If you want to improve your guitar’s tone, the best place to start is at the source—the strings. In recent years, almost every major string manufacturer has made enhancements to its products—from more precise windings to advanced coatings—that can make your guitar play and sound like an entirely new instrument. Here are six recent product breakthroughs worth checking out.
Despite an intensely devoted fan base and decades of massive success, Rush have been, for much of their career, regarded as the World’s Least-Hip Rock and Roll Act—the band of choice for adolescent boys mesmerized by 20-minute prog-rock epics, extravagant drum solos, and lyrics filled with tales of snow dogs, warring trees and French national holidays.
My first two ear training columns (Part 1 and Part 2) outlined techniques intended to strengthen your note-recognition abilities, using the guitar as an ear training tool. This month, I’d like to turn you onto some ear training techniques that use chords.
From his early days playing the LA club circuit, bassist Jerry Dixon saw something in a young, up-and-coming band that piqued his interest. A late-night discussion with the band’s guitarist, Erik Turner, would kick off a partnership and plant the seed for one of the most successful pop metal bands of all time. With the addition of Joey Allen (guitars), Steven Sweet (drums) and singer/songwriter Jani Lane, Warrant was on the road to stardom.
Canadian theatrical hard rockers Incura released their self-titled debut album February 26 via Coalition Music and Warner Music Canada. As is evident from the lyric video of the song "Turning Blue" and the music video for “Who You Are,” the band brings a refreshing element of theatricality, which isn't common among rock bands. Their execution of the style makes it more than a mere gimmick.
Fretboard tapping has earned a bad name in certain sectors of the guitar community. Some players dismiss it as a technique suitable only for perpetrating the worst possible kind of overblown, unmusical histrionics, preferably played through a wall of amps that “go to 11.”
Michael Sweet may just be the busiest guy on the planet. For this year alone, the Stryper frontman has plans for no fewer than three albums, two tours and an autobiography. The revival officially begins March 26, when Stryper release the appropriately titled Second Coming, a 16-song collection of classic Stryper re-recordings as well as two new tracks.