News en Van Halen to Perform on the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, May 17 <!--paging_filter--><p>Billboard and Dick Clark Productions have announced that one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all-time, Van Halen, will perform on the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, marking the band’s first-ever performance on an awards show with Eddie, Alex, Wolfgang Van Halen and David Lee Roth. Van Halen join previously announced musical performers Kelly Clarkson, Hozier, Nick Jonas, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, along with special duet performances by <em>Empire</em> recording artists Jussie Smollett and Bryshere “Yazz” Gray with Estelle, Fall Out Boy featuring Wiz Khalifa, Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea and Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend.</p> <p>The 2015 Billboard Music Awards will be hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen and broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 17, on ABC from 8:00 PM–11:00 PM ET. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Videos News Mon, 04 May 2015 21:30:08 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24418 at John Petrucci Demos His Ernie Ball Music Man JP15 — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this new video, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci walks you through the JP15 John Petrucci electric guitar from Ernie Ball Music Man.</p> <p>Click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> for more info!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Videos News Gear Mon, 04 May 2015 19:59:36 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24416 at Jimi Hendrix's Playing Secrets Revealed in New Lesson Series! <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Jimi Hendrix Playing Secrets</em>, Guitar World's exclusive new lesson series, is now available through the <a href="">Guitar World Lessons App</a> and <a href=";utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=HENDRIX">Webstore</a>. It joins the ranks of the hundreds of lessons already available through Guitar World Lessons.</p> <p>Learn all of Jimi Hendrix’s essential rhythm and lead guitar techniques, including his go-to soloing patterns, extended pentatonic and blues-scale positions, signature phrasing and articulations, string bending, vibrato and whammy bar usage, strummed octaves, thumb fretting and chord embellishments, plus essential gear and how to recreate Jimi’s tone!</p> <p>Right now, you can get 13 <em>Jimi Hendrix Playing Secrets</em> lessons for only $14.99!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>For more information about <em>Jimi Hendrix Playing Secrets</em>, visit the <a href="">Guitar World Lessons App</a> and <a href=";utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=HENDRIX">Webstore</a> now.</strong></p> Andy Aledort Guitar World Lessons Guitar World Online Store Jimi Hendrix Lesson News Features Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:41:21 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24411 at Prestige Guitars Launches Five New Models <!--paging_filter--><p>Prestige Guitars has announced the launch of five new models, including three from the Heritage Premier Series plus the Classic P90 and the Heritage Hollow TR. </p> <p>From the company:</p> <p>The Heritage Premier Series is the newest evolution in our Heritage Series of solid-body electric guitars. The Premier series consists of three models: the Premier Burl, the Premier Spalt and the Premier P90. </p> <p>Each one features a solid, carved, Canadian maple top. Aptly named, the Premier Burl features a burl maple top; the Premier Spalt features a spalt maple top; and the Premier P90 features a “AA” or “AAA” flame maple top. </p> <p>With each of these models, you get a combo of natural-finish maple top, solid mahogany body and ebony fretboard, providing all the tone and sustain you’d expect. </p> <p>The Premier P90 and Burl models come loaded with a pair of Seymour Duncan P90’s, giving you every ounce of that extra growl and bite you’ve been looking for, while the Premier Spalt features a classic combo of Seymour Duncan Humbuckers (’59 in the neck and a JB in the bridge). The icing on the cake is a set of Grover 18:1 micro tuners to ensure that you stay tuned up at all times. </p> <p>The Classic P90 takes our thin-line and lightest solid body electric guitar in our production line, the Classic, and reinvents it with a couple of major changes; the addition of a Trans-Black finish and a pair of Seymour Duncan P90’s. The secret of the Classic’s unique shape and feel lies in its carved mahogany body. Unlike our Heritage Series guitars, where the mahogany body supports ¾-inch carved flame maple top; the Classic supports a streamlined flame maple top on its fully contoured body. This guitar is so light and sounds so great; you’ll never want to put it down.</p> <p>Finally, Prestige introduces the newest addition to our Heritage Hollow Series; the Heritage Hollow TR. To introduce an updated version of “The Hollow," Prestige decided to go with a few simple changes to this existing production model, which happens to be one of our most popular to date. </p> <p>The new, Heritage Hollow TR (Trans Red), features a trans-red quilted maple top with ebony fretboard, abalone and mother of pearl block fretboard inlays, abalone body neck and headstock binding, and a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers (’59 in the neck and a JB in the bridge).