News en Review: John Page Classic Ashburn Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>PLATINUM AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>If you read guitar magazines anytime during the late Eighties through late Nineties, you’re probably already familiar with the name and work of John Page, who was one of the co-founders of the Fender Custom Shop. </p> <p>If you don’t know John Page’s name, you probably know his work from guitars like the prototypes for Fender’s Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck signature models to various limited-edition models like the Harley-Davidson, Marilyn Monroe and Hendrix Monterey Strats. </p> <p>Page left building guitars in 1998 to be the Executive Director of the Fender Museum for several years before breaking from guitars altogether, but in 2006 he made a comeback with his own company, John Page Guitars. </p> <p>Page initially focused entirely on custom instruments, but earlier this year he teamed up with HRS Unlimited to start the John Page Classic brand and offer his first production model guitars. The Ashburn is the first John Page Classic model, which the company describes as the industry’s first “custom production” guitar.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES:</strong> With its asymmetrical double cutaway body shape, contoured body, and three single-coil pickups, the Ashburn represents Page’s evolution of the original 1954 Stratocaster design. Refinements include a neck that attaches to the body via machine screws with threaded inserts to enable greater tone transfer between the neck and body, Gotoh staggered vintage-style tuners that eliminate the need for string trees, and Bloodline JP-1 pickups, with the bridge pickup mounted at a reverse angle with the low E string polepiece located closer to the bridge. Controls are streamlined to a set of master volume and master tone knobs and a five-position pickup selector, and the bridge is a high-performance Gotoh 510 tremolo. The output jack is side-mounted.</p> <p>The body and neck are the classic combination of alder and maple (respectively), and the materials are carefully selected for performance. The neck has 22 nickel-silver medium frets, a 25 ½-inch scale, comfortably rounded C profile, 12-inch radius, and is available with a maple or rosewood fretboard.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE:</strong> Right out of the box, the Ashburn sounds and plays incredible. The pickups deliver rich, harmonically complex tone with percussive punch and bodacious midrange usually only found in the most desirable vintage Strats. If you want Stevie Ray’s shade of blues, it’s here, but so is Uli Jon’s hard rocking drive, Jimi’s snarl and Jeff’s howl. The neck is as comfortable as a velvet couch overstuffed with Siberian goose down, and the deep cutaway makes it as easy to play at the 22nd fret as it is at the first.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE:</strong> $1,499<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER:</strong> HRS Unlimited, <a href=""></a></p> <p>The neck attaches to the body via machine screws with threaded inserts to provide greater tone transfer between the neck and body.</p> <p>Three Bloodline JP-1 single-coil pickups provide rich, harmonically complex tone with fat midrange and powerful punch.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE:</strong> The John Page Classic Ashburn delivers the modern evolution of the classic Strat design by combining numerous refinements with carefully selected tonewoods and meticulous attention to detail.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="365" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> August 2015 John Page John Page Classic Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:05:19 +0000 Chris Gill, Videos by Paul Riario and Andy Aledort 24764 at The 10 Best Stage Names of All Time <!--paging_filter--><p>What’s in a name? When it comes to rock ’n’ roll, pretty much everything. </p> <p>Rock stardom is all about reinventing yourself, becoming a larger-than-life figure that stands apart from the crowd. </p> <p>And if you want the girls or guys, or both, to scream your name, it had better be an awesome, sexy, memorable one. Or at least <em>pronounceable</em>. </p> <p>Here we spotlight a few of the guitar heroes who played the name game and won. Sorta.</p> <p><strong>10. Slash</strong> </p> <p>For an American guitar hero, “Slash” is the best stage name ever. It suggests a violent guitar style and a certain swashbuckling attitude—perfect for a guitarist from Guns N’ Roses. Perfect, that is, unless you’re from Britain, where the former Saul Hudson was born. Across the pond, “Slash” is slang for making wee-wee. Not exactly the stuff of rock legend.