Magazine http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/149/all en Review: Musicvox Space Cadet Custom Floyd Rose Guitar — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-musicvox-space-cadet-custom-floyd-rose-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Musicvox may have concocted some of the most far out and wacky guitar body styles of anything out there today, but generally speaking their guitars’ features are actually somewhat traditional. </p> <p>In fact, until now all of their models have featured stop tailpieces, with nary a tremolo, vibrato, or whammy bar to be seen. While the Floyd Rose tremolo has been around long enough to be considered vintage or even antique, the addition of a Floyd Rose brings the Musicvox Space Cadet Custom into the modern era and opens up a whole new world to players who have always wanted to try a Musicvox guitar but can’t live without their whammy.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> The Space Cadet model may be one of Musicvox’s more conservative designs, but it still has very distinctive styling that’s sure to appeal to players who are tired of the same old thing. Construction features include a mahogany body and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. </p> <p>Our example was decorated with a limited-edition custom two-tone black and white finish, with contrasting black binding on the body and headstock and white binding on the neck, and gold-plated hardware adding a touch of class.</p> <p>In addition to the licensed Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo system, the Space Cadet Custom Floyd Rose is equipped with a pair of Musicvox vintage-style humbucking pickups, master volume and tone controls, and a three-position pickup selector switch. The bolt-on neck has 22 medium-jumbo frets, pearloid block inlays, a 25 1/2-inch scale, and a relatively slim and flat C-shaped profile. </p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> Musicvox guitars have previously found happy homes in the hands of garage rock, punk, new country, and surf guitarists, but this may be their first model ideal for metal and hard rock guitarists. The vintage-style humbuckers produce loud and proud twang through a clean amp, but when treated with delicious doses of overdrive and distortion they deliver a snarling tone that falls between the honk and howl of a Gretsch Filtertron and the dominant mids of a Gibson PAF. This guitar does both surf and turf equally well.</p> <p>The Floyd Rose is set up perfectly out of the box in a floating configuration for performing dive bombs and raised pitch shrieks. The flat profile makes the neck comfortable for shredders, and the medium jumbo frets provide plenty of metal to latch onto for sweep picking or over-the-top bends. This is by far Musicvox’s most hot-rodded model to date.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE</strong> $999<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> Musicvox, <a href="http://www.musicvox.com/">musicvox.com</a></p> <p>The licensed Floyd Rose tremolo is set up in a floating configuration and features a gold-plated finish.</p> <p>Musicvox’s vintage-style humbuckers provide an alluring balance between twangy clean surf tones and aggressive midrange distortion.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> If you’ve always loved the looks of Musicvox guitars but wanted a whammy bar or even more shred-friendly features, the Space Cadet Custom Floyd Rose is the one you’ve been waiting for.</p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience4243223196001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4243223196001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-musicvox-space-cadet-custom-floyd-rose-video#comments July 2015 Musicvox Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Wed, 20 May 2015 17:26:21 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 24516 at http://www.guitarworld.com Review: Orange Rockverb 100 MKIII Guitar Amp — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-orange-rockverb-100-mkiii <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>PLATINUM AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>The original Orange amps of yesteryear were known for their outrageous clean headroom, eardrum-shattering overdrive, and earth-shaking volume—just the perfect thing for blues-based boogie rock during the early Seventies, but not the most modern sound in today’s high-gain world. </p> <p>When Orange introduced its Rockerverb series amps just over a decade ago, they forever changed perceptions of Orange amps by offering a product that could hang with the high-gain crowd and even stand out with its own aggressive personality. </p> <p>Over the years, Orange has made a few changes and refinements to the Rockerverb’s design to satisfy the needs of guitarists who have come to rely on the amp as a stage and studio staple. The latest and greatest of those changes are reflected in the new Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII 100-watt head, which provides impressive tonal refinements and new features certain to satisfy the most demanding players.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> The Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII is a two-channel head driven by four EL34 tubes in the power section, four 12AX7 tubes in the preamp section, and two 12AT7 tubes for reverb and the effects loop. The clean channel features a non-master volume circuit and provides volume, treble, and bass controls. The dirty channel has volume, gain, and bass, middle, and treble EQ controls. Both channels share the tube-driven spring reverb section featuring a reverb level control and a footswitchable attenuator that maintains the character and response of power tube distortion while allowing users to play at reduced volume levels. The amp also includes a half-power switch on the front panel and a 4/2 tube selector switch on the rear panel that let users select 100-, 70-, 50-, or 30-watts of output. </p> <p>Other rear panel features include a pair of 8-ohm 1/4-inch speaker outputs, a single 16-ohm 1/4-inch speaker output, individual footswitch jacks for the attenuator, reverb, and channel switching, and send and return jacks for the serial effects loop. The amp is housed in Orange’s characteristic orange-colored cabinet, but Orange also the amp with black basket-weave vinyl covering for players who want a more traditional, stealthy look. The control panel is decorated with Orange’s classic “pictogram” graphics instead of boring names.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> Orange refined the voicing of both the Rockerverb 100 MKIII’s clean and dirty channels, making it a much more versatile amp than previous iterations of the Rockerverb. The clean channel has increased clean headroom and tone that is more sparkling and “chimey” than before, combining the zing of an AC30, the percussive attack of a Hiwatt, and the powerful punch of a classic late-Sixties Orange. The clean channel is very lively and sexy, particularly when the amp’s luscious spring reverb with its long, velvety-smooth decay is dialed in. The clean channel also provides tantalizing overdrive crunch when the volume knob is cranked up past the three-o’clock mark. </p> <p>The dirty channel remains the main reason why Rockerverb amps have found homes on stage and in the studio with a new breed of hard rock and metal guitarists, producing everything from classic British crunch to mind-melting modern high-gain distortion textures that are thick and harmonically complex. </p> <p>The attenuator and selectable output make it easy for guitarists to achieve the exact clean or distortion character and responsiveness they want from the amp at any volume level from an apartment dweller’s whisper to a stage-filler’s scream. The control panel is quite simple and streamlined, but it makes it easy to dial in a surprisingly wide variety of tones ideal for almost any style of music from the most chilled out country to the heaviest metal.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE</strong> $2,149; Rockerverb 50 MKIII, $1,999<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> Orange Amplification, <a href="http://orangeamps.com/">orangeamps.com</a></p> <p>The revoiced clean channel provides expanded clean headroom and enhanced treble chime. A footswitchable attenuator maintains the power, character, and responsiveness of a fully driven amp at lower output levels.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> The Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII is designed to provide Orange’s heaviest tones to date, but the refined clean channel is so sweet that players of any musical style should check it out. </p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience4243223290001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4243223290001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-orange-rockverb-100-mkiii#comments July 2015 Orange Orange Amplification Videos Amps News Gear Magazine Wed, 20 May 2015 16:19:03 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 24515 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar World: July 2015 Gear and Lesson Videos http://www.guitarworld.com/july2015 <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the July 2015 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-july-15-lynyrd-skynyrd?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=June2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Lesson Videos</strong></p> <p>• <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/time-burn-more-developing-proper-sweep-picking-technique-video">Time to Burn with Michael Angelo Batio: More on Developing Proper Sweep Picking Technique — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-tribute-legendary-and-influential-style-mountains-leslie-west">In Deep with Andy Aledort: Tribute to the Influential Style of Mountain's Leslie West — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-how-reinvent-penatonic-approach-forge-new-melodic-riffs">Metal for Life with Metal Mike: How to Reinvent the Penatonic Approach to Forge New Melodic Riffs — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/string-theory-neat-ways-conjure-haunting-mysterious-melodies">String Theory with Jimmy Brown: Neat Ways to Conjure Haunting, Mysterious Melodies — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/thrash-course-dave-davidson-moving-freely-throughout-different-tonal-centers-and-how-play-debt-owed-grave">Thrash Course with Dave Davidson: Moving Freely Throughout Different Tonal Centers (NOTE: This month's edition of Thrash Course with Dave Davidson does not include a video.)