Magazine http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/149/all en Review: Schecter Guitars Jeff Loomis JL-7 — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-schecter-guitars-jeff-loomis-jl-7-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 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-april-15-abasi-satriani-govan?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=April2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p>A true guitarist’s guitarist, Jeff Loomis is no stranger to readers of this magazine for his work as a solo artist and with the bands Nevermore and Arch Enemy. </p> <p>Eight years ago Schecter introduced its first Jeff Loomis signature model, a seven-string guitar based on Schecter’s C-7 Hellraiser but with various modifications requested by Loomis. </p> <p>The Jeff Loomis JL-7 is Schecter’s most recent Jeff Loomis signature model, which features numerous significant refinements that make it one of the most impressive products in Schecter’s current lineup of nearly three-dozen seven-string models.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-april-15-abasi-satriani-govan?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=April2015VideosPage">For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the April 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></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="myExperience4079860264001" 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="4079860264001" /> </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 --><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-loomis">Jeff Loomis</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-schecter-guitars-jeff-loomis-jl-7-video#comments April 2015 Jeff Loomis Schecter Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:48:53 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23599 The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the <em>Ed Sullivan Show</em>), <em>Guitar World</em> celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.</p> <p>The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work. </p> <p>In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement. </p> <p>For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook!</p> <p><strong>50. Across the Universe</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be… Naked</em> (2003)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. </p> <p>He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, though overdubs of strings, background vocals and electric guitar obscured the delicacy and intimacy of his performance. </p> <p>The release of <em>Let It Be… Naked</em> in 2003 set the record straight, offering a bare-bones acoustic mix of the track that even Lennon might have approved of. </p> <p><strong>49. Flying</strong><br /> <strong><em>Magical Mystery Tour</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>The strongly pulsing tremolo on the rhythm guitar makes the instrument sound as if it’s riding slightly behind the beat, giving the song a druggy languor appropriate to its title. (In the film <em>Magical Mystery Tour</em>, “Flying” accompanies scenes shot high above the clouds). </p> <p>The crystalline acoustic guitar that appears about 13 seconds in lends the song a country vibe, culminating in a tasty double-stop lick that lazily meanders down the fretboard. Heavenly.</p> <p><strong>48. Helter Skelter</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>It’s not a stretch to say the Beatles prefigured heavy metal’s doomier side with this 1968 Paul McCartney track. </p> <p>For this recording, McCartney set aside his bass duties and strapped on his Fender Esquire to deliver the track’s brash rhythm work, while Harrison performed the searing leads on Lucy, the 1957 Les Paul Standard gifted to him by Eric Clapton. </p> <p>But the best work here is performed by Lennon on, of all things, a bass (either a Fender Bass VI). His sloppy but inspired playing propels the song along and provides its main rhythmic interest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QWuXmfgXVxY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>47. Yesterday</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s melancholy, acoustic guitar–driven ballad marked a symbolic, pivotal point in the Beatles’ career as a band in that it was their first song in which any of the members—three in this case—did not participate in the performance. </p> <p>McCartney tuned his guitar down one whole step for this song (low to high, D G C F A D) and performed it as if it were in the key of G, with the detuning transposing it down to the concert key of F. </p> <p>This may have been made for the sake of putting the vocal melody in a more optimal key for McCartney; it certainly made the bass notes sound deeper and richer, while the slackened string tension contributed to the thicker texture of the chord voicings. </p> <p><strong>46. For You Blue</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Written by Harrison, this seemingly straightforward blues workout in D stands out as a bouncy oddball in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>Not only is it one of the band’s few forays into 12-bar-blues territory; it also finds Lennon stepping into the uncommon role of lead guitarist, supplying a spirited solo and fills on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap-steel guitar in open D tuning. </p> <p>To make things even weirder, he uses a shotgun shell as a slide. In addition, there’s no bass on the recording; McCartney performed on piano and the song received no overdubs. </p> <p><strong>45. Free As a Bird</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Released in 1995 as a post-mortem Beatles track built upon a John Lennon home demo, “Free As a Bird” makes a valiant attempt to resurrect the spirit of the group’s glory days. </p> <p>While some will quibble about the lackluster songwriting, it’s hard to find fault with Harrison’s stinging slide work. Starting off with a few restrained lines, Harrison lets his playing soar on the solo, the one moment in which the song truly takes flight. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J4PGoJuKvTM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>44. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)</strong><br /> <Strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Recorded quickly in a single session, this rocking reprise of the album’s opening track features some fiery lead guitar work from Harrison. </p> <p>Written as a bookend to the album-opening title track, the reprise is both faster and a whole step lower than the original, although halfway through it modulates up a whole step. (Modulation is a technique rarely found in the Beatles compositions, “And I Love Her” being another example from the group’s catalog [see entry 30].) </p> <p><strong>43. I Will</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This quiet love song, written by McCartney, features only him on lead and harmony vocals, two acoustic guitars and scat-sung “vocal bass,” with Lennon and Starr providing percussion. </p> <p>McCartney overdubbed, on top of his main, strummed guitar part, a second, melodic part played in a rockabilly lead style reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist Scotty Moore, picking out syncopated, ringing melodies built around a first-position F6 chord shape with decorative, bluesy hammer-ons from the minor third to the major third. </p> <p>Years later, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton played a similar line on the chorus tags to “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.” </p> <p><strong>42. The Ballad of John and Yoko</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>In this 1969 musical telling of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding and honeymoon, Lennon’s acoustic strumming sets up the song’s infectious rhythm, while his electric guitar fills play call-and-response with his vocals. </p> <p>The track was written and recorded in April of that year, fresh off the sessions for <em>Let It Be</em>, in which the group attempted to get back to their rock and roll roots. That might have inspired Lennon’s musical direction with this track, which he closes with an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Dorsey Burnett’s “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes,” which the Beatles covered early in their career. </p> <p><strong>41. Yer Blues</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Lennon wrote this 1968 song as a rude sendup of the electric blues boom that had taken London by storm, but the suicidal feelings he expresses were a sincere articulation of how he felt trapped both in his unhappy first marriage and in the Beatles. </p> <p>Likewise, his primitive two-note solo could be regarded as mocking disdain for the genre’s slick white imitators, but he plays the riff until it’s as raw as his emotions. He would pursue this protopunk style of guitar playing further on his 1970 solo debut, <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6dDw_3H0XKg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>40. Help!</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em></strong> </p> <p>The Beatles’ mix of acoustic rhythms and electric guitar leads from 1964 through the end of 1965 helped greatly to define the sound of folk-rock. </p> <p>Written in the midst of his “Bob Dylan phase,” “Help!” shows Lennon continuing to divulge the vulnerability express on previous songs like “No Reply” and “I’m a Loser,” with the acoustic guitar providing the requisite balladeer instrumentation. </p> <p>Here, Lennon robustly strums out the rhythm on his 1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 12-string, with Harrison contributing jangly lead lines and three-note descending passages on the choruses with his Gretsch Tennessean. </p> <p><strong>39. Dear Prudence</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This 1968 composition is arguably one of Lennon’s greatest achievements as a guitarist and demonstrates his development at the time into a bona fide acoustic fingerpicker. </p> <p>Having recently learned a basic eighth-note Travis-picking-like pattern from British pop star Donovan, Lennon put the newly learned pattern to great use in compositions like “Julia,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and, most brilliantly, “Dear Prudence,” applying it to an ethereal modal chord progression he invented, which he performed in drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E), using the two open D strings (the fourth and sixth) as ringing drones, or pedal tones throughout the majority of the song. </p> <p>The thumb-picking pattern goes fifth string, fourth string, sixth string, fourth string and repeats consistently through the changing chords, interrupted briefly at the end of each verse.</p> <p><strong>38. If I Needed Someone</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists. </p> <p>Case in point: George Harrison’s 12-string riff on “If I Needed Someone.” Played in a second-position D-chord shape with a capo on the seventh fret, the line was based on Jim McGuinn’s chiming guitar work in the Byrds’ mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney.” </p> <p>In the mid Sixties, Harrison and McGuinn had formed a mutual-admiration society: “If I Needed Someone” featured Harrison’s second Rickenbacker 360/12, a rounded-off 1965 model that resembled McGuinn’s 1964 Rickenbacker 360/12, which McGuinn bought after seeing Harrison’s first Rick in the film <em>A Hard Day’s Night.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jjm28jTZDw8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>37. Day Tripper</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Lennon and McCartney’s hip-shaking 1965 hit is a thinly veiled ode to “weekend hippies” who embrace the drug counterculture when they’re not pursuing their careers. </p> <p>McCartney referred to this song and “Drive My Car” (recorded just days earlier) as “songs with jokes in” them, but there’s nothing laughable about this track’s swaggering guitar riff, borrowed from the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” and given a liberal dose of self-assured attitude. </p> <p>Lennon reportedly plays the solo, most likely using his Sonic Blue Fender Strat, while Harrison’s guitar parts were probably recorded with his Gretsch Tennessean. </p> <p><strong>36. Think for Yourself</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>The Beatles had been interested in creating distorted guitar tones since at least 1964, when they attempted unsuccessfully to use a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “She Loves You” and “Don’t Bother Me” (see entry 23). </p> <p>They were more successful with Harrison’s excellent 1965 composition “Think for Yourself,” for which McCartney plugged his Hofner bass into an early version of the Tone Bender fuzz pedal, created by electronics designer Gary Hurst and eventually marketed by Vox. The result is the harsh-sounding “lead bass” tone that bobs menacingly—and memorably—alongside Harrison’s lead vocal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L0Rd1KVfdEc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>35. Mother Nature’s Son</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Throughout this song’s verses, McCartney fools you into thinking that he’s playing more than he actually is by filling out the harmony with his vocal melody. </p> <p>For example, while the ear hears a very strong D-to-G movement in the first two bars of the verse, all McCartney is actually playing is D to Dsus4; his vocal melody intimates the G chord by moving to B, that chord’s third. The verse also features, in the third and fourth bars, brilliant oblique motion—where one voice moves up or down while one or more other voices remain stationary. </p> <p>By moving the root of a B minor chord, B, down to the minor seventh, A, and then down to the sixth, Gs, while keeping the notes D and F# constant above this descending line, McCartney implies a slick progression of Bm D (or Bm7) E9. He does the same thing at the very beginning of the song.</p> <p><strong>34. Girl</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Lennon conjures up this song’s dreamy, Gypsy-like reverie by capoing his Gibson J-160E at the eighth fret, making the guitar sound similar to a mandola. </p> <p>Harrison furthers the vibe on the third verse, playing a mandolin-like melody on Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic. But the crowning touch comes at the coda, when a third acoustic guitar enters, playing a Greek-style melody that’s plucked at the bridge with sharp strokes, making it sound like a bouzouki and further emphasizing the song’s smoky, old-world aura. </p> <p>The British group the Hollies would copy the effect on their hit “Bus Stop,” recorded at Abbey Road some six months later. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GlcuRGXiwNw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>33. Birthday</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Like “I Feel Fine” and “Day Tripper” (see entries 12 and 37), “Birthday” delivers a classic and memorable guitar riff. Whereas those previous two songs veered from the traditional 12-bar blues formula, “Birthday” hews closely to it during its verses. </p> <p>McCartney and Lennon wrote the song in the studio during an evening session, which included a recess during which the band went back to McCartney’s house to watch a TV broadcast of the 1956 teen film <em>The Girl Can’t Help It</em>. The soundtrack—which included performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent and other Beatles’ favorites—undoubtedly contributed to the song’s raucous vintage rock-and-roll vibe. </p> <p><strong>32. One After 909</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>This tune had been in the Beatles’ song bag for years, surfacing first as a rickety blues-style shuffle at a March 1963 recording session.</p> <p>By the time they tackled it again during their January 1969 rooftop performance at Apple, the Beatles were nearly finished as a group, but they were at long last able to breathe life into the tune, revving it up with a rock and roll beat and laying into it like the seasoned performers they were. Harrison delivers a stellar country-rock solo, using his rosewood Telecaster. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IVN9ROEZIkE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>31. Norwegian Wood</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This acoustic-rock masterpiece, written by Lennon, is not unlike “Here Comes the Sun,” in that it’s a folky chord-melody type of accompaniment that could easily stand on its own as a solo instrumental, with the vocal melody conveniently woven into the chords.