</p> <p><strong>For more about Prestige Guitars, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> Prestige Prestige Guitars Electric Guitars News Gear Wed, 29 Apr 2015 19:59:02 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24408 at Guitarist Mick Mars Talks Final Mötley Crüe Shows, New Music and More <!--paging_filter--><p>Mötley Crüe recently announced the details of their final round of North American dates. </p> <p>The tour—Crüe’s last, ever—will conclude on New Year’s Eve in their hometown of Los Angeles, the same city where they began their career more than 34 years ago.</p> <p>Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee first announced plans for their two-year-long Final Tour last year, when they signed a "cessation of touring" document. It was an agreement that solidified the end of their touring career.</p> <p>To celebrate their legacy and thank their fans, Mötley Crüe are offering exclusive VIP packages for their final tour dates; these packages include opportunities to meet the band and offer up-close-and-personal views of the show from a newly designed stage setup.</p> <p>In addition to accumulating worldwide album sales in excess of 80 million units over the course of three decades, Mötley Crüe also have garnered three Grammy nominations, four best-selling books and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.</p> <p>I recently spoke with guitarist Mick Mars about the final Mötley Crüe shows, new music and more.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: With these last few tour dates in LA being announced, has it begun to sink in that this is the last go-around for Mötley Crüe?</strong></p> <p>Yes, absolutely. This is it. We're done after this one. I think ending in LA is kind of like coming full circle. Although the place we actually started in, [the Starwood] is torn down and the venues we’re playing now are a lot bigger than when we started! [laughs]. </p> <p><strong>What will you miss about not touring with Mötley Crüe?</strong></p> <p>It's a bittersweet thing, but all four of us are still in business together as a corporation. So we’ll still see each other. And even though I may not see the guys on stage, I'll still be touring myself.</p> <p><strong>What were some of the challenges the band faced coming up in the LA scene?</strong></p> <p>From what I recall, a lot of the LA bands that were going around at the time were trying to copy Quiet Riot, who were already signed. So it really came pretty easily for us because we came out with a different look and sound. We were something that was different.</p> <p><strong>I’d like to ask you about a few Mötley songs and get your thoughts on how they began, starting with "Dr Feelgood."</strong></p> <p>Usually when I write a song, I’ll first write a chorus and a verse part and then throw in some other chords to bridge the song together. That song came about from a riff that was going around in my head. I remember going in and recording it on my eight-track recorder and putting down the initial lick and a few chords. Then Nikki came over to my house about a week later and started singing the lines to it. We brought it to rehearsal and started working on it from there. </p> <p><strong>"Girls, Girls, Girls"</strong></p> <p>Tommy and I started out collaborating on that one. I remember going to his house and he showed me the chords he had for it. I didn't like them that much so I went home and started thinking about it more. Then I went into my room, popped open a bottle of Jack and worked on the riff until I felt that it was right. I took it to rehearsal the next day and played it for the guys and they started freaking out. But it all started with a lick.</p> <p><strong>Are there any other projects you’re working on at the moment?</strong></p> <p>Having some down time has given me a chance to go in and look at some of the older stuff I've written over the last few years and also to work on some new material. Right now, I’m working with Tommy Henriksen and have written about nine songs in the past month and half. I’m coming up with some really cool, aggressive stuff that’s far removed from what I would be writing for Mötley. </p> <p><strong>If you could write an epitaph to the career of Mötley Crüe, how would you like the band to be remembered?</strong></p> <p>That's easy. I'd like to be remembered as the best fucking band on the planet.</p> <p><strong>Congratulations on all of your success and thank you for all of the years of great music.</strong></p> <p>Thanks so much, but it’s not over. I've still got many more of them to go!</p> <p><em>For more about Mötley Crüe, visit <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href=""></a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></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="/motley-crue">Motley Crue</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> James Wood Mick Mars Motley Crue Interviews News Features Wed, 29 Apr 2015 18:36:43 +0000 James Wood 24407 at The Ultra Zone: Steve Vai's Course In Ear Training, Part 1 <!--paging_filter--><p><em> is revisiting Steve Vai's classic mag column, "The Ultra Zone," for this crash course in ear training.</em></p> <p>I could never overstate the importance of a musician’s need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good “inner ear” — the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening — is the most important element in becoming a good musician. Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity. </p> <p>But without the ability to bring those imagined sounds into the real world, one’s creative aspirations will remain crippled. Training one’s ears to understand and recognize musical sounds and concepts is one of the most vital ways to fortify the connection between the musical ideas in one’s mind and the musical sounds created on one’s instrument.</p> <p>All musicians practice ear training constantly, whether or not they are cognizant of it. If, when listening to a piece of music, a musician is envisioning how to play it or is trying to play along, that musician is using his or her “ear” — the understanding and recognition of musical elements — for guidance. </p> <p>This is also true when trying to emulate a piece of music, or transcribe it, or even just finding inspiration in it. No matter what one is playing, one’s ear is the navigational device that steers the musical ship where it will go. Without a good ear at the helm, you could find yourself musically adrift at sea.</p> <p>I have always been fascinated with looking at music written on paper. When I was in college, I took a class called solfege, which entailed learning how to sight-sing. Sight-singing is the art of looking at a piece of written music and singing it. First, you identify the key center, and then you sing the written pitches, using the “doe-ray-me” phonetic structure, just like that song in the movie The Sound of Music. “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do” (pronounced “Doe-ray-me-fa-so-la-tee-doe”) represents a major scale; there are other monosyllabic sounds that represent the other pitches that reside within a 12-tone octave. These solfege classes in college were difficult courses, but they were well worth the time invested. A thorough study and analysis of solfege within the confines of this column would be impractical, so I can only encourage you to investigate it on your own.</p> <p>I’ve always considered transcribing to be an invaluable tool in the development of one’s musical ear and, over the years, I have spent countless glorious hours transcribing different kinds of music, either guitar-oriented or not. The most well-known example of my guitar-based transcribing labors is The Frank Zappa Guitar Book (Hal Leonard), for which I transcribed, among other things, the entire Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar series of recordings. Many musicians, however, do not have the ability to pull the sounds — guitar solos, rhythm parts, melody lines, etc.—off the records that they love. Transcribing is an art that takes a lot of practice and a study that I encourage everyone to experiment with.</p> <p>But fear not: you do not need to have the ability to sight-read or transcribe in order to practice ear training exercises. If you are just sitting there with a guitar, there are still a great many ways to develop your ears, in the quest to strengthen the connection between your head and your fingers. Below, I have outlined some of the ways a guitarist can work on ear training exercises using just the guitar.</p> <p>As guitarists, there are certain things that most of us do that are simply part of the program: we learn some scales, develop some exercises intended to improve our physical abilities, work on chord forms on different parts of the neck, etc. I believe it is extremely important to put aside some time dedicated solely to focusing on ear training.</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to begin working on ear training is to sing what you play. For example, you can play a C major scale (C D E F G A B) in any position — preferably one that is physically comfortable for you—and sing each note of the scale as you play it, being very careful to sing on pitch as accurately as possible. Start with one note: play the note, sing it, and then play and sing the note simultaneously. Then go to two notes. Once you feel comfortable, take a little piece of that scale, say, the notes C, D, E and F, and create a very simple melody with these notes for you to sing simultaneously, à la jazz guitarist George Benson. </p> <p>This is an easy way to get your ear in sync with the sounds your fingers are creating. Whether you’re soloing over a rhythmic vamp or are playing alone in free time, you have to really stick with it, and don’t allow yourself to slip up or drift into something else. The idea is to endlessly improvise and sing what you are playing, using any key.</p> <p>Another good thing to do is to record a simple one-chord vamp to play over. First, only play/sing notes that fall within the key, staying within a basic note structure of a five-, six- or seven-tone scale. Don’t start wandering off into your favorite guitar licks to play; save that for another time, when you’ve developed your ear to the point where you can sing just about anything you can play. This is an exercise in discipline: do not play anything that you cannot follow perfectly with your voice. Whether you stay within one octave of the guitar, or you sing the notes an octave lower than the sounding pitches, or you use falsetto to hit the high notes, you must be able to recreate all of the notes played on the guitar with your voice.</p> <p>If you work on this every day, you’ll find yourself getting better and better at it, and it will become easier to do. The cool thing that happens is that you’ll begin to hear music more clearly in your head, allowing you to formulate musical ideas—write music—within your head, without the aid of a guitar. When you finally do pick up the instrument, you will discover that you will instinctively be able to play these ideas that have taken form in your mind.