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. The Edge</strong> </p> <p>As your mother once told you, if they’re really your friends, they won’t make fun of the way you look. Unless, of course, your friend is a mullet-headed blabbermouth named Paul Hewson. Hewson took one look at Dave Evans’ prominent beak and dubbed him “The Edge.” At least Evans wasn’t stuck with “Bono Vox,” the nickname Hewson earned because his voice suggested the need for a popular hearing aid.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. John Denver</strong> </p> <p>The former Mr. Deutschendorf renamed himself after his favorite city, and then wrote a bunch of classic tunes about the area, most notably “Rocky Mountain High.” Or was he actually singing about himself? Dude <em>was</em> kinda conceited, I guess. Or maybe just stoned. Or both?<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. Alex Lifeson</strong> </p> <p>Zivojinovich. Say it backwards, and you might find yourself in the Bizarro World. That’s certainly where Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson found himself New Year’s Eve 2003, when he tangled with police at the Naples Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Florida. The brawl had several repercussions for Lifeson: a broken nose, a lawsuit, and the publication of his real name, Zivojinovich. It’s Serbian, reportedly, for “Lifeson.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. C.C. DeVille</strong> </p> <p>Bruce Johannsen’s chosen stage name—C.C. DeVille—suggests a classic luxury automobile designed to impress the ladies. Unlike the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, however, C.C.’s look and style would not transcend the decades. D. Neon might have been a more appropriate moniker.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. Zakk Wylde</strong> </p> <p>For a rebel like Zakk Wylde—formerly known as Jeff Wielandt, back in his hometown in New Jersey—the rules do not apply. Especially trivial rules such as proper spelling. <em>Spellcheck this, MF’er!</em><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Mick Mars</strong> </p> <p>More truth-in-advertising than a stage name, Mick Mars, by all accounts, suits the Crüe guitarist all too well. The dude is an alien. For real. A friend told me, and he’s a big Crüe fan. I also read it on the Internet.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Buckethead</strong> </p> <p>Tough to say how Brian Carroll arrived at his stage name. I’m really not sure, not sure at all. Any idea, readers?<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. Joe Strummer</strong></p> <p>The Clash’s Joe Strummer was a songwriter of stunning brilliance. Unfortunately, that trait was far from evident in his choice of stage name. When it came time to reinvent himself, as so many did in the early days of punk, the former John Mellor made this astonishing breakthrough: <em>Guitars have strings. I strum them. I think I will call myself … Joe Strummer</em>!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. Yngwie Malmsteen</strong> </p> <p>Like so many guitar heroes before him, Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback realized that an unwieldy, tough-to-pronounce name could work against him in show biz. So he changed his name to … <em>Yngwie Malmsteen</em>?! What, was “Englebert Humperdinck” already taken?</p> Buckethead Top 10 Guitar World Lists News Features Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:53:04 +0000 Guitar World Staff 2015 at Top 10 Greatest Make-Out Tunes <!--paging_filter--><p>A guitarist's first love is music. </p> <p>Which presents a real problem when it comes to setting the mood for a little romance. </p> <p>Who can possibly concentrate on making out when the real hot licks are emanating from the speakers?</p> <p>Relax, Johnny Hammer-on. The songs below constitute the perfect score for your next date. Score!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>10. "Wonderful Tonight," Eric Clapton</strong></p> <p>Take a lesson from ol' Slowhand. </p> <p>First, the slow-hand thing works quite well on real necks, too. And second, if you get too wasted at a party, just toss the car keys to your date and be very quick with the compliments—there's still a chance to salvage this thing with the sensitive-artist angle.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. "Bed of Roses," Bon Jovi </strong></p> <p>With this song, yet another rock 'n' roll clown (not Jon Bon Jovi—we mean the character in the song) attempts to make amends to his main squeeze for his loutish behavior, thereby setting impossibly high standards for the rest of us. A bed of roses? Right. Not in the budget. Will the lawn do?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. "Feel Like Makin' Love," Bad Company</strong> </p> <p>Subtlety? Never a strong suit for Paul Rodgers. (Nice that he adds the lyric "to you," though—how romantic.) Take advantage of Rodgers' forthrightness and use this track as a laugh-inducing icebreaker. Then strike while the iron is still hot.