News en Guitar World's 50 Best Albums of 2014 <!--paging_filter--><p>Despite a few nasty rumors to the contrary, the guitar is alive and well in 2014. </p> <p>It survived the rise of the keyboard in the Eighties and the overwhelming bass-barrage of electronic dance music of the early 21st century and, as evidenced by the 50 selections below, shows no signs of waning in relevancy.</p> <p>This year, for instance, we experienced new riffs and glorious runs by guys named Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Johnson. We also were treated to a healthy dose of Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter (RIP) and a slice of Satchel, Slash and Brian Setzer—not to mention Machine Head, Mastodon and Of Mice and Men and yes, even Sturgill Simpson.</p> <p>Whether you're plugging into a vintage Vox AC30 with a medium-aged Nash Guitars TC63 or you just got your hands on an Axe FX and a new Ibanez eight-string, the guitar isn't going away any time soon.</p> <p>Below, check out <em>Guitar World's</em> picks for the 50 best albums of 2014, as chosen by the editorial staff. The list features staff-consensus picks plus several personal choices from individual editors. Of course, we can't get or listen to every new release, so if you feel something is seriously missing, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook. And, in keeping with GW tradition, this top 50 list actually contains 51 albums. It's what we do. Enjoy!</p> <p><em>As always, click on each photo to take a closer look. See you next year!</em></p> <p><strong>Check out the rest of <em>Guitar World's</em> 2014 year-end content (Note: More is coming soon!) <a href="">right here.</a> And be sure to take <em>Guitar World</em>'s <a href="">2014 year-end readers poll</a> to vote on the best album, best GW cover, best shredder, best blues guitarist, <em>Guitar World</em> MVP and much more!</strong></p> <p>See you next year!</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="/slipknot">Slipknot</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Jack White Reverend Horton Heat Slipknot Sturgill Simpson Year End 2014 Guitar World Lists News Features Fri, 26 Dec 2014 22:17:07 +0000 Guitar World Staff 2015 Guitar World Review Guide: Gear Year in Review, with Playboy's Jaclyn Swedberg, Raquel Pomplun and Pamela Horton <!--paging_filter--><p><a href=";utm_source=facebook&amp;utm_medium=daily_ad&amp;utm_campaign=ReviewGuide15"></a></p> <p><em>Guitar World</em>'s 2015 Guitar Review Guide is <a href=";utm_source=facebook&amp;utm_medium=daily_ad&amp;utm_campaign=ReviewGuide15">available now for $7.99!</a></p> <p>The 2015 review guide includes the top picks of the year's best gear, modeled by <em>Playboy</em> Playmates Jaclyn Swedberg, Raquel Pomplun and Pamela Horton. The issue also features the hottest new gear for this holiday season: electrics, recording gear, acoustics, basses, effects, amps, holiday gift ideas, stocking stuffers and more! Plus a special 2015 sneak preview to help you stay current.</p> <p><strong>Sections Include:</strong></p> <p><strong> Electric Guitars</strong> - Whether you like them curvy, slim, big or thick, you'll find just the thing to keep you performing all night long.<br /> <strong> Acoustic Guitars</strong> - If you like your tone au naturel, you'll love this collection of flattops, archtops and acoustic electrics.<br /> <strong> Bass Guitars</strong> - Lift up the low end with big-bottom beauties in every shape and style.<br /> <strong> Amplifiers</strong> - Our combos and stacks have all the knobs and inputs you could possibly want. Plug in and make your main ax scream.<br /> <strong> Effects </strong>- Like to get weird? We've got a throng of boosters, boxes, plug-ins and more that will surely tickle your fancy.<br /> <strong> Recording &amp; Accessories </strong>- Time to freshen up your bag of tricks? Mix things up with some leather straps, a wang bar or maybe even a perky pair of knobs.</p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=facebook&amp;utm_medium=daily_ad&amp;utm_campaign=ReviewGuide15">The 2015 Review Guide is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> 2015 Review Guide News Features Fri, 26 Dec 2014 22:16:03 +0000 Guitar World Staff String Theory with Jimmy Brown: Hillbilly Shred — How to Sound Like a Bluegrass Mandolin Player <!--paging_filter--><p>A while back, I came across a book of traditional bluegrass and old-timey fiddle tunes, which intrigued and inspired me. </p> <p>I had always enjoyed the sound of those upbeat, “honest” folk melodies, with their sprightly contours and swinging eighth-note rhythms, despite their harmonic simplicity—the vast majority of the tunes are based on “one-four-five”-type major-key chord progressions. </p> <p>As the book was written for violinists (the violin and fiddle are the same instrument), the tunes were notated in standard sheet music, without tablature. Being a sightreader, however, I was able to cop the notes, and I began studying some of the tunes and attempting to adapt them to the guitar, pick-style, just as a bluegrass acoustic guitarist or mandolin player would. </p> <p>This month, I’d like to show you how I’ve arranged one of these fiddle tune for guitar and demonstrate a neat trick I came up with to make the guitar sound like a mandolin.