</p> <p>However, unlike “Here Comes the Sun” (see entry 4), the melody sits in the middle, rather than on top, of the chord voicings, and is performed with more full strumming in a flowing 6/8 meter. Lennon performed “Norwegian Wood” as if the song were in the key of D, the verses being in D major and the bridge sections switching the parallel minor key of D minor, and used a capo at the second fret to transpose everything up a whole step, to E major and E minor, respectively.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>30. And I Love Her</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It’s overshadowed by the Beatles’ more innovative songs, but “And I Love Her” demonstrates a leap in the group’s harmonic sophistication and musical arrangement skills. </p> <p>Harrison performs delicate arpeggiations on his 1964 Ramírez nylon-string classical acoustic, while McCartney subtly propels the song along with his soul-inflected bass work. A modulation from the key of E to F on the solo ramps up the drama and keeps the song from flagging. The final chord, D major—the relative minor of F—delivers surprise and emotional uplift that allows the song to end hopefully, in keeping with the optimism of the lyrics. </p> <p><strong>29. Not Guilty</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Recorded for 1968’s White Album but unissued until the release of <em>Anthology 1</em> in 1995, this Harrison track was a lyrical response to his fellow Beatles, who felt that their trip to India at his urging to study transcendental meditation had been a waste of time. </p> <p>It’s hard to understand why this track was abandoned, especially after the group devoted more than 100 attempts to the rhythm track. Harrison’s guitar work is especially superb, from his sinewy lead lines to his sizzling tone, achieved by placing his amp in one of Abbey Road’s echo chambers and cranking it up for maximum effect, while he performed, safe from the volume, in the studio control room. </p> <p>Harrison eventually re-recorded this song for his self-titled 1979 album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bwLk6xLCzio" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>28. Old Brown Shoe</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Dishonorably relegated to the B-side of the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (see entry 42), this 1969 Harrison composition is one of his best. His stinging guitar work is at times reminiscent of Clapton, especially on the solo, where he plays his rosewood Telecaster through a Leslie cabinet, his preferred effect of the period. </p> <p>In addition to guitar, Harrison plays organ and, by his own account, the buoyant bass line. “That was me going nuts,” he said of the bass work in a 1987 interview. “I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.” </p> <p><strong>27. Michelle</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Another great example of McCartney’s innate gift for songwriting/composing, “Michelle” features, in its intro and elsewhere throughout the song, the previously mentioned standard “minor-drop” progression heard in “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “All My Loving” (see entries 7 and 16). </p> <p>The song also includes some rather clever and original harmonic twists and turns, such as the use of, in the second bar of the verse progression, the dominant-seven-sharp-nine (7#9) chord pointed out earlier in regard to Harrison’s “Till There Was You” solo, which, in both songs, is voiced “widely,” low to high: 1(root)-5-3(10)-b7-#9. Lennon, by the way, would later also employ this same chord voicing in “Sexy Sadie,” a chord that he, McCartney and Harrison all learned early on from a friend and local guitar-hero in Liverpool named Jim Gretty and dubbed “the Gretty chord.” </p> <p><strong>26. Cry for a Shadow</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>In 1961, unknown and looking for a break, the Beatles supported British rock and roll singer Tony Sheridan on a recording date in Hamburg. While there, they recorded two tracks of their own, including this Harrison-Lennon guitar-instrumental written in the style of U.K. pop group the Shadows (hence, the title). </p> <p>The recording provides early evidence of Lennon’s steady and dynamic rhythm guitar work, as well as McCartney’s melodic skills on the bass, which he had just begun playing. But it’s Harrison who shines, making the most of the trite melody with double-stop licks and generous use of the whammy bar on his Strat-style Futurama electric guitar. </p> <p>He ends the song with a major sixth—C6, specifically—a voicing that would become a signature Beatles coda on songs like “She Loves You,” “No Reply” and “Help!” (see entry 40).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/m1VMr29eUeo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>25. Hey Bulldog</strong><br /> <strong><em>Yellow Submarine</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s lead guitar work had characterized most of the great solo guitar moments on the Beatles’ records during 1966 and 1967. But with “Hey Bulldog,” recorded in February 1968, Harrison came charging back with a guitar solo that’s heavier and hairier than just about anything in the group’s catalog. </p> <p>For the song, he played his red 1964 SG Standard, using a fuzz box (most likely his Tone Bender) to give his sound a snarl befitting the song’s title. Recalls engineer Geoff Emerick, “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream." Equally outstanding is Paul McCartney’s buoyant bass work, which is practically a lead instrument on its own. </p> <p><strong>24. I’ve Just Seen a Face</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Written by McCartney and musically inspired by the skiffle movement that was popular in the U.K. in the late Fifties and early Sixties, this up-tempo knee-slapper features Lennon, Harrison and McCartney all playing acoustic guitars, with Ringo Starr providing percussion (brushed snare drum and overdubbed maracas). </p> <p>The lyrical instrumental intro features a bass-line chord-melody, played (most likely by Harrison) on a 12-string, which serves to octave-double the bass-line melody, over which McCartney and Lennon flatpick a single-note melody based on double-stops, mostly sixth intervals, played up and down the G and high E strings in a quick, unbroken triplet rhythm, beautifully outlining the underlying chords with ascending and descending note pairs. </p> <p><strong>23. Don’t Bother Me</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s first solo songwriting effort for the Beatles sounds like nothing else in the group’s catalog. With its moody minor chords, propulsive drum beat and tremolo guitar, this 1964 track has more in common with California surf music than it does the American rock and soul that inspired the Beatles’ music at the time. </p> <p>The tremolo—provided by Harrison’s Vox AC30—gives the song an air of menace appropriate to the song’s title, and its use here marks the first time the group used an electronic effect on a finished recording. </p> <p><strong>22. Octopus’s Garden</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>By 1969, George Harrison had put down his sitar to focus on his first love, the guitar. The results are apparent on <em>Abbey Road</em>, which features his most fluid and confident playing to date. </p> <p>On “Octopus’s Garden,” one of Ringo Starr’s rare Beatles-era tunes, Harrison calls on his country/rockabilly influences for the first time since the band’s pre-psychedelic days. The intro is a slick masterpiece in the major pentatonic scale, the same territory Dickey Betts would later visit on “Blue Sky.” The song’s fun, twangy solo could sit snugly among James Burton’s work on Merle Haggard’s late-Sixties albums.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CUFcfXgW_dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>21. Till There Was You</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>With this charming early cover of a love song from the popular 1957 Broadway musical play and 1962 feature film <em>The Music Man</em>, the Beatles demonstrated their stylistic versatility as they authoritatively breeze through the song’s harmonically sophisticated, jazz-like chord progression. </p> <p>Harrison’s solo break conveys a musical savvy on par with that of a veteran jazz improviser, as he strongly outlines the underlying chord progression, producing a perfect melodic counterpoint with the bass line by using arpeggios and targeting non-root chord tones, such as the third or ninth, on each chord change. </p> <p>Also impressive is his incorporation of two-, three- and four-note chords into what would otherwise be a predominantly single-note solo to create jazz-guitar-style chord-melody phrases, as well as his superimposition over the five chord, C7, of a daringly dissonant Gb7#9 chord (voiced, low to high, Gb Db Bb E A), a trick known in the language of jazz as a tritone substitution. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>20. Good Morning Good Morning</strong><br /> <strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: There aren’t many ferocious, brash and screaming guitar solos in the Beatles’ catalog. That said, Paul McCartney’s razor-sharp solo on “Good Morning Good Morning” is all that and a bag of chips. </p> <p>The 13-second-long treble fest, played on a Fender Esquire through a Selmer amp, features a strong East Indian vibe, perhaps a nod to George Harrison’s burgeoning fascination with Indian religion and music. </p> <p>Like its stylistic predecessor, McCartney’s “Taxman” guitar solo (see entry 3), “Good Morning Good Morning” incorporates open-string drone notes and rapid-fire descending hammer-pull slides, mostly along one string, in this case, the B string. </p> <p><strong>19. I Need You</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>By 1965, the Beatles were making noticeable strides in their arrangements and instrumentation. A prime example is “I Need You,” one of two George Harrison compositions to appear on <em>Help!</em> </p> <p>The recording represents Harrison’s first use of a volume pedal. The guitar’s dramatic, almost pedal-steel-like volume swells—which frame Harrison’s curt, suspended chords—only add to the song’s wistful lyrical content. </p> <p>The volume pedal was a step up for the band; the guitar swells heard on “Baby’s in Black,” which was tracked the previous summer, were the result of John Lennon turning the volume knob on Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Tennessean as Harrison played it.</p> <p><strong>18. You Can’t Do That</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>On February 25, 1964, the Beatles entered the studio with an exciting new piece of gear: a Fireglo 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12. George Harrison had received the guitar only 17 days earlier when the band was in New York shooting its initial Ed Sullivan Show appearance.</p> <p>The song’s chiming intro riff, with its middle-finger hammer-ons from a minor third to a major third within the chord, offered a taste of what lay ahead for the guitar, which would see heavy action onstage and in the studio through 1965. John Lennon performed the guitar solo on his new Jetglo 1964 Rickenbacker.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EYa5YkJu4Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>17. Let It Be</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>As Beatles obsessives know, there are three versions of George Harrison’s solo for this track: the original, recorded in January 1969 with his rosewood Telecaster (available on 2003’s <em>Let It Be… Naked</em>); the second, recorded the following April with his Tele through a Leslie rotary speaker (released on the single “Let It Be” in 1970); and a third version recorded in January 1970 using his “Lucy” Gibson Les Paul through a Tone Bender (released on <em>Let It Be</em>). </p> <p>Nice as the first two are, they have nothing on the third, a blistering performance that raises the song’s drama to a higher level of emotion.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Izts5y5Fw8Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>16. All My Loving</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>For this pop song’s thumping, quasi–jump blues, rockabilly-style groove, Harrison crafted a convincingly authentic Chet Atkins/Carl Perkins–like solo break that clearly demonstrates his familiarity with that Fifties Nashville style of electric guitar soloing. </p> <p>Employing hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique), the guitarist acknowledges and gravitates toward the underlying chords in his melodic phrases, employing country-style “walk-ups” and “walk-downs” and plucking double-stops (pairs of notes) to sweetly and effectively outline the chord changes with a pleasing thematic continuity. </p> <p>Lennon contributed an energetic rhythm guitar part, one that he later expressed being rather proud of, which propels the groove with tireless waves of triplet chord strums, similar to those heard in the Crystals’ song “Da Doo Ron Ron.” </p> <p><strong>15. Ticket to Ride</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This proto-heavy-metal track was the first Beatles recording to feature McCartney on lead guitar and the last on which George Harrison used his Rickenbacker 12-string. McCartney plays the note-bending fills at the end of the bridges and on the outro, while Harrison plays the song’s arpeggiated riff and Lennon handles rhythm guitar. </p> <p>But the heaviest part might just be the droning open-string A notes that Harrison overdubbed on the verses, suggestive of the classical Indian music he would begin to explore later that year. </p> <p><strong>14. Dig a Pony</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>The song’s driving, bluesy riff is as durable as any that Muddy Waters ever wrote, but the 1969 recording is also notable for Harrison’s smoky guitar work on his rosewood Telecaster—from the double-stop licks on the verses to his confident and impeccably developed solo. </p> <p>You can hear Harrison’s signature style beginning to develop here, with the smoothness of his lines pointing toward the fluid slide style he would develop over the following year. His guitar tone is also very similar to that of “Octopus’ Garden” (see entry 22) recorded later that year, for which he may have also used the rosewood Tele.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kkzKSORYtVk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>13. Nowhere Man</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>According to Harrison, he and Lennon perform the song’s bright, chiming solo together in unison, using their matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters. </p> <p>Lennon also revealed to guitarist Earl Slick, during the making of Lennon’s 1980 album <em>Double Fantasy</em>, that the solo was recorded through a pair of small amps with a single microphone positioned between them. The Strats’ trebly nature was further accentuated on “Nowhere Man” by boosting the high frequencies via the mixing console. </p> <p>“We wanted very trebly guitars,” McCartney says. “They’re among the most trebly guitars I’ve ever heard on record.” </p> <p><strong>12. I Feel Fine</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Audio feedback was just an annoying electronic phenomenon until the Beatles used it as an attention-getting way to start “I Feel Fine.” The song itself is a rather standard riff rocker inspired by Bobby Parker’s 1961 R&amp;B hit, “Watch Your Step,” but its distinctive intro came about by accident when McCartney played a low A note on his bass as Lennon was leaning his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric against his amp. </p> <p>The note set Lennon’s guitar vibrating, and its proximity to the amp caused the sound to feed back. “We went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!’ ” McCartney recalls. Yes, that too. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fZUb_NJZ4To" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>11. Blackbird</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney recorded this beautiful song’s gentle, fingerstyle acoustic accompaniment on his Martin D-28. </p> <p>He creates an elegant, classical-guitar-style chord movement by using two-finger chord shapes exclusively, most of which form 10th intervals on the A and B strings, in conjunction with the open G-string note, which he picks in opposition to the chord shapes and employs as a droning common tone. </p> <p>His unique fingerpicking technique relies largely on his thumb, which he uses to pick bass notes, and index finger, which he uses for pretty much everything else, employing brushed downstrokes and upstrokes and often brushing across two or more strings. </p> <p>This often results in notes that are “ghosted,” or barely articulated, a “flaw” that is a testament to his innate musicality—McCartney’s touch is charming and greatly contributes to the overall feel of the song. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6c2kJrWqZqc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>10. “Something”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist. </p> <p>His <em>Abbey Road</em> contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and throughout the album is masterful. Harrison’s mellifluous lead lines, in particular, are more expressive than anything he’d done before, demonstrating his newfound confidence and evolving connection to his instrument and creative muse. </p> <p>Performed with his “Lucy” 1957 Gibson Les Paul played through a Leslie speaker, the solo simmers as Harrison turns up the heat on his melody and dynamics, then cools it down with bluesy restraint. </p> <p>“George came into his own on <em>Abbey Road</em>,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered this and other <em>Abbey Road</em> sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mBjt7EsWbWE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>09. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon was composing some of the heaviest rock and roll in the Beatles’ catalog in 1969, and this song—true to its title—is among the most crushing, thanks to an abundance of doubled and overdubbed guitar lines that give it some serious sonic heft. </p> <p>Lennon wrote the song for Yoko Ono, with whom he was newly in love, and the result is a spellbinding exercise in obsessive repetition, from its lyrics—consisting almost entirely of the title and roughly five other words—to the ominous guitar lines that recur throughout it. </p> <p>Clocking in at 7:47, the song is also one of the Beatles’ longest. </p> <p>And although it consists of nothing more than a verse and a chorus repeated several times, it is rhythmically one of their most intricate tunes, switching between 12/8 meter and 4/4 rhythms alternately played bluesy and with a double-time rock beat. Few other artists could have made so much with so little. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uo1i9uTaCFQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>08. I’m Only Sleeping</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s startling backward guitar solo on this Lennon-penned song is one of his greatest guitar moments on 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>.</p> <p>Over the previous year, he had used an expression pedal to create a volume-swelling sound, similar to a reverse-tape effect, on several tracks, including “Yes It Is” and “I Need You” (see entry 19). </p> <p>But for “I’m Only Sleeping,” Harrison wanted to hear his guitar truly in reverse, a decision undoubtedly inspired by Lennon’s own retrograde vocals on “Rain,” recorded earlier the same month, April 1966.</p> <p>Rather than simply improvising guitar lines while the track was played backward, he prepared lead lines and a five-bar solo for the song and had George Martin transcribe them for him in reverse. Harrison then performed the lines while the tape was running back to front.</p> <p>The result is a solo that surges up from the song’s murky depths, suffusing it with a smeared, surreal, dreamlike ambience. Within a year, Harrison’s idea would be copied by such psychedelic rock acts of the day as the Electric Prunes, who employed it on their 1966 hit “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” and Jimi Hendrix, who used it to great effect on “Castles Made of Sand.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1MMDugt8ZRk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>07. And Your Bird Can Sing</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>This middle-period Beatles gem, written primarily by Lennon, features Harrison and McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.) </p> <p>Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the key of D, using a capo at the second fret to transpose it up a whole step, as he did on “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and “Julia.”) </p> <p>The quick half-step and whole-step bends that Harrison and McCartney incorporate into their parts here and there in lock-step fashion are particularly sweet sounding. Heard together, they have the precise intonation of a country pedal-steel part performed by a seasoned Nashville pro. </p> <p>The harmonized lines that the two guitarists play over the “minor-drop” progression during the song’s bridge section, beginning at 1:05, reveal their musical depth and sophistication and command over harmony beyond the basic “I-IV-V” pop songwriting fodder.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f_P71QAEZKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. A Hard Day’s Night</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It lasts all of roughly three seconds, but the sustained opening chord to this classic Beatlemania track is one of rock and roll’s greatest and most recognizable musical moments. </p> <p>Bright and bold as a tolling bell, it loudly announced in 1964 not just the start of the Beatles’ latest album but also the dawning of a cultural transformation that owed nearly everything to the group’s influence. </p> <p>The song was written to order for the Beatles’ feature-length film debut, <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em>. According to George Martin, “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning.” </p> <p>The dense harmonic cluster that Martin and the group created is the result of four instruments sounding simultaneously: Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, both strumming an Fadd9 chord (with a G on the high E); McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, plucking a D note (probably at the 12th fret of his D string); and Martin on grand piano, playing low D and G notes. </p> <p>The resulting chord has been described as, technically, G7add9sus4, but to millions of eager listeners in 1964, it was simply the sound of an electrifying new era.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/70QfHtKdh_0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Revolution</strong><br /> <strong><em>1966–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>At the time that this 1968 track was recorded, distortion was well established as an electronic effect for guitarists, but no one had ever used it to the extreme that the Beatles did here. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for “Revolution 1,” the slower version of the song, which the Beatles recorded in May and June of 1968. </p> <p>Emerick had abetted his efforts by overloading the preamp on the microphone used to record Lennon’s guitar, but even this wasn’t enough for Lennon, who told the engineer, “ ‘No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!” </p> <p>By the July recording of “Revolution,” Emerick determined that he could distort the signal even more by patching Lennon and Harrison’s guitars directly into the mixing console via direct boxes, overloading the input preamp and sending the signal into a second overloaded preamp. </p> <p>“I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott, “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.” </p> <p>As Emerick himself notes in his 2006 memoir <em>Here, There and Everywhere</em>, it was no mean feat: the overloaded preamps could have caused the studio’s tube-powered mixer to overheat. “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kk6BAIy1MeU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>04. Here Comes the Sun</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s jangly chord-melody playing on this song is exemplary. Using first- and second-position “cowboy” chords with a capo at the seventh fret, the guitarist loosely doubles and supports his catchy, syncopated vocal melody by working it into the top part of his acoustic-guitar accompaniment. </p> <p>He does this by using a “picky-strummy” technique (similar to what Neil Young would later employ in his song “The Needle and the Damage Done”), in which the pick hand gently swings back and forth over the strings in an unbroken down-up-down-up movement, like a pendulum viewed sideways. </p> <p>In doing so, Harrison selectively grazes certain strings on various downbeats and eighth-note upbeats, resulting in a seemingly casual mix of full-chord strums, single notes and two-note clusters that form a pleasing stand-alone guitar part that could easily appeal as a solo instrumental performance. </p> <p>The high register achieved by using the capo so far up the neck—the song is played as if it were in the key of D but sounds in A, a perfect fifth higher—makes the guitar sound almost like a mandolin, an effect similar to that achieved by Bob Dylan on “Blowin’ in the Wind” (also performed capo-7).</p> <p>Also noteworthy are the ringing and musically compelling arpeggio breaks that punctuate the song in various spots, such as after the first verse (immediately following the lyric “It’s all right”) and during the bridge/interlude section, behind the words “sun, sun, sun, here it comes.” </p> <p>Harrison employs a highly syncopated “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2” phrasing scheme in the first instance and “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2” in the latter, creating a rhythmic “hiccup” that resets the song’s eighth-note pulse. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/n6j4TGqVl5g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. Taxman</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Bassist Paul McCartney had first demonstrated his six-string talents on 1965’s <em>Help!,</em> where he played lead guitar on several tracks and performed on acoustic guitar for his song “Yesterday.” </p> <p>But McCartney would truly come into his own as a guitarist with this cut from 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>. His stinging solo, performed on his 1962 Epiphone Casino through his cream-colored 1964 Bassman amp, is a stunningly sophisticated creation, drawn from an Indian-derived Dorian mode and featuring descending pull-offs that recall Jeff Beck’s work on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things,” released earlier that year. </p> <p>How the solo came to be played by McCartney—and not Harrison, who wrote the song and was the Beatles’ lead guitarist—is a story in itself. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Harrison struggled for two hours to craft a solo before producer George Martin suggested he let McCartney give it a try. McCartney’s solo, Emerick says, “was so good that George Martin had me fly it in again during the song’s fadeout.” Portions of it, played backward, were also applied to the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows.” </p> <p>Apparently, Harrison didn’t feel slighted. At the time of making <em>Revolver</em>, he was ambivalent about his musical ambitions and pondering Indian mysticism, to which he would eventually convert. </p> <p>“In those days,” he said, “for me to be allowed to do my one song on the album, it was like, ‘Great. I don’t care who plays what. This is my big chance.’ I was pleased to have him play that bit on ‘Taxman.’ If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YtksJEj2Keg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. While My Guitar Gently Weeps</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has become one of George Harrison’s signature tunes, but when he wrote the song in 1968, he couldn’t get his band mates to take an interest in it. </p> <p>Frustrated, he asked his pal Eric Clapton to sit in on the recording session for the track, hoping his presence would put the group on its best behavior. Clapton accepted the invitation and delivered a performance that remains a high point in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>For the session, Clapton played a 1957 Les Paul “Goldtop” that had been refinished in red. He’d purchased the guitar in New York City sometime in the Sixties and in 1968 gifted it to Harrison, who nicknamed it Lucy. </p> <p>The guitar was already in Harrison’s possession at the time of this recording. When he picked up Clapton to take him to the studio for the Beatles session, the famous guitarist was empty handed. “I didn’t have a guitar,” Clapton recalls. “I just got into the car with him. So he gave me [Lucy] to play.”</p> <p>Harrison was concerned that Clapton’s solo was “not Beatley enough,” as the group was by the time of this recording well known for its sonic innovation. </p> <p>During the song’s mixing stage, the group had engineer Chris Thomas send Clapton’s signal through Abbey Road’s ADT—Automatic Double Tracking—tape-delay system and manually alter the speed of the delay throughout Clapton’s performance, making the pitch sound chorused. (The effect is especially noticeable in the final measure of the second middle-eight, after the line “no one alerted you.”) Ironically, while the solo is one of Clapton’s most famous, he was never credited on the recording. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F3RYvO2X0Oo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. “The End”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>A song called “The End” might seem an ironic place to start a list of the Beatles’ 50 greatest guitar moments. But the round-robin solos that bring the track to its exhilarating peak are without question the group’s most powerful statement expressed through the guitar.</p> <p>Here, for a mere 35 seconds, three childhood friends and longtime band mates—Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon—trade licks on a song that represents, musically and literally, the Beatles’ last stand as a rock group before they broke up the following year. “The End” is the grand finale in the medley of tunes that make up much of <em>Abbey Road</em>’s second side. </p> <p>As such, it’s designed to deliver maximum emotional punch, and it succeeds completely, thanks in great part to the sound of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon rocking out on their guitars, as they did in their first, embryonic attempts to make rock and roll some 12 years earlier. </p> <p>“They knew they had to finish the album up with something big,” recalls Geoff Emerick, the famed Abbey Road engineer who worked on the 1969 album. </p> <p>“Originally, they couldn’t decide if John or George would do the solo, and eventually they said, ‘Well, let’s have the three of us do the solo.’ It was Paul’s song, so Paul was gonna go first, followed by George and John. It was unbelievable. And it was all done live and in one take.”</p> <p>Much of the song’s power comes from the sense that the Beatles are making up their solos spontaneously, playing off one another in the heat of the moment. As it turns out, that’s partly accurate. </p> <p>“They’d worked out roughly what they were going to do for the solos,” Emerick says, “but the execution of it was just superb. It sounds spontaneous. When they were done, everyone beamed. I think in their minds they went back to their youths and those great memories of working together.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5bcxHlMxnSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></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="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments#comments Articles Damian Fanelli George Harrison GW Archive GWLinotte January 2014 John Lennon Paul McCartney The Beatles Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:36:46 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti, Jimmy Brown, Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20443 The Beatles' Secret Weapon: George Harrison’s 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12 http://www.guitarworld.com/beatles-secret-weapon-george-harrison-s-1963-rickenbacker-36012 <!--paging_filter--><p>Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a “secret weapon,” that’s exactly what they got when George Harrison received his first Rickenbacker 12-string, in a beautiful Fireglo finish, in February of that year, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour. </p> <p>The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company, which is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.