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Watch Rob Scallon Play a $1 Guitar

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 12:53

Most guitars come from trees. YouTube guitar fiend Rob Scallon's newest guitar, however, comes from Dollar Tree. Above, check out Scallon's latest video, in which he truly "rocks out on a budget"—using, of course, his tiny new $1 guitar (which looks more like a truly horrible ukulele). 

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the clip is the very satisfying backing track Scallon created—drums and all—to go with his "nightmare" $1-guitar performance.

"It is a nightmare to tune and a nightmare to play," says Scallon in the bonus making-of video below. "It's two pieces of plastic, one piece on bottom and one for the top—and I guess four pieces for the tuners. And then four strings, and the strings are all the same gauge, as you would imagine.

"I tuned the top string to an F# and brought the next one down a step to E, and then the one below that is an octave lower than F#."

For more Scallonisms, follow him on YouTube.

Categories: General Interest

How to Change the Speaker in a Guitar Amp

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 12:02

Sometimes you just need to make a change!

Sometimes you just need to make a change!

With that in mind, we asked our very own Paul Riario to create a video showing you how to change the speaker in your guitar amp.

In the video below, which is presented by Celestion and Guitar World, Riario installs a Celestion G12 V-Type 70-Watt speaker into a Blackstar combo.

You'll also notice Yngwie Malmsteen makes a brief appearance! Regardless, check out the clip and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For more information about Celestion speakers, check out celestion.com.

And if you like this sort of thing, be sure to check out Riario's first feature film, How to Build a Pedal Board," which features a brief appearance by Mick Mars. Enjoy!

Categories: General Interest

Mod Garage: Dan Armstrong’s “Super-Strat” Wiring

Premier Guitar - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:41
Maybe a stock Strat’s five sounds aren’t enough for you. Okay, how about 12?
Categories: General Interest

Jazz Chord Improvisation Lesson with Martin Taylor

Acoustic Guitar - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:35
Jazz Chord Improvisation Lesson with Martin Taylor
Sponsored by Artistworks Martin Taylor has been teaching fingerstyle guitar online at ArtistWorks since 2010. Check out this free lesson where Martin breaks down how to improvise over jazz chords. For beginners, this exercise is a great way to try out improvisation and practice playing a clean solo without too many notes to complicate it. […]

Meet the Electric Guitar Built Inside the Slammer

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:25

Norman Lockamy lovingly built the guitar while serving a 12-year sentence in Huntingdon State Prison in Pennsylvania starting in 1988.

Folsom Prison Blues…
Mama Tried…
30 Days in the Hole…
In the Jailhouse Now.

Whatever your favorite prison song is, we found the greatest electric guitar to play them. It was built by an inmate serving time at a Pennsylvania state prison.

This is “Lady,” an electric guitar built by an inmate within the walls of Huntingdon State Prison in Pennsylvania. Huntingdon is a 126-year-old jail that is so old and massive, it is known locally as "The Wall.”

Norman Lockamy lovingly built this guitar while serving a 12-year sentence in Huntingdon starting in 1988. It was completely crafted in the facility’s woodshop. Legend has it, Lockamy was allowed to purchase some parts while others were smuggled in to complete the guitar.

The guitar is a stunning example of prison folk art. The body and neck are of oak. The headstock is made of curly maple. The binding on the headstock is simply painted on and a hand-stamped brass truss rod cover has the word, “LADY.” The guitar is magnificent and plays like butter.

I wanted to learn more about these prison woodshops, so I called prison guard (and instrument builder) Al Hamilton, who said all wood used in the Pennsylvania state prison system comes from nearby Rockview Prison. Hamilton said this guitar is definitely Pennsylvania oak. The fretboard was stained black to simulate ebony, and a thin walnut strip runs up the cap of the carved double-cutaway body. There is a cream-colored binding around the body.

According to Hamilton, Huntingdon Prison’s woodshop is there primarily to keep things self-sufficient, with employees and prisoners making repairs to the structure along with furniture and any necessities. During down times, some prisoners are allowed to use resources to create birdhouses, wooden ships and other things to pass the time. Lockamy definitely made good use of his downtime on this guitar and his love can be seen in the details. The carve is unique, with a little more curve than a PRS SE. Even the frets are impeccable.

Taking a close look at this guitar, it’s obvious Lockamy wanted to sink some humbuckers into the body when he first designed it. It appears he could only get EMG Select single coils instead, which were too small for the pickup routes. Using prison ingenuity, Lockamy mounted the single coils in the center of the humbucker rings and covered the extra spaces with black construction paper. From a distance, you can’t even tell.