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. "(Don't Fear) the Reaper," Blue Öyster Cult </strong></p> <p>If laughter doesn't work, try instilling a little fear. With "Reaper," so-called thinking-man's heavy-metal band reminded lovers everywhere that they might not live to see tomorrow. During Buck Dharma's wicked solo, lean in close and whisper, "Carpe Diem." That's Latin for "more cowbell."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. "Patience," Guns N' Roses</strong> </p> <p>Like a good solo, a memorable date should build towards its climax—the goodnight kiss. This epic ballad lets her know she'll have to wait for those fireworks. And more important, it'll allow you to warm up by whistling along to the best lip solo since <em>The Andy Griffith Show</em> theme song.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. Side One of <em>Led Zeppelin IV </em></strong></p> <p>Who could forget Mike Damone's key piece of advice in <em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em>? Apparently Mike Ratner, because in the very next scene he's playing "Kashmir," from <em>Physical Graffiti</em>. And look where <em>that </em>gets him with Stacy.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. "Heaven," Warrant</strong> </p> <p>No one has ever called Jani Lane a genius. At least no one outside of Akron, Ohio. Still, you have to credit the guy with understanding the female psyche. The key line here is "No matter what your friends might say." Break through that defensive line of rumormongers she calls "friends," and, indeed, heaven isn't too far away.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. "I Want to Know What Love Is," Foreigner </strong></p> <p>Begging? Generally not a good move. Best to let Lou Gramm do the pleading for you.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. "Keep on Lovin' You," REO Speedwagon </strong></p> <p>"I don't want to sleep; I just want to keep on lovin' you!" Careful here: don't let Kevin Cronin put any promises in your mouth that you can't keep.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. "Open Arms," Journey</strong> </p> <p>And, of course, no one captures the quietude of post-make-out bliss quite like Steve Perry. "Lyin' beside you, here in the dark; feeling your heart beat with mine..." <em>Zzzzzzzzz ...</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Journey Top 10 Guitar World Lists News Features Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:34:05 +0000 Robert Cherry 1965 at Stevie Ray Vaughan Shows How He Plays "Rude Mood," "Superstition" and "Hideaway" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the fascinating 1989 video below, Stevie Ray Vaughan sits down for a frank interview with a U.K. reporter.</p> <p>During the interview, Vaughan, who is clutching his Number One Strat, launches into "Hideaway," an upbeat instrumental blues classic from 1960, demonstrating how Freddie King (who wrote it with Sonny Thompson) and Eric Clapton (who recorded it in 1966) played the song differently.</p> <p>He also plays his own upbeat instrumental blues classic, "Rude Mood," while the camera catches almost all of his left-hand fingering up close. Later, he plays the main riff to his popular version of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."</p> <p>Although this video is often mislabeled as a "Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar Lesson" on YouTube (I mean, he's not saying, "OK, gang, put your index finger on the second fret"), it <em>is</em> among the best available footage of Vaughan's hands (well, fingers, to be more precise) in action.</p> <p>If you don't want to sit through the interview, head to <strong>1:02</strong> for "Hideaway," <strong>2:26</strong> for "Rude Mood" and <strong>6:16</strong> for "Superstition."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/rockabilly band <a href="">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City surf-rock band <a href="">Mister Neutron,</a> writes's <a href="">The Next Bend,</a> a column dedicated to <a href="">B-benders.</a> His latest liner notes can be found in Legacy's </em><a href="">Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.</a><em> Follow him on <a href="">Facebook,</a> <a href="">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="">Instagram.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli SRVDF Stevie Ray Vaughan Videos Interviews News Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:25:04 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24357 at Frontal Assault: The Top 10 Guitar-Playing Frontmen in Rock <!--paging_filter--><p>Even though Metallica's James Hetfield makes it look all too easy, there are countless guitarists who find it challenging to sing while doing anything on the guitar—besides strumming.</p> <p>Some players (myself included) even get bent out of shape when they're asked to provide the simplest of vocal harmonies while playing solos or semi-challenging riffs.</p> <p>Which is why <em>Guitar World</em> has decided to honor the 10 worthy guitarists/singers named below. We feel they are—or were, since we're honoring some artists who have passed away—10 of the best (if not <em>undoubtedly</em> the best) guitar-playing frontmen in rock history.