</p> <p>Hall spoke to Brian Epstein before the Beatles arrived in the U.S. and arranged a meeting with the group. On February 8 at the Savoy Hilton in New York City, he showed the band several different models. Lennon tried out the 360/12 but thought it would be better for Harrison, who was sick in bed at the Plaza Hotel. When Harrison finally got to see it, he loved it immediately. </p> <p>“Straight away I liked that you knew exactly which string was which,” Harrison said, referring to how the guitar’s 12 tuners are grouped in top- and side-mounted pairs on the headstock. “[On some] 12-strings, you spend hours trying to tune it.” </p> <p>Harrison’s first 360/12 was the second Rickenbacker 12-string ever made; its serial number—CM107—dates it to December 1963. The main difference between it and the prototype is how they are strung. The first model had a conventional 12-string setup, in which the octave string is the first to be struck in each string pair. On Harrison’s model and subsequent Rickenbacker 12-strings, the octave strings occur second in the string pairs and the lower-pitched string is struck first.</p> <p>Harrison’s guitar has a trapeze tailpiece, triangle inlays, double white pickguards, black control knobs and mono and stereo (Rick-O-Sound) outputs mounted on a chrome plate on the side of the guitar.</p> <p>The guitar, with its unique, chiming sound, can be heard on "You Can't Do That," the bulk of the <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> album, “I Call Your Name,” “What You’re Doing”—and several other songs, up to and including “Ticket to Ride.” His second 360/12, a 1965 model with rounded cutaways, is heard on “If I Needed Someone.”</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Rickenbacker.JPG" width="620" height="248" alt="Rickenbacker.JPG" /></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/94LH3oYJEFs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: Nigel Osbourne / 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="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/beatles-secret-weapon-george-harrison-s-1963-rickenbacker-36012#comments 2011 George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon The Beatles Holiday Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:25:42 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/13691 The 30 Greatest Shred Albums of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/30-greatest-shred-albums-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>To some people, shred guitar is about one thing, and one thing only: the need for speed. The yearn to burn. The desire for <em>fire</em>. </p> <p>Just the word itself can conjure glorious images of long-haired, pointy-guitar-wielding metalmen, fingers scaling fretboards with dazzling dexterity and furious speed, melody and musicality by damned. And indeed, during the shred zeitgeist of the 1980s, it seemed as if guitarists built up bpms the way Russia and the U.S. stockpiled nukes.</p> <p>But in fact shred was around well before the Eighties, and it has continued to thrive in the decades since. Because shred guitar is about more than just velocity, or how many notes you can squeeze into a bar of music. And it doesn't necessarily require the use of distortion, electricity or, is some cases, even a pick.</p> <p>In the following gallery, we present 30 great players from the Golden Era, the Old-School Era and the Modern Era of shred, along with the album and song that best exemplifies their shredding skills. </p> <p>As these entries attest, shred is about pushing boundaries, exploring the great guitar unknown and, basically, doing really cool stuff that's never been done before. Of course, a bit of sheer, unadulterated fret-burning speed doesn't hurt either.</p> <p><strong>NOTE: Once again, the photo gallery below is divided into three eras — the Golden Era, the Modern Era and the Old School era — each of which contains 10 albums. The gallery is arranged in that order.</strong></p> <p>Enjoy!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/30-greatest-shred-albums-all-time#comments Brad Paisley Chris Broderick December 2010 Derek Trucks Joe Bonamassa Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:24:02 +0000 Richard Bienstock, Andy Aledort http://www.guitarworld.com/article/13062 In Deep with Andy Aledort: Jamming Rhythm and Lead Guitar Over a Classic Blues-Type Form — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-jamming-rhythm-and-lead-guitar-over-classic-blues-type-form-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the March 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-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=March2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p>When going to an open jam, it’s important to be prepared to improvise over any one of the dozens of standard blues-type songs that are routinely played at jams all over the world. </p> <p>Along with the typical 12-bar and eight-bar blues forms, there are a few specific songs that feature their own distinct patterns and forms. </p> <p>One of these tunes is the Albert King classic, “Born Under a Bad Sign,” a track covered brilliantly by Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker on the essential Cream album, <em>Wheels of Fire</em>. </p> <p>Cream played the song in the key of G, but it was originally recorded by King in the key of C#. The following examples are played in the song’s original key of C#. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=March2015VideosPage">For the rest of this column, including the tabs, check out the March 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MZblpuT67KE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-andy-aledort-jamming-rhythm-and-lead-guitar-over-classic-blues-type-form-video#comments Andy Aledort In Deep March 2015 Videos News Lessons Magazine Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:15:40 +0000 Andy Aledort http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23393 From the Archive: The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This classic article from the August 1997 issue of </em>Guitar World<em> serves as the definitive guide to Kurt Cobain's grungy assortment of pawn shop prizes, turbo-charged stomp boxes and blown woofers.</em></p> <p>Kurt Cobain must have been amused when magazines like <em>Guitar World</em> and <em>Guitar Player</em> requested interviews and when Fender approached him to design a guitar. But here's where another irony exists — although Cobain often said he didn't care very much about equipment, he certainly possessed more than a passing interest in the tools of his trade. </p> <p>Cobain may not have collected vintage <strong>Gibsons, Martins, D'Angelicos</strong> and what-not, but he owned an eccentric cache of budget models, low-end imports and pawn shop prizes — most pursued with the same passion as a Gibson collector seeking a mint '59 Les Paul. Even when he could afford the best, Cobain's taste in instruments never changed. "Junk is always best," Cobain stated matter-of-factly to Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I use whatever I can find at junk shops."</p> <p>Over the years, rumors about Cobain using special processors and studio trickery to obtain his sound have proliferated, so we figured the time had come to get to the real bottom of the truth about Cobain's equipment to be revealed. To do so, we contacted the most reliable sources available — the dealers who sold him his equipment, the engineers and producers who worked with him in the studio and the technicians who looked after his gear on the road. </p> <p>A couple of well-researched websites, Chris Lawrence's site and Brian Haberman's site [<em>2013 Editor's Note: These websites no longer exist. Remember this story is from 1997!</em>], also supplied many useful details. Michael Azerrad's <em>Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana</em> (Main Street/Doubleday) provided excellent background information and photographs, and we also pored over the few interviews on the subject granted by Cobain himself.</p> <p>Cobain almost certainly would have laughed at the idea of a magazine scrutinizing the minute details of his gear. "I've never considered musical equipment very sacred," he once said. But for the thousands of guitarists who consider Cobain's music sacred, it's important to understand what he played and why he played it.</p> <p><strong>SCENTLESS APPRENTICE: COBAIN'S VIRGIN MUSICAL YEARS</strong></p> <p>Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on February 20, 1967. His first guitar, a used electric, was a 14th birthday present from his uncle Chuck. "As soon as I got my guitar, I just became so obsessed with it," Cobain told Michael Azerrad. "I don't think it was even a Harmony. I think it was a Sears." </p> <p>Cobain took guitar lessons for less than a month — just long enough to learn how to play AC/DC's "Back in Black." Those three chords served him well when he began writing his own songs shortly thereafter.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain soon set his sights on forming a band. One day, a couple of friends invited him to jam in an abandoned meat locker they used as a practice space. Afterwards, Cobain foolishly left his guitar in the locker and was subsequently unable to return and get it back. </p> <p>When he finally made it back to the rehearsal space a few months later, he found his guitar in pieces. He salvaged the neck, hardware and electronics and made a new body for the guitar in wood shop, but Cobain lacked the skills to make the restored instrument intonate properly.</p> <p>When Cobain was 17, his mother married Pat O'Connor, whose ensuing infidelity led to a situation that greatly facilitated Cobain's acquisition of musical gear. After Cobain's mother learned that Pat was cheating on her, she dumped his gun collection in the river. Cobain observed his mother's antics and later encouraged some of the neighborhood kids to fish his stepdad's weapons out. Cobain sold the guns and bought a used <strong>Peavey Vintage</strong> amplifier with two 12-inch speakers with the proceeds.</p> <p>In early 1985, Cobain moved in with his natural father who discouraged his son's musical pursuits and convinced him to pawn his guitar. After about a week, Cobain got his guitar out of hock and moved out. He almost lost the guitar again when he loaned it to a drug dealer, but managed to repossess it a few months later. With this unknown guitar and the Peavey amp in hand, Cobain formed his first band, Fecal Matter, in late 1985.</p> <p>The Peavey amp disappeared sometime between early 1986 and late 1987. Krist Novoselic remembers that Cobain gave the amp to him for about a week, in what apparently was a friendly attempt to get him to join Fecal Matter. Novoselic declined on both offers. </p> <p>The amp disappeared sometime after that. By late 1987 Novoselic finally agreed to form a band with Cobain and drummer Aaron Burckhard, which they called Skid Row. Photos from this era show Cobain playing a right-hand model sunburst <strong>Univox Hi-Flyer</strong> flipped over and strung for left-handed playing. According to Azerrad, Cobain's amp during this period was a tiny <strong>Fender Champ</strong>. Also around this time, Cobain acquired a <strong>Univox Superfuzz</strong>, but it was stolen from his rehearsal space.</p> <p>The band's name changed frequently, from Fecal Matter to such similarly choice monikers as Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Throat Oyster, Windowpane and Bliss. Eventually they settled on Nirvana. When Burckhard proved too unreliable, Cobain and Novoselic kicked him out of the band and enlisted drummer Dale Crover, who they temporarily stole from the Melvins. Three weeks later, on January 23, 1988, Nirvana recorded its first studio demo at Reciprocal Studio with Jack Endino-whose early production/engineering/mixing credits include Soundgarden, Green River, Tad and Mudhoney-behind the board.</p> <p><strong>BLOND AMBITION: THE <em>BLEACH</em> YEARS</strong></p> <p>A few months after working with Nirvana for the first time, Endino played the band's demo tape for Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band to the label. Three of the songs that Nirvana recorded during that session ended up on <em>Bleach</em>, the band's first album.</p> <p>The band liked working with Endino, and they returned to Reciprocal Studios several times during the year to record more songs, although Chad Channing replaced Crover on drums. Nirvana signed a contract with Sub Pop, and in late December 1988, they entered Reciprocal Studios to record <em>Bleach</em>. The album was recorded in three days for $606.16, although five tracks from earlier sessions were included on the final album. Most of the remaining songs from the various Reciprocal sessions were released several years later on <em>Incesticide</em>.</p> <p>"When they recorded <em>Bleach</em>, Kurt's <strong>Randall</strong> was in the shop so they borrowed my amp, which was a Sixties <strong>Fender Twin</strong>," Endino recalls. "I'm a tube nut, so everything was tweaked and up to spec on that amp, but it didn't have speakers because I had fried them. Kurt brought in a little closed-back 2x12 cabinet with two <strong>Celestions</strong>, most likely 70-watt models. He was using a little orange <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion pedal and these Univox guitars [Hi-Flyers] that looked like <strong>Mosrites</strong>. The pickups were stock. I ended up getting one of those pickups from him once, because he was smashing those guitars all the time. I said, `You must have some extra pickups,' and he said, `Oh yeah. Here's one.' It was in two pieces. I was able to stick the wires together and use it. It's not the greatest sounding pickup in the world, but it seemed to work for him."</p> <hr /> <p>In 1989, Nirvana went on its first American tour. According to Earnie Bailey, a Seattle guitar repairman who was friends with Novoselic and who often worked as a technician for the band, Cobain's live rig during this period was a red <strong>Epiphone ET270</strong>, a solid-state <strong>Randall</strong> amp head, a <strong>BFI Bullfrog</strong> 4x12 cabinet and a <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion. When his guitar was destroyed beyond repair, Cobain would look for cheap replacements in pawn shops or have Sub Pop ship him guitars via Federal Express.</p> <p>"I heard stories about Kurt's guitar destruction from the Sub Pop people early on," says Endino. "When he was out on the road he'd call them up and say, `I don't know what got into me, but I just smashed up my guitar.' I don't think he was planning on smashing guitars from day one. It was just something he did. The poor Sub Pop people would call all the pawn shops up and down the coast, looking for Univox guitars."</p> <p>Between tours, Cobain often bought equipment from Guitar Maniacs in Tacoma, Washington, and Danny's Music in Everett, Washington. According to Rick King, owner of Guitar Maniacs, Cobain "bought a whole bunch of <strong>Univox Hi-Flyers</strong> — both the P-90 version and ones with humbuckers. Those pickups have huge output and are completely over the top. He broke a lot of those guitars. We sold him several of them for an average of $100 each over the course of five years."</p> <p>Although humbucker-equipped Univox Hi-Flyers apparently were Cobain's favorite guitars in the pre-<em>Nevermind</em> days, he often appeared on stage with other models, including a blue Gibson SG and a sunburst left-handed Greco Mustang copy he bought from Guitar Maniacs.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain purchased what probably was his first acoustic guitar, a <strong>Stella</strong> 12-string, for $31.21 on October 12, 1989. He brought the Stella to Smart Studios in Wisconsin to record some demos with Butch Vig in April 1990. The guitar wasn't exactly a studio musician's dream. </p> <p>"It barely stays in tune," Cobain told Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I have to use duct tape to hold the tuning keys in place." At some point in the Stella's history, the steel strings had been replaced with six nylon strings, only five of which were intact during the session. However, the guitar sounded good enough to Vig, who recorded Cobain playing a solo acoustic version of "Polly" on that guitar. That track can be heard on <em>Nevermind</em>.</p> <p>Cobain didn't seem to be exceptionally particular about what equipment he was playing through, with the notable exception of his effects pedals. Sometime in 1990, he bought an <em>Electro-Harmonix Small Clone</em> from Guitar Maniacs, and it remained a favorite and essential part of his setup to the end of his life. On January 1, 1991, Cobain used the Small Clone to record "Aneurysm," which later was issued as the b-side to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single. </p> <p><strong>BREEDING GROUND: THE RECORDING OF <em>NEVERMIND</em></strong></p> <p>Prior to formally signing with Geffen Records on April 30, 1991, Nirvana received a $287,000 advance for the recording of <em>Nevermind</em>. The advance was somewhat meager, but it gave the band some freedom in choosing equipment. However, Cobain didn't exactly go wild with his spending.