This is definitely a guitar made for a Les Paul lover, with its carved body and 24-inch scale. However, Lockamy went for a bolt-on neck design, perhaps for an easier build. The neck pocket is as tight as a vice. Even with the oak construction, the guitar weighs just over 8 pounds.

Lockamy was released from Huntingdon in 2000 and continued to play this guitar for the next 13 years. In 2013, he sold it to Guitars on George in York, Pennsylvania. By then, the guitar had a crack in the headstock (with a poor repair job) and a broken tuner. Guitar shop owner Jerry Duncan purchased the guitar simply on its story alone.

Thanks to Jerry Duncan at Guitars on George and Al Hamilton at Factory Throwouts Cigar Box Guitars for help with this article.

Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at ShaneSpeal.com. Speal's latest album,Holler! is on C.B. Gitty Records.

View the 9 images of this gallery on the original article
Categories: General Interest

Lucy Dacus Announces New Album, 'Historian,' Shares "Night Shift"

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 09:39

Lucy Dacus' No Burden, for awhile, was one of 2016's most criminally under-appreciated rock records. A moving, deeply personal collection of alternately comforting and volcanic songs, it immediately marked the Richmond native as one of the country's most brilliant up-and-coming songwriters.

Naturally though, Dacus' talent didn't go unrecognized for too long. She signed to Matador, played a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR's headquarters and even got shouted out by Senator (and then Vice-presidential candidate) Tim Kaine in an op-ed column highlighting—among other things—some of his favorite music.

Today, Dacus has announced her sophomore album, Historian. You can listen to its first single, the astounding "Night Shift," above.

"This is the album I needed to make," Dacus said of Historian—which is set for a March 2 release via Matador. "Everything after this is a bonus."

Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, regrouping with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with John Congleton. You can preorder it here, and check out the tracklist below.

Historian tracklist

1. Night Shift

2. Addictions

3. The Shell

4. Nonbeliever

5. Yours & Mine

6. Body To Flame

7. Timefighter

8. Next Of Kin

9. Pillar Of Truth

10. Historians

Categories: General Interest

Vertex Effects Unveils the T Drive

Premier Guitar - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 09:24
A sonic re-creation of the legendary Trainwreck Express amplifier.
Categories: General Interest

How to Tell If Your Guitar’s Neck Needs to be Adjusted

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 08:48

How to check if your guitar’s neck needs to be adjusted.

One of my recent columns dealt with some of the things that can go wrong with your guitar’s top nut. Big slots, thin strings; the perfect recipe for horrible buzzes and rattles.

I realize you’re eager to dig out some tools and learn how to repair your faulty nut. Me too. We’re almost there, but, just for a moment, let’s take it down a notch. Think baby steps.

Those nasty string buzzes and rattles can also be caused by nut slots that are cut too low. In extreme cases, the string(s) might actually be sitting on the first fret; or often a string just has to be close enough to the fret to make contact when it’s struck open.

Your gut reaction might be to grab a hammer to beat the offending top nut to death and glue a new one in there. But wait. Just like a nut with worn or over-wide slots, you can repair perilously low slots with super glue.

Again, as Dick Van Dyke would say, diagnosis is everything. Don’t approach your guitar with any tool until you know A) what the problem is, and B) what you need to do to fix it.

Last time I mentioned that you should always make sure that a guitar is tuned up to pitch—or to any alternate tuning that it may be set up to handle. If the tuning isn’t right, it can affect the neck.

If the slots on the nut appear too low—you’re getting the buzzes and rattles when you play open strings, etc.—it could be that the neck needs to be adjusted. If the guitar is tuned too low, the neck won’t have enough tension on it and could be over-bent.

In layman’s terms, this means the middle of the fingerboard is higher than the headstock and body end. This can cause the strings to buzz over the first five or so frets.

To check if your guitar’s neck needs to be adjusted, you have to eyeball the neck itself. Hold the guitar by the body (See PHOTO 1 in the gallery below), never the headstock. If you hold the guitar by the headstock (See PHOTO 2), you’ll put pressure on the neck, which, although slight, will give you a false reading of the neck’s "straightness."

Now look down the bass side of the fingerboard (See PHOTO 3). Try closing one eye. You’ll look like Popeye, but it will help you focus. You should be able to tell if the neck is straight, dipped or over-bent. Repeat the process with the treble side of the fingerboard.

Armed with this information, you can decide whether the neck needs to be adjusted. Speaking of which ...

Soon, I’ll show you how to finish adjusting the neck and begin the process of repairing the slots in a faulty top nut. For the latter job, you’ll need super glue, which doesn’t cost much, and nut files. You can buy a set of nut files of varying gauges (about $140) from the likes of Stewart-MacDonald; or buy a single file (about $25) if you’re tackling a particular slot.