</p> <p>The violin has four strings, which are tuned in perfect fifths, low to high, G D A E, the G note being the same pitch as the guitar’s open G string. <strong>Figure 1</strong> shows a way to play the violin’s four open-string notes together on a standard-tuned guitar. As you can see, the violin not only is tuned quite differently than the guitar but also encompasses a higher pitch range, though there is some overlap. The mandolin, the violin’s sister instrument and fretted equivalent, uses this same tuning, except it has four pairs of closely spaced strings, known as courses, with each course tuned in unison, just like a 12-string guitar’s B and high E strings. </p> <p>I attempted to play these fiddle melodies on the guitar, mandolin-style, using alternate (down-up) picking, which is commonly referred to in bluegrass as flatpicking. In doing so, I discovered that they were challenging to articulate and perform with any kind of speed, as they typically require frequent string crosses, which is a huge technical challenge for the pick hand. This presented me with a problem to solve, as I refused to just doggedly muscle through the difficult string crosses, which was quite arduous at times and no fun at all. </p> <p>My creative solution—the previously mentioned trick—was to deploy a capo way up at the 12th fret (on a cutaway electric guitar equipped with a piezo pickup). Doing so enabled me to play the melodies in their original register—an octave higher than you would if looking at the music as if it were written for guitar. It also gave me additional fingering options, as the frets in this upper area of the neck are much closer together, effectively extending my reach. The result is that the instrument sounds and feels more like a mandolin.</p> <p><strong>Figure 2</strong> presents my take on the popular bluegrass standard “The Eighth of January,” arranged for pick-style guitar, capo-12. (If you play this arrangement on acoustic guitar, you will need to lower the capo at least two frets and perform it in a lower key, due to the instrument’s wider neck joint.) </p> <p>I’m using alternate picking, and you’ll see that I strategically arranged the note fingerings so that every string cross is executed with what’s known as “outside-the-strings picking,” which is much easier on the pick hand than “inside-the-strings picking.” There are a few quick position shifts, but they’re not difficult to make because of the short scale.</p> <p>This arrangement sounds cool all by itself, especially if you tap your foot loudly on beats one and three. But for an authentic, bluegrass-style second-guitar accompaniment, I additionally offer the set of chord voicings shown in <strong>Figure 3</strong>, which are played as if the tune were in the key of C, with a capo at the second fret transposing them up a whole step to the key of D. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-08-04%20at%204.14.57%20PM.png" width="620" height="616" alt="Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 4.14.57 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-08-04%20at%204.15.07%20PM.png" width="620" height="135" alt="Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 4.15.07 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Jimmy Brown May 2014 String Theory Videos News Lessons Magazine Wed, 24 Dec 2014 15:44:47 +0000 Jimmy Brown The Aristocrats — Featuring Guthrie Govan — Release Trailer for New DVD, 'Culture Clash Live' — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>The rock/fusion power trio supergroup the Aristocrats—featuring Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums—will release <em>Culture Clash Live</em>, a live CD/DVD, January 20. </p> <p>Captured in six different locations in five countries on three different continents during the band’s 100-plus-show Culture Clash World Tour, it showcases the Aristocrats in full flight: virtuosic, melodic, spontaneous, outrageous and still having more fun than any group of world touring muzos has any right to have.</p> <p><em>Culture Clash Live</em> will be released on the band’s label, BOING Music, and available physically as a CD/DVD package containing eight audio tracks on the CD and nine cuts on the DVD. </p> <p>Only three tracks are the same performance on both CD and DVD; all the others are unique, giving fans a chance to hear how the songs evolved while on tour. DVD bonus features include a look behind the scenes at the video setup in Tokyo; an extra drum solo shot with 20 cameras; and demos from the <em>Culture Clash</em> album.</p> <p>Physical units will first be sold through <a href="">the band’s webstore</a> and are already available for pre-sales. The digital audio-only will be available through iTunes and other e-tailers. </p> <p>As if that’s not enough, the band is also releasing a 2CD, <em>Secret Show: Live In Osaka,</em> which shows the Aristocrats at the peak of their live prowess: equal parts raw, funny, bracing…and with no editing in any of the performances comprising the two-disc set. The first 1,000 units of <em>Secret Show</em> will be signed by the band, and the limited release will only be available at the band’s website and live merch tables.</p> <p>“Every time we play a song live, it seems to evolve slightly,” Govan says. “However hard we might try to capture definitive versions in the studio, the true nature of any given composition inevitably reveals itself during the subsequent touring process, mutating incrementally from one night to the next as we do our best to maintain the element of spontaneity and encourage the occurrence of little musical ‘accidents.’”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Guthrie Govan The Aristocrats Videos News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 21:36:46 +0000 Guitar World Staff Harry Shearer Performs Spinal Tap's "Christmas with the Devil" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Harry Shearer, perhaps best known as the voice of Montgomery Burns on <em>The Simpsons</em>, is—on occasion—a member of Spinal Tap.</p> <p>Recently, Shearer—who plays Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls—performed a jazzy version of Spinal Tap's beloved holiday favorite, "Christmas with the Devil," with his wife, Judith Owen.</p> <p>As expected, Shearer plays bass while Owen sings. You can check out their performance below (top video).</p> <p>As <a href="">A.V. Club reports,</a> the duo just released a digital single of their version of the song. They also performed it at the A.V. Club office just in time for the holiday. Check it out below. As always, tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook!</p> <p>Note that we've also included a live version of "Christmas with the Devil" by Spinal Tap (bottom video). That's Shearer—we mean Smalls—wearing the gigantic Satan tail. Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe name="embedded" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen frameborder="no" width="620" height="365" scrolling="no" src="//"></iframe></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="/spinal-tap">Spinal Tap</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Harry Shearer Judith Owen Spinal Tap Videos News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 21:03:41 +0000 Damian Fanelli Iron Maidens with Nita Strauss Play "The Trooper" and "Die with Your Boots On" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this brand-new fan-filmed video, you can watch the Iron Maidens—complete with former full-time Iron Maiden Nita Strauss helping out on guitar—perform Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and "Die with Your Boots On" at Paladino's Night Club in Tarzana, California.</p> <p>Strauss joined Maidens guitarists Courtney Cox and Nikki Stringfield for the three-guitar-attack show, which took place December 20.</p> <p>Enjoy!</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="/iron-maiden">Iron Maiden</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Courtney Cox Iron Maiden Iron Maidens Nita Strauss Videos News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:30:54 +0000 Damian Fanelli Session Guitar: Top 10 Guitarists to Emulate for a Successful Studio Career <!--paging_filter--><p>I'd like to address a very meat-and-potatoes bit of info that very rarely gets mentioned. </p> <p>Who should you emulate in order to be a session guitarist? </p> <p>The answers and the reasons for each might very well surprise you. Also, you might assume you know how to play like these guys, but, until you really try it, you do <em>not</em> know how! </p> <p>I'm not kidding here; I guarantee you don't know how. And not a week goes by when I'm not asked to imitate at least one of these guys.</p> <p>So now, in the photo gallery below (in no particular order), I give you a list of players you'd better become intimately aware of and learn at least a few of their licks! It will start, save and prolong your "studio guitarist" career.</p> <p>One more thing before I start: These names are used in the way "Kleenex" means "tissue." If someone asks you for a Kleenex and you give them an off-brand tissue, it's the really same thing. So if someone asks for EVH, you know they want some tapping, whammy bar, bluesy, fast playing. Get it?</p> <p>One final note! Learn the history of popular music as seen through the eyes of a guitarist. Play in a wedding band. Play in a show band. Play in a cover band. You will thank me.</p> <p>Merry Christmas!</p> <p><em><a href="">Ron Zabrocki</a> is a session guitarist from New York, now living in Connecticut. Says Ron: "I started playing at age 6, sight reading right off the bat. That’s how I was taught, so I just thought everyone started that way. I could sight read anything within a few years, and that helped me become a session guy later in life. I took lessons from anyone I could find and had some wonderful instructors, including John Scofield, Joe Pass and Alan DeMausse. I’ve played several jingle sessions (and have written a few along the way). I’ve “ghosted” for a few people who shall remain nameless, but they get the credit and I get the money! I’ve played sessions in every style, from pop to jazz.</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="/slash">Slash</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chuck-berry">Chuck Berry</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Eddie Van Halen Eric Clapton Ron Zabrocki Roy Clark Session Guitar Slash Blogs Galleries News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:09:09 +0000 Ron Zabrocki Guitar World DVD: Learn to Play Eight Classic Christmas Songs <!--paging_filter--><p>It's that time of year again! Get the <em><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=XmasSongsDVD">Play Christmas Songs on the Guitar</a></em> DVD now at the Guitar World Online Store!</p> <p><em>Play Christmas Songs on the Guitar</em> is your ultimate DVD guide to playing holiday songs. It teaches you eight classic holiday tunes: "Silent Night," "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," "Deck the Hall," "Jingle Bells," "The First Noel," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Auld Lang Syne."</p> <p>Plus, as a bonus, you'll learn a Christmas medley for the electric guitar featuring "Little Drummer Boy," "Silent Night" and "Auld Lang Syne."</p> <p>With more than 80 minutes of lessons, <em>Play Christmas Songs on the Guitar</em> will let you evoke the holiday spirit with your playing, and teach you valuable skills along the way!</p> <p>The <em>Play Christmas Songs on the Guitar</em> DVD teaches you:</p> <p><strong>"Silent Night" (See the video below) </strong></p> <p>• Adding Bass Line "Walk-Ups"<br /> • "Willie Nelson Style" Melody Playing<br /> • Tremolo Picking and Pick-Hand Anchoring<br /> • Fingerstyle: Accompaniment in C, Instrumental Solo in G, and Solo with Chord Substitutions</p> <p><strong>"Oh Come All Ye Faithful"</strong></p> <p> • Using Capo with Key-of-C Chords<br /> • Instrumental Duet in D<br /> • Instrumental Solo Arrangements: Key of D, Capo 7, Key of C</p> <p><strong>"Deck the Halls"</strong></p> <p> • Basic Strum Accompaniments: Key of C, Key of G, Capo 5<br /> • Instrumental Duet in G<br /> • Picking Tips</p> <p><strong>"Jingle Bells"</strong></p> <p> • Country-Style Strum Accompaniments: Key of C, Key of E, Key of G, Key of D<br /> • Using A Capo with Key-of-G Chords</p> <p><strong>"The First Noel"</strong></p> <p>• Chord-Melody Solo in G, Capo 7<br /> • Instrumental Duet in D</p> <p><strong>"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"</strong></p> <p> • Muted-Sting Chords<br /> • Alternative Voicings<br /> • Instrumental Duet in G</p> <p><strong>"Jingle Bell Rock"</strong></p> <p> • Intro and Ending Licks<br /> • Lead Guitar Chord "Stabs"</p> <p><strong>"Auld Lang Syne"</strong></p> <p>• Strum Accompaniments: Key of C Basic and Added Chords, Key of G Basic and Added Chords, Key of D Basic<br /> • Instrumental Chord-Melody in C</p> <p>…and much more!