</a></p> <p><strong>Audio Lesson Files</strong></p> <p>• <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-dale-turner-folk-baroque-stylings-late-john-renborun">Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The "Folk Baroque" Stylings of John Renborun</a></p> <p><strong>Gear Review Videos</strong></p> <p>• <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-eventide-h9-max-video">Review: Eventide H9 Max Harmonizer/Effect Processor — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-evh-wolfgang-wg-standard-video">Review: EVH Gear Wolfgang WG Standard Guitar — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-orange-rockverb-100-mkiii">Review: Orange Rockverb 100 MKIII Guitar Amp — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-musicvox-space-cadet-custom-floyd-rose-video">Review: Musicvox Space Cadet Custom Floyd Rose Guitar — Video</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-earthquaker-devices-afterneath-video">Review: Earthquaker Devices Afterneath Reverb Pedal — Video</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-19%20at%201.20.05%20PM.png" width="620" height="805" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.20.05 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lynyrd-skynyrd">Lynyrd Skynyrd</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/july2015#comments July 2015 Lynyrd Skynyrd Videos News Magazine Tue, 19 May 2015 20:45:31 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24511 at http://www.guitarworld.com Time to Burn with Michael Angelo Batio: More on Developing Proper Sweep Picking Technique — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/time-burn-more-developing-proper-sweep-picking-technique-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Sweep picking is an incredibly useful and exciting technique that allows guitarists to perform arpeggios in a flashy, keyboard-like manner. </p> <p>It has become a huge part of my playing style, and I’m always looking for new and different ways to incorporate sweep picking into musical ideas I come up with. Last month, I detailed the basic mechanics of the technique, and now I’d like to further demonstrate its proper execution. </p> <p>To review, a sweep is the movement of the pick across two or more adjacent strings in a single, continuous stroke, a downstroke being used to play an ascending melodic line and an upstroke used to play a descending one. Sweeping across only two adjacent strings is also often referred to as economy picking, or rest-stroke picking, typically when applied to phrases that are more scalar than arpeggio-based. </p> <p>Some of the fastest guitarists ever, from gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt to jazz-fusion wizard Frank Gambale, have relied on economy, rest-stroke and sweep picking techniques to perform their breathtaking high-velocity solos and make them sound seemingly effortless.</p> <p>For now, we’re going to focus specifically on arpeggios that move across the top five strings. <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> illustrates a sweep-picked A major arpeggio (A C# E). I begin with my index finger on A, fifth string, 12th fret, and pick this note with a downstroke. I then hammer-on with my pinkie to C# at the 16th fret. </p> <p>Then, with my middle finger barred across the D, G and B strings at the 14th fret, I continue the initial downstroke by dragging the pick across these strings and then the high E string, using my index finger to fret the E note at the 12th fret. I then fret the high A at the 17th fret with my pinkie and pick that note with an upstroke. I follow this with a pull-off back to the 12th fret then continue the upstroke by dragging the pick across the B, G, D and A strings in one continuous, unbroken motion, followed by a downstroke on the A note on the fifth string’s 12th fret. <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> illustrates the complete pattern cycled repeatedly in a continuous, even flow of sextuplets. </p> <p>An essential component of proper sweep picking technique is muting unused strings with both hands. When sweeping, I always lightly rest the edge of the pick-hand palm across the strings in front of the bridge (what is known as palm muting), which helps prevent the strings not being picked from ringing. Additionally, when fretting on the lower strings, I use the fleshy “paws” of my fretting fingers to mute the adjacent higher strings, aiding in clear articulation of each note as it is picked, with no other strings ringing. </p> <p>The next step is to work on applying sweeps to other arpeggio shapes in different positions, as demonstrated with a ninth-position A major shape in <strong>FIGURES 3–5</strong>. When played in this position, a one-note-per-string fingering scheme is used, except on the high E string. <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> presents the basic shape, and <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> demonstrates one way you can continuously cycle the pattern. I myself usually double-pick the initial A note when repeating this pattern, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>. </p> <p>A great way to practice your sweeps is to alternate between parallel major and minor triads, such as A and Am. <strong>FIGURES 6</strong> and <strong>7</strong> illustrate this approach applied to 12th and ninth positions, respectively. </p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience4244566020001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4244566020001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/time%20to%20burn.png" width="620" height="679" alt="time to burn.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/michael-angelo-batio-0">Michael Angelo Batio</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/time-burn-more-developing-proper-sweep-picking-technique-video#comments July 2015 Michael Angelo Batio Time to Burn Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Tue, 19 May 2015 19:46:24 +0000 Michael Angelo Batio 24518 at http://www.guitarworld.com Review: EVH Gear Wolfgang WG Standard Guitar — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-evh-wolfgang-wg-standard-video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>GOLD AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>The EVH Wolfgang USA guitar designed and played by Eddie Van Halen is one hell of a fine instrument, but not everyone can afford its $4,000-plus sticker price. </p> <p>Fortunately, EVH recently introduced its most affordable version of the Wolfgang guitar yet—the EVH Wolfgang WG Standard. </p> <p>With features that include a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo and a pair of Wolfgang humbuckers, it offers much of the same vibe as Eddie’s main ax while saving shredders a whole lot of bucks.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> The EVH Wolfgang WG Standard is available with a basswood body (gloss black finish version) or basswood body with quilt maple top (transparent black and transparent red finish versions). </p> <p>One slight difference between the WG Standard and the USA model is that this version’s lower bass bout is contoured for increased playing comfort as well as tummy cut on the upper back of the body. The bolt-on one-piece maple neck has 22 jumbo frets, a 12- to 16-inch compound radius, 25 1/2-inch scale, comfortable shallow C-shaped profile, oiled natural finish, and spoke wheel truss rod adjuster located above the 22nd fret. </p> <p>Electronics consist of a pair of direct-mounted Wolfgang humbuckers, master volume and tone controls, and a three-position pickup selector. Hardware includes an EVH-branded Floyd Rose Special tremolo, EVH brand tuners, and oversized strap buttons. There are a few notable differences between the Wolfgang WG Standard and the Wolfgang USA models, such as the lack of a D-Tuna, nickel frets instead of stainless steel, regular pots instead of low-friction versions, and no multi-layer binding, but the Standard model’s features offer the same basic essentials as the flagship USA version.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> Thanks primarily to its maple fretboard, the Wolfgang WG Standard sounds slightly brighter than its USA counterpart, but its fierce tone and expressive responsiveness is virtually identical. The jumbo frets will likely please shredders more than the small vintage-style frets found on the USA model as well. In fact, with its lighter weight and forearm contour, the Wolfgang WG Standard is overall more comfortable to play. </p> <p>Attention to detail is quite impressive for a guitar in this price range. The fretboard edges are rounded to maximize playing comfort, and the fretwork is simply perfect. The transparent finish versions add an extra dimension of class with their quilt maple tops with unstained edges that simulate the look of natural wood binding. </p> <p><strong>LIST PRICES</strong> $733.32 (gloss black); $799.99 (transparent black or transparent red)<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> EVH, <a href="http://www.evhgear.com/">evhgear.com</a></p> <p>A pair of direct-mounted Wolfgang humbuckers provides fierce tones and expressive responsiveness. The flat-top body features a contoured lower bass bout that enhances playing comfort by providing a smooth surface where the forearm contacts the top.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> The Wolfgang WG Standard may lack a few of the high-end details of the flagship EVH Wolfgang USA model, but its sound and playability are essentially the same, making this model an incredible bargain.