In case you don’t know, NAMM is the trade show for music gear, and the summer show is the little brother of the massive winter NAMM that takes place in Anaheim, California. But what summer NAMM lacks in size, it makes up for in quality. And let me tell you, there is some serious talent in Nashville, Tennessee. Woo hoo!
As songwriters (and human beings) we all want to be heard, but we also need to remember that our output is only as good as our input. Our creative engines need the fuel of inspiration, and that inspiration can only be absorbed when we’re listening and open to receiving it.
It was because of my experimenting with major scales and modes that I originally came up with the “Thumb Technique”; I was searching for ways to play descending arpeggio patterns while keeping an even flow and rhythmic pattern. What I eventually came up with is the pattern played in this lick.
Hi, gang! This week I am going to challenge all you aspiring session guitarists with a series of questions. Allow me to preface this by telling you that we are all session guitarists today. If you record at home or in a professional studio, you're already one. But I am speaking about session guitar as a career. Here goes!
Creation is all about new life. Music is all about creation. When we write songs and jam in a progressive way, we are essentially moving forward. We take bold new steps with our guitars, our voices, our pens and papers. As musicians we want to strive for originality and breath fresh life into the sounds and atmospheres we create. Yes we push on through and break down walls and barriers with our music, but as we move forward let us not forget the importance of looking back.
Prepared guitar involves attaching objects to the strings, causing exciting artificial overtones. Objects can include sinker weights, felt, pipe cleaner, etc. Here, in my new video, "Bend Me," I attached a prepared wooden mute across the bridge of my Republic Highway 61 Fretless resonator.
It looks like Chuck E. Cheese, the kid-friendly national pizza chain, has officially ditched its longtime, retro-rodent mascot in favor of a younger, Les Paul-playing mouse. (You can even see what looks like a tiny Gibson logo on the guitar's headstock if you look closely.)
Finally, somebody came out with a beginner instructional guitar method book series for adults and teenagers that’s not an outdated, depressing turn-off that makes you want to throw your guitar off a cliff after having struggled to learn embarrassingly unsatisfying versions of the audience favorites “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Three Blind Mice.”
So you've built a cigar box guitar, eh? Want to add some vocals while you rock the box? Then let's build a beer can mic. I've built several of these, and they have a great, old-time sound that's even better with a little gain.
More often than not, notes are picked, plucked, slapped, popped, tapped, slid in to, pulled off to or hammered-on to from another note. But there is another oft-overlooked technique that can add slippery finesse, intervallic interest and muscular, musically arousing power to your playing: the “hammer-on from nowhere."