I would recommend investing in a full set. That way you’ll be able to build a top nut from scratch one day ... one of the most satisfying guitar maintenance jobs there is.

That’s something I’ll talk you through very soon. See you next time.

Now look down the bass side of the fingerboard (pic 3). Try closing one eye. You’ll look like Popeye, but it will help you focus. You should be able to tell if the neck is straight, dipped or over-bent. Repeat the process with the treble side of the fingerboard.
View the 3 images of this gallery on the original article
Categories: General Interest

Jack White Shares New Video, "Servings and Portions from My Boarding House Reach"

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 08:10

Jack White has long been working on a new solo album, his first since Lazaretto, one of our favorite albums of 2014.

Last month—at a Making Vinyl conference in his hometown of Detroit—he said the album was "practically done" and that it was "a bizarre one." Now, it seems, we have been given our first taste of it, with his release of a new video called "Servings and Portions from My Boarding House Reach."

It's unclear whether the audio—a wildly experimental sound collage—is a mish-mash of new songs, or itself a new song. Regardless, you can experience it for yourself above.

Categories: General Interest

Electro-Harmonix Reissues the Op-Amp Big Muff Pi

Premier Guitar - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 07:50
The original circuitry has been faithfully re-created while several practical enhancements have been added including a compact, die-cast chassis and true-bypass switching.
Categories: General Interest

How to Slide Your Way to Fretboard Fluidity

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 07:36

This kind of thing reminds me of a Johnny "Guitar" Watson move. It also helps get fingers accustomed to sliding very quickly.

In this lesson, I'll lay out a few tools I use in crafting guitar melodies and solos to make the instrument feel more fluid.

The first exercise is a way to double a note on the neighboring B and G strings. This kind of thing reminds me of a Johnny "Guitar" Watson move. It also helps get fingers accustomed to sliding very quickly.

And this kind of sliding technique might help you see connections on the fretboard while giving you an alternative to standard blues solos.

Start with your index finger on the third fret of the B string and slide your ring finger from the fifth to seventh fret of the G string. See below:


After you are comfortable with the above, you can slide back down from the seventh to fifth fret on the B string.


Here’s another one you can try just picking three notes. For this, we’ll use three notes on the B string at the 12th, ninth and seventh frets, and focus on going between them smoothly. Hopefully, this exercise will get your fingers more fluid and get you more comfortable sliding between notes without breaking them up, sort of like using a slide without actually wearing a slide. Start with your ring finger on the 12th fret of the B string, then slide down to the ninth fret, and then pull off onto the seventh fret.


You want to get comfortable doing this in a way where you don’t have a pronounced attack between the notes on the ninth and seventh fret. You want to do the pull off very softly, so it feels like the note is sliding off. I do that by letting go of the string rather than emphasizing the pull-off. From there you can just slide back up to the ninth fret by doing the following:


Again, stuff like this can help you conceptualize the guitar in a different way, where everything isn’t linked in with your right/plucking hand. You could combine this exercise with the one we did above, to get something like the following:


A lot of what we talk about in this video (below) so far involves sliding with one or two fingers on one or two strings to give rubbery, blending effects to your guitar. These are good ways to get your fingers comfortable with slide-type techniques before you pick up a slide, if you’re hesitant to pick up a slide for any reason. And these are good ways to get your wrist comfortable with stopping at points along the way so you can get a lot of notes in a single movement with your fretting hand.

Of course, you also can do these kinds of things with a slide on your fretting hand. Stepping back to the first exercise we talked about, you can do this same kind of thing with a slide, which has an interesting effect. And it can be a technique to get your fretting hand comfortable with a basic slide move. If you practice this, you can develop more fluidity going between two frets and two strings using a slide.




As for slide technique, I generally use the slide on my ring finger of my left hand, and I use the fingers of my right hand to pluck the notes.

As for the fretting hand, I like to play the slide without muting fingers behind it and with the slide not quite pressed down all the way. This can help you develop a frail sound with less sustain that sounds like a singer with a raspy voice or a sore throat, which I think is more interesting than a straight-ahead slide sound. Hopefully, these exercises will give you some stuff to think about—specifically focusing on what’s coming before and what’s coming after the notes you play, not just on the note you are playing. If you focus on these aspects of your compositional approach and playing, hopefully they can help you inject more depth into your notes and what’s behind them.

Steve is now offering online lessons to those who are interested in learning more about his guitar style. His schedule is somewhat irregular due to touring, but you can contact him and set up a time right here.

