Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/Smoot%20Family%20Fund/Smoot%20Family%20Fund en Ibanez JS25ART Guitars Offer a Chance to Own Original Joe Satriani Artwork — and Great Instruments http://www.guitarworld.com/ibanez-js25art-guitars-offer-chance-own-original-piece-joe-satriani-artwork-and-great-instrument <!--paging_filter--><p>For longtime Ibanez fan Joe Satriani, sketching and drawing have always been as much of a creative outlet as his game-changing, guitar-driven rock music. </p> <p>These two different hemispheres of his artistry converge beautifully in Ibanez’s new, limited 25th anniversary edition of Joe’s iconic signature JS guitar, the JS25ART. The body of each guitar bears a full color illustration, hand drawn by Satriani himself. </p> <p>Each one is different and there are only 50 of them, 25 of which are slated for sale in the U.S. Offering a unique opportunity to be a guitar collector and art collector all in one, this very special JS edition commemorates the birth of Satriani’s Ibanez signature model 25 years ago. </p> <p>“Ibanez approached me and asked if I’d do something special for the 25th anniversary,” Satriani recalls. </p> <p>“They didn’t know what I was going to do, but I decided to illustrate some guitars myself. The idea took a lot of setup, because I had to figure out, ‘Am I going to paint them or use pens? What would the process be? Could I erase?’ So I wound up using these color pens. I spent about a week down in L.A. late in 2014 doing the illustrations and it was a lot of fun. But it was intense. With the pens, you can’t really put color on color. Nor can you erase. Some of the ones I did are more detailed; others are just line drawings. They’re all signed.” </p> <p>Technically speaking, the JS25ART embodies all the design refinements distilled over Satriani’s quarter century of collaboration with Ibanez. This includes a maple, JS Prestige neck with hand-rolled fret edges, Satriani’s signature DiMarzio pickups (the Satch Track and Mo’ Joe), a hi-pass filter on the volume pot, a coil tap on the tone pot and a low-profile Edge tremolo bridge. </p> <p>Longtime fans of Satriani’s visual art many recognize some of the bizarre faces and characters depicted on some of the guitars. Many of these characters are soon to come to life in an animated sci-series, tentatively titled <em>Crystal Planet,</em> that Satch is working on with fretless guitarist and digital animator Ned Evett.</p> <p><strong><em>Below, be sure to check out our comprehensive photo gallery of all of Ibanez's current signature Satch guitars, including electrics and acoustics!</em></strong></p> <p><strong>For more about Satch's signature Ibanez electric guitars, <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_eg_sig_series15.php?year=2015&amp;cat_id=1&amp;series_id=27">head here</a>. For more about his acoustic models, <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_ag_sig_series15.php?year=2015&amp;cat_id=3&amp;series_id=81">head here.</a> For more about Ibanez Guitars, visit <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/usa/index.php">ibanez.co.jp.</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="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/ibanez-js25art-guitars-offer-chance-own-original-piece-joe-satriani-artwork-and-great-instrument#comments April 2015 Ibanez Joe Satriani Acoustic Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:50:37 +0000 Alan Di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23606 Take Advantage of Guitar World's Annual February Clearance Sale: 40 Percent Off Everything! http://www.guitarworld.com/take-advantage-guitar-worlds-february-clearance-sale-40-percent-everything <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=FEB40215">It's time once again for Guitar World's annual 40 Percent Off Clearance Sale!</a></strong></p> <p>Take 40 perfect off everything in our <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=FEB40215">Online Store!</a></p> <p>This sale runs through February 28, 2015.</p> <p>Just be sure to enter code <strong>FEB40215</strong> at checkout.</p> <p><strong>Once again, that's FEB40215.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=FEB40215">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/take-advantage-guitar-worlds-february-clearance-sale-40-percent-everything#comments News Features Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:47:04 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23546 Top 10 Weirdest Guitar Sounds Ever Recorded http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-weirdest-guitar-sounds-ever-recorded <!--paging_filter--><p>Electricity can do strange things. </p> <p>When it was added to the guitar, some years ago, it opened up new possibilities for players of the old box o’ six strings. </p> <p>The following sonic scientists, using varying proportions of technique and effects, set out to discover just what these possibilities were. </p> <p>The result? Guitars that don’t sound like guitars! </p> <p><strong>10. Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”</strong></p> <p>This is a rare occasion—Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck playing guitar together in the Yardbirds. </p> <p>Before the solo kicks in, the two guitar heroes, in tandem, unleash 15 seconds of controlled feedback that sounds like an air-raid siren. Think context: this was the 1960s, before everyone started using signal processing. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EHtmjIwx4oo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. Johnny Marr “How Soon is Now?”</strong></p> <p>What is that pulsing sound in the Smiths' coolest song? Marr cranking the tremolo setting on his Fender Twin to make his one-chord riff sound like an automated machine. </p> <p>Actually, the effect was studio enhanced: he re-recorded the part with <em>five</em> twins.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pEq8DBxm0J4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. Eddie Van Halen, “Eruption”</strong></p> <p>Again, it’s the context, mang. In 1978, Eddie’s fingerboard tapping and whammy-bar divebombs were like the shape of video-game soundtracks for years to come. </p> <p>Then, of course, every guitarist in L.A. jumped on the bandwagon, and before long things got much more sophisticated than Space Invaders.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OCwigPhpiXs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. Paul Gilbert, “Solo” from <em>Live Extreme, Vol. 1</em></strong></p> <p>Some players use effects as tools. Paul Gilbert uses tools as effects. </p> <p>One pick wasn’t enough to get the tremelo-picking sound he wanted. The solution? A cordless drill, on whose bit were mounted <em>three</em> picks. This produces overtones that make it sound as if he’s playing in unison with himself, if that makes sense.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hnJj1Cg_7Yw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. Tom Morello, “Revolver”</strong></p> <p>The intro sounds like R2D2 on a bad trip, while the start of the solo calls to mind a factory treadmill. </p> <p>It just goes to show that if you give a man a DigiTech Whammy pedal, an Ibanez Talman with a sturdy toggle switch and few Allen wrenches, he can make all the same noises as a turntablist—and then some.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CjJxDzisFwI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. Buckethead, “Dead Man Walking”</strong></p> <p>From Praxis <em>Transmutation</em>, this is the next level of video-game soundtracks played by electric guitar. The masked man’s hyper-frenetic tapping here out-blips a computer in heat.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3UBNro8IkGw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Jimi Hendrix, “The Star Spangled Banner”</strong></p> <p>Jimi performed this at the height of the Vietnam War, and his revolutionary use of feedback and tremolo bar was the perfect musical correlative to “bombs bursting in air.” </p> <p>When you first listened to this, did your mom come into the room and ask if the stereo was broken?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sjzZh6-h9fM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Steve Vai, “Next Stop Earth”</strong></p> <p>From his solo-debut, <em>Flex-Able</em>, this gem finds Vai imitating the inflections of a human voice via finger slides, micro-bends and a wah pedal. Can you tell he used to play with Zappa?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RKakWOedVQ4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. Fred Frith, “Should Old Arthur”</strong></p> <p>On his 1974 album, <em>Guitar Solos</em>, this former member of obscure prog-rockers Henry Cow pioneered the concept of “preparing” guitars: tuning them to unorthodox pitches, attaching alligator clips to the strings, and playing them by any means other than picking. </p> <p>This particular track sounds like a drunken ghost talking.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VirpSKcYHrY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. Adrian Belew, “Elephant Talk”</strong></p> <p>When Belew joined Robert Fripp’s reformed King Crimson for 1981’s <em>Discipline</em>, he stunned guitarists by harnessing the effects in his rack to sound like a herd of animals. </p> <p>In this case, an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff running into a Deluxe Electric Mistress flanger helps transform a guitar into a roaring elephant.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PKIoEr2ZXD8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paul-gilbert">Paul Gilbert</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/steve-vai">Steve Vai</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-weirdest-guitar-sounds-ever-recorded#comments GO October 2006 Guitar One Guitar World Lists News Features Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:15:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/1939 ‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington’: Bassist Tom Hamilton Talks New Film/DVD, Gear and Memorable Moments http://www.guitarworld.com/aerosmith-rocks-donington-bassist-tom-hamilton-talks-new-filmdvd-gear-and-memorable-moments <!--paging_filter--><p>When Fathom Events, Cinema 1 and Eagle Rock Entertainment decided to partner up to present a monthly classic music series, they figured what better way to kick things off than by bringing in one of the most beloved rock bands of all time: Aerosmith.