World's First Self-Strumming Guitar, a Frankenstein's monster of a creation built from parts of an old Squier Mini and a computer printer? It's currently listed on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £300, although the seller does note that "Although I have set the buy it now price high, I will entertain sensible offers, just offer whatever you think its worth and you might get (un)lucky!"
He also says that:
Please bear in mind this is a prototype and as such isn't finished nicely where I have been working on it, and while the self strum mechanism works perfectly laying flat on a bench it is a bit temperamental when the guitar is held in a playing position. I can suggest a simple modification to the buyer to correct this but it is not something I plan on doing myself as I am now busy working on the mark 2 self strumming guitar - the follow up to this.
Think of this a piece of mechanical art rather than an instrument you would use every day, putting all silliness aside this thing with a bit more development could actually be useful one day to a person who has either lost or lost the use of an arm. I'd like to sell this to fund further development into the concept. Check out the following video to see me building this contraption and to see it working.
AND there's a video!
G L Wilson
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Glam metal femme fatales Vixen are gearing up for a new album that will be released later this year.
The band reunited over three years ago, and fans have been anxiously awaiting their comeback studio album since last release Live and Learn in 2006. Rockpages.gr recently shared a statement from bassist Share Ross’ interview with 98.7 The Gater of Palm Beach about their progress on the new material.
“We’ve been working on stuff, which is challenging, ’cause we all live really far apart from each other,” said Ross. “But we are getting stuff recorded and getting it done, so hopefully this year we’ll finish that up. We started off trying to [work on new music separately], and we just got really frustrated, so we all just fly to where the drummer lives, in Detroit, [which is] way better.”
Ross also shared that the album will be dedicated to founding member and lead guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who lost her battle with cancer in October 2013.
The current lineup also consists of original members Roxy Petrucci on drums and lead singer Janet Gardner, as well as Charvel artist Brittany Denaro on guitar.
Stay tuned for more album news throughout the year, and catch Vixen in a handful of live appearances this summer. Dates here.
In the meantime, get your Vixen fix below with fan-filmed footage from the M3 Festival in Columbia, Md.
The new Martin DST guitar will quickly become a new favorite of yours.
The new guitar features forward shifted braces, an ebony fingerboard and bridge, along with a bone nut and saddle. The satin finish, solid wood guitar is crafted in Nazareth, Pennsylvania and includes a tortoise colored head plate, binding, and heel cap. The classic Dreadnought is equipped with Martin SP strings for ultimate resonance and tone. Get an even closer look at the Martin DST guitar here.
"The Great Comet of 1812" leads the 2017 Tony Awards with 12 nominations!
The musical, which is based on a 70-page melodrama at the center of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, swept house with its amazing 12 Tony nominations. These nominations include: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Original Score, as well as Actor in a Leading Role (Josh Groban) and Actress in a Leading Role (Denée Benton). The 2017 Tony Awards will air on Sunday, June 11th at 8PM(EST) on CBS.
Martin Guitar and Martin Strings are the official acoustic guitar and string sponsors of "The Great Comet of 1812." You can purchase tickets to see the magnificent musical here.
Pennsylvania-based rock band CKY are making a return to music this summer with The Phoenix—their first album of all new material since 2009′s Carver City. Although not due out until June 16, their diehard fanbase can get a feel for what’s in store with the release of new single “Days of Self Destruction,” and its accompanying music video.
Guitarist and vocalist Chad I Ginsburg (Cig) has since stepped up as the frontman of the trio, which also features CKY co-founder and drummer Jess Margera and bassist Matt Deis (ex-All That Remains).
“It’s where things could have ended up,” Ginsburg told AP, referring to the averted demise of the band. “I definitely was writing a lot of this record from that place. Like a phoenix, it burns itself alive and is reborn from its own ashes. ‘Days Of Self Destruction’ is basically about the dangers of not learning from your mistakes.”
The new single also features a guest spot from Mastodon’s Brent Hinds.
“He rules,” Ginsburg said of Hinds. “He just shreds like crazy.”
The video gets off to a quirky start with a colorful parrot announcing the band before seeing behind the scenes footage of the band rehearsing and recording the album at David Catching’s Rancho De La Luna recording studion in Joshua Tree, California.
Check out the clip below featuring Cig on his modded Pro-Mod So-Cal.
