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Sick Licks: Getting Aggressive With the A Minor Blues Scale

In this Sick Lick, I'm using the A Minor blues scale. In its traditional form, we would tend to use the Flat 5 note as a passing note (to slide in and out of or bend from) to get that real bluesy sound. What I do here is, rather than using the Flat 5 (D#) as a passing note, I tend to base the scale around this note. What this does is create an extremely aggressive sound, and it makes the scale awesome to use for heavier styles of music.

In this Sick Lick, I'm using the A Minor blues scale.

In its traditional form, we would tend to use the Flat 5 note as a passing note (to slide in and out of or to bend from) to get a real bluesy sound.

What I do here is, rather than using the Flat 5 (D#) as a passing note, I tend to base the scale around this note. What this does is create an extremely aggressive sound, and it makes the scale awesome to use in heavier styles of music.

Pushin’ & Pullin' with Frank Viele: Love Songs, Yacht Rock and Sharing the Stage This Summer with Foreigner!

There’s a great line in High Fidelity where John Cusack says, “What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

There’s a great line in High Fidelity where John Cusack says, “What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

Jazz Guitar Corner: Four Ways to Practice Drop 2 Chords Through the Cycle of 4ths

Learning to play both dominant 7th chords and Drop 2 chord voicings are essential steps in the development of any jazz guitarist. While both of these concepts are important to have under your fingers, running them through exercises such as inversions or chromatically across the neck, although productive exercises, can sometimes lead to boredom in the practice room.

Learning to play dominant 7th chords and Drop 2 chord voicings is essential in the development of any jazz guitarist.

While both of these concepts are important to have under your fingers, running them through exercises such as inversions or chromatically across the neck, although productive exercises, can sometimes lead to boredom in the practice room.

Songcraft: Capturing Your Song Ideas

In this piece, I thought I’d share some thoughts on a few really simple tools I use on a regular basis to capture my song ideas. Let’s face it, inspiration doesn’t always strike when we’re sitting at home in front of the piano. The muse may call in the car, the plane or the Laundromat. As such, I find myself relying more and more on the only tool I always seem to have in pocket; my smartphone.

In this piece, I thought I’d share some thoughts on a few really simple tools I use on a regular basis to capture my song ideas.

Let’s face it, inspiration doesn’t always strike when we’re sitting at home in front of the piano. The muse may call in the car, the plane or the Laundromat. As such, I find myself relying more and more on the only tool I always seem to have in pocket; my smartphone.

Photo Gallery: Martin Guitars Visits Guitar World with Four New Models, Including 00-DB Jeff Tweedy and GPCPA4 Siris

Chris Thomas of C. F. Martin & Co. recently visited the Guitar World office in New York City. Accompanying him were four new Martin models -- a 00-DB Jeff Tweedy, a new D-18, the GPCPA4 Siris and a Custom Shop CS28-12 -- all of which were debuted by the Nazareth, Pennsylvania-based company at the NAMM show in January.

Chris Thomas of Martin Guitars recently visited Guitar World's office in New York City.

Accompanying him were four new Martin models -- the 00-DB Jeff Tweedy, the new D-18, the GPCPA4 Siris and a Custom Shop CS28-12 -- which we checked out at the 2012 NAMM show in January.

Here's a photo gallery of three of the models (Sorry -- I completely missed the Custom Shop CS28-12), all of which were played by Guitar World's Paul Riario, who appears in a few photos, and me (I appear in no photos).

Guitarist Mike Hill of Tombs Interviews Vijay Kumar, Owner of Artist Series Guitar

Although Artist Series Guitars has been around for only three years, founder Vijay Kumar has amassed a diverse roster of signature artists, including Sick of It All, Fishbone, Madball, Coliseum, Tombs and Pennywise. When he was 15, Kumar started playing in Chicago-area bands, ultimately finding himself as the bassist for Bleeding Through.

Although Artist Series Guitars has been around for only three years, founder Vijay Kumar has amassed a diverse roster of signature artists, including Sick of It All, Fishbone, Madball, Coliseum, Tombs and Pennywise.

When he was 15, Kumar started playing in Chicago-area bands, ultimately finding himself as the bassist for Bleeding Through.

For several years prior to launching the company, a little voice inside his head said, "Do something with some guts. Do something that has some meaning. And do something that will make a difference."

Interview with Laura Wilde: A Walk On the Wilde Side

Hailing from Australia, Laura Wilde already has a well-shaped leg up with great looks and a fabulous accent. But it’s her rip-your-head-off, full-fledged guitar assault that’ll really get your attention. No gimmicks. No backing down. Just gonna have-a-good-time raunch rock with fierce guitar riffs, searingly unapologetic lyrics and a driving back line. Oh yeah. Remember when rock was rockin’? Now you know what I’m talking about.

Hailing from Australia, Laura Wilde already has a well-shaped leg up with great looks and a fabulous accent.

But it’s her rip-your-head-off, full-fledged guitar assault that’ll really get your attention. No gimmicks. No backing down. Just gonna have-a-good-time raunch rock with fierce guitar riffs, searingly unapologetic lyrics and a driving back line. Oh yeah. Remember when rock was rockin’? Now you know what I’m talking about.

Matt Bachand Tour Blog: Hitting 13 Cities With Shadows Fall

April 24, 2012: So begins the epic journey to Nashville to begin the first tour for Fire From the Sky. After packing the gear and piling into a van, a 12-hour drive took us to Niagara Falls. A night at the casino and a little sightseeing got us started for day 2. More driving and boredom and we cashed in night 2.Matt Bachand

April 24, 2012: So begins the epic journey to Nashville to begin the first tour for Fire From the Sky. After packing the gear and piling into a van, a 12-hour drive took us to Niagara Falls. A night at the casino and a little sightseeing got us started for day 2. More driving and boredom and we cashed in night 2.

April 26, 2012 – Nashville, TN

Ned Evett Fretless Guitar Blog: 'An Introduction to Fretless Guitar'

Hi, I'm Ned Evett, I'm a singer-songwriter fretless guitarist. In 1998, after several years of building, unbuilding and experimenting with fretless guitars, I decided it was time to put together an album using the fretless guitar exclusively. I named the album An Introduction to Fretless Guitar after my favorite Ravi Shankar album, An Introduction to Indian Music.

Hi, I'm Ned Evett, I'm a singer-songwriter fretless guitarist.

In 1998, after several years of building, unbuilding and experimenting with fretless guitars, I decided it was time to put together an album using the fretless guitar exclusively. I named the album An Introduction to Fretless Guitar after my favorite Ravi Shankar album, An Introduction to Indian Music.

Recorded at my Ocean Beach area apartment in San Francisco, California, the album features 10 of my original compositions. The album came out in 2000 and is my only instrumental record.

Jingle Jared: Want to Make a Breakthrough? Break On Through!

You know the old saying: Sometimes, in order to move forward, you need to break up what you have and start all over. Usually this fine piece of advice is invoked when a wall is hit. Ever reached a point where you’re stuck, where a block of giant proportions stands in the way between you and ANY progress? Of course. Anyone who has ever written, played, performed, or done anything creative knows the feeling.

You know the old saying: Sometimes, in order to move forward, you need to break up what you have and start all over.

Usually this fine piece of advice is invoked when a wall is hit. Ever reached a point where you’re stuck, where a block of giant proportions stands in the way between you and ANY progress? Of course. Anyone who has ever written, played, performed, or done anything creative knows the feeling.