Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/all en Born of Osiris' Lee McKinney on Pantera's 'Cowboys From Hell' — The Record That Changed My Life http://www.guitarworld.com/born-osiris-lee-mckinney-panteras-cowboys-hell-record-changed-my-life <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Pantera</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys From Hell</em> (1990)</p> <p>My dad turned me on to all the metal I listened to when I was younger. We’d listen to a lot of Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne. </p> <p>But when he played Pantera’s <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> for me, that was what really made me want to play metal and be in a band. That Pantera record changed everything for me. I was probably 12 when I first heard it, which was about 10 years after the record came out, and I would look up all their videos online. </p> <p>I remember the "Primal Concrete Sledge" video in particular. It was live, and so crazy. Pantera had that clicky kick drum and rhythmic chugging, and of course Dimebag Darrell’s lead work. The groove behind <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> was a different take on the other stuff I was listening to at that time, and it really drew me in.</p> <p>Unfortunately I never got to see Pantera live, which is a major bummer. But traveling on the Mayhem festival, I’ve met a lot of people that were close to Dime, like Rita [Haney, Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend]. It’s cool to hear all the stories about him. He seemed like such an awesome guy. </p> <p>To this day, I still listen to Pantera. We tour a lot with another band from our label, Sumerian, called After the Burial. When we get with them, it always turns into a Pantera listening party, and <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> is always in the mix.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3DOamgay6Mw" 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="/pantera">Pantera</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/born-osiris-lee-mckinney-panteras-cowboys-hell-record-changed-my-life#comments Born of Osiris July 2014 Lee McKinney Pantera The Record that Changed My Life News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Aug 2014 13:54:57 +0000 Lee McKinney http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21921 25 Things Every Guitarist Should Know http://www.guitarworld.com/25-things-every-guitarist-should-know <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Many people believe that possessing talent alone is enough to guarantee an artist success in the music business. Nothing could be further from the truth. In a perfect world, the best musicians — the best guitarists — would be amply rewarded for their abilities. The music business, however, is far from perfect. </em></p> <p>And unless you're one of the blessed few (such as Eddie Van Halen) who can single-handedly change the course of guitar history, the harsh reality is that killer chops and perfect time impress only other guitarists, not the people who hire you or buy the records.</p> <p>Talent, of course, is any artist's basic bread and butter, but whether you're a fingerpicker or a two-handed tapper, in order to survive the music business and distinguish yourself from the thousands of other guitarists who are after your gig, you must boast some other essential qualities. These range from good people skills to practical, common-sense approaches to your business (Fact it, that's what it is), both of which will help you stand out from the pack — and believe me, there's nothing more frightening that a pack of hungry, feral guitarists. </p> <p>For your edification, I have crunched these qualities — the many do's and don'ts of guitar existence — into 25 hardheaded, clearly wrought maxims. Learn them, memorize them, master them and imbibe. You'll be a better person for it, a better guitarist, and you just may make your way from the garage to the arena stage.</p> <p><strong>01. Nobody likes an asshole</strong></p> <p>Reality check: Most musicians don't give a damn whether you're the second coming of Jimi, Eddie or Buck Dharma. They just want someone with a good attitude who will play the parts correctly. And since most of your time is spent offstage, relating with the other musicians on a personal level becomes as important as relating to them musically. Remember-no one is indispensable. Just ask David Lee Roth.</p> <p><strong>02. Having a great feel is your most important musical asset</strong></p> <p>No one will want to play with you if you have bad time. You must have a great feel-it's that simple. By "great feel" I mean the ability to lock in with the rhythm section and produce a track that grooves. If there's one thing I would recommend you to constantly work on, it's developing your groove. Listen to the greats to learn how grooves should be played: from rock (Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" to 16th-note funk (James Brown's "Sex Machine") to blues shuffle ("Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughan). Tape yourself (with a metronome) playing them-you'll be able to isolate and work on your problem areas. Or pick up the excellent JamTrax series (Music Sales), a series of play-along tapes covering everything from blues to alternative to metal, to stay in shape. This is the one area where you should be most brutal in your self-assessment. You'll be a much better player for it.</p> <p><strong>03. Develop your own sound </strong></p> <p>There's no better way to learn how to play than to cop licks from your favorite guitarists. The problem to watch out for is when you start sounding too much like your favorite player. Remember, rules, especially musical rules, are made to be broken.</p> <p><strong>04. Be on time</strong></p> <p>You wouldn't believe how many musicians don't believe that punctuality is important. It is crucial.</p> <p><strong>05. Listen, listen, listen!</strong></p> <p>When you're on stage or in the studio, don't be in your own world-listen and interact with the other musicians you're working with. React to what they're playing. Don't play too loud or get in the way when someone else is soloing. Put their egos ahead of yours-your number will always be called if the other musicians feel that you made them sound better.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. Know what you want to be</strong></p> <p>The most successful people in the music business are totally focused-they have specific goals in mind and do whatever is necessary to achieve them. The simple realization that you don't have to be a musician to be a rock star and don't have to be a rock star to be a musician can spare you years of cynicism and bitterness.</p> <p><strong>07. Play for the song, not for yourself</strong></p> <p>It's imperative to play what's idiomatically correct. For example, don't play Yngwie licks on Bush's "Glycerine" or a noodly jazz solo on Soundgarden's "Outshined," no matter how much it impresses you. I learned this the hard way while auditioning for a punk singer. I thought I'd show her what a good, well-rounded musician I was and ended a thrash song in A with an Am(add9) chord, instead of a more appropriate A5. I was promptly shown the door.</p> <p><strong>08. Play with musicians who are better (and better known) than you</strong></p> <p>There's no faster way to improve and jump up to the next level than to play with great musicians. You'll learn the tricks of the trade, and pick up on their years of experience in the trenches, as well. But if you want to be a star, there's no better way to kick-start your career than by ingratiating yourself with someone famous and be seen sycophantically swilling drinks with him or her at the coolest bar in town.</p> <p><strong>09. Less is more</strong></p> <p>Most players you hear or read about pay lip service to what has become the guitardom's ultimate cliché. The fact is, though, what's glibly easy to say is not necessarily easy to do. I learned this on a gig backing up a singer on a cruise ship (It was the actual "Love Boat!"). Back then, I couldn't read music or play over changes very well, so during the first show, in abject fear, I played very sparsely-only what I was sure would work. After the show, the singer told me she had never worked with so sensitive an accompanist.</p> <p><strong>10. Image does matter</strong></p> <p>This is one of the sad truths about the music business. The good news, however, is that not every musical situation calls for the same image. So use some common sense-if you're going to be auditioning for a wimpy jangle band, don't come dressed like a Marilyn Manson cast-off.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>11. It's essential to have a great touch, or vibrato</strong></p> <p>There are players who say it took them 10-15 years to develop a great vibrato. They're the lucky ones-most never find it. Your touch is like your fingerprints-it's what distinguishes your blues playing, for instance, from that of countless other guitarists. Think of B.B. King or Jimi Hendrix-they are instantly recognizable. There are two main types of vibrato: one generated by the wrist (a la Hendrix and B.B. King) and the other from the fingers (favored more by classical guitarists). To determine which type works for you, check out your favorite guitarists' vibratos and try to imitate them. You can also pick up B.B. King's video <em>Bluesmaster</em> (Volume 1) to see his unique "bee-sting" vibrato demonstrated in-depth.