</p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=XmasSongsDVD">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></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="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Jimmy Brown News Features Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:05:30 +0000 Guitar World Staff Guitar World Staff Picks: Paul Riario's 2014 Holiday Gear Wish List <!--paging_filter--><p>As Christmas and the holidays swiftly approach, I’m looking forward to taking some much-needed time off, and with that, I present to you my holiday gear wish list. </p> <p>There were so many great pieces of gear to choose from that I wish I could list them all, but I’ve picked the ones that stood out for me. </p> <p>So, without further ado, let’s chug some eggnog and check out the gear that puts a smile on my face (and hopefully, some of it will make it under my Christmas tree!).</p> <p><strong>12. Strymon Big Sky Reverb, <a href="">,</a> $479</strong></p> <p>Reverb is one of those effects that is often taken for granted. </p> <p>On one hand, most amps have it and you kind of set and forget it; while on the other, it’s easily dismissed as a surf or rockabilly effect. The Strymon Big Sky sets out to destroy such assumptions. Strymon has already made a name with a bunch of their award winning pedals and the Big Sky is another one to add to that list. </p> <p>Spend some time with the Big Sky’s twelve studio quality reverb machines and 300 presets and you’ll be able to hear the countless ways reverb can be utilized creatively. I’ve only scratched the surface of the processing power and stellar sounds this stompbox adds to my rig. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/strbgsky-xl-01.jpg" width="620" height="457" alt="strbgsky-xl-01.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>11. <em>Brian May’s Red Special</em> book, Hal Leonard, <a href="">,</a> $30</strong> <p>Brian May from Queen has always been my one of my absolute influential guitar heroes, so I’ve always known about his beloved homemade “Red Special” guitar that he’s used on every one of Queen’s records and songs. </p> <p>This book is probably one of the most detailed tributes to any single piece of gear I’ve ever come across, and it’s made even more personal over the fact May built it together with his father from a fireplace mantel. Queen’s fame offered May the opportunity to play any number of desirable guitars yet the one he never stopped using was this one. A stunning and fascinating read for guitar lovers. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/RedSpecial_Book_small_zps6ea16d6f.jpg" width="620" height="790" alt="RedSpecial_Book_small_zps6ea16d6f.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>10. Supro Amps, <a href=""></a>, Dual Tone and Thunderbolt, $1,459; Coronado, $1659</strong> <p>Supro amplifiers have achieved mythic status amongst guitarists from artists like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, who used these legendary amps for their inspiring tones. </p> <p>It’s absolutely refreshing to see these unbelievably cool retro amps, which have been re-engineered by Bruce Zinky and Dave Koltai, are now available in three different models that will appeal to any number of axe slingers. </p> <p>The Dual Tone is a 1x12 24-watt combo with tube-driven tremolo that serves up creamy overdrive when cranked and is perfect for small club gigs and recording. The Thunderbolt is 1x15 35-watt combo that’s pedal friendly and sounds huge. My favorite of the three is the Coronado, which is also 35 watts but with two 10-inch custom Supro speakers and a tube-driven tremolo. </p> <p>The Coronado sounds focused and dynamic, with warm compression when the volume is pushed. Pick one of these up at the prices they’re offering currently because they’ll no doubt go up soon. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/supro-amplifier-range-front-978x500.jpg" width="620" height="317" alt="supro-amplifier-range-front-978x500.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>09. IK Multimedia iLoud, <a href=""></a>, $299.99</strong> <p>IK Multimedia makes some of my favorite music apps and hardware products for on-the-go guitar playing and recording. </p> <p>The iLoud is a portable Bluetooth-enabled speaker with a built-in iRig circuit that allows you to connect your guitar or a microphone to start playing immediately. </p> <p>The iLoud pushes 40 watts of power through its custom neodymium speakers and is LOUD. It wirelessly connects via Bluetooth your iOS device to your music library and the stereo sound and bass response is nothing short of amazing. The battery can last up to 10 hours under normal use. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/iLoud%20front%20dx.jpg" width="620" height="369" alt="iLoud front dx.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>08. D’Addario NYXL strings, <a href=""></a>, $19.95</strong> <p>Not too long ago, we had shot video about these strings, <a href="">which you can check out right here.</a> </p> <p>The idea was to prove that these strings allow you to bend farther, prevent breakage, stay in tune better and sound louder than any other string available. I can’t say whether they’re louder, but I can certainly say these strings last. </p> <p>I originally put them on my favorite guitar back in July and since then, I’ve barely had to tune them and haven’t broken a string regardless that I’ve bended them to its limit. Remarkable. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/da_prod_nyxl1052_main_1.jpg" width="620" height="620" alt="da_prod_nyxl1052_main_1.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>07. Graphtech Ratio Tuned Machine Heads, <a href=""></a>, $99.99-$109.99</strong> <p>I know talking about tuning machines is about as exciting as your grandmother explaining the fine art of crocheting. </p> <p>But if you’re in the process of building a guitar (like I am) or your current tuners seem to be throwing your guitar out of tune, then there is nothing better than Graphtech Ratio Tuned Machine Heads. </p> <p>The Ratio tuners are optimized for each string’s core and tension making tuning a smoother and more precise endeavor. Depending upon how thick or thin the core of the strings, one turn equals one whole tone allowing for consistency without slippage in order to fine-tune your guitar. Ratio is available for both acoustic and electric guitars with plenty of styles and options.