Andy McKee http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/2144/all en Andy McKee “Art of Motion” Live — Exclusive Video http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-art-of-motion-live-exclusive-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Recently we posted <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-mythmaker-live">a live video of fingerstyle master Andy McKee performing his track “Mythmaker.”</a></p> <p>Today we’re excited to share another video; McKee’s “Art of Motion,” a composition from his 2009 release, <em>Dreamcatcher</em>.</p> <p>The clip was filmed backstage in Nashville, TN before his show at the Belcourt Theatre. “Art of Motion” kicks off with some intense rhythmic playing, before descending into dynamic and brilliant melodic passages. </p> <p>McKee recently celebrated over 50 million views of his now-legendary YouTube performance of “Drifting.” You can watch it <a href="http://youtu.be/Ddn4MGaS3N4">here</a>. </p> <p>Enjoy “Art of Motion” below, and view upcoming tour dates under the video. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bWY-6Q96FwA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Keep up with all things Andy McKee at <a href="http://www.andymckee.com">www.andymckee.com</a>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-art-of-motion-live-exclusive-video#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Blogs Videos Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:14:50 +0000 Acoustic Nation http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22683 Jason Kertson Plays Andy McKee's "Drifting" on Two Guitars at Once — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-jason-kertson-plays-andy-mckees-drifting-two-guitars-once-video <!--paging_filter--><p>OK, there's absolutely nothing "new" about this February 2011 video, and we could've sworn we posted it at some point during the past three years—but it turns out we didn't!</p> <p>Time to fix that.</p> <p>It's a clip of a young guitarist named Jason Kertson playing Andy McKee's "Drifting"—quite beautifully—on two acoustic guitars at once. "Drifting" is from McKee's <em>Art of Motion</em> album.</p> <p>Jason uses two guitars during the song, one for the bass notes and percussion and the other for the lead. He started posting videos at age 12. Now 16, he's posted several YouTube covers and writes and performs original music. Find out more at <a href="http://www.jasonkertson.com">jasonkertson.com</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/naYbJGlW-CA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-jason-kertson-plays-andy-mckees-drifting-two-guitars-once-video#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Jason Kertson News WTF Videos Videos News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:41:03 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23130 Acoustic Fingerstylists Andy McKee, Jon Gomm and Daryl Kellie Are Blazing a Daring Style of Percussive, Alternate-Tuned Shred http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-fingerstylists-andy-mckee-jon-gomm-and-daryl-kellie-are-blazing-daring-style-percussive-alternate-tuned-shred <!--paging_filter--><p>In the Eighties, radical fingerstylists like Michael Hedges and Preston Reed pioneered an acoustic guitar style based on an alternate-tuned, percussion-heavy, new age–tinged sound. </p> <p>Kaki King explored it further in the new millennium beginning with her 2002 debut, <em>Everybody Loves You</em>.</p> <p>Some people have dubbed the style “progressive acoustic guitar,” while others prefer “modern fingerstyle.” </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.jongomm.com/">Jon Gomm</a></strong>, one of its latest (and most popular) exponents, has even heard it referred to as banging, due to its practitioners’ tendency to rap, slap and knock their hands against the body of an acoustic guitar for percussive effect. </p> <p>Whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that this genre of acoustic guitar–based music is experiencing a major resurgence, thanks to the internet. In 2006, an unassuming-looking acoustic guitar teacher from Topeka, Kansas, named <strong><a href="http://www.andymckee.com/">Andy McKee</a></strong> uploaded to YouTube a handful of videos of himself playing some original and incredibly complex instrumental acoustic guitar compositions. </p> <p>Among the many techniques he employed in these performances was the use of unique alternate tunings, percussive knocks, two-handed tapping, over-the-fretboard playing, partial capos and natural and artificial harmonics. One video in particular, for a propulsive yet ethereal tune called “Drifting,” became one of YouTube’s first viral sensations—likely because it was both melodically appealing and visually stunning—and racked up millions of views on the then-new site. </p> <p>McKee has since become the figurehead of this style of playing, and scores of exceptionally talented guitarists have followed in his wake. Many of them, such as French-Canadian fingerstylist Antoine Dufour and British picker Mike Dawes, have recorded for the Wisconsin-based independent imprint CandyRat Records, which has become known as the leading purveyor of this music. </p> <p>Like McKee, Dufour and Dawes have found much success online, partly through elaborate solo reimaginings of full-band songs, in which they recreate rhythm, lead and vocal parts on acoustic guitar. (<a href="http://youtu.be/G1bzUaf_gvU">Dawes’ version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”</a> and <a href="http://youtu.be/gNPCI8y9avc">Dufour’s take on Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”</a> have respectively registered 2.8 and 1.5 million YouTube views.) </p> <p>One of the newest and brightest entries in this realm is <strong><a href="http://www.darylkellie.com/">Daryl Kellie</a></strong> [pictured above], who created an online stir with an elegantly arranged version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” </p> <p>Then there is Britain’s Jon Gomm, who employs a dizzying combination of extended techniques that explore the outermost reaches of the acoustic guitar. Gomm tends to play in a fluid, eight-finger, above-the-fretboard manner, and seemingly manipulates every bit of his instrument, knocking his hand against the guitar’s top, back, sides and the fretboard, scratching his nails across bridge pins, twisting tuning pegs mid-song, and using an assortment of pickups and pedals. </p> <p>Like many of his peers, he has found his greatest success on YouTube, after his signature song, “Passionflower,” went viral in 2012.</p> <p>That the online world has proved to be a vital forum for these artists is understandable, given that there is an uncharacteristically prominent visual component to what they do. Each musician’s playing style is a marvel of not only creativity and ability but also coordination. “There’s a pretty interesting visual aspect to it, with all the wild techniques,” McKee says, “which is one of the reasons I think YouTube has been such a great arena to showcase the music.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ddn4MGaS3N4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Guitar World</em> recently caught up individually with McKee, Gomm and Kellie to discuss their unique approaches to the acoustic guitar, as well as how each cultivated his impressive technique and style. Interestingly, they all share not only a love for Michael Hedges and his ilk but also a background in heavy-metal guitar. Says Gomm, “This new acoustic movement is almost like the unplugged version of shred.” </p> <p>Adds McKee, “I think what ties the two together is the complexity of the music. When all of us guys were first getting into the guitar and wanting to learn these different techniques, metal music was the place to go, because you had guitarists doing unbelievable things on their instruments. In a way, we’ve now transferred some of that over to the acoustic.”