</p> <p>Taken from the band’s headlining appearance at last year’s Download Fest at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England, <em>Aerosmith Rocks Donington</em> is a one-night-only concert event that will screen on 300 theaters nationwide 7 p.m. today, Thursday, February 26.</p> <p> The Donington show once again finds the band at the top of their game. It features a 19-song set that features many of band’s iconic hits, including “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” “Dream On,” “Love in a Elevator,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” and “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” </p> <p>Aerosmith is one of the biggest rock bands of all time. Together, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide in addition to receiving four Grammys and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. </p> <p>In addition to releasing a DVD of the live show this spring, Aerosmith also has announced they will hit the road this summer.</p> <p>I spoke with bassist Tom Hamilton about <em>Aerosmith Rocks Donington</em>, music, gear and some of his most memorable moments.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How did this live project begin?</strong></p> <p>It’s something that’s been building for a long time. This isn’t the first time we’ve filmed a show and presented it, but the ability to capture it and have it sound great and have the visuals for it be really strong has gotten better and better over the years. </p> <p>Our feelings about playing at Donington is what really inspired us. We’ve played there several times in the past. It’s a festival that’s been going on for years and is very historic. So we got together with Dick Carruthers, who’s one of the best rock filmmakers around, and said, “Ok, let’s see how good we can make it!”</p> <p><strong>As a performer, do you feel a sense of added pressure knowing that this is live and there’s no going back?</strong></p> <p>Of course. Knowing it’s live always makes your brain concentrate a little more on making it work. We knew going in that we were filming and that we had a great director and great cameras. But we always try to out do ourselves every night, whether we’re recording or not. For us, it was more of an opportunity to make something exciting!</p> <p><strong>Aerosmith’s last studio album, <em>Music From Another Dimension</em> was released in 2012. Has the band given any thought to releasing more new music? Maybe something from the archives?</strong></p> <p>We have so much in our archives that we could put out. It’s all just a matter of finding the time to sit down and watch it and then come up with something. As far as a new album, we’re not really talking about it at this point. For me as an individual, I would love to go back into the studio within the next year and do it again. </p> <p><strong>You originally started out as a guitarist but then made the switch to bass. How did that happen?</strong></p> <p>That happened when I was twelve and had only being playing guitar for a few years. I came from a very small town in New Hampshire and there was really only one band in town I thought was any good. I really wanted to join them but they told me they already had two guitar players. That’s when they said they needed someone to play bass and even had one that I could use. They wound up talking me into it and I found myself really enjoying being able to fulfill that role in the band. The bass guitar is the translator between the drums and the guitar and it’s an interesting instrument to play physically.</p> <p><strong>What’s your live setup like these days?</strong></p> <p>I’ve been using Gallien Krueger amplifiers for years. For bass, there’s a G&amp;L that I use. It was Leo Fender’s third guitar company. Their instruments are just fantastic!</p> <p><strong>Can you tell me how you came up with the music for “Sweet Emotion”?</strong> </p> <p>I think it was during one of those days where I probably partook in some “flammable materials” [laughs]. In that mode of consciousness where inspiration seems to come in great big chunks is where I came up with that intro bass part. It really was just a daydream. </p> <p>I do remember that around the same time that I wrote it the band was listening to a lot of Jeff Beck’s album, <em>Rough and Ready.</em> That album had a lot of very funky, energetic bass playing on it and it inspired me for those sessions in between verses. Then Steven came up with a vocal for it that was just perfect. When I heard it all in one piece for the first time I knew something good was going to happen from it. </p> <p><strong>Joe Perry and Steven Tyler have written autobiographies about the band. Have you ever given thought to writing a book about your own life and career?</strong></p> <p>I’ve been thinking about it more and more because people keep asking me. I do have a lot to say, but it’s just a matter of having the discipline to sit down every morning and just write and write so I can get the story out. Its something that I think I’ll probably wind up doing at some point by popular demand.</p> <p><strong>Of all the band’s highlights over the years, is there one that stands out to you as most memorable?</strong></p> <p>That’s a tough question because there have been so many special moments. But I’d have to say having the chance to play in places like Russia, India, Dubai and Argentina. </p> <p>The idea that we have fans in places like that is a fantastic thought. I remember years ago when Russia was still communist and our music was basically against the law. I would hear through the grapevine that we had a lot of fans there that wanted to see us. Then when the system changed and we could go there we were able to close the loop, finish the thought and play our songs live there. Playing some of the places we weren’t sure we would ever be able to is something that’s very inspiring to me.</p> <p><em>For more information, visit <a href="http://www.aerosmith.com/">aerosmith.com.</a></em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/faitvLcgY7w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href="http://gojimmygo.net/">GoJimmyGo.net</a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/JimEWood">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/aerosmith">Aerosmith</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/aerosmith-rocks-donington-bassist-tom-hamilton-talks-new-filmdvd-gear-and-memorable-moments#comments Aerosmith James Wood Tom Hamilton Interviews News Features Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:54:40 +0000 James Wood http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23605 White's Lightning: Ode to the Original B-Bender, Clarence White of The Byrds and Kentucky Colonels http://www.guitarworld.com/white-lightning-ode-original-b-bender-clarence-white-byrds <!--paging_filter--><p>Clarence White was a genuine double threat. </p> <p>His brilliant, Doc Watson-inspired acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on a vintage Martin D-28, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. </p> <p>Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, site him as a key influence.</p> <p>As an electric guitarist, White built the bridge between country and rock in the late Sixties. His work with the <a href="http://www.stringbender.com/bender/classic.php">Parsons/White StringBender</a> — an ingenious B-string-pulling device invented and installed in White's 1954 Fender Telecaster by fellow Byrd, multi-instrumentalist and machinist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Parsons">Gene Parsons</a> — is legendary. </p> <p>Whether employing a crisp, bell-like tone (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_12IyhedQs">the Byrds' "Tulsa County"</a>) or a touch of fuzz (the Flying Burrito Brothers' "The Train Song"), White inserted his dancing, whimsical runs into songs with confidence, knowing that a little can often go a long way.</p> <p>White, a member of the Byrds, Nashville West, Muleskinner and the Kentucky Colonels (and the New Kentucky Colonels), also was an in-demand session player who recorded with Arlo Guthrie, Wynn Stewart, Wayne Moore, Gary Paxton, the Monkees, Joe Cocker and Jackson Browne, to name just a few. He was killed by a drunk driver after a gig in California on July 14, 1973, never getting to fully grasp the influence he'd have on bluegrass, country and rock.</p> <p>There really aren't that many "Clarence White in action" videos to be found on YouTube, but I hope I've collected a decent sampling of clips that represent his skills.</p> <p>Before we get started, if you want to know more about White — before, during and after the Byrds — check out this well-researched and well-compiled site, <a href="http://www.burritobrother.com/clarencewhite.htm">burritobrother.com</a>. Enjoy!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"You Ain't Going Nowhere," The Byrds</strong></p> <p>Because the Byrds' <em>Sweetheart of the Rodeo</em> version of this Bob Dylan tune highlights pedal steel guitar (courtesy of the great Lloyd Green, who I'd love to interview), we suggest you check out a slightly later live rendition instead — like this one from a 1968 TV appearance. </p> <p>It puts the emphasis on White, his still-Nudie-sticker-free Fender Telecaster and his Parsons/White StringBender (not to mention some fine-looking Sixties women). </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q21BF38W3Gs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong> "I Am a Pilgrim" / "Soldier's Joy," Clarence White, Roland White and Bob Baxter</strong></p> <p>Here's White (on the left, with the beard) on the <em>Bob Baxter Guitar Workshop</em>, a local LA-area TV show from 1973, performing a — what I consider — mind-blowing medley of "I Am a Pilgrim" and "Soldier's Joy" with his brother, Roland, on mandolin and the show's host, Bob Baxter, on second guitar (later joined by Byron Berline on fiddle and Alan Munde on banjo). </p> <p>What I can say about this video? First of all, it's rare in that it shows White's fingering and fretwork up close. Second, there's White unusual sense of timing in the first tune ("I Am a Pilgrim"); it's as if he's throwing in chord substitutions like a jazzer, while Roland plays it straight on mandolin. It can be disconcerting and confusing, but I love it.