News http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/4/all en Classical Cellist Tina Guo Covers Slayer's "Raining Blood" — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/classical-cellist-tina-guo-covers-slayers-raining-blood-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Classical cellist Tina Guo will release a new album, <em>Cello Metal,</em> August 4.</p> <p>The album is noteworthy because it features covers of five heavy metal classics—each featuring a renowned guitarist. </p> <p>These include Black Sabbath's “Iron Maiden” featuring John 5, Metallica's “Sanitarium” featuring Al Di Meola, Iron Maiden's “The Trooper” featuring Nita Strauss, Slayer's “Raining Blood” featuring Wes Borland and Pantera's “Cowboys from Hell” featuring John Huldt. You can check out “Raining Blood” below.</p> <p>The album also features five original compositions, including “Child of Genesis,” “The God Particle,” “Eternal Night,” “Forbidden City” and “Queen Bee,” which can be heard (and seen) in the bottom video below. </p> <p>iTunes Pre-orders will start July 7 and will include an early download of “Iron Man.” You also can <a href="http://tinaguo.ecrater.com/p/22723070/pre-order-cello-metal-album">preorder the album here.</a></p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href="http://www.tinaguo.com/">tinaguo.com.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FyX2hcP183U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rIEdzaAcW-c" 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="/slayer">Slayer</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/classical-cellist-tina-guo-covers-slayers-raining-blood-video#comments cello Slayer Tina Guo Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 21:16:53 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24876 at http://www.guitarworld.com Metallica's Kirk Hammett: How to Play Like Stevie Ray Vaughan — Lesson http://www.guitarworld.com/kirk-hammett-how-play-stevie-ray-vaughan <!--paging_filter--><p>It’s definitely true that Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of my all-time favorite guitarists. </p> <p>Ironically, I was never really into Stevie while he was alive. </p> <p>Then, shortly after he died, I got hold of a video of him playing a live show and was just totally blown away by his timing, his tone, his feel, his vibrato, his phrasing—everything. Some people are just born to play guitar, and Stevie was definitely one of them. </p> <p>The VH1 <em>Behind the Music</em> program on Stevie showed some old footage of him playing guitar when he was a little kid—he was so good it made me want to cry.</p> <p>It’s difficult to emulate SRV’s tone because his hands and soul had so much to do with it. Having said that, in my opinion, if there’s a player whose sound you really admire, you might be able to emulate his tone by investigating the gear he used. </p> <p>For example, if you really want to get a sound similar to Stevie Ray’s, then buying a Les Paul and a high-gain Marshall stack definitely isn’t the way to go, because that’s not even close to what he used. </p> <p>However, you might get close if you buy a Strat—and probably even closer if you buy a vintage Strat [<em>Fender offers an SRV signature model Strat that’s based on his legendary “Number 1” guitar, which was a 1959 body with a 1962 Rosewood neck and a left-hand tremolo unit—GW Ed.</em>]. You’ll get even closer if you get a vintage Strat and a vintage Fender amp, because that’s what he used. I also know that Stevie used an old Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Vox Wah, too.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/kirksrv1.jpg" width="620" height="148" /></p> <p>Another real big factor in Stevie’s killer tone was the gauge of his strings and how hard he used to play. A lot of people try to do the SRV thing using a set of .009s, and you just can’t do what he did with slinky strings like that. Stevie used real heavy strings—.013 (high E) to .058 or even .060 (low E). So, to get even close you need to start with at least a set of .011s.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/kirksrv2.jpg" width="620" height="148" /></p> <p>In addition to using heavy strings, you also really need to attack the guitar if you want to get that big, percussive sound Stevie had. He was a super-aggressive player, and he didn’t really pick from his wrist—he picked with his entire arm! </p> <p>If you watch video footage of him, you’ll see exactly what I mean. Stevie also used a lot of downstrokes and a lot of that “string raking” thing too (more about this technique in a moment), which really added to the unique rhythm and lead sound that he got. Of the newer blues players out there, Kenny Wayne Shepherd definitely has that heavy string, high action, percussive attack thing happening—and he does it really well, in my opinion.</p> <p>Like all great players, Stevie’s style contained a bunch of cool nuances—some of which are really hard to nail. Take the intro riff to “Scuttle Buttin’ ” [Couldn’t Stand the Weather] for example. I’ve been messing around with it for years but I still can’t play it with Stevie’s feel. There’s a weird slide he does near the beginning that I just can’t get exactly right, no matter how hard I try. I can play the riff note-for-note, but there’s that little nuance that I just can’t get, and I’ve been chasing it for a long time.</p> <p><strong>String Raking</strong></p> <p>As I just mentioned, SRV often used a technique called string raking, which is a relatively easy way to spice up your lead playing. As you’re about to discover, it’s kind of like percussive sweep picking. <Strong>FIGURE 1</strong> shows a simple C minor blues lick that starts with a string rake. </p> <p>To play this, mute the A, D and G strings by lightly resting your left-hand index finger across them, then quickly rake your pick across them using a single, smooth downstroke that ends with the half-step bend at the 10th fret on the B string. Adding this simple move to the lick definitely adds extra emotion, attitude and emphasis to the lick—try playing it without the rake and you’ll hear what I mean.</p> <p><strong>Quarter-tone Bends</strong></p> <p>Another SRV move that definitely adds both bite and a nice bluesy tension to a solo is to bend certain notes just a tad so they end up sitting right between two notes. <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> is an A minor run that features this technique. As you can see, the second-to-last note you play, the C note at the 5th fret on the G string, is bent up a quarter step so that it sits right between C and C#. </p> <p>Great blues players do this kind of thing all the time, and Stevie was especially good at it—hell, he’d even add a quarter note bend to notes he’d already bent up by one or even two steps. <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> is a Stevie Ray style, bluesy, E minor lick that utilizes both of the techniques we’ve just discussed—string raking and quarter-tone bends.</p> <p><strong>Vibrato</strong></p> <p>Being able to shake a note in a way that compliments both the song and the mood of the solo is a highly expressive art that Stevie Ray Vaughan definitely perfected. I especially love his vibrato because it is so damned wide and muscular. </p> <p>Unfortunately, this technique is almost as difficult to describe as it is to do. So, to learn more about this, I recommend that you listen closely to his albums and also watch videos of him in action, zoning in on what he does with his left hand. Check out SRV’s <em>Live at the El Mocambo</em> video (below)—it’s a jaw-dropping experience and, if you watch closely, you’ll learn a lot.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PP0vzZk8Olg" 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="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/kirk-hammett-how-play-stevie-ray-vaughan#comments Big Four Kirk Hammett Metallica Sound and Fury Stevie Ray Vaughan Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:26:19 +0000 Kirk Hammett 10968 at http://www.guitarworld.com Martin Guitar to Introduce Four New Models at 2015 Summer NAMM http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-martin-guitar-to-present-four-new-models-at-2015-summer-namm <!--paging_filter--><p>Today C. F. Martin &amp; Co. announced the notable new models to be presented at the 2015 Summer NAMM show in Nashville July 9 through July 12. </p> <p>The iconic 182-year-old guitar manufacturer will unveil the 00-15E Retro and the LE-Cowboy-2015 alongside four other distinctive guitars. </p> <p>The addition of the 00-15E Retro to the successful Retro Series is the first 00-14 fret instrument in the product family. </p> <p>The LE-Cowboy-2015 features a design on the body of the guitar by famed watercolorist William Matthews.</p> <p>More details on all of the products featured at the showcase can be found below, and complete product specs can be found at <a href="http://www.martinguitar.com/new">martinguitar.com/new.</a></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-martin-guitar-to-present-four-new-models-at-2015-summer-namm#comments Acoustic Nation C. F. Martin & Co Martin News Summer NAMM 2015 Gear Acoustic Guitars News Gear Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:12:22 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24875 at http://www.guitarworld.com Orange Amplification to Open Nashville Showroom During Summer NAMM Show http://www.guitarworld.com/orange-amplification-open-nashville-showroom-during-summer-namm-show <!--paging_filter--><p>Orange Amplification will be opening the doors of its new showroom in Nashville during the Summer NAMM Show, which kicks off July 9 in Nashville. </p> <p>The new showroom is at 1310 Clinton St., Suite 105, Nashville, TN 37203, less than 3 miles from the Nashville Music Center and a few doors down from the Antique Archaeology showroom as featured in <em>American Pickers.</em></p> <p>Adrian Emsley, Orange Amplifications’ technical director, will be on hand to demonstrate the latest and existing products. He also will be available for video demonstrations and interviews. New products will include the Bax Bangeetar Pre-EQ Pedal, Rockerverb 50 &amp; 100 MKIII, OB1-500, the new Crush Amps, plus the Dual Dark 50.</p> <p>Joining him will be artist relations’ veteran Pat Foley, who will be running the Nashville showroom as part of his Artist Solutions Network. Pat brings to Orange more than 15 years experience and a wide knowledge of musical instruments having previously worked as a record producer, engineer, production and artist relations’ manager.</p> <p>After Summer NAMM, showroom visits will be by appointment only.</p> <p><strong>For more about Orange Amplification, visit <a href="https://orangeamps.com/">orangeamps.com.</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/orange-amplification-open-nashville-showroom-during-summer-namm-show#comments Orange Amplification News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:07:33 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24873 at http://www.guitarworld.com Eddie Van Halen on How He Created His Signature Sound Using MXR's Phase 90 and Flanger Pedals http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halen-how-he-created-his-signature-sound-using-mxrs-phase-90-and-flanger-pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>Earlier this year, in preparation for the 40th anniversary of <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/products/electronics/mxr">MXR,</a> its parent company, <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/">Dunlop Manufacturing,</a> took a survey to learn how guitarists perceive the pedal maker. </p> <p>One of the questions asked was, “Which player do you associate the most with the MXR brand?” The respondents chose Eddie Van Halen more than 60 percent of the time. Notably, the runner-up received fewer than half as many mentions. </p> <p>That result is, in part, due to MXR’s EVH Signature Series pedals, the EVH90 Phase 90 and the EVH117 Flanger, which became perennial best-selling MXR products upon their introductions in 2004 and 2007, respectively. But MXR pedals have remained an essential element of Van Halen’s sound since his band’s debut album was released in 1978. </p> <p>The swirling textures of a Phase 90 are heard on classic tunes like “Eruption,” “Atomic Punk,” “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love,” <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxZy3Tr2wQM">“Everybody Wants Some!!”</a> and “Drop Dead Legs” as well as new songs like “Outta Space” and “Stay Frosty,” and Van Halen’s distinctive and innovative use of the Flanger made an indelible impression on guitarists through songs like “Unchained,” “And the Cradle Will Rock…” and “Hear About It Later.” </p> <p>In addition to those two tone-enhancing mainstays, Ed has also relied upon pro-quality MXR tools like the Six-Band Graphic Equalizer and Smart Gate to keep his onstage tone full, aggressive and noise-free. His current onstage pedal board even includes an MXR Analog Chorus, which he uses for songs like “Pretty Woman” and “Little Guitars.” </p> <p>In celebration of MXR’s 40th anniversary milestone, it made perfect sense for <em>Guitar World</em> to talk with the company’s most influential player about how his MXR pedals have influenced him throughout the last four decades. </p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Did you use any pedals when you were a kid and learning to play?</strong></p> <p>A wah-wah was probably the first pedal that I ever tried. I probably borrowed it from a buddy. But I was from the school of plugging the guitar straight into the amp, so I didn’t use any pedals at first.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z_lwocmL9dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>How did you discover MXR pedals?</strong></p> <p>A really good friend of mine named Terry Kilgore and I were the so-called gunslingers in Pasadena back in the mid Seventies. We jammed together and would trade licks and have a lot of fun. We weren’t competitive at all. I went to one of his band rehearsals once, and that was when I first saw a Phase 90. </p> <p>He used to play a lot of Robin Trower stuff. He used the Phase 90 with the speed control set around the 2 o’clock setting to get more of that fast, swirling sound. I decided to pick one up for myself. I was into Robin Trower too, but we didn’t play any of his songs, so I used it with the control set between 9 and 10 o’clock. I still use it the same way today. I just locked into that one setting, and I’ve used it ever since.