I'm on the plane. US Air, service Philly to Boston. I wrapped up my sold out, solo acoustic tour last night in Ocean City, Maryland and it's time I head home. I have to say I get a bit sad at the end of my tours these days. Trust me I'm ready to get some rest and family time but I sure miss my crew and I miss the road the minute I step up off of it. That's the truth. Music is my life and it's what I'm good at. It feels good to be on the road and to be the best you that you can be night in and night out.
If your lyrical snippets and song title ideas are worth getting down, shouldn’t your random musical ideas, riffs and chord patterns be worthy of the same treatment? Why not keep a sonic sketchbook? As discussed in a previous Songcraft post, today’s technology can make capturing song ideas easier than ever.
Summer means festivals. And those all-you-can-eat -- um, hear -- sonic explosions have more than enough sights and sounds to keep you entertained the entire day. But with 90 decibels of bass pounding into your chest, it can be difficult to remember some of the basics of survival.
There's nothing more exciting for guitarists than finding a good distortion pedal, especially one that sounds crushing and is affordable. Distortion is one of those mandatory pedals you’ll need as a glorious boost for rhythms, solos and — most importantly — to summon the gods of feedback.
For guitarists of any background or experience level, learning how to play jazz guitar means working through different types of standard tunes and forms, such as major blues, minor blues and rhythm changes. Though it is less common than its major and minor cousins, the Bird Blues chord progression, most notably demonstrated in the Charlie Parker tune “Blues for Alice,” is a tricky and important progression for any jazz guitarist to explore in the practice room.
This silky voiced ingénue isn’t afraid to get a little raw, and that’s what I like about her. La Havas deftly interweaves soulful, jazzy pop-friendly vocal melodies with jagged instrumental phrasing with a result that is extremely listenable and fresh. Yes, I need to hear it all again!
We return with this week with the 2nd "Pillar" we decided to discuss: recording. I'll go a little bit in depth on the processes and gear we used to record Moments. The entire album was tracked in our home studio (bedroom haha) over the course of about three months, and once completed was sent over to the amazing Acle Kahney (Tesseract/4D Sounds) for the mixing and mastering process.
In this Sick Lick, I'm using the Diminished 7th scale. I refer to this technique as the “Spider Technique." My friends came up with this name, and I thought that it was kind of cool, so it stuck! I'm forever searching for ideas and ways to push the boundaries of my playing. It's one thing to have an idea, but to actually follow through with it and get it up to a level where you can just rip it out is something else.
Is the “monkey grip” the pinnacle of superstrat design aesthetics? Is this still the coolest we've got, folks? The definition of superstrat still seems to be an S-type guitar with a humbucker in the bridge configured to HSH, HSS, HH or just the H … plus a Floyd or Kahler locking trem system. Did I leave out anything?
Imagine one day you get a job. You think it’s only gonna be for a few months and then you’ll move on. Then you look up and 25 years have gone by. Were you under a spell, an enchantment of sorts? Esther Marron, the No. 1 employee at Fender's Ensenada, Mexico, factory, can answer that question.