</p> <p>This performance is from a DVD called <em>Clarence White: Guitar Workshop,</em> which is available through Sierra Records, <a href="http://sierrarecords.goestores.com/storename/sierrarecords/dept/269836/ItemDetail-10632728.aspx">right here.</a> </p> <p>To hear White playing more bluegrass, check out the <em>Flatpick</em> album on <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Flatpick-Clarence-White/dp/B000JE000W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1363278074&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=clarence+white">Amazon.com</a> and the extended Collector's Edition of <em>Flatpick</em> on <a href="http://sierrarecords.goestores.com/storename/sierrarecords/dept/269836/ItemDetail-10633388.aspx"> sierrarecords.goestores.com</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CMQuuZNvwLU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Nashville West," Nashville West</strong></p> <p>No Clarence White playlist would be complete without what some would consider his signature song. </p> <p>Although White recorded the official studio version with the Byrds (plus an earlier studio version under his own name), here's a stripped-down 1968 (several sources say 1967) El Monte, California, club-date version by another of White's bands, Nashville West, which featured Gene Parsons on drums. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_Ztj15SkjHg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Time Between," The Byrds</strong></p> <p>Feel free to argue, but if you had to choose one album that best demonstrates White's electric-guitar prowess, it would be <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Live-Fillmore-West-February-1969/dp/B00004OCE7/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1363280292&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=byrds+fillmore">Live at the Fillmore: February 1969</a></em> by the Byrds. </p> <p>The musicians on the album are Roger McGuinn on a 12-string Rickenbacker 360, Gene Parsons on drums, John York on bass and Clarence White on the B-Bender Tele. He never puts it down, so there's no escaping it. </p> <p>While the most impressive guitar track on the album is the band's cover of Buck Owens' "Buckaroo," that song isn't available on YouTube. Here, however, is a Chris Hillman composition, "Time Between," from the same live album. It's a nice coincidence that White appeared on the Byrds' original 1967 version of this song, back when he was an LA session musician.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/U3-NLCkZ6SI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Dark Hollow," Muleskinner</strong></p> <p>Did I mention White could sing? He was actually a fine vocalist with a distinctive, deep voice that was just right for bluegrass and the spaced-out-Americana material the Byrds were recording from 1969 to 1972. Here's another live YouTube appearance by White, this time with Muleskinner, one of his post-Byrds bands, in 1973.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0RkxpFvo__k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Hummingbyrd," Marty Stuart</strong></p> <p>OK, here's a bonus for you. White's legendary B-Bender-equipped Telecaster is still in action, courtesy of country music artist Marty Stuart, who bought the guitar from White's family several years ago. </p> <p>Check out this live performance of "Hummingbyrd," an instrumental B-bending piece Stuart wrote — and titled — as a tribute to White. The studio version of "Hummingbyrd" can be found on Stuart's 2010 album, <em>Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions</em>.</p> <p>"I always felt a little guilty about not having a recital piece for that guitar," Stuart told <em><a href="http://www.guitarplayer.com/miscellaneous/1139/marty-stuart/11782">Guitar Player</a></em> in 2010. "With 'Hummingbyrd,' I feel like I finally recorded a song that honors that guitar properly."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YfU7ybajWes" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> (and a B-bending guitarist who collects B-bender-equipped guitars; he has three at the moment). Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/DamianFanelli">Twitter</a>.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/white-lightning-ode-original-b-bender-clarence-white-byrds#comments Clarence White Damian Fanelli Kentucky Colonels Nashville West The Byrds Videos Blogs Features Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:34:50 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/17999 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!</p> <p><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><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.</p> <p><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></p> <p><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. </p> <p><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. </p> <p><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></p> <p><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].) </p> <p><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.” </p> <p><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><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. </p> <p><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.</p> <p><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></p> <p><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. </p> <p><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></p> <p><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.</p> <p><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></p> <p><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. </p> <p><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></p> <p><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. </p> <p><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></p> <p><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.” </p> <p><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.” </p> <p><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></p> <p><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. </p> <p><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. </p> <p><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. </p> <p><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></p> <p><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. </p> <p><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.</p> <p><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></p> <p><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></p> <p><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.” </p> <p><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. </p> <p><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></p> <p><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.” </p> <p><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></p> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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></p> <hr /> <p><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 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:36:46 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti, Jimmy Brown, Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20443 Six Hidden Gems Made Magnificent in Headphones http://www.guitarworld.com/six-hidden-gems-made-magnificent-headphones <!--paging_filter--><p>Okay, so you have your headphones out—what do you want to listen to? </p> <p>Something beautiful? Something cool? Something you’ve never heard before? How about all three? </p> <p>The following are six tracks by five of your favorite bands worth putting under the microscope for reasons listed below. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Joe Satriani — “Surfing with the Alien”</strong></p> <p>For the lead guitar tone on <em>Surfing with the Alien’s</em> title track, Joe Satriani used a wah-wah pedal and a harmonizer. The former worked perfectly, but the latter was acting a little weird and wonky. </p> <p>Satriani told <em>Guitar World</em>, “The sound that came out of the speakers blew us away so much that we recorded the melody and the solo in about a half-hour and sat back and went, ‘Whoa! This is a song, man!’” Then the harmonizer broke down and couldn’t be fixed. </p> <p>“We couldn’t do anything,” he said. “We lost our tone. When we finally got it working again, we weren’t able to recreate the original effect. It just sounded different. So rather than screw up a wonderful-sounding performance that may have had a couple of glitches, we decided to just leave it, because it was just swinging.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uoERl34Ld00" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /><br /> <strong>Metallica — “The Four Horsemen”</strong></p> <p>One of the most unique features of Metallica’s classic track “The Four Horsemen” is its distinctive simultaneous two-headed guitar solo, heard from 4:10 to 4:30. </p> <p>You can hear two Kirk Hammetts, one in each speaker, playing roughly similar but still quite different solos. In 1991 Hammett told <em>Guitar World</em> this cool effect was entirely a fluke. After recording two takes of the solo, Hammett and Co. were trying to decide which one to use. </p> <p>“I listened to both tracks at once, to see if one would stand out,” Hammett said. “But playing both tracks simultaneously sounded great, and we decided to keep it like that on the record. Some of the notes harmonized with each other, and I remember Cliff [Burton, bassist] going, ‘Wow, that’s stylin’—it sounds like Tony Iommi!’”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C4nCy5CITc8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Led Zeppelin — “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”</strong></p> <p>Led Zeppelin albums are filled with little slips and clams, but none of that really mattered to producer/guitarist Jimmy Page who justifiably valued vibe over perfection. He called it being “tight but loose.” </p> <p>The following are two headphone-worthy accidents that somehow add a touch of funky magick to these Zep classics. If you listen closely to “Misty Mountain Hop” at about 1:15, you can hear Jimmy play the heavy part too soon. He then fumbles and jumps back in. </p> <p>hen, on “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” you can hear a ghostly voice at 1:43. Is it a friendly Page poltergeist? Nah, it’s actually the sound of Robert Plant singing along with drummer John Bonham during basic tracking. Whether that’s his actual naked voice leaking through the drum mics, or perhaps being blasted through Bonzo’s headphones, we may never know.