</p> <p><strong>Why do you prefer the slower speed setting?</strong></p> <p>I thought it sounded unique. I never heard that before. It didn’t sound like the phase shifters made by other companies, where the phase sweep is more heavy and pronounced, almost more like a flanger. The Phase 90 produces a very light change of the sound. It’s not an over-the-top effect. It’s very subtle. </p> <p><strong>You tended to kick on the Phase 90 during your solos.</strong></p> <p>I did that in the early days because it would make the solo pop. Suddenly it became a different sound, which helped me stand out in the mix, because back then, in the club days, we usually had lousy P.A. systems and lousy sound guys. It didn’t boost the signal, but it made it pop out so the solo was more audible. It enhanced the tone.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nU4IMFNgHa0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What led you to the MXR Flanger?</strong></p> <p>Obviously, I liked the Phase 90, so when MXR came out with the Flanger, I said, What the hell? I loved their stuff. Their pedals are built like a brick shit house, and they make great sounds, so I started putzing around with the Flanger too. I always use the same setting for everything, from the intro to “And the Cradle Will Rock…” to “Unchained,” with the exception of the setting I used on the intro to “Outta Love Again” and “Bullethead.” </p> <p>I set the three knobs on the left between 11 o’clock or 11:30, and the last knob on the right [regeneration] is all the way up. I might fine-tune the speed a little to match it to the tempo of the song, like on “Unchained” where the sweep goes perfectly with the riff. I was just goofing off and experimenting. It wouldn’t have sounded good to use the flanger all the way through. The riff just needed a little bit here and there. It’s a cool, tasty little tidbit that I threw in there to draw attention to the riff. </p> <p><strong>How did you decide to place the Flanger in front of the Phase 90 in your signal chain?</strong></p> <p>I have no idea! I think I just liked having the Phase 90 in the middle between the Flanger and the microphone on the stage. </p> <p><strong>How did these pedals influence your songwriting?</strong></p> <p>One good example is “And the Cradle Will Rock…” I had written that intro riff on the electric piano, and the guys thought that it needed something. I just hooked up the Flanger and pounded on the low keys. It was a great sound, and it worked. There wasn’t any rocket science to it. Even the Flanger on “Unchained” was totally by accident. </p> <p>For some reason I just thought that the Flanger sounded good there. The way it goes from the sweep up to the sweep down wasn’t planned. My normal setting just happened to fit the tempo of the song. I kicked it in and out, and when I heard the way the Flanger swept up and then down, I thought it sounded cool. Nothing I’ve ever done is really all that thought out. I’d just wing stuff, and if it sounded cool I would do it again.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1m-DYM7JvMA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Do you remember how you came up with the intro to “Atomic Punk”?</strong></p> <p>That basic idea for that sound originally came from “Light Up the Sky,” which I had written before “Atomic Punk,” even though “Light Up the Sky” appeared on our second record. After the guitar solo there is a drum break, and you can hear me rubbing my palm on the low E string. One day I decided to try that with the Phase 90. It was an interesting sound, and it turned into a cool song. I’ve never really ever heard that sound from anyone else, neither before nor after I did that. After the solo, I actually also used the Flanger for a quick bit. </p> <p><strong>How did those pedals become an essential part of your sound?</strong></p> <p>They enhance the sound of what I’m playing. In certain spots I would use them if I needed them. It wasn’t a set thing; I’d just wing it, and nine times out of 10 it would work. I have to have an idea for a song first, then I’ll putz around and add or take away things. It’s like making a steak: you have to have the steak first, then you can make it better by adding a little seasoning, but not too much because you want to taste the steak, not the seasoning. </p> <p><Strong>With the exception of your tape echo units, you used only MXR effects during the band’s early days. What inspired that brand loyalty?</strong></p> <p>I love the way that my MXR pedals sound, and I’ve never broken one. I tried a few stomp boxes by other companies back then, but most of them were cheaply made, the sound quality wasn’t consistent, and they’d break when you stepped on them. MXR pedals are very solidly built. They always do what they’re supposed to do, and they never falter. I’m pretty brutal on my gear. If I can’t break it, no one can!</p> <p><strong>Did you modify your pedals in any way?</strong></p> <p>I wouldn’t even know how to modify a pedal. I never had a reason to do that. A pedal does what it does. There are a lot of variables involved in trying to get the same sound as mine. First, you have a guitar. Then there are cables in between that and the type of amp you’re using. Then there are the settings on the amp’s controls. But the most important part is the player. I’ve said this often before: you could put nine guys in the studio playing through my rig set exactly the same and they’ll all sound different. The only modification to my pedals was the player! [laughs] It sounds that way because it’s me playing.</p> <p><strong>Have you ever plugged your stomp boxes into an amp’s effect loop or in between a preamp and power amp?</strong></p> <p>I’ve always plugged them straight into the amp’s input. It just sounds better that way. </p> <p><strong>How did your MXR EVH signature pedals develop?</strong></p> <p>The ICs [integrated circuits] that MXR used in the Seventies were no longer available. The factories were closed and the technology had changed. The challenge was making pedals that sounded the same as the originals using different parts. That took a while. </p> <p>The Phase 90 was pretty easy to duplicate, but the Flanger took a lot longer. We worked through a series of prototypes with Bob Cedro of MXR. Our yardstick was the “Unchained” setting. We had my original Seventies Flanger, and we would compare the prototypes to that. Bob would take notes, work on the circuit for another three weeks, and bring it back. We kept narrowing the gap until we got it. It took about nine months of going back and forth. I know exactly what I want, and I won’t stop until I get it.</p> <p><strong>Who came up with the preset button for the EVH Flanger?</strong></p> <p>It was a collaborative effort. Since there is one main setting that I use, we decided to make it easy for people to duplicate that. I could also use it to switch between my “Unchained” setting and the one I use on “Outta Love Again,” even though I never actually do that. [laughs] I still like to adjust the knobs myself instead of flipping a button. </p> <p><strong>Your most recent rig has an MXR Analog Chorus and Smart Gate. Why have you continued to stick with MXR pedals?</strong></p> <p>I would not be able to use my rig the way I play at that volume on channel three on my 5150 IIIS amp without the Smart Gate. They make great stuff. I have never, ever broken an MXR pedal. They deliver a product that does what it’s supposed to do. It’s that simple. </p> <p><strong>You seem to be exceptionally loyal to MXR pedals.</strong></p> <p>I established a great working relationship with Jimmy Dunlop and everyone at the company a long time ago. I’ll toss around ideas with them, and they’re really receptive to my input. I’m very close with them, and they take great care of me. </p> <p><em>Photo: Neil Zlozower/atlasicons.com</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="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/van-halen">Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halen-how-he-created-his-signature-sound-using-mxrs-phase-90-and-flanger-pedals#comments Dunlop Manufacturing Eddie Van Halen Jim Dunlop MXR November 2014 Effects Interviews News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:44:16 +0000 Chris Gill 22411 at http://www.guitarworld.com "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World" — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/battle-best-female-guitarists-world-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Someone (or something?) named <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkPNFpl2SiZ5q3Q8fcaVuA">Alizee Defan</a> runs a YouTube channel dedicated to incredible female musicians.</p> <p>At her YouTube homepage, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkPNFpl2SiZ5q3Q8fcaVuA">which you can check out here,</a> you'll find videos lauding great female drummers, singers and—of course—guitarists.</p> <p>Alizee Defan recently created two videos dubbed "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World," and you can check them out below. </p> <p>True to their titles, the clips certainly do feature some fine fretwork courtesy of a host of guitarists, including <a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs9PVdWVkxmNOQdLaTVGlrg">Jessica Gardlund</a> (pictured above) and, well, lots of other people whose names we can't seem to locate in the clips (although Nita Strauss and Courtney Cox make an appearance, as does French guitarist Tina S. You'll also see bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, who is not a guitarist).</p> <p>Below, we've included both videos. The top video is "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World, Part 1." Below that is "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World, Round 2."</p> <p>As always, enjoy! And feel free to comment ... (and remember we didn't make these videos).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xHKwukxeBRw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vSjwNwWuz8o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/battle-best-female-guitarists-world-video#comments Courtney Cox Jessica Gardlund Nita Strauss Tina S. Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:31:22 +0000 Damian Fanelli 21775 at http://www.guitarworld.com Not Fade Away: Grateful Dead, Trey Anastasio at July 5 Fare Thee Well Show — Concert Review http://www.guitarworld.com/not-fade-away-grateful-dead-trey-anastasio-fare-thee-well-july-5-show-concert-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Last night’s final Fare Thee Well show; the final joint appearance, ever, by the Grateful Dead’s "core four" of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann—if you take them at their word—began and ended the same way: with a group bow and a huge roar from a giant crowd.</p> <p>It was that kind of night: emotionally heightened, with cheers and tears around every corner for the highly amped fans.</p> <p>The good vibes were palpable throughout Chicago's Soldier Field and inseparable from the music. </p> <p>Spending three days in record crowds of up to 71,000 (last night’s released number) was an overwhelming experience. As my friend said, there was as much community feeling as in any crowd ever. No one paid for me to be here. I bought my tickets, paid for my travel and joined the masses entering and exiting like rats in a maze. And like everyone else there, I was invested on many levels. None of us walked out feeling cheated.</p> <p>After the bow and crowd roar, the first set started out strong with “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider,” songs people have been waiting for every day. It all clicked, with Phish's Trey Anastasio stepping to the fore and Weir smiling like the Cheshire Cat as he stepped to the mic to sing his part of the “I Know You Rider” chorus harmony. During an excellent “Estimated Prophet” that followed, Weir was jumping around as he engaged Anastasio.</p> <p>The strong, in-sync playing continued throughout the first set. Anastasio has established great rapport with keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, with the three often engaging in call and response, harmony and counterpoint. </p> <p>“Built to Last” was nicely played, but remains a rather slight song in my estimation. “Samson and Delilah” was strong. “Mountains of the Moon” was musically excellent, but Lesh’s lead vocal flattened the melody and… well, it was neither the first nor last time a song was musically superb but vocally lacking. </p> <p>It was also, I believe, the first time that song had been played since 1969. I understand that pulling something like that off is part of the Dead ethos, but on the final night, I’d have taken something like Bruce Hornsby singing “Loser,” whether or not they played it last week in Santa Clara. Emphasizing not repeating a song in a five-night run makes no sense to me at a time like this. </p> <p>The set closed strongly with “Throwing Stones,” with the “Ashes, Ashes” chorus a giant sing-along each time through and a very nice jam in the middle, involving everyone.</p> <p><strong>SET 1</strong></p> <p>"China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider" | "Estimated Prophet" | "Built to Last" | "Samson and Delilah" | "Mountains of the Moon" > "Throwing Stones"</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-06%20at%201.46.28%20PM.png" width="620" height="403" alt="Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.46.28 PM.png" /><br /> <br /><br /> The second set—and perhaps the final in the Dead’s 50-year history—began with fireworks. Literally, a gorgeous, extended display over the stadium that made clear again that this was not a normal night. And after a nice, swirly intro, the band kicked into “Truckin’,” a song that just HAD to be repeated, and it was a great, hard-driving version. </p> <p>“What a long strange trip it’s been” was greeted with roars and mass sing-alongs every time through. </p> <p>The song wound down into a little jam that segued beautifully into “Cassidy,” which featured another stellar extended jam, highlighted by some nifty harmony playing by Weir and Anastasio and sweet interplay between Trey and Hornsby. The jam went a bit atonal, before Lesh took the lead pumping it back up and leading straight back into another, final verse. The strong start continued right into “Althea.” This aggregation does slinky really well and showed it again here. Trey sang the song beautifully and Hornsby helped it swing.