The wait is finally over! Stone Sour have returned with a new music video for “Fabuless,” the first single off upcoming album Hydrograd.
Directed by Paul Brown, the video begins with the band preparing to hit the stage and then segues into a live performance as the song kicks into overdrive. The camera focuses in on each band member, zeroing in on gear that includes a nice shot of Christian Martucci’s Charvel Custom Shop San Dimas Style 1 in Satin Plum, featuring a single humbucking pickup and vintage-style tremolo. As the video continues, the crowd is revealed to include inflatable sky dancers that eventually trade places with the Stone Sour crew.
In addition to the new video, lead singer Corey Taylor recently told BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show more about the album’s direction.
“This album is great because it’s got elements of everything,” he said. “It’s got the heavy energy of the ’80s, there’s punk moments, there’s hard rock moments, all the great amalgam of music. There’s even jazz and hip-hop moments. It’s really, really cool. It’s probably the coolest album I’ve made since the first Slipknot album, let’s put it that way. It’s dope, dude. And, hey, I feel very confident making that statement, because it’s so good.”
Stay tuned for more details as Hydrograd’s June 30 release date draws near, and check out the band’s summer tour dates supporting Korn here.
Watch “Fabuless” now below …
We couldn't have been more excited when we unveiled the third Ed Sheeran Signature Edition!
Built upon the LX1E Little Martin body, a favorite of Ed's, the new guitar continues with the mathematical themed album cover art. The guitar features a solid Sitka spruce top with Ed's album art and a blue soundhole rosette to match. The Ed Sheeran ÷ Signature Edition is gig ready! It features a custom interior label, Fishman Sonitone electronics, and a gig bag.
Ready to complete your Ed Sheeran Signature Edition collection? Find a Martin dealer near you to preorder. The guitar will officially be released in August 2017.
Holdworth passed away on April 15th of this year at age 70 of a heart attack.
|Alan Holdsworth 1946-2017|
Though Allan Holdsworth played a number of different styles of music, he will always be best known as the foremost jazz fusion guitarist.
Frank Zappa once hailed him as “one of the most interesting guitar players on the planet”, while Robben Ford compared his guitar work to that of saxaphonist John Coltrane.
Indeed Holdsworth's style utilized complex chordal progressions and intense solos reminiscent of horn or saxophone lines.
|Young Allan Holdsworth|
|The New Tony Willaims Lifetime|
It was in the early 1980's when Holdsworth relocated to Southern California. Here he set up his own recording studio in San Diego and named it The Brewery.
|Frank Gambale and Allan Holdsworth|
Allan Holdworth had a distinctive knowledge of music, voicings, and chord structure. His use of finger-picked chords and of effects such as delay, chorus, and reverb make his music stand out. One would suspect that he had an education in guitar, music performance, and music theory, but Holdsworth was entirely self taught.
Through the years Allan Holdsworth was in demand by many different guitar manufacturers to demo and represent their instruments.
|Holdsworth playing a Gibson SG|
Early in his career his main instrument was a Gibson SG.
|Holdsworth playing his Stratocaster|
Later in that decade he switched to a customized Fender Stratocaster that used humbuckers instead of single coil pickups.
|Playing an Ibanez AH-10|
By 1984 Ibanez recruited him to work in conjunction with them to develop two sem-hollow body guitars that were known as the AH-10 and the AH-20.
|Holdsworth with his Steinberger Guitar|
|Holdsworth playing a Bill Delap guitar|
Following this he began playing headless guitars made by luthier Bill Delap.
|With his Carvin HH model|
More recently Allan Holdswoth struck up a deal with Carvin guitars to use their model H2 exclusively. Several other Carvin models sprung from the orginal headless Holdworth model. These included an extended range baritone model, the semi-hollow H2 and H1. By 1999 Carvin came out with the “HF2 Fatboy, which Holdsworth endorsed.
|Holdsworth with Synthaxe|
Aside from being an incredible and gifted guitarist, Allan Holdsworth was an afficianado of beer and cycling. His favourite beer was New English cask ale. He even took his fondness for the clear amber drink to the next step by inventing a product called The Fizzbuster; designed to put a better head on a glass of beer.
|Allan Holdsworth with his family|
His fans were in shock from his passing and put together a Go-Fund-Me page which paid for his funeral expenses.
