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Lesson: Using Broken Chords to Add a Little Drama

The full-chord strum is only one way to skin the rhythm cat. A subtler but no less effective approach is playing broken chords, which involves successively picking the individual notes of a chord in a following pattern. An arpeggiated, or “broken,” chord simultaneously outlines the harmony, meter and rhythm.

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Don McLean Revisits His Tasty Classic, “American Pie”

While Don McLean was recording “American Pie,” the eight-minute-plus song that brought him stardom in late 1971, his label, Media Arts Records, went under. Understandably, the situation put a damper on any great expectations McLean had for the song. “I wasn’t thinking of releasing or editing it,” he says today. “My expectations were that I would be looking for a record company.”

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The Great Equalizer

In this post we’ll look at EQ - the history of its development as a sound modifier and its use in an acoustic guitar context. Originally, equalizers were designed to smooth out frequency response anomalies anywhere in an audio chain, whether it be a microphone (or pickup), a recording device like a vinyl disc-cutting machine or tape recorder, or a loudspeaker system. Other simple types of EQ are still being used as “tone controls,” the most common being the passive treble cut tone control found in guitars and tube amps.