</p> <p><strong>12. Get your sound/tone together</strong></p> <p>I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Know your gear well enough so that it works for you, not against you. For example, if you're looking for a Stevie Ray tone, you won't get it with a Les Paul going through a Marshall. You'll need a Strat running through a Fender Bassman (with an Ibanez Tube Screamer for extra punch). Unless you're a studio tech-head, a great guitar and amp (with an overdrive or chorus pedal) will probably sound 10 times better than a refrigerator full of rack-mounted shit (believe me, I've been there).</p> <p><strong>13. Practice what you don't know, not what you do know</strong></p> <p>In order to improve, you must practice. That sounds frightening, but let me reassure you that good practicing doesn't necessarily entail sitting grimly in a basement (while the other kids are outside playing), mindlessly running scales and arpeggios-you can get all the technique you need by learning licks from your favorite guitarists. For example, Eric Johnson's intro to "Cliffs of Dover" is a veritable lexicon of minor-pentatonic ideas. Here are the three axioms of good practicing:</p> <p>A. Master small bits of music first (no more than four to eight notes at a time), then connect them to form longer passages.<br /> B. Start out playing new ideas at a slow tempo (this builds muscle memory), then gradually work up to speed. It's much better to play slow and clean than fast and sloppy.<br /> C. Always practice with a metronome</p> <p><strong>14. Get your business chops together</strong></p> <p>Business chops are just as important as musical ones, if not more so. If you want to make money as a musician, you have to start seeing yourself as a business and your music as a product. Acting against the stereotype of a musician (you know — stupid, drunk and gullible), as hard as that may be, will show club owners and record execs that you're not a pushover.</p> <p><strong>15. Be fluent with both major and minor pentatonic scales</strong></p> <p>In rock, pop, blues or country situations, knowing these scales will enable you to get by 80 percent of the time. I heartily recommend my book <em>Practical Pentatonics</em> (Music Sales)-a nifty little volume that covers just about all you need to know to be comfortable using the pentatonic scale in real-life gigging situations.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>16. As soon as you learn something cool, apply it immediately to a real-life musical situation</strong></p> <p>Many guitarists learn tons of licks that sound great when played in the practice room. But the minute they get on stage, they have a hard time integrating this new material into their playing. Before you learn something new, you should have an idea where you could fit it in.</p> <p><strong>17. Learn as many melodies as you can</strong></p> <p>Not only does learning melodies to tunes (any tunes) increase your repertoire, it also (subconsciously) gives you an incredibly distinct edge in developing your phrasing. Ideally, you should be able to duplicate any melody you hear.</p> <p>A. Listen to how singers interpret melodies and try to mimic their phrasing on the guitar.<br /> B. Try to play back any, and I mean any, melody you hear-be it a TV commercial, nursery rhyme or the Mister Softee ice cream truck theme.<br /> C. Always learn a melody on more than one place on the guitar neck. You want to play the melody, not have the melody play you.</p> <p><strong>18. Know your place</strong></p> <p>When a bandleader asks you to play something a certain way, smile and do it! Don't argue. Don't pout. Don't think you know better. Don't be an asshole. You'll have plenty of time to be in charge when your three-disk epic rock opera adaptation of The Jeffersons gets picked up.</p> <p><strong>19. Contrary to popular belief, taking lessons and listening to other styles of music doesn't hurt</strong></p> <p>It never hurts to broaden your scope, no matter how great a player you already are or how much you think you've already learned all there is to know. Opening your mind to other styles and techniques makes you a better, more well-rounded musician. Period. A great teacher can inspire and enable you to develop as a creative, exciting player.</p> <p><strong>20. Learn as many tunes as possible, from start to finish</strong></p> <p>It doesn't matter what style you like to play in, the more tunes you know, the easier it is to get a gig or kick ass on a jam session. And there's no excuse for not doing it-even if you're not at the point where you can learn tunes off the recording, you can avail yourself of the hundreds of transcription books out there. Heck, you can learn five new tunes a month just by reading <em>Guitar World</em>!</p> <hr /> <p><strong>21. Develop authority as a player</strong></p> <p>You have to get to the point where you feel as creatively comfortable in front of hundreds of people as you do in front of your sister and the dog. And the only way you can attain that authority is by putting in the time. Playing at home only gets you so far-it's imperative that you play out as soon as you can. Attend jam sessions. Take less-than-ideal gigs, just for the experience. Take any gigs, for that matter-it's the experience that counts!</p> <p><strong>22. Hang out with other musicians</strong></p> <p>The best way to get contacts and gigs is to be seen and heard. How can anyone recommend you if they don't know who you are? As unpleasant and greasy as this may sound, do your best to befriend other guitarists. Though there's intense competition amongst players, most of your work will come as a result of recommendations made by other guitarists.</p> <p><strong>23. Know the fundamentals</strong></p> <p>Being able to hear common chord changes will help you learn tunes off the radio faster. Knowing a little basic theory will help you with your songwriting and your ability to intuitively come up with rhythm parts. For example, knowing that the harmonic structure of most blues tunes is I-IV-V (C-F-G) and that early rock ballads were usually built on I-vi-IV-V progressions (C-Am-F-G) will help you to play just about any tune in those genres or compose one of your own. One more plug: you also might want to check out my book <em>The Advanced Guitar Case Chord Book</em> (Music Sales) to get an idea of how to apply cool chord voicings to common progressions in all types of music.</p> <p><strong>24. Be careful out there</strong></p> <p>As soon as you or your band become somewhat popular, all sorts of characters are going to start crawling out of the gutter with designs on you. Have fun, but don't go overboard. And always keep an eye on your equipment-it's your life's blood. And try to save some cash.</p> <p><strong>25. Don't shit where you eat</strong></p> <p>Don't fuck the singer. Don't fuck the drummer's girlfriend. Don't fuck the drummer's dog. Don't fuck the drummer. Don't backstab your bandmates. Don't pocket tips. Don't be an asshole!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/25-things-every-guitarist-should-know#comments GW Archive Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Aug 2014 13:46:47 +0000 Askold Buk http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11121 DVD Combo Pack — 'Talkin' Blues' Parts 1 and 2 — on Sale at Guitar World Online Store http://www.guitarworld.com/dvd-combo-pack-talkin-blues-parts-1-and-2-sale-guitar-world-online-store <!--paging_filter--><p>The <em>Talkin' Blues</em> DVD Combo Pack is <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/talkin-blues-dvd-combo-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=TalkinBluesCombo">available now at the Guitar World Online Store</a> for a special sale price — $24.95 (down from $29.98)!</p> <p>Get both <em>Talkin' Blues</em> DVDs from Keith Wyatt in this special combo offer! That's four hours of in-depth video lessons on essential blues elements and guitar-playing techniques.</p> <p>Don't miss out on this amazing blues tutorial at a great price!</p> <p><strong><em>Talkin' Blues</em> DVD Part 1:</strong></p> <p> Precision string bending<br /> Low-register phrasing for musical effect<br /> How to use fills effectively<br /> Chicken-pickin' phrases for a funky feel<br /> How to bring your licks to life with accented notes<br /> Jazz-blues techniques:extensions, alterations and substitutions<br /> How to make licks groove with swinging eighth notes</p> <p><strong><em>Talkin' Blues</em> DVD Part 2:</strong></p> <p> "Street Jazz" chord extensions and alterations<br /> Soloing over chord substitutions<br /> How to play like Blink Blake and Charlie Christian<br /> How to match the solo to the song<br /> "Dead thumb (or pick)" technique<br /> Conversational phrasing<br /> Sixth and ninth chords<br /> The New Orleans sound</p> <p>Your instructor: For more than 35 years, Wyatt has been active as a guitarist and educator specializing in American music. He is a prolific author of books, instructional videos and columns on subjects ranging from theory and ear training to beginning guitar methods and blues and "roots" styles. Since 1978, Keith has been an instructor at the world-famous Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, where he also serves as Director of Curriculum. Since 1996, he has been touring internationally and recording with LA's legendary Blasters. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/talkin-blues-dvd-combo-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=TalkinBluesCombo">This combo pack is available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/dvd-combo-pack-talkin-blues-parts-1-and-2-sale-guitar-world-online-store#comments News Features Fri, 01 Aug 2014 13:44:40 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21855 Black Veil Brides' Jake Pitts on Metallica's Black Album — The Record That Changed My Life http://www.guitarworld.com/black-veil-brides-jake-pitts-metallicas-black-album-record-changed-my-life <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Metallica</strong><br /> <em>Metallica</em> (The Black Album) (1991)</p> <p>Metallica’s Black Album (<em>Metallica</em>) definitely changed the way I looked at the guitar and what my goals were going to become in life. </p> <p>I can’t remember the exact moment I discovered the album, but I do remember I was around 13 years old and had gotten this new cool toy for my birthday called the Rhythm Bandit. It was a little device you would hook up to your CD player and flip a switch that was supposed to isolate the rhythm guitar. </p> <p>I remember sitting in the living room of our little house in Boise, Idaho, for hours and hours, learning every song on the Black Album with the help of the Rhythm Bandit, which allowed me to hear the guitar parts better. </p> <p>I actually went to one of my guitar lessons and said I wanted my guitar to sound like Metallica, but I wasn't talking about my playing—I was talking about tone. </p> <p>I don’t know anyone who understands tone at that age, as most kids just want to crank the gain to 10, but I've always had a good ear for sound. I never would have thought back when I was sitting on my living room floor learning those songs that I would be doing one of my albums with the legendary Bob Rock himself.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CD-E-LDc384" 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="/metallica">Metallica</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/black-veil-brides-jake-pitts-metallicas-black-album-record-changed-my-life#comments August 2014 Black Veil Brides Jake Pitts Metallica The Record that Changed My Life Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:52:13 +0000 Jake Pitts http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21922 We Are The In Crowd's Jordan Eckes and Cameron Hurley's Summer Tour Survival Guide — Warped Tour http://www.guitarworld.com/we-are-crowds-jordan-eckes-and-cameron-hurleys-summer-tour-survival-guide-warped-tour <!--paging_filter--><p><em>In this new feature from the August 2014 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>, the guitarists of Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Trivium and other metal acts tell how they'll beat the heat and tame the crowds on the season's biggest tours.</em></p> <p><strong><em>TODAY: We Are The In Crowd's Jordan Eckes and Cameron Hurley — WARPED TOUR</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Jordan Eckes</strong></p> <p><strong>Tips for playing in extreme heat?</strong></p> <p>Stay hydrated and don’t play on an empty stomach! The last thing you want to do is pass out onstage and cause a panic. Trust me: playing on 120-degree days is no joke. </p> <p><strong>One item you’ll carry with you at all times this summer?</strong></p> <p>Sunglasses.</p> <p><strong>Considerations when playing an outdoor show versus an indoor show?</strong></p> <p>When you’re running entirely DI like we do, there will be times when the wind will completely throw the sound around, so you need to be aware of that. And we always need to be prepared for rain. </p> <p><strong>Primary gear you’ll be playing this summer?</strong></p> <p>Nothing too fancy, just my Music Man Reflex custom and an Avid Eleven Rack for amp simulation. For a long time I used a JCM 900 through a Palmer PDI-03 speaker simulator, but it makes life so much easier having a two-space rack. Once everything is mixed at front-of-house, it’s really hard to tell what's “real” and what’s digital these days.</p> <p><strong>Tips for winning over a tough crowd?</strong></p> <p>If a crowd isn’t feeling your set, there’s really not much you can do besides try to pump them up. Talk about whoever’s headlining that day, and try to interact with the crowd instead of playing your set as fast as possible.</p> <p><strong>Advice for a band just starting to play live?</strong></p> <p>Get your drummer on a click. It will make your live show more enjoyable and you’ll grow tighter as a band. Don’t be afraid of laying out banter for your set before a show. Make sure your lead singer knows what he or she needs to say before a particular song. Just have fun—and, please, use a floor tuner!</p> <p><strong>Cameron Hurley</strong></p> <p><strong>Your sweatiest concert ever?</strong></p> <p>It was at the Cockpit in Leeds, England, on our headlining tour of the U.K. earlier this year. The venue is shaped like a giant soup can, and when it’s packed it feels like you’re playing in one, too. Our clothes didn’t dry for about two days after that.</p> <p><strong>Tips for playing in extreme heat?</strong></p> <p>Pace yourselves, stay hydrated, and try not to drink too much alcohol before you play. There isn’t much more you can do about the heat, so you’d better get used to standing around in sweat-soaked clothes.</p> <p><strong>One item you’ll carry with you at all times this summer?</strong></p> <p>I tend to lose most of things I should carry on me at all times. But one thing I’ll never tour without is my FGN Masterfield guitar. It’s a beautiful, Japanese-made semi-hollowbody, and I can get just about any sound I’m looking for out of it.</p> <p><strong>Considerations when playing an outdoor show versus an indoor show?</strong></p> <p>Don’t underestimate how much the sun will wear you down. The first few times you have to play outside in the middle of the summer, you’ll feel like you just ran a triathlon. If it's really sunny and you use a lot of pedals, try putting them somewhere onstage where there’s shade. There’s nothing worse than looking down at your tuner and seeing nothing but the glare from the sun.</p> <p><strong>Primary gear you’ll be playing this summer?</strong></p> <p>Over the past few years, we’ve slowly transitioned to having a fully digital setup. I’m playing an Avid Eleven Rack with a MIDI-controlled pedal board. It’s simple and easy to travel with, and it’s very convenient to transition from using it for writing and demoing when we’re off tour to using it as a live rig on tour.</p> <p><strong>Tips for winning over a tough crowd?</strong></p> <p>Some crowds are harder to please than others. On a good day, everything just connects, the crowd is responsive, and we put on a show we feel great about. Other days you need to put in more work, raise the energy and get in their faces a bit more. Don’t lose confidence if the crowd doesn’t seem blown away. Chances are there was at least one person who loved it, and they’ll remember it.</p> <p><strong>Advice for a band just starting to play live?</strong></p> <p>When you’re first starting out, you might be more worried about playing a perfectly tight set and forget that you also need to put on an entertaining show. Keep the crowd engaged, and get them involved with the show so they can connect with more than just the music.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/BM3Rv2RO1Do" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/we-are-crowds-jordan-eckes-and-cameron-hurleys-summer-tour-survival-guide-warped-tour#comments 2014 Summer Tour Survival Guide August 2014 Cameron Hurley Jordan Eckes We Are The In Crowd Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:45:56 +0000 Jeff Kitts, Sammi Chichester http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21727 Periphery's Misha Mansoor Discusses Dream Theater's 'Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory' — The Record That Changed My Life http://www.guitarworld.com/peripherys-misha-mansoor-discusses-dream-theaters-metropolis-pt-2-scenes-memory-record-changed-my-life <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Dream Theater</strong><br /> <em>Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory</em> (1999)</p> <p>“This is the album that got me into progressive music and made me think differently about guitar.