Jackie Chan with Isabella Rossellini lips and breath that reeked of vanilla Chig Champa." The alien then proceeds to inform the song's protagonist that he is the chosen one and imparts the secrets of the universe unto him.

The narrative ends with our hero realizing he's forgotten his pen and must return to Earth remembering nothing of the meaning of existence. A fitting end considering Tool's strength as a band has always been the ability to write complex, thought-provoking rock music without ever losing their sense of humor.

Pink Floyd — "Dogs" (17:04)

We couldn't have gone wrong picking any of Pink Floyd's sprawling compositions — hell, Animals alone has three — but "Dogs" somehow manages to capture the vital energy, wordly cynicism and pent-up frustration that makes Floyd more than just another mellow prog band.

Originally written in 1974 by Gilmour as "You Gotta Be Crazy," it took only a change of key, a slowing of tempo and the mighty pen of Roger Waters to transform the song into a its final form as arguably the centerpiece of Pink Floyd's underrated classic.

Gilmour turns in his lone vocal appearance on Animals during "Dogs," but his majestic, double-tracked guitar leads are the real star, adding a dreamlike quality that seems to further the metaphorical blur between businessmen and farm animals.

While you may be tempted to think the guitar sound of "Dogs" is all Gilmour's fabled Strat, he's actually playing a Fender Custom Telecaster on the track, which he pairs with a Yamaha RA-200 cabinet containing three rotating speakers for most of the song.

Dream Theater — "Octavarium" (24:00)

With five movements and three lyricists, "Octavarium" remains a crowning achievement in the back catalog of a band who have made a career on always topping themselves.

After heading into far heavier waters than ever before on 2003's Train of Thought, Dream Theater set out to create "a classic Dream Theater album" on Octavarium, which means essentially pulling out every trick in the book while still serving the songs. (It's well-documented that the band wrote each of the album's eight songs in a different key.)

Nowhere is this more evident than the album's title track, which serves as a microcosm for what the band was trying to accomplish on the album. Beginning with a lengthy lap steel guitar solo from keyboardist Jordan Rudess, the track navigates through five distinct-yet-connected narratives, quoting from and acknowledging many of the band's influences along the way.

One could spend hours dissecting the themes and references found within the 24-minute track, and if you're inclined to do so, you might want to start with the song's lengthy Wikipedia page.

The Doors — "The End" (11:41)

When their eponymous debut album came out in 1967, no one quite knew what to make of the Doors and their bizarrely charismatic frontman Jim Morrison.

What began as a simple break-up song eventually evolved into an ominous, Oedipal and occasionally ravenous performance from Morrison, particularly in the song's spoken-word portion that begins, "The killer awoke before dawn ... "

"Every time I hear that song, it means something else to me. It started out as a simple good-bye song," Morrison told Rolling Stone in 1969. "Probably just to a girl, but I see how it could be a goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don't know. I think it's sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be. "

Robby Krieger also turned in one of his most memorable guitar solos on "The End," which was good enough to make Guitar World's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos, coming in at No. 93.

Jimi Hendrix — "Voodoo Chile" (15:00)

While they both appear on 1968's Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" has far earlier roots than its close cousin, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)."

Coming in at 15 minutes flat, the more traditional blues of "Voodoo Chile" started life as "Catfish Blues," a live jam and homage to the great Muddy Waters, of whom the young Hendrix was a great admirer.

Recorded in only three takes — and at 7:30 in the morning after a night out on the town in New York City, no less — the song incorporates tricks and licks from all eras of the blues, with Hendrix guiding the listener through the genre's pedagogy as he pays his dues to his heroes.

Today, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" may be known as one of Hendrix's definite songs, but its original version still holds the distinction of being the legendary guitarist's only song to reach No. 1 in the U.K. singles charts.

Rush - "2112" (20:38)

After having an album come over as a commercial flop, most bands under pressure from their record labels would turn in a nice batch of short, easy-to-digest songs for their next album.

Not Rush.

Instead, after 1975's Caress of Steel didn't move a substantial number of copies, the Canadian prog-rock trio turned in their most challenging — and ultimately one of their most successful — albums to date.

Eclipsing the 20-minute mark, the title track to Rush's 2112 album kicks off with a sci-fi-themed overture before guiding the listener through a storyline not dissimilar to the one found in Ayn Rand's 1938 novella Anthem.