</p> <p><strong>Andy McKee</strong></p> <p>Perhaps no musician better represents the new progressive acoustic guitar movement than Andy McKee. The 34-year-old is so much the face of the scene that some call this form of music “ ‘Drifting’-style guitar,” a reference to his most famous composition, which has notched almost 50 million YouTube views since its 2006 debut.</p> <p>At the time, McKee was giving guitar lessons around his hometown of Topeka, Kansas, and recording for CandyRat. “[CandyRat label head] Rob Poland had this idea to shoot some performance videos for this new web site called YouTube,” he recalls. “He thought, Maybe we’ll get a few new fans. So we filmed, like, eight videos in one day and put them up.”</p> <hr /> <p>One of them, “Drifting,” went viral after being featured on YouTube’s homepage, and McKee became an online phenomenon. Soon, he was accepting offers to tour with Tommy Emmanuel and record with Josh Groban. </p> <p>“I went from teaching guitar in Kansas to playing guitar all over the planet,” he says. “Which is what I always wanted to do.”</p> <p>Amazingly, “Drifting” is the first song McKee ever wrote in the style with which he has become so closely associated. He composed it when he was 18, just two years after hearing the percussive-heavy instrumental acoustic guitar work of Preston Reed. </p> <p>“When I was 16, my cousin took me to see Preston at a guitar workshop here in Kansas,” he recalls. “At the time, I was playing electric guitar and was way into Pantera and Dream Theater and Iron Maiden. Then I saw Preston and he was doing all these amazing things with just one acoustic. It blew my mind. I wanted to figure out how he was able to cover melodic, harmonic and rhythmic ideas all at once.”</p> <p>McKee also cites fingerstylists like Don Ross, Billy McLaughlin and Michael Hedges as primary influences. Of all his acoustic contemporaries, McKee’s style most closely mirrors that of Hedges, in both his use of the guitar’s body to add percussive elements and his tendency to create lush, harmonically rich soundscapes using altered tunings and droning open strings. On occasion, he plays a double-neck harp guitar, an instrument popularized by, and closely associated with, Hedges.</p> <p>Since the success of “Drifting,” McKee has become a force in the acoustic world. A few years back he created a tour called Guitar Masters, a sort of G3 for the acoustic set. He also performs upward of 100 dates each year on his own, and sometimes in front of enormous audiences, such as when John Petrucci invited him to open some arena gigs for Dream Theater in the U.S., Mexico and the Far East. </p> <p>Equally thrilling, and even more unexpected, in 2012 McKee received an offer to join Prince for a series of shows in Australia. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JsD6uEZsIsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“He watched some of my videos, and one in particular, ‘Rylynn,’ [See the video above] really stood out to him,” McKee says. “He invited me to Minneapolis to jam with him and his band, and from there he brought me out on tour. And it was amazing. I would start the shows with an acoustic arrangement of ‘Purple Rain,’ and during Prince’s set I’d sit in with him and his band and we’d do a medley of his songs.”</p> <p>As for his own music, McKee has released a series of well-received albums, including his most recent, 2010’s <em>Joyride</em>. He also continues to seek out new avenues to explore with his own music. </p> <p>To that end, his new Razor &amp; Tie–issued EP, <em>Mythmaker</em>, features not only his distinct acoustic guitar playing but also a solo piano piece and an electric guitar–and-synth composition. “I’m trying some different things out and letting inspiration take me wherever it does,” McKee says. “I don’t feel like I have to write the next amazing acoustic-guitar song necessarily—I just want to write the next amazing piece of music.” </p> <p><strong>Andy McKee Axology</strong><br /> <strong>GUITARS</strong> Michael Greenfield G4.2 (fanned fret), Michael Greenfield G2B and G4B.2 (fanned fret) baritone, Michael Greenfield HG1.2 harp guitar<br /> <strong>PICKUPS</strong> K&amp;K Pure Mini<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> None<br /> <strong>CAPOS</strong> Shubb S1 and S5 Deluxe (banjo)<br /> <strong>PREAMP</strong> D-TAR Solstice </p> <hr /> <p><strong>Jon Gomm</strong></p> <p>A few years back, Leeds, England–based singer-songwriter Jon Gomm was just another guitarist—albeit one with a devastatingly advanced extended technique—trying to carve out a musical career by gigging extensively across Europe.</p> <p>Then his life was changed by a single word: in early 2012, British actor and comedian Stephen Fry sent out a tweet consisting of “Wow” and a link to a video of Gomm playing his song “Passionflower” live. </p> <p>Today, that video has close to 6 million views, and Gomm has become one of the most talked-about players in the acoustic guitar scene, with fans ranging from David Crosby to Steve Vai to Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe. </p> <p>One look at any of Gomm’s many videos makes it easy to see why his playing has caused such waves. On the main melody of “Passionflower,” for example, he builds an entrancing and hypnotic rhythm pattern by, among other things, scratching, banging and knocking the body of his guitar, a Lowden he calls Wilma. </p> <p>He sounds notes, including harp harmonics, exclusively using eight-finger tapping and with both hands positioned over the fretboard, and he continually reaches behind the headstock to retune his two highest strings as they ring out, to create a synth-like effect. To top it off, he sings over the whole thing.</p> <p>But despite the practically acrobatic nature of his playing, Gomm insists that his music is not a gimmick. “Every song has to have a meaning and connect with people emotionally,” says the 36-year-old guitarist, who actually composes his lyrics first and adds instrumentation afterward. “And you can’t make that connection just by doing gymnastics.” He adds that his favorite thing about playing in this style is that “there are no boundaries. I can think in any genre I want and try to put that into the music.”</p> <p>Gomm has played many genres over the years. Early on, he schooled himself using Steve Vai’s instructional book Shred Extravaganza and later studied at the Guitar Institute in London and earned a jazz degree from the Leeds College of Music. </p> <p>Thanks to his father’s career as a record and concert reviewer for a British newspaper, he received first-hand tips and pointers as a teenager from a famous players, including B.B. King, bluesman Walter Trout and the late steel-guitar virtuoso Bob Brozman, whom he credits with turning him onto the idea of using the guitar as a percussion instrument.</p> <p>“He would flip his guitar over and play drum solos on the back of the body, which was mind blowing to me,” Gomm says. “I also had a guitar teacher who was great at flamenco, and percussive playing is a big part of that style. So while a guy like Michael Hedges was huge for me, it was probably less for the percussion thing and more for his amazing way with altered tunings.”