</p> <p>"It’s the most formative album for me in deciding I was going to be a musician and take guitar seriously. Before hearing <em>Scenes from a Memory</em>, I was mostly a drummer. I was probably 15 or 16 when my friend from high school played it for me. </p> <p>"I had heard the name Dream Theater before, but I didn’t pay attention because sometimes the word prog gets a bad rap, so I kinda wrote them off. But my friend lent me the album along with their DVD, <em>Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York</em>, where they play the album live. The combination of hearing the record and also seeing that they could actually play that stuff live was amazing. They nail it. I didn’t even know it was possible, and it rocked my world. </p> <p>“Before that, I played guitar a little bit, but it was mostly about playing drop-D power chords. Nothing serious. But the possibilities of what music could be expanded so much after I heard <em>Scenes from a Memory</em>. It was a mind fuck. I stopped playing drums and took guitar seriously. I sat down and learned as much of the solos and riffs on that album as I could. That’s how I started developing my chops. </p> <p>“The beauty of John Petrucci is that he’s the whole package. Shredders are a dime a dozen, but this guy writes some of the sickest riffs and best songs ever. I wanted to emulate him and absorb as much of his music as possible. I didn’t even want to be original. Dude, I wanted to straight up be John Petrucci! </p> <p>"<em>Scenes from a Memory</em> was my introduction to Dream Theater, and it’s still my favorite record by them. It has so much sentimental value for me because it had such a big impact on my guitar playing.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9ErC9fF8RBY" 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="/dream-theater">Dream Theater</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/peripherys-misha-mansoor-discusses-dream-theaters-metropolis-pt-2-scenes-memory-record-changed-my-life#comments Dream Theater July 2014 Misha Mansoor Periphery The Record that Changed My Life Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:27:50 +0000 Misha Mansoor http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21928 The Doors' Robby Krieger Discusses Bob Dylan's 'Bringing It All Back Home' — The Record That Changed My Life http://www.guitarworld.com/doors-robby-krieger-discusses-bob-dylans-bringing-it-all-back-home-record-changed-my-life <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Robby Krieger of the Doors chooses and discusses the record that changed his life.</em></p> <p><strong>Bob Dylan</strong><br /> <em>Bringing It All Back Home</em> (1965)</p> <p>“This guy from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who I knew in school named Bill Phinity turned me onto Bob Dylan. </p> <p>"We had a jug band called the Back Bay Chamberpot Terriers. This was the same time that Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Pigpen were playing in a jug band before they formed the Grateful Dead, but they were a lot better than us. Our only gig was for the Ladies Auxiliary. We played a bunch of Dave Van Ronk stuff. </p> <p>“I was 19 and attending [The University of California] Santa Barbara when <em>Bringing It All Back Home</em> came out. I was taking a lot of acid in those days, and everything Dylan said just really connected with me. There are a lot of great songs on that album—‘Maggie’s Farm,’ ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.’ ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ is one of my favorites. That was actually the first rap song as far as I’m concerned. Dylan used the words like notes. He didn’t really care what they said, just how they sounded. </p> <p>“I always liked the way that Dylan played guitar, although I never tried to copy the way he played.</p> <p>"I was always amazed by how he could play guitar and sing or play harmonica at the same time. But the spirit of Dylan’s music has always stayed with me through everything I’ve done with the Doors and the Robby Krieger Band.”</p> <object width="620" height="365"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/eJxm58htzqc?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/eJxm58htzqc?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="365" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object><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="/bob-dylan">Bob Dylan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/doors-0">The Doors</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/robby-krieger">Robby Krieger</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/doors-robby-krieger-discusses-bob-dylans-bringing-it-all-back-home-record-changed-my-life#comments Bob Dylan July 2014 Robby Krieger The Doors The Record that Changed My Life Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:25:20 +0000 Robby Krieger http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21930 The Bottle Rockets’ Brian Henneman: Rickenbacker Romance and Amplifier Angst http://www.guitarworld.com/bottle-rockets-brian-henneman-rickenbacker-romance-and-amplifier-angst <!--paging_filter--><p>Maybe you go way back with Brian Henneman: back to Illinois in the Eighties and the yeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaa thrash-twang cowpunk-and-scorched-brimstone of Chicken Truck, perhaps? </p> <p>Or maybe you remember when Brian worked for Uncle Tupelo in the early Nineties: the roadie who would humbly come out for the encore, strap on a guitar and take the top of everyone’s head off with his lead breaks on a thundering cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer” … and then start lugging stuff out to the van.</p> <p>And while we’re at it, how about the role Henneman played in alt-country history that rarely gets acknowledged? A lot of the snarl, growl, chug and crunch you hear on Wilco’s debut album — 1995’s <em>A.M.</em> — was courtesy of Henneman. (He was listed as a “special guest” for those pre-Jay Bennett sessions.) Put an ear to the greasily chicken-picked “That’s Not the Issue” or the Crazy Horseness of “Too Far Apart”: pretty cool, eh?</p> <p>But never mind past glories and overlooked genius: The easiest way to dial into the music of Brian Henneman is to sit down with some Bottle Rockets — his main focus for the last 20-plus years. You could spend a lot of time trying to categorize their music — anything from rock ‘n’ twang to Americana punk — but in the end, you’re better off just listening and enjoying. </p> <p>An excellent crash course in the Rockets would be Bloodshot Records’ recently released two-disc bundle that combines the band’s first two albums with a slew of neat previously unreleased music. Altogether, there are 11 albums in the Bottle Rockets’ catalog so far — 10 studio and one live — with a new one simmering.</p> <p>Behind Henneman’s insightful lyrics and shoot-from-the-bluejeaned-hip riffs lies a total guitar nerd, one who still part-times in his hometown guitar shop when he’s not on the road and will talk gear for as long as you have time to spare. I had the chance recently to ask Brian about reuniting with the one that got away, the lifespans of parakeets and the recipe for Instant Keith Richards.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Brian, in most photos I’ve seen of late, you’re brandishing a Rickenbacker … it looks to me like the two of you are going steady.</strong></p> <p>Yep, a Rickenbacker 360 … love it!</p> <p><strong>I’ve heard you refer to it during shows as your “new favorite guitar.” It sounds like you’d been pining for one for awhile.</strong></p> <p>Oh, yeah, 20 years, man. [laughs] I had one 20 years ago, but in those days I was too broke to keep it, you know? It was one of those deals where the house payment came due and the Rickenbacker had to go.</p> <p><strong>I think everybody has a “one that got away” story.</strong></p> <p>You got that right … and I’d been wanting one again ever since. [laughs] I’ve always loved the sound of a Rick. Tom Petty: he’s always played them. And Roger McGuinn, of course. I’m a huge, huge, huge Roger McGuinn fan. </p> <p>So I finally bit the bullet and got myself one again. I’m old enough and wise enough now to get exactly the one I wanted; in the color I wanted; with every feature I wanted … and it cost a lot of money, but I figure it’s going to be the last guitar I buy in my life. [laughs]</p> <p>I’ve got enough of ‘em. I’m full of guitars. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Tell me what you like about the 360.</strong></p> <p>For one thing, I’m using a capo on a lot of the new songs, and the Rickenbacker is the best frigging capo guitar ever. The neck is really evenly shaped and it doesn't pull strings out of tune.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JwXkGJo9m2g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>It seems like you’ve got a handle on the beast, as far as coaxing different tones out of it in the course of a set.</strong></p> <p>You know, I haven't really played my other guitars much since I got the Rick.</p> <p><strong>At the same time, John Horton — your picking partner in the Bottle Rockets — might work through a number of guitar voices during a show.</strong></p> <p>Oh, yeah, sometimes a Strat; sometimes a Flying V or a Firebird … John plays all kinds of stuff. The thing is, the Rickenbacker balances out with all of them … it always stands out from anything John wants to play.</p> <p><strong>Have you ever tried a combination that didn't balance out?</strong></p> <p>Ha! Good question! Yeah, one time we tried playing with two Stratocasters at the same time … and that did not work. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Anybody get hurt?</strong></p> <p>Oh, man … We kept turning up because neither one of us could hear each other. At the end, we were so fucking loud … and we still couldn't hear each other.