</p> <p>To take this a step further, try this exercise: without a guitar at your disposal, picture the guitar’s fretboard in your mind, and then envision playing something so that you will “hear” and “see” the notes as they are played. It may be helpful to sing the notes as you imagine them being played. This is an excellent exercise that will fortify your mind-fretboard relationship and actually improve your ear by strengthening the acknowledgment of “pitch relativity” (how one pitch relates to another, in terms of sound and placement) on the guitar’s fretboard. You may discover some cloudy areas in your mind’s eye/ear, but if you work through it, the picture will soon become clearer and clearer.</p> <p>These techniques do not address the act of playing one thing on the guitar and singing something completely different. Someone like Jimi Hendrix had the uncanny ability to play very complex rhythm parts and single-note riffs while singing complementary parts. This technique requires a whole different set of brain muscles and is very difficult for many players. Playing one thing while singing another must be worked on as an independent field of study. If I could play the guitar and sing at the same time, hey, I might have a career! I’ll be back next time with some more effective ways to help you to develop your ear.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/steve-vai">Steve Vai</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Steve Vai Ultra Zone Artist Lessons Blogs News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:22:07 +0000 Steve Vai 11024 at Professor Shred with Guthrie Govan: Using Four Fingers to Tap Arpeggios, and How to Play the Lick to "Sevens" <!--paging_filter--><p>This month I’d like to demonstrate the technique I use to perform the two-handed-tapping riff that occurs during the bridge/chorus section of the song “Sevens,” from my <em>Erotic Cakes</em> album. </p> <p>Before getting to the “Sevens” lick, I’m going to break down the technique involved so that you will be able to apply this idea to creating riffs of your own. The genesis of the lick was in trying to find a new way to play a major-seven arpeggio. I started out by breaking it down into two notes per string, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1a</strong>. </p> <p>Using the index finger and pinkie only, I descend from the major seventh of Eb, D, at the 22nd fret of the high E string, to a low Eb on the sixth string’s 11th fret. I then took this idea and performed it with fretboard tapping, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1b.</strong> Now, the higher note in each pair is sounded with a pick-hand fretboard tap, and the lower note is sounded with a fret-hand “hammer-on from nowhere.” Be sure to tap hard onto each note so that it will sound clearly, and try to not allow any of the notes to ring into each other.</p> <p>The next step was to break up the descending pattern and play it non-sequentially. What I arrived at was <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. Here, I sound consecutive single notes on the high E and B strings, both sounded with fretboard taps, followed by the lower associated notes on the top two strings, sounded with fret-hand hammer-ons. The fret hand mirrors this approach by also using the pinkie and middle fingers. Start by playing this pattern slowly and then increase the speed.</p> <p>Now let’s take this same approach and apply it to the four-note groups on the lower pairs of strings, starting with the B and G strings, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. I use the same technique here but switch to the ring and middle fingers for both the pick-hand taps and the fret-hand hammer-ons. </p> <p>In <Strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, I’ve moved the idea down one more pair of strings to the G and D. Here, I tap with the middle and ring fingers of the pick hand but use my frethand pinkie and middle finger to fret the other notes. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 5</strong> then runs the three patterns together. You can take this idea further by continuing onto the two bottom pairs of strings, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURES 6a and 6b.</strong> Now that you’ve got the idea, try some different arpeggios: <strong>FIGURE 7</strong> outlines Ebm7, and <strong>FIGURE 8</strong> begins with Ebsus4 and then moves through Ebmaj7 and Ebm7.</p> <p>Finally, the “Sevens” lick, appropriately played in a meter of 7/4, is shown in <strong>FIGURE 9</strong>. Using the same technique, I move through the different pairs of strings in a specific alternating pattern.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-13%20at%2011.23.40%20AM.png" width="620" height="607" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.23.40 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-13%20at%2011.23.51%20AM.png" width="620" height="301" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.23.51 AM.png" /></p> 2011 Guthrie Govan Holiday 2011 Professor Shred Holiday Blogs News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:16:52 +0000 Guthrie Govan 13550 at Extreme Harmonics Lesson: Making Sick Sounds with Guitarist Mattias Eklundh — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Since we guitarists tend to enjoy sick sounds, we thought we'd share this lesson video by Swedish guitar whiz Mattias Eklundh.