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-07-23%20at%201.13.44%20PM.png" width="620" height="392" alt="Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 1.13.44 PM.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>06. TC Electronic Flashback Triple Delay, <a href=""></a>, $449.99</strong> <p>I’ve been a big fan of TC Electronic’s Flashback X4 Delay pedal for its authentic-sounding delays and being able to store multiple presets, in fact, I use one in my pedalboard. </p> <p>So when TC Electronic released the Triple Delay, it was exactly the kind of delay pedal I was looking for. The Triple Delay not only lets you store presets but also allows you to run up to three delays at the same time! </p> <p>It has all the desired features of the Flashback X4 like TonePrint-Enabled technology, true bypass and tap tempo, but an added option of subdivision control for the delays. The Triple Delay is an imaginative pedal that allows endless avenues of creativity in delay.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/flashback-triple-delay-front.png" width="620" height="391" alt="flashback-triple-delay-front.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>05. Charvel Jake E. Lee Signature Model, <a href=""></a>, $2,831.35</strong> <p>One of my favorite guitars I’ve reviewed all year. This guitar had it all: tone, low action on a fast neck, simplicity and looks. If you haven’t tried any of Charvel’s super-strats, you can start by picking this one up to get an idea of what a professional guitar feels and sounds like. </p> <p>It’s the kind of instrument that can rock a wedding gig or a death metal show without raising any eyebrows.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Charvel%20Jake%20E%20Lee%20Signature%20Model.jpg" width="620" height="197" alt="Charvel Jake E Lee Signature Model.jpg" /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Taylor Guitars 614ce-FE, <a href=""></a>, $3,998</strong></p> <p>Maple is going to be the tone wood you’re going to be hearing about a lot next year from Taylor Guitars. Master luthier Andy Powers re-voiced Taylor’s 600 series using incredibly innovative methods to make maple sound unlike anything else you’ve ever heard. </p> <p>The result is an acoustic with more volume, complexity and warmth than other acoustics with tried and true combinations of more popular tone woods. Prepared to be blown away.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/614ce-FE-brn-front-taylor-guitars-2015-full.jpg" width="620" height="307" alt="614ce-FE-brn-front-taylor-guitars-2015-full.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>03. Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze Acoustic guitar strings, <a href=""></a>, $13.50</strong> <p>Normally, I’m a big fan of coated acoustic guitar strings, but I decided to give these a whirl because it had been a while since I’ve actually used non-coated strings for acoustic. What a difference. </p> <p>I forgot the purity in tone a non-coated string offers at the sacrifice of string life. The Aluminum Bronze strings are corrosion resistant and provide a perfect balance of warmth and crispness to your acoustic. Where a coated string sometimes feels tacky, these feel smooth and are a joy to play.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/AluminumBronzePackage.png" width="620" height="616" alt="AluminumBronzePackage.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>02. Way Huge Saucy Box Overdrive, <a href=""></a>, coming soon</strong> <p>There are so many overdrives that mimic the revered tube screamer, so I’m always looking for one that sets itself dynamically apart from the rest. </p> <p>The Saucy Box is not the first overdrive pedal to mix clean and overdriven sounds together but does so with a balanced signal path that makes it sound organic. Depending where you set the level knob, you can decide how much of the clean signal to blend in or throttle it for more gain and boost. </p> <p>The overdrive is fat and smooth; with harmonics that jump out in the same way you’d crank a low wattage amp to achieve distortion. It’s a cool pedal despite having graphics that give new meaning to the term, “dick in a box.”</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-12-23%20at%2011.28.47%20AM.png" width="620" height="503" alt="Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.47 AM.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>01. Cruz Tools GrooveTech Truss Rod Drivers, <a href="">,</a> $14.95</strong> <p>I’m always tinkering with my guitars, and the one thing I can tell you that happens often is the truss rod needing adjustment because of the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing lately. </p> <p>Cruz Tools makes two screwdrivers: the Standard Driver, which offers precise contact for flathead-style truss rods; and the Cheater Driver, which is ideal for adjusting Fender cross-screw vintage-style truss rods.</p> <p>The Cheater allows you to poke through and tweak the truss rod without removal of the neck or pickguard on most Fender guitars. I can’t tell you how important these two Drivers are in keeping my guitars performing in tip-top shape.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/CRUZ%20TOOLS%20DRIVERS.JPG" width="620" height="217" alt="CRUZ TOOLS DRIVERS.JPG" /></p> <p><em>I try very hard to remain under the radar despite being on camera as gear editor at </em>Guitar World<em>, but in this age of social media it was only a matter of time before it had to come to this. So with that, I will make my blog painless and a quick and easy read so you can get on to more important things like sweep picking, or if you’re like me, obsessing how to race the Tour De France and trying to be Taylor Swift’s next paramour she’ll write a song about. I will use this blog to inform you of things I find cool; like new gear I’m playing through and what I’m watching, reading or listening to at any given moment. So feel free to ask me anything that’s gear related—or if you have a problem with your girlfriend, you know, life lesson stuff, I’m pretty good at that too—and I’ll do my best to answer or address it here.