</p> <p>Altered tunings are a big part of Gomm’s style as well. For him, it serves as a way to further unleash his creativity. “I went to guitar school, and I learned a million scales,” he says. “But if I take the guitar and just twist a few pegs, all of a sudden everything is new. Sometimes the most creative thing you can do is tune your guitar wrong and let your ears, rather than your brain, do the work.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nY7GnAq6Znw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Gomm also pushes his creative boundaries by using banjo pegs on his B and high E strings. The pegs can be set to toggle between two notes, allowing players to loosen and tighten a string’s tension to hit distinct pitches at will. </p> <p>The effect, as demonstrated by Gomm on songs like “Passionflower” and “Telepathy” (both of which appear on <em>Secrets Nobody Keeps</em>), is similar to bending a note on an electric guitar or playing with a synthesizer’s pitch wheel. On another composition, “Hey Child,” which features an overdrive-laced shredding solo, he uses the banjo pegs to create dive-bomb-like whammy-bar effects. </p> <p>“You can get really creative with them and bring your sound into so many different worlds,” Gomm says.</p> <p>Which, essentially, is how he feels about this acoustic guitar style. “There’s just so much you can do,” he says. “When I pick up an electric guitar now, it feels like a toy. The acoustic feels so much more powerful and free to me. It’s a beast of an instrument.”</p> <p><strong>Jon Gomm Axology</strong><br /> <strong>GUITAR</strong> Lowden O12-C (“Wilma”)<br /> <strong>PICKUPS</strong> Fishman Rare Earth Blend, Fishman Acoustic Matrix<br /> <strong>STRINGS</strong> Newtone signature super-heavy gauge (.014–.068)<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> Three Boss PQ-3B Bass Parametric Equalizers, Boss OC-3 Super Octave, Boss DD-7 Digital Delay, Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb, Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blond, Line 6 Verbzilla, Line 6 Echo Park<br /> <strong>AMP</strong> Trace Elliot TA 200</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Daryl Kellie</strong></p> <p>In contrast to many of his contemporaries in the progressive fingerstyle world, Daryl Kellie’s musical proclivities and background lean more toward jazz and classical forms rather than the ethereal, percussive-heavy approach of Hedges and Reed. </p> <p>Which, in a sense, made Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” an ideal showcase for the 30-year-old’s abilities as a solo guitar arranger and performer. </p> <p>Kellie’s interpretation of the song is remarkably evocative of the original, with the guitarist employing complex chords, tapping, hammer-ons and plenty of harmonics (both natural and artificial), to great effect.</p> <p>Explains Kellie, “I’ve always come at this from a jazz-fingerstyle guitar angle, and the classical guitar thing is something I’ve always kept up as well. With that in mind, something like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is in a way similar to the kind of very dense arrangements you often find in classical guitar music. So arranging the song came pretty naturally to me.” </p> <p>In general, most any style of playing seems to come naturally to Kellie, who began his guitar life as a hard rock and metal fan. </p> <p>Growing up in Hampshire, England, he was an avowed acolyte of shredders like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Eddie Van Halen (“I actually snapped the whammy bar off my Fender Squier trying to learn ‘Eruption,’ ” he says), and in his late teens he toured Britain as the lead guitarist in a “proggy, gothy” metal band named Season’s End. </p> <p>At the same time, he began cultivating an interest in jazz and classical solo guitar, studying the playing of everyone from Joe Pass to Lenny Breau (from whom he cultivated his skillful harp-harmonic technique) to Martin Taylor, who also served as his guitar teacher for a time. </p> <p>Then, in his early twenties, Kellie’s older brother gave him a copy of Andy McKee’s 2005 CandyRat effort, <em>Art of Motion</em>, which includes the songs “Drifting” and “Rylynn.” Recalls Kellie, “I thought it was amazing. I was already getting into the solo guitar thing through my jazz studies, so to see what Andy and some of the other CandyRat artists were doing, with the percussive element and all the interesting techniques, it felt like the next frontier. It was a style of guitar that seemed to be all encompassing, like you could go anywhere with it.”</p> <p>Kellie threw himself wholeheartedly into this new style, and in 2010 he self-released his first EP, <em>Don’t Expect Much</em> and <em>You Won’t Be Disappointed</em>. But it is his growing online catalog of inventively arranged cover songs that has been garnering him the most attention. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_fxbx0-O8kY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-video-lesson-bohemian-rhapsody-tutorial-daryl-kellie">Exclusive Video Lesson: "Bohemian Rhapsody" Tutorial by Daryl Kellie</a></strong></p> <p>A quick search on YouTube brings up videos of Kellie tackling songs in a variety of genres, from rock classics like the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” and the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” to Tetris and Super Mario Bros video-game music and pop hits like Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which appears, along with “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Kellie’s new, self-released full-length effort, <em>Wintersong.</em> </p> <p>“I like the idea of doing something that’s unexpected,” he explains. “If it’s the first time someone’s been to one of my gigs, they might be like, ‘Is that freakin’ Beyoncé that he’s playing?’ And I also want to show that these are great songs and there’s some interesting things going on in them.”</p> <p>The success of his “Bohemian Rhapsody” arrangement has inspired Kellie to create more covers. “I’ve been considering some Nirvana arrangements, using lots of artificial harmonics and that type of thing,” he says. “And it’d be fun to do something really ‘outside,’ like a Megadeth song, perhaps.” </p> <p>Ultimately, his goal is to keep pushing his acoustic-guitar technique into new realms. “I want to continue to learn and try new things,” he says. “I would love to incorporate techniques like tapping and harp harmonics into jazz and jazz improvisation pieces, which I don’t feel is done very much, particularly on the acoustic. I think that would be really interesting.”</p> <p><strong>Daryl Kellie Axology</strong><br /> <strong>GUITARS</strong> Gibson L-50, Taylor 810 custom, 110ce and 310ce<br /> <strong>PICKUPS</strong> Fishman Rare Earth Blend<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb Nano, Boss RC-30 Loop Station<br /> <strong>PREAMP</strong> BBE Acoustimax </p> <p><em>Photo (Daryl Kellie): Alex Flahive</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-fingerstylists-andy-mckee-jon-gomm-and-daryl-kellie-are-blazing-daring-style-percussive-alternate-tuned-shred#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee April 2014 Daryl Kellie GW Archive Jon Gromm News Interviews Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:35:54 +0000 Richard Bienstock http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21084 Tab Book: Learn to Play Andy McKee's 'Art of Motion' Album http://www.guitarworld.com/tab-book-learn-play-andy-mckees-art-motion-album <!