Through seven movements, Rush's unnamed protagonist who sees the light, so to speak, after finding a guitar in a cave by a waterfall, shaking his perceptions, igniting his creative spirit and eventually pitting him against dark forces that seek to stifle original thought.

If that's not a rock and roll epic, we don't know what is.

Lynyrd Skynyrd — "Free Bird" (10:08)

You've yelled it out at concerts. You've held your lighter in the air to it more times than you can count. It makes you tear up whenever you see Old Glory. How could we not end this epic list without "Free Bird"?

Whittled down to under five minutes for the single and just over nine on the album — 1974's (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) — the "full" version of "Free Bird," in all its majesty, only barely eclipses the 10-minute mark.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's crowning achievement has its origins in a keyboard piece played during a high school prom, one which netted then-roadie Billy Powell a job as the band's keyboard player.

Armed with a Gibson SG, a glass Coricidin bottle for a slide and a small piece of metal slid under the strings to raise the action, lead guitarist Gary Rossington set out to pay tribute to Duane Allman on the song's tender intro, doing more than OK by his late hero, who passed away in 1971.

Rossington ditched the SG for a Les Paul by the time he joined fellow guitarist Allen Collins for the song's trademark ending, a marathon guitar solo that somehow always leaves the audience begging for more.

Categories: General Interest

Martin D-28 (2017) Review

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:45
An American classic undergoes a modest makeover.
Categories: General Interest

Creating Guitar Melodies Between Vocal Lines

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:44

Fills, those brief instrumental runs that occupy the spaces between vocal lines, no doubt have their origin in the call-and-response vocal tradition associated with country blues, gospel, work songs and field hollers. On records, guitar fills can be overdubbed, but you can enhance both your rhythm playing and soloing by learning to alternate seamlessly between steady chord patterns and well-placed melodic phrases.

Fills, those brief instrumental runs that occupy the spaces between vocal lines, no doubt have their origin in the call-and-response vocal tradition associated with country blues, gospel, work songs and field hollers.

When B.B. King, for example, sings a line and answers himself with a lick on his guitar, he’s merely echoing what he heard in church as a child growing up in Mississippi.

On records, guitar fills can be overdubbed, but you can enhance both your rhythm playing and soloing by learning to alternate seamlessly between steady chord patterns and well-placed melodic phrases.

Rhythm-plus-fill parts were popular among 1960s soul and R&B guitarists like Steve Cropper (behind Otis Redding) and Curtis Mayfield (with the Impressions). Jimi Hendrix was also a master - his introduction to “Little Wing” is essentially a compendium of classic R&B guitar fills.

This rhythmic approach works as well on acoustic guitar as it does on electric, and solo performers find it to be an especially effective way of enhancing the interaction between their rhythm parts and vocals.

While a fill may potentially draw on all of the same technical and conceptual ingredients as a full-blown solo, we’ll concentrate on a single, versatile resource: the major pentatonic scale. Comprised of just five notes - those of the major triad (root, third and fifth) plus the second and sixth degrees of the major scale - the major pentatonic somehow seems just right for creating concise fills based on major chords, and it falls easily under the fingers, to boot.

Figure 1 shows a four-bar example of ballad-style rhythm. The basic feel is 12/8, or four eighth-note triplets per bar. Typically, the guitar pattern consists of broken chords and is played with consecutive downstrokes on the first three notes and upstrokes on the next three, all with a flatpick.

On the fourth beat of each bar, the rhythm pattern is replaced by a fill built from the major pentatonic scale based on the root of the chord. In each case, fret the hammer-on between the first two notes of the fill with you first and third fingers. (Note that while each fill is based on a different root, the finger patterns are all identical.)

Figure 2 shows the same progression with fills extended to occupy the last two beats of each bar. These also include such embellishments as doublestops (bars 1 and 3), a rapid hammer-on/pull-off combination (bar 2) and a slide up to the next position (bar 4).

The same approach to blending rhythm and fills can be adapted to any key by using standard barre-chord shapes. Figure 3 shows a progression in the key of C. The fingers for the fills and the box pattern are the same as those in open position; the only thing you’ll find challenging is shifting your first finger from the root of the chord to the fill and back again in a smooth manner.

The F chord is typically the most difficult to fret cleanly, so one you’ve got that mastered, the rest should come fairly easily.