</p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience4243292195001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4243292195001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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The single version appeared on the band’s second 1965 album (they released three that year), <em>Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!).</em></p> <p><em>Today!</em> and <em>Summer Days</em> were landmark albums for Wilson and the Beach Boys. The songs’ increasing lyrical depth and Wilson’s sophisticated orchestral “Wall of Sound” approach to production—achieved through the use of a team of L.A. session musicians unofficially known as “The Wrecking Crew”—laid the groundwork for his undisputed masterpiece, 1966’s <em>Pet Sounds</em>. </p> <p>When viewed as a group, these three albums show Wilson at the apex of his creative powers—completely deserving of the “visionary” crown he wore—off and on—for the next 50 years. </p> <p>Fifty summers after <em>Summer Days</em>, Wilson and Jardine—who shared six-string duties with lead guitarist Carl Wilson until Carl’s death in 1998—have hooked up for <a href="http://www.brianwilson.com/tour/">Brian Wilson’s No Pier Pressure Tour,</a> a U.S. trek that also features former Beach Boys guitarist Blondie Chapman. </p> <p>Jardine and Chaplin also appear on Wilson’s new studio album, <em>No Pier Pressure</em>, which was released April 7 through Capitol Records, the Beach Boys’ original label. The album also features guitar work by David Marks, another occasional Beach Boy.</p> <p>With all this Beach Boys mojo in the air, <em>Guitar World</em> invited Jardine to chime in on some of the good, bad and ugly moments in the Beach Boys’ long, storied and sometimes bizarre history. </p> <p>Incidentally, the 72-year-old Jardine still sings “Help Me, Rhonda” in the original key.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: It’s become common knowledge that many of the instruments on the Beach Boys’ mid-Sixties albums were played by session musicians, including a gang of L.A. pros later known as the Wrecking Crew. Did that ever bother you—not always playing guitar on your band’s albums?</strong></p> <p>Oh, no, no, no. [laughs] I could go clean the pool, [drummer] Dennis [Wilson] could go surfing. Dennis was the first one to bolt. He was such an outdoor guy; he just liked being out with his cars and boats, surfing and all that. He was thrilled to be able to take some time off. [Wrecking Crew drummer] Hal Blaine and those guys were so good, so it allowed the music to go to another level. </p> <p>You have to remember, we were always gone, always out touring, and we were beat to hell when we got home. And then Brian, who stayed back and worked on the albums in the studio, would be calling us in to do vocals, which was a project in itself. Brian didn’t sleep. He was so impatient for us to be home. But I think Carl attended most of those sessions because he was Brian’s Number One go-to guy.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cUxMupNEno4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>When you listen to the outtakes from the “Good Vibrations” recording sessions, Brian can be heard directing the musicians, very much the man in charge. Was it like that as soon as he started producing, even on 1963’s <em>Little Deuce Coupe</em> and early 1964’s <em>Shut Down Volume 2</em>?</strong> </p> <p>Pretty much, yeah. It was his vision. He was hearing the pattern, the melodies. He knew what he wanted, and that was great. It’s wonderful to have that energy, to have someone in charge. Otherwise, it would be a train wreck. Later on I played bass on a couple of the albums, so it gave Brian the opportunity to be behind the window in the control room. It must’ve been wonderful for him; otherwise he’d have to go back and forth between the studio and the control room. He usually had a little chart made up for us each day. I was impressed with his ability to impart that to the rest of us, even though we didn’t have musical training. Brian and I took music classes, but I think he dropped out, and I got an F. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Did Brian’s vision extend to Carl’s guitar solos?</strong></p> <p>No, Carl gave that part to the band. He made up the solos. I was always the rhythm guitarist because I never had any guitar training. I just became the anchor behind that. </p> <hr /> <p>Brian would go to Carl because they lived together for a long time; he’d come to Carl first with an idea. He might sketch it out on the keys, like with “California Girls.” I think he told Carl what to play on that one. That was a beautiful session. </p> <p>They had such a great rapport, being brothers. Carl would do anything for him. They could sit in the control room all nice and peaceful and quiet, while the whole damn band was out on the floor, plug directly into the console and work on an intro or riff. </p> <p>And then there’s no bleed in from the other instruments because you’re going direct. That’s why the purity is so beautiful on “California Girls” in particular. That’s one of my favorite intros of all time. It’s so grand and clean, just straight to tape, no extra cables, pure signal.</p> <p><strong>How would you describe or rate Carl as a guitarist?</strong></p> <p>He, like the rest of us, just grew up with this thing, so we weren’t technically very good. But he had exceptional talent, just like his older brother. He had something special about his ear. He had an ear for pitch and alacrity on the fretboard. He wasn’t Jimi Hendrix, but he could play in structured areas. We made songs more as two- or three-minute statements like vignettes, and every eight bars had a reason. It wasn’t like the Grateful Dead. [laughs] It was our mission to make great hit records…and it was fun.</p> <p><strong>In terms of gear, do you still have any of your Sixties-era Beach Boys guitars or basses?</strong></p> <p>The problem is we kept losing them because we toured so much. They’d get stolen right off the back of the truck. We could never keep them in stock. We’d just have to get new ones, so I don’t have a clue where they are. So through the Sixties we’d just keep recycling them. I have a couple of replica Strats that play almost as good as the originals, or as the one I was playing in the Eighties, which is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I think I’m gonna ask for it back so I can go out and play it. It’s nice to look at, but it should be played. </p> <p><strong>Did you ever attend the Wrecking Crew Beach Boys sessions and mingle or confer with those legendary session guitarists, including Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco or Barney Kessel?</strong></p> <p>Oh god, yeah. Glenn even came out on the road with us for about six months. I was able to work up a real great friendship with him and help him out onstage because he wasn’t used to playing out on the road. He replaced Brian [in the touring band] in late 1964. He was going to have to sing Brian’s high parts and play the bass. He’s primarily a guitar player, so I offered to play the bass so he could concentrate on the high parts. That was a lot to ask of him. It was very sudden, just a couple of days’ notice. </p> <p>But yeah, I did meet all the guys and I did attend some tracking sessions. I couldn’t tell you which ones; there were so many. By the way, someone told me Hal Blaine considers me the best rhythm guitarist. I said, “Is he crazy?” [laughs] There are so many better players than me. But there’s a trick to good rhythm guitar, so I take that as high praise.</p> <p><strong>Of course, even if you didn’t always play guitar or bass on a bulk of those mid-Sixties sessions, you’d still have to learn the parts for when you toured behind a new album. Was Brian involved in helping you come up with those live arrangements?</strong></p> <p>Oh, yeah. He actually came out on the road with us when we first performed “Good Vibrations,” and it sounded pretty damn good! That was one we were particularly concerned about. We had to have a Theremin made up, a little slide Theremin, a piece of wood with a ribbon on it, which made a real good sound. So we got that one down in its essential parts. </p> <p>What I’ve found is that all these songs were so well written that it really doesn’t matter if you have all the instruments. It’s wonderful if you can, and in this particular iteration of Brian’s band [on Wilson’s 2015 No Pier Pressure Tour], every part is on there, every instrument is being replicated. But in those days we had only five pieces, five guys singing and playing, but it still sounded good. It’s really all about the melody. If the melodies and harmonies are there, you can have a ukulele in the background. </p> <p><strong>After the cancellation of the doomed <em>Smile</em> album in 1967, Brian started to check out as the band’s sole producer. He struggled with drugs and even checked into a psychiatric hospital. How did the band take it, and how did you guys manage to take over the reigns so smoothly?</strong></p> <p>It was just necessary. He was checking out. He wasn’t always there, so we had to pick up the slack. So that’s when we started to contribute more as a band. I think it was remarkable what we came up with, looking back on it. It wasn’t commercial at the time, but it certainly has had an impact. </p> <p>Decades later, people were starting to appreciate what Dennis and Carl came up with—and me, for that matter. It really goes to show you what we can do when the chips are down. We encouraged Brian to stay involved, but mental illness has a way of having its own way. It’s amazing that we’re back again today doing this. It’s an amazing feat that he’s so accessible and capable of delivering the music with this great band. And we’re having a good time doing it! We should, we deserve it. Damn right, man, after all we’ve been through.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>After the “Wall of Sound”/Wrecking Crew era, when all the Beach Boys took a more hands-on approach to tracking and producing, did you guys ever feel drawn to the sort of thing Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin were doing? </strong></p> <p>Did you want to go out and get some Marshall stacks? And, while I’m at it, did you ever meet Hendrix?