--paging_filter--><p>The tab book — <em>Andy McKee: </em>Art of Motion — is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</p> <p>The book features a dozen tracks from the 2005 album by this acclaimed folk fingerstyle guitarist in standard notation and tab, including: </p> <p>• Art of Motion<br /> • Drifting<br /> • For My Father<br /> • Heather's Song<br /> • Into the Ocean<br /> • Keys to the Hovercar<br /> • Rylynn<br /> • Shanghai </p> <p>... and more!</p> <p><strong>This 112-page book is <a href="<a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/andy-mckee-art-of-motion/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=ArtofMotion">available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $22.99.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gWC9s3hH-cw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/tab-book-learn-play-andy-mckees-art-motion-album#comments Andy McKee News Features Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:51:32 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20812 Andy McKee “Mythmaker” Live — Exclusive Video http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-mythmaker-live <!--paging_filter--><p>We recently caught up with Andy McKee during his tour stop in Nashville. </p> <p>McKee was gracious enough to take us backstage at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre for some one-on-one acoustic awesomeness. </p> <p>We’ve got two live videos to share; first up is the title track from McKee’s <em>Mythmaker</em> EP, which he released earlier this year. </p> <p>“Mythmaker” is a brainy, incredibly melodic composition McKee performs here with amazing fluidity. His tone is as magic as his touch, and it’s always fun to see that baritone Greenfield guitar up close and in action. </p> <p>Mythmaker also happens to be the name of McKee’s new record label, which he’ll use to release music much more frequently than in the past, as well as music from artists he adores. "I envision the label to be a home for creative and highly unique musical artists,” he says. </p> <p>Keep your eyes peeled for McKee’s first live concert Blu-ray/DVD, which he plans to release through the imprint.</p> <p>View Andy McKee’s upcoming tour dates below the video, and find out more at <a href="http://www.andymckee.com">andymckee.com.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FkjsRA3-WaU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>10/22/2014 - Atlanta, GA - Eddie's Attic<br /> 10/23/2014 - Ponte Vedra, FL - Ponte Vedra Concert Hall<br /> 10/24/2014 - Largo, FL - Largo Cultural Center<br /> 10/25/2014 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center For Perf. Arts<br /> 10/26/2014 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Theater<br /> 11/5/2014 - Honolulu, HI - Republix<br /> 11/6/2014 - Maui, HI - Iao Theater<br /> 11/7/2014 - Hawaii TBD<br /> 11/8/2014 - Hawaii TBD<br /> 12/2/2014 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up<br /> 12/3/2014 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues<br /> 12/4/2014 - West Hollywood, CA - House of Blues<br /> 12/5/2014 - Livermore, CA - Livermore PAC<br /> 12/6/2014 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's<br /> 12/7/2014 - Santa Cruz, CA - TBD<br /> 12/9/2014 - Grant's Pass, OR - Rogue Theater<br /> 12/10/2014 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater<br /> 12/11/2014 - Seattle, WA – Benaroya Symphony Hall<br /> 12/12/2014 - Vancouver, BC - TBD<br /> 12/13/2014 - Canada TBD</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-mythmaker-live#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Videos Blogs Videos News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:04:52 +0000 Acoustic Nation http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22636 Andy McKee Announces “Musicarium” Music Camp http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-announces-musicarium-music-camp <!--paging_filter--><p>Internationally renowned master acoustic guitarist Andy McKee has created “Andy McKee’s Musicarium.” </p> <p>As his first ever music camp, the event will take place August 3 - 7, 2015 at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY in the Catskill Mountains.</p> <p>The 4-day experience will be an immersion in music, guitar playing and all things creative. </p> <p>Led by Andy with his handpicked guests and instructors including top players like Antoine Dufour, Stephen Bennett and Billy McLaughlin, plus a special appearance by master guitar builder Michael Greenfield, the ‘Musicarium’ will be filled with workshops, breakout sessions, jamming, open mics, concerts, and music in every way, shape or form. </p> <p>Additionally, camp sponsor Ernie Ball will be on hand to help set up participant’s guitars and also give a special presentation on the making of acoustic guitar strings.</p> <p>“This is the first time I’ve put together a music camp and I’m really excited for it,” said Andy. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to all become better musicians.”</p> <p>Registration for “Andy McKee’s Musicarium” is now open and packages can be purchased at the official website.</p> <p>Andy has also teamed up with Ernie Ball for their “Acoustic Prodigy” contest to find the next great acoustic guitar player. One grand prize winner will win an all-expenses paid trip to Hollywood, CA to record an EP produced by Andy McKee himself at NRG Recording Studios. </p> <p>Those interested can submit their best video of an original acoustic performance at the official contest site to be entered. The grand prize winner will also receive an opening performance slot at one of Andy’s 2015 tour dates (nearest city to the winner), a Taylor 414CE Acoustic Guitar, a feature with <em>Acoustic Guitar Magazine</em> on AcousticGuitar.com, and an Ernie Ball string endorsement.</p> <p>​<br /> The ever busy Andy McKee is currently in the middle of a 44-date U.S. tour in support of the recently-released <em>Mythmaker</em>, his first new music in four years.</p> <p><strong>ANDY MCKEE FALL 2014 TOUR DATES:</strong></p> <p>9/16/2014 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room<br /> 9/17/2014 - Lawrence, KS - The Bottleneck<br /> 9/18/2014 - St. Louis, MO - The Old Rock House<br /> 9/19/2014 - Davenport, IA – Redstone Room<br /> 9/21/2014 – Evanston, IL - Space<br /> 9/22/2014 – Ames, IA – DG’s Taphouse<br /> 9/23/2014 - Springfield, MO - The Gillioz Theatre<br /> 9/24/2014 - Little Rock, AR – Revolution Music Room<br /> 9/25/2014 - Tulsa, OK - Vanguard Music Hall<br /> 9/26/2014 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler Theatre<br /> 9/27/2014 - Austin, TX - The Cactus Cafe<br /> 9/28/2014 - New Orleans, LA - The Parish<br /> 10/6/2014 - Nashville, TN - The Belcourt Theatre<br /> 10/14/2014 - Fairfield, CT - StageOne<br /> 10/15/2014 - Boston, MA - Regatta Bar<br /> 10/16/2014 - New York, NY - B.B. King's<br /> 10/17/2014 - Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live<br /> 10/18/2014 - Collinsville, CT - Bridge Street Live<br /> 10/19/2014 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere<br /> 10/21/2014 - Charlotte, NC - McGlohon Theater<br /> 10/22/2014 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic<br /> 10/23/2014 - Ponte Vedra, FL - Ponte Vedra Concert Hall<br /> 10/24/2014 - Largo, FL - Largo Cultural Center<br /> 10/25/2014 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center For Perf. Arts<br /> 10/26/2014 