</p> <p>"I sold Kurt a bunch of guitars and effects for the <em>Nevermind</em> album," says Rick King. "When they got signed to Geffen and started getting money, Kurt was still very frugal. He bought some Japanese left-handed Strats and had humbuckers installed in the Strats' lead position. He didn't spend very much money on guitars."</p> <p>Apparently Cobain developed a taste for Fender guitars just prior to recording <em>Nevermind</em>. "I like guitars in the Fender style because they have skinny necks," said Cobain in a late 1991 interview. "I've resorted to Japanese-made Fender Stratocasters because they're the most available left-handed guitars." During this period, he also acquired a left-handed <strong>'65 Jaguar</strong> that had a <strong>DiMarzio Super Distortion</strong> humbucker in the bridge position and a <strong>DiMarzio PAF</strong> in the neck position in place of the guitar's stock single-coil pickups. These modifications were made before Cobain purchased the guitar. Cobain also bought a left-handed, Lake Placid Blue <strong>'69 Fender Competition Mustang</strong> around then.</p> <p>"Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite," Cobain told GW. "They're cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small. They also don't stay in tune, and when you want to raise the string action on the fretboard, you have to loosen all the strings and completely remove the bridge. You have to turn these little screws with your fingers and hope that you've estimated it right. If you screw up, you have to repeat the process over and over until you get it right. Whoever invented that guitar was a dork. I guess I'm calling Leo Fender, the dead guy, a dork." To overcome these tuning problems, Cobain had his '69 Mustang fitted with a <strong>Gotoh Tune-O-Matic</strong> bridge, a modification that was routinely performed on the Mustangs he subsequently acquired.</p> <p>Some claim that Cobain's preference for low-end guitars was a punk statement, but he insisted that it was a matter of necessity. "I don't favor them," Cobain told <em>Guitar World</em> in 1992. "I can afford them. I'm left-handed and it's not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars." Before entering the studio, Cobain purchased a rack rig consisting of a Mesa/Boogie Studio preamp, a Crown power amp and a variety of Marshall 4x12 cabinets. "I can never find an amp that's powerful enough," Cobain told GW. "And I don't want to deal with hauling 10 Marshall heads. I'm lazy-I like to have it all in one package. For a preamp I have a Mesa/Boogie, and I turn all the midrange up." Cobain brought this rig along with his Mustang, Jaguar, a Japanese Strat and his Boss DS-1 and Electro-Harmonix Small Clone pedals to Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where the band recorded Nevermind with Butch Vig.</p> <p>"Kurt had a Mesa/Boogie, but we also used a Fender Bassman a lot and a Vox AC30 on Nevermind," Vig recalls. "I prefer getting the amp to sound distorted instead of using special effects or pedals, which lose body and the fullness of the bottom end."</p> <p>Still, Vig allowed Cobain to use a few pedals on the album, especially since the guitarist felt that the DS-1 was the main factor in his tone. Cobain also used the Small Clone liberally. "That's making the watery guitar sound you hear on the pre-chorus build-up of `Smells Like Teen Spirit' and also `Come As You Are,'" says Vig. "We used an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz box through a Fender Bassman on `Lithium' to get that thumpier, darker sound."</p> <p>Cobain's pawn shop Stella was used again for "Something in the Way." Vig recorded the performance while Cobain sat on a couch in the control room. Against Vig's wishes, Cobain plugged his guitar direct into the board for "Territorial Pissings." During the recording of "Lithium," Cobain instigated the noise jam that became the "hidden" track "Endless, Nameless." (This track does not appear on the first 50,000 copies of the CD.) Towards the end of the track, Cobain can be heard smashing his Japanese Stratocaster.</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="/nirvana">Nirvana</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/kurt-cobain">Kurt Cobain</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide#comments August 1997 GW Archive Kurt Cobain Nirvana News Features Gear Magazine Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:17:33 +0000 Chris Gill http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11150 Kurt Cobain Talks Gear and More in His Final Guitar World Interview from 1992 http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992 <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Here's <em>Guitar World's</em> last interview with Kurt Cobain, from the February 1992 issue of GW. The original headline was "Cool Hand Puke: Kurt Cobain tries to explain why Nirvana — third-hand guitars and all — is suddenly the hottest band in the country."</strong></p> <p>“We’re just musically and rhythmically retarded,” asserts Kurt Cobain, guitarist, vocalist and chief songwriter for Nirvana. “We play so hard that we can’t tune our guitars fast enough. People can relate to that.”</p> <p>Seems reasonable enough, considering that <em>Nevermind</em>, the Seattle trio’s major label debut, has become one of the hottest out-of-the-box albums in the country. </p> <p>Fueled by the contagious hit single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the spirited album turned gold a mere five weeks after its release, and leaped past both Guns N’ Roses’ <em>Illusions</em> just one month later. But their sudden, platinum-bound popularity probably had more to do with band’s infectious, dirty riffs and wry lyrical hooks than with the roughly played, out-of-tune guitars, of which Cobain is so proud.</p> <p>“We sound like the Bay City Rollers after an assault by Black Sabbath,” continues the guitarist in his nasty smoker’s hack. “And,” he expectorates, “we vomit onstage better than anyone!”</p> <p>Nirvana began their career with 1989’s <em>Bleach</em> (Sub Pop), an intensely physical mélange of untuned metal, drunk punk and Seventies pop, written from the perspective of a college drop-out. The album’s other notable distinction was that it was recorded in three days for $600. <em>Nevermind</em>, costing considerably more than six bills, is Nirvana’s major label, power-punk/pop masterpiece, awash in slashing, ragged guitar riffs, garbled lyrics and more teen spirit than you can shake a Kiss record at.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: MTV thinks Nirvana is a metal band.</strong></p> <p>That’s fine; let them be fooled! I don’t have anything against "Headbanger’s Ball," but it’s strange to see our faces on MTV. </p> <p><strong>Kirk Hammett is a huge Nirvana fan. </strong></p> <p>That’s real flattering. We met him recently and he’s a real nice guy. We talked about the Sub Pop scene, heavy metal and guitars. </p> <p><strong>Speaking of guitars, you seem to favor low-end models. </strong></p> <p>I don’t favor them — I can afford them. [laughs] I’m left-handed, and it’s not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars. But out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two of them.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide">[[ From the Archive: The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide ]]</a></strong></p> <p><strong>What is it about them that works for you? </strong></p> <p>They’re cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small. They also don’t stay in tune, and when you want to raise the string action on the fretboard, you have to loosen all the strings and completely remove the bridge. You have to turn these little screws with your fingers and hope that you’ve estimated it right. If you screw up, you have to repeat the process over and over until you get it right. Whoever invented that guitar was a dork.</p> <p><strong>It was Leo Fender. </strong></p> <p>I guess I’m calling Leo Fender, the dead guy, a dork. Now I’ll never get an endorsement. [laughs] We’ve been offered a Gibson endorsement, but I can’t find a Gibson I like. </p> <p><strong>Is the Mustang your only guitar? </strong></p> <p>No, I own a ’66 Jaguar. That’s the guitar I polish and baby — I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd. [laughs] Lately, I’ve been using a Strat live, because I don’t want to ruin my Mustang yet. I like to use Japanese Strats because they’re a bit cheaper, and the frets are smaller than the American version’s.</p> <p><strong>The acoustic guitar you play on “Polly” sounds flat. </strong></p> <p>That’s a 20-dollar junk shop Stella — I didn’t bother changing the strings. [laughs] It barely stays in tune. In fact I have to use duct tape to hold the tuning keys in place.</p> <p><strong>Considering how violently you play the guitar, I have to assume that you use pretty heavy-duty strings. </strong></p> <p>Yeah. And I keep blowing up amplifiers, so I use whatever I can find at junk shops — junk is always best.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/fregObNcHC8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What was the last amp you blew up? </strong></p> <p>A Crown power amp that was intended for use as a PA, but which I used for a guitar head because I can never find an amp that’s powerful enough — and because I don’t want to have to deal with hauling 10 Marshall heads. I’m lazy — I like to have it all in one package. For a preamp I have a Mesa/Boogie, and I turn all the mid-range up. And I use Radio Shack speakers. </p> <p><strong>How reliable is this set-up? It doesn’t seem like it would be that durable, especially in view of all the touring you do. </strong></p> <p>It works out okay. The sound changes with every club we play in, but I’m never satisfied. I think the sound I get is mainly a result of the Roland EF-1 distortion box I use. I go through about five a tour.</p> <p><strong>Ever get the urge to use the twang bar? </strong></p> <p>No. Anybody that plays guitar knows that only Jimi Hendrix was able to use the standard tremolo and still keep it in tune. Those things are totally worthless. I do have one on a Japanese Strat, but I don’t use it.</p> <p><strong>Your first album, <em>Bleach</em>, was recorded for $600; how much did <em>Nevermind</em> run you?</strong></p> <p>[laughs] I don’t remember, I’ve got Alzheimer’s. Please, don’t ask how much our video cost; that’s a hell of an embarrassment. We definitely could have used some film student, who would’ve done just as good of a job.</p> <p><strong>Nirvana are featured in the Big '90s issue of <em>Guitar Legends</em>, <a href="http://secure.nps1.net/guitarworld/index.php?main_page=product_info&amp;cPath=5&amp;products_id=211&amp;utm_source=guitaworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=092311Nirvana">which you can pick up in our online store right here</a>.</strong></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="/nirvana">Nirvana</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/kurt-cobain">Kurt Cobain</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992#comments February 1992 GW Archive Kurt Cobain Nirvana Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:16:36 +0000 Jeff Gilbert http://www.guitarworld.com/article/12878 Weird Science: The 10 Strangest Vintage Effects of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/weird-science-10-strangest-vintage-effects-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>It’s probably not a coincidence that effects such as wah pedals and fuzz boxes started appearing en masse about the same time that recreational drugs like marijuana and LSD became popular with rock musicians. </p> <p>Indeed, it would take the mind of an incredibly stoned individual — someone deprived of exposure to the sun’s rays, fed a diet of lukewarm Mountain Dew and stale frozen pizza and kept awake for days by snorting lines of Instant Maxwell House — to even conceive of the idea for some of the music industry’s many audio oddities. </p> <p>In salute to effect innovators like <a href="http://www.ehx.com/">Electro-Harmonix</a>’s Mike Matthews and Zachary Vex of Z.Vex (both of whom may be as straight and unpolluted as an Iowa highway, for all we know), we present to you our selections for the strangest and most wonderful guitar effects ever unleashed upon the unsuspecting public. </p> <p>Plugging into one of the following effects is like discovering an ancient Mayan city of gold on the tip of your fingernail while your cat pontificates, in Lebanese, about Proust. Or whacking yourself in the head really hard with a sledgehammer. </p> <p>To find out more about these pedals (and hear more audio examples), check out <a href="http://www.effectsdatabase.com/">Discofreq’s FX Site</a> or <a href="http://tonefrenzy.com/">Tonefrenzy.com</a>. If you’d like to take a crack at building your own, visit <a href="http://www.diystompboxes.com/wpress/">DIYstompboxes.com</a>. </p> <p>Note that, since it's unusual to come across two or three of these effects, let alone all 10, we do not have consistent photos or videos of the effects presented below. Luckily, there's this thing called YouTube.com. We tried to find the most to-the-point and least-annoying video for each effect. (We admit we really love the video for Number 5, the Maestro Rover!)</p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;margin-bottom:20px;">01. Ludwig Phase II synthesizer</span> <p>What could possibly be weirder than a guitar synthesizer pedal made in the early Seventies by a drum company? Like many so-called guitar synthesizers from this era, the Ludwig Phase II is not a synth but actually several effects, including fuzz, voltage-controlled filters and gating, combined in a box that unfolds to reveal a rocker pedal, several oversized mushroom-shaped footswitches and a control panel placed at a height only Verne Troyer would find comfortable. </p> <p>With a little patient tweaking, the Phase II can produce the sound of anything from alien conversations to spaceship landings—the kind of weirdness that’s made it a favorite of Sonic Youth (<em>Washing Machine</em>), Primus’ Larry Lalonde (<em>Pork Soda</em>) and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready (<em>Binaural</em>).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ikraEyAaBFA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">02. Ampeg Scrambler</span> <p>Ampeg is best known for its big ’n’ beefy bass amps, but the company also attempted to exploit the pedal market in a few rare instances. Ampeg’s first effort, the Scrambler, bewildered even acid casualties upon its introduction in 1969, but today’s bizarro stomp box aficionados consider it the Holy Grail. Although these pedals are rarer than Paris Hilton’s brain cells, they were built to withstand nuclear war, so units that turn up are usually in fine working condition. Its two controls (texture and balance) generate a mutated rainbow of fuzz tones ranging from metallic ring modulation with buzzing octave-up overtones to the flatulence of a 400-pound chili cook-off judge.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JYpuXHqSFpM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">03. DeArmond Tremolo Control</span> <p>Tremolo effects aren’t particularly strange, but this early Fifties contraption, the first mass-produced external effect device for the electric guitar, earns distinction for its primitive design and clunky aesthetics. (And it was manufactured in Toledo, Ohio — isn’t that weird?) Instead of employing components like transistors, resistors and diodes to generate its on/off effect, the Tremolo Control used a motor to rock a glass tube filled with mercury (the original heavy metal) back and forth across an electrical contact to open and close the circuit. Unfortunately, mercury deteriorates over time, but Windex makes a safe alternative (and it provides “clean” tone). This effect is a favorite of Billy Gibbons, Ry Cooder and Duane Eddy.