</em></p> Year End 2014 Accessories Blogs News Gear Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:41:06 +0000 Paul Riario 'Work': Bon Jovi Tour Photographer David Bergman Discusses New Coffee Table Book <!--paging_filter--><p>The first concert I ever attended was a Scorpions show in 1984. I remember this event because, at the time, I was excited about checking out the openers, a young, up-and-coming band called Bon Jovi.</p> <p>Little did I know I'd also be bearing witness to what would become one of rock’s biggest juggernauts. </p> <p>Tour photographer David Bergman has spent the last three and a half years working as Bon Jovi’s official tour photographer. With <em>carte blanche</em> access, Bergman has been able to travel the world with the band and document their activities—as well as their shows—with his camera.</p> <p>Bergman has combined a collection of his photographs into one masterful coffee table book that's appropriately titled <em>Work</em>. The book, an over-sized, 5-pound, 210-page hardcover tome, offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's top touring bands.</p> <p>In addition to being an in-demand touring and sports photographer, Bergman also runs <A href="">,</a> which lets fans go online and buy high-quality image prints shot at the shows they’ve attended. </p> <p>I recently spoke with Bergman to find out more about <em>Work</em> and his time spent on tour with Bon Jovi.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How did this book project come about?</strong></p> <p>Since the beginning of 2011, I’ve photographed every single Bon Jovi live show, which is quite a lot when you think about it. Last year alone, they did 102 shows on six continents. After every show, I would do an edit and narrow it down to the best of the best from each performance. </p> <p>Over time, I started to develop this massive archive, somewhere in the range of 800,000 images, many of which no one had ever seen. So I brought it to the band. The idea of doing a book was something we had been talking about for quite a while. They've done book projects over the years but nothing quite like this. By the end of this last tour, we decided the time was finally right and started putting it together. </p> <p><strong>Jon has said your photos are works of art. How would you describe your style of photography?</strong></p> <p>That’s a tough question. I've always considered myself an action photographer because of my sports/action background. Some of my favorite photos are of Jon when he's in mid-jump, those unplanned action shots that are mixed with the journalistic, “fly on the wall” moments. I take it seriously that I get to be the eyes of the fans and show them what I get to see. </p> <p><strong>One of the interesting sections of the book deals with Jon’s knee injury and subsequent surgery. Can you tell me a little about that series of photos and why you decided to include them?</strong></p> <p>I'm really proud of that chapter. Jon actually tore the meniscus in his left leg during a show; at first we weren’t sure how serious it was going to be. All we knew was he couldn't put any weight on his leg, but somehow he was able to power through the pain and finished the show. I remember when he came off stage and they started working on him, everyone had left except for a few of us, and it was really quiet. At that point, I went into instinctive photo journalism mode and just started documenting it. </p> <p>The band didn't cancel a single show, and while we were in Ireland Jon decided to have surgery instead of waiting for the end of the tour. At the time, I remember asking him if it would be OK to take pictures of the surgery and he was fine with it. We figured no one would ever see the photos. But once we started putting the book together and Jon came up with the title <em>Work</em>, it all seemed to make sense. </p> <p>The theme of the book is about how hard the band works and how their work ethic is second to none. I told Jon that the knee story really embodies what he's all about. He understood and said, "You know, if this inspires one kid to work through the pain and come out on the other side of an injury stronger than before, it's all worth it." </p> <p><strong>You began your career in music. What prompted your decision to transition into photo journalism?</strong></p> <p>While most of my friends were performance majors, I spent my freshman year of college at Berklee majoring in music production. So whenever they would perform, I would go along with them and take pictures. I later transferred to the University of Miami for music and one day walked into the school paper on a whim. The photo editor there handed me a roll of film and told me to go shoot, and if he liked what he saw, maybe he’d give me an assignment. From there, I started working regularly and eventually changed my major to photo journalism. That was the end of my music career and the beginning of my photo career.</p> <p><strong>How did you get involved with tour photography?</strong></p> <p>About half way through my stint at the <em>Miami Herald</em> I realized I could start generating my own assignments. So I pitched the idea of going out on tour with Gloria Estefan. It was something I had never done before. The <em>Herald</em> went for it and I spent an entire week on the road with Gloria and her family and just fell in love with tour photography. </p> <p><strong>Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?</strong></p> <p>Right now I'm now on a quest to bring respect back to the field of tour photography. It's become so democratized now; where we see a lot of images just come and go online that don't seem to have the impact they should. One of the things I've discovered with is that when people hold a real quality photo in their hands, there's a visceral reaction you don't get when something just flashes by on the screen. It’s something many of the younger artists who didn't grow up in the physical print world missed out on. The prints, and obviously this book, have so much value. My goal is to bring it to as many artists as I can.