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Theater<br /> 10/28/2014 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall<br /> 10/29/2014 - Mobile, AL - Azalea Manor<br /> 11/5/2014 - Honolulu, HI - Anna O'Brien's<br /> 11/6/2014 - Maui, HI - Iao Theater<br /> 11/7/2014 - Kainaliu, HI - Aloha Theater<br /> 11/8/2014 - Honokaa, HI - Honokaa Peoples Theater<br /> 11/9/2014 - Volcano, HI - KMC Theater<br /> 11/12/2014 - Kamuela, HI - Blue Dragon<br /> 12/2/2014 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up<br /> 12/3/2014 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues<br /> 12/4/2014 - West Hollywood, CA - House of Blues<br /> 12/5/2014 - Livermore, CA - Livermore PAC<br /> 12/6/2014 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's<br /> 12/7/2014 - Reno, NV - Knitting Factory<br /> 12/9/2014 - Grant's Pass, OR - Rogue Theater<br /> 12/10/2014 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater<br /> 12/11/2014 - Seattle, WA – Benaroya Symphony Hall<br /> 12/12/2014 - Vancouver, BC - TBD<br /> 12/13/2014 - Canada TBD</p> <p>More info is available at <a href="http://www.andymckee.com/">www.andymckee.com</a>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-announces-musicarium-music-camp#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee News Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:15:02 +0000 Acoustic Nation http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22586 Ernie Ball Launches Aluminum Bronze Acoustic Prodigy Video Contest Featuring Andy McKee http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-ernie-ball-launches-aluminum-bronze-acoustic-prodigy-video-contest-featuring-andy-mckee <!--paging_filter--><p>Ernie Ball Presents the <a href="http://acousticprodigy.ernieball.com">Aluminum Bronze Acoustic Prodigy video contest</a> featuring Andy McKee, Powered by NRG Studios!</p> <p>Ernie Ball has teamed up with McKee to find the next great acoustic guitar player! The company is asking players to submit a 15-second to two-minute video of their best original acoustic performance for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Hollywood to record an EP at NRG Studios with McKee at the producing helm. </p> <p>The Grand Prize winner also will receive an opening performance slot at one of McKee’s 2015 tour dates (nearest city to the winner), a Taylor 414CE acoustic guitar, a feature with <em>Acoustic Guitar Magazine</em> on AcousticGuitar.com and an Ernie Ball string endorsement.</p> <p>Entrants can also earn a bonus entry for a chance to win a Taylor GS-Mini by showing their Aluminum Bronze packaging in their entry video!</p> <p>To enter to win, submit your best original acoustic performance to <a href="http://acousticprodigy.ernieball.com/">ernieball.com/theprodigy</a> or via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #AluminumBronze. Once your entry is submitted, share your video to gain votes! The top 50 fan-voted videos will go to final voting by a panel of Ernie Ball judges including McKee, NRG Studio employees and Ernie Ball.</p> <p><strong>Rules 'n' Such:</strong></p> <p>• Must be a resident of the United States (open to U.S. only)<br /> • Must be at least 13 or older<br /> • Song must be original but does not need to include singing.<br /> • Must be acoustic guitar<br /> • No purchase necessary.</p> <p><strong>See the full list of rules <a href="http://acousticprodigy.ernieball.com/rules">right here.</a></strong> </p> <p>For more information and to enter, <a href="http://acousticprodigy.ernieball.com">step right this way.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/R_zI795lyFo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-ernie-ball-launches-aluminum-bronze-acoustic-prodigy-video-contest-featuring-andy-mckee#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Contest Ernie Ball News Videos Videos Contests News Wed, 08 Oct 2014 19:01:10 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22543 Hole Notes: Andy McKee's "Over-The-Top" Techniques http://www.guitarworld.com/hole-notes-andy-mckees-over-top-techniques <!--paging_filter--><p>In late 2006, Topeka, Kansas–based acoustic guitarist Andy McKee burst onto the global guitar scene with a solo acoustic video of “Drifting,” a two-handed fingerstyle affair, oozing with percussive slaps, tasty taps and harmonic slaps. The video went viral on YouTube, achieving millions of views by early 2007. (Currently, the video is hovering in the 50 million views mark.) Prior to his cyber surge, McKee had already issued three solo acoustic guitar albums and been flying under the radar, making ends meet as a guitar teacher.</p> <p>Today, with his “day job” behind him, and several more releases under his belt (solo records, as well as discs with Josh Groban, Lee Ritenour and Don Ross), he’s a literal “road warrior,” playing hundreds of concerts per year—including opening several shows for Eric Johnson and Dream Theater. Let’s take a closer look at what makes him tick, with an examination of “Drifting,” the song that started it all. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/holenotes0712_1.jpg" /></p> <p>In “Drifting,” which the guitarist has stated was inspired by the great Preston Reed, McKee strings his Greenfield G4 acoustic in an alternate tuning referred to as DADGAD. This tuning makes it possible to fret power chords, like the G5 in FIGURE 1a, with a single finger. In McKee’s case, he uses “overhand” fretting to facilitate percussive slaps with the fretting hand (notated with an X on beats “two” and “four”) and other techniques (see the video lesson for this column at GuitarWorld.com). Over this type of groove, McKee taps a note on the G string (use index finger), holds it down, and plucks the top two strings with his ring (a) and middle (m) fingers. </p> <p> A “Drifting”-inspired melody using this technique is shown (without the chords and smacks) in FIGURE 1b. Both parts are combined in FIGURE 1c—a pattern at the heart of the “in-the-style-of” figure at the end of this lesson. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/holenotes0712_2.jpg" /></p> <p>FIGURE 2 depicts another percussive passage with the addition of fingertip taps on the face of the guitar (the 16th-note triplets with the stems pointing upward), similar to what McKee uses in the intro and outro to “Drifting.” For this figure, aim for rhythmic precision, focusing on the timing between the fingertip taps (the ring, middle and index fingers rolling in smooth succession) and body smacks, practicing until you can produce a sound like a marching snare drum roll.</p> <p>Meanwhile, FIGURE 3 features two sets of harmonics: tapped—slap the “belly” of your fret-hand index finger across 12th fret to generate harmonics—and natural—touch the strings with your fret hand’s outstretched middle finger </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/holenotes0712_4.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Part 1</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="myExperience1644805869001" 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="1644805869001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p> <strong>Part 2</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="myExperience1644805826001" 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="1644805826001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p> <strong>Part 3</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="myExperience1644773247001" 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="1644773247001" /> </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 --> http://www.guitarworld.com/hole-notes-andy-mckees-over-top-techniques#comments Andy McKee Hole Notes July 2012 Lessons Mon, 09 Jun 2014 17:19:06 +0000 Dale Turner http://www.guitarworld.com/article/15828 Video Finds: Young Jason Kertson Performs “Drifting” on Two Guitars at Once http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-video-finds-young-jason-kertson-performs-drifting-two-guitars-once <!