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/smzp6LsPKTc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">04. EMS Synthi Hi-Fli</span> <p>Another so-called guitar synthesizer from the Seventies, the EMS Synthi Hi-Fli was mounted on a waist-high stand and looked like a prop from Dr. Who (EMS actually made the synths used to create sound effects for the show). Originally (and appropriately) called the Sound Freak, the Hi-Fli was essentially an early multi-effect unit that combined fuzz, octave shift, ring modulation, phasing and resonant filters to generate synthlike tones. David Gilmour used a Synthi Hi-Fli on <em>The Dark Side of the Moon</em>, and other fans include Steve Hackett (when he was with Genesis) and the Chemical Brothers.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nwdUWAzBQbs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">05. Maestro Rover</span> <p>Someone must have spiked the water coolers at Maestro with Blue Sunshine — how else to explain sonic oddities like Maestro’s Bass Brassmaster, Filter Sample and Hold, Ring Modulator and the world’s first fuzz box? The Maestro Rover is a rotating speaker unit that not only looks like a UFO but sounds like one, too, as the speaker can rotate at exceptionally high speeds to create watery, warbling Doppler effects. A built-in crossover routes low frequencies to a guitar amp while it directs treble frequencies to the Rover’s rather low-powered internal amp, which isn’t loud enough to irk even a Ladies’ Auxiliary tea party. That’s why David Gilmour’s Rover is, uh, house trained.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/FDxESYBw2YE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">06. Electro-Harmonix Frequency Analyzer/Maestro Ring Modulator</span> <p>You know those bizarre, dissonant metallic boinks on ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses” and the closing theme of South Park? That’s the sound of a ring modulator. Electro-Harmonix and Maestro unleashed this atonal beast of an effect on unsuspecting musicians during the early Seventies, and guitarists have been struggling to tame them ever since. By moving the controls while you play (the EHX Hotfoot makes a handy “third hand”), you can imitate the sounds of extraterrestrial radio transmissions, drunken calypso steel drummers and screaming robot elephants. Who hasn’t wanted their guitar to sound like that?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XrJ-2_qk9zM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">07. ADA Flanger</span> <p>One of the finest pedal flangers ever made, the ADA Flanger generates a wide variety of impressive effects, from jetlike whooshes to shimmering chorus. But spend a little extra time tweaking the controls and some truly bizarre sounds emerge, such as ring modulator–like percussive metal overtones and ghostly moans. Its best (i.e., weirdest) effect is a sort of “auto whammy” that is coaxed out of the pedal by turning the enhance control all the way up. Engage the effect and your guitar’s pitch will rise and fall dramatically and uncontrollably, even if you aren’t playing anything at all. How cool is that?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SBJDTPL-RZ0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">08. Roland Funny Cat</span> <p>Perhaps the most appropriately named pedal of all time, the Roland Funny Cat sounds like a feline that has huffed a spray can of Rust-Oleum and downed a bottle of Jäger — and is being whipped. Kind of a fuzz/envelope-follower combination, the Funny Cat spews and mews unpredictably, with the effect often becoming more pronounced the softer, or the higher up the neck, you play. Considering how hard it was to get killer buds (an essential part of good pedal design) in Japan during the early Seventies, the Roland engineer who designed this probably smoked a lot of catnip instead.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MY33v7c_tD4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">09. Oberheim Voltage Controlled Filter/Maestro Filter Sample and Hold</span> <p>These pedals are identical in every way except for their paint jobs. Controls consist of knobs for range (depth) and sample-and-hold speed, and a switch that engages either the sample-and-hold random-filter effect or an envelope follower, for autowah effects. Even with this limited feature set, the pedals can generate a surprisingly vast palette of strange but wonderful tones, ranging from juicy, drippy envelope-follower funk to guttural auto-arpeggiator stutters. Frank Zappa used one on “Ship Ahoy,” “Black Napkins” and several other songs, so if it’s weird enough for the man who wrote “Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead,” it’s certainly weird enough for you.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/W_ZDsQbBSlQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">10. Electro-Harmonix Talking Pedal </span> <p>While honorable mention must be made to the Heil Talk Box (which provides guitarists with a tube that they stick in their mouths to duplicate the sound of a stomach being pumped and other barfy delights), the Electro-Harmonix Talking Pedal enables your guitar to speak through purely electronic means. Actually, it only produces “A-E-I-O-U” vowel sounds, but it does give a guitar an uncanny vocallike tonality that is reminiscent of Yoda speaking Cantonese. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/38tDo_1O0uk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> http://www.guitarworld.com/weird-science-10-strangest-vintage-effects-all-time#comments GW Archive Guitar World Lists Videos Effects News Features Gear Magazine Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:12:10 +0000 Chris Gill http://www.guitarworld.com/article/17446 Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi on Fighting with Skinheads, "War Pigs" Inspiration and More http://www.guitarworld.com/black-sabbaths-geezer-butler-and-tony-iommi-fighting-skinheads-and-war-pigs-inspiration <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an excerpt from the all-new March 2015 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>, which features an interview with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. For the rest of this interview, plus our guide to the 30 greatest classic Black Sabbath songs, plus gear views, tabs, lessons and more, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SabbathExcerpt">check out the March 2015 issue of GW at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></p> <p>It’s rare that a band emerges and, with one inspired release, simultaneously launches and perfects a genre of music. </p> <p>Such is the singular case of Black Sabbath. Their 1970 self-titled debut, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, took the heavy blues and hard-rock idioms that came before and infused them with anthemic tritone riffs, doom-laden drum tempos, maniacal vocals and diabolical lyrics. </p> <p>Black Sabbath’s pioneering sound would later be christened heavy metal, and in many people’s minds that album still reigns supreme as the best representation of the genre. Many influential bands in their own right have come along and made contributions to heavy music, but all of them—from Judas Priest and Van Halen to Metallica and Soundgarden—hail the supremacy of Black Sabbath. </p> <p>Below, enjoy an excerpt from <em>Guitar World</em>'s new interview with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. Interestingly enough, Butler—who was arrested in California this past Tuesday for assault and vandalism—discussed fighting, including a brawl with skinheads that took place several decades ago.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Geezer, you’ve mentioned before that “Fairies Wear Boots,” [from 1970’s <em>Paranoid</em>] was inspired by a confrontation you guys had with skinheads. Being a longhair yourself, did you run into a lot of problems in England back then?</strong></p> <p><strong>GEEZER BUTLER</strong> There used to be fighting all the time. I used to be a football [soccer] fan—well, I still am—and I’d go down to watch the [Aston] Villa [Football Club]. I had long hair at the time. </p> <p>Then this one day, the skinheads, or hooligans, turned on the people with long hair, even though we were fans too. So after that I couldn’t go down there. This other time we did this gig in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare [in North Somerset, England], and we had a fight with all these skinheads. I think that’s where the lyrics for “Fairies Wear Boots” came from.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u3g0NhJ7__k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Do you remember what kicked off the fight?</strong></p> <p><strong>BUTLER</strong> We didn’t get paid! [laughs] I was the one that used to go collect the check. We’d had this problem where we’d go collect our money and the guy would go, “Oh no, we sent the check in the post [mail].” We were promised that we’d get the money on the night, so I went to the promoter to get it. And he said, “Oh, I already sent it to your manager.” </p> <p>I went outside to the telephone to make a call to the manager and I got surrounded by all these bloody skinheads, going, “Kill him! Kill him!” So I had to time it right so I could throw the phone at them and leg it back into the gig. [laughs] I told Tony, and of course he said, “Come on, let’s go.” And he grabs a microphone stand and we went out for a battle with them. Fucking nuts.</p> <p><strong>Parental groups and decency nags always bemoan the satanic and occult allusions in Black Sabbath lyrics. But Geezer, you were also writing about current social issues, too, on the track “War Pigs.” Were you following the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement and political unrest going on at the time in the United States?</strong></p> <p>It was actually being covered more [in the press] in England than in America. They had this program on in England, and it showed all the stuff that wasn’t being told to the American people. Stuff like how the president [Lyndon Johnson]’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson, had this road-building company. The Americans would go in and bomb all these roads [in Vietnam]. Then her company would go in and rebuild them and get the money. They weren’t saying all that in America. We wrote “War Pigs” because many American bands were frightened to mention anything about the war. So we thought we’d tell it like it is.</p> <p><strong>In 1971, you released <em>Master of Reality</em>, which saw the band experimenting a bit more with tracks like “Solitude” and the acoustic instrumental “Orchid.” Tony, had you always played acoustic or did you pick it up around that time?</strong></p> <p><strong>TONY IOMMI</strong> No, I never played acoustic that much at all really. I don’t even remember where we did that track, to be honest. I think the idea on the album was to have a bit of light and shade and relax it from the heavier stuff.</p> <p><strong>Speaking of heavier stuff, what were you coughing on during that intro to “Sweet Leaf”?</strong></p> <p><strong>IOMMI</strong> [laughs] I choked me bloody self! It wasn’t intended to happen, and it wasn’t supposed to be on the track. We were in the studio tracking that song, and Ozzy gave me a joint and I nearly choked myself. The tape was on, so of course they wanted to use it to begin the track.</p> <p><strong>BUTLER</strong> You couldn’t have gotten anything more appropriate for a song called “Sweet Leaf.” [laughs]</p> <p><strong>That’s the truth. But the title “Sweet Leaf” was actually inspired by a different type of smoke, right?</strong></p> <p><strong>BUTLER</strong> Yeah the name “Sweet Leaf” came from the [Irish brand of] cigarettes called Sweet Afton. I’d just come back from Dublin. Everyone smoked back then, so I’d be offering them all cigarettes. You’d open the top of the package and it said something like, “It’s the sweet leaf.” I thought, Hmmm, That’s a good title.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IIoVoOfBHW0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>The following year, Sabbath headed to Los Angeles’ Record Plant Studios to track <em>Vol. 4</em>, on which you broke new ground with “Changes.” It’s a piano ballad, and the lyrics are quite touching, which makes it a very unusual track for Sabbath.</strong></p> <p><strong>IOMMI</strong> It was a sad track as well. We were staying in this house and there was a ballroom with a piano in it. It was back in the days of doing a bit of blow and staying up late. And I just started playing and coming up with this idea. We had a Mellotron and Geez started to play the orchestrations. It fit well and came about pretty quickly, considering we’d never done anything like that before.</p> <p><em>Photo: Ross Halfin</em></p> <p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the all-new March 2015 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>, which features an interview with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. For the rest of this interview, plus our guide to the 30 greatest classic Black Sabbath songs, plus gear views, tabs, lessons and more, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SabbathExcerpt">check out the March 2015 issue of GW at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-01-29%20at%2010.15.18%20AM_0.png" width="620" height="812" alt="Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 10.15.18 AM_0.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="/tony-iommi">Tony Iommi</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/black-sabbath">Black Sabbath</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/black-sabbaths-geezer-butler-and-tony-iommi-fighting-skinheads-and-war-pigs-inspiration#comments Black Sabbath Geezer Butler March 2015 Tony Iommi Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 19 Feb 2015 21:42:23 +0000 Brad Angle http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23391 Metal for Life with Metal Mike: Exploring Drop-D Tuning’s Unique Melodic Possibilities — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-exploring-drop-d-tuning-s-unique-melodic-possibilities-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the March 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-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=March2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p>In the Holiday 2014 and January 2015 installments of Metal for Life, I talked about the advantages of using drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E) and demonstrated some cool things you can do with it. </p> <p>This month I’d like to revisit this topic and show you some additional metal-style riffs played in this tuning, with an emphasis on unusual melodic intervals. </p> <p>As I mentioned previously, drop-D tuning is great for metal because, along with the extended low range and resulting additional “heaviness” provided by the detuned sixth string, it enables one to conveniently fret power chords on the bottom two or three strings by simply barring one finger across the strings at any given fret. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=March2015VideosPage">For the rest of this column, including the tabs, check out the March 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GJEnKZKzy78" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/metal-life-metal-mike-exploring-drop-d-tuning-s-unique-melodic-possibilities-video#comments March 2015 Metal Mike Metal Mike Chlasciak Videos News Lessons Magazine Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:50:53 +0000 Metal Mike Chlasciak http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23394 Tour Dimebag Darrell's Guitar Vault, Home and Recording Studio — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/tour-dimebag-darrells-guitar-vault-home-and-recording-studio-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World</em>'s February 2015 issue, which is available at the <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-february-15-the-ultimate-dime-tribute-issue?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=DimeHouseTour">Guitar World Online Store,</a> is the ultimate tribute to the late, great Dimebag Darrell.</p> <p>As part of our coverage, which was timed for the 10th anniversary of the guitarist's tragic death, <em>Guitar World</em> was invited into Dime's home and recording studio—and we got to bring our cameras!</p> <p>Below, enjoy our exclusive video tour, which offers a private look at Dime's impressive guitar collection, not to mention his home, memorabilia, kitchen, bathrooms (Note: Dime's bathrooms are more interesting than they sound!) and a lot more.</p> <p><strong>Check out the video below! <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-february-15-the-ultimate-dime-tribute-issue?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=DimeHouseTour">And remember to pick up the February 2015 issue of GW, which features the ultimate Dimebag Darrell guitar gallery, more details about his home and studio, our guide to the 25 Greatest Pantera Songs and much more!