In practical terms, the placement, frequency, length and complexity of fills can be judged only in the context of a vocal. Flls are, after all, intended to answer to the main melody rather than stand on their own. But with a vocabulary of bite-sized phrases like these you can lengthen or shorten them as needed.

Categories: General Interest

Weekly Workout: Using Horizontal Harmonies to Express Chord Changes

Acoustic Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:28
 Using Horizontal Harmonies to Express Chord Changes
From the February 2018 issue of Acoustic Guitar | BY ADAM LEVY Guitarists tend to think of harmony and melody as two distinctly different musical elements. For most players, harmony consists of the standard chord grips. Melodies are played one note at a time and are usually related to familiar scale patterns. While those conceptions aren’t incorrect, there are ways of […]

Death By Audio Releases the Absolute Destruction

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:25
The company known for decimating your guitar's core tone pushes the limits with their most insane pedal to date.
Categories: General Interest

Paul Gilbert Shows Off His Live Rig

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:50

A little while ago, TC Electronic brought a camera crew to Mr. Big's show at the Budokan in Tokyo. While there, they asked the band's guitarist, Paul Gilbert, to take viewers on a tour of his live rig for the concert, which he happily did.

In the video, Gilbert takes you through his setup, not only showing viewers his pedals, but how exactly he uses them.

He also gives viewers a look at his amp setup for good measure.

You can watch the video above.

Categories: General Interest

PG Giveaways: MOD Duo

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:00
You could win a MOD Duo!
Categories: General Interest

Ty Tabor Premieres "Johnny Guitar" Music Video

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:58
King's X guitarist Ty Tabor with his Guilford Guitars Ty Tabor 2.0 model.

Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Johnny Guitar," a new song and music video from King's X guitarist Ty Tabor. The track is from Tabor's new solo album, Alien Beans, which will be released January 12 via Rat Pak Records.

“'Johnny Guitar' just kind of came to me," Tabor says. "I originally was just writing fiction, just a story based on real things. Then, as I was writing, it just became real things—it became me. It’s definitely a song that all musicians trying to make it can identify with. You have to be able to deal with rejection to be able to have a chance of making it as an artist. There’s not a choice for me; I have to do this. I'd go crazy if I didn’t do this."

Alien Beans is a double album featuring 10 new studio tracks (including "Johnny Guitar") and a best-of disc with 11 re-mixed/re-mastered tracks—selected by Tabor—from his previous releases. You can see a full track list below. 

“I wanted to do a rock album and put some new, heavier stuff together," he says. "Along the way, we decided to remix some of the older stuff and make it a double album. Everything just fits together like it should.

"When it comes to what I write for solo material, I don’t really think about bands or anything like that," Tabor adds. "I just write music that makes me happy, and I’ve ended up with an album I really love."

For more of Tabor's thoughts on the new album, be sure to watch the official trailer below (bottom video).

Alien Beans is available for pre-order right here. For more about Tabor, visit tytabor.com and check out the upcoming March 2018 issue of Guitar World.

Alien Beans Track List: 

Disc 1
1. Alien Beans
2. Freight Train
3. Johnny Guitar
4. So Here’s to You
5. Back It Down
6. Somebody Lied
7. This Time
8. Heavily Twisted
9. Until This Day Is Done
10. Deeper Place

Disc 2
1. ‘Cause We Believed (Blame It)
2. Free Yourself
3. Ride
4. Senseless Paranoia
5. Money Mouth
6. Fast Asleep
7. Politician’s Creed
8. Play
9. Bring It on Back
10. Nobody Wins When Nobody Plays
11. Change

Categories: General Interest

How to Find Your Own Guitar Sound, Regardless of Genre

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:37

There's no set path for a guitarist to find his own sound. Finding your own signature and take on what has come before will always be a subjective and personal endeavor.

There's no set path for a guitarist to find his own sound.

Finding your own signature and take on what has come before will always be a subjective and personal endeavor.

Here's a short list of things I've managed to learn over the years, things that have helped me develop a sound and style I can call my own.

01. “Work with what you have ...”

In this age where every guitarist seems to have a mammoth pedalboard taking up some serious real estate at their feet, I find many young players feel they must invest a small fortune on pedals and equipment. As long as you have a somewhat decent guitar and amp, you’re ready to start creating.

I’m not dismissing how cool certain pedals can sound and their usefulness in kicking out some killer tones. I’m simply saying that your favorite guitarists will most likely sound like themselves no matter what they might be playing out of. Besides, working with limitations and striving to get past those limitations often will push you to develop in new and interesting ways.