</p> <p>As the band came down, some familiar piano notes tinkled and the crowd roared: “Terrapin Station” was under way. Lesh took the first verses, Weir the latter. And while neither made anyone forget about Jerry Garcia, it all worked. The whole suite was beautifully rendered, superbly played and emotionally resonant.</p> <p>Next up was a Space > Drums segment that was highly entertaining. I gladly squatted on the floor, taking a load off my legs, and looked up away from the stage watching Bill and Mickey do their mad scientist thing on the enormous Jumbotron on the stadium’s far side. That was quite the first half of a set. </p> <p>And then, of course, things got a little weird. Because the Dead need to get weird; they have a perverse sense of equilibrium. It’s just part of their DNA.</p> <p>They came out of Space and landed on “Unbroken Chain,” another Phil lead vocal. The song was strong, but as the tension seemed to build to a resolution that could only be a hard rocker, the group went into the molasses-slow “Days Between,” one of Garcia and Robert Hunter’s final compositions. Again, this was not on most people’s list of essential Dead listening, but players gonna play.</p> <p>We finally got the hard-rocking resolution next with “Not Fade Away,” which had the whole stadium singing along and jumping up and down. I looked up and saw the entire upper concrete structure bouncing, a site I will never forget. As the band walked off stage, the crowd continued the rhythmic five-beat clapping rhythm and kept singing the “Not Fade Away” chorus. </p> <p>Finally, Lesh returned for his donor rap and everyone returned for “Touch of Grey” that felt inevitable, as retrospective photos flashed on the screen and the audience cheered every shot of Jerry. Trey took the first vocals, then Weir took over. </p> <p>The band returned with Weir on acoustic and the rest of the frontline sans instrument for a quiet, guitar and piano “Attics of My Life” as the retrospective photos rolled through. Photos of deceased members and associates flashed by: Ken Kesey, Keith Godchaux (and the very much alive but absent donna), Brent Mydland (to great cheers), Vince Welnick… and then onto new Jay Blakesberg portraits of the current members, in this order: Phil, Bill, Chimenti, Hornsby, Mickey, Trey and Bob. God knows what went into choosing the order; I’ll let someone else sort that out.<br /> And then, finally, it was over and we were back where we started: a full stadium stomping, hooting and hollering as the band stood in the middle of the stage alternating hugs and bows. </p> <p>The masses filed out, shoulder to shoulder, a giant crowd moving with purpose and total peace through a maze. </p> <p>In a tunnel near the final exit, someone started a rhythmic five-note clap and everyone picked up and we all sang together: “Not, not, not fade away.”</p> <p><strong>SET 2</strong></p> <p>"Truckin'" | "Cassidy" | "Althea" | "Terrapin Station" | "Space > Drums" | "Unbroken Chain" | "Days Between" | "Not Fade Away" | <em>Encore:</em> "Touch of Grey" | "Attics of My Life"</p> <p><em>Photos: Jay Blakesberg</em></p> <p><em>Alan Paul is the author of the Ebook <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Reckoning-Conversations-Grateful-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B010EDXYZK">Reckoning: Conversations with the Grateful Dead</a></em> and the Top 10 <em>New York Times</em> bestseller <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/One-Way-Out-History-Brothers-ebook/dp/B00F1R9E36/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1436200980&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=One+Way+Out%3A+The+Inside+History+of+the+Allman+Brothers+Band">One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.</a></em></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="/grateful-dead">Grateful Dead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/not-fade-away-grateful-dead-trey-anastasio-fare-thee-well-july-5-show-concert-review#comments Fare Thee Well Grateful Dead Review show review The Grateful Dead Trey Anastasio Blogs News Features Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:15:18 +0000 Alan Paul 24872 at http://www.guitarworld.com Exclusive Studio Tour with Buckcherry's Keith Nelson and Josh Todd — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-studio-tour-buckcherrys-keith-nelson-and-josh-todd-video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this exclusive <em>Guitar World</em> video, Buckcherry's Josh Todd and Keith Nelson take you on an exclusive tour of their studio. </p> <p>Check it out below and tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook!</p> <p>Buckcherry will release their seventh studio album, <em>Rock ‘n’ Roll</em> August 21 via F-Bomb Records/Caroline.</p> <p><em>Rock ‘n’ Roll</em>, the Los Angeles quintet—Josh Todd (vocals), Keith Nelson (guitar), Stevie D. (guitar), Xavier Muriel (drums) and Kelly LeMieux (bass)—uphold the commandments of rock music with an arsenal of new anthems primed to explode on impact and teeming with riotous energy, sexy swagger and primal chops intact. </p> <p>“There’s been so much talk about how rock ‘n’ roll is dead and all of this bullshit,” Todd says. “The funny thing is, that’s been going on since we put out our first record in 1999. We wanted to call the new album <em>Rock ‘n’ Roll</em> because this is what we’ve been doing our whole lives. We focused on making a record that encompasses all of what we are. You get every flavor of Buckcherry.”</p> <p>You can pre-order <em>Rock ‘n’ Roll</em> now at <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rock-n-roll/id996734817?app=itunes">iTunes,</a> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XY86446?tag=smarturl-20">Amazon MP3,</a> <a href="https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=B72jslbltqgzw3dqfszgbvxnea4">Google Play</a> and <a href="http://buckcherry.shop.bravadousa.com/page/rocknroll">Bravado.</a></p> <p><strong>Catch Buckcherry live this summer on their North American tour. Additional dates for July through September will be announced soon. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/buckcherry">Follow the band on Facebook.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ot1A8qU8Fdk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>2015 Buckcherry Tour Dates:</strong><br /> July 18 - El Paso, TX - Texas Showdown Festival<br /> July 25 - Royalton, MN - Halfway Jam<br /> July 31 - Kansas City, MO - KC Live!<br /> Aug 1 - Maryland Heights, MO - Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre<br /> Aug 6 - Sturgis, SD - Buffalo Chip<br /> Aug 15 - Longview, TX - Ink Life Tattoo Convention<br /> Sep 19 - Menomonie, WI - Stout Ale House</p> <p><strong><em>Rock ‘n’ Roll</em> Track List:</strong><br /> 01. "Bring It On Back"<br /> 02. "Tight Pants"<br /> 03. "Wish to Carry On"<br /> 04. "The Feeling Never Dies"<br /> 05. "Cradle"<br /> 06. "The Madness"<br /> 07. "Wood"<br /> 08. "Rain’s Falling"<br /> 09. "Sex Appeal"<br /> 10. "Get With It"</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="/buckcherry">Buckcherry</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-studio-tour-buckcherrys-keith-nelson-and-josh-todd-video#comments Buckcherry Josh Todd Keith Nelson Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:17:42 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24866 at http://www.guitarworld.com 'SNL' Guitarist Jared Scharff Adds "Unnecessary Shredding" to Charli XCX's "Boom Clap" — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/snl-guitarist-jared-scharff-adds-unnecessary-shredding-charli-xcxs-boom-clap-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em><a href="http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live">Saturday Night Live</a></em> guitarist <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeP2X5pVHCRpYARTTg7jzrg">Jared Scharff</a> has a new web series called <em>Unnecessary Shredding.</em></p> <p>In it, Scharff adds lots and lots of tasteful shredding to songs that are devoid of shredding—if not devoid of guitars, period.</p> <p>In his first video, posted to the interwebs July 1, Scharff adds some unnecessary shredding to "Boom Clap" by <a href="http://www.charlixcxmusic.com/">Charli XCX.</a></p> <p>"I love the melody and production so much," Scharff writes. "As soon as I heard this I feel in love with the song. I'm a sucker for big pop melodies with a big beat.</p> <p>"I played a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top with an original Digitech Whammy 1 through a vintage Sixties Vox AC30."</p> <p>Opinions 'n' such?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Cca6qm1CERg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ek1f0Sb7v70" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/snl-guitarist-jared-scharff-adds-unnecessary-shredding-charli-xcxs-boom-clap-video#comments boom clap Charli XCX Jared Scharff Saturday Night Live SNL Unnecessary Shredding Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:15:37 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24871 at http://www.guitarworld.com Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Performs on Specially Designed Throne in Washington, DC — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/foo-fighters-dave-grohl-performs-specially-designed-throne-washington-dc-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Over the weekend (July 4, to be exact), Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl returned to the stage for the first time after breaking his leg during a gig in June. </p> <p>Playing at Washington, D.C's Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Foo Fighters topped the bill at a gig in celebration of their 20th anniversary.</p> <p>Grohl performed on a giant custom-made throne decorated with guitars and amps. Prior to performing "Big Me," he described how he designed the throne. </p> <p>"A funny thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago," he said. "We were on tour and we were in Europe, playing a gig in Sweden. It was a beautiful night just like today, a big-ass stadium full of people. We started playing our set, it was all good. Then guess what? I fell off the fucking stage.</p> <p>"I went and had a bit of surgery… I thought 'Oh shit, we have to cancel shows. I don't like cancelling shows'… So I took a couple oxycodones and drew a picture… I was high as a fucking kite. I said 'I ain't missing this show for the world, you build me this throne'". </p> <p>Here it is!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qyTBzg3Djcg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sUxLU9jN_5A" 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="/foo-fighters">Foo Fighters</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/foo-fighters-dave-grohl-performs-specially-designed-throne-washington-dc-video#comments broken leg Dave Grohl Foo Fighters throne Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:54:24 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24870 at http://www.guitarworld.com Eddie Van Halen's Epic Guitar Solo from July 5 Tour Opener in Seattle — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halens-epic-guitar-solo-july-5-tour-opener-seattle-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Van Halen kicked off their 2015 summer tour in Seattle last night, July 5.</p> <p>Their set, which you can check out below, was full of tunes that haven’t been played live in decades—or ever.</p> <p>In fact, they started off with “Light Up the Sky” from 1979's <em>Van Halen II</em>. It hasn’t been performed in 35 years.</p> <p>The night also featured live debuts of “Drop Dead Legs” and “Dirty Movies,” both of which you can watch below. </p> <p>Of course, a slew of obvious hits were there, including "Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Panama,” "Hot for Teacher" and "Jump." Perhaps best of all, fans were treated to a truly epic guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen, and you can watch the entire thing below (top video).</p> <p>Van Halen’s summer tour continues through October 2, and you can see all the dates <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/van-halen-announce-2015-north-american-tour">right here.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tl4gqJ3FxC4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h6kbJzQS4II" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/42SW2laAKVo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nTxEKGGJUuo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zw2ZgNxWI4U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Van Halen July 5, 2015, Setlist</strong></p> <p>“Light Up the Sky” (last played live in 1980)<br /> “Runnin’ With the Devil”<br /> “Romeo Delight”<br /> “Everybody Wants Some!!”<br /> “Drop Dead Legs” (live debut)<br /> “Feel Your Love Tonight” (last played live in 1998)<br /> “Somebody Get Me a Doctor”<br /> “She’s the Woman”<br /> “China Town”<br /> “I’ll Wait”<br /> Drum Solo<br /> “Little Guitars”<br /> “Dance the Night Away”<br /> “Beautiful Girls”<br /> “Women in Love”<br /> “Hot for Teacher”<br /> “In a Simple Rhyme / Growth” (last played live in 1978)<br /> “Dirty Movies” (live debut)<br /> “Ice Cream Man”<br /> “Unchained”<br /> “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”<br /> Guitar Solo<br /> “You Really Got Me”<br /> “Panama”<br /> “Jump”</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="/van-halen">Van Halen</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halens-epic-guitar-solo-july-5-tour-opener-seattle-video#comments Eddie Van Halen Van Halen Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:18:03 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24868 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the <em>Ed Sullivan Show</em>), <em>Guitar World</em> celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.