In this week's Monster Licks, I am — once again — pushing the boundaries of the minor pentatonic scale. The harmonic qualities of this scale really resonate with me. I know this may sound strange because this lick is played at high speed, but for me, the scale never looses its melodic beauty, no matter how fast or slow it’s played.
Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Jay Lane started doing a run of "Primus 3D" tour dates last year, and they've extended it into another tour leg for 2013. The show promised to augment Primus’ music with 3D visuals and Surround Sound for an entire evening with no opening act. The Fox Theater in Pomona, California, played host to one such show on May 19.
One of the most common questions I get from jazz guitarists is, “How do I bring a more modern sound into my solos?” While there is no single answer, there are a few things we can do in order to inject a bit of modern jazz flavor into our lines. The first modern-jazz concept I like to explore with students is to think and play two chords at once over a single harmony.
Already known for his work with a multitude of bands and musicians, including Steve Vai, Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and Niacin, bass maestro Billy Sheehan recently kicked off two new projects — PSMS (Portnoy-Sheehan-MacAlpine-Sherinian) and the Winery Dogs with Mike Portnoy and Richie Kotzen.
Garage rock is known for its outrageous characters, from the raw power of Iggy Pop to the ferocious musical idealism behind Jack White. To say that most artists have passion would be an understatement. Fortunately for us, these individuals found their way into music, and not behind the desk of some giant firm. Just for fun, what would the perfect job (besides the one they've got, of course) be for some of the bigger names out there?
I checked out three pedals in the Nemphasis line; the Liquid Mind Analog Chorus, The Muff Distortion and the VTComp Guitar Optical Compressor. All pedals share an easy-to-use, three-knob design, TrueBypass switching and a fully analog circuit powered by either a 9-volt battery or standard Boss-style power supply.
“I hope he does this every year, like the Allmans” said one of the two fans rocking out in front of me toward the end of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ triumphant show Tuesday night at New York City’s Beacon Theater, referring to the Allman Bros. Band’s yearly residency there. Everyone within earshot nodded in agreement.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from singer/songwriter Ali Isabella. I met her at her hotel in Los Angeles the day before she was to perform for a showcase I hosted at the ASCAP expo last month for the Women’s International Music Network. I can honestly say I was delighted with everything about her — her smile, her giggle, her infectious music, her strong songwriting, and her energy. Like a breath of fresh air.
I forgot to tell you that in some circumstances, you might find it easier to arrange some of the notes differently than what the tab states in certain sections. As long as you are playing the exact same notes, it is totally fine to rearrange the positions on the fret board in order make it easier for you to play. The tab is just a suggestion for where the notes should be played.
Since I'm a Beck completist — someone who buys every available recording featuring Beck's guitar work (It's a disease) — I guess I'll be downloading a LeAnn Rimes song on June 4, something I really didn't see coming. But this collaboration shouldn't come as a surprise. Beck has appeared on albums by Cyndi Lauper, Joss Stone and Beth Hart, to name just a few. He's recorded and/or performed with Imelda May, Olivia Safe, Tal Wilkenfeld, Jennifer Batten, etc.