</a> </strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PGFT4nHwlBc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></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="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/pantera">Pantera</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/tour-dimebag-darrells-guitar-vault-home-and-recording-studio-video#comments Damageplan Dean Guitars Dimebag Darrell February 2015 Pantera Videos News Features Magazine Thu, 12 Feb 2015 16:22:54 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23492 Inventing the Steel: How to Solo Like Angus Young, Jimmy Page and Tony Iommi http://www.guitarworld.com/inventing-steel-how-solo-angus-young-jimmy-page-and-tony-iommi <!--paging_filter--><p>Regarded by many as the three most vital purveyors of pure hard rock/heavy metal sonic evil, AC/DC’s <strong>Angus Young</strong>, Led Zeppelin’s <strong>Jimmy Page</strong> and Black Sabbath’s <strong>Tony Iommi</strong> have each forged a distinct, instantly recognizable guitar style and sound. </p> <p>After decades of dedicated service, all three players continue to influence countless up-and-coming metalheads the world over, and an in-depth study of each guitarist’s distinct musical personality is mandatory for any aspiring hard rock player.</p> <p>Young, Page and Iommi share a few similarities in their respective crafts. </p> <p>All three have relied on Gibson solidbody/dual-humbucker-style guitars for the majority of their careers, inspiring signature models of their respective axes: Angus Young has favored Gibson SG-type guitars and has his own Gibson signature model; Jimmy Page is most closely associated with the 1959 sunburst Les Paul, replicated in limited quantity by Gibson (with a retail price of more than $20,000); and Tony Iommi’s long association with the ’61 SG led to the creation of the similarly designed Gibson Tony Iommi model (as well as the custom-made SG-type Patrick Eggle and JayDee models that Iommi also uses). When soloing, all three guitarists most often use the bridge pickup. </p> <p>Armed with their respective axes, the three defined the sound of metal in the late Sixties and early Seventies by relying on specific amplification: Jimmy Page favors Marshall SLP-1959 100-watt amps modified with KT-88 tubes, while also employing Voxes, Hiwatts, Fender Super Reverbs and Orange amps. </p> <p>Angus Young has generally used Marshall 100-watt “Plexi” models along with JTM-45 “Plexis.” Iommi is also known for his use of Marshall and Orange gear and has long been a fan of Laney amplification; he even has his own Laney 100-watt signature amplifier.</p> <p>Another commonality among the three guitar gods is their choice of scale for soloing. In the spirit of their American blues guitar heroes, all three rely most heavily on the minor pentatonic scale. <strong>FIGURE 1a</strong> shows the A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G) played in fifth position; <strong>FIGURE 1b</strong> shows the same scale as played in an extended pattern that traverses the neck from the third fret to the 12th. The root notes are circled in each figure; once you have become familiar with these fingering patterns, be sure to move them to all other keys.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1_5.png" width="620" height="113" alt="1_5.png" /></p> <p>Let’s now look at these two patterns one octave and 12 frets higher: <strong>FIGURE 2a</strong> depicts A minor pentatonic played in 17th position while <strong>FIGURE 2b</strong> shows an extended pattern that spans the 15th–22nd frets, ending with a whole step bend from D to E. Young, Page and Iommi all cover the highest reaches of the neck in many of their solos, so be sure to practice the minor pentatonic scales in every key and all over the fretboard.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/2_3.png" width="620" height="120" alt="2_3.png" /><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">Angus Young</span></p> <p>With his comedic school-boy outfit and hyperenergetic stage antics, Angus Young has been both celebrated and reviled for his over-the-top persona. But in truth, he is simply one of the greatest rock soloists ever. His intense, exciting playing style is equal parts adrenaline, blues rock fire, and precision, all of it spiked with a crash-and-burn attitude. In other words, it’s hard rock at its absolute best.</p> <p>One of Young’s greatest solos is the one he recorded in the AC/DC classic, “You Shook Me All Night Long” (<em>Back in Black</em>). <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> presents a solo played in this style: it’s played over a repeating I-IV-V-IV chord progression in the key of G—G-C-D-C—and is based primarily on the G minor pentatonic scale (G Bf C D F); bars 1–4 are played in third position, and then the next phrase shifts one octave higher to 15th position in bars 5–8. </p> <p>The figure begins with a whole-step bend from C to D on the G string that is sustained and played with vibrato for three beats. Use your ring finger to fret the note and both your ring and middle fingers to push the string, with the middle finger one fret behind the ring finger. This two-finger bending technique is known as reinforced fingering and is used extensively by Young as well as Page and Iommi. </p> <p>The first note in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> is a prime example of Young’s signature bend vibrato: upon bending the string with the ring and middle fingers (the index finger may also be used to help push the string for additional strength and support), the bend is then repeatedly released partially—somewhere between a quarter step and a half step—and restored to a whole step (“full”) in quick, even rhythm. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/3_1.png" width="620" height="259" alt="3_1.png" /></p> <p>When executing this type of bend vibrato, you’ll find that it helps to push your fret-hand thumb against the top side of the neck, as this provides leverage for the fingers that are pushing and releasing the string. Young’s vibrato is relatively fast and not very wide and will require practice and keen listening to emulate authentically.</p> <p>The C-to-D bend is followed with an index-finger barre across the top two strings at the third fret, and in bar 2 the pinkie frets F (second string/sixth fret), followed by the same reinforced ring-finger bend and release on C (third string/fifth fret). At the end of bar 2, after fretting the G note, roll the tip of the ring finger from the fourth string over to the fifth string and then back. This “finger roll” may take some practice to get used to, but it’s a very useful technique that is worth learning. </p> <p>What makes a solo like this great is its simplicity and melodic quality. Each idea is balanced against the next in an effortless way, and the overall result is a memorable solo that one could easily sing—an earmark of every great hard rock guitar solo. </p> <p>Beginning in bar 5 of <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, the second half of the solo relates to the first half in that it also leads off with a sustained bend, this time from a high F, the flatted seventh, to G, the root note, which is played vibrato in a similar manner. When playing minor pentatonic licks like these in high positions, many blues, blues/rock and hard rock players adopt a three-finger approach—index-middle-ring—for the majority of their licks, presumably because of the closeness of the frets. Young, however, chooses to use his pinkie in many of his licks, regardless of his fretboard position. </p> <p>I wrap the solo up in bar 8 by switching to a riff based on G major pentatonic (G A B D E). A staple of blues soloing is to alternate between the “sweet” sound of major pentatonic and the darker sound of minor pentatonic, and Young does just this in many of his solos. </p> <p>Another great example of Young’s masterful soloing can be heard on the title track to <em>Back in Black</em>. <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> shows a solo played in a similar style. This example is played over a simple repeating chord progression in the key of E: E-D-A (I-fVII-IV). The majority of the solo is based on the E minor pentatonic scale (E G A B D), although I begin with a phrase that incorporates notes from the E Dorian mode (E Fs G A B Cs D) by including the sixth, Cs. The placement of this pitch is critical in relation to the accompanying chord progression, as it lands on the A chord, and Cs is the major third of A. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/4.png" width="620" height="366" alt="4.png" /></p> <p>Like <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, the goal with this example is to illustrate Young’s clear sense of melody and melodic development: <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> begins with a “hooky” phrase that is developed by descending the G string in a similar manner across the first two bars. At bar 3, I jump up to the 12th-position E minor pentatonic “box” pattern, beginning with a high D-to-E bend and vibrato that is sustained through the first two beats of the bar, followed by a fast phrase based on descending 16th-note triplets. </p> <p>The solo then stays rooted in 12th position through the remainder of bar 3, all the way to the end of bar 7. As with the high-position pentatonic licks in the previous example, the majority of these licks may be played comfortably with three fingers. </p> <p>Particularly noteworthy is the classic lightning-fast blues/rock/metal run that spans bar 7 of <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>: based entirely on descending 16th-note triplets, the run begins with a pull-off from a high G (first string/15th fret) to E (12th fret) followed by D (second string/15th fret). The next 16th-note triplet starts one note lower, on E, and is followed by a pull-off from D to B (15th fret to12th fret). The pattern of starting one note lower with each subsequent 16th-note triplet and using pull-offs wherever possible is repeated throughout the run. </p> <p>As the solo develops, analyze each beat and notice how the progression of the lines contributes to the overall phrase. Young is a master of “phrase-ology,” a skill/gift that lends an almost effortless quality to his solos and the feeling of constantly pushing the music forward and telling a story. </p> <hr /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">JIMMY PAGE</span> <p>Jimmy Page was inspired by many of the same American blues guitar heroes as his British blues/rock contemporaries Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Peter Green. These heroes include the three Kings—Albert, B.B. and Freddie—as well as T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. </p> <p>Page was also equally influenced by the fiery intensity of rockabilly guitarists Cliff Gallup (Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps) and Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley), as well as the futuristic daring of Les Paul. A student of many different styles of guitar playing, Page always combines in his solos a well-balanced structure and sense of melodic development with true depth of feeling. His progressive approach to soloing has pushed the nature of blues/rock guitar to previously unimagined territory. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 5</strong> is an eight-bar solo representative of Page’s improvisation style. It’s played in the key of A minor over a repeating Am-G-F (i-fVII-fVI) chord progression. The majority of the solo is based on A minor pentatonic (A C D E G), beginning in fifth position with a D-to-E bend on the G string. This note is bent and shaken using the same reinforced fingering and thumb leveraging techniques described earlier in reference to <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/5_0.png" width="620" height="351" alt="5_0.png" /></p> <p>This initial bend is followed by a stream of cascading 16th notes played across the next four beats on the top three strings, with notes quickly alternating between either the fifth and seventh frets or the fifth and eighth frets. Through the majority of this solo, a balance of eighth and 16th notes is achieved, giving the solo a forward-leaning quality as each phrase flows seamlessly into the next. </p> <p>Over an F chord in bars 2, 4, 6 and 8, I occasionally incorporate an F note into the A minor pentatonic-derived lines in order to clearly relate the solo line to the backing chord progression; this approach is a Page trademark. Adding this one note also serves to broaden the solo beyond the strict blues territory while also strengthening the melodic quality of the licks. </p> <p>Bar 5 begins with a descending run wherein a stream of 16th notes are phrased in two six-note groups that form an interesting melodic contour. A similar phrasing approach is used in bar 6 with successive four-note descending groups. The solo develops interestingly and builds to a climax in bars 7 and 8 with a repeated melodic “shape” that ascends the A minor pentatonic scale in seven-note phrases, starting from either the root note or the fifth each time. </p> <p>While this may sound overly analyzed, in truth it is the application of these melodic phrasing techniques that gives the solo its clear sense of structure, which is a hallmark of all of Page’s best lead work.</p> <hr /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">TONY IOMMI</span> <p>As the progenitor of the heaviest of heavy metal, Tony Iommi set high standards for the writing of demonic-sounding riffs while he simultaneously created the template for the heavy metal soloing of future generations.</p> <p>As a teenager, Iommi, a left-handed player, was the victim of an unfortunate accident in which he lost the tips of his right hand’s middle and ring fingers while working in a sheet metal factory. Discouraged but not defeated, the resourceful guitarist devised plastic covers made from bottle caps to wear over those fingertips. </p> <p>In later years, he would wear custom–fitted leather finger protectors. Iommi also switched to using super light-gauge strings: .008, .008, .011, .018w, .024 and .032, which are much easier to fret and bend than a standard set of .009s or 010s. </p> <p>In its earliest days, Black Sabbath tuned to concert pitch, but soon after Iommi began tuning his strings down one half step (low to high: Ef Af Df Gf Bf Ef) and subsequently tuned down even further by one and a half steps (low to high: Cs Fs B E Gs Cs), all the while continuing to use very light strings. </p> <p>A signature element in the characteristically dark vibe of Iommi’s solos is the incorporation of minor modes. In his outro solo for “War Pigs” (<em>Paranoid</em>), Iommi utilizes the E Aeolian mode (E Fs G A B C D) along with E minor pentatonic (E G A B D). <strong>FIGURE 6</strong> illustrates a solo played with a similar approach. </p> <p>Within the key of E minor, the chord progression simply alternates between Em and D, and in his solo, Iommi’s ties his licks squarely to the chord progression with the use of chord tones that relate to each specific chord. Bars 1–4 of <strong>FIGURE 6</strong> demonstrate this approach by favoring the notes E and G, the root note and minor third, respectively, over Em, and the notes D and Fs, the root and major third, respectively, over D. The additional notes and overall phrasing serve to fill in the space and effectively set up the incorporation of these shifting chord tones (also known as guide tones). </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/6_0.png" width="620" height="339" alt="6_0.png" /></p> <p>Another key aspect of Iommi’s soloing style that <strong>FIGURE 6</strong> demonstrates is the intensity of both the pick attack and vibrato. Iommi’s playing is well-loved for its aggressive power, so lean into the lines with both hands, and listen closely to his recorded works to get a clear picture of and feel for his playing style. </p> <p>Beginning on beat two of bar 5, I repeatedly bend E, third string/ninth fret, up one and one half steps (the equivalent of three frets) to G. When performing “overbends” like this, it’s even more important to harness the strength of at least two fingers, the ring and middle, if not three (the ring, middle and index). This is followed in bar 6 by fast whole-step bends that alternate with hammer-on/pull-of combinations between the seventh and ninth frets on the G string. This is a challenging lick that will take a bit of slow practice to master.