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Allan Holdsworth's Four-Note-Per-String Scales

I often get asked about two topics: How to play in a modern style and how to break out of box patterns.

Though these are two separate ideas, I often start by giving one answer: Check out four-note-per-string scales.

Xotic Effects Introduces New Soul Driven Pedal

Ready to add some "soul" to your playing? Xotic Effects has introduced its new Soul Driven pedal. From the company:

Soul Driven adds soul to your sound by producing creamy boost and overdrive tones with just the right amount of compression. The pedal is equipped with incredibly flexible tone-shaping options to help customize your sound while preserving your guitar’s tone.

IK Multimedia Releases Fender Collection 2 for iPhone and iPad

IK Multimedia has announced Fender Collection 2 for iOS. The new addition to the company's product line gives players and producers hyper-realistic iconic Fender tube amp tone from the '57 Custom Amp series, ’57 Bandmaster, '53 Bassman and '65 Super Reverb on their iPhone or iPad. From the company:

IK Multimedia is proud to announce Fender Collection 2 for AmpliTube: the definitive collection joining classic amps from early 50s and mid 60s with their latest brothers from the brand new '57 Custom amp series.

Using Chord Positions As a Springboard for Soloing

Over the last two columns, we’ve focused on applying various approaches to two-chord vamps for both rhythm guitar and soloing.

Many players have a difficult time breaking away from commonly used chord shapes when playing rhythm; in truth, moving to new areas of the fretboard for your rhythm parts will also inspire different melodic shapes. Let’s continue our look at a two-chord I-IV (one-to-four) vamp in the key of E, comprised of a repeating, two-bar E7-A7 progression.

The Blissful-Sounding Major Add-2 Arpeggio

Last month, we explored the somber-sounding minor add-2 arpeggio, also known as minor add-9, which is simply a minor triad arpeggio with a second, or ninth, added on top or sandwiched between the root and the minor, or “flatted,” third, resulting in a four-note entity, spelled 1 2 b3 5.

Double Strummed Octaves, and My Solo in “The Price Is Wrong”

If you’ve been following my columns, you’re well aware of the altered tunings I use virtually all of the time. On six-string guitar, my go-to tuning is what I call “drop-C” (low to high, of C G C F A D), which is drop-D down one whole step.

Review: Taylor Guitars Academy Series 10e and 12e


There are probably more good new acoustic guitars in the $500 and under street price range now than ever before in history (after adjusting for inflation, of course). As wonderful as this development appears on the surface, it also means that finding a truly great acoustic guitar in that price range may actually be a bigger challenge than ever.

Review: Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent Stealth Black


Sharp-eyed readers may recall that we reviewed the Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent just a little over a year ago. So why are we reviewing it again, especially since the only newly announced additions to the model were just four new finishes?

How to Create “Outside” Lines with Fourth Intervals

Back in the April 2017 issue, my column focused on fourths when creating rhythm parts and solos.

The use of a combination of notes that are fourths apart, known as “stacked fourths” or “quartal voicings,” is a common sound in jazz.

Think You Know Your Pedals? Take This Crazy Hard Guitar Effects Quiz

The gang over at loves to test guitarists' knowledge about, well, guitars and other tools of the trade.