Look around you. There seems to be a seven-string renaissance happening at the moment. Actually, eight-string guitars seem to be going pretty strong, too. But there's something particularly satisfying about plugging in a seven and riffing out in between the traditional ranges of the guitar and bass.
As a tribute to B.B. King, who died May 14, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Animals As Leaders' Tosin Abasi and Dethklok's Brendon Small performed King's "The Thrill Is Gone" Friday night at LA's Wiltern Theater.
Yesterday, June 9, 2015, was the 100th anniversary of the late, great Les Paul's birth. To celebrate the occasion, the guitar community threw one hell of a party in New York City's Times Square, not far from the Iridium, where the legendary guitarist and innovator played during the last years of his storied life.
To say Les Paul was an innovator would be the greatest of understatements. Though we might take his inventions and ideas for granted today, his influence on the development of music, and the way it is recorded, is unparalleled.
I could never overstate the importance of a musician’s need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good “inner ear” — the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening — is the most important element in becoming a good musician.
My young son is already a little perfectionist. If he's drawing and he messes up a letter, it's like it's the end of his world. He gets angry, frustrated or heartbroken. He hasn't started to learn an instrument yet (although he's interested in guitar and keyboard, and he digs Rush and the Beatles), but I see a lot of myself in his perfectionist streak.
On April 26, virtuoso guitarist Al Di Meola made a stop at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California, for one of his typically great shows. As a bonus, the show was topped off by a special encore appearance by Steve Vai.