The Beatles recorded Revolver on four tracks. Robert Johnson has nothing but an acoustic guitar and a slide. Their limitations pushed them to develop all sorts of new techniques and sounds.

02. ”It’s OK to show your influences.”

Developing your own sound doesn't necessarily mean you have to come out of left field with something absolutely unheard and new. There are no new emotions. Often, it's a matter of altering what came before just enough so that you can once again tap into that emotion.

Whatever you might be into, there's most assuredly a long chain of guitar players who have helped to shape the way you play. You don't have to forget these guitarists or pretend they don’t exist. It’s a question of putting together your various influences and adding to it. I don’t mind a guitarist who wears his/her influences on his/her sleeve, as long as he or she is adding something to it or changing it in some interesting way—and not simply copying.

03. ”Stay open wide and ready to receive.”

Not to get too deep, but creativity and the act of creation continually blow my mind. In some ways, it's the very apex of humanity and being human. Whether you are a physicist or a guitarist, the great ideas (or riffs) often seem to drop out of the sky.

Many times it seems to be more a matter of being open and ready to receive the ideas that come than a forcible act of creation. Jump up and take advantage of these inspired ideas when they come. Keith Richards woke in the middle of the night with the opening riff of “Satisfaction” running through his head. He promptly sat up and recorded it before falling back to sleep.

04. ”If it sounds good to you, go with it.”

If what you're playing sounds powerful and you're exciting to be playing it, then that's what you should be playing. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. You have to be your first fan. Basing your playing on what you think other people like misses the whole point and more importantly, it isn’t very fun.

05. ”Play as much as possible.”

This one is a “no-brainer,” but there's simply no way around putting in the playing time. Spend time playing by yourself and playing with anyone around who wants to jam. It’s important to do both. Learn your favorite songs, try writing some of your own, or just noodle around on the guitar while you're hanging on the couch. It will help. The more you play and mess with different ideas and styles, the more you'll start to carve out a niche for yourself.

Jason Simon is the guitarist/vocalist in Dead Meadow. For more about the band, visit deadmeadow.com and their Facebook page.

Categories: General Interest

Carl Martin Unveils the DC Drive

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:06
A fresh overdrive designed with a smaller footprint.
Categories: General Interest

What You Need to Know About Intervals

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:01

Intervals are simple, useful and helpful bits of knowledge. They’re a priceless musical commodity, being one of the most fundamental and applicable building blocks of scales and lead sequences. Yet, despite the simplicity, the related theory can get fairly involved.

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. — Maya Angelou

Intervals are simple, useful and helpful bits of knowledge.

They’re a priceless musical commodity, being one of the most fundamental and applicable building blocks of scales and lead sequences.

Yet, despite the simplicity, the related theory can get fairly involved. In fact, much of it is outside the scope my own guitar playing. Therefore, I don't need to know it all.

So this guitar interval lesson is limited to information I’ve found to be the most useful and relevant to my instrument of choice. In other words, it’s just what you need to know and nothing more. Note that this is an abridged version of a larger lesson. You can check out the full article on Guitar Chalk and download the PDF lesson outline.

Definition: What Is an Interval? In music theory, an interval is the space between any two pitches (according to Harmony: Its Theory and Practice by Ebenezer Prout).

On guitar, it's simply space between any two notes on the fretboard.

Take for example, the following tabbed interval:

Both notes are separated by two semitones (also called a “half step” or one-fret jump), which are equal to a whole tone or “whole step.” But what if the two notes don’t occur on the same string? Consider the following:

How does this work? Even on different strings there's still a linear line of frets separating any two notes. We still count it the same way. More on this later.

What Are the Parts of an Interval?

An interval on the guitar is only two parts: 1. The Root Note 2. The Interval(s) Intervals are always understood in relation to some root note. For instance, the open G in a C chord is not the interval of the note that falls on the second or first fret in the same chord. Rather it’s the interval of the C that falls on the fifth string at the third fret. Why? Because that C note is the chord’s root.

A Guitar Interval Chart

There are a total of 11 different intervals before you get to your first octave, which doubles the frequency of the original note. Therefore each interval should have a “Number of Frets” and an “Interval Quality.” You’ll identify intervals by associating the number of frets with the corresponding interval quality and vice-versa. Here’s a chart displaying this information for all 12 intervals:

So how do we read this chart and translate it to the fretboard? Let’s start with something simple.