</p> <p>The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work. </p> <p>In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement. </p> <p>For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>50. Across the Universe</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be… Naked</em> (2003)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. </p> <p>He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, though overdubs of strings, background vocals and electric guitar obscured the delicacy and intimacy of his performance. </p> <p>The release of <em>Let It Be… Naked</em> in 2003 set the record straight, offering a bare-bones acoustic mix of the track that even Lennon might have approved of. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eOfRD8zO2MQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>49. Flying</strong><br /> <strong><em>Magical Mystery Tour</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>The strongly pulsing tremolo on the rhythm guitar makes the instrument sound as if it’s riding slightly behind the beat, giving the song a druggy languor appropriate to its title. (In the film <em>Magical Mystery Tour</em>, “Flying” accompanies scenes shot high above the clouds). </p> <p>The crystalline acoustic guitar that appears about 13 seconds in lends the song a country vibe, culminating in a tasty double-stop lick that lazily meanders down the fretboard. Heavenly.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>48. Helter Skelter</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>It’s not a stretch to say the Beatles prefigured heavy metal’s doomier side with this 1968 Paul McCartney track. </p> <p>For this recording, McCartney set aside his bass duties and strapped on his Fender Esquire to deliver the track’s brash rhythm work, while Harrison performed the searing leads on Lucy, the 1957 Les Paul Standard gifted to him by Eric Clapton. </p> <p>But the best work here is performed by Lennon on, of all things, a bass (either a Fender Bass VI). His sloppy but inspired playing propels the song along and provides its main rhythmic interest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QWuXmfgXVxY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>47. Yesterday</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s melancholy, acoustic guitar–driven ballad marked a symbolic, pivotal point in the Beatles’ career as a band in that it was their first song in which any of the members—three in this case—did not participate in the performance. </p> <p>McCartney tuned his guitar down one whole step for this song (low to high, D G C F A D) and performed it as if it were in the key of G, with the detuning transposing it down to the concert key of F. </p> <p>This may have been made for the sake of putting the vocal melody in a more optimal key for McCartney; it certainly made the bass notes sound deeper and richer, while the slackened string tension contributed to the thicker texture of the chord voicings.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>46. For You Blue</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Written by Harrison, this seemingly straightforward blues workout in D stands out as a bouncy oddball in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>Not only is it one of the band’s few forays into 12-bar-blues territory; it also finds Lennon stepping into the uncommon role of lead guitarist, supplying a spirited solo and fills on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap-steel guitar in open D tuning. </p> <p>To make things even weirder, he uses a shotgun shell as a slide. In addition, there’s no bass on the recording; McCartney performed on piano and the song received no overdubs.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>45. Free As a Bird</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Released in 1995 as a post-mortem Beatles track built upon a John Lennon home demo, “Free As a Bird” makes a valiant attempt to resurrect the spirit of the group’s glory days. </p> <p>While some will quibble about the lackluster songwriting, it’s hard to find fault with Harrison’s stinging slide work. Starting off with a few restrained lines, Harrison lets his playing soar on the solo, the one moment in which the song truly takes flight. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J4PGoJuKvTM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>44. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)</strong><br /> <Strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Recorded quickly in a single session, this rocking reprise of the album’s opening track features some fiery lead guitar work from Harrison. </p> <p>Written as a bookend to the album-opening title track, the reprise is both faster and a whole step lower than the original, although halfway through it modulates up a whole step. (Modulation is a technique rarely found in the Beatles compositions, “And I Love Her” being another example from the group’s catalog [see entry 30].)<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>43. I Will</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This quiet love song, written by McCartney, features only him on lead and harmony vocals, two acoustic guitars and scat-sung “vocal bass,” with Lennon and Starr providing percussion. </p> <p>McCartney overdubbed, on top of his main, strummed guitar part, a second, melodic part played in a rockabilly lead style reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist Scotty Moore, picking out syncopated, ringing melodies built around a first-position F6 chord shape with decorative, bluesy hammer-ons from the minor third to the major third. </p> <p>Years later, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton played a similar line on the chorus tags to “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>42. The Ballad of John and Yoko</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>In this 1969 musical telling of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding and honeymoon, Lennon’s acoustic strumming sets up the song’s infectious rhythm, while his electric guitar fills play call-and-response with his vocals. </p> <p>The track was written and recorded in April of that year, fresh off the sessions for <em>Let It Be</em>, in which the group attempted to get back to their rock and roll roots. That might have inspired Lennon’s musical direction with this track, which he closes with an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Dorsey Burnett’s “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes,” which the Beatles covered early in their career. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QY-ftTvsC7M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>41. Yer Blues</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Lennon wrote this 1968 song as a rude sendup of the electric blues boom that had taken London by storm, but the suicidal feelings he expresses were a sincere articulation of how he felt trapped both in his unhappy first marriage and in the Beatles. </p> <p>Likewise, his primitive two-note solo could be regarded as mocking disdain for the genre’s slick white imitators, but he plays the riff until it’s as raw as his emotions. He would pursue this protopunk style of guitar playing further on his 1970 solo debut, <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6dDw_3H0XKg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>40. Help!</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em></strong> </p> <p>The Beatles’ mix of acoustic rhythms and electric guitar leads from 1964 through the end of 1965 helped greatly to define the sound of folk-rock. </p> <p>Written in the midst of his “Bob Dylan phase,” “Help!” shows Lennon continuing to divulge the vulnerability express on previous songs like “No Reply” and “I’m a Loser,” with the acoustic guitar providing the requisite balladeer instrumentation. </p> <p>Here, Lennon robustly strums out the rhythm on his 1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 12-string, with Harrison contributing jangly lead lines and three-note descending passages on the choruses with his Gretsch Tennessean.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>39. Dear Prudence</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This 1968 composition is arguably one of Lennon’s greatest achievements as a guitarist and demonstrates his development at the time into a bona fide acoustic fingerpicker. </p> <p>Having recently learned a basic eighth-note Travis-picking-like pattern from British pop star Donovan, Lennon put the newly learned pattern to great use in compositions like “Julia,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and, most brilliantly, “Dear Prudence,” applying it to an ethereal modal chord progression he invented, which he performed in drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E), using the two open D strings (the fourth and sixth) as ringing drones, or pedal tones throughout the majority of the song. </p> <p>The thumb-picking pattern goes fifth string, fourth string, sixth string, fourth string and repeats consistently through the changing chords, interrupted briefly at the end of each verse.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>38. If I Needed Someone</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists. </p> <p>Case in point: George Harrison’s 12-string riff on “If I Needed Someone.” Played in a second-position D-chord shape with a capo on the seventh fret, the line was based on Jim McGuinn’s chiming guitar work in the Byrds’ mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney.” </p> <p>In the mid Sixties, Harrison and McGuinn had formed a mutual-admiration society: “If I Needed Someone” featured Harrison’s second Rickenbacker 360/12, a rounded-off 1965 model that resembled McGuinn’s 1964 Rickenbacker 360/12, which McGuinn bought after seeing Harrison’s first Rick in the film <em>A Hard Day’s Night.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jjm28jTZDw8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>37. Day Tripper</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Lennon and McCartney’s hip-shaking 1965 hit is a thinly veiled ode to “weekend hippies” who embrace the drug counterculture when they’re not pursuing their careers. </p> <p>McCartney referred to this song and “Drive My Car” (recorded just days earlier) as “songs with jokes in” them, but there’s nothing laughable about this track’s swaggering guitar riff, borrowed from the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” and given a liberal dose of self-assured attitude. </p> <p>Lennon reportedly plays the solo, most likely using his Sonic Blue Fender Strat, while Harrison’s guitar parts were probably recorded with his Gretsch Tennessean.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>36. Think for Yourself</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>The Beatles had been interested in creating distorted guitar tones since at least 1964, when they attempted unsuccessfully to use a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “She Loves You” and “Don’t Bother Me” (see entry 23). </p> <p>They were more successful with Harrison’s excellent 1965 composition “Think for Yourself,” for which McCartney plugged his Hofner bass into an early version of the Tone Bender fuzz pedal, created by electronics designer Gary Hurst and eventually marketed by Vox. The result is the harsh-sounding “lead bass” tone that bobs menacingly—and memorably—alongside Harrison’s lead vocal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L0Rd1KVfdEc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>35. Mother Nature’s Son</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Throughout this song’s verses, McCartney fools you into thinking that he’s playing more than he actually is by filling out the harmony with his vocal melody. </p> <p>For example, while the ear hears a very strong D-to-G movement in the first two bars of the verse, all McCartney is actually playing is D to Dsus4; his vocal melody intimates the G chord by moving to B, that chord’s third. The verse also features, in the third and fourth bars, brilliant oblique motion—where one voice moves up or down while one or more other voices remain stationary. </p> <p>By moving the root of a B minor chord, B, down to the minor seventh, A, and then down to the sixth, Gs, while keeping the notes D and F# constant above this descending line, McCartney implies a slick progression of Bm D (or Bm7) E9. He does the same thing at the very beginning of the song.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>34. Girl</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Lennon conjures up this song’s dreamy, Gypsy-like reverie by capoing his Gibson J-160E at the eighth fret, making the guitar sound similar to a mandola. </p> <p>Harrison furthers the vibe on the third verse, playing a mandolin-like melody on Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic. But the crowning touch comes at the coda, when a third acoustic guitar enters, playing a Greek-style melody that’s plucked at the bridge with sharp strokes, making it sound like a bouzouki and further emphasizing the song’s smoky, old-world aura. </p> <p>The British group the Hollies would copy the effect on their hit “Bus Stop,” recorded at Abbey Road some six months later. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GlcuRGXiwNw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>33. Birthday</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Like “I Feel Fine” and “Day Tripper” (see entries 12 and 37), “Birthday” delivers a classic and memorable guitar riff. Whereas those previous two songs veered from the traditional 12-bar blues formula, “Birthday” hews closely to it during its verses. </p> <p>McCartney and Lennon wrote the song in the studio during an evening session, which included a recess during which the band went back to McCartney’s house to watch a TV broadcast of the 1956 teen film <em>The Girl Can’t Help It</em>. The soundtrack—which included performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent and other Beatles’ favorites—undoubtedly contributed to the song’s raucous vintage rock-and-roll vibe.