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7joxOe76vCE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iP9xMobANJM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Radiohead — “Creep”</strong></p> <p>One of the most memorable and dramatic guitar moments of the Nineties is the stuttering rhythm part that sets up the chorus of Radiohead’s “Creep.” And if Jonny Greenwood’s attitude-filled flourish (played at 0:58 and again at the two-minute mark) reflects the song’s angst-filled lyrics, there’s a reason. </p> <p>“That’s the sound of Jonny trying to mess the song up,” explained co-guitarist Ed O’Brien. “He really didn’t like it the first time we played it, so he tried spoiling it. And it made the song.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XFkzRNyygfk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Kingsmen — “Louie, Louie”</strong></p> <p>This last pick is a strange one. </p> <p>If there was never a song designed for headphones, it’s the poorly recorded garage classic “Louie, Louie.” But there are so many hilarious mistakes in this shambolic mess, with a good set of ear buds the tune becomes a brilliant piece of audio theater. </p> <p>Just close your eyes and you almost see and smell these drunken bozos having the time of their lives as they struggle to play their three chords right. Just dig the drummer yelling “F@#K! in the background because he hit his hand on the edge of one of his drums at 0:57. Or laugh as the singer comes in too early at 1:55 while barging in at the end the songs surprisingly great guitar solo. </p> <p>Truth is, this is actually what headphones were made for!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4V1p1dM3snQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Brad Tolinski is the editor-in-chief at </em>Guitar World.</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="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/metallica">Metallica</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/radiohead">Radiohead</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/led-zeppelin">Led Zeppelin</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/six-hidden-gems-made-magnificent-headphones#comments Joe Satriani Led Zeppelin Metallica Radiohead The Kingsmen News Features Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:56:07 +0000 Brad Tolinski http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23579 The Beatles' Secret Weapon: George Harrison’s 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12 http://www.guitarworld.com/beatles-secret-weapon-george-harrison-s-1963-rickenbacker-36012 <!--paging_filter--><p>Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a “secret weapon,” that’s exactly what they got when George Harrison received his first Rickenbacker 12-string, in a beautiful Fireglo finish, in February of that year, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour. </p> <p>The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company, which is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.</p> <p>Hall spoke to Brian Epstein before the Beatles arrived in the U.S. and arranged a meeting with the group. On February 8 at the Savoy Hilton in New York City, he showed the band several different models. Lennon tried out the 360/12 but thought it would be better for Harrison, who was sick in bed at the Plaza Hotel. When Harrison finally got to see it, he loved it immediately. </p> <p>“Straight away I liked that you knew exactly which string was which,” Harrison said, referring to how the guitar’s 12 tuners are grouped in top- and side-mounted pairs on the headstock. “[On some] 12-strings, you spend hours trying to tune it.” </p> <p>Harrison’s first 360/12 was the second Rickenbacker 12-string ever made; its serial number—CM107—dates it to December 1963. The main difference between it and the prototype is how they are strung. The first model had a conventional 12-string setup, in which the octave string is the first to be struck in each string pair. On Harrison’s model and subsequent Rickenbacker 12-strings, the octave strings occur second in the string pairs and the lower-pitched string is struck first.</p> <p>Harrison’s guitar has a trapeze tailpiece, triangle inlays, double white pickguards, black control knobs and mono and stereo (Rick-O-Sound) outputs mounted on a chrome plate on the side of the guitar.</p> <p>The guitar, with its unique, chiming sound, can be heard on "You Can't Do That," the bulk of the <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> album, “I Call Your Name,” “What You’re Doing”—and several other songs, up to and including “Ticket to Ride.” His second 360/12, a 1965 model with rounded cutaways, is heard on “If I Needed Someone.”</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Rickenbacker.JPG" width="620" height="248" alt="Rickenbacker.JPG" /></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/94LH3oYJEFs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: Nigel Osbourne / Redferns / Getty Images</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="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/beatles-secret-weapon-george-harrison-s-1963-rickenbacker-36012#comments 2011 George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon The Beatles Holiday Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:25:42 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/13691 Dark Horse: George Harrison's Top 10 Solo Albums http://www.guitarworld.com/dark-horse-top-10-george-harrison-albums <!--paging_filter--><p>Despite the diversity of George Harrison's many pursuits during his 58 years on earth—racing, gardening, Indian religion and culture, film making and anything remotely associated with ukeleles, Mel Brooks or Monty Python—he'll go down in history as one fourth of the Beatles.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/poll-what-was-george-harrisons-coolest-beatles-era-guitar">[[ Poll: What Was George Harrison's Coolest Beatles-Era Guitar? ]]</a></strong> </p> <p>But, notwithstanding his contributions to the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed act in the history of popular music, Harrison had a successful solo career that proved he was more than just a silent partner to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. </p> <p>The guitarist released 10 studio albums between 1970 and 2002, an experimental electronic album, a soundtrack album and two live albums (including <em>The Concert for Bangladesh</em>), plus some non-album singles, including the sadly overlooked "Cheer Down" (1989).</p> <p>Today, on the 72nd anniversary of his birth, we're ranking his 10 serious studio albums. This list doesn't include his two "while the Beatles were still together" albums, 1968's <em>Wonderwall Music</em> and 1969's <em>Electronic Sound</em>. (Although, even if we were to include them, they'd wind up as No. 12—<em>Electronic Sound</em>—and 11—<em>Wonderwall Music</em>—anyway. So there!)</p> <p>Below, you'll find a quick "Happy Birthday" video that's playing over at <a href="http://georgeharrison.com/">GeorgeHarrison.com</a>. Below that, check out the photo gallery to see how we've ranked his 10 albums.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CRojuycYpms" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. <a href="https://twitter.com/DamianFanelli">Follow him on Twittah</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="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/dark-horse-top-10-george-harrison-albums#comments Damian Fanelli George Harrison Guitar World Lists Blogs News Features Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:24:55 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/17851 Guitar Aficionado Contest: Win a New Avian Ibis Fan Fret Guitar! http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-aficionado-contest-win-new-avian-ibis-guitar <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Here's your chance to win a brand-new Ibis model guitar from <a href="http://www.avianguitars.com/">Avian Guitars!</a></strong></p> <p>Just fill out the entry form below by March 24, 2015, and you can win a new Ibis, which features an arm bevel and multi-scale fan fret fingerboard.</p> <p>Other Ibis features include a maple neck with rosewood center laminate and East Indian rosewood back and sides. </p> <p>Plus:</p> <p>• Nut: 1 3/4<br /> • String Spacing: 2 1/4<br /> • Upper bout: 11 1/2<br /> • Lower bout: 15 1/2<br /> • Neck depth: 3 1/2<br /> • Tail depth: 4 3/8</p> <p><strong>Retail Price with Case:</strong> $1,945 </p> <p><strong>For more information about Avian Guitars, visit <a href="http://www.avianguitars.com/">avianguitars.com.</a> Check out the gallery below for more Ibis photos!</strong></p> <div id="wufoo-s86o8ue1seolp4"> Fill out my <a href="https://nbmedia.wufoo.com/forms/s86o8ue1seolp4">online form</a>. </div> <script type="text/javascript">var s86o8ue1seolp4;(function(d, t) { var s = d.createElement(t), options = { 'userName':'nbmedia', 'formHash':'s86o8ue1seolp4', 'autoResize':true, 'height':'709', 'async':true, 'host':'wufoo.com', 'header':'show', 'ssl':true}; s.src = ('https:' == d.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'www.wufoo.com/scripts/embed/form.js'; s.onload = s.onreadystatechange = function() { var rs = this.readyState; if (rs) if (rs != 'complete') if (rs != 'loaded') return; try { s86o8ue1seolp4 = new WufooForm();s86o8ue1seolp4.initialize(options);s86o8ue1seolp4.display(); } catch (e) {}}; var scr = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0], par = scr.parentNode; par.insertBefore(s, scr); })(document, 'script');</script> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-aficionado-contest-win-new-avian-ibis-guitar#comments Avian Guitars Contest News Features Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:30:25 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23591 Top 10 Greatest Rock and Roll Song Endings of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-greatest-rock-and-roll-song-endings-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>Well, bub, no matter how good the song is, it eventually has to end. </p> <p>The question, then, is: How’s it going to end? </p> <p>A studio fade giving the illusion of a sing-along chorus going on forever in some imaginary world populated by elves? A repeated turnaround? An abrupt, punk-rock-style halt? An unsuspected, off-key chord? </p> <p>It’s possible, of course, that the end could wind up being a transcendent moment in itself. Such is the case with the 10 gems below.