Simple Example

You’re in music class and the teacher wants you to draw minor second interval in guitar tab form. What do you do? First, recall from our chart that a minor second is a one semitone interval. That means you’ll have a note that falls one semitone from its root. Since you can choose the root, you’ve got plenty of options. Here’s one:

The root note is at the third fret (G) while the interval falls on the fourth fret.

What About a Major Second?

To create a major second, we refer back to our chart, again, which tells us there are two semitones separating our interval and root note. You're probably beginning to see a pattern. Behold, our major second:

You can continue through the chart in a similar manner.

The Major Third: Notes on Two Different Strings

What’s happening when we have intervals with notes on two different strings? We mentioned earlier that the same principles apply. Using the major third interval as an example, let's draw one up on a tab sheet with the two notes on separate strings.

What do we do first?

Per the chart, there are four semitones separating the interval from the root note in a major third. So this tab would qualify:

However, it’s problematic. The jump from the third to the seventh fret is doable, but lengthy and inefficient. There's a better way to play it. Per the fretboard notes, we know the note at the seventh fret is a B. To get a more optimal interval, simply find another B note on the fifth string that's closer to our root.

The note we’re looking for is at the second fret (in red). Any B note on any other string will qualify as a major third interval of the root G. For example, the following note is also a B:

Despite being an octave higher, the interval property doesn’t change.

What About the Perfect Fifth?

“Perfect fifth” might be a familiar term to you. If so, that’s good news since it’s one of the most important intervals you can learn. Think two-note power chord:

Power Arpeggio Form

Power Chord Form

We have our interval note (D) seven semitones above the root (G). The seven-semitone spread gives us the perfect fifth.


This might seem like a lot to digest for such a simple topic. But keep mind, it's not even close to a comprehensive look at intervals, in a music theory sense. It's just enough for us guitar players to be dangerous. So best of luck to you and be sure to keep learning.

Follow Up

You can print this lesson out or download the Guitar Intervals PDF Outline for teaching it yourself or quick review. Questions or thoughts? Shoot me an email bobby@guitarchalk.com. You also can get in touch with us over at Facebook and Twitter.

Robert Kittleberger is the founder and editor of Guitar Chalk and Guitar Bargain. You can get in touch with him here, or via Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

Categories: General Interest

Steve Stevens: The Right Way to Play Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:37
Steve Stevens (left) and Billy Idol perform at New York City's Beacon Theater May 23, 2005.

I guess you could say this about a lot of songs—but almost nothing screams "Eighties" like the opening guitar lick to Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell." The song, which was written by Idol and his longtime guitarist, Steve Stevens, actually charted twice—once in 1983 and again in 1985.

In late 2014, Stevens got together with TC Electronic to spill the beans about the lick's bluesy roots—and to show you how to play it correctly (1:27). In the clip, he also runs through his verse (2:30) and bridge (3:48) guitar parts. Back in the day, listeners thought Stevens' opening riff was actually a mix of guitar and keyboards—but it's all Stevens.

Below (bottom video), be sure to check out another gem from late 2014—a stripped-down but very exciting and emotional acoustic rendition of "Rebel Yell" as performed by Idol and Stevens at the CBGB Music & Film Festival in New York City.

Categories: General Interest

Top Five Myths About Learning Guitar—and What You Can Do About Them

Guitar World - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:07

We’ve all heard time-worn advice about the dos and don’ts of learning to play guitar. How much of what we’ve been told is valid, and how much is pure bunk?

We’ve all heard time-worn advice about the dos and don’ts of learning to play guitar.

How much of what we’ve been told is valid, and how much is pure bunk? 

The answers might depend on your personal experience. For example, some guitarists will swear that they would be inferior players had they not started out on acoustic rather than electric guitar. Others will tell you they weren’t able to excel until they switched from acoustic to electric. 

U.K. guitar instructor Rob Chapman has walked his way around this and other pieces of guitaristic advice for some time now, and he has some pretty solid ideas about what it takes to succeed on the instrument. 

In the video below, he’s assembled a list of the top five myths he’s heard about learning to play guitar. Rob walks you through each of his points and offers his rationale for why this advice is, in his view, a load of rubbish.