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>32. One After 909</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>This tune had been in the Beatles’ song bag for years, surfacing first as a rickety blues-style shuffle at a March 1963 recording session.</p> <p>By the time they tackled it again during their January 1969 rooftop performance at Apple, the Beatles were nearly finished as a group, but they were at long last able to breathe life into the tune, revving it up with a rock and roll beat and laying into it like the seasoned performers they were. Harrison delivers a stellar country-rock solo, using his rosewood Telecaster. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IVN9ROEZIkE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>31. Norwegian Wood</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This acoustic-rock masterpiece, written by Lennon, is not unlike “Here Comes the Sun,” in that it’s a folky chord-melody type of accompaniment that could easily stand on its own as a solo instrumental, with the vocal melody conveniently woven into the chords.</p> <p>However, unlike “Here Comes the Sun” (see entry 4), the melody sits in the middle, rather than on top, of the chord voicings, and is performed with more full strumming in a flowing 6/8 meter. Lennon performed “Norwegian Wood” as if the song were in the key of D, the verses being in D major and the bridge sections switching the parallel minor key of D minor, and used a capo at the second fret to transpose everything up a whole step, to E major and E minor, respectively.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>30. And I Love Her</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It’s overshadowed by the Beatles’ more innovative songs, but “And I Love Her” demonstrates a leap in the group’s harmonic sophistication and musical arrangement skills. </p> <p>Harrison performs delicate arpeggiations on his 1964 Ramírez nylon-string classical acoustic, while McCartney subtly propels the song along with his soul-inflected bass work. A modulation from the key of E to F on the solo ramps up the drama and keeps the song from flagging. The final chord, D major—the relative minor of F—delivers surprise and emotional uplift that allows the song to end hopefully, in keeping with the optimism of the lyrics.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>29. Not Guilty</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Recorded for 1968’s White Album but unissued until the release of <em>Anthology 1</em> in 1995, this Harrison track was a lyrical response to his fellow Beatles, who felt that their trip to India at his urging to study transcendental meditation had been a waste of time. </p> <p>It’s hard to understand why this track was abandoned, especially after the group devoted more than 100 attempts to the rhythm track. Harrison’s guitar work is especially superb, from his sinewy lead lines to his sizzling tone, achieved by placing his amp in one of Abbey Road’s echo chambers and cranking it up for maximum effect, while he performed, safe from the volume, in the studio control room. </p> <p>Harrison eventually re-recorded this song for his self-titled 1979 album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bwLk6xLCzio" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>28. Old Brown Shoe</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Dishonorably relegated to the B-side of the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (see entry 42), this 1969 Harrison composition is one of his best. His stinging guitar work is at times reminiscent of Clapton, especially on the solo, where he plays his rosewood Telecaster through a Leslie cabinet, his preferred effect of the period. </p> <p>In addition to guitar, Harrison plays organ and, by his own account, the buoyant bass line. “That was me going nuts,” he said of the bass work in a 1987 interview. “I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>27. Michelle</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Another great example of McCartney’s innate gift for songwriting/composing, “Michelle” features, in its intro and elsewhere throughout the song, the previously mentioned standard “minor-drop” progression heard in “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “All My Loving” (see entries 7 and 16). </p> <p>The song also includes some rather clever and original harmonic twists and turns, such as the use of, in the second bar of the verse progression, the dominant-seven-sharp-nine (7#9) chord pointed out earlier in regard to Harrison’s “Till There Was You” solo, which, in both songs, is voiced “widely,” low to high: 1(root)-5-3(10)-b7-#9. Lennon, by the way, would later also employ this same chord voicing in “Sexy Sadie,” a chord that he, McCartney and Harrison all learned early on from a friend and local guitar-hero in Liverpool named Jim Gretty and dubbed “the Gretty chord.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>26. Cry for a Shadow</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>In 1961, unknown and looking for a break, the Beatles supported British rock and roll singer Tony Sheridan on a recording date in Hamburg. While there, they recorded two tracks of their own, including this Harrison-Lennon guitar-instrumental written in the style of U.K. pop group the Shadows (hence, the title). </p> <p>The recording provides early evidence of Lennon’s steady and dynamic rhythm guitar work, as well as McCartney’s melodic skills on the bass, which he had just begun playing. But it’s Harrison who shines, making the most of the trite melody with double-stop licks and generous use of the whammy bar on his Strat-style Futurama electric guitar. </p> <p>He ends the song with a major sixth—C6, specifically—a voicing that would become a signature Beatles coda on songs like “She Loves You,” “No Reply” and “Help!” (see entry 40).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/m1VMr29eUeo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>25. Hey Bulldog</strong><br /> <strong><em>Yellow Submarine</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s lead guitar work had characterized most of the great solo guitar moments on the Beatles’ records during 1966 and 1967. But with “Hey Bulldog,” recorded in February 1968, Harrison came charging back with a guitar solo that’s heavier and hairier than just about anything in the group’s catalog. </p> <p>For the song, he played his red 1964 SG Standard, using a fuzz box (most likely his Tone Bender) to give his sound a snarl befitting the song’s title. Recalls engineer Geoff Emerick, “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream." Equally outstanding is Paul McCartney’s buoyant bass work, which is practically a lead instrument on its own.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>24. I’ve Just Seen a Face</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Written by McCartney and musically inspired by the skiffle movement that was popular in the U.K. in the late Fifties and early Sixties, this up-tempo knee-slapper features Lennon, Harrison and McCartney all playing acoustic guitars, with Ringo Starr providing percussion (brushed snare drum and overdubbed maracas). </p> <p>The lyrical instrumental intro features a bass-line chord-melody, played (most likely by Harrison) on a 12-string, which serves to octave-double the bass-line melody, over which McCartney and Lennon flatpick a single-note melody based on double-stops, mostly sixth intervals, played up and down the G and high E strings in a quick, unbroken triplet rhythm, beautifully outlining the underlying chords with ascending and descending note pairs.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>23. Don’t Bother Me</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s first solo songwriting effort for the Beatles sounds like nothing else in the group’s catalog. With its moody minor chords, propulsive drum beat and tremolo guitar, this 1964 track has more in common with California surf music than it does the American rock and soul that inspired the Beatles’ music at the time. </p> <p>The tremolo—provided by Harrison’s Vox AC30—gives the song an air of menace appropriate to the song’s title, and its use here marks the first time the group used an electronic effect on a finished recording.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>22. Octopus’s Garden</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>By 1969, George Harrison had put down his sitar to focus on his first love, the guitar. The results are apparent on <em>Abbey Road</em>, which features his most fluid and confident playing to date. </p> <p>On “Octopus’s Garden,” one of Ringo Starr’s rare Beatles-era tunes, Harrison calls on his country/rockabilly influences for the first time since the band’s pre-psychedelic days. The intro is a slick masterpiece in the major pentatonic scale, the same territory Dickey Betts would later visit on “Blue Sky.” The song’s fun, twangy solo could sit snugly among James Burton’s work on Merle Haggard’s late-Sixties albums.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CUFcfXgW_dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>21. Till There Was You</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>With this charming early cover of a love song from the popular 1957 Broadway musical play and 1962 feature film <em>The Music Man</em>, the Beatles demonstrated their stylistic versatility as they authoritatively breeze through the song’s harmonically sophisticated, jazz-like chord progression. </p> <p>Harrison’s solo break conveys a musical savvy on par with that of a veteran jazz improviser, as he strongly outlines the underlying chord progression, producing a perfect melodic counterpoint with the bass line by using arpeggios and targeting non-root chord tones, such as the third or ninth, on each chord change. </p> <p>Also impressive is his incorporation of two-, three- and four-note chords into what would otherwise be a predominantly single-note solo to create jazz-guitar-style chord-melody phrases, as well as his superimposition over the five chord, C7, of a daringly dissonant Gb7#9 chord (voiced, low to high, Gb Db Bb E A), a trick known in the language of jazz as a tritone substitution. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>20. Good Morning Good Morning</strong><br /> <strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: There aren’t many ferocious, brash and screaming guitar solos in the Beatles’ catalog. That said, Paul McCartney’s razor-sharp solo on “Good Morning Good Morning” is all that and a bag of chips. </p> <p>The 13-second-long treble fest, played on a Fender Esquire through a Selmer amp, features a strong East Indian vibe, perhaps a nod to George Harrison’s burgeoning fascination with Indian religion and music. </p> <p>Like its stylistic predecessor, McCartney’s “Taxman” guitar solo (see entry 3), “Good Morning Good Morning” incorporates open-string drone notes and rapid-fire descending hammer-pull slides, mostly along one string, in this case, the B string.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>19. I Need You</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>By 1965, the Beatles were making noticeable strides in their arrangements and instrumentation. A prime example is “I Need You,” one of two George Harrison compositions to appear on <em>Help!</em> </p> <p>The recording represents Harrison’s first use of a volume pedal. The guitar’s dramatic, almost pedal-steel-like volume swells—which frame Harrison’s curt, suspended chords—only add to the song’s wistful lyrical content. </p> <p>The volume pedal was a step up for the band; the guitar swells heard on “Baby’s in Black,” which was tracked the previous summer, were the result of John Lennon turning the volume knob on Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Tennessean as Harrison played it.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>18. You Can’t Do That</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>On February 25, 1964, the Beatles entered the studio with an exciting new piece of gear: a Fireglo 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12. George Harrison had received the guitar only 17 days earlier when the band was in New York shooting its initial Ed Sullivan Show appearance.</p> <p>The song’s chiming intro riff, with its middle-finger hammer-ons from a minor third to a major third within the chord, offered a taste of what lay ahead for the guitar, which would see heavy action onstage and in the studio through 1965. John Lennon performed the guitar solo on his new Jetglo 1964 Rickenbacker.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EYa5YkJu4Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>17. Let It Be</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>As Beatles obsessives know, there are three versions of George Harrison’s solo for this track: the original, recorded in January 1969 with his rosewood Telecaster (available on 2003’s <em>Let It Be… Naked</em>); the second, recorded the following April with his Tele through a Leslie rotary speaker (released on the single “Let It Be” in 1970); and a third version recorded in January 1970 using his “Lucy” Gibson Les Paul through a Tone Bender (released on <em>Let It Be</em>). </p> <p>Nice as the first two are, they have nothing on the third, a blistering performance that raises the song’s drama to a higher level of emotion.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Izts5y5Fw8Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>16. All My Loving</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>For this pop song’s thumping, quasi–jump blues, rockabilly-style groove, Harrison crafted a convincingly authentic Chet Atkins/Carl Perkins–like solo break that clearly demonstrates his familiarity with that Fifties Nashville style of electric guitar soloing. </p> <p>Employing hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique), the guitarist acknowledges and gravitates toward the underlying chords in his melodic phrases, employing country-style “walk-ups” and “walk-downs” and plucking double-stops (pairs of notes) to sweetly and effectively outline the chord changes with a pleasing thematic continuity. </p> <p>Lennon contributed an energetic rhythm guitar part, one that he later expressed being rather proud of, which propels the groove with tireless waves of triplet chord strums, similar to those heard in the Crystals’ song “Da Doo Ron Ron.