</p> <p>The criteria is simple: They must have outstanding voices—either technically impressive or pleasingly "warm," unique or offbeat—and a heapin' helpin' of distinctive six-string badassery. Of course, since we're talking about frontmen, they also need a touch of charisma, maybe a spot of quirkiness and/or what is commonly called "stage presence." </p> <p>Note that, while we don't like to exclude such players as Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, this is a list of guitarists who don't/didn't share the frontman spotlight with anyone in the band. This is also why you won't find the Beatles' John Lennon or Paul "guitarist before he was a bassist" McCartney on this list. </p> <p>With that in mind, here are our 10 choices. If you disagree with our picks or would like to suggest other players, let us know in the comments below. Note that these names are presented in no particular order. Once again, the names are presented in no particular order!</p> <p><strong>Frontman: Stevie Ray Vaughan </strong><br /> <strong>Band:</strong> <em>Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble</em></p> <p>With his electrifying prowess, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan refocused attention back to the essentials—guitar, bass and drums in a basic 12-bar format.</p> <p>He had no light show to speak of, no dry ice, no fog, no lasers. He didn't go in for leather-and-studs macho posturing. A longtime local hero in juke joints throughout Austin, Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth, Stevie Ray waved the Texas flag all over the country in one sold-out concert venue after another. </p> <p>His secret? A soft-spoken, laconic man, Vaughan summed it up in three little words: <a href="">"I just play."</a></p> <p>Of course, there's more to it than that. Along with his unquestionable prowess on the guitar, Vaughan, who died in August 1990, had one hell of a voice, a voice that still makes every "SRV bandwagon" blues-er sound, well, incomplete. Although you wouldn't have wanted to sit through a concert titled "SRV Sings Verdi" (or "SRV Sings Freddie Mercury"), there's no denying SRV had his own thing, a voice that oozed authenticity and confidence. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: James Hetfield</strong><br /> <strong>Band:</strong> <em>Metallica</em></p> <p>Well, we mentioned Hetfield in the intro to this story, so his inclusion can't be much of a surprise, can it? </p> <p>Besides supplying the instantly recognizable voice of one of the most accomplished heavy metal bands in history, the Metallica frontman has always been lauded for his hard, fast and precise rhythm playing, a style that has had a massive impact on several generations of guitar players.</p> <p>Hetfield, who often is said to have the best right hand in metal, once told <em>Guitar World</em>, “I’d much rather talk about guitar playing. I hate it when people ask me about my lyrics. <a href="">I always feel like telling them to just go and read them.”</a> </p> <p>And who can resist a mid-song Hetfield grunt?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Jimi Hendrix</strong><br /> <strong>Bands:</strong> <em>The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Band of Gypsys</em></p> <p>When Jimi Hendrix first exploded onto the scene, attention was riveted on his radical reinvention of guitar-soloing vocabulary, technique and sound, which was inspired by a now-familiar roster of great blues soloists. </p> <p>But Hendrix had another musical asset that set him apart from similarly influenced British blues-rock contemporaries: undeniable charisma and a voice that clearly stood out from the pack. In that sense, he was the complete package.</p> <p>Although he wasn't the most powerful singer in the world, his voice had a pleasingly warm tone and plenty of soul, as can be heard on "Bold as Love" and "Castles Made of Sand" (and so many other songs). He also added plenty of what could best be described as fun ad-libs ("Dig this, baby...") that would be exploited by future generations of singers in every genre of popular music. Bootsy Collins, anyone?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Jack White</strong><br /> <strong>Bands:</strong> <em>The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, Jack White</em></p> <p>It's pure magic when Jack White ascends to the vocal register of vintage Robert Plant—while adding AC/DC-style riffs with his depth-charge guitar playing.</p> <p>“I always look at playing guitar as an attack," White told <em>Guitar Player</em>. "It has to be a fight. Every song, every guitar solo, every note that’s played or written has to be a struggle. It can’t be this wimpy thing where you’re pushed around by the idea, the characters, or the song itself. It’s every player’s job to fight against all of that.”