The myths he dissects are:

1. You should always start out learning on an acoustic guitar, preferably a classical. (0:32)

2. To practice electric guitar, you need an amp. (1:46) 

3. You should always start out playing an affordable guitar. (2:44)

4. You should start out playing on thin strings because they’re much easier to play. (5:12)

5. You should learn to read and write music if you want to play guitar. (6:29)

Check out his complete comments for each in the video below, using the time code indications we’ve provided to locate the section.

When you’re done, head over to Rob’s YouTube channel to watch more of his videos.

Categories: General Interest

RockBoard Releases Pedalboard Range for 2018

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:01
The innovative slot-based design works equally well with standard mounting solutions as with the new RockBoard Quick Mount pedal mounting plates.
Categories: General Interest

Trash or Treasure: Johnson Marquis JM120 Stereo

Premier Guitar - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 03:00
An innovative but short-lived modeling amp that brought tube tone to guitarists leery of digital circuitry.
Categories: General Interest

How to Be Master in Cleaning Guitar

Best Beginner Guitar Today - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:27

Guitar is one of the most bought and played musical instruments that is owned by majority of teens and college guys. This instrument is easy to learn and produces very attractive sounds. But if not maintained properly, the sounds can be quite terrible. Guitar cleaning is as important as its tuning and adjustments. Dust and jammed strings cause trouble in playing the guitar and enjoying great sounds. It’s necessary to keep each and every part of this instrument well cleaned to enjoy rich and loud sounds.

How to Be Master in Cleaning GuitarPeople who don’t play regularly face much problems with the performance of their guitars and end up buying new ones every time. Instead of wasting money, the best option is to keep your guitar clean and packed when not playing. The cleaning of guitar is not as daunting as it might seem to many people. It’s a time consuming process but helps in maintaining the sound and performance of your guitar for longer duration.

Step 1: Gathering the Materials

To carry out guitar cleaning procedure, you will be needing a few important things. Gather the essentials that include a soft cloth, guitar cleaner, water and guitar polisher containing pure carnauba wax. You may use some clean socks or t-shirt as a cloth that will do just fine. Whether you want to clean an electric guitar or acoustic, both will require the same things for cleaning. People who want to carry out high level cleaning can use distilled vinegar to clean guitar as it doesn’t cause any damage but provides a shinier and cleaned surface.

Don’t use household cleaning items like furniture polishes, thinner or bleach as they may contain strong elements that can be damaging for guitar finish. Avoid everything containing silicon or heavy waxes because such elements are not good for the body of guitar and reduce the shine. Many people think using paper towel is better than a piece of soft cloth. But you must never use paper towel for cleaning guitar as it creates scratches on the surface and ruins the final finish.

Gathering the MaterialsThere are a number of options for cloth so just make sure you choose a relatively soft one to enjoy a smooth and scratches cleaning. When applying the cleaning solution to the guitar, this piece of cloth will help you apply it in a better way. Instead of spraying it directly to the surface of the guitar, damp the cloth into the solution so there will be no imbalanced cleaning. If you have a nylon string guitar, you may simply use a non-dampened cloth or a slightly water dipped cloth to clean it. For guitars with steel strings, a proper guitar cleaning kit is required that includes items like fast-fret string cleaner. So, don’t buy such guitars if you cannot afford their cleaning requirements.

In short, when gathering the materials for guitar cleaning, you need to determine what your guitar strings are made up of. It will help you choose the right cleaning solution to clean your guitar in an appropriate way. Those who cannot afford high quality cleaning solutions can use 70-90% rubbing alcohol as well as shaving gel for effective cleaning.

Step 2: Position the Guitar

Do not hold the guitar throughout the cleaning procedure as you need free hands to carry out proper cleaning. Place the guitar on its back very carefully. You can put it on table, guitar case or even in your lap to clean it easily. If your guitar has a neck strap, wear it and enjoy free hands to clean it properly. During the cleaning process, make sure your guitar’s top is not colliding with anything as it might mess up the tuning and increase your work. The best option is to clean your guitar in an open area with a lot of space.

Step 3: Remove the strings

Before you begin with the cleaning process, it’s best to remove the strings carefully so they must not get damaged during cleaning. Aside from that, removing strings also makes it easier to clean the fretboard. That’s why whenever you are changing your guitar strings, it’s an ideal time to clean your guitar properly. Don’t get harsh with the neck when removing strings and keep it slow by losing one string at a time.