</p> <p><strong>10. “Frankenstein,” Edgar Winter </strong></p> <p>It’s not so much the virtuosity of the synchronized synth and guitar arpeggios that got this one on the list but, rather, the fact it lends itself well to puns about monsters and rock ’n’ roll. (We won’t bother getting started.) </p> <p>It then dawns on us how language and wordplay makes us human. Mighty profound for an instrumental.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/P8f-Qb-bwlU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. “Roll with the Changes,” REO Speedwagon </strong></p> <p>The chorus is repeated so many times toward the end of the song that it becomes a mantra of sorts, meant to hammer home the Zen philosophy expressed in the title of this stadium anthem by an immensely popular band from the ’80s. </p> <p>Thankfully, Gary Richrath’s string bending and tremolo picking bring the listener back from the arena-rock astral plane into the real world.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4PdU6migsqQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. “Let's Go Crazy,” Prince</strong> </p> <p>The Purp goes crazy as this ultimate party tune winds down, showing off his wah-wah-laced Hendrixisms. Judging by the ecstatic state of his solo, he doesn’t want the party to die. </p> <p>But the realization finally hits home that the party must end. Then what? The giant comedown known as <em>Under the Cherry Moon</em>.</p> <p><strong>07. “21st Century Schizoid Man,” King Crimson</strong> </p> <p>The end homes in on the most addictive part of the riff—Robert Fripp’s chromatic power-chord progression—and accelerates until it becomes a blur of tones, symbolic, perhaps, of human addiction patterns, obsessive behavior, and mental illness. </p> <p>I mean, can you down a bag of potato chips once it’s open? That’s what this riff is like. Do the research.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/8Ubc5_owhl0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. “Shy Boy,” David Lee Roth</strong> </p> <p>Vai, Sheehan. Sheehan, Vai. When David Lee Roth combined the talents of these two stringmen, he unleashed the shred equivalent of a nuclear fission reaction. The furious four-handed tapping makes one realize the importance of science to our daily lives.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GYyuK2JcaSg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. “Paradise City,” Guns N’ Roses</strong> </p> <p>Rarely has an ending been so uncanny. Axl F. Rose’s repeated pleas for someone to take him home express a young man’s basic yearning for stability and warmth. Slash just wants to play faster and faster. This conflict foreshadows what would for the band grow into an appetite for self-destruction.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Rbm6GXllBiw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. “Metal Head,” Blotto </strong></p> <p>This obscure group, in a parody of ’80s heavy metal, takes the ever-loving piss out of the drawn-out rock ’n’ roll ending by practically turning it into its own movement. </p> <p>Obviously, they espouse the philosophy that life is a joke. Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma vouches for Blotto, though, by playing lead guitar on the track.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. “Hot for Teacher,” Van Halen</strong> </p> <p>Eddie uses his space-age finger slides and tremolo picking to sound like a laser weapon battle from a late-’70s sci-fi flick, while brother Alex runs in place on his double bass pedals and David Lee Roth howls till his heart’s content. You don’t have to be Freud to figure out what pubescent fantasy an ending of this magnitude symbolizes. Orgasm. Oh, my gawd.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vyJSetm6U0k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. “Highway to Hell,” AC/DC</strong> </p> <p>Whether or not this song is truly about Hell doesn’t matter. How the Young brothers wind it out—furiously strumming their chords, whittling away at the pentatonic scale, and battering up against Bon Scott’s wails—evokes a descent into an underworld of Wagnerian proportions.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qKggnBh2Mdw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. “Won't Get Fooled Again,” The Who</strong> </p> <p>The tension of the synth interlude and the subsequent release—by way of Pete Townshend’s gargantuan power chords and Roger Daltrey’s vocal-chord-shredding scream—at the time encapsulated what we now refer to as “going postal.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zYMD_W_r3Fg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-greatest-rock-and-roll-song-endings-all-time#comments GO November 2006 Guitar One Guitar World Lists News Features Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:10:48 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/2012 Jeff Beck's Top 10 Studio Guest Appearances http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-studio-guest-appearances-jeff-beck <!--paging_filter--><p>When a legendary guitarist is invited to play on a recording session, he or she is expected to make a noticeable impact on the song or album being recorded. </p> <p>Bearing that in mind, Jeff Beck — as a session guitarist — has pretty much never disappointed. </p> <p>Here are his top 10 guest-session appearances.</p> <p><strong>10. The Pretenders, “Legalize Me," <em>Viva El Amor</em> (1999)</strong></p> <p>At first, one wonders if Beck is even playing on this song — until just around the 2:14 mark, when he boldly announces his presence with one of his freakish trademark whammy-bar moves — and it only gets better from there.</p> <p><strong><em>In Deep with Andy Aledort Presents How to Play in the Style of Jeff Beck</em> is an exclusive DVD. <em>Guitar World</em> editor and instructor Andy Aledort takes a look at the playing style of the legendary Jeff Beck, showing you the scales and lead lines used by Beck in his groundbreaking solo work. <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/products/in-deep-how-to-play-in-the-style-of-jeff-beck/?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=JBGuest">It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store</a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/f46nhp5p-bQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>09. Toots &amp; The Maytals, “54-46 Was My Number,” <em>True Love</em> (2004)</strong></p> <p>This is from a Toots album that’s packed with guest appearances by big-name guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Trey Anastasio, Bonnie Raitt and Keith Richards. But Beck stands out in a crowd, delivering a cool, weird solo that almost makes it sound like his part was tracked backwards in the mix (It wasn't). </p> <p>It’s also a nice change of pace to hear him in a reggae setting. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0sy6lzt2xU8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>08. Paul Rodgers, “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” <em>Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters</em> (1993)</strong></p> <p>Beck’s evil tone on the intro riff alone is enough to earn this tune a spot on this list. It also represents the only slide guitar to be found among these choices. </p> <p>Beck appears on three songs on this Muddy Waters tribute album by the Bad Company and Free frontman. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yhPnsWZRF0k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>07. Paul Jones, “The Dog Presides,” <em>Insane Times</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Here’s the Jeff Beck Group-era Beck sounding very much like his former Yardbird self on this song’s opening riff, fills and solo. The recording even features another former Yardbird, Paul Samwell-Smith, on bass. </p> <p>That’s Paul McCartney on drums, by the way. No one seems to remember the barking dog’s name. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IO4Xn0S5MGE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. Nerada Michael Walden, “Saint and the Rascal,” <em>Garden of Love Light</em> (1976)</strong></p> <p>This catchy, funky instrumental with a strong hook can almost be considered an outtake from <em>Wired,</em> Beck’s classic 1976 album. After all, Nerada Michael Walden played drums on <em>Wired</em> and wrote four songs on the album, including “Play With Me.” So Beck returned the favor by playing with Walden. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NcxSYFypzlA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Jimmy Copley, “Everyday I Have the Blues,” <em>Slap My Hand</em> (2008)</strong></p> <p>For people who've survived listening to Beck’s over-produced <em>Flash</em> album (1986), it’s a real treat to hear him play with such a small, stripped-down band; in fact, all you really hear are the drums (Copley is a British drummer with impressive credentials) and Beck’s chunky-sounding Strat. </p> <p>And that’s fine, because you get to hear him turn a simple three-chord blues shuffle into a showcase for his whammy-bar hijinks and out-of-left-field bits and pieces. No video for this one!</p> <p><iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:track:3Zj0ZPYpDGRrIAuOxDlCiB" width="300" height="380" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>04. Rod Stewart, "Infatuation," <em>Camouflage</em> (1984)</strong></p> <p>Maybe this one will whet your appetite for the album Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart have been working on together in recent months.</p> <p>Regardless, listen to how Beck contributes something special and unique to what could’ve been just another catchy mid-1980s pop hit. Beck also appears in the video — as does actor <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mazurki">Mike Mazurki</a>, who can be spotted in the films <em>Some Like It Hot</em> and <em>It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.