After performing at the New England Music awards in March, opening for Adam Ezra at The Stone Church in April, bringing the full band out for a performance at The Cambridge Mayfair Festival in May and the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Steel Stacks in June and opening for Foreigner in July, the truth is I’m not really sure which crazy story to share with you today.
Two thousand twelve seemed to be the year of the acoustic. With hits like, “I Will Wait,” from Mumford & Sons, or “Home,” by Phillip Phillips, most of this year’s most popular songs had an acoustic guitar as the prominent instrument fueling the tune. Even mega-stars like Katy Perry took notice and stripped away the electronic beats of her hit song, “The One That Got Away,” to deliver a sensitive acoustic performance of it.
Guitar players are usually on some sort of a mission to improve our guitar tone. For many, this journey never ends. I dare say we're obsessed with it. The point of this blog post is simple, and I’m not going to comment much on the new toys for our guitars. However, I can tell you without any trepidation that the single greatest way to improve your tone is practicing. It might seem simple, but on the other hand, it can take years for us to truly understand it.
Last month we examined the role of the picking hand, particularly the use of bare fingers, in creating dynamics and adding dimension to your phrasing. Early in the electric blues era, this bare-handed approach was especially popular among “down-home” (rural southern) players, who also developed a variation on bare-fingered technique called chicken pickin’. The musical potential of imitating hens clucking in a barnyard may be somewhat limited, but the technique also opens the door to a variety of funky, percussive phrases.
I woke up this morning to some very good news. John Sykes just updated his official Facebook page. It looks like he's working on a new album that will hopefully be released soon. For those of you who know Sykes, you already know he is a phenomenal guitar player, singer and songwriter. For those who don't, here's a quick history lesson.
With the year in music winding down, we reached out to some of your favorite guitarists to find out what music and gear rocked their worlds in 2012. Below,Intervals guitarist Aaron Marshall fills us in on his five favorite pieces of gear.
In this month’s column, I’d like to show you some simple and effective ways to make your metal rhythm guitar parts sound bigger, heavier and more powerful. These ideas are useful in many different ways, and I think you will find them applicable in live performance as well as when overdubbing and layering tracks.
When one of my guitar students wants to learn lead guitar, I usually show him/her the minor pentatonic scale first. Once that scale is down in all keys, I play different and familiar chord progressions and have my students solo over them using the scales they've just learned. Almost always, the same thing happens: The student's leads sound like a continuous scale. I call it the musical equivalent of a stomach virus.