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>15. Ticket to Ride</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This proto-heavy-metal track was the first Beatles recording to feature McCartney on lead guitar and the last on which George Harrison used his Rickenbacker 12-string. McCartney plays the note-bending fills at the end of the bridges and on the outro, while Harrison plays the song’s arpeggiated riff and Lennon handles rhythm guitar. </p> <p>But the heaviest part might just be the droning open-string A notes that Harrison overdubbed on the verses, suggestive of the classical Indian music he would begin to explore later that year.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>14. Dig a Pony</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>The song’s driving, bluesy riff is as durable as any that Muddy Waters ever wrote, but the 1969 recording is also notable for Harrison’s smoky guitar work on his rosewood Telecaster—from the double-stop licks on the verses to his confident and impeccably developed solo. </p> <p>You can hear Harrison’s signature style beginning to develop here, with the smoothness of his lines pointing toward the fluid slide style he would develop over the following year. His guitar tone is also very similar to that of “Octopus’ Garden” (see entry 22) recorded later that year, for which he may have also used the rosewood Tele.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kkzKSORYtVk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>13. Nowhere Man</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>According to Harrison, he and Lennon perform the song’s bright, chiming solo together in unison, using their matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters. </p> <p>Lennon also revealed to guitarist Earl Slick, during the making of Lennon’s 1980 album <em>Double Fantasy</em>, that the solo was recorded through a pair of small amps with a single microphone positioned between them. The Strats’ trebly nature was further accentuated on “Nowhere Man” by boosting the high frequencies via the mixing console. </p> <p>“We wanted very trebly guitars,” McCartney says. “They’re among the most trebly guitars I’ve ever heard on record.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>12. I Feel Fine</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Audio feedback was just an annoying electronic phenomenon until the Beatles used it as an attention-getting way to start “I Feel Fine.” The song itself is a rather standard riff rocker inspired by Bobby Parker’s 1961 R&amp;B hit, “Watch Your Step,” but its distinctive intro came about by accident when McCartney played a low A note on his bass as Lennon was leaning his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric against his amp. </p> <p>The note set Lennon’s guitar vibrating, and its proximity to the amp caused the sound to feed back. “We went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!’ ” McCartney recalls. Yes, that too. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fZUb_NJZ4To" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>11. Blackbird</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney recorded this beautiful song’s gentle, fingerstyle acoustic accompaniment on his Martin D-28. </p> <p>He creates an elegant, classical-guitar-style chord movement by using two-finger chord shapes exclusively, most of which form 10th intervals on the A and B strings, in conjunction with the open G-string note, which he picks in opposition to the chord shapes and employs as a droning common tone. </p> <p>His unique fingerpicking technique relies largely on his thumb, which he uses to pick bass notes, and index finger, which he uses for pretty much everything else, employing brushed downstrokes and upstrokes and often brushing across two or more strings. </p> <p>This often results in notes that are “ghosted,” or barely articulated, a “flaw” that is a testament to his innate musicality—McCartney’s touch is charming and greatly contributes to the overall feel of the song. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6c2kJrWqZqc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>10. “Something”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist. </p> <p>His <em>Abbey Road</em> contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and throughout the album is masterful. Harrison’s mellifluous lead lines, in particular, are more expressive than anything he’d done before, demonstrating his newfound confidence and evolving connection to his instrument and creative muse. </p> <p>Performed with his “Lucy” 1957 Gibson Les Paul played through a Leslie speaker, the solo simmers as Harrison turns up the heat on his melody and dynamics, then cools it down with bluesy restraint. </p> <p>“George came into his own on <em>Abbey Road</em>,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered this and other <em>Abbey Road</em> sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mBjt7EsWbWE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon was composing some of the heaviest rock and roll in the Beatles’ catalog in 1969, and this song—true to its title—is among the most crushing, thanks to an abundance of doubled and overdubbed guitar lines that give it some serious sonic heft. </p> <p>Lennon wrote the song for Yoko Ono, with whom he was newly in love, and the result is a spellbinding exercise in obsessive repetition, from its lyrics—consisting almost entirely of the title and roughly five other words—to the ominous guitar lines that recur throughout it. </p> <p>Clocking in at 7:47, the song is also one of the Beatles’ longest. </p> <p>And although it consists of nothing more than a verse and a chorus repeated several times, it is rhythmically one of their most intricate tunes, switching between 12/8 meter and 4/4 rhythms alternately played bluesy and with a double-time rock beat. Few other artists could have made so much with so little. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uo1i9uTaCFQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. I’m Only Sleeping</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s startling backward guitar solo on this Lennon-penned song is one of his greatest guitar moments on 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>.</p> <p>Over the previous year, he had used an expression pedal to create a volume-swelling sound, similar to a reverse-tape effect, on several tracks, including “Yes It Is” and “I Need You” (see entry 19). </p> <p>But for “I’m Only Sleeping,” Harrison wanted to hear his guitar truly in reverse, a decision undoubtedly inspired by Lennon’s own retrograde vocals on “Rain,” recorded earlier the same month, April 1966.</p> <p>Rather than simply improvising guitar lines while the track was played backward, he prepared lead lines and a five-bar solo for the song and had George Martin transcribe them for him in reverse. Harrison then performed the lines while the tape was running back to front.</p> <p>The result is a solo that surges up from the song’s murky depths, suffusing it with a smeared, surreal, dreamlike ambience. Within a year, Harrison’s idea would be copied by such psychedelic rock acts of the day as the Electric Prunes, who employed it on their 1966 hit “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” and Jimi Hendrix, who used it to great effect on “Castles Made of Sand.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1MMDugt8ZRk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. And Your Bird Can Sing</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>This middle-period Beatles gem, written primarily by Lennon, features Harrison and McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.) </p> <p>Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the key of D, using a capo at the second fret to transpose it up a whole step, as he did on “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and “Julia.”) </p> <p>The quick half-step and whole-step bends that Harrison and McCartney incorporate into their parts here and there in lock-step fashion are particularly sweet sounding. Heard together, they have the precise intonation of a country pedal-steel part performed by a seasoned Nashville pro. </p> <p>The harmonized lines that the two guitarists play over the “minor-drop” progression during the song’s bridge section, beginning at 1:05, reveal their musical depth and sophistication and command over harmony beyond the basic “I-IV-V” pop songwriting fodder.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f_P71QAEZKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. A Hard Day’s Night</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It lasts all of roughly three seconds, but the sustained opening chord to this classic Beatlemania track is one of rock and roll’s greatest and most recognizable musical moments. </p> <p>Bright and bold as a tolling bell, it loudly announced in 1964 not just the start of the Beatles’ latest album but also the dawning of a cultural transformation that owed nearly everything to the group’s influence. </p> <p>The song was written to order for the Beatles’ feature-length film debut, <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em>. According to George Martin, “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning.” </p> <p>The dense harmonic cluster that Martin and the group created is the result of four instruments sounding simultaneously: Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, both strumming an Fadd9 chord (with a G on the high E); McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, plucking a D note (probably at the 12th fret of his D string); and Martin on grand piano, playing low D and G notes. </p> <p>The resulting chord has been described as, technically, G7add9sus4, but to millions of eager listeners in 1964, it was simply the sound of an electrifying new era.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/70QfHtKdh_0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Revolution</strong><br /> <strong><em>1966–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>At the time that this 1968 track was recorded, distortion was well established as an electronic effect for guitarists, but no one had ever used it to the extreme that the Beatles did here. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for “Revolution 1,” the slower version of the song, which the Beatles recorded in May and June of 1968. </p> <p>Emerick had abetted his efforts by overloading the preamp on the microphone used to record Lennon’s guitar, but even this wasn’t enough for Lennon, who told the engineer, “ ‘No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!” </p> <p>By the July recording of “Revolution,” Emerick determined that he could distort the signal even more by patching Lennon and Harrison’s guitars directly into the mixing console via direct boxes, overloading the input preamp and sending the signal into a second overloaded preamp. </p> <p>“I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott, “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.” </p> <p>As Emerick himself notes in his 2006 memoir <em>Here, There and Everywhere</em>, it was no mean feat: the overloaded preamps could have caused the studio’s tube-powered mixer to overheat. “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kk6BAIy1MeU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Here Comes the Sun</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s jangly chord-melody playing on this song is exemplary. Using first- and second-position “cowboy” chords with a capo at the seventh fret, the guitarist loosely doubles and supports his catchy, syncopated vocal melody by working it into the top part of his acoustic-guitar accompaniment. </p> <p>He does this by using a “picky-strummy” technique (similar to what Neil Young would later employ in his song “The Needle and the Damage Done”), in which the pick hand gently swings back and forth over the strings in an unbroken down-up-down-up movement, like a pendulum viewed sideways. </p> <p>In doing so, Harrison selectively grazes certain strings on various downbeats and eighth-note upbeats, resulting in a seemingly casual mix of full-chord strums, single notes and two-note clusters that form a pleasing stand-alone guitar part that could easily appeal as a solo instrumental performance. </p> <p>The high register achieved by using the capo so far up the neck—the song is played as if it were in the key of D but sounds in A, a perfect fifth higher—makes the guitar sound almost like a mandolin, an effect similar to that achieved by Bob Dylan on “Blowin’ in the Wind” (also performed capo-7).</p> <p>Also noteworthy are the ringing and musically compelling arpeggio breaks that punctuate the song in various spots, such as after the first verse (immediately following the lyric “It’s all right”) and during the bridge/interlude section, behind the words “sun, sun, sun, here it comes.” </p> <p>Harrison employs a highly syncopated “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2” phrasing scheme in the first instance and “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2” in the latter, creating a rhythmic “hiccup” that resets the song’s eighth-note pulse. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/n6j4TGqVl5g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Taxman</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Bassist Paul McCartney had first demonstrated his six-string talents on 1965’s <em>Help!,</em> where he played lead guitar on several tracks and performed on acoustic guitar for his song “Yesterday.” </p> <p>But McCartney would truly come into his own as a guitarist with this cut from 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>. His stinging solo, performed on his 1962 Epiphone Casino through his cream-colored 1964 Bassman amp, is a stunningly sophisticated creation, drawn from an Indian-derived Dorian mode and featuring descending pull-offs that recall Jeff Beck’s work on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things,” released earlier that year. </p> <p>How the solo came to be played by McCartney—and not Harrison, who wrote the song and was the Beatles’ lead guitarist—is a story in itself. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Harrison struggled for two hours to craft a solo before producer George Martin suggested he let McCartney give it a try. McCartney’s solo, Emerick says, “was so good that George Martin had me fly it in again during the song’s fadeout.” Portions of it, played backward, were also applied to the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows.” </p> <p>Apparently, Harrison didn’t feel slighted. At the time of making <em>Revolver</em>, he was ambivalent about his musical ambitions and pondering Indian mysticism, to which he would eventually convert. </p> <p>“In those days,” he said, “for me to be allowed to do my one song on the album, it was like, ‘Great. I don’t care who plays what. This is my big chance.’ I was pleased to have him play that bit on ‘Taxman.’ If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YtksJEj2Keg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. While My Guitar Gently Weeps</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has become one of George Harrison’s signature tunes, but when he wrote the song in 1968, he couldn’t get his band mates to take an interest in it. </p> <p>Frustrated, he asked his pal Eric Clapton to sit in on the recording session for the track, hoping his presence would put the group on its best behavior. Clapton accepted the invitation and delivered a performance that remains a high point in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>For the session, Clapton played a 1957 Les Paul “Goldtop” that had been refinished in red. He’d purchased the guitar in New York City sometime in the Sixties and in 1968 gifted it to Harrison, who nicknamed it Lucy. </p> <p>The guitar was already in Harrison’s possession at the time of this recording. When he picked up Clapton to take him to the studio for the Beatles session, the famous guitarist was empty handed. “I didn’t have a guitar,” Clapton recalls. “I just got into the car with him. So he gave me [Lucy] to play.”</p> <p>Harrison was concerned that Clapton’s solo was “not Beatley enough,” as the group was by the time of this recording well known for its sonic innovation. </p> <p>During the song’s mixing stage, the group had engineer Chris Thomas send Clapton’s signal through Abbey Road’s ADT—Automatic Double Tracking—tape-delay system and manually alter the speed of the delay throughout Clapton’s performance, making the pitch sound chorused. (The effect is especially noticeable in the final measure of the second middle-eight, after the line “no one alerted you.”) Ironically, while the solo is one of Clapton’s most famous, he was never credited on the recording. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F3RYvO2X0Oo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. “The End”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>A song called “The End” might seem an ironic place to start a list of the Beatles’ 50 greatest guitar moments. But the round-robin solos that bring the track to its exhilarating peak are without question the group’s most powerful statement expressed through the guitar.</p> <p>Here, for a mere 35 seconds, three childhood friends and longtime band mates—Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon—trade licks on a song that represents, musically and literally, the Beatles’ last stand as a rock group before they broke up the following year. “The End” is the grand finale in the medley of tunes that make up much of <em>Abbey Road</em>’s second side. </p> <p>As such, it’s designed to deliver maximum emotional punch, and it succeeds completely, thanks in great part to the sound of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon rocking out on their guitars, as they did in their first, embryonic attempts to make rock and roll some 12 years earlier. </p> <p>“They knew they had to finish the album up with something big,” recalls Geoff Emerick, the famed Abbey Road engineer who worked on the 1969 album. </p> <p>“Originally, they couldn’t decide if John or George would do the solo, and eventually they said, ‘Well, let’s have the three of us do the solo.’ It was Paul’s song, so Paul was gonna go first, followed by George and John. It was unbelievable. And it was all done live and in one take.”</p> <p>Much of the song’s power comes from the sense that the Beatles are making up their solos spontaneously, playing off one another in the heat of the moment. As it turns out, that’s partly accurate. </p> <p>“They’d worked out roughly what they were going to do for the solos,” Emerick says, “but the execution of it was just superb. It sounds spontaneous. When they were done, everyone beamed. I think in their minds they went back to their youths and those great memories of working together.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5bcxHlMxnSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments#comments Articles Damian Fanelli George Harrison GW Archive GWLinotte January 2014 John Lennon Paul McCartney The Beatles Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:03:43 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti, Damian Fanelli, Jimmy Brown 20443 at http://www.guitarworld.com With 'Workingman’s Dead,' the Grateful Dead Shifted from Uncommercial Jam Band to One of the World's Most Popular Acts http://www.guitarworld.com/workingman-s-dead-grateful-dead-shifted-uncommercial-jam-band-one-worlds-most-popular-acts <!--paging_filter--><p>What a difference a year makes. In February 1969, the Grateful Dead recorded a series of shows at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West in the hope of finally capturing on tape the psychedelic alchemy of their already legendary onstage interplay. </p> <p>The double album <em>Live Dead</em>, released in November that year, showcased the Dead at their adventurous and exploratory acid-peak best and cemented their reputation as the premier jamming band of the era. </p> <p>Yet exactly one year later, in February 1970, the group ambled into a recording studio and, in a single week, cut an album that was <em>Live Dead</em>’s polar opposite. </p> <p>With its concise songs, bright harmonies and folk and country trimmings, <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> felt almost like the work of a completely different band—a stylistic shift as radical as when the Beatles followed <em>Rubber Soul</em> with <em>Revolver</em>. </p> <p>It was made with little overt commercial intent, but <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> instantly became the best-selling album of the Dead’s five-year career, and it set the band on a course that would eventually make it one of the most popular acts America ever produced, with a devoted fan base second to none. </p> <p>Until <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>, the Grateful Dead’s studio output had been largely ignored by the record-buying public. That album’s immediate predecessor, <em>Aoxomoxoa</em>, released in June 1969, was a carefully crafted effort full of intricately arranged songs brimming with playful, colorful and at times impenetrable lyrics dense with hallucinatory imagery. </p> <p>The recording sessions were long and expensive, and though the album contained a few future Dead classics—most notably “St. Stephen” and “China Cat Sunflower”—in the end it never really found a wide audience. Compared to the group’s live performances, it felt stiff and mannered. </p> <p><em>Live Dead</em> addressed that dilemma beautifully and was still picking up steam in the winter and spring of 1970, winning new converts to the Dead’s uniquely trippy mélange, when suddenly a completely different-sounding Grateful Dead started popping out of a million radios. The song was “Uncle John’s Band,” and instead of molten electric guitars and bass in epic flight over the crashing and cracking drums and cymbals of two percussion powerhouses, the song had a warm and intimate acoustic glow. </p> <p>The voices of guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh rose in bright harmony, and lyricist Robert Hunter’s words exuded a gentle homespun wisdom: “Well, the first days are the hardest days/Don’t you worry any more/’Cause when life looks like easy street/There is danger at your door…” </p> <p>Could this really be the notoriously off-key-singing and lyrically opaque Grateful Dead?</p> <p>It was, and much of the rest of the album that “Uncle John’s Band” kicked off, <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>, reinforced the group’s apparent transformation from blazing psychedelic astronauts to rootsy troubadours steeped in folk and country music. The infectious country-rock anthem “Casey Jones”— famous for its daring chorus: “Driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed”—would follow “Uncle John’s Band” as an FM radio hit that year, and both the rollicking country-bluegrass-rock fusion “Cumberland Blues” and the simmering rocker “New Speedway Boogie” were also popular radio numbers. After years of fringe success, the Dead had truly entered the rock mainstream.</p> <p>It was not, however, an overnight change in direction for the band.</p> <p>For one thing, the Dead already had strong roots in folk and country. In his pre-Dead days, Garcia had been in a succession of acoustic groups that played old-time country, bluegrass and traditional folk music, and Weir had been a fan of the popular folkies of the early Sixties, like the Kingston Trio and Joan Baez, and also learned to play some country blues. </p> <p>Their first group together, in 1964, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, drew from those worlds and added a dash of acoustic rock and roll, while Ron “Pigpen” McKernan brought in a cool blues sensibility. When those three started an electric band, the Warlocks, in the spring of 1965—adding Bill Kreutzmann on drums and, fairly quickly, Lesh on bass—some of the old folk/country repertoire came with them, including “Cold Rain and Snow,” “I Know You Rider,” “Stealin’ ” and “Don’t Ease Me In.”</p> <p>Those types of songs stayed in the Dead’s repertoire during the group’s halcyon days in the San Francisco ballrooms. But as they developed their songwriting chops during the second half of 1967 and through 1968, their sound increasingly moved away from their original influences and toward more complex structures, unusual time signatures and open-ended jamming that drew more from Indian music (partly the influence of drummer Mickey Hart, who joined in the fall of 1967) and jazz. </p> <p>Short songs were few and far between as the Dead developed and perfected their uncanny ability to stitch songs and jams together with what sometimes seemed to be magic Day-Glo thread. The fall of 1968 through the spring of 1969 marks the Dead’s fiercest, most confident and accomplished psychedelic playing, reaching its apex around the time that Live Dead was recorded at the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore West. </p> <p>But changes were on the way. Perhaps the harbinger of the future direction was a song on <em>Aoxomoxoa</em> called “Dupree’s Diamond Blues,” Hunter and Garcia’s clever recasting of a popular story-song that originated in the early Twenties. It’s a relatively straight narrative song with roots in blues and early 20th century pop tunes, driven by acoustic guitars. </p> <p>“Hunter and I always had this thing where we liked to muddy the folk tradition by adding our versions of songs to the tradition,” Garcia told me in 1989. “We had our ‘Casey Jones’ song [on <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>]. We had our ‘Stagger Lee’ song [on <em>Shakedown Street</em>, 1978]. ‘Dupree’s Diamond Blues’ is another of those. It’s the thing of taking a well-founded tradition and putting in something that’s totally looped.” Musically, he added, “it has a kind of carnival or medicine show kind of feel, and also a ragtime feel.”</p> <hr /> By February 1969, Garcia and Weir occasionally broke out acoustic guitars onstage to perform “Dupree’s,” followed by another Aoxomoxoa tune based around acoustic guitar, “Mountain of the Moon.” But leave it to Garcia and the Dead to then figure a way to segue that second acoustic number right into the trans-galactic flow of that era’s grandest improvisational piece, “Dark Star.” <p>For his part, Hunter, who also had a deep background in older folk music styles, found himself being increasingly drawn to the Band. Their brilliant first two albums, 1968’s <em>Music from Big Pink</em> and 1969’s <em>The Band</em> (a.k.a. The Brown Album) had drawn from a multitude of early American music styles and fused them into an utterly distinctive and original rock amalgamation. </p> <p>As Hunter noted in an interview I did with him in 1988, “The direction [leader/songwriter Robbie Robertson] went with the Band was one of the things that made me think of conceiving Workingman’s Dead. I was very much impressed with the area Robertson was working in. I took it and moved it to the West, which is an area I’m familiar with…regional but not the South, because everyone was going back to the South for inspiration at that time.” </p> <p>It’s unclear to what degree the Dead’s turn in a country direction might have been influenced by their move out of San Francisco’s crumbling Haight-Ashbury district in mid 1968 to more rustic Marin County, north across the Golden Gate Bridge. Mickey Hart settled on a Novato ranch that had a barn and horses, and the others spread out in nearby towns. </p> <p>Hunter and Garcia (with his lady love, Mountain Girl) rented a large but modest house in the southern Marin town of Larkspur, and over the course of about a year, churned out one fantastic song after another. Hunter often typed lyrics day and night and fed them to Garcia, who would quickly set them to music, sometimes within hours of their delivery. This is where the songs for Workingman’s Dead were born—“glorious days,” as Hunter said.</p> <p>Country flavors had been creeping into rock and roll in general for quite some time. Buffalo Springfield had a strong country and folk undercurrent in some of their material, as did the Byrds, Moby Grape and, by 1968, the Rolling Stones on <em>Beggar’s Banquet</em>. That same year, Dylan went back to acoustic music on <em>John Wesley Harding</em>, followed in 1969 by the more overtly country <em>Nashville Skyline</em>. Meanwhile, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco had helped put country-rock on the map.