Steve Marion, also known as "Delicate Steve," is a guitarist from New Jersey. He has released two albums on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, collaborated with Paul Simon, Ra Ra Riot, Dirty Projectors and Built to Spill (among others) and is a member of Saint Rich (Merge Records). Delicate Steve’s first album, Wondervisions, was named a New York Times Critic's Choice. He has been named one of the "30 Best Guitarists Under 30" by Red Bull Music. Critics have said, “Marion is one of those rare guitarists whose instrument sings in place of vocals...crystalline and futuristic...like George Harrison’s guitar reanimated...” (Pitchfork), and that he is “a true guitar hero" (Kevin Parker of Tame Impala).

Categories: General Interest

Alice in Chains Announce North American Tour

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 07:08

Alice in Chains are hitting the road next year.

The band announced the first dozen dates of a longer North American tour that is set to begin next April. You can check out their current itinerary below.

The group has also indicated that their new album is imminent, with bassist Mike Inez recently telling the Let There Be Talk podcast that  "We're going back home to do a record, really. The last two [albums] were [recorded] in L.A., and they were cool. I just feel in 2017, it's time for Alice in Chains to go back to Seattle—drink that water, breathe that air. My Heart family's up there."

"There's just such a history," he continued. "Every street corner for us is a memory; crazy shit happened or some beautiful stuff. Seattle's a really special place, especially this time of year. It's the best."

For ticket information and more, stop by the band's website.

Alice in Chains: 2018 Tour Dates

April 28 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
April 30 – Syracuse, NY @ Landmark Theatre
May 1 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
May 3 – Washington DC @ Anthem
May 4 – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion
May 7 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
May 10 – Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy
May 13 – Somerset, WI @ Northern Invasion
May 15 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
May 16 – South Bend, IN @ Morris Performing Arts Center
May 18 – Columbus, OH @ Rock on the Range
May 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ WMMR BBQ

Categories: General Interest

How to Connect Chords for More Musical Rhythm Playing

Guitar World - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 06:35

If your rhythm work consists only of chords, you’re missing out on a lot of color and character that you could be including.

If your rhythm work consists only of chords, you’re missing out on a lot of color and character that you could be including.

While there are times when strumming alone is all that a song requires, there are also many songs that benefit from a little musical “filigree” that can add accents and melody to your strumming and help tie chords together when you move from one to the next.

In this video, guitar instructor Sean Daniel demonstrates how you can use scales to connect chords, by drawing on the notes in the scale that are common to the chords.

“When you have any kind of chord—we’ll take a really easy one, a C chord to an A minor chord—there is a note in the scale that you’re in that can connect those two,” Sean explains. “And it can really help make your playing sound a little bit different, more exciting and give you more options on things to do.” 

Sean goes on to explain the technique and demonstrate it over a variety of chord changes.

Take a look, and as always we encourage you to check out his YouTube channel for more of his excellent guitar tutorials.

Categories: General Interest

Song Premiere: Tinsley Ellis’ “Sound of a Broken Man”

Premier Guitar - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 03:00
The blues guitar hero shares a track from his upcoming album—and the Tao of the wah-wah according to Tom Dowd.
Categories: General Interest

Xotic Releases the Andy Timmons BB Preamp

Premier Guitar - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:58
The limited-edition model features ±15dB of gain with a two-band active EQ.
Categories: General Interest

CruzTools Announces Updated GrooveTech Guitar/Bass Multi-Tool

Premier Guitar - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:32
The tool includes both metric and standard wrench sizes.
Categories: General Interest

Electro-Harmonix Announces Op-Amp Big Muff Pi Reissue

Guitar World - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:52

Electro-Harmonix has announced a reissue of its classic, 1978-era Op-Amp Big Muff Pi pedal. 

Sometimes also referred to as the IC or V4 Big Muff, the original circuitry has been faithfully re-created for the reissue, while several practical enhancements have been added including a compact, die-cast chassis and true bypass switching. 

The pedal relies on op-amps rather than transistors and three gain stages rather than four, to create its sound. It features standard controls—Sustain, Tone and Volume—plus a Tone toggle switch for bypassing the tone circuit. It comes equipped with a 9V battery or can be powered by an optional 9-volt AC adapter.

The pedal is available now and carries a U.S. street price of $80.90.

For more on EHX, stop by ehx.com.

Categories: General Interest

First Look: Dogmatek Arctic Wolf Twin Modulator

Premier Guitar - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:52
Watch PG's maestro John Bohlinger get wild and trippy with the versatile tone warper from down under.
Categories: General Interest

How to Shop for a Used Guitar, Part 2

Acoustic Guitar - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:37
How to Shop for a Used Guitar, Part 2
From the February 2018 issue of Acoustic Guitar | BY MAMIE MINCH The first part of this series appeared in the January 2018 issue and is also available at AcousticGuitar.com So you’ve been shopping for your new favorite old guitar, and you’ve done everything right: You’ve got an idea in mind of what kind of guitar you’re looking for, you did […]


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