</p> <p><strong>But you’re still going to keep your Tele's handy, right?</strong></p> <p>I’ve got a Tele on my kitchen table here right now. (laughs)</p> <p><strong>Is it your <a href="http://www.crestonguitars.com/guitars/brian_hennemans_oat">Creston Tele — good ol’ Oat?</a> That’s my idea of total guitar porn …</strong></p> <p>Isn’t it? [laughs] Yeah, Creston Lea builds a frigging awesome guitar … the one you’re talking about is actually my best Tele. My other one is a total frigging mutt: The body is like, from 1951 or something. There are no original parts except the body. And that’s a really good guitar, too, except it’s kind of flimsy and old funky and doesn’t like to stay in tune. So the Creston is the go-to Tele for any kind of real, live road use.</p> <p><strong>I know your amp of choice for a long while was a Fender Blues Junior. Do you still have that?</strong></p> <p>The Blues Junior is a frigging great amp. I used that thing for five years and it was just a killer amp. It finally just died of old age; they're like … like parakeets, you know?</p> <p>So when it died, there was this amp at the guitar shop I work at — Killer Vintage in St. Louis — called a Buster. It’s made by Louis Electric and is a lot like a Tweed Deluxe with a stronger power section.</p> <p>So then I was at the crossroads: Do I get this thing for, like, the price of five Blues Juniors? Or do I just keep getting Blues Juniors until I die? Just wear ‘em out and replace ‘em?</p> <p>You know, I’m figuring my life span versus a Blues Junior’s would be about, oh, three more or so … something like that. Which would’ve been cheaper than the Buster … but I went ahead and got it anyway. It's a fucking killer amp.</p> <p><strong>And that’s what you’re using now.</strong></p> <p>Well, no … You see, I got the Buster before I got the Rick … and it's the best amp in the world for a Telecaster. You are Keith Richards when you plug into it, you know?</p> <p>But the Rickenbacker didn't sound as good out of the Buster. It’s too dirty for the Rick. So then I was going through all this shit to try to get the Rick tone I wanted …</p> <p><strong>And ended up with …?</strong></p> <p>A ’74 Fender Deluxe Reverb, which is perfect for the Rickenbacker. I still have the Buster … and maybe I should’ve stuck with the Blues Junior! </p> <p><Strong>I have one myself. All I’ve done is swap out the stock speaker with an Eminence Cannabis Rex and a new set of tubes. I’m playing a Classic Series Fifties Esquire through it with one of Jim Weider’s Big T bridge pickups. I love the thing. </strong></p> <p>Cool, sounds like a great combination. The Blues Juniors are the perfect size and the perfect volume. Look: I got five years out of mine. If I got five years, you’ll have yours the rest of your life. [laughs]</p> <p><em>A former offshore lobsterman, Brian Robbins had to wait a good four decades or so to write about the stuff he wanted to when he was 15. Today he’s a freelance scribe, cartoonist, photographer and musician. His home on the worldwide inner tube is at <a href="http://brian-robbins.com/">brian-robbins.com</a> (And there’s that <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BrianRobbinsWords">Facebook</a> thing too.)</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/bottle-rockets-brian-henneman-rickenbacker-romance-and-amplifier-angst#comments Brian Henneman Brian Robbins The Bottle Rockets Interviews News Features Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:17:30 +0000 Brian Robbins http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22000 Judas Priest's Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner Talk New Album, 'Redeemer of Souls' http://www.guitarworld.com/judas-priests-rob-halford-glenn-tipton-and-richie-faulkner-talk-new-album-redeemer-souls <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an excerpt from the September 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus features on Dan Auerbach's off-beat guitars, Eric Clapton and his new J.J. Cale tribute album, 17 Amazing practice amps, columns, tabs and reviews of new gear from Epiphone, ESP Guitars, Visual Sound, Blackstar, G&amp;L Guitars, Ibanez and more, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-september-2014-the-black-keys/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=BlackKeysExceprt">check out the August 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></p> <p>When <em>Guitar World</em> sat down with Judas Priest guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner and frontman Rob Halford in New York City earlier this summer, there was a palpable sense of excitement and confidence in the air as we talked about Priest’s new return-to-form album, <em>Redeemer of Souls</em>. </p> <p>It felt like a fresh beginning for a group that, just a few years earlier, had seemed on the verge of imploding.</p> <p>In December 2010, more than 40 years after the group’s formation in Birmingham, England, Judas Priest had announced that their Epitaph World Tour would be a farewell jaunt. </p> <p>When, a few weeks later, Rob Halford said in an interview, “I think it’s time,” and asked fans to “not be sad” and “celebrate and rejoice over all the great things we’ve done,” the heavy-metal community took it as a sign that the mighty Judas Priest were finally hanging up their studded leather belts. </p> <p>With the internet abuzz over the uncertainty of their future, Judas Priest went into damage control mode and quickly issued a statement that read, in part, “This is by no means the end of the band. In fact, we are presently writing new material, but we do intend this to be the last major world tour.” </p> <p>For much of their career, the band members’ comments about Judas Priest’s future probably wouldn’t have caused much of a stir. But in today’s 24/7 feeding frenzy known as the internet, it’s a very different story.</p> <p>“It does make you choose your words carefully,” Halford says. “With today’s speed of communication, you’ve only got to get one word wrong and the whole place blows up. In retrospect, there probably should have been a different way to project the whole Epitaph experience.”</p> <p>Some additional turbulence shook the Judas Priest camp in April 2011 when longtime guitarist K.K. Downing announced that he was leaving the group just two month’s ahead of the Epitaph tour. The band wasted no time announcing 31-year-old British guitarist Richie Faulkner as Downing’s replacement. Faulkner’s debut with the band took place on national television on May 25, 2011, when Judas Priest performed live during the season finale of <em>American Idol.</em></p> <p>After the completion of the 120-date Epitaph tour in May 2012, Judas Priest took some much needed time off to regroup and begin work on a new album. They made a few public appearances, and a couple of best-of packages found their way into the marketplace, but otherwise things were fairly quiet on the Priest front.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/shwOv_J7QGo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Then, this past April, the band announced a July 15 release date for <em>Redeemer of Souls</em>, its first album of new material since 2008’s poorly received conceptual double album, <em>Nostradamus</em>. Wisely, the group issued a free stream of the title track alongside the announcement. From its opening chugging riff to Halford’s distinct voice intoning, “It’s time to settle the score,” to Tipton and Faulkner’s searing solo trade-offs, <em>Redeemer of Souls</em> makes it clear that Priest has not only survived the past few years’ unrest but also regained the fire in their belly that had been missing for quite some time.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD EXCERPT: Back in 2010–2011, there was a lot of speculation that Judas Priest were on the verge of disbanding. But with Redeemer of Souls and new tour dates on the horizon, it seems as though the band has a renewed sense of energy.</strong></p> <p><strong>Rob Halford:</strong> I think it’s very natural for a band that’s had a long career in rock and roll to become a little bit philosophical. That’s just human nature, and we weren’t afraid to talk about it. But I don’t think we ever said specifically “This is the end.” It was probably the “Farewell Tour” that gave people that impression. We probably should have called that something different. We called it that because it was our way of saying that this is the end of the big, massive world tours. We’re still going to go out and play, but it’s not going to be these big two-year schleps, which are grueling for any band.</p> <p>But there’s definitely a change in tone around the band these days, and a lot of that is because of this guy right here [points to Faulkner]. Richie has brought something to this band that is very infectious and vibrant, and I think you can sense all of that great feeling coming through in these new songs.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jq8kwk8288A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Glenn, did you feel that there was a negative vibe swirling around the band during the Epitaph tour?