Ohio’s metalcore band Miss May I went all out for an extreme video for new single “Lost in the Grey,” which will appear on the band’s upcoming album Shadows Inside, due out June 2.
“The shoot involved an entire forest landscape set, live action volatile weather elements and rodents in mouths,” shared singer Levi Benton with Loud Wire. “We have never had a video like this before. The vibe for the song is really captured well and sets a great image not only for the song, but the record as a whole. Shadows Inside is the most honest record we have ever created and a big part of that was just having the freedom and time to put everything we had into it.”
Benton also explained why “Lost in the Grey” was the perfect choice for the lead single.
“This is a great first track to release to the mass as it represents the effort it takes to get out of the complacent and stale life people live,” he said. “The song is about finding that hope and drive to push you to a new and better life. The lion has always represented hope and ambition and now with this video it’s physical and represented as a mask that one needs to show them there is a better life for everyone, if you push for it.”
Shadows Inside can be pre-ordered here, and look for Miss May I hitting the road in support of the album beginning in May.
Check out the video below, featuring guitarist Justin Aufdemkampe on his custom Charvel axe.
Strings can be one of the most overlooked pieces of gear by many guitarists. In essence, strings are the input source of the energy that goes into your instrument. Many players will choose a string type based on the recommendation of a friend, teacher, or guitar shop salesman. As you develop your ear and become a more fluent player, you will begin to learn the subtle nuances that the strings alone bring to your particular style of play. Once that occurs, one will find that there are an infinite number of choices out there in the marketplace and one type does not fit all instruments and playing styles. This can be confusing so it is best to ask yourself some questions to help narrow down the choices. I outlined two specific questions you should ask yourself to get started.
What gauge strings should I put on my guitar? This question can be answered though an evaluation of the style of music you play, how much physical strength you have in your hands, and the type of instrument you play. The string gauge will impact the stiffness of the string. I typically recommend that beginner guitar players start with an extra light or custom light set because the strings are not as stiff and easier to press down to get a note. Once a player gets more experience and the strength increases in their hands, it is good to move up in gauge to produce a louder, fuller tone. However, you may find that a lighter gauge string works better for your style of playing. If you tend to bend notes often, you may find that a medium gauge strings does not work as well as a light or custom light gauge.
The gauge of the strings has a direct impact on the amount of tension that is exerted on the top and neck of the guitar. All modern Martin guitars can handle up to a medium gauge set of strings. However, some instruments may be a little more fragile due to the construction. Some may require a lighter gauge to reduce neck bow and keep the top from lifting. Both of which will have a negative impact on the action and playability. Also, some instruments just seem to respond better acoustically to certain string tensions than others. This requires a little experimenting to find the right fit for your particular instrument. You may find yourself using different gauge strings on different guitars if you own several.
Do I like a bright or mellow attack? String attack can be defined as the actual sound of the string at the time your pick of fingertips strike the string. This characteristic is often overlooked but it is what makes a plucked instrument such as a guitar sound plucked as opposed to bowed. Lead players will often prefer a harder or brighter attack so they can cut through a mix of several instruments. Solo players may prefer a slightly rolled off or mellow attack as it may better suite the style of music they play. Plus, they are not competing with other instruments for volume.
String materials can influence attack. Probably the best place to start is to compare phosphor bronze wrapped strings to 80/20 wrapped strings. 80/20 is often preferred by bluegrass pickers due to its bright attack. Phosphor Bronze sounds bright out of the box but mellows a little quicker than 80/20. This characteristic tends to be a plus when recording since you get a little less sizzle on the high end and can sound a little more pleasing.
The string construction can also influence the attack of the string. For instance, our “SP Flexible Core” line of strings has a thinner core than the SP and traditional counterparts. The difference in the density of the materials and mass distribution will have an effect on the initial pluck of the string. We also have silk and steel strings that utilize a silver-plated copper wrap wire on a round core wire with nylon strands sandwiched in between which make of a very soft attack favored by finger style and folk players.
What you will find in the long run is that your choice of strings is a product of your specific taste. Over time, you may find that your taste in sound or physical requirements may change or perhaps you may need a new sound to inspire you. Strings are a great place to start because they are relatively inexpensive and a temporary piece of gear that will not last as long as your favorite axe.
-Bert Germick, R&D Technican