</p> <p>No, I never met him. And no, we were minimally able to play our own music, let’s put it that way. We were pretty good, but we weren’t into “big and loud.” We didn’t have that need, because I think it’s a need. </p> <p>Sort of, “If something is louder, it’s better.” But for Carl and me, we were painting a canvas. Jimi was one of the best in the world, but they were more of a performance phenomenon, representing an era. We were more like painters, painting music with our guitars and our productions, and they were blasting it, I guess.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uigK_hHW-b0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Speaking of blasting it, there are some wild, uncharacteristically “big” guitar solos on some of the post–<em>Smiley Smile</em> albums the band produced as a team. For instance, who’s playing that crazy solo on “Bluebirds Over the Mountain” from 1969’s <em>20/20</em>?</strong></p> <p>Oh, god. That’s Eddie Carter, master of the guitar. He and Jimi were friends. So maybe you’re hearing some Jimi in there. Eddie played bass on all those tracks that Brian or I didn’t play on, and it was Eddie during the living room sessions [Editor’s note: The band often recorded in Brian Wilson’s Bel Air living room from 1967 to 1972]. But Eddie played guitar on “Bluebirds.” </p> <p>It was such a big deal at the time. You had to have a big guitar solo because all those big guitar guys were happening. So, hey, if the Beach Boys have a big guitar solo on their record, that’s really gonna be great! That’s really gonna help out. It didn’t work out as well as we thought it would. </p> <p>We joke with Eddie about it now because it was a really good solo but very out of character with what we were known for, as I mentioned earlier. It was kind of a clash of cultures, an experiment that went somewhat awry. But yeah, it was no big deal for Carl to say, “You play on this.” There were no egos in the band. Everybody has a threshold of what they do best. That’s what’s great about being in a group; if someone’s uncomfortable with something, let someone else do it. It’s always been about the song, the completed project. Get completion, get it done.</p> <p><strong>How about that metallic-sounding heavy-fuzz guitar solo on “Feel Flows” from 1971’s <em>Surf’s Up</em>?</strong></p> <p>That’s Carl. I just love that song. It’s Carl on the Wurlitzer too. That and “Long Promised Road.” He had that knack for playing the Wurlitzer; he got quite a sound on it, and the chorus was beyond real. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gh1YKIZlXWs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Speaking of great guitarists, what was it like touring with Jeff Beck in 2013?</strong></p> <p>He’s an exhibitionist, man. He’s got that beautiful style. He showed me a couple of riffs and said, “You can do this, it’s really easy. It sounds incredibly complicated, but…” [laughs] He just sees it differently, sees in different colors. He can’t believe I’m still playing with a pick! His hands are like the size of a football; his thumb is doing all the work. It’s hard to believe he can get that great sound, but he’s got it all dialed in. But yeah, we stood right next to each other on that tour. I had the best seat in the house.</p> <p><em>For more about Brian Wilson’s No Pier Pressure Tour featuring Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, visit <a href="http://www.brianwilson.com/tour/">brianwilson.com/tour.</a></em></p> <p><em>Photo: (from left) Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin in the studio with Al Jardine, Mike Love and Carl Wilson in the early Seventies. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jeff-beck">Jeff Beck</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/boys-life-al-jardine-discusses-brian-wilsons-genius-touring-jeff-beck-and-working-wrecking-crew#comments Al Jardine Beach Boys Brian Wilson Damian Fanelli GWLinotte June 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 14 May 2015 18:14:16 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24474 at http://www.guitarworld.com Dear Guitar Hero: Noel Gallagher Talks New Album, the Sad State of Rock and Billion-Dollar Oasis Reunion http://www.guitarworld.com/dear-guitar-hero-noel-gallagher-discusses-chasing-yesterday-state-rock-and-possibility-oasis-reunion <!--paging_filter--><p>As the primary songwriter in Oasis, he was responsible for such Nineties mega-hits as “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova,” and occasionally had violent, public fights with his singer brother Liam. </p> <p>But what <em>Guitar World</em> readers really want to know is… </p> <p><strong>You produced the new Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds album, <em>Chasing Yesterday</em>, by yourself. It’s the first time you’ve ever done that. Why did you go that route, and what was the experience like? — Scott Ringle</strong></p> <p>Because my producer that I’ve used for the last 10 years, Dave Sardy, has decided to get into the film industry, so he’s not doing records anymore. At least that’s what he told me. He probably thought the demos were shit. [laughs] I found it very fulfilling. I also found it very easy, and I’ve come to the conclusion that producers actually might be the biggest batch of fucking chancers in all of musical history.</p> <p><strong>What gear are you using on your current tour? — Robert Nivelle</strong></p> <p>Amp-wise, I’m using a very special-edition Hiwatt Custom 100 combo that was made as a prototype for me in the late Nineties and was never put into production. I have the only one, and it’s fucking amazing. For just my own stage sound, not in the mix, I use a Fender Blues Jr. </p> <p>My guitars consist of a 1960 Gibson ES-355, two 1960s Gibson ES-345s, a Nash Guitars ’72 Tele-style, plus a Martin D-28 and Gibson J-150. I had a very expensive 1963 off-white Strat stolen from me about three years ago. It was the best Strat I’d ever played. And I thought, I’m not fucking spending that much money to replace it, so I bought a Nash copy of it, and it’s the best guitar I’ve ever owned. Ever. And the Nash Tele is astonishing. I use them both all over my new record.</p> <p><strong>I haven’t been hearing a lot of guitar on your recent albums. Any plans on getting back into guitar in the near future? — John Jellicoe</strong></p> <p>Well, on my previous record [2011’s <em>Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds</em>] there was one guitar solo. On this record, there are nine. So, fuck you [laughs]. It’s not something that was thought out in advance; it just depends on the songs I’m working on. These songs have guitar solos in them. The next album I make, if I do make another one, might have no guitars on it whatsoever. I don’t know. I’ll decide when I decide to make a record.</p> <p><strong>What do you listen to at home and in the car? — J. Algernon Hawthorne</strong></p> <p>I listen to pretty much everything apart from heavy metal. There’s no one particular music I prefer. I mean, I guess I prefer Sixties guitar pop above all else, but I listen to all sorts: dance music, jazz, punk…well, maybe not punk. But I listen to everything. That’s why my record’s so good. </p> <p><strong>Do you think popular music can ever be as important as it was in previous decades? — Damien Linotte</strong></p> <p>Clearly, the answer is no. There’s a new generation being born who were born in the modern age. I have a 15-year-old daughter, and the most important thing in her life is her fucking telephone, which just happens to have music on it. When I was growing up, the most important thing was music and television shows that had music in them, and the radio and shit like that. The modern world has a place for music, but it’s not the life-changing force it once was. There’ll never be another John Lennon, let’s put it that way.</p> <p> <strong>How’s your relationship with your brother Liam these days, and what would it take to get Oasis back together? — John Thomas</strong></p> <p>Our relationship is as good or as bad as it ever was, depending on how you perceive it. As for Oasis, it would take half a billion dollars. None of that Canadian shit. American dollars. Half a billion. Not million. Billion, with a B. </p> <p><strong>Do you have any plans for releasing a signature guitar through Gibson or Epiphone? — Trevor French</strong></p> <p>I’ve been asked and I kinda can’t be fucking bothered, do you know what I mean? It’s a funny thing, designing guitars. Because, let’s face it, somebody got it right in about 1956. What’s the point? You can do them in funky colors with funky switches and blah, blah, blah, this, that and the other. But really, if I was to sit down and design a guitar, it would be exactly the same as the one I fucking play. </p> <p>My main guitar, my 355, is in no way unique. It hasn’t got any unique, specific features on it. It’s just a fucking great guitar. It sounds great, has great pickups. I mean, what more could you do to a guitar? The guitar itself is really not important. It’s the fucking player, isn’t it?</p> <p><strong>If there were a fire at your house and you could save only one piece of gear, what would it be? — Luis Diaz</strong></p> <p>My white Nash Strat, considering it’s the only guitar I’ve got at my house. [laughs] But I’d probably regret not saving my big plastic bowl of plectrums. Because really, what the fuck is a guitar without a plectrum? </p> <p><strong>Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr appears on “Ballad of the Mighty I” on your new album. Do you think there’s a chance you’ll ever make a full album together? — Gus Bates</strong></p> <p>Let’s just say I could close my eyes and have a wild dream, and it would be for Johnny to be in my band. That would be amazing. But as he’s a solo artist and I’m a solo artist, it’s hardly likely to happen. But I would definitely be up for doing something with him, but a full-length record might be a bit too much.