</strong></p> <p><strong>Glenn Tipton:</strong> I don’t know if it was a negative vibe around us as much as it was a little bit unsure of what the future held for Judas Priest. For me, the Epitaph tour was one of the most satisfying and gratifying tours we had ever done. It was a grueling task to go out and play for two and a half hours every night, but to play a song off every album brought out a lot of sentimental feelings, and I think we all rose to the occasion.</p> <p>But you’re right in the sense that there was a little bit of uncertainty around the band—what we were going to do next, that kind of thing. And it wasn’t until we started writing the album and really getting into the meat and potatoes of it that we realized, Hold on, this is going to be more than just another album—there’s something special going on here. And that starts to breed enthusiasm. You look forward to the future. You look forward to playing these songs onstage. So I think the band has evolved since the Epitaph era into a different way of thinking. We’ve never been more content, and we’re excited about the future.</p> <p><strong>Halford:</strong> In light of the Epitaph experience, if and when the final note is played, we certainly won’t be announcing it. I think it’s just going to happen one day, and that’s probably the nicest way to do it. You take very small steps back until you’re done, and I think it’ll be that way for us. But the fact that Priest’s music will live forever, the way Beethoven and Bach’s music lives forever, that really is the most incredible accomplishment that you can dwell on and feel proud of.</p> <p><strong>After the Epitaph tour, did you feel as though there was unfinished business within the band? Like there was more to accomplish?</strong></p> <p><strong>Tipton:</strong> I think we’ve always felt that way. We’ve never been satisfied with one record—we’ve always wanted to do another. It’s the same with touring: you know that at some point you’re going to want to go out and do another tour. Even with this record, we recorded 18 songs. I mean, where did that come from? So there’s plenty left in this band.</p> <p><strong>Richie, what was it like for you around the time of the Epitaph tour? Was it disappointing to join a legendary band like Judas Priest and suddenly have people speculating about the group’s demise?</strong></p> <p><strong>Faulkner:</strong> When I came onboard and was welcomed into the family, I was very aware of where the band were in their career. Not that I wasn’t already aware of it, since I’m a fan of the band, but it certainly wasn’t something I was going to pass up just because there’s a chance that the band was coming to the end of its career. And maybe if there was any sense within the band of winding down, maybe I’m the one who’s keeping them going. And some people out there might not like me for that, but what was I going to do? Not join the band? Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns. And as a result, here we are with 18 new studio tracks and a new Judas Priest album. </p> <p><strong>Were you involved in the songwriting for <em>Redeemer of Souls</em> from the get-go?</strong></p> <p><strong>Faulkner:</strong> From day one, it’s always been a family of creative people. It’s not one or two people calling the shots and you just show up, play a gig and go home. From the rehearsals to picking the set list to the stage production, it’s a very inclusive process, and that transcends right into the songwriting for the album.</p> <p>Priest have always had the vocalist and the two-guitar-player writing team, and it was the same this time. I was taught to write metal songs by these guys. When you're 14 or 15 years old, you listen to <em>Screaming for Vengeance</em> and use that as a model for writing songs. So, for me, when you’re now in the studio writing songs with these guys, you don’t have to put on a different hat or write songs you wouldn’t normally write; it comes from your heart, because it’s what you’ve been brought up with. So it was a very organic and intuitive experience for me to write songs with these guys.</p> <p><em>Photo: Jimmy Hubbard</em></p> <p><em>This is an excerpt from the September 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus features on Dan Auerbach's off-beat guitars, Eric Clapton and his new J.J. Cale tribute album, 17 Amazing practice amps, columns, tabs and reviews of new gear from Epiphone, ESP Guitars, Visual Sound, Blackstar, G&amp;L Guitars, Ibanez and more, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-september-2014-the-black-keys/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=BlackKeysExceprt">check out the August 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</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="/judas-priest">Judas Priest</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/judas-priests-rob-halford-glenn-tipton-and-richie-faulkner-talk-new-album-redeemer-souls#comments Judas Priest September 2014 Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:24:09 +0000 Jeff Kitts http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21873 Christmas in July Sale at Guitar World Store: All DVDs $10! http://www.guitarworld.com/christmas-july-sale-guitar-world-store-all-dvds-10 <!--paging_filter--><p>Yes, exactly like the headline says, we're having a major "Christmas in July" sale at the <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/dvds/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=XmasInJuly">Guitar World Online Store!</a> </p> <p>Each DVD at the store is only $10!</p> <p>We have five pages of top-notch instructional DVDs to scroll through!</p> <p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/dvds/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=XmasInJuly">Head to the store now!</a></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/christmas-july-sale-guitar-world-store-all-dvds-10#comments News Features Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:21:06 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21996 The Songwriting Sourcebook: How to Turn Chords Into Great Songs http://www.guitarworld.com/songwriting-sourcebook-how-turn-chords-great-songs <!--paging_filter--><p>Originally published in 2003, and now revised and updated, <em>The Songwriting Sourcebook: How to Turn Chords into Great Songs</em> is the third entry in Rikky Rooksby's bestselling <em>How to Write Songs</em> series. </p> <p>This easy-to-use book will help you write better songs by explaining the art of writing effective chord sequences It shows:</p> <p>• How three and four chords can lay the foundation for a simple song, and how to move on to progressions using five and six chords </p> <p>• How to give your chord sequences additional color by adding chords that are not strictly in key, including blues chords </p> <p> • How to write chord sequences for songs in minor keys as well as major keys, and how to take progressions into new territories by changing key</p> <p> • How to fine-tune the color of your chords by understanding the emotional potential of sevenths, sixths and ninths </p> <p>All examples come with easy-to-read guitar chord boxes, and the accompanying 20-track audio CD features original recordings that illustrate some of the points made in the book. </p> <p><strong><em>The Songwriting Sourcebook</em> <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/mix-books/products/the-songwriting-sourcebook/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=SongwritingBook">is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $24.99.</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/songwriting-sourcebook-how-turn-chords-great-songs#comments guitar basics Rikky Rooksby News Features Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:44:50 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/16914 Jacky Vincent of Falling In Reverse Discusses Joe Satriani's 'Surfing With the Alien' — The Record That Changed My Life http://www.guitarworld.com/jacky-vincent-falling-reverse-discusses-joe-satrianis-surfing-alien-record-changed-my-life <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Falling In Reverse guitarist Jacky Vincent chooses and discusses the record that changed his life.</em></p> <p><strong>Joe Satriani</strong><br /> <em>Surfing With the Alien</em> (1987)</p> <p>“<em>Surfing with the Alien</em> inspired me to become a musician and want to learn guitar. </p> <p>"My dad had the CD in his collection before I was even born. As a young kid I would pick it out and play it, and I have vivid memories of attempting to learn ‘Crushing Day,’ ‘Midnight,’ ‘Always with Me, Always with You,’ ‘Surfing with the Alien’ and ‘Satch Boogie.’ It meant so much to my development as a player because it was the album that introduced me to the guitar and songwriting techniques I use today. </p> <p>“<em>Surfing with the Alien</em> made it apparent to me early on that you didn’t even have to have a vocalist to create an incredible and enjoyable album. </p> <p>"It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be the player I am now, or probably even be a musician at all, without this album being available to me when it was. The guitar tones, songs and soloing on the record remain some of my favorites to this day.