When I first started playing guitar, there were only three available methods of tuning: A tuning fork (which only produced the “A” note, and you had to approximate the rest by knowing which frets or harmonics to finish tuning), a pitch pipe (a truly humiliating exercise in front of people) or a good guitar teacher.
There’s this nagging question I can’t get out of my mind. How does Dolly Parton play guitar with those long fingernails? ‘Cause it’s been decades since I gave up any thought of having nails that went more than a millimeter past the ends of my fingertips.
"Calhoun Surf" is the first song I ever wrote. It was 1978, and I was living in Minneapolis, not far from Lake Calhoun. I’d been wanting to start a band and had just remembered how much I liked surf instrumentals.
I’m just a guy who grew up in Brooklyn in the '60s, started playing piano at around age 9, happened to catch The Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show," switched my main interest to guitar, taught myself to play by figuring out solos by Clapton, Hendrix and Page, and 20 years later, went on to meet and work with most of my heroes.
When I got home last Friday night, I informed my 16-year-old son, Kane, that our favorite viking-sized guitar hero, Zakk Wylde, was putting out a book in September. While I can’t say for certain that Zakk has ever actually put pen to paper, there is no doubt that the contents are 100 percent Wylde.
The fresh buzz around my networks this week includes the hook-up of an indie fusion guitar phenom with an exciting new Euro guitar brand. Those not yet familiar with Bryan Baker or Magneto Guitars can discover them now.