--paging_filter--><p>Here’s something fun. </p> <p>Jason Kertson does an amazing job of performing on acoustic guitar — with a twist.</p> <p>He’s playing two guitars at once!</p> <p>In this video, Kertson taps out the rhythmic and melodic parts for Andy McKee's "Drifting" from the album <em>Art of Motion.</em> </p> <p>He uses two guitars during the song, one for the bass notes and percussion and the other for the lead.</p> <p>Kertson started posting videos at age 12. Now 16, he has posted several YouTube covers and writes and performs original music as well.</p> <p>Check out this awesome video below. Find out more at <a href="http://www.jasonkertson.com">jasonkertson.com</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/naYbJGlW-CA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-video-finds-young-jason-kertson-performs-drifting-two-guitars-once#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Jason Kertson video finds WTF Videos Blogs Videos News Tue, 13 May 2014 03:31:07 +0000 Acoustic Nation http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21235 Exclusive Stream: Andy McKee's ‘Mythmaker’ EP Premiere http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-exclusive-stream-andy-mckees-mythmaker-ep <!--paging_filter--><p>Andy McKee is back with his latest offering, <em>Mythmaker</em>, and we're happy to present this exclusive stream.</p> <p>As his latest release since 2010’s <em>Joyland</em>, <em>Mythmaker</em> finds McKee covering some new territory.</p> <p>"I really wanted to break things up a bit with this EP, so I decided to include a solo piano piece and a multi-instrument tune that features some electric guitar,” McKee says.</p> <p>"June," the piano composition, is as gorgeously performed as any of his acoustic numbers, while the richly layered electric guitar and keys found on closing track “Lumine” completely draw you in. </p> <p>Craving the traditional McKee sound? You won't be disappointed: “There are two solo acoustic guitar tunes on <em>Mythmaker </em> as well, so it's not a complete departure from what I'm known for,” he says. </p> <p>With <em>Mythmaker</em>, McKee’s sense of melody and songwriting is strong as ever, and his willingness to experiment just enriches the overall sound. "The EP and title track are dedicated to the creative spirit found within us all,” McKee says.</p> <p>Take a listen to exclusive stream of <em>Mythmaker</em> below. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/29307165&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p> <p>Watch McKee perform <em>Mythmaker</em> cut “The Reason”:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1kVyv-cRFsk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Keep up with McKee at <a href="http://www.andymckee.com">andymckee.com</a>. </p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-exclusive-stream-andy-mckees-mythmaker-ep#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee News Blogs Videos News Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:35:46 +0000 Acoustic Nation http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20946 Exclusive Video: Andy McKee Performs "Myth Maker" from His Ernie Ball 'Set Me Up' Session http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-video-andy-mckee-performs-myth-maker-his-ernie-ball-set-me-session <!--paging_filter--><p>In the exclusive video below, acoustic guitar master Andy McKee performs "Myth Maker" as part of his Ernie Ball "Set Me Up" session.</p> <p>The song is the title track from McKee's upcoming EP. To read Acoustic Nation's recent interview with McKee, where he discusses <em>Myth Maker</em> and more, <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-interview-andy-mckee-discusses-new-ep-and-more">head here.</a></p> <p>Ernie Ball's online "Set Me Up" series focuses on some of today’s most innovative musicians. It delves into how they write their music — and the gear they use to craft their art. </p> <p>The series, which is filmed in Los Angeles at the Ernie Ball Music Man showroom, goes beyond a typical session performance and brings the viewer into the mind of the writer and performer via an interview and performance, all while testing and experiencing the latest products from Ernie Ball. </p> <p>New sessions are released monthly at <a href="http://www.ernieball.com/setmeup">ernieball.com/setmeup</a>.</p> <p>For more about McKee, visit <a href="http://www.andymckee.com/">andymckee.com</a>. For more about Ernie Ball, visit <a href="http://www.ernieball.com/">ernieball.com</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xleP5-B_NR8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-video-andy-mckee-performs-myth-maker-his-ernie-ball-set-me-session#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Ernie Ball News Videos Videos News Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:40:25 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20760 Interview: Andy McKee Discusses New EP 'Mythmaker' and More http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-interview-andy-mckee-discusses-new-ep-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p>I can remember the first time I heard Andy McKee’s music.</p> <p>I was in college, and walked into a friend’s room to find him and a bunch of kids (all guitar players) huddled around a computer. </p> <p>“Check this out,” one of them said. </p> <p>There on the screen was this guy with an acoustic guitar, slapping and tapping the side of it like it was a drum, while simultaneously playing this amazing melody. </p> <p>We all looked at the computer, eyes fixated. This was our introduction to Andy McKee, and the tune was “Drifting.” </p> <p>As the video ended, the room went quiet, and I think we all said silently to ourselves, "OK, maybe this guitar thing is not for me."</p> <p>That was 2006, and “Drifting,” which became one of YouTube’s first ultra-viral videos, was no flash-in-the-pan for McKee. </p> <p>Since then he’s carved his own path in the instrumental music world, releasing a catalog of material and gaining nods from everyone from Prince to Dream Theater (McKee has collaborated with both). </p> <p>We had the opportunity to sit down with McKee before his sold out show at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. Prior to taking the stage, he treated us to a couple exclusive performances and filled us in on his upcoming EP, <em>Mythmaker</em>, and much more in the interview below. </p> <p>Find out more at <a href="http://wwww.andymckee.com">andymckee.com.</a></p> <p><strong><em>Tell us about what influenced your upcoming EP, </em>Mythmaker.</strong> </p> <p>Well, 2012 was really busy year, so I wanted to take 2013 off the road. I spent most of last year working on new music. We also had another baby and moved into a new house, so I was busy on the home front and working on music in the meantime. </p> <p>I had this idea to do EPs. I’ve heard of other artists going this route and it sounded appealing to me. I actually have a hard time writing music when I’m touring; when I’m living in hotels, it can be tough to get into the creative mind. So I thought of doing EPs, which would allow me to put music out more frequently – maybe in smaller chunks, but still more frequently.