</p> <p>White, who now tours and records under his own name, was (of course) once the more vocal half of the White Stripes. In the July 2002 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>, he explained how stage presentation plays a major part in a band’s success:</p> <p>“Anything involved in presenting yourself onstage is all a big trick. You’re doing your best to trick those people into experiencing something good, something they haven’t thought about before or haven’t thought about in a long time. I’m doing my best to be that vaudeville trickster, to help that happen.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Dave Mustaine </strong><br /> <strong>Band:</strong> <em>Megadeth</em></p> <p>Dave Mustaine's story is something a good portion of our readers can relate to: He became his band's singer by default after a series of unsuccessful auditions for vocalists. </p> <p>At that moment, the former Metallica and Fallen Angels lead guitarist became the frontman for Megadeth, one of the world's most important thrash metal bands. </p> <p>The rest, shall we say, is history.</p> <p>"I actually enjoy [singing] a lot of times, but it's not my strong point," Mustaine told Colorado classic rock station 103.5 the Fox in 2013. </p> <p>"I've been working really hard at it the last few years. I wish I would have given it as much attention in the beginning as I do now ... It's definitely a unique voice sound. You know, you hear people like Axl [Rose] or myself or [James] Hetfield or some of the other people that are really easily identifiable, it's scarce. Like Chris Cornell, you hear Chris, you know it's him."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Steve Marriott </strong><br /> <strong>Bands:</strong> <em>Small Faces, Humble Pie</em></p> <p>We've read your pro-Steve Marriott comments on "list" stories for quite a while now: "How could you <em>possibly</em> leave out the great Steve Marriott? He was one of the most talented singers of all time!"</p> <p>First of all, we agree. We love Marriott, and there was pretty much no chance in hell he'd be left off this list. </p> <p>We'll get to his legendary voice in a minute. First we'll briefly mention his stripped-down but aggressive guitar playing, the steam engine that propelled a slew of Small Faces and Humble Pie tracks, including "All or Nothing," "Tin Soldier," "E Too D," "Get Yourself Together," "What'cha Gonna Do About It" and so many more. </p> <p>Marriott was the Small Faces' Roger Daltrey, but he also was the band's Pete Townshend, using a host of guitars, including an arguably too-big-for-his-body Gretsch White Falcon, to powerfully make his point in so many Sixties masterpieces.</p> <p>And then there's his voice, a voice that is still considered one of the greatest in classic rock. Can words do it justice? Why not just listen to "Afterglow" below? And below that, you'll find Marriott in action on "What'cha Gonna Do About It" with the Small Faces.</p> <p>Marriott, who would later front Humble Pie—where he joined guitar forces with Peter Frampton—died in a fire in 1991.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Kurt Cobain </strong><br /> <strong>Band:</strong> <em>Nirvana</em></p> <p>“We’re just musically and rhythmically retarded,” Nirvana's guitarist, vocalist and chief songwriter, Kurt Cobain, told <em><a href="">Guitar World</a></em> in 1991. "We play so hard that we can’t tune our guitars fast enough. People can relate to that.</p> <p>“We sound like the Bay City Rollers after an assault by Black Sabbath,” continued Cobain. “And we vomit onstage better than anyone!”</p> <p>So imagine how comical he'd find it to see the mark he's made on popular music. As Vernon Reid of Living Colour put it, "Cobain changed the course of where the music went … . There are certain people where you can see the axis of musical history twisting on them: Hendrix was pivotal, Prince was pivotal, Cobain was pivotal.”</p> <p>Cobain, with his raw emotion and mélange of untuned metal, drunk punk and Seventies pop, slayed the beast called stadium rock. And no, he wasn't a guitar virtuoso by any stretch, but his creativity, his crunch, his off-beat chugging and droning charm made him <em>unique</em>. It's yet another reminder to create your own thing, your own sound, people!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Eric Clapton </strong><br /> <strong>Bands:</strong> <em>Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton</em></p> <p>What else can be said about the amazing six-string gifts of Eric Clapton, one of the most lauded guitarists in the universe, 1966's blues-breaking virtuoso who went on to blow minds in Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos? </p> <p>Still, If you need to read more, be sure to pick up the March 2014 issue of <em><a href=";utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWMAR14">Guitar World</a></em> magazine, which counts down his 50 greatest guitar moments — but doesn't mention a word about his voice. </p> <p>It's a voice first heard on the Bluesbreakers' 1966 