This month, I’m going to demonstrate how one can utilize simple triadic shapes and patterns in order to imply more complex and varied chord qualities. I find this to be a very cool and useful improvisational tool, because you can apply it to playing over either a chord progression that you want to outline melodically or over a static pedal tone.
There was a time when the name Eric Clapton meant one thing and one thing only: guitar god. His incendiary six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Fresh Cream—briefly put the passionate young Clapton atop the U.K.’s, if not the world’s, guitar hierarchy.
Not too long ago, if you were shopping for a multieffect floorboard you were limited to a choice of affordable models with semi-pro-quality effects and moderately rugged construction or prohibitively expensive units with pro effects and tour-worthy durability.
One of my favorite ways to explore new riffs, chord patterns and melodic figures is to take one of the seven fundamental modes and use its structure as a guideline. In doing so, I often discover new chord shapes or melodic ideas that I may not have otherwise come across.
He was one of the greatest electric blues guitarists of his time, but Michael Bloomfield is nearly forgotten today. His friend and collaborator Al Kooper hopes to change that with the new box-set retrospective From His Head to His Heart to His Hands.
Among historic Gibsons, Tom Scholz’s 1968 Les Paul “Goldtop”—the first of two that he purchased in the Seventies—certainly ranks high. It’s the guitar heard on every massive Boston hit and all six of the group’s albums to date. As such, it was an ideal instrument for Gibson to replicate as part of its Collector’s Choice Series.
Boston’s Tom Scholz has a musician’s soul and a scientist’s obsession with the phenomena of sound and music. Those qualities have helped him and his long-running group create some of the most lavishly layered, hooky guitar rock of the Seventies and beyond. The guitarist was a senior product design engineer for Polaroid in the Seventies who spent his off hours tinkering meticulously on a set of demo recordings in his home studio.
If Jerry Garcia played in a death metal band instead of the Grateful Dead, he might have designed a guitar like the Guardian. At least that’s kind of the idea that Nashville luthier Sean Farrell had in mind when he conceived this guitar.