Remove the stringsIf you don’t know, cleaning materials include oils and waxes that can be extremely damaging for strings. No matter whichever polisher or cleanser you are using, the best option is to remove the string beforehand. They should be totally free of oil, wax and polishes to produce rich sounds and clean tones. Moreover, many people apply a lot of force when cleaning guitars and break the strings so it’s best to remove them.

Step 4: Cleaning

Clean the Fretboard and Neck

Mostly don’t understand how to clean a guitar fretboard and neck because this part has strings. When you play guitar using your fingers, it catches the oil and moisture that should be remained on it for better performance. This is why, professionals recommended to clean the fretboard only once in a year. With the use of clean and soft cloth, dampened in the water of distilled vinegar, you can clean the guitar fretboard easily and softly.

Clean the Fretboard and NeckOne thing you need to keep in mind is to clean the guitar with slightly dampened cloth and not overly moistened one. You don’t want your guitar to get over saturated by water or cleaning solutions and result in lower performance. Considering this key point, wet the cloth with the use of spray bottle or wring it well after dipped in the liquid. There should be no dripping drops to destroy the interior or exterior of the guitar.

If there are some heavily dry spots of dirt that are not easy to clean with as oft piece of cloth, you may use steel wool to scrub them. Don’t get too harsh when scrubbing the dirt spots as it might destroy the guitar finish. When using steel wool, cover the pickups as it might get caught with them and because you trouble. There is a magnet in pickups that attract steel wool and make scrubbing difficult.

Clean the Body

If you don’t know how to clean a guitar body, don’t panic. Start from the head and move down the length of your guitar while cleaning the body including front, back and sides of it. If you have only one piece of cloth for cleaning, wash it after the first step. You don’t want the dirt to spread all over the guitar so rinse it in water properly and wring to proceed with further cleaning. Don’t put much pressure and always move the cloth in circular motion to clean the surface without causing any scratches.

Clean the BodyWhile cleaning guitar, you will see many stubborn spots that don’t come out so easily. You cannot clean them with a single wipe so be ready to take the pain. Spots like fingerprints and dirt smudges require a little bit moisture to come out. So use the slightly dampened cloth for such dirt marks and enjoy a shinier guitar. Sometimes, even the wet cloth won’t be enough to remove the stains so you may use detergent with water in such cases.

Clean the Bridge

The bridge is a very important part of a guitar that supports the strings and is located on the body. It’s cleaning is also as necessary as fretboard and body of the guitar. The method to clean it is almost same as of fretboard. Use a slightly damp cloth to clean the dirt and dust from the bridge. Unlike body of the guitar, you cannot use steel wool on the bridges to remove the stubborn spots. Here you will need to use the toothbrush or pipe cleaner to scrub the strong stains.

Clean the BridgeMake sure you don’t use heavily dampened cloth for bridges as they might get jammed due to extra moisture. Their cleaning should be done with great care because they give support to the strings and help in the adjustment.

Clean the Strings

Next comes the most crucial part of cleaning the guitar, the string cleaning. Most of the guitarists don’t know how to clean the guitar strings with household products. Take the piece of cloth in a long direction and fold it into two halves. One half should be under the strings and the other one should come above the strings, covering them from both sides to clean properly. Now drag the cloth from one end to another to remove the dirt from every single string covered by the rag. Make sure you go all the way from top of the strings to the bottom with folded rag.

Be very careful when cleaning the strings near to fretboard as you will touch them every time you come near ad might disturb the settings. Many people only clean the strings from the above side but that’s not right. Both sides of strings should be cleaned properly if you want to enjoy rich sounds.

Clean the StringsOnce the dirt is removed from the strings, you can change the fold of the rag to continue with clean sides. If the cloth is not clean from the other side as well, you may use an entirely new piece of cloth because using the same dirty cloth will not help you clean the guitar. If you are using some lubricant for better results, make sure it doesn’t contain any sort of petroleum as it can cause damage to your guitar overtime. You may also use Vaseline, baby oil and even olive oil as lubricant to weaken the spots and clean them in no time with less efforts. Don’t pour lubricants directly onto the strings. Damp a clean piece of cloth with it and then use it the same way you cleaned the strings earlier. Fold it and cover the strings from both sides to grease them properly.