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jBbyc3t-Ctc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What’s it like when thousands of people, in some cases hundreds of thousands, sing along to “Don’t Look Back in Anger” at your shows? — Leslie Castle</strong></p> <p>You kind of have to detach yourself from it. It’s been that way since the day that record came out [1996]. It’s such an extraordinary song. Not that my part in it was extraordinary in any way, and not that the component parts are extraordinary. They’re not extraordinary chords or lyrics, and there’s not an extraordinary melody or arrangement or anything like that. </p> <p>But for some reason, it’s become this extraordinary piece of music that people…they took it, and it means so much to them, and I don’t know why. I’m just the guy playing the guitar while they’re singing their hearts out. It’s crazy. The song just arrived. Fuck knows why I played those chords or why they came in that order or who the fuck Sally is. Or where she’s going or why she was watching everybody walking on by. It was just a song that was in the air, and I’m glad I was around to write it. Because in the wrong hands, it could be a bit shit, do you know what I mean?</p> <p><strong>What do you think about the current state of rock? — Joe Lee Jr.</strong></p> <p>Oh, it’s dead, no matter what anybody fucking says. There are great bands—U2 and Coldplay and Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys and all that—but all those guys have been going for such a long time. If you’re talking about new rock music…people are going on about Royal Blood, but I’m like, “Really?” I don’t fucking get it. Show me the tunes. Rock has left the building.</p> <p><strong>Is it still easy for you to write songs in 2015? — John Babcock</strong></p> <p>I find it easy to start them, but it’s difficult to finish the bastards off. I could start a thousand songs a week and finish maybe one a month. But I’d rather have 75 songs that are in need of a second verse and an arrangement than finish one shit song. There’s many stages to what I do. There’s the writing, the recording, the mixing, the rehearsing, the gigs and all that. But my favorite thing to do is catch a bit out of the air and develop it into a song that didn’t exist, and a great song that’s gonna mean something to someone. That’s a great thing to be involved in.</p> <p><strong>Do you still hate the guys in Blur? — Damiano Sciancalepore</strong></p> <p>No, no, no. [laughs] Too old for hate now. To be quite honest, I don’t think anybody really hated each other anyway. It was just a very competitive time. Most of us in both bands were either drunk or high when we were doing it. In my case, I was both. When you’re young, you’re full of energy and spunk and you’re up for it. It turns out they’re lovely guys. </p> <p><strong>If you had to choose a single song that best represents your new album, what would it be? — Doyle Barr</strong></p> <p>Ah, this is why it’s a good album. There isn’t one song that really is representative. You could take any two songs; play “Riverman” and “The Right Stuff” to people and they’d think, This is kind of like a groovy, psychedelic jazz album. Then take “Ballad of the Mighty I” and “In the Heat of the Moment” and you’d think it’s like a disco record. You could take “Lock All the Doors” and “The Dying of the Light” and you’d think this is a classic example of what he does. But if I were to choose one track to play to some person who’s not into what I do, let’s call him a fucking square, I’d play them “Riverman.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fuubqoEb4jE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p> <strong>Some journalist said “Riverman” sounds like a bit like “Wonderwall.” What are your thoughts on that? — Albert Woolson</strong></p> <p>What the fuck? [laughs] I mean, honest to God, it just goes to prove that the internet has given a voice to every fucking bozo on the planet. I mean, 99.9 percent of people on this planet are fucking dumbasses. And then there’s the 1 percent of the rest of us that are kind of discerning. You read stuff by people and you think, “You fucking morons.” Idiots. There’s only two things that connect that song to “Wonderwall.” One of them is me. The other one is the fact that I’m singing it. That’s it. Other than that, it bears no resemblance to it whatsoever. Oh, hang on a minute: It’s got an acoustic guitar on it, so it must be like fucking “Wonderwall.”</p> <p><strong>Will you be working on a box set anytime soon? — Fred Upham</strong></p> <p>No. I don’t like box sets. They’re too long. You lay all the shit out and you think, Will I ever live long enough to actually fucking listen to all this? Are there enough days in the rest of my life to get through this? But they do look good. I’ve got Pink Floyd box sets, and they look great on a shelf, and they’re great artifacts. But does anybody really listen to them? </p> <p><strong>You used to say you weren’t too fond of Oasis’ <em>Be Here Now</em> [1997]. Has your opinion of that album changed over the years? — Meg Matthews</strong></p> <p>It’s my least favorite of the albums I wrote, for sure. But I won’t take away anybody’s right to like it. I meet people regularly who say, “That’s your best album.” And I say, “Really?” but I think, You fucking moron, you don’t know what you’re talking about. If people like it, that’s great. Don’t expect me to play any of it.</p> <p><em>Photo: Ross Gilmore/Redferns/Getty Images</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/oasis">Oasis</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/dear-guitar-hero-noel-gallagher-discusses-chasing-yesterday-state-rock-and-possibility-oasis-reunion#comments Damian Fanelli Dear Guitar Hero GWLinotte June 2015 Noel Gallagher Oasis Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 14 May 2015 17:38:08 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24472 at http://www.guitarworld.com Metal for Life with Metal Mike: A Practice Piece That Incorporates Useful, Challenging Techniques http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-practice-piece-incorporates-useful-challenging-techniques <!--paging_filter--><p>In my quest to raise my guitar-playing game to the highest level, I find it essential to devise practice techniques that will push my pick- and fret-hand abilities as far as possible. </p> <p>A great way to go about this is to combine the focus on these technical issues with the creative endeavor of writing original riffs and patterns that will hopefully spark new song ideas. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1</strong> is a 19-bar etude—a musical exercise that sounds like a mini-composition—I came up with that effectively addresses several fret- and pick-hand techniques that I consider crucial to mastering the art of metal guitar playing. </p> <p>In bars 1–4, I alternate a series of two-note power chords on the A and D strings against the palm-muted open low E string, which functions as a pedal tone. Notice that the E note on the A string’s seventh fret is common to each of the two-note chord shapes as the higher note on the D string ascends chromatically (one fret at a time). </p> <p>In this way, I’ve incorporated a melodic idea into a hard-driving rhythm part. At the end of bar 2, the note on the D string descends in order to set up the restatement of the pattern in a musically satisfying way.</p> <p>In bars 5 and 6, I initially accentuate an E5 power chord on the downbeat of beat one, and then repeatedly accent this chord every three 16th notes. The twist here is that, after the initial attack on each E5 chord, I hammer on from B to C on the A string, which creates a subtle grind that makes the riff sound heavy. </p> <p>Then, in bars 7 and 8, I switch to a single-note figure played in straight 16th notes across the bottom two strings, palm-muting the low E virtually the entire time in order to enhance the idea’s rhythmic power. In bars 9–12, I bring back the rhythmic approach from bar 1 but with different chords: here, a low E5 power chord is followed by C, Cs and D voicings on the A, D and G strings. Once again, I employ quick hammer-ons as I shift from chord to chord.</p> <p> The idea then wraps up in the final seven bars, starting in bars 13–15 with a lick played in steady 16th notes and built around consecutive pull-offs that are performed quickly while rapidly moving across the bottom three strings. I use a different fretting finger on each string—index on the low E, middle on the A and ring on the D—and it will take some practice to master this lick and get it up to the desired brisk tempo. </p> <p>The aggression culminates in bar 16 with a fast descending run that also moves across the bottom three strings, starting with 16th-note-triplet double pull-offs that incorporate a four-fret stretch as I move from the pinkie to the middle finger to the index finger. At the end of the pattern—bar 16, beat four—I shift up the neck slightly and switch the fretting fingers to pinkie, ring and index. </p> <p> All in all, this is a fun and challenging etude. Be sure to work it up to tempo gradually with attention paid to clear and precise articulation. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qJFZQLl-dWo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-11%20at%204.26.02%20PM.png" width="620" height="775" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.26.02 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-practice-piece-incorporates-useful-challenging-techniques#comments June 2015 Metal For Life Metal Mike Chlasciak Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 13 May 2015 17:17:51 +0000 Metal Mike Chlasciak 24347 at http://www.guitarworld.com Review: ESP USA Eclipse Guitar — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-esp-usa-eclipse-guitar-video <!--paging_filter--><p>While I own, play and love more than my fair share of imported guitars, I still prefer electric models made in the good ol’ U. S. of A.</p> <p>After all, Americans invented the electric guitar, and we design and build them like no one else. So it deeply warmed my heart earlier this year when ESP announced its USA Series Eclipse, Horizon and M-III models, which are the company’s first guitars made at its brand-new factory in North Hollywood, California. </p> <p>We took a look at ESP’s classic-inspired single-cutaway Eclipse model.