Welcome to String Theory, a new column dedicated to imparting guitar-centric music theory concepts in a practical, useful way that you can readily apply to composing and improvising. Rather than show you a bunch of dry, abstract textbook examples of how chords are built from and live within various scales, I will try to keep things interesting and inspiring by presenting etudes.
January is "gear month" in the music industry — the month when manufacturers and retailers gather at the annual Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, to show and sell what's new for the coming year. With NAMM in the air, the Fender Custom Shop released its 2013 Custom Collection last week (Check it out here). It consists of eight new guitars and two new bass models.
In January, DiMarzio will release its three new Ionizer 8 pickups, all of which were designed for Animals As Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi's new signature 8-string Ibanez guitar. The pickups are two years in the making.
Schecter Guitar Research has announced its new partnership with bassist Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe and Sixx: A.M. "It was an exciting and creative process to work with Schecter on the new Schecter Sixx Signature Series Bass," Sixx said.
Last time, we kicked off this series of Brewtality columns by going over some basic, but essential, stuff and learning how to play the A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G) all over the neck. We did this by learning the five fretboard patterns shown in FIGURE 1.