version of Robert Johnson's "Ramblin' on My Mind," a song Clapton was actually reluctant to sing because he didn't think he was good enough. </p> <p>He eventually shared the vocal duties in Cream with bassist Jack Bruce and went on to sing an endless stream of hits and classic-rock staples, starting with 1970's "After Midnight," "Let It Rain" and "Layla," coasting through the Seventies with "Cocaine" and "Lay Down Sally," kicking it up a notch in the Eighties with "Forever Man" and toning things back down again in recent years. </p> <p>As he told <em>Rolling Stone</em>in 2010, these days Clapton is pretty fond of his voice. "It's taken me to be an older guy, an old man, to have an old man's voice. Because I only liked old men's voices. As a kid, I didn't like pip-squeaked singers. It was always someone with authority. And for a singer to have authority, they have to have some kind of social standing. Otherwise, it's fake."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Trey Anastasio </strong><br /> <strong>Bands:</strong> <em>Phish, Trey Anastasio Band</em></p> <p>It just stands to reason that a band with an undying cult following has one hell of a frontman. Such is the case for Phish, whose guitar-slinging (and singing) Trey Anastasio—like the rest of the band—has built a magnetic rapport with the band's fans.</p> <p>Anastasio's fluid lines are often wonderfully mind boggling—and can lead a 38-minute version of "Tweezer" to all kinds of new and exciting places.</p> <p>"Musical inspiration can come from just about anywhere," Anastasio told <em>Guitar World</em> in 2000. </p> <p>"For me, so much inspiration comes from the rhythms of the natural sounds in the air. Walking out in the country, you’ll hear certain sounds—a train, a boat, or maybe a horse walking on the road—and each of these sounds has a rhythm. If your mind is open, the simple rhythms of those sounds can inspire you and spark new musical ideas."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Frontman: Matthew Bellamy </strong><br /> <strong>Band:</strong> <em>Muse</em></p> <p>As <em>Guitar Player</em> <a href="">put it in 2010</a>, Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy is on a quest for futuristic guitar sounds—to the point of designing his own guitars with built-in effects, wireless MIDI and synth capabilities. </p> <p>Not surprisingly, he’s a huge fan of Tom Morello and Jimi Hendrix, and he tries to channel the spirit of their sonic explorations into technology-fueled approaches that work for him and his compositions.</p> <p>Head on over to YouTube (Or just watch the two impressive clips below) to see how everything seems to come together for Bellamy: technology, composition and serious guitar chops:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/rockabilly band <a href="">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City surf-rock band <a href="">Mister Neutron,</a> writes's <a href="">The Next Bend,</a> a column dedicated to <a href="">B-benders.</a> His latest liner notes can be found in Legacy's </em><a href="">Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.</a><em> Follow him on <a href="">Facebook,</a> <a href="">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="">Instagram.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli Eric Clapton Jack White James Hetfield Stevie Ray Vaughan TC-Helicon Guitar World Lists News Features Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:21:24 +0000 Damian Fanelli 20723 at How to Buy the Best Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this new video, <em>Guitar World</em> and <a href="">The Music Zoo</a>—a truly top-notch music store in Long Island, New York—present "How to Buy the Best Guitar."</p> <p>The video, which stars <em>Guitar World's</em> own Paul Riario, is a guide to buying the best electric guitar for your needs, based on the type of player you are and the sound you're trying to achieve.</p> <p>It also features a cameo appearance (or two) from a true Aristocrat, guitarist extraordinaire Guthrie Govan. He even mocks Riario for not having his own signature guitar (while they're standing in directly front of Charvel's Guthrie Govan signature models).</p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>For more about the Music Zoo, follow them on <a href="">Facebook</a> and visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Guthrie Govan Music Zoo Paul Riario The Music Zoo Videos News Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:17:26 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23777 at Backbeat's 'Blues Guitar Handbook' Teaches Blues History and Multiple Techniques <!