</p> <p><strong>What would you like people who read <em>Work</em> to take from it?</strong></p> <p>At the end of the day, this book is really about the quality of the band's work and their work ethic. The fact is, Bon Jovi have been around for 30 years. There are a lot of other bands that started out with them that have fallen by the way side, but these guys have continued to put out new music and stay relevant and at the top of their game. That doesn’t happen by chance. I've seen it day in and day out. They're all professional, organized and really know what they're doing. </p> <p>Jon has often said he's the CEO of a multi-million-dollar corporation. It just so happens that company is a rock band. But he runs it just like any other big company. Every time Bon Jovi tours, they're the top-grossing act of the year, and it was a pleasure for me to be a part of that whole experience.</p> <p><em>For more about Bergman, visit <a href="!/index"></a> and <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="/bon-jovi">Bon Jovi</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Bon Jovi David Bergman James Wood Interviews News Features Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:49:10 +0000 James Wood Singer Joe Cocker Dead at 70 After Long Battle with Lung Cancer <!--paging_filter--><p>Singer Joe Cocker, who might be best known for his 1969 cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends," has died at age 70 after a long battle with lung cancer.</p> <p>The singer, who was born in England, died at his home in Colorado.</p> <p>"John Robert Cocker, known to family, friends, his community and fans around the world as Joe Cocker, passed away December 22, 2014, after a hard fought battle with small cell lung cancer," Sony Music wrote in a statement via iTV.</p> <p>“It will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts,” his agent, Barrie Marshall, told the BBC.</p> <p>Cocker rose to fame in 1964 and recorded 40 albums during his lengthy career. His powerful, down-tempo cover of the Beatles' 1967 track, "With a Little Help from My Friends," sent him to Number 1 on the singles charts and made him a star. </p> <p>His performance of the song (which you can watch below) is one of several highlights of the 1970 <em>Woodstock</em> film. His recording of the song also was used as the theme for the popular U.S. TV series <em>The Wonder Years.</em></p> <p>Known for his gritty voice and odd movements while singing (as parodied on <em>Saturday Night Live</em> by John Belushi in the Seventies), Cocker began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield, England, in the 1960s before hitting the big time. His 1982 duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," hit Number 1 and went on to win a Grammy and an Academy Award.</p> <p>Besides "With a Little Help from My Friends," Cocker also found success with his cover of the Beatles' "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window." His other Beatles covers include "I'll Cry Instead" and "Come Together," not to mention George Harrison's "Beware of Darkness." (One bit of Beatles trivia: Henry McCollough, Cocker's guitarist at Woodstock, would go on to be the first lead guitarist in Paul McCartney's Seventies band, Wings.)</p> <p>Cocker was honored with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2007. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Joe Cocker News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 19:24:18 +0000 Guitar World Staff Guitarist Gretchen Menn to Lead House Band for She Rocks Awards <!--paging_filter--><p>The Women’s International Music Network announced that the house band for the 2015 She Rocks Awards will be led by acclaimed guitarist Gretchen Menn, and include Zepparella members Angeline Saris on bass, Clementine on drums, and guest keyboardist Jenna Paone. </p> <p>The House band will back some of the guest performers and provide interstitial music for the award ceremony, held on Jan. 23, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel during the NAMM Show. <a href="">Get tickets here>></a></p> <p>“I am beyond thrilled to have this amazing group of performers as our house band for the 2015 She Rocks Awards,” said WiMN founder and awards co-host Laura B. Whitmore. “These powerhouse players will bring incredible energy to the event and serve our other guest performers well.” </p> <p>Guitarist Gretchen Menn is a fabulously flexible and talented guitar force. She heads her own Gretchen Menn Trio, handles lead guitar duties for the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella, and is currently working on a new solo album. Her prior release, Hale Souls, features bassist Stu Hamm. Menn also recently graced the cover of Guitar Player magazine’s Buyers Guide.</p> <p>Bass player Angeline Saris’ résumé includes work in an amazing array of styles, including jazz, rock, fusion, funk, R&amp;B, pop, hip hop, and even flamenco/speed metal. She recently toured with Narada Michael Walden, and has joined forces with reggae and ska legend Ernest Ranglin. She’s played on numerous albums and recorded a series of instructional DVDs for Hal Leonard.</p> <p>In addition to handling drumming duties for Zepparella, Clementine has laid the groove for a variety of projects including the bands Bottom, AC/DShe and Stars Turn Me On. In 2014, Clementine released The Collection, a compilation disc of various songwriting endeavors with guitarists Gretchen Menn, Jude Gold and Justin Caucutt.</p> <p>Hailing from Boston, guest keyboardist Jenna Paone just released her debut solo album Hammers and Strings in October 2014. Paone boasts 25 years of training and education in classical and contemporary piano, voice, ballet, and theater. Paone recently was selected to perform in Nashville, Tenn., as part of the She Rocks Showcase at Summer NAMM.