As one of the most chameleonic and prolific figures in rock’s great history, few artists have as deep a treasure trove of unreleased recordings as Neil Young. As part of his wonderfully illuminating “Performance Archive” series, Young is releasing a solo performance from his six-night stand at Washington D.C venue the Cellar Door in late 1970 on December 10th.
Ok, this is a first for us. Independent musician and virtuoso guitarist Jon Gomm is not only an amazing player, he retunes his strings as part of the performance...while he's playing! Gomm released his new album Secrets Nobody Keeps on November 25th of this year and it's well worth a listen.
If you ask any successful person if their career has gone exactly as they planned it and I doubt you would get one affirmative answer. Careers (and life in general) are really hard to plan out and structure to our liking. There are too many variables that are out of our control. My theory is that successful people succeed, in large part, because they are able to react and respond well when something unexpected happens. When something doesn't go according to plans, they don't give up. They evaluate their new options and then pick another road to take.
Oakland, CA-based jazz guitarist Jimmy Grant (who I happened to meet on a plane coming back from the NAMM Show) used quite a different process for his latest release, 5 in 5; write a song a day for five days. Record on the sixth day. Release it on the seventh.
Touring for me is a test of endurance. I keep myself fit, eat well, sleep, and rest my voice when possible. It's not very rock 'n roll, but touring when you're sick is pretty miserable, so I try to avoid that.
One simple technique that is often used to spice up many chords – and in the process make a lot of garden-variety chord progressions sound more interesting – is the manner-on. To play a hammer-on, pick a string and then, while the note is still ringing, sound a higher note on that same string by firmly tapping, or “hammering,” it onto the fretboard with one of your fretting fingers without picking it again.
My first guitar was a classical, a Garcia, six nylon string classical. I don’t remember buying it, or having it bought for me, but it was the one I played in high school, listening to James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt records over and over and over so I could play them back faithfully.
I woke up this morning so excited to go and demo some songs today that I'm really proud of, and it got me thinking about the path my career has taken. I started as an artist - all I ever wanted to do was be in my own band and write my own songs; I didn't even know you could just have a career as a songwriter until well into my second record