</em> </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CxcRczzbz9o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. John McLaughlin, “Django,” <em>The Promise</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Simply put, this one gives you twice the bang for your buck: You get Jeff Beck trading off with John McLaughlin on a seven-plus-minute rendition of John Lewis’ “Django,” a musical elegy for guitarist Django Rheinhardt. </p> <p>Beck starts things off with the basic melody, and things pretty much get more and more interesting as the song moves forward. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uWnt3yJ9ZhA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. Stanley Clarke, “Hello Jeff,” <em>Journey to Love</em> (1975)</strong></p> <p>When the star of the show — in this case, bassist Stanley Clarke — actually incorporates his session guitarist’s name into the title of the track he played on, you can expect some memorable fretwork. Such is the case on this mid-‘70s instrumental gem, which features impressive playing by everyone involved, including the brilliant Clarke. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qUW5pS6JLvo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. Roger Waters, “What God Wants, Pt. 3,” <em>Amused to Death</em> (1992)</strong></p> <p>Roger Waters is singing about vultures, bullets and soldiers, when, all of a sudden, a Strat bursts into the mix just before the two-minute mark, playing a powerful, emotional solo. </p> <p>Is it an outtake from Pink Floyd's <em>The Wall</em>? Nope; it’s one of a handful of Beck-enriched songs from Waters’ <em>Amused to Death</em> album. </p> <p>Check out Beck’s solo, how he wisely uses every inch of real estate Waters gives him. If nothing else, the song answers the rarely asked question, “What would Pink Floyd have sounded like if Jeff Beck were in the band?”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nkXuLu4STLI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. He writes things.</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="/jeff-beck">Jeff Beck</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-studio-guest-appearances-jeff-beck#comments Damian Fanelli Jeff Beck Roger Waters Stanley Clarke The Yardbirds Yardbirds Guitar World Lists News Features Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:53:03 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11197 The 30 Greatest Shred Albums of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/30-greatest-shred-albums-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>To some people, shred guitar is about one thing, and one thing only: the need for speed. The yearn to burn. The desire for <em>fire</em>. </p> <p>Just the word itself can conjure glorious images of long-haired, pointy-guitar-wielding metalmen, fingers scaling fretboards with dazzling dexterity and furious speed, melody and musicality by damned. And indeed, during the shred zeitgeist of the 1980s, it seemed as if guitarists built up bpms the way Russia and the U.S. stockpiled nukes.</p> <p>But in fact shred was around well before the Eighties, and it has continued to thrive in the decades since. Because shred guitar is about more than just velocity, or how many notes you can squeeze into a bar of music. And it doesn't necessarily require the use of distortion, electricity or, is some cases, even a pick.</p> <p>In the following gallery, we present 30 great players from the Golden Era, the Old-School Era and the Modern Era of shred, along with the album and song that best exemplifies their shredding skills. </p> <p>As these entries attest, shred is about pushing boundaries, exploring the great guitar unknown and, basically, doing really cool stuff that's never been done before. Of course, a bit of sheer, unadulterated fret-burning speed doesn't hurt either.</p> <p><strong>NOTE: Once again, the photo gallery below is divided into three eras — the Golden Era, the Modern Era and the Old School era — each of which contains 10 albums. The gallery is arranged in that order.</strong></p> <p>Enjoy!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/30-greatest-shred-albums-all-time#comments Brad Paisley Chris Broderick December 2010 Derek Trucks Joe Bonamassa Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:24:02 +0000 Richard Bienstock, Andy Aledort http://www.guitarworld.com/article/13062 Essential Listening: 10 Stellar Slide Guitar Songs http://www.guitarworld.com/essential-listening-10-great-slide-guitar-songs <!--paging_filter--><p>Not content with the status quo, industrious young guitar players have endeavored over the decades to make things more difficult for themselves. </p> <p>Some have tried playing the guitar behind their back, over their head, with their teeth, with their friends' teeth, etc. </p> <p>And then there was the inventive guitarist who, many decades ago, decided to slip a bottle over his finger and slide it along his guitar's strings to produce a magical sound (He probably emptied the bottle himself, if you know what I mean). </p> <p>While playing the guitar with your teeth is, was and always shall be a novelty, slide guitar—and slide guitarists—is and are here to stay. They actually started digging in their heels long before Robert Johnson made his haunting Delta blues recordings in Texas in the 1930s. </p> <p>Since Johnson's time, players—including guys like George Thorogood, Derek Trucks, Jerry Douglas and Roy Rogers—have built entire careers around slide guitar and its many stylistic varieties.</p> <p>Below, we present 10 tracks that represent essential listening in the world of slide guitar. Please note that we're sticking with regular ol' six-string guitar—no lap steel, sacred steel, pedal steel, etc. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) These songs are presented in no particular order. I repeat: These songs are presented in no particular order.</p> <p>Also, if you want to track down any of these tracks, you'll find all 10 original album covers in the photo gallery below. Enjoy!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Allman Brothers Band, "Statesboro Blues" (Duane Allman)</strong></p> <p>A generation of blues-influenced rockers toyed with slide guitar for several years, slowly bringing it into mainstream music (Check out Jeff Beck's performance on "Evil Hearted You" by the Yardbirds), but no one dragged it into the modern era quite like Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. He used the slide to imitate the sound of a blues harp—not to mention mesmerize countless concert goers who were knocked out by his dexterity and intensity. Perhaps his quintessential slide performance is the Allmans' <em>At Fillmore East</em> version of Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues." As <em>Rolling Stone</em> put it, it features the sort of playing that gives people chills. Of course, be sure to seek out other live versions of the song, including the one on the band's recently released <em>SUNY at Stonybrook</em> album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ezPZxfS1jys" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Sonny Landreth, "Überesso"</strong></p> <p>Respected Louisiana-based slide player Sonny Landreth started appearing on music fans' radar in earnest after the release of the 2007 Crossroads Blues Festival DVD. It features a few tracks by Landreth (jamming with Eric Clapton and such), including the uber-exciting instrumental, "Überesso." Landreth's unique slide technique lets him fret notes and play chords and chord fragments behind the slide. He plays with the slide on his little finger, so his other fingers have more room to fret. Check out his performance of "Überesso" from the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival below. Yes, he's awesome.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sJ3IVTPPPLw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Steve Miller Band, "The Joker" (Steve Miller)</strong></p> <p>Although not primarily known as a slide player, Steve Miller put the slide to fun and creative use on his 1973 hit single, "The Joker," playing a hummable, tasteful slide solo for the masses (and imitating a whistle a few times in the process). Although it's no "Überesso" (See above), it shows that slide guitar has been invited to the chart-success party, especially in the early Seventies, much like our next selection ...</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DzSC2__LXk4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>George Harrison, "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)"</strong></p> <p>You'll read it in other roundups of great slide guitar songs—comments like, "Although he wasn't a virtuoso like these other players ... ." Yeah, whatever. OK, he wasn't Jeff Beck, Steve Howe or Ritchie Blackmore, but George Harrison, who, as a member of the Beatles, influenced millions of humans to play guitar, suddenly started playing slide guitar in 1969, inventing an entirely new "guitar persona" for himself. What he came up with was a distinctive, non-blues-based style that incorporated hints of Indian music, some pointers he picked up while learning sitar and other Beatles-esque odds and ends. While "My Sweet Lord" and Badfinger's "Day After Day" (featuring Harrison on slide) are better known, 1973's "Give Me Love" perfectly displays his new-found style. For some quality later work, check out "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7HGkdDuIZ4">Cheer Down</a>" from 1989 and "Any Road" from 2002.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s-KAvPbO8JY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Foghat, "Slow Ride" (Rod Price)</strong></p> <p>Staying in the Seventies for a moment, let us consider Foghat's "Slow Ride," another slide-based song that topped the charts. Perhaps the polar slide opposite of George Harrison, the heavily blues-influenced Rod "The Bottle" Price (Yes, they called him "The Bottle") let it all hang out in his solo near the fadeout of Foghat's signature track. Be sure to also check out Foghat's "Drivin' Wheel" and "Stone Blue." Price, a product of the UK, died in 2005.