</p> <p>In the clip, which is titled "Harmonics #5," Eklundh lays down some basics about how harmonics work.</p> <p>Then, starting around 1:31, 2:15 and (especially) 2:45, things start getting freaky, courtesy of some extreme—even dissonant—harmonics.</p> <p>As always, check out the video and try to incorporate Eklundh's methods into your own playing. (I mean, if you're into that sort of thing, of course.)</p> <p>If you'd like to hear more of Eklundh's playing, be sure to watch <a href="">this demo video of Caparison Guitars' eight-string AH8 model, which we posted in June.</a></p> <p>For more about Eklundh, visit the appropriately named <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Mattias Eklundh Videos News Lessons Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:15:56 +0000 Damian Fanelli 22659 at How to Adjust Your Guitar's Truss Rod — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this new <em>Guitar World</em> video, GW's tech editor, Paul Riario, shows you how to make basic adjustments to your guitar's truss rod. </p> <p>In the clip, which you can check out below, Riario is joined by an Epiphone ES-339 PRO and a Fender Road Worn Strat.</p> <p>Fear no more, folks! You can do this!</p> <p><strong>For the latest and greatest guitar accessories, visit <a href=""></a>.</strong></p> <p>P.S.: If you just can't get enough of Paul Riario telling you what to do, check out <a href="">Guitar World's Guide to Building a Pedal Board — Video.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Paul Riario Videos News Gear Lessons Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Guitar World Staff 22698 at Metal for Life with Metal Mike: Using Drop-D Tuning to Write Heavy Riffs — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>For decades, a common practice in rock and metal has been to use drop-D tuning, wherein the guitar’s low E string is tuned down one whole step to D, one octave below the fourth string. </p> <p>Aside from the additional heaviness this tuning provides by extending the instrument’s range downward, having the bottom two strings tuned a fifth apart—D to A—enables one to play a root-fifth power chord simply by strumming the two strings open or barring a finger across them at any given fret. </p> <p>And with the fourth string included, a three-note, root-fifth-octave power chord can be sounded just as easily. </p> <p>My favorite way to use drop-D tuning is to combine one-finger power chords with single-note riffs that utilize the open low D note as a pedal tone. To do this, I will play on the sixth string as if it were tuned normally, to E, but move all notes on the other strings two frets lower than where I would ordinarily play them. </p> <p>This results in some unusual shapes when moving between the sixth and fifth strings. </p> <p>For example, in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, I begin with two open low D notes followed by a two-note ascending pattern on the sixth string. I then alternate between single notes on the fifth string and fretted and unfretted accents on the sixth string, resulting in shifting three-note melodic shapes. </p> <p>If the sixth string were tuned normally, some of these shapes would be much more difficult to fret, so the drop-D tuning, in additional to sounding really cool, facilitates the execution of this melodic pattern. In bars 2 and 4, I use my fret-hand index finger to sound two-note power chords, E5-to-F5 and G#5-to-A5, that fall on beat two of each bar, respectively.</p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> offers another example of alternating three-note melodic shapes, again using the open sixth string as a low D pedal tone. I begin on the major third of D, F#, which alternates against a D root note on the fifth string, but in bar 3 I switch to the minor third, F, which is repeatedly bent up a quarter step and pulled off to the open low D string. </p> <p>The last bar of the pattern moves to four-note rhythmic shapes and incorporates a sliding octave shape fretted on the fifth and third strings. The figure ends with a “spread voicing” of Dsus2, with the index, middle finger and pinkie fretting the fifth, fourth and third strings, respectively.</p> <p><strong>FIGURES 3–5</strong> illustrate three approach- es to what is basically the same riff. <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> represents the two-note version, as only the fourth and third strings are used. In <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, I expand the idea by adding a high D note on the B string’s third fret. In <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>, the open fourth-string D pedal tone is replaced with an open sixth-string D pedal, resulting in a much heavier-sounding riff.</p> <p>Now that you have the idea, try inventing some of your own killer drop-D riffs using these and other techniques.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2011.01.55%20AM.png" width="620" height="668" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.01.55 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2011.02.07%20AM.png" width="620" height="117" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.02.07 AM.png" /></p> Holiday 2014 Metal For Life Metal Mike Chlasciak Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:11:12 +0000 Metal Mike Chlasciak 22777 at Full Shred with Marty Friedman: How to Play Fast and Musical Arpeggio-Based Licks Without Sweep Picking <!