With a lot of talent and a little bit of luck, a new generation of acoustic guitar fingerstylists are blazing a new style of percussive, alternate-tuned shred. In the Eighties, radical fingerstylists like Michael Hedges and Preston Reed pioneered an acoustic guitar style based on an alternate-tuned, percussion-heavy, new age–tinged sound.
As I have discussed in previous columns, I often use triadic arpeggio forms within my riffs and solos as a tool to create rich-sounding, poly-chordal sounds. I’d like to continue in that vein in this month’s column by presenting different ways in which to move from one arpeggio form to another.
How in good conscience can an institution that has admitted Gladys Knight & the Pips overlook Ozzy Osbourne? That was the burning question that kept us awake after we learned about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s inductees for 2014. Don’t get us wrong. We were thrilled to see Kiss and Nirvana finally listed among this year’s entrants. But after 28 years, we think it’s time that the Hall shower a little respect on some of the musicians that have thrilled and inspired Guitar World and its readers over the past 35 years.
“Every time we head into the studio, I probably haul in 10 amps and 15 guitars,” Neon Trees guitarist Chris Allen says, laughing. “But this time, we tried to simplify it. We really just wanted to do this record with a couple of amps and a few guitars.”
Percussive acoustic playing has been around forever, and it’s easy to see why. The guitar is essentially a drum with strings stretched over it. (Its cousin, the banjo, uses a drumhead to cover the body.)
If you agree that guitars and women are two of the sexiest things in the entire universe, then the Marilyn guitar is for you. It considerably ups the ante by combining the two, with a hand-carved body that perfectly duplicates every curve and detail of Marilyn Monroe’s famed pinup photo in the 1953 debut issue of Playboy magazine.
Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the merchandising. Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just the music itself. Whatever the source, it is safe to say that few bands have inspired as much fervent devotion—and also rabid derision—as the self-proclaimed “Hottest Band in the World,” Kiss.