Although I play a guitarist on TV, I’m actually a bass player. That’s what comes naturally to me. I won’t lie: Deep down I’m a frustrated lead guitarist. Let’s face it, no one imitates the bass player when they grab a tennis racket and practice their moves in front of the mirror. I have guitar envy.
Do you know the only time most guitarists change all their strings is when they break one? I know because I’m often guilty of that. Changing strings isn’t always a matter of necessity; it can also be a matter of personal preference. Some musicians love the sound of their old strings broken-in, while others can’t live without the fresh sound of a new set.
Contrary to what you may have seen in the film Deliverance, bluegrass music is more than a bunch of good ol' boys picking banjos and clogging on the porch. It’s a style that boasts some of the most impressive instrumental musicians and guitarists of any genre.
Hey, check out this interview I did the other day with musician, producer, engineer and mixer extraordinaire Shawn Grove. He’s worked on every Collective Soul record since Dosage and is currently putting the finishing touches on the debut CD from Magnets And Ghosts featuring Dean Roland of Collective Soul and Ryan Potesta.
For this week’s blog, which I believe, is my eleventh for Guitar World, I wanted to ramble on to you all about performance. Your performance is probably the most important thing about your music as it relates to people other than yourself. True, the best music you ever play may be in your room or on your porch with only your dog listening but if you do want to make music professionally you'll have to hit the streets, the stage, the studio and you better be ready to cut it up.
Since we are one of the few national magazines that regularly covers heavy metal, I get a shit-ton of it. Most of it, quite frankly, is frustratingly mediocre — and mediocre is my least favorite music. I actually enjoy hating something better than being bored by it. When I hate an album, at least means I’m feeling something and I’m alive.
Another relatively easy way to play fast is to use sweep picking, a technique in which the pick is dragged or "raked" across the strings, playing only one note per string. Sweep picking can be very useful for playing open-voiced arpeggios, as in FIGURE 16, and weird wide-interval licks, as in FIGURE 17, quickly and with minimal effort. When sweep-picking, be sure to mute each string with the left hand immediately after picking it to prevent the notes from ringing together and sounding like a strummed chord.
In our new series, "Dear Record Label," we went to Roadrunner Records -- home of Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Opeth, Megadeth, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Trivium and more -- and asked them the tough questions that young bands should know the answers to. Each week, we'll be bringing you advice from members of the Roadrunner staff to try and get you on track to get noticed.
When Mimi Fox was eleven, she started teaching guitar lessons out of her house. That’s right – eleven years old. The fact that she could make more money teaching guitar than babysitting opened her eyes to what would become her future. (Hmm, changing poopy diapers or sharing some six string savvy. Which would you choose?)
This week, I’m shifting gears and talking about some different topics than the past few weeks, which mostly dealt with some of the rock legends I’ve played with and how I got there. When attempting to come up with an interesting and informative topic for other guitarists (young and old), I thought that certain players' influences would be cool to talk about.