Guitarists who improvise in any style-rock, blues, country, bluegrass, jazz, metal-have to have an arsenal of hot licks to draw upon. Little tricks which, played at just the right moment, can elevate the music to another level and blast an audience right out of their seats. All of my favorite players have their own signature licks that kill me every time I hear them. This is what inspired me to take up the guitar in the first place.
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.
To me, the search for the ultimate tone is a two-way street. I can totally relate to all the guitar players out there who are frustrated by trying to get a monster tone. But, then again, I don't think getting a killer tone is as mysterious and elusive as many guitarists seem to think. It's a fact that the very sound of your guitar says a lot about you as a player, and for that reason, every guitarist strives for the best tone he can possibly get.
Here's a NAMM 2012 video that was posted by CNN, covering one of the presentations at NAMM Media Day (January 18) at the Anaheim Convention Center. It also happens to feature Guitar World Editor-in-Chief Brad Tolinski.
Ringo Starr will release his 17th solo album, Ringo 2012, January 31 in the US (January 30 elsewhere) on HIP-O/UMe Records. The album title is a reference to Ringo, his best-selling album, which was released in 1973 and featured all three other Beatles.
Today's lick pays homage to the playing of blues legends Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lightnin' Hopkins. It's a short but action-packed lick in the key of A, played out of the open position and incorporating lots of quick finger slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and open strings.
In the following series of videos, Kenny Wayne Shepherd talks about his songwriting philosophy and his gear, and shows you how to play "Never Lookin' Back" and "Come On Over" off his new album, How I Go.