--paging_filter--><p><em>The Blues Guitar Handbook: A Complete Course in Techniques &amp; Styles</em> by Adam St. James is the latest entry in Backbeat's bestselling handbook series. </p> <p>It starts by exploring the humble beginnings of blues guitar through the early decades of the 20th century, including profiles of such players as Robert Johnson, Charley Patton and Son House. As the story moves into the '40s and '50s, and blues players migrate to major urban centers, St. James follows the evolution of the music at the hands of such electric blues kingpins as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King. </p> <p>Then it's the blues-rockers of the '60s, '70s, and '80s (including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan) before the story comes up to date, with blues flame-keepers such as Keb Mo' or Duke Robillard, and some not-quite-traditionalists, such as Robben Ford or Derek Trucks. </p> <p>A comprehensive section for mastering electric and acoustic blues follows this historic overview. Starting from the very basics, it leads you into more advanced rhythm and lead techniques before examining four key styles: acoustic blues, classic electric blues, blues rock and jazz blues. </p> <p>The many exercises in the book are supported by specially recorded audio tracks on the accompanying CD. </p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BluesGuitarHandbook">The book is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $29.99.</a></strong></p> News Features Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:09:43 +0000 Guitar World Staff 18118 at Ragdoll's Leon Todd: How to Play "Rewind Your Mind" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Today, and Australian rockers Ragdoll have teamed up to bring you this exclusive "Rewind Your Mind" lesson featuring Ragdoll guitarist Leon Todd.</p> <p>The track is from the band's latest album, <em>Ragdoll Rewound,</em> which merges the swagger of the Seventies, the anthemic melodies of the mid-Eighties and the sonic intensity of modern times.</p> <p>The band's approach is best described by lead vocalist/bassist Ryan Rafferty: "We bring together all the things that we, as rock music fans, love about all our favorite bands; power, melody and groove." Drummer Cam Barrett rounds out the band.</p> <p><strong>For more about Ragdoll, follow them on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter.</a></strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience4340592621001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4340592621001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> Leon Todd Ragdoll Videos News Lessons Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:05:01 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24874 at Classical Cellist Tina Guo Covers Slayer's "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="">preorder the album here.</a></p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/slayer">Slayer</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> cello Slayer Tina Guo Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 21:16:53 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24876 at Metallica's Kirk Hammett: How to Play Like Stevie Ray Vaughan — Lesson <!--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="" 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> 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 Martin Guitar to Introduce 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=""></a></p> 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 Orange Amplification to 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=""></a></strong></p> Orange Amplification News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:07:33 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24873 at Eddie Van Halen on How He Created His Signature Sound Using MXR's Phase 90 and Flanger Pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>Earlier this year, in preparation for the 40th anniversary of <a href="">MXR,</a> its parent company, <a href="">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="">“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="//" 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="//" 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="//" 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/</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> 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 "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Someone (or something?) named <a href="">Alizee Defan</a> runs a YouTube channel dedicated to incredible female musicians.</p> <p>At her YouTube homepage, <a href="">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="">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="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Courtney Cox Jessica Gardlund Nita Strauss Tina S. Videos News Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:31:22 +0000 Damian Fanelli 21775 at Not Fade Away: Grateful Dead, Trey Anastasio at July 5 Fare Thee Well 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="">Reckoning: Conversations with the Grateful Dead</a></em> and the Top 10 <em>New York Times</em> bestseller <em><a href=";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> 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