</p> <p><em>Mythmaker</em> is the first EP. It’s got a solo baritone guitar piece, a solo piece on standard guitar, and it’s actually got a solo piano piece, too.</p> <p><strong><em>You played the piano?</em></strong></p> <p>Yeah, yeah. There’s also a track with piano, guitar, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar.</p> <p><strong><em> Oh?</em></strong></p> <p>Yeah, getting freakin’ ridiculous here! It was at the very end, actually. I recorded the whole song, and I thought, maybe I should put an electric guitar solo in. That’s such a can of worms, you know? But it felt right and I’m really happy with the guitar solo. It’s not a shred-fest at all–it’s more like David Gilmore than Steve Vai. But, anyway, I hope people are into it.</p> <p><strong><em>Is that the first electric guitar that you’ve ever tracked on a record?</em></strong></p> <p>It is, actually. Other than that, I’ve done a couple YouTube videos for fun.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you think you’ll catch any criticism for playing electric?</em></strong></p> <p>Well, there has been a little bit, even on Facebook. I posted a status that said something like, “I just recorded an electric guitar solo, oh my God,” and some people responded with “You know, you really shouldn’t give up on the thing that made you famous.” I’m like, “What? I’m not quitting acoustic guitar.”</p> <p>In any case, I’m a big fan of all kinds of music. I’ve never just listened to acoustic guitar, so I felt compelled to try it. We’ll see what happens going forward. Maybe there will be more multi-instrument stuff. I’ve been talking with Eric Johnson and John Bertucci, two of my favorite guitar players I’ve had the good fortune to meet and become friends with. We’re talking about collaborating, so we’ll see if that comes together. I have no idea if that will be me on acoustic guitar, or if it will be more like a progressive rock thing. Who knows? </p> <p><strong><em>That would be awesome.</em></strong></p> <p>We’re going to do it. We just have to. </p> <p>I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’m at the point where I’ve given up on this idea that I need to be this virtuoso acoustic guitar player. I’ve felt almost bound to that mind frame, and that can really stifle you. Why get caught up with that idea? It’s better to let creativity and music happen–that’s really what it’s all about. That was a big realization I had this last year. I don’t really feel like I have to write the next big acoustic guitar showcase piece or something. I really want to write nice music more than ever. That’s the real focus.</p> <p>Check out our exclusive video of Andy McKee playing "The Reason" from his upcoming EP <em>Mythmaker.</em><br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1kVyv-cRFsk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>So, can tell us about some of the acoustics that you play?</em></strong></p> <p>Sure, yeah. In 2004, I was competing in this Canadian guitar festival. I think I got 2nd place, but I also happened to meet this guy, Michael Greenfield, a luthier from Canada. He had some guitars on display. I checked them out and was absolutely blown away. First–just seeing them–they look like works of art. And then playing them, I was totally amazed by how they sounded and how well they played. </p> <p>We finally started working together just a few years ago, and that’s all I play now. I’ve got two baritone guitars and two standard pitch guitars from him. He finally caved in to building me a harp a couple years ago, too!</p> <p><strong><em>Wow. Was that his first?</em></strong></p> <p> Yep, and only so far. These guitars have a fanned fret guitar neck, which helps with the intonation of the instrument. They also have two bevels, one on the front and one in the back of the lower bout on the top side. Those just make it more comfortable to play for extended periods of time. </p> <p>The bracing inside is his own design and holds up really well. He designed the guitars to have a longer scale-length for some of the detuned stuff that I do, which allows me to easily go into DADGAD or lower – even down to C or B on the low string.</p> <p><strong><em>Can you tell us a little about your writing process? </em></strong></p> <p>I like to experiment with new tunings. That’s where it kind of begins. Either I’ll discover a new one from another player, or use one I’ve never heard of and just begin to play around. Sometimes I’ll take a chord that I like and tune the guitar to it. One that was really bizarre that I came up with is used in the song “Art of Motion.” It’s this F-sharp minor 11th chord that is really big and stretched out on a regular guitar, so I took the intervals and tuned the guitar to play it like an open chord. </p> <p>I’ve always liked chords – the polyphony of them, their different textures, how they resonate and how they make you feel. So discovering alternate tunings is a really a big thing for me – I have a lot of fun trying to come up with new ones. So, I’ll start there, experiment, and begin come up with a progression or riff. Then I’ll start to hear melodic ideas that could go with it, and I try to find how I can do those at the same time. Sometimes, I’ll have these percussive ideas, like in “Drifting,” where there’s a percussive idea and some chordal stuff. Then it comes time to have a melody; like a verse. I usually think of my tunes in song format, with a verse, then a chorus, you know. But then, you might want a bridge or something different. </p> <p><strong><em>Your melodic lines are almost like the vocal on top.</em></strong></p> <p>Exactly. That’s what it’s supposed to be. For me, that’s what melody is. Something that just stands out on top, something memorable. That’s why I really like players like Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani. They’re more than just really amazing guitar players – they both have a great sense of melody. That’s the kind of stuff that I really latch on to. So when I’m writing, I try to keep that happening with my music, keeping those good melodies. </p> <p>It’s all very intuition-based. I know some theory, chord construction, scales and things like that, but when you’re in these altered tunings, it’s almost like you throw all that away, really. You can’t really rely on that as much. </p> <p>Sometimes I’ll have ideas totally away from the instrument. I’ll be in the shower and I’ll start to hear something, so I’ll get out and go straight to the studio and try to find it on the guitar or piano. The piano has been really helpful for me lately to find ideas. It’s so black and white (laughs) – all the notes are right there. There’s a little bit of mystery when you look at a guitar, especially if you’re in a bizarre tuning. But on piano, there it is, and you can start to see your intervals and feel it out pretty easily.</p> <p><strong><em>Can you tell us about some of the influences that pushed you to approach the guitar in the way you do?