Step 5: Wipe Down the Tuning Keys

Most of you may have no idea about how to clean guitar tuning pegs. What makes or breaks the performance of a guitar are its tuning keys. They are located on the top of the guitar at the sides of the fretboards. Using these keys, guitarists can adjust the strings and tighten or loosen them to enjoy rich sounds.The cleaning of tuning keys is very much necessary otherwise they might get jammed and won’t be easy to set.

You can take the tuning keys out and put them in the solution for a few seconds to clean them properly. Tuning keys are like iron nails that get stained due to moisture and are not easy to clean with dry or wet piece of cloth. It’s necessary to put them in a rust cleaning solution and dry them afterwards. The clean tuning keys set perfectly and allows guitarists to enjoy quick adjustments.

Step 6: Polish the Pickups

If you want to enjoy rich performance and loud sounds of your guitar, clean the pickups properly. The pickups are the portion of strings where guitarists pick the chords and strum them to produce desired sounds. Cleaning of pickups is as important as any other part of the guitar. They must be rust free so you may enjoy rich sounds without any trouble. Cleaning guitar pickups rust can be a little time consuming.

Polish the PickupsYou can clean the pickups with a piece of cloth but if there they are rusted, you will need to unscrew them in order to clean them properly. Put them in s rust dissolving agent for few second depending on the harshness of the rust. It will weaken the rust marks and make it easier for you to remove them by using a cloth. If the rust spot is very minor, don’t remove the entire pickups but only dip the cotton bud in the solution and apply it to the spot.

Step 7: Polish the Finish

Many guitarists don’t know how to polish a guitar with household items. Professionals are of opinion that guitars should not be polished frequently as it might damage the sound of the instrument. Make sure you use a good and appropriate polish for guitar. The polish may contain carnauba wax but not any other heavy wax or petroleum. Such elements can cause serious damage to the product and ruin the sounds.

Don’t polish the guitar by pouring the solution directly on the instrument. Always spray the material on the rag first and then use that dampened rag to polish the guitar. If your guitar has a satin finish, you must not polish or buff it as this will make it look spotty. Polishing a vintage guitar is also not a good idea. Cleaning a vintage guitar is a different method and requires specific materials.

Tips for Cleaning Guitar

For better performance and long term usage, it’s necessary to keep your guitar clean and well-maintained. Here are few guitar cleaning tips for beginners as well as pro guitarists. The first thing to keep in mind is to never use liquid cleaners as they have potential to ruin the look and finish of your guitar. You should always clean the guitar when changing the strings. It is because fretboard cannot be cleaned thoroughly without removing the guitar strings. So whenever the strings are removed, clean the fretboard first and then install new strings.

Another tip for guitarists is to never polish or buff satin finished guitars. You may use a dry or damp cloth to clean it but polishing with any polisher can be seriously damaging and might result in blotchy look. Same wise, when cleaning vintage guitars, be very careful about not removing the layer of patina. Vintage guitars have nitro finish that changes color and develops into patina. Using any harsh lubricants or solutions will result in removing the patina that will eventually devalue the guitar and ruin its overall look and performance.

Old guitars have a very thin layer of finish which makes them sensitive enough when it comes to polishing. The polishers contain waxes, oils and petroleum that are much harmful for the delicate finish of vintage guitars. You should also avoid using any liquid or wet cloth but simply breathe moist air onto the spotty areas and rub them instantly with clean cloth to get rid of stains. Vintage guitars are quite delicate that you should clean with much care.

Most of the guitarists make a mistake when cleaning their instruments. They apply the solution or lubricant directly onto the guitar surface that result in excessive damping. You should always spray the material on the cloth and then use it to clean the body of guitar. This way, the guitar will not be overly saturated or moistened.
Another most important thing to keep in mind while cleaning guitar is to never use paper towel. They create scratches on the smooth surface of guitar body. Always use something soft as socks ort-shirt.


Guitar is no doubt an amazing instrument with an incredible power of producing soothing and rocking music. But, to enjoy their high performance and rich sounds, make sure to keep them clean and well maintained. From the fretboard to the body and strings to the tuning keys, every part of the guitar needs proper cleaning. Using a few essentials like soft cloth, cleaning lubricants and rust dissolving solutions, you can clean your guitar at home. Just follow the above guidelines and tips to carry out this procedure properly.

The post How to Be Master in Cleaning Guitar appeared first on Best Beginner Guitar, Best Acoustic Guitar.

Categories: Learning and Lessons


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