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GcCNcgoyG_0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Led Zeppelin, "In My Time of Dying" (Jimmy Page)</strong></p> <p>Although the "big three" guitarists who emerged from the Sixties rock scene in England—Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page — flirted with slide guitar at different points in their careers, none took it as far, or used it with as much success, as Page. For proof, just listen to "In My Time of Dying" from <em>Physical Graffiti</em>. The recording (the most popular version of a song Josh White recorded in the mid-Forties), features Page sliding away in open A (E / A / E / A / C# / E). Although Page also played slide on "When the Levee Breaks," "Traveling Riverside Blues" and "What Is and What Should Never Be," his distinctive slide style simply defines the powerful and dark "In My Time of Dying."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eoBKd0HXb9o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Elmore James, "Dust My Broom"</strong></p> <p>We've mentioned a few "blues influenced" players, which is basically another way of saying "players who were influenced by Elmore James." James—who was actually dubbed the "King of the Slide Guitar"—is best known for his 1951 version of "Dust My Broom (I Believe My Time Ain't Long)." The song's opening riff is one of the best-known and most influential slide guitar parts ever. Yes, it sounds a lot like what Robert Johnson played on his "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" several years earlier, but James played his riff on an electric guitar, pretty much claiming it for himself in the process and sending chills down the spine of a new generation. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LIGxeQKQs-0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Johnny Winter, "Highway 61 Revisited"</strong></p> <p>The lanky Texan (and former Brit) simply burns it up in his legendary cover of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" from <em>Second Winter,</em> his second album. Be sure to <A href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjcOSmmTTiE">investigate the acoustic "Dallas" from Winter's self-titled 1969 album</a>. If you can convincingly play these two songs, it's time to hang up your T-square and/or apron and look for session work! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yclRjptWlW8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Derek Trucks Band, "Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni" (Derek Trucks)</strong></p> <p>The list takes an exotic turn with this middle-eastern-flavored track by Derek Trucks. With his deep Allman Brothers Band lineage, we know Trucks (and Warren Haynes, of course) can tackle roots rock, extended blues jams and more, but this 10-minute instrumental track from his 2006 album, <em>Songlines</em>, steps way out of those boundaries and truly shows what Trucks is capable of. He makes the guitar sound like an exotic instrument from a distant land and time. Check out this live performance from 2008, below. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/N65cP52NC8s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Rory Gallagher, "Want Ad Blues/Wanted Blues"</strong></p> <p>For our official acoustic entry, let's not forget the late, great Rory Gallagher, shown here playing a version of John Lee Hooker's "Wanted Blues." It's hard to believe this Irish master of the Stratocaster was also a ridiculously accomplished traditional blues slide player. By the way, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kGUXtEMbPU">in this brief video (Click here), Gallagher explains some slide basics. Be sure to check it out.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/88eLFmaVDdg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Learn Slide Guitar</em> is the ultimate DVD instructional guide to playing slide guitar like a pro. Designed for beginning-to-intermediate guitar players, this DVD contains more than two hours of lessons that will help you develop such skills and techniques as playing in open and standard tunings, slide scales for soloing in all keys, improvising, open-tuning chord forms, muting, vibrato, Delta and electric blues, plus much more! <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/dvds/products/learn-slide-guitar-dvd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=SlideGuitarDamian">It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</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="/duane-allman">Duane Allman</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/allman-brothers-band">Allman Brothers Band</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-page">Jimmy Page</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/derek-trucks">Derek Trucks</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/led-zeppelin">Led Zeppelin</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/johnny-winter">Johnny Winter</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/elmore-james">Elmore James</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/essential-listening-10-great-slide-guitar-songs#comments Allman Brothers Band Damian Fanelli Derek Trucks Duane Allman Elmore James George Harrison Jimmy Page Rory Gallagher Videos News Features Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:13:38 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/17948 From the Archive: The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This classic article from the August 1997 issue of </em>Guitar World<em> serves as the definitive guide to Kurt Cobain's grungy assortment of pawn shop prizes, turbo-charged stomp boxes and blown woofers.</em></p> <p>Kurt Cobain must have been amused when magazines like <em>Guitar World</em> and <em>Guitar Player</em> requested interviews and when Fender approached him to design a guitar. But here's where another irony exists — although Cobain often said he didn't care very much about equipment, he certainly possessed more than a passing interest in the tools of his trade. </p> <p>Cobain may not have collected vintage <strong>Gibsons, Martins, D'Angelicos</strong> and what-not, but he owned an eccentric cache of budget models, low-end imports and pawn shop prizes — most pursued with the same passion as a Gibson collector seeking a mint '59 Les Paul. Even when he could afford the best, Cobain's taste in instruments never changed. "Junk is always best," Cobain stated matter-of-factly to Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I use whatever I can find at junk shops."</p> <p>Over the years, rumors about Cobain using special processors and studio trickery to obtain his sound have proliferated, so we figured the time had come to get to the real bottom of the truth about Cobain's equipment to be revealed. To do so, we contacted the most reliable sources available — the dealers who sold him his equipment, the engineers and producers who worked with him in the studio and the technicians who looked after his gear on the road. </p> <p>A couple of well-researched websites, Chris Lawrence's site and Brian Haberman's site [<em>2013 Editor's Note: These websites no longer exist. Remember this story is from 1997!</em>], also supplied many useful details. Michael Azerrad's <em>Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana</em> (Main Street/Doubleday) provided excellent background information and photographs, and we also pored over the few interviews on the subject granted by Cobain himself.</p> <p>Cobain almost certainly would have laughed at the idea of a magazine scrutinizing the minute details of his gear. "I've never considered musical equipment very sacred," he once said. But for the thousands of guitarists who consider Cobain's music sacred, it's important to understand what he played and why he played it.</p> <p><strong>SCENTLESS APPRENTICE: COBAIN'S VIRGIN MUSICAL YEARS</strong></p> <p>Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on February 20, 1967. His first guitar, a used electric, was a 14th birthday present from his uncle Chuck. "As soon as I got my guitar, I just became so obsessed with it," Cobain told Michael Azerrad. "I don't think it was even a Harmony. I think it was a Sears." </p> <p>Cobain took guitar lessons for less than a month — just long enough to learn how to play AC/DC's "Back in Black." Those three chords served him well when he began writing his own songs shortly thereafter.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain soon set his sights on forming a band. One day, a couple of friends invited him to jam in an abandoned meat locker they used as a practice space. Afterwards, Cobain foolishly left his guitar in the locker and was subsequently unable to return and get it back. </p> <p>When he finally made it back to the rehearsal space a few months later, he found his guitar in pieces. He salvaged the neck, hardware and electronics and made a new body for the guitar in wood shop, but Cobain lacked the skills to make the restored instrument intonate properly.</p> <p>When Cobain was 17, his mother married Pat O'Connor, whose ensuing infidelity led to a situation that greatly facilitated Cobain's acquisition of musical gear. After Cobain's mother learned that Pat was cheating on her, she dumped his gun collection in the river. Cobain observed his mother's antics and later encouraged some of the neighborhood kids to fish his stepdad's weapons out. Cobain sold the guns and bought a used <strong>Peavey Vintage</strong> amplifier with two 12-inch speakers with the proceeds.</p> <p>In early 1985, Cobain moved in with his natural father who discouraged his son's musical pursuits and convinced him to pawn his guitar. After about a week, Cobain got his guitar out of hock and moved out. He almost lost the guitar again when he loaned it to a drug dealer, but managed to repossess it a few months later. With this unknown guitar and the Peavey amp in hand, Cobain formed his first band, Fecal Matter, in late 1985.</p> <p>The Peavey amp disappeared sometime between early 1986 and late 1987. Krist Novoselic remembers that Cobain gave the amp to him for about a week, in what apparently was a friendly attempt to get him to join Fecal Matter. Novoselic declined on both offers. </p> <p>The amp disappeared sometime after that. By late 1987 Novoselic finally agreed to form a band with Cobain and drummer Aaron Burckhard, which they called Skid Row. Photos from this era show Cobain playing a right-hand model sunburst <strong>Univox Hi-Flyer</strong> flipped over and strung for left-handed playing. According to Azerrad, Cobain's amp during this period was a tiny <strong>Fender Champ</strong>. Also around this time, Cobain acquired a <strong>Univox Superfuzz</strong>, but it was stolen from his rehearsal space.