</em></strong></p> <p>Well, when I was 16, I saw Preston Reed play. He was doing a guitar workshop for Washburn Guitars in Topeka, Kansas, where I’m from. I didn’t even know who he was. My cousin took me to go see him. At the time, I was just listening to electric guitar. I was way into Dream Theater and Joe Satriani and all that stuff. </p> <p>When I saw him–it’s hard to even express how it felt. It looked cool and it sounded great, but I really wanted to know how to do it. I got this VHS cassette that he had out at the time, and it came with a little tablature booklet where he taught three of his tunes, I think. I just dove right in and spent a good month trying to learn one song; playing over the top of the neck until my left forearm hurt. I was playing for hours..it was intense. </p> <p>When I finally learned one song, it was this huge joyous moment. That was how I got into acoustic guitar, or modern acoustic guitar–Preston Reed was the guy that got me into it. He was really a pioneer of really percussive-acoustic guitar, incorporating drumbeats while playing in a way that really hadn’t been done before. </p> <p>Shortly after that, I discovered Michael Hedges in some <em>Guitar Player</em> magazines that I inherited from the same cousin. He gave me like 200 old magazines, and I saw this guy with a harp guitar. It was Michael Hedges. His music–maybe more than anyone else on the acoustic side of things–just resonated with me. Don Ross and Billy McLaughlin are huge influences too. Those four guys are my really, really big acoustic guitar influences.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you ever see yourself adding instrumentation or band members?</em></strong></p> <p>I might end up with musicians on the road at some point. I don’t know. That’s a whole ‘nother logistical thing, getting that all figured out. I just go where the inspiration goes. I don’t want to feel like I’ve stifled anything anymore. I want to let things flow.</p> <p>Find out more at <a href="http://wwww.andymckee.com">andymckee.com.</a></p> <p><em>Tom Gilbert is a guitarist (and aspiring pedal steel player) living in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he’s not blogging for Acoustic Nation, eating Thai food or being obsessed with his dog, Tom does marketing and PR for music and audio companies with <a href="http://www.mad-sun.com">Mad Sun Marketing.</a> </em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-interview-andy-mckee-discusses-new-ep-and-more#comments acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation Andy McKee News Interviews Blogs Thu, 06 Feb 2014 08:02:32 +0000 Tom Gilbert http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20430 Video Exclusive: Andy McKee Performs "The Reason" Live http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-video-exclusive-andy-mckee-performs-reason-live-backstage-yoshi-s-san-francisco <!--paging_filter--><p>Last week we had the pleasure of showing up early to Andy McKee’s sold-out show at Yoshi’s in San Francisco for a little one-on-one with the man himself. </p> <p>McKee needs no introduction –– the YouTube video for his original tune “Drifting” has earned 48 million+ views to date, and in recent years, McKee has been launched into the upper stratosphere of the world’s very best acoustic players, and for good reason. McKee’s densely melodic and percussive style is mesmerizing to say the least. </p> <p>In anticipation of his upcoming EP, <em>Mythmaker</em>, which releases January 28th, McKee performs an original tune called “The Reason,” which also happens to be the first video captured of him playing this song. The track has everything you’d expect from an epic Andy McKee composition: keen melody, effortless dynamics and gorgeous tone. </p> <p>Keep in mind while you’re watching that this video was shot in one take, using a relatively inexpensive microphone. It’s all him. Goes without saying, but Andy’s a pro!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1kVyv-cRFsk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Stay tuned for much more from Andy McKee including an interview and an additional video. Until then, be sure to catch him on tour. McKee’s taking his music all over the globe in 2014, so there’s a good chance he’s coming to your town. Do yourself a favor and go!</p> <p>Learn more about Andy McKee at <a href="http://www.andymckee.com">http://www.andymckee.com</a>. </p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-video-exclusive-andy-mckee-performs-reason-live-backstage-yoshi-s-san-francisco#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee News Blogs Videos Fri, 17 Jan 2014 07:02:31 +0000 Tom Gilbert http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20221 Andy McKee Kicks Off U.S. Tour Beginning in November http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-kicks-us-tour-beginning-november <!--paging_filter--><p>Acclaimed acoustic guitarist Andy McKee is kicking off a slate of US dates that will carry him into 2014. </p> <p>The master fingerstyle player plans a big return to the public eye with a worldwide tour and the release of his first new music since 2010’s acclaimed album <em>Joyland</em>. The tour begins November 6 in Annapolis, Maryland.</p> <p>McKee, an acclaimed solo acoustic guitarist, has enjoyed crossover success to more than 150 million Y­ouTube viewers. To fans of virtuoso musicianship it is McKee’s attention to song structure and melodic content that elevates him above the rest. </p> <p>To fans of popular music McKee entertains the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique.</p> <p>McKee continues to challenge himself. He completed a recent string of Australian shows performing alongside Prince, who had requested Andy to join his band for the concerts. A planned series of new releases is on deck for 2014.</p> <p>Find out more at <a href="http://www.andymckee.com">andymckee.com</a>.</p> <p>Here's McKee playing "Hunter's Moon":</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Yz5cZrC-KIg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>ANDY MCKEE FALL/WINTER 2013-14 TOUR DATES</strong></p> <p>Nov. 6 – Annapolis, MD – Ram’s Head<br /> Nov. 7 – Washington DC – The Hamilton<br /> Nov. 8 – New York, NY – B.B. King’s<br /> Nov. 9 – East Norfolk, CT – Infinity Hall<br /> Nov. 10 – Londonderry, NH – Tupelo Music Hall<br /> Nov. 12 – Buffalo, NY – Traif Music Hall<br /> Nov. 13 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater<br /> Nov. 14 – Kent, OH – Kent Stage<br /> Nov. 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Ballroom<br /> Nov. 16 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark<br /> Nov. 17 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall<br /> Nov. 21 – Minneapolis, MN – The Cedar Cultural Center<br /> Nov. 22 – Dallas, TX – Kessler Theater<br /> Jan. 9 – Oakland, CA – Yoshi’s<br /> Jan. 10 – Malibu, CA – Smothers Theater at Pepperdine University<br /> Jan. 11 – Kirkland, WA – Kirkland Performance Center<br /> Jan. 12 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater<br /> Jan. 17 – Emporia, KS – Emporia Arts Council<br /> Jan. 23, 24, 25, 26 – Anaheim, CA – NAMM Convention</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-andy-mckee-kicks-us-tour-beginning-november#comments acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation Andy McKee fingerstyle guitar News Sat, 12 Oct 2013 17:09:05 +0000 Acoustic Nation http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19424 Andy McKee "Drifting" Video Lesson http://www.guitarworld.com/andy-mckee-drifting-video-lesson <!--paging_filter--><p>In this video, YouTube phenomenon Andy McKee shows you how to play his hit song, "Drifting."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9hpgT-Tw_DQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/andy-mckee-drifting-video-lesson#comments Andy McKee Artist Lessons Videos Lessons Mon, 11 Oct 2010 14:10:47 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/3487