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> The overall features of the Eclipse USA present a familiar formula—figured maple top, mahogany neck and chambered body, dual humbuckers, 24 3/4–inch scale, and so on—but several details make this model stand out from the usual classic clone. </p> <p>The “set-thru” neck joint is particularly impressive, featuring contours that smoothly and seamlessly bring the neck and body together as if they were one continuous piece of wood. The ebony fretboard, 22 extra jumbo frets, 12-inch radius and thin U-shape neck profile provide the fast action and silky playability today’s players demand. </p> <p>Hardware consists of Sperzel Trim-Lok locking tuners, TonePros locking bridge and stop tailpiece, Schaller Security Lock strap buttons and Seymour Duncan APH-1 passive humbuckers. Controls include separate volume knobs for the bridge and neck pickups, master tone with push/pull coil splitting and a three-position pickup selector.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> Our test example had a Vintage Natural finish (Tea Sunburst and See-Through Black Cherry are also available) that reveals every glorious detail of the high-grade materials and first-class workmanship. The figuring of the maple top and headstock overlay is drop-dead gorgeous, and the seams of the two-piece mahogany back and neck joint are almost invisible. The rounded edges of the fretboard and body (including a comfortable rear-body contour) give the guitar the luxurious feel of the finest handcrafted goods, and as a result the guitar plays like a dream.</p> <p>The Eclipse USA’s tone is stellar. Classic warm, sustaining dual-humbucker tones abound, but the maple top delivers crisp, detailed attack that complements the mahogany’s fat midrange and resonant bass. The simple control configuration delivers a rainbow of textures, from full-throttle metal punch to velvety jazz warmth to single-coil sparkle.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE</strong> $3,999<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> The ESP Guitar Company, <a href="espguitars.com/">espguitars.com</a></p> <p>The set-thru-neck construction provides a smooth, seamless transition between the neck and the body, as if they were one continuous piece of wood.</p> <p>Hardware includes Sperzel locking tuners, TonePros locking bridge and stop tailpiece, Schaller Security Lock strap buttons and Seymour Duncan APH-1 humbuckers.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> Providing a compelling blend of vintage design and modern features, the ESP USA Eclipse is the ideal single-cutaway dual-humbucker solidbody for players seeking a high-performance classic.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PD4jigVBM90" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-esp-usa-eclipse-guitar-video#comments ESP ESP Guitars ESP USA Holiday 2014 Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Wed, 13 May 2015 14:58:35 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 22771 at http://www.guitarworld.com String Theory: Fun with Two Bright-Sounding, Uniquely Flavored Scales Built from the Same Six Notes http://www.guitarworld.com/string-theory-fun-two-bright-sounding-uniquely-flavored-scales-built-same-six-notes <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/string-theory-jimmy-brown-intriguingly-exotic-sound-c-lydian-hexatonic-video">Last month, I presented the intriguingly exotic C Lydian hexatonic scale</a>, which is formed by combining C and D triads (C E G + D F# A = C D E F# G A). </p> <p>Now, as we had done with E minor and D major hexatonic in the preceding lesson (<a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/string-theory-jimmy-brown-e-minord-major-hexatonic-connection-video">April 2015 issue</a>), I’d like to reveal the flip side of the musical coin and introduce an appealing mode of C Lydian hexatonic, D Mixolydian hexatonic, which has a bright and playful quality and is comprised of the very same six notes, only reoriented around a D root—D E F# G A C (see <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>). </p> <p>As I will demonstrate, this modal relationship between the two scales is very convenient and useful for crafting sweet-sounding melodies over a C-to-D or D-to-C chord vamp. But first, some more helpful insight into D Mixolydian hexatonic.</p> <p> Another way to think of this scale is to take the seven-note D Mixolydian mode (D E F# G A B C) and omit the sixth, B, which creates a wide, minor-pentatonic-like gap—a minor third interval, between the fifth, A and the minor, or “flat” seventh, C (see <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>). </p> <p>As I pointed out with C Lydian hexatonic versus the full C Lydian mode last month, D Mixolydian hexatonic retains the signature notes of D Mixolydian, in this case the minor seventh, C, and the major third, F#, in a way that sounds slightly less dense and more “open” and arpeggio-like, while offering more useful rhythmic phrasing options, due to the lesser and even number of notes (six instead of seven). </p> <p>You could also think of D Mixolydian hexatonic as being nearly identical to D major hexatonic (D E F# G A B), the only difference being the inclusion of the minor seventh, C, instead of the sixth, B, which subtly changes the scale’s character and flavor (see <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>). To me, this distinction makes D Mixolydian hexatonic sound more “Celtic” than “country.” Speaking of which, <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> is a sprightly, Irish fiddle–style melody in 6/8 meter that’s based on alternating D and C major arpeggios and makes me think of leprechauns. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 5</strong> is a slippery legato run played across the top three strings that alternates between C Lydian hexatonic and D Mixolydian hexatonic and ascends the fretboard through higher “inversions” of each scale, using finger slides to shift positions and create a seamless flow of notes. Try applying this same type of pattern to other string groups. </p> <p>Inspired by Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani and Warren Haynes, <strong>FIGURE 6</strong> is a tumbling lead phrase that descends the fretboard diagonally and exploits a quick, decorative half-step bend and release from F# to G in three different octaves to create a noodle-y, sitar-like effect.</p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience4186823015001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4186823015001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-21%20at%203.58.48%20PM.png" width="620" height="834" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.58.48 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/string-theory-fun-two-bright-sounding-uniquely-flavored-scales-built-same-six-notes#comments Jimmy Brown June 2015 String Theory Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 13 May 2015 14:33:55 +0000 Jimmy Brown 24346 at http://www.guitarworld.com In Deep with Andy Aledort: How to Create Flowing, Stylish Licks Like Eric Clapton — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-how-create-flowing-stylish-licks-eric-clapton-video <!--paging_filter--><p>The eternally great Eric Clapton—sometimes known as “God” in certain circles—turned 70 this year, and is set to celebrate this milestone with a pair of spring concerts at New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden. </p> <p>What better time than to examine his effortlessly beautiful and seamlessly flowing soloing technique, first heard in full bloom on his timeless recordings with Cream, featuring the late, great Jack Bruce on bass and Ginger Baker on drums. </p> <p>When it comes to spontaneous, improvised phrasing, there is perhaps no better blues-rock guitarist than Eric, especially when heard within the context of the many extended jams he performed with Cream and Blind Faith. </p> <p>He has the innate ability to move smoothly from one great, imminently melodic phrase into the next while also both riding the groove and pushing it along. When improvising, Clapton will subtly mix up the rhythms of his lines to create clearly defined syncopations that serve to strengthen the melodic quality of his solos. </p> <p><strong> FIGURE 1</strong> presents an extended solo that moves through an entire 12-bar blues progression in the key of D, the three chords being D7, G7 and A7. The tempo is a fairly slow 80 beats per minute, which allows for the steady articulation of 16th-note rhythms that employ subtle phrasing variations. In bars 1–3, I stick with the notes from the D minor pentatonic scale (D F G A C). At the end of bar 3, I transition to sliding sixth intervals by sounding pairs of notes that are six scale degrees apart within the D Mixolydian mode (D E F# G A B C), with all of the notes played on the D and B strings. </p> <p> This sets up the move to the four chord, G7, in bar 5, and here I play a simple melody based on G minor pentatonic (G Bb C D F), returning to D minor pentatonic in bar 6 to anticipate the change back to the one chord, D7, in bar 7. </p> <p>On beat three of bar 7, I make very brief reference to the parallel D major pentatonic scale (D E F# A B), used to add some brightness and warmth to the melody and also as a transition to get back into D minor pentatonic in 10th position. Alternating between parallel minor and major pentatonic scales is a standard technique used by all blues guitar greats, such as T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and many others, and Clapton learned this technique from his intense study of the recordings of all of these masters and made it one of the hallmarks of his unique style.