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lCGCG_N2b30" 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="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/jacky-vincent-falling-reverse-discusses-joe-satrianis-surfing-alien-record-changed-my-life#comments Falling In Reverse Jacky Vincent Joe Satriani July 2014 The Record that Changed My Life Interviews News Features Magazine Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:32:16 +0000 Jacky Vincent http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21929 A Brief History of Caparison Guitars http://www.guitarworld.com/brief-history-caparison-guitars <!--paging_filter--><p>The mid-Nineties were arguably the start of the great transition in rock and heavy metal music. </p> <p>The days of style over substance, epitomized by late-Eighties hair metal bands, were coming to a grinding halt, and while the guitar still ruled the roost, the demands on the instrument were rapidly changing from flashy graphics to substance.</p> <p>It was at this time that former Charvel/Jackson staffers, at the company's Japanese division, who were responsible for such design classics as the Charvel CDS AND CDS II Series, the Questar Series and the Jackson Doug Aldrich Model, Soloist Special, Dinky AXE and Falcon, caught on to the general zeitgeist of that era and decided to get serious.</p> <p>Caparison Guitars was formed in 1995 and quickly adopted an approach whereby the needs and the tested opinions of professional guitarists would become paramount in their design. Features that would normally only be found on custom instruments would become the norm, form would follow function and nothing would be spared to create the best-sounding and playing instruments possible. </p> <p>One of the first unique Caparison design features to be worked on was the creation of the iconic "Devils Tail" headstock, an instant and recognizable calling card for the emerging brand. Another cool design quirk was the introduction of "clock" neck inlays, each showing a different time for each fret position (1 o'clock on the first fret, 3 o'clock on the third, 5 o'clock on the fifth fret, etc.). </p> <p>To get the unique sound Caparison was looking for, many branded pickups were tested before the decision was made to have its own custom Caparison pickups manufactured, all meticulously set up and wound to best suit and focus the tonal characteristics of each guitar. These pickups would be the foundation of the distinctive tone produced by Caparison Guitars and would be kept exclusive to the brand. The first guitars hit the streets of Tokyo in 1996 and gained an instant cult status.</p> <p>As their almost mythical reputation grew and despite not having a long established history Caparison quickly accrued a whole host of new devotees and international artists, Stevie Salas, Arch Enemy’s Christopher Amott, Soilwork’s Peter Wichers, James Murphy of Testament and Obituary, Juan Croucier of Ratt, Mattias ‘IA’ Eklundh, Andy LaRocque of King Diamond, Dennis Stratton formally of Iron Maiden were amongst those who first championed Caparison Guitars and played them hard on stages all over the world, remarking on their stability and effortless playability. Due to increasing public demand, in 2005 the guitars were first exported into shops in Europe, and a year later they hit the United States.</p> <p>As time moved on the guitars continued to evolve and improve in their own unique way, never bowing to the style over substance approach and always liaising with the people that mattered most – their players, things were on a roll for the Japanese company. Caparisons were now also the weapons of choice for A list players such as Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, Periphery’s Mark Holcomb and Jake Bowen, Rob Marcello, Matthew Wicklund of Himsa and later God Forbid, Michael Romeo and bassist Michael LePond of Symphony X as well a host of new up and coming shredders. They were also becoming a firm favourite amongst guitar techs too, as their inherent qualities made for a low maintenance instrument.</p> <p>In a typical move to try to achieve sonic perfection, and as an example of their desire to innovate, during 2008 the company’s chief designer, Itaru Kanno, introduced the HGS System as an option for the already popular Dellinger, Angelus and 27 fret Horus models. HGS stood for ‘Heavy Gauge Strings’ and was a system whereby the bridge was moved 3mm further down the body and the pickups moved accordingly too. This amazing attention to detail and lateral thinking allowed serious down tunings of the guitar but allowed the string tension to remain correct without having to alter the neck length at all and hence the players technique. Okay so maybe there is such a thing as style and substance!</p> <p>Towards the end of 2009 Caparison introduced an original design fixed bridge to the hard tail versions of their Dellinger model guitars. The bridge was manufactured by Gotoh and featured a light weight Duralium base plate (which was one of the earliest types of age-hardenable aluminium) and solid brass Gotoh saddles. The bridge was designed to accommodate extreme string gauges, which were becoming increasingly popular as bands continued to tune their guitars even lower and lower. Two grub screws either side of the bridge plate were also used to ‘lock’ the saddles in place helping to keep the intonation true under such acute conditions and also enabling the whole bridge to act as one solid mass thus increasing overall sustain.</p> <p>2011 brought a substantial change in Caparison’s fortunes, while the guitars where still produced in Japan under Itaru’s meticulous supervision, the business side of things would now be handled in the UK by their new owners and under the new name of the ‘Caparison Guitar Company’. </p> <p>As opposed to the previous Japanese conglomerate that controlled Caparisons agenda, the new British company had a wealth of experience and history in the guitar making business and that was integral in ensuring that these guitars would gain the attention and exposure fitting of an instrument that ranks amongst the world’s very best. Caparisons notoriety was quickly spreading. A new raft of devotees were now rocking out on some of the world’s biggest stages with their Guitars, Motörhead’s Phil Campbell, Mantas of Venom fame, old school thrashers Onslaught and Jona Weinhofen of Bring me the Horizon. Bands as diverse as The Sweet and Sabaton, Evergrey and At The Gates were all taking Caparison guitars out on the road and all remarking on the stability, tone and overall quality of their instruments.</p> <p>During late 2011 to 2012, new body wood constructions were researched and introduced to the range as an evolution of the HGS system, the M3B consisted of a central Maple core sandwiched between two mahogany sides and the WM construction which was a Walnut-Mahogany composite. Each body type designed to further enhance and improve the sustain and tonal range of each guitar. Further upgrades were also implemented during the following year, always listening to comments from all Caparison players whether it was face to face or via their forums, the switches and pots were upgraded, corrosion resistant screws fitted to all Schaller Trem systems by Caparison’s request and a faster more comfortable neck profile developed.</p> <p>Players now included the likes of Tim Millar of Protest the Hero, Olof Mörck from Ameranthe, Kevin Verlay of Mors Principium Est, Ville Friman from Insomnium, I Killed The Prom Queen, as well as a whole host of established musicians where the Caparison, while maybe not being seen on stage, was certainly their number one studio guitar of choice.</p> <p>At the NAMM show in 2014 Caparison unveiled the new Japanese built C2 Series range of guitars. These would consist of the more popular body designs but were stripped down versions of the ‘Regular Series’ guitars and were priced accordingly. Still built with Caparisons now renowned level of finish, the C2 Series would still feature the instantly recognisable ‘Devil’s Tail’ headstock, but were now fitted with either DiMarzio or EMG pickups, solid Mahogany bodies and standard dot fingerboard inlays. </p> <p>In the coming months new innovations, ideas and more than a few surprises are due from the Caparison Guitar Company, their form follows function ethic still very prevalent in these new designs. Constantly striving to produce the best instruments possible, their tireless pursuit of perfection still driving them on to pioneer and champion the needs of the modern guitarist. </p> <p>Everyone at the Caparison Guitar Company, is fully aware that the future of their company is solely down to the musicians that play their guitars now and to those players yet to come. Their intention is to continually exceed expectations and provide the very best road ready, high quality instruments that can be made, with no attention to detail left chance. It is no surprise that Caparison sits proudly within a small group of elite guitar manufacturers and it is their intent to continue to build on Caparison Guitar’s already considerable reputation and legacy.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/brief-history-caparison-guitars#comments Caparison Guitars Electric Guitars Features Gear Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:21:16 +0000 Ace Presley http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21993 Kiss Guitarist Tommy Thayer Discusses 'Montrose' — The Record That Changed My Life http://www.guitarworld.com/kiss-guitarist-tommy-thayer-discusses-montrose-record-changed-my-life <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life.