I got a taste of what playing through a really amazing tube amp felt like when I visited my friend Rich and plugged into his vintage Fender Super Reverb. Wowza! My eyes and ears just popped open. Now that’s what rock and roll feels like! So here’s the thing. If I was gonna jam on electric guitar with the band, I needed a killer, ballsy tube amp.
It seems fitting that my first review to be featured in my Oil Slick blog -- a blog about garage rock -- addresses a solo album by one of the genre's most prolific artists, Jack White -- even though he has already removed himself from the landscape his guitar helped carve.
Last time I discussed what I look for in a guitar to achieve my tone. Of course, finding an instrument you like is important, but every piece of gear you use shapes your tone in some way. In this column we'll look at vibrato systems, amps, and effects.
In my video example for this week, I play some bluesy/Indian runs on a fretless, glass-necked guitar I custom-modified for John Frusciante. This interesting job, which I completed in September 2006, was arranged by Frusciante's guitar tech, Dave Lee. I took a Warmouth vintage replacement neck ... click to read more!
A video featuring a mashup of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" has been making the rounds on the Internet lately, and unlike a vast majority of mashup videos on YouTube, it's actually pretty good. Watch below.
While it seems we’ve taken it for granted that our favorite rockers are gonna keep on wailing into their geriatric years, what about the rest of us? Rock keeps you young, right? But even grandmas need pick up an axe once in a while. My new goal? I want to annoy the hell out of my future grandchildren with screaming leads from songs they think are “old” and “boring.” YES!
Best small club in Midlands. Yeah right. More of a shit hole to be honest... Again, no catering — a package of white toast and that’s it. No hot meal either. Had to fight with the promoter for an hour and threaten him, saying that we don’t play if we don’t get any food. Finally, we got 5 pounds buyout with the trade-off that our grade of beer was taken away. This is how it goes in UK, folks. Just bollocks.
When first learning to solo over 7th chords, most guitarists will begin by checking out the pentatonic and blues scales we all know and love, followed by the Mixolydain mode, which completes the fundamental trifecta for blowing on unaltered dominant chords. But what about altered dominant chords? When adding in b9s, #9s, b5s and #5s, all the “altered” notes of a 7th chord, suddenly these three scales just don’t cut it on the bandstand.
Is this the right time to record the rock opera you've been putting off? Should you join that death-metal-bluegrass band that keeps inviting you to sit in? Check in every week with Margaret Santangelo's Rock Stars column.
My approach to guitar is tonally a little different than most modern shredders, as I base all my playing around the pentatonic scale. Players like Shawn Lane and Eric Johnson do this better than anyone on the planet. But my approach is a little different again. I use the combination of sweep picking and three-string arpeggios to get around the guitar rather than focus on the scales in their natural form.