--paging_filter--><p>I’ve often been associated with players that use specific picking techniques, such as sweep picking, economy picking, hybrid picking and so on. In truth, I have no idea what any of these terms mean. Sweep picking does not appeal to me at all. </p> <p>To my ears, it sounds like, “bd<em>LOOP</em>, bd<em>Loop</em>, bd<em>LOOP</em>, bd<em>Loop</em>,” as notes go up and down, over and over again. It’s nothing more than a fancy technique that guitar players learn so that they can play fast arpeggios up and down. </p> <p>To my ears, it’s very unmusical. In my music, you will hear some insane, fast arpeggio-based lines, but it’s never simply straight up and down through the arpeggios, the way sweep picking usually is performed. This month, I’d like to demonstrate some cool ways you can achieve the effect of fast arpeggio-based sounds while avoiding the predictability of standard sweep-picking licks. </p> <p>My preference is to use a little bit of repetitive arpeggio-based lines and then grab some cool notes, bends or vibratos. I try to never lean on any one technique too much and always try to play with an ear toward melody. Playing straight triads up and down is, to me, neither creative nor melodic. Any monkey can learn how to execute a fast technique on the guitar, but technique in and of itself is not music. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1</strong> is based on the notes of a Bm7 arpeggio: B D F# A. In bar 1, I outline the basic melodic “shape.” I begin on the third string with a hammer-pull between F# (11th fret) and A (14th fret). Following the D (fourth string/12th fret), I hammer-on from F# up to A and end the phrase with three ascending notes, B D F#. In bars 2–5, I elaborate on the idea by repeating the lick over several beats, adding a half-step bend and vibrato from the b5 (flatted fifth), F, in bar 4. I end the phrase with a half-step bend from A# to B, which I adorn with some vibrato. </p> <p>Now that you have the idea, try the same premise, but change the end of the lick. For me, elaboration on a basic idea is the most natural and musical way to play. Incorporating the arpeggio licks into melodic lines is far more interesting than an arpeggio that simply is repeated in an up-and-down fashion.</p> <p>Let’s wrap up with a few permutations of our initial idea. In <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, I change the shape of the lick a little, and the result is odd-metered lines in 15/16 and 9/8 meters. In <strong>FIGURES 3-8</strong>, I take a basic G triad idea and morph it into Gmaj7 and Gm-maj7 ideas.</p> <p>I certainly understand why guitar players are into speed. When I first started playing, I heard Alvin Lee—who was notoriously fast—and thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. Since then, I’ve found that playing fast is only cool when you can’t do it. Once you can, you’d rather play something musical. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2010.52.40%20AM.png" width="620" height="711" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 10.52.40 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-29%20at%2010.52.54%20AM.png" width="620" height="233" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 10.52.54 AM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/marty-friedman">Marty Friedman</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> August 2014 Full Shred Marty Friedman Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:58:50 +0000 Marty Friedman 21595 at Learn to Play Brad Paisley's 'Play' Album <!--paging_filter--><p>The matching folio to <em>Play,</em> Brad Paisley's incredible 2008 celebration of the six-string, is <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BradPaisleyPlay">available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></p> <p>The book features notes and tabs for all 16 tunes on the mostly instrumental album, including:</p> <p>• Cliffs of Rock City<br /> • Cluster Pluck<br /> • Come On In<br /> • Departure<br /> • Huckleberry Jam<br /> • Kim<br /> • Les Is More<br /> • Playing with Fire<br /> • Turf's Up </p> <p> ... and more!</p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BradPaisleyPlay">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Brad Paisley News Features Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:13:17 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24406 at Thrash Course with Dave Davidson: Exploiting Odd-Time Meters, and How I Play “Madness Opus” and “Witch Trials” <!--paging_filter--><p>A favorite compositional technique of mine in the songs I record and perform with Revocation is to incorporate the use of odd and shifting meters in the writing of primary riffs. </p> <p>Another cool approach I often take is to combine straight 4/4 time with odd meters to create some interesting and unique amalgamations. </p> <p>For the song “Madness Opus,” I set the main figure, which is phrased in a rhythm of steady eighth-note triplets, in 3/4 meter, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>. If we think of the initial note, F, as the tonic, or root, the chord that is alluded to is Fm-maj7b5. </p> <p>The use of pull-offs on the sixth string is essential to the proper articulation and sound of this riff. The one-bar pattern is played three times, after which I transpose it down a step and a half, or a minor third, so that the initial note is D, at which point the chordal allusion is Dm-maj7b5. Regarding the pick-hand, I pretty much stick with alternate (down-up) picking throughout, starting with two downstrokes on the low F notes and then switch to alternate picking for the notes that are consecutively picked. </p> <p> On the recording, after this phrase cycles through a few times, I bring in an overdubbed guitar part, illustrated in <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, that plays the same riff but transposed up a minor third, or a step and a half. This results in a harmonized line known as a parallel harmony, for which every fretted note is a minor third above the melodic line.