</p> <p>Even though the Dead were playing some of their most challenging and adventurous psychedelic music during this period, offstage Garcia and Weir were listening to country music mostly. Garcia was increasingly being influenced by guitarists from the “Bakersfield school” of country music, such as Roy Nichols (of Merle Haggard’s group, the Strangers) and Don Rich (of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos), both tasteful and soulful string-benders. In March 1969, at the end of a tour, Garcia bought a Zane Beck pedal-steel guitar at a music store in Colorado, and it wasn’t long before he brought the pedal steel onto the stage. </p> <p>At first, Garcia backed a country music–loving singer and songwriter named John “Marmaduke” Dawson in a tiny club south of San Francisco. Then, the fearless Garcia played it occasionally with the Dead on a range of country songs. </p> <p>A few months later, Marmaduke and Garcia formed the country-rock New Riders of the Purple Sage, with Garcia on steel for the first year-plus. (Incidentally, with the Dead in this era, Garcia mostly played a mid-Sixties red Gibson SG—that’s his Live Dead ax—through his trusty Fender Twin Reverb amps, but also occasionally employed a sunburst Stratocaster. Weir favored a Gibson 335 or 345 through a pair of Twins.)</p> <p>In June ’69, the first three Hunter-Garcia songs that would eventually find a home on Workingman’s Dead were introduced. “Dire Wolf” came first, a dark but whimsical tale about a man who invites a wolf into his desolate cabin in the woods for a game of cards, possibly to determine whether the wolf will eat him or not. “Don’t murder me,” the storyteller begs, but the cards are clearly not falling his way. Musically, it’s a simple folk song, and some of the early live versions were sung by Weir, with Garcia adding steel accompaniment. </p> <p>Soon, though, Garcia reclaimed it, and on occasion in 1969 he would suggest that the crowd sing along on the chorus. “Casey Jones” was the next new tune to emerge from the Larkspur songwriting sessions, and though Garcia’s original acoustic guitar-voice demo from early June is strikingly similar to the way it ended up on <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>, the first several Grateful Dead versions in early summer ’69 have a different vibe. The main rhythm has an almost Motown feel to it (think “I Second That Emotion”), and there are a couple of fairly lengthy guitar extrapolations. It wouldn’t be too long, however, before the song found its finished form. </p> <p>A day after the debut of “Casey Jones” came “High Time,” a gorgeous bittersweet ballad that easily could have come from George Jones, Merle Haggard or any number of other country greats. Garcia once complained that he felt could never quite do the song justice as a singer, but from mid 1969 through mid 1970, it became an important cornerstone of the band’s repertoire, often serving as a nice, grounding contrast to spacey songs such “Dark Star” and “That’s It for the Other One,” or the spunky combo of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider.” </p> <p>The Pigpen-sung “Easy Wind,” written by Hunter alone, started turning up in August 1969. Pig is convincing as a hard-workin’, hard-drinkin’ road laborer “chippin’ them rocks from dawn ’til doom/While my rider hide my bottle in the other room.” From the outset, the song featured slashing guitar counterpoint lines from Weir and Garcia and a funky R&amp;B feel. It’s a perfect vehicle for Pig, who during this period mostly sang cover tunes, from Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” to the Olympics’ “Good Lovin’ ” to “Lovelight.” </p> <hr /> The final burst of new <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> songs arrived in November and December 1969, ironically, right after the release of Live Dead, which had virtually no overt country and folk textures. <p>Musically, Garcia described the spry and speedy “Cumberland Blues” (which he co-wrote with Phil Lesh) as a blend of Bakersfield country and up-tempo bluegrass. Lyrically, Hunter paints a picture of a coal miner’s woes in and out of the mines. Like the other new songs, it took the Dead’s fans to some completely new places that, miraculously, fit in with all the other, stranger spaces their earlier material occupied.</p> <p>“Black Peter” was a dire Hunter-Garcia folk blues about a man on his deathbed, while “Uncle John’s Band” was an upbeat anthem that became an instant favorite of everyone who heard it. The influence of Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash—friends of the Dead’s whose harmony-filled first album had been ubiquitous since the summer of 1969—was obvious, and though the Dead weren’t at that level as singers, they had an undeniable vocal chemistry, and that song, in particular, had a reassuring glow that drew listeners in, made them feel that they too were maybe part of “Uncle John’s Band.” </p> <p>The last Workingman’s song to be born was “New Speedway Boogie,” Hunter’s somewhat enigmatic commentary on the early December 1969 Altamont Speedway Free Festival. The event—a West Coast version of Woodstock—was marred by violence, including the death of concertgoer Meredith Hunter by a member of the Hells Angels, who were there to provide security. </p> <p>“New Speedway Boogie” rumbles along ominously—a modified shuffle/boogie—as Garcia sings in broad metaphorical terms about harsh realities, lessons learned (or not) and the broader takeaway: “One way or another, this darkness got to give…”</p> <p>By the time “Speedway” was introduced, the Dead had already decided to make an album in the winter of 1970, cutting at Pacific High Recording, a relatively new addition to the San Francisco recording landscape. They had spent many months and more than $100,000 of Warner Bros.’ money making <em>Aoxomoxoa</em>, so this time they were determined to take their relatively simple and straightforward new songs and record them as live as possible in the studio. </p> <p>“<em>Workingman’s Dead</em> was done very quickly,” producer/engineer Bob Matthews told me in 2004. (Matthews’ familiarity with the band extended all the way back to the Mother McCree’s days with Garcia, Weir and Pigpen.) “We went into the studio first and spent a couple of days rehearsing—performing—all the tunes, recording them onto two-track. When that was done, I sat down and spliced together the tunes—beginning of side one to end of side one, beginning of side two to end of side two. I got that idea from [the Beatles’] <em>Sgt Pepper’s</em>: ‘Before we even start, let’s have a concept of what the end product is going to feel like, sequencing-wise.’ </p> <p>They rehearsed some more in their rehearsal studio, and then they came in and recorded [on one of Ampex’s new 16-track machines]. But at all times there was the perspective of where we were in the album.” The Dead had further honed their chops by playing a series of acoustic sets during the winter of 1969–1970, mixing versions of their new songs among folk and country covers.</p> <p>The entire album was recorded and mixed in about 10 days. Overdubs included Garcia’s pedal-steel parts, Pigpen’s harmonica, various acoustic and electric guitar parts and, of course, the vocals, which were certainly at a level the Dead had never achieved before. The noted San Francisco poster artist Stanley Mouse and his partner Alton Kelley conceived of the now-iconic front cover: the band and Hunter in workingman’s duds standing on a nondescript street corner. When Warner Bros. boss Joe Smith first heard the finished record, he announced to all within earshot that, unbelievable as it might seem, the Dead had made a hit record.</p> <p>Smith was right. The album immediately took the Dead to a new level of popularity, and when they followed up <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> with the tonally similar and equally momentous American Beauty (“Ripple,” “Brokedown Palace,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Truckin’ ”) just a few months later, they solidified their place among the great bands to survive the Sixties. </p> <p>The Dead never stopped playing long, jamming tunes, even as they continued to carve out one slice of distinctive Americana after another through the early Seventies. But <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> turned the Dead into a song band, and it was the launch pad for everything that came after it. It was a big gamble, a radical change in direction, but it paid off like a royal flush. </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="/grateful-dead">Grateful Dead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/workingman-s-dead-grateful-dead-shifted-uncommercial-jam-band-one-worlds-most-popular-acts#comments Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia November 2013 The Grateful Dead Interviews News Features Magazine Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:59:37 +0000 Blair Jackson 19647 at http://www.guitarworld.com Tab Book: Learn the 'Best of Scorpions,' Note for Note http://www.guitarworld.com/tab-book-learn-best-scorpions-note-note <!--paging_filter--><p>A new tab book, <em>Best of Scorpions</em>, is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</p> <p>The book features note-for-note transcriptions with tab for 14 favorites from these Hanover hard rockers. </p> <p>It includes their mega-hit “Rock You like a Hurricane” plus: </p> <p>• Big City Nights<br /> • Blackout<br /> • Coming Home<br /> • Holiday<br /> • I Can't Explain<br /> • Loving You Sunday Morning<br /> • No One like You<br /> • Passion Rules the Game<br /> • Rhythm of Love<br /> • Send Me an Angel<br /> • Still Loving You<br /> • Wind of Change<br /> • The Zoo</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/best-of-scorpions/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BestofScorpions">This 128-page book is available now for $19.99. Head to the Guitar World Online Store now.</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/scorpions">Scorpions</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/tab-book-learn-best-scorpions-note-note#comments Scorpions News Features Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:58:37 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20930 at http://www.guitarworld.com Pettyjohn Electronics Announces the PettyDrive Deluxe, a Studio-Grade Dual-Channel Analog Overdrive Pedal — Demo Video http://www.guitarworld.com/pettyjohn-announces-pettydrive-studio-grade-dual-channel-analog-overdrive-pedal-demo-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Pettyjohn Electronics has announced the PettyDrive Deluxe, a studio-grade dual-channel analog overdrive pedal that's engineered to deliver the powerful tone and dynamic feel of boutique tube amps pushed to the edge of breakup.</p> <p>The two fully independent channels are uniquely voiced to compliment each other and provide a wide range of sounds that range from thick, saturated American iron and growl to harmonically rich British-like chime. </p> <p>Only the highest-possible quality audiophile components are used to ensure the lowest noise, years of reliability and the most articulate tone possible. The PettyDrive is a serious tool for tone, built for the modern working guitarist in mind with a balance of advanced tone shaping features, general ease-of-use and tone that truly inspires.</p> <p><strong>MSRP:</strong> $399 (Deluxe, pictured), $317 (Standard)</p> <p><strong>For more information about the PettyDrive, check out the videos and specs below and visit <a href="http://pettyjohnelectronics.com/shop/pettydrive-pedal-deluxe/">pettyjohnelectronics.com.</a> Follow Pettyjohn Electronics on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pettyjohnelectronics?fref=ts&amp;ref=br_tf">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/pettyjohnelec">Twitter.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hBN0Yr0YSYs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Unique Features:</strong></p> <p>• Hot-Rodded Chrome Knobs<br /> • Professional Studio-Grade Discrete Opamp Input Buffer Chip<br /> • Channel 2 is equipped with all Burr-Brown chips for maximum clarity and transparency.<br /> • Silver Nameplate</p> <p><strong>Main Features:</strong></p> <p>• Two Fully Independent, Stackable Overdrive Circuits<br /> • Channel 1/2 Order Flip<br /> • Unique Parallel Effects Loop on Channel 2 for New Pedal Combinations<br /> • Available with Standard or Deluxe Chip Set<br /> • Built with Highest Possible Quality, Audiophile Components for Excellent Reliability and Performance<br /> • Symmetrical Control Layout<br /> • Always-On Studio Grade Input Buffer for Zero-Loss Bypassed Tone<br /> • Internal True-Bypass Switching<br /> • Internal Charge Pump for Extra High Headroom<br /> • Easily Powered by Standard Pedal Power 9v-15v DC (-)<br /> • Current Draw: 100 mA<br /> • Cool Red Jewel Light Indicators<br /> • Made in the USA<br /> • Channel 1: Chime Drive</p> <p>• A unique preamp circuit that can be configured as a Boost or Low Gain Drive<br /> • Tilt EQ tone knob with Orange Drop Filter Caps for Sweet Tone Shaping<br /> • 3-Way Clipping/Headroom Mini-Toggle<br /> • 3-Way Low Cut Mini-Toggle<br /> • Use Independently or Stack with Channel 2<br /> • Channel 2: Iron Drive</p> <p>• Low to Medium Gain Overdrive voiced for Thick, Smoothly Saturated Tone<br /> • Clean Mix Knob for Enhanced Feel and Dynamics<br /> • Parallel Effects Loop for Combining Other Pedals in Totally New Ways!!<br /> • 3-Way Clipping Mini-Toggle gives access to Asymmetrical Silicone, LED and MOSFET clipping sections, Chosen for Their Unique Tonal Qualities.<br /> • 3-Way Low Cut Mini-Toggle<br /> • High-Cut Tone Knob for Taming Harsh High Frequencies</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MR0lbLErIHw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/pettyjohn-announces-pettydrive-studio-grade-dual-channel-analog-overdrive-pedal-demo-video#comments PettyDrive Deluxe Pettyjohn Electronics Videos Effects News Gear Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:22:41 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24865 at http://www.guitarworld.com