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Gretchen-menn-house-band-revised%20620.jpg" width="620" height="318" alt="Gretchen-menn-house-band-revised 620.jpg" /></p> <p>The WiMN recently announced the 2015 She Rocks Awards honorees. Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum artist Colbie Caillat; Grammy award-nominated saxophone player and singer/songwriter Mindi Abair; iconic, platinum-selling all-female pop band The Bangles; as well as industry leaders Gayle Beacock, Debbie Cavalier, Amani Duncan, Katie Kailus, Paula Salvatore and Craigie Zildjian will be recognized at this year’s event. Americana band SHEL will open the show.</p> <p>The 2015 She Rocks Awards will be co-hosted by platinum-selling guitarist and solo artist Orianthi and the Women’s International Music Network founder and writer/editor Laura B. Whitmore. Now in its third year, the event pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ori-1%20by%20Robert%20Knight%20crop.jpg" width="620" height="412" alt="Ori-1 by Robert Knight crop.jpg" /></p> <p>With featured performances, food and beverages, giveaways, a silent auction, networking opportunities and more, the She Rocks Awards brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans, and media to celebrate women in music. A portion of the proceeds of the event will go to benefit the Girls Rock Camp Alliance.</p> <p>This event has sold out for the past two years and does not require a NAMM badge to attend. The She Rocks Awards will take place on Jan. 23, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Pacific Ballroom at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel.</p> <p>The She Rocks Awards is sponsored by The Gretsch Company, Guitar Center, Seymour Duncan, The Avedis Zildjian Company, C.F. Martin &amp; Co, Weber Mandolins, Fishman, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Casio, PRS Guitars, Yamaha, Berklee Online, Roland, Kind, LAWIM, International Musician, Making Music Magazine, 95.5 KLOS, OC Weekly, as well as NewBay Media, and their publications Guitar World, Guitar Player, Acoustic Nation, Bass Player, Electronic Musician and Keyboard Magazine.</p> <p>Purchase tickets and find out more about the She Rocks Awards at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Angeline Saris Clementine Colbie Caillat Gretchen Menn Jenna Paone News Orianthi She Rocks Awards SHEL The Bangles News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 19:16:08 +0000 Acoustic Nation Seymour Duncan Introduces Lemmy Custom Shop Signature Pickup Set <!--paging_filter--><p>The sound of Motörhead is defined by the high-output fat tone and midrange grind Lemmy Kilmister has delivered for decades with songs like "Ace of Spades” and "Iron Fist,” combined with a fast pick attack on his Rickenbacker bass. </p> <p>Seymour Duncan started with carefully analyzing the pickups in his bass and then made them even ruder—that's right, even more attack and punch—while also making sure they had plenty of clarity under heavy distortion. </p> <p>The results are three unique pickups, each hand-built in the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop and available in individual neck, middle or bridge models, or as a complete set. The pickups are available in either a direct mount for Lemmy Signature Basses or pickguard mount for traditional Rickenbacker basses. </p> <p>You can also get your choice of nickel or gold. (Jack Daniels sold separately.)</p> <p>The pickups are available directly from the <a href="">Seymour Duncan Custom Shop.</a></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="/motorhead">Motorhead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Lemmy Kilmister Motorhead Seymour Duncan Bass Guitars News Gear Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:48:56 +0000 Guitar World Staff Marty Friedman Premieres "Undertow" Music Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Earlier today, guitarist Marty Friedman released his a new music video for “Undertow,” a track off his 2014 solo album, <em>Inferno.</em></p> <p>You can check it out below.</p> <p>“The video features an unsullied look at Japanese culture," Friedman said. "'Undertow’ gives you a look at the Japan not usually seen by the typical Japanese exports like crazy TV shows, ultra-cute singers and anime. It shows a day in the life of Japan as the Japanese see it, not the stereotypical Western ‘Japanophile’ view of it.”</p> <p>As always, tell us what you think of the video in the comments below or on Facebook!</p> <p><strong><a href="">We also should mention that 'Inferno' was one of Guitar World's '50 Best Albums of 2014.' Check out the entire list here!</a></strong></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="/marty-friedman">Marty Friedman</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Marty Friedman Videos News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:28:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff Paul Stanley's Folgers Commercial Resurfaces Online — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2000, Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley appeared in a commercial for Folgers coffee.</p> <p>Although the commercial never aired, audio from the ad has circulated in recent years. But now—thanks to the wonders of YouTube—you can watch the entire ad.</p> <p>As Ultimate Classic Rock points out, the long-lost commercial was finally uploaded onto YouTube recently. In the clip, which you can watch below, Stanley walks around a circus where a trapeze artist is practicing her craft. </p> <p>"This is your wake up call / Time to reach and go for it all / Folgers stirs inside of me and I know what I can be," Stanley sings, mug in hand. "Limit is the sky / Hey world, watch me fly / The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup."</p> <p>Thoughts?</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="/paul-stanley">Paul Stanley</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/kiss">Kiss</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Kiss Paul Stanley Videos News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:10:38 +0000 Guitar World Staff