</p> <p> Given that the line itself is very dissonant sounding, the harmony of a minor third above it pushes the musical effect even further into “alien” territory. I love to harmonize riffs using different intervallic distances like this, and playing a line a minor third above always works well.</p> <p> Another great example of the incorporation of odd meter is the primary riff to “Witch Trials,” shown in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. The majority of this phrase is played in 5/4 time, after which I shift very unexpectedly to 3/4. The figure is played in straight 16th notes but phrased in five-note groups, so that the initial note, the open low E, steadily shifts one 16th note later in the bar through each five-note group. The very nature of the phrasing of the melody creates the 5/4 meter in that it takes five beats of the pattern before the open low E will once again fall squarely on beat one. At the end of the phrase, I play a very atonal chord that my be analyzed as C#(b9)/E#.</p> <p> For our final example, also from “Witch Trials,” (see <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>), I begin in 4/4 but then wrap up the idea in 3/4. I think of the riff as being in A natural minor (A B C D E F G) with pairs of intervals placed against the low A pedal tone. I begin with a pair of notes—E and B, a fourth apart— followed by F and C, a fifth apart, then by A and F, an augmented (sharped) fifth apart. When I shift to 3/4, I simply bring the open low A pedal tone back in after playing the phrase across three quarter notes. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-21%20at%203.45.06%20PM.png" width="620" height="802" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.45.06 PM.png" /></p> Dave Davidson June 2015 Revocation Thrash Course Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:47:22 +0000 Dave Davidson 24345 at Guitar World Recommends: MXR Il Torino Overdrive Pedal — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World Recommends</em> shines the spotlight on new and noteworthy gear for guitarists. This week, <em>Guitar World</em> recommends the MXR Il Torino Overdrive pedal.</p> <p>The Il Torino Overdrive, the MXR Custom Shop showroom’s latest addition, serves up smooth, organic grit with the controls you need to adapt its sound to your carefully constructed signal chain.</p> <p>Designed by guest Custom Shop engineer Carlo Sorasio, Italy’s premier boutique amp and pedal builder, the Il Torino Overdrive uses MOSFET technology to recreate the gain structure of classic tube preamps, allowing it to sing with sweet, touch responsive saturation and natural sounding compression. Next, Carlo added a three-band EQ section so you can finely shape the sound of the overdrive.</p> <p>Finally, Carlo added a BOOST/OD switch to toggle between Boost Mode—a cleaner sound with just the right amount of compression and sustain—and OD Mode—a more aggressive, cranked tube amp sound.</p> <p>This pedal uses a sophisticated bypass system in the form of a Class A Low Impedance Output Driver—essentially a form of buffered bypass—to keep your tone sounding warm and natural across long signal chains where signal loss normally occurs.</p> <p>It all comes in a sturdy MXR box with all the high-quality jacks and switches to make it last on the road. </p> <p><strong>For more about this pedal, visit <a hre=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Guitar World Recommends Jim Dunlop MXR Videos Effects News Gear Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:45:37 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24405 at "How to Shred" with Alex Skolnick — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Simply put, <a href=""></a> is a website that shows you how to do things.</p> <p>If you visit its homepage right now, you'll find stories on "How to Use Coupons," "How to Take Care of Small &amp; Exotic Pets" and our favorite, "How to Do Popular Club Dancing Moves."</p> <p>And yes, the site also hosts videos on "How to Shred" (That's shredding on the guitar as opposed to your summer internship shredding paper in your uncle's accounting office). Testament guitarist and <em>Guitar World</em> friend Alex Skolnick stars in the site's "How to Shred" clip, which was posted earlier this summer, so we thought we'd share it below. </p> <p>Hey, good advice is good advice!</p> <p>Note: It seems there isn't any tab associated with the video.</p> <p>For more information, <a href=";redir_token=9u7sQ1j9Qz3yS6RQUzPuX_OcQLF8MTQwODQ1ODA1N0AxNDA4MzcxNjU3">head here</a> or <a href="">here.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" 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="/alex-skolnick">Alex Skolnick</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Alex Skolnick Videos News Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:12:40 +0000 Guitar World Staff 22138 at