Is this the right time to record the rock opera you've been putting off? Should you join that death-metal-bluegrass band that keeps inviting you to sit in? Check in every week with Margaret Santangelo's Rock Stars column.
My approach to guitar is tonally a little different than most modern shredders, as I base all my playing around the pentatonic scale. Players like Shawn Lane and Eric Johnson do this better than anyone on the planet. But my approach is a little different again. I use the combination of sweep picking and three-string arpeggios to get around the guitar rather than focus on the scales in their natural form.
To me, the search for the ultimate tone is a two-way street. I can totally relate to all the guitar players out there who are frustrated by trying to get a monster tone. But, then again, I don't think getting a killer tone is as mysterious and elusive as many guitarists seem to think. It's a fact that the very sound of your guitar says a lot about you as a player, and for that reason, every guitarist strives for the best tone he can possibly get.
Proper throbbing headache. Sweaty figure crawls out from the bunk in the same smelling stage clothes while Paradise Lost guys go jogging. Nice backstage with internet, shower and own kitchen. Sound check: Peavey's FX loop is broken and the amp sounds pretty bad in general. Probably the tubes are going off soon.
When the Rev. Billy Gibbons isn’t playing a Gretsch Billy-Bo or a Pearly clone on the road, there's no telling what the Texas guitar connoisseur might be sportin’! A short YouTube clip from a July 2011 show in France features Billy with a sexy T-type by TAO Guitars of Brussels, Belgium. The El Mirage axe is a one-off guitar for Gibbons springing from TAO’s T-Bucket platform, a sort of space-age, George Jetson, retro-modern T-type interpretation.
Within the virtual pages of this new blog, I plan to delve into all aspects of songwriting, both inspirational and perspirational (Is that a word?) as well as any and all related topics along the way. Whether you’ve been writing songs forever or just starting out, I hope you’ll join me and take something away from this as we go that will inspire you to write better tunes -- or just to write. I kinda hope it’ll be fun too.
Put every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears into the creation of your music. Take chances, and perfect your craft. You'd be amazed at how much easier touring becomes when the emphasis placed on creating the most impactful tracks possible is put at a premium. Word of mouth travels faster than ever, and if you engage online directly with your fans, they will show up and support your touring endeavors whenever that happens.
While doing my metal guitar workshops one of the topics that I hear a lot about is the art of tackling the ability to play lead guitar. I often hear guitarists tell me that they want to know how they can begin to play a bit more lead in their band. They are interested in sharpening their skills, but they seem afraid and un-sure of how to dive in. Often they feel that there is an invisible wall stopping them. They just don’t know.
First shows are always the hardest ones, and Cardiff was no exception to this rule. To start, our rental gear was not up to par. Setting up the stage also took extra time, and as a result, we did not have time to do sound-check, or even test that our rental equipment worked.
Working on scales in the practice room can sometimes seem like a one-handed event. Sure, the picking hand is there, and it may even be focusing on alternate picking, sweep picking or other picking technique, but beyond that, how deep do we really go with our right hand when practicing scales?