</p> <p>The band's name changed frequently, from Fecal Matter to such similarly choice monikers as Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Throat Oyster, Windowpane and Bliss. Eventually they settled on Nirvana. When Burckhard proved too unreliable, Cobain and Novoselic kicked him out of the band and enlisted drummer Dale Crover, who they temporarily stole from the Melvins. Three weeks later, on January 23, 1988, Nirvana recorded its first studio demo at Reciprocal Studio with Jack Endino-whose early production/engineering/mixing credits include Soundgarden, Green River, Tad and Mudhoney-behind the board.</p> <p><strong>BLOND AMBITION: THE <em>BLEACH</em> YEARS</strong></p> <p>A few months after working with Nirvana for the first time, Endino played the band's demo tape for Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band to the label. Three of the songs that Nirvana recorded during that session ended up on <em>Bleach</em>, the band's first album.</p> <p>The band liked working with Endino, and they returned to Reciprocal Studios several times during the year to record more songs, although Chad Channing replaced Crover on drums. Nirvana signed a contract with Sub Pop, and in late December 1988, they entered Reciprocal Studios to record <em>Bleach</em>. The album was recorded in three days for $606.16, although five tracks from earlier sessions were included on the final album. Most of the remaining songs from the various Reciprocal sessions were released several years later on <em>Incesticide</em>.</p> <p>"When they recorded <em>Bleach</em>, Kurt's <strong>Randall</strong> was in the shop so they borrowed my amp, which was a Sixties <strong>Fender Twin</strong>," Endino recalls. "I'm a tube nut, so everything was tweaked and up to spec on that amp, but it didn't have speakers because I had fried them. Kurt brought in a little closed-back 2x12 cabinet with two <strong>Celestions</strong>, most likely 70-watt models. He was using a little orange <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion pedal and these Univox guitars [Hi-Flyers] that looked like <strong>Mosrites</strong>. The pickups were stock. I ended up getting one of those pickups from him once, because he was smashing those guitars all the time. I said, `You must have some extra pickups,' and he said, `Oh yeah. Here's one.' It was in two pieces. I was able to stick the wires together and use it. It's not the greatest sounding pickup in the world, but it seemed to work for him."</p> <hr /> <p>In 1989, Nirvana went on its first American tour. According to Earnie Bailey, a Seattle guitar repairman who was friends with Novoselic and who often worked as a technician for the band, Cobain's live rig during this period was a red <strong>Epiphone ET270</strong>, a solid-state <strong>Randall</strong> amp head, a <strong>BFI Bullfrog</strong> 4x12 cabinet and a <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion. When his guitar was destroyed beyond repair, Cobain would look for cheap replacements in pawn shops or have Sub Pop ship him guitars via Federal Express.</p> <p>"I heard stories about Kurt's guitar destruction from the Sub Pop people early on," says Endino. "When he was out on the road he'd call them up and say, `I don't know what got into me, but I just smashed up my guitar.' I don't think he was planning on smashing guitars from day one. It was just something he did. The poor Sub Pop people would call all the pawn shops up and down the coast, looking for Univox guitars."</p> <p>Between tours, Cobain often bought equipment from Guitar Maniacs in Tacoma, Washington, and Danny's Music in Everett, Washington. According to Rick King, owner of Guitar Maniacs, Cobain "bought a whole bunch of <strong>Univox Hi-Flyers</strong> — both the P-90 version and ones with humbuckers. Those pickups have huge output and are completely over the top. He broke a lot of those guitars. We sold him several of them for an average of $100 each over the course of five years."</p> <p>Although humbucker-equipped Univox Hi-Flyers apparently were Cobain's favorite guitars in the pre-<em>Nevermind</em> days, he often appeared on stage with other models, including a blue Gibson SG and a sunburst left-handed Greco Mustang copy he bought from Guitar Maniacs.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain purchased what probably was his first acoustic guitar, a <strong>Stella</strong> 12-string, for $31.21 on October 12, 1989. He brought the Stella to Smart Studios in Wisconsin to record some demos with Butch Vig in April 1990. The guitar wasn't exactly a studio musician's dream. </p> <p>"It barely stays in tune," Cobain told Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I have to use duct tape to hold the tuning keys in place." At some point in the Stella's history, the steel strings had been replaced with six nylon strings, only five of which were intact during the session. However, the guitar sounded good enough to Vig, who recorded Cobain playing a solo acoustic version of "Polly" on that guitar. That track can be heard on <em>Nevermind</em>.</p> <p>Cobain didn't seem to be exceptionally particular about what equipment he was playing through, with the notable exception of his effects pedals. Sometime in 1990, he bought an <em>Electro-Harmonix Small Clone</em> from Guitar Maniacs, and it remained a favorite and essential part of his setup to the end of his life. On January 1, 1991, Cobain used the Small Clone to record "Aneurysm," which later was issued as the b-side to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single. </p> <p><strong>BREEDING GROUND: THE RECORDING OF <em>NEVERMIND</em></strong></p> <p>Prior to formally signing with Geffen Records on April 30, 1991, Nirvana received a $287,000 advance for the recording of <em>Nevermind</em>. The advance was somewhat meager, but it gave the band some freedom in choosing equipment. However, Cobain didn't exactly go wild with his spending.</p> <p>"I sold Kurt a bunch of guitars and effects for the <em>Nevermind</em> album," says Rick King. "When they got signed to Geffen and started getting money, Kurt was still very frugal. He bought some Japanese left-handed Strats and had humbuckers installed in the Strats' lead position. He didn't spend very much money on guitars."</p> <p>Apparently Cobain developed a taste for Fender guitars just prior to recording <em>Nevermind</em>. "I like guitars in the Fender style because they have skinny necks," said Cobain in a late 1991 interview. "I've resorted to Japanese-made Fender Stratocasters because they're the most available left-handed guitars." During this period, he also acquired a left-handed <strong>'65 Jaguar</strong> that had a <strong>DiMarzio Super Distortion</strong> humbucker in the bridge position and a <strong>DiMarzio PAF</strong> in the neck position in place of the guitar's stock single-coil pickups. These modifications were made before Cobain purchased the guitar. Cobain also bought a left-handed, Lake Placid Blue <strong>'69 Fender Competition Mustang</strong> around then.</p> <p>"Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite," Cobain told GW. "They're cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small. They also don't stay in tune, and when you want to raise the string action on the fretboard, you have to loosen all the strings and completely remove the bridge. You have to turn these little screws with your fingers and hope that you've estimated it right. If you screw up, you have to repeat the process over and over until you get it right. Whoever invented that guitar was a dork. I guess I'm calling Leo Fender, the dead guy, a dork." To overcome these tuning problems, Cobain had his '69 Mustang fitted with a <strong>Gotoh Tune-O-Matic</strong> bridge, a modification that was routinely performed on the Mustangs he subsequently acquired.</p> <p>Some claim that Cobain's preference for low-end guitars was a punk statement, but he insisted that it was a matter of necessity. "I don't favor them," Cobain told <em>Guitar World</em> in 1992. "I can afford them. I'm left-handed and it's not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars." Before entering the studio, Cobain purchased a rack rig consisting of a Mesa/Boogie Studio preamp, a Crown power amp and a variety of Marshall 4x12 cabinets. "I can never find an amp that's powerful enough," Cobain told GW. "And I don't want to deal with hauling 10 Marshall heads. I'm lazy-I like to have it all in one package. For a preamp I have a Mesa/Boogie, and I turn all the midrange up." Cobain brought this rig along with his Mustang, Jaguar, a Japanese Strat and his Boss DS-1 and Electro-Harmonix Small Clone pedals to Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where the band recorded Nevermind with Butch Vig.</p> <p>"Kurt had a Mesa/Boogie, but we also used a Fender Bassman a lot and a Vox AC30 on Nevermind," Vig recalls. "I prefer getting the amp to sound distorted instead of using special effects or pedals, which lose body and the fullness of the bottom end."</p> <p>Still, Vig allowed Cobain to use a few pedals on the album, especially since the guitarist felt that the DS-1 was the main factor in his tone. Cobain also used the Small Clone liberally. "That's making the watery guitar sound you hear on the pre-chorus build-up of `Smells Like Teen Spirit' and also `Come As You Are,'" says Vig. "We used an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz box through a Fender Bassman on `Lithium' to get that thumpier, darker sound."</p> <p>Cobain's pawn shop Stella was used again for "Something in the Way." Vig recorded the performance while Cobain sat on a couch in the control room. Against Vig's wishes, Cobain plugged his guitar direct into the board for "Territorial Pissings." During the recording of "Lithium," Cobain instigated the noise jam that became the "hidden" track "Endless, Nameless." (This track does not appear on the first 50,000 copies of the CD.) Towards the end of the track, Cobain can be heard smashing his Japanese Stratocaster.</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="/nirvana">Nirvana</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/kurt-cobain">Kurt Cobain</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide#comments August 1997 GW Archive Kurt Cobain Nirvana News Features Gear Magazine Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:17:33 +0000 Chris Gill http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11150