</p> <p> Bar 9 moves to the five chord, A7, and bar 10 shifts to the four chord, G7, and for each of these chords I base my lines on the associated minor pentatonic scales (A minor pentatonic: A C D E G). At the return to the tonic in bars 11 and 12, I revert to D minor pentatonic and move freely between third and fifth positions. </p> <p> When playing these melodic shapes and ideas, strive for smooth articulation and, as always, listen closely to the many great live recordings of Cream—and the studio recordings of Blind Faith—to hear priceless examples of Clapton’s stellar soloing. <strong>FIGURES 2 and 3</strong> illustrate extended patterns for D minor pentatonic and D major pentatonic, so be sure to study these too. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zo69fF8FmFE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-21%20at%204.32.55%20PM.png" width="620" height="783" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.32.55 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-how-create-flowing-stylish-licks-eric-clapton-video#comments Andy Aledort Eric Clapton In Deep June 2015 Videos News Lessons Magazine Tue, 12 May 2015 13:59:19 +0000 Andy Aledort 24348 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Ultra Zone: Steve Vai's Course In Ear Training, Part 1 http://www.guitarworld.com/ultra-zone-steve-vais-course-ear-training-part-1 <!--paging_filter--><p><em>GuitarWorld.com is revisiting Steve Vai's classic mag column, "The Ultra Zone," for this crash course in ear training.</em></p> <p>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. Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity. </p> <p>But without the ability to bring those imagined sounds into the real world, one’s creative aspirations will remain crippled. Training one’s ears to understand and recognize musical sounds and concepts is one of the most vital ways to fortify the connection between the musical ideas in one’s mind and the musical sounds created on one’s instrument.</p> <p>All musicians practice ear training constantly, whether or not they are cognizant of it. If, when listening to a piece of music, a musician is envisioning how to play it or is trying to play along, that musician is using his or her “ear” — the understanding and recognition of musical elements — for guidance. </p> <p>This is also true when trying to emulate a piece of music, or transcribe it, or even just finding inspiration in it. No matter what one is playing, one’s ear is the navigational device that steers the musical ship where it will go. Without a good ear at the helm, you could find yourself musically adrift at sea.</p> <p>I have always been fascinated with looking at music written on paper. When I was in college, I took a class called solfege, which entailed learning how to sight-sing. Sight-singing is the art of looking at a piece of written music and singing it. First, you identify the key center, and then you sing the written pitches, using the “doe-ray-me” phonetic structure, just like that song in the movie The Sound of Music. “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do” (pronounced “Doe-ray-me-fa-so-la-tee-doe”) represents a major scale; there are other monosyllabic sounds that represent the other pitches that reside within a 12-tone octave. These solfege classes in college were difficult courses, but they were well worth the time invested. A thorough study and analysis of solfege within the confines of this column would be impractical, so I can only encourage you to investigate it on your own.</p> <p>I’ve always considered transcribing to be an invaluable tool in the development of one’s musical ear and, over the years, I have spent countless glorious hours transcribing different kinds of music, either guitar-oriented or not. The most well-known example of my guitar-based transcribing labors is The Frank Zappa Guitar Book (Hal Leonard), for which I transcribed, among other things, the entire Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar series of recordings. Many musicians, however, do not have the ability to pull the sounds — guitar solos, rhythm parts, melody lines, etc.—off the records that they love. Transcribing is an art that takes a lot of practice and a study that I encourage everyone to experiment with.</p> <p>But fear not: you do not need to have the ability to sight-read or transcribe in order to practice ear training exercises. If you are just sitting there with a guitar, there are still a great many ways to develop your ears, in the quest to strengthen the connection between your head and your fingers. Below, I have outlined some of the ways a guitarist can work on ear training exercises using just the guitar.</p> <p>As guitarists, there are certain things that most of us do that are simply part of the program: we learn some scales, develop some exercises intended to improve our physical abilities, work on chord forms on different parts of the neck, etc. I believe it is extremely important to put aside some time dedicated solely to focusing on ear training.</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to begin working on ear training is to sing what you play. For example, you can play a C major scale (C D E F G A B) in any position — preferably one that is physically comfortable for you—and sing each note of the scale as you play it, being very careful to sing on pitch as accurately as possible. Start with one note: play the note, sing it, and then play and sing the note simultaneously. Then go to two notes. Once you feel comfortable, take a little piece of that scale, say, the notes C, D, E and F, and create a very simple melody with these notes for you to sing simultaneously, à la jazz guitarist George Benson. </p> <p>This is an easy way to get your ear in sync with the sounds your fingers are creating. Whether you’re soloing over a rhythmic vamp or are playing alone in free time, you have to really stick with it, and don’t allow yourself to slip up or drift into something else. The idea is to endlessly improvise and sing what you are playing, using any key.</p> <p>Another good thing to do is to record a simple one-chord vamp to play over. First, only play/sing notes that fall within the key, staying within a basic note structure of a five-, six- or seven-tone scale. Don’t start wandering off into your favorite guitar licks to play; save that for another time, when you’ve developed your ear to the point where you can sing just about anything you can play. This is an exercise in discipline: do not play anything that you cannot follow perfectly with your voice. Whether you stay within one octave of the guitar, or you sing the notes an octave lower than the sounding pitches, or you use falsetto to hit the high notes, you must be able to recreate all of the notes played on the guitar with your voice.</p> <p>If you work on this every day, you’ll find yourself getting better and better at it, and it will become easier to do. The cool thing that happens is that you’ll begin to hear music more clearly in your head, allowing you to formulate musical ideas—write music—within your head, without the aid of a guitar. When you finally do pick up the instrument, you will discover that you will instinctively be able to play these ideas that have taken form in your mind.</p> <p>To take this a step further, try this exercise: without a guitar at your disposal, picture the guitar’s fretboard in your mind, and then envision playing something so that you will “hear” and “see” the notes as they are played. It may be helpful to sing the notes as you imagine them being played. This is an excellent exercise that will fortify your mind-fretboard relationship and actually improve your ear by strengthening the acknowledgment of “pitch relativity” (how one pitch relates to another, in terms of sound and placement) on the guitar’s fretboard. You may discover some cloudy areas in your mind’s eye/ear, but if you work through it, the picture will soon become clearer and clearer.</p> <p>These techniques do not address the act of playing one thing on the guitar and singing something completely different. Someone like Jimi Hendrix had the uncanny ability to play very complex rhythm parts and single-note riffs while singing complementary parts. This technique requires a whole different set of brain muscles and is very difficult for many players. Playing one thing while singing another must be worked on as an independent field of study. If I could play the guitar and sing at the same time, hey, I might have a career! I’ll be back next time with some more effective ways to help you to develop your ear.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/steve-vai">Steve Vai</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/ultra-zone-steve-vais-course-ear-training-part-1#comments Steve Vai Ultra Zone Artist Lessons Blogs News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:22:07 +0000 Steve Vai 11024 at http://www.guitarworld.com Professor Shred with Guthrie Govan: Using Four Fingers to Tap Arpeggios, and How to Play the Lick to "Sevens" http://www.guitarworld.com/professor-shred-take-four-using-four-fingers-tap-arpeggios-and-how-play-lick-sevens <!--paging_filter--><p>This month I’d like to demonstrate the technique I use to perform the two-handed-tapping riff that occurs during the bridge/chorus section of the song “Sevens,” from my <em>Erotic Cakes</em> album. </p> <p>Before getting to the “Sevens” lick, I’m going to break down the technique involved so that you will be able to apply this idea to creating riffs of your own. The genesis of the lick was in trying to find a new way to play a major-seven arpeggio. I started out by breaking it down into two notes per string, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1a</strong>. </p> <p>Using the index finger and pinkie only, I descend from the major seventh of Eb, D, at the 22nd fret of the high E string, to a low Eb on the sixth string’s 11th fret. I then took this idea and performed it with fretboard tapping, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1b.</strong> Now, the higher note in each pair is sounded with a pick-hand fretboard tap, and the lower note is sounded with a fret-hand “hammer-on from nowhere.” Be sure to tap hard onto each note so that it will sound clearly, and try to not allow any of the notes to ring into each other.