</p> <p>In the second half of bar 7, I borrow a signature phrasing technique of Iommi’s, with a 16th-note run that descends the E Aeolian mode in three-note groups on a single string, using pull-offs and finger slides. This type of line serves to add both rhythmic and melodic interest to a pentatonic- or mode-based solo.</p> <p><strong>FIGURE 7</strong> offers another example of soloing in Iommi’s style, this time incorporating the detuning of one and one half steps. (All notes and chords sound in the key of C# minor, one and one half steps lower than written.) This example demonstrates Iommi’s penchant for using fast hammer-ons and pull-offs within repeated short phrases, as he does on his solo in “Supernaut” (Vol. 4).</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/7_0.png" width="620" height="365" alt="7_0.png" /></p> <p>The solo is based entirely on the E minor pentatonic scale, played in 12th position, and begins with a repeated phrase that starts with a quick hammer/pull on the first string from the 12th fret to the 15th, followed by D, second string/15th fret. This sequence is played four times through bar 1, and bar 2 consists entirely of trills in 12th position. (A trill is executed by quickly alternating between two notes, usually using hammer-ons and pull-offs in combination.) </p> <p>Bars 3 and 4 are similar in that both feature fast phrases based on 16th-note triplets; in bar 3, note bursts are performed with hammer/pulls on the D string, and in bar 4 the hammers occur on the G string. Bars 5 and 6 offer an example of the “threes on fours” concept—16th notes phrased in groups of three—and bars 7 and 8 wrap up the solo with fast hammer/pulls, played in 16th-nopte triplets, that traverse the strings, moving from high to low. </p> <p>In all of their solos, Young, Page and Iommi combine well-structured melodic ideas, solid execution and spirited performance—essential factors in any great, memorable guitar solo that you should strive to achieve in your own solos.</p> <p><em>Painting: Tim O'Brien</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="/tony-iommi">Tony Iommi</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/jimmy-page">Jimmy Page</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/led-zeppelin">Led Zeppelin</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/inventing-steel-how-solo-angus-young-jimmy-page-and-tony-iommi#comments Angus Young Articles GW Archive JamPlay Jimmy Page May 2007 Tim O'Brien Tony Iommi In Deep with Andy Aledort News Features Lessons Magazine Wed, 11 Feb 2015 17:37:43 +0000 Andy Aledort http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19211 Thrash Course with Dave Davidson: More Melodic Options for Combining Sweeping and Tapping Techniques — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/thrash-course-dave-davidson-more-melodic-options-combining-sweeping-and-tapping-techniques-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the March 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-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=March2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p>Last month, I demonstrated some effective ways to incorporate the techniques of sweep picking and fretboard tapping into a single arpeggio-based run. </p> <p>As you recall, we started out using minor seven arpeggios and then mutated them into minor seven flat-five. </p> <p>This month, I’d like to apply these same concepts to other arpeggio types, or qualities, namely major seven, major seven sharp 11 and major seven sharp five.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-march-15-black-sabbath?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=March2015VideosPage">For the rest of this column, including the tabs, check out the March 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7LWjvDYrWb0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/thrash-course-dave-davidson-more-melodic-options-combining-sweeping-and-tapping-techniques-video#comments Dave Davidson March 2015 Revocation Thrash Course Videos News Lessons Magazine Mon, 09 Feb 2015 21:59:42 +0000 Dave Davidson http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23396 Review: Fender American Standard Stratocaster HSS and Telecaster HH Guitars — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-fender-american-standard-stratocaster-hss-and-telecaster-hh-guitars-video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>GOLD AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>Whether you’ve been playing guitar for only two years or more than 20, you probably already know that Fender’s American Standard Series Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars are a great value. </p> <p>Thousands of guitarists rely on these workhorse axes on a daily basis, and odds are good that you already own one if you’ve ever shopped for a new Strat or Tele. </p> <p>However, many guitarists may not be aware that Fender offers American Standard Stratocaster and Telecaster models that stray from the traditional three- and two-single-coil pickup designs, respectively. </p> <p>The Fender American Standard Stratocaster HSS features a full-size bridge humbucker in addition to middle and neck single-coils, while the American Standard Telecaster HH swaps a pair of humbuckers for the bridge and neck single-coils. Recently, Fender introduced new pickups for both models to offer the performance of a hot-rodded custom guitar while retaining the value and versatility that has made Fender’s American Standard series so popular.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> The American Standard Stratocaster HSS provides all of the expected traditional Strat features combined with the refinements that Fender has made to the model over the years. </p> <p>The bridge is a two-point synchronized tremolo with a copper-infused high-mass bridge block and vintage-inspired bent-steel saddles with elongated string slots, and the control knobs and switch tip are made of aged white plastic with a “broken-in” appearance. The finish undercoat is thinner to enhance resonance, and the neck finish is tinted to give it a warmer, richer appearance. </p> <p>Pickups consist of a Diamondback humbucker mounted at the bridge and Custom Shop Fat ’50s Single-Coil Strat pickups at the middle and neck positions. Controls include master volume, a tone control for the neck and middle pickups, and an additional tone control for the bridge only or bridge/middle setting. The five-position pickup selector provides the standard Strat pickup combinations.</p> <p>The American Standard Telecaster HH is equipped with a pair of Twin Head humbucking pickups, master volume and master tone controls, and a traditional-style three-position blade pickup-selector switch. The back of the body has a Strat-style “belly” contour, but unlike a Strat the top has no contours. The bridge is an American Standard Strings-Thru-Body Tele model with a stamped brass plate and bent-steel saddles with elongated slots.</p> <p>Both models have an alder body and a maple neck with 22 medium jumbo frets, a modern “C” profile, 25 1/2–inch scale, 9 1/2–inch radius, Bi-Flex truss rods, and four-bolt body attachment with Micro-Tilt that does away with the need for shims. Both models also offer a choice of maple or rosewood fretboards.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> If you’ve ever installed a humbucker in a Strat or Tele, you may wonder what the fuss is, but actually Fender has done a remarkable job designing humbuckers that provide added body and punch without sacrificing the sparkle and percussive attack that makes single-coil Strats and Teles so appealing. </p> <p>The Stratocaster HSS’s Diamondback humbucker and Custom Shop Fat ’50s Single-Coil Strat pickups work very well together and complement each other tonally, and the output remains consistent whether using just the humbucker or individual single-coils. You still get beloved Strat single-coil neck and middle-pickup tones but with the addition of fatter bridge pickup tones that still maintain a Strat-like honk and shimmer.</p> <p>The Telecaster HH sounds more like a fat Tele than a typical warm and somewhat woofy double-humbucker guitar, with a brilliant, crisp treble that country lead players will adore and barking midrange punch that will please rock rhythm guitarists. As a result, the Telecaster HH is much more versatile than the traditional Tele. Both the Stratocaster HSS and Telecaster HH have their own distinctive tonal personalities that may be exactly what many guitarists have sought all these years.</p> <p>Materials, workmanship and playability all satisfy the high standards players have come to expect from Fender. Both models look and sound like old familiar friends, with a solid feel that is certain to provide years of trouble-free playing enjoyment. Fender has vastly improved the quality of the satin and polyurethane finishes used on the necks, which now feel more like oil-rubbed wood than the somewhat plastic texture of the past. The body finishes also compare with Fender’s Custom Shop instruments—the Ocean Blue Metallic finish on the Strat we examined was particularly gorgeous.</p> <p><strong>STREET PRICE</strong> $1,299.99<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> Fender Musical Instruments, <a href="http://www.fender.com/">fender.com</a></p> <p>• The Stratocaster HSS features a Diamondback humbucker at the bridge and Custom Shop Fat ’50s Single-Coil Strat pickups at the neck and middle.</p> <p>• The Telecaster HH is equipped with a pair of Twin Head humbucking pickups instead of traditional single-coils.</p> <p>• The Strat’s two-point synchronized tremolo has a copper-infused high mass bridge block and vintage-inspired bent steel saddles with elongated string slots.</p> <p>• The Tele HH’s body is contoured on the back like a Stratocaster to provide improved playing comfort.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> If you look the look and feel of a traditional Strat or Tele but need a little more output and balls from the pickups, these new American Standard models are built to rock while remaining true to the models’ traditional character.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3E7xDwMnlZE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wqL4Wrqetfg?list=PLagcgzXkwROhuDckjQFJE-LjPKy1VuKIY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-fender-american-standard-stratocaster-hss-and-telecaster-hh-guitars-video#comments Fender FMIC Specialty Brands Gold Award January 2015 Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Fri, 06 Feb 2015 20:56:48 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23001 In Deep: Breaking Down the Signature Elements of Gary Moore's Immediately Identifiable Guitar Style http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-gary-moore <!--paging_filter--><p>In this edition of In Deep, we’ll examine some of the signature elements of the brilliant blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore’s stunning, immediately identifiable guitar style.</p> <p>Born in 1952, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Moore picked up the guitar at the age of eight, inspired by the music of Elvis Presley, the Shadows and the Beatles. </p> <p>But his strongest influences were John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers guitarists Eric Clapton and Peter Green, as well as legendary electric blues progenitors Albert King, B.B King and Albert Collins. Another important influence was Jimi Hendrix; Moore would regularly include Hendrix’s slow blues “Red House” in his live shows. </p> <p>Though Moore was often seen playing a beautiful Fiesta Red 1961 Strat, his signature sound is more closely associated with the beloved 1959 Les Paul Standard that he played for many years (see sidebar on page 36). He purchased that guitar from Peter Green in 1970 and, fittingly, used it to record his 1995 tribute to his mentor, <em>Blues for Greeny.</em> </p> <p>Often, Moore would begin a song using the warm tone of his Les Paul’s neck pickup, with which he would perform melodic, vocal-like lines, then switch over to the bridge pickup for his solos to achieve a more aggressive and biting sound. </p> <p>Moore often employed a fair amount of gain—courtesy of Marshall heads (often JTM45s), 4x12 basketweave Marshall cabinets and Marshall Guv’nor and Ibanez Tube Screamer pedals—and was known for conjuring tremendous sustain, such as the celebrated “endless note” featured in his live performances of his classic song “Parisienne Walkways.” </p> <p>A great way to approach incorporating Gary Moore–style licks into your playing is to start with the most essential scale for blues/rock soloing, the minor pentatonic. <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> shows the A minor pentatonic scale in fifth position.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_1.jpg" /></p> <p>The fingering I use for this scale is index-pinkie on the low E string, switching to index-ring finger for the rest of the scale. One of the unusual things about Moore’s style is that he preferred to use his middle finger in conjunction with his index for a great many of his licks, similar to the fretting approach of Gypsy jazz great Django Reinhardt. When playing this type of scale in this position, Moore would often use his index and ring fingers on the top two strings and the low E string but would switch to index-middle for all the other strings.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pWCZSVkGn8g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> Occasionally, Moore would stick with the index-middle approach across virtually all of the strings, along the lines of <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. In this lick, I start by barring the index finger across the top two strings at the fifth fret and use the middle finger to execute the quick half-step bends on the B string, as well as the fast hammer-ons and pull-offs across the B and G strings.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_3.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_4.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 3</strong> details a “traditional” fingering for descending the minor pentatonic scale in this position within groups of 16th-note triplets. </p> <p>A staple of Moore’s soloing style was to unleash fast flourishes of notes, executed with free-form “crammed” phrasing that rushed over the top of the groove. He would balance these fiery blasts with simpler, more vocal-like phrases that would effectively pull his improvisations back into the groove. For many of these runs, Moore would rely on quick hammer-on/pull-off figures between pairs of notes on a given string, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURES 4a and 4b. </strong></p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_5.jpg" /></p> <p>In FIGURE 5a, I apply this concept to every string as I descend A minor pentatonic in a symmetrical fashion. FIGURE 5b offers a similar, albeit simpler, idea, and FIGURE 5c presents a similar approach applied to an ascending lick.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_6.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_6c.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_7.jpg" /></p> <p>Further permutations on this concept are shown in <strong>FIGURES 6a–c</strong>. Once you’ve got a handle on these, try moving to other areas of the fretboard and apply the concepts to other keys, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURES 7a and 7b</strong>.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_8.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 8</strong> offers an example of soloing in Gary’s style over a medium straight-eighths funk groove along the lines of his cover of Albert King’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.’</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/indeep0511_9.jpg" /></p> <p>The title track of Moore’s hit album <em>Still Got the Blues</em> (a complete transcription of which appears in the May 2011 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>) featured a “cycle of fourths” chord progression more common to jazz than blues or rock. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 9</strong> is a melodic solo played over this type of progression in the key of Am. Notice that each phrase makes direct reference to the accompanying chord by targeting its third. Also, bar 6 features a fast pull-off lick to the open high E string, a technique Moore utilized in a great many of his solos.</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="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/deep-gary-moore#comments 2011 Andy Aledort Gary Moore In Deep May 2011 Thin Lizzy In Deep with Andy Aledort News Lessons Magazine Fri, 06 Feb 2015 16:04:38 +0000 Andy Aledort http://www.guitarworld.com/article/17397