</p> <p>The next step was to break up the descending pattern and play it non-sequentially. What I arrived at was <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. Here, I sound consecutive single notes on the high E and B strings, both sounded with fretboard taps, followed by the lower associated notes on the top two strings, sounded with fret-hand hammer-ons. The fret hand mirrors this approach by also using the pinkie and middle fingers. Start by playing this pattern slowly and then increase the speed.</p> <p>Now let’s take this same approach and apply it to the four-note groups on the lower pairs of strings, starting with the B and G strings, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. I use the same technique here but switch to the ring and middle fingers for both the pick-hand taps and the fret-hand hammer-ons. </p> <p>In <Strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, I’ve moved the idea down one more pair of strings to the G and D. Here, I tap with the middle and ring fingers of the pick hand but use my frethand pinkie and middle finger to fret the other notes. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 5</strong> then runs the three patterns together. You can take this idea further by continuing onto the two bottom pairs of strings, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURES 6a and 6b.</strong> Now that you’ve got the idea, try some different arpeggios: <strong>FIGURE 7</strong> outlines Ebm7, and <strong>FIGURE 8</strong> begins with Ebsus4 and then moves through Ebmaj7 and Ebm7.</p> <p>Finally, the “Sevens” lick, appropriately played in a meter of 7/4, is shown in <strong>FIGURE 9</strong>. Using the same technique, I move through the different pairs of strings in a specific alternating pattern.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/k7-TWcPR9Y4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-13%20at%2011.23.40%20AM.png" width="620" height="607" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.23.40 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-13%20at%2011.23.51%20AM.png" width="620" height="301" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.23.51 AM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/professor-shred-take-four-using-four-fingers-tap-arpeggios-and-how-play-lick-sevens#comments 2011 Guthrie Govan Holiday 2011 Professor Shred Holiday Blogs News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:16:52 +0000 Guthrie Govan 13550 at http://www.guitarworld.com Metal for Life with Metal Mike: Using Drop-D Tuning to Write Heavy Riffs — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-using-drop-d-tuning-write-heavy-riffs <!--paging_filter--><p>For decades, a common practice in rock and metal has been to use drop-D tuning, wherein the guitar’s low E string is tuned down one whole step to D, one octave below the fourth string. </p> <p>Aside from the additional heaviness this tuning provides by extending the instrument’s range downward, having the bottom two strings tuned a fifth apart—D to A—enables one to play a root-fifth power chord simply by strumming the two strings open or barring a finger across them at any given fret. </p> <p>And with the fourth string included, a three-note, root-fifth-octave power chord can be sounded just as easily. </p> <p>My favorite way to use drop-D tuning is to combine one-finger power chords with single-note riffs that utilize the open low D note as a pedal tone. To do this, I will play on the sixth string as if it were tuned normally, to E, but move all notes on the other strings two frets lower than where I would ordinarily play them. </p> <p>This results in some unusual shapes when moving between the sixth and fifth strings. </p> <p>For example, in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, I begin with two open low D notes followed by a two-note ascending pattern on the sixth string. I then alternate between single notes on the fifth string and fretted and unfretted accents on the sixth string, resulting in shifting three-note melodic shapes. </p> <p>If the sixth string were tuned normally, some of these shapes would be much more difficult to fret, so the drop-D tuning, in additional to sounding really cool, facilitates the execution of this melodic pattern. In bars 2 and 4, I use my fret-hand index finger to sound two-note power chords, E5-to-F5 and G#5-to-A5, that fall on beat two of each bar, respectively.</p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> offers another example of alternating three-note melodic shapes, again using the open sixth string as a low D pedal tone. I begin on the major third of D, F#, which alternates against a D root note on the fifth string, but in bar 3 I switch to the minor third, F, which is repeatedly bent up a quarter step and pulled off to the open low D string. </p> <p>The last bar of the pattern moves to four-note rhythmic shapes and incorporates a sliding octave shape fretted on the fifth and third strings. The figure ends with a “spread voicing” of Dsus2, with the index, middle finger and pinkie fretting the fifth, fourth and third strings, respectively.</p> <p><strong>FIGURES 3–5</strong> illustrate three approach- es to what is basically the same riff. <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> represents the two-note version, as only the fourth and third strings are used. In <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, I expand the idea by adding a high D note on the B string’s third fret. In <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>, the open fourth-string D pedal tone is replaced with an open sixth-string D pedal, resulting in a much heavier-sounding riff.</p> <p>Now that you have the idea, try inventing some of your own killer drop-D riffs using these and other techniques.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9zhBlYXsr7Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2011.01.55%20AM.png" width="620" height="668" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.01.55 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2011.02.07%20AM.png" width="620" height="117" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.02.07 AM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-using-drop-d-tuning-write-heavy-riffs#comments Holiday 2014 Metal For Life Metal Mike Chlasciak Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:11:12 +0000 Metal Mike Chlasciak 22777 at http://www.guitarworld.com Full Shred with Marty Friedman: How to Play Fast and Musical Arpeggio-Based Licks Without Sweep Picking http://www.guitarworld.com/full-shred-marty-friedman-how-play-fast-and-musical-arpeggio-based-licks-without-sweep-picking <!--paging_filter--><p>I’ve often been associated with players that use specific picking techniques, such as sweep picking, economy picking, hybrid picking and so on. In truth, I have no idea what any of these terms mean. Sweep picking does not appeal to me at all. </p> <p>To my ears, it sounds like, “bd<em>LOOP</em>, bd<em>Loop</em>, bd<em>LOOP</em>, bd<em>Loop</em>,” as notes go up and down, over and over again. It’s nothing more than a fancy technique that guitar players learn so that they can play fast arpeggios up and down. </p> <p>To my ears, it’s very unmusical. In my music, you will hear some insane, fast arpeggio-based lines, but it’s never simply straight up and down through the arpeggios, the way sweep picking usually is performed. This month, I’d like to demonstrate some cool ways you can achieve the effect of fast arpeggio-based sounds while avoiding the predictability of standard sweep-picking licks. </p> <p>My preference is to use a little bit of repetitive arpeggio-based lines and then grab some cool notes, bends or vibratos. I try to never lean on any one technique too much and always try to play with an ear toward melody. Playing straight triads up and down is, to me, neither creative nor melodic. Any monkey can learn how to execute a fast technique on the guitar, but technique in and of itself is not music. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1</strong> is based on the notes of a Bm7 arpeggio: B D F# A. In bar 1, I outline the basic melodic “shape.” I begin on the third string with a hammer-pull between F# (11th fret) and A (14th fret). Following the D (fourth string/12th fret), I hammer-on from F# up to A and end the phrase with three ascending notes, B D F#. In bars 2–5, I elaborate on the idea by repeating the lick over several beats, adding a half-step bend and vibrato from the b5 (flatted fifth), F, in bar 4. I end the phrase with a half-step bend from A# to B, which I adorn with some vibrato. </p> <p>Now that you have the idea, try the same premise, but change the end of the lick. For me, elaboration on a basic idea is the most natural and musical way to play. Incorporating the arpeggio licks into melodic lines is far more interesting than an arpeggio that simply is repeated in an up-and-down fashion.</p> <p>Let’s wrap up with a few permutations of our initial idea. In <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, I change the shape of the lick a little, and the result is odd-metered lines in 15/16 and 9/8 meters. In <strong>FIGURES 3-8</strong>, I take a basic G triad idea and morph it into Gmaj7 and Gm-maj7 ideas.</p> <p>I certainly understand why guitar players are into speed. When I first started playing, I heard Alvin Lee—who was notoriously fast—and thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. Since then, I’ve found that playing fast is only cool when you can’t do it. Once you can, you’d rather play something musical. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KMkb4pxOc30" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2010.52.40%20AM.png" width="620" height="711" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 10.52.40 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2010.52.54%20AM.png" width="620" height="233" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 10.52.54 AM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/marty-friedman">Marty Friedman</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/full-shred-marty-friedman-how-play-fast-and-musical-arpeggio-based-licks-without-sweep-picking#comments August 2014 Full Shred Marty Friedman Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:58:50 +0000 Marty Friedman 21595 at http://www.guitarworld.com