</em></p> <p><strong>Montrose</strong><br /> <em>Montrose</em> (1973)</p> <p>“I came of age in the early to mid Seventies, and in that era, the most influential album to me was the first Montrose record. </p> <p>"I still remember the first time I heard it. It was actually at a party at my house. I had these older brothers and sisters, and we would have these huge parties when my parents were out of town. </p> <p>"We’d have kegs and hundreds of people there. So this guy brought the first Montrose record out and put it on. When I heard 'Rock the Nation' into 'Bad Motor Scooter,' I was like, ‘Oh, my god. I love this!’ It was so powerful. People that grew up in the Sixties might scoff at that and say it’s derivative or second generation…and it is. But I was 13 years old when I heard it, and it blew me away. </p> <p>"There’s no doubt that Ronnie Montrose was one of the quintessential hard rock–blues guitarists of all time.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/x8T_PQoTC30" 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="/kiss">Kiss</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/kiss-guitarist-tommy-thayer-discusses-montrose-record-changed-my-life#comments July 2014 Kiss Montrose The Record that Changed My Life Tommy Thayer Interviews News Features Magazine Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:55:32 +0000 Tommy Thayer http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21925 Brandon Kinney Talks Songwriting and Getting His Start In Nashville http://www.guitarworld.com/brandon-kinney-talks-songwriting-and-getting-his-start-nashville <!--paging_filter--><p>When Brandon Kinney arrived in Nashville 20 years ago, he knew he wanted to work in the music industry. What he didn’t know was that he would find his niche crafting songs for other artists, and he certainly didn’t expect to become one of Music Row’s most in-demand songwriters.</p> <p>It was a long, slow road from student at Belmont University to publishing deals with Sony ATV, Love Monkey Music and Tom-Leis Music. </p> <p>Along the way, Kinney worked day jobs, made inroads via colleagues who were already signed and even signed a recording contract as a solo artist. In 2005, Lonestar gave him his first hit when they recorded “You’re Like Coming Home.” His phone started ringing, and in 2009, “Boots On,” a co-write with Randy Houser, became BMI’s second-most-performed song of the year. </p> <p>Since then, Kinney has been on a winning streak, landing cuts and writing hits for numerous country artists — Randy Travis, Willie Nelson, Jake Owen and Luke Bryan are a few of the names who have recorded his songs. In 2012, “Outta My Head” became a hit for Craig Campbell and was the second-longest-charting song in Billboard history, holding steady for 54 weeks.</p> <p>Kinney was at the Sony offices for a writing appointment when he took some time to discuss songwriting, Nashville then and now, and what he has learned since signing his first deal.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: What attracted you to the guitar, and when did you begin writing songs?</strong></p> <p>My dad bought me an electric guitar, but we traded it in for an acoustic pretty quick because, starting out, I wasn’t as much into playing licks or lead parts, and I thought that’s all the electric guitar was for. I said, “I’m going to get an acoustic so I can actually play a song.” I didn’t know anything about playing guitar. </p> <p>My interest in music was probably infused in me from birth, because my parents used to turn the radio to a country station and put it in my room by the crib, so that when they had friends over I wouldn’t wake up because I could deal with the noise. They said I was dancing all the time when the radio came on. I just loved music. My mom played piano in church and she would get me up to sing at evening services. </p> <p>I was playing football, loving football, and I was also into bicycles. I got a head injury from a bicycle accident and it put me out of football completely at the start of my eighth-grade year. My dad played guitar a little bit when he was a kid, and he showed me how to play “Wipeout.” I was bummed out because I couldn’t play football anymore, so he said, “Why don’t we get you a guitar?” We got a guitar and I stayed in my room for hours every day. </p> <p>That’s all I wanted to do. That probably went on for a month and a half before I started getting interested in writing. I looked at the credits on Paul Overstreet’s record and noticed that there were other writers on there with him. One night, around 1:30, I couldn’t sleep, and this lyric and melody popped into my head. I got up and wrote it in about 30 minutes. I didn’t have a recorder because I wasn’t planning on writing anything. I was not prepared. I was afraid I might forget it, so I played it about a thousand times. I stayed up until probably 3 or 4 in the morning trying to remember it. The next morning I played it again and I played it for both of my parents. They loved it. And I got a recorder.</p> <p><strong>Were you attracted more to lyrics or melodies, or was there a difference?</strong></p> <p>I’ve never separated the two. I loved song lyrics, but I looked at it as a whole thing. I wasn’t focused on just writing a good lyric. I wrote what came from the heart the first time, and I thought, That rhymes and that’s cool. But there was no focus primarily on one or the other. To me, it was one vehicle. </p> <p><strong>When did it become obvious that it was time to move to Nashville?</strong></p> <p>My dad always encouraged me to be an artist. He thought I needed to be up there like George Strait! I didn’t do much in high school to let people know that I was even interested in music, besides playing in church. I went to Jacksonville Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas. I played a talent show there and people seemed to be into it. I put my guitar away for a while and didn’t write because I’m so one-track-minded that I couldn’t make my grades and write songs and play guitar at the same time. I thought I maybe wanted to be a pilot or an engineer. It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to sing and write songs, but I didn’t understand that you can get a publishing deal and write songs for somebody else to record. I hadn’t gotten that far in the process. </p> <p>When I went to Belmont [Kinney relocated to Nashville in 1994], I was thinking more about sitting at a console and recording, because I’m not a great guitar player. I play enough to sing my songs. I got here and I started meeting other people who wrote songs. I took publishing classes and I realized you can actually do this for a living. That’s when I started leaning toward it as a career. I was just doing it because I loved it and I got a little attention! It was fun. I wanted to be an artist, too, but there are too many talented singers here that can’t get it going and I didn’t want to fall into that, so I focused on writing. </p> <p>When I graduated, I started plugging songs for a company out of San Antonio. I did that for a year and half. I didn’t get my first writing deal until 2001. Between 1997 and 2001, I drove a Coca-Cola truck and worked for a cell phone company to make ends meet. It allowed me to come to Music Row and do some writing with my buddies. One of them that I had gone to college with had gotten a publishing deal, so he could do demos and they were pitching his songs. I was able to keep my foot in that door until I signed my first deal and was able to quit my day job.</p> <p><strong>What was the music scene like in Nashville when you arrived?</strong></p> <p>It was rocking! Garth Brooks was there and country music was hotter than it had ever been. It was a money-making machine. They were signing all kinds of artists, a lot of songwriters had deals, and it seemed there weren’t any hard times at all, but then again, I was still in school, so I wasn’t in the middle of it. It was still somewhat hard to get in, but I got my internships, and nearly every act seemed to be doing good and selling millions of records. Around 1997 or 1998, it started slowing down. I remember people saying, “It’s about to make a turn. It’s going to be coming back to traditional pretty soon.” I think some of them are still saying that. It was a good time to come in. It’s still good times; sales are picking up for some artists. But I don’t think we’ll ever see it like the early ’90s again.</p> <p><strong>Has downloading affected country music the way it has affected other genres?</strong></p> <p>That has been part of the problem. It has affected a lot of people. One of my buddies had 6 million plays on Pandora and he got under $600 for all of those plays. There’s Pandora and downloading, and they’re starting to find ways to monitor that, but you still have the pirates and all of that stuff going on where they’re getting it for free, and legitimate companies are not paying what they should.</p> <p><strong>You toured after releasing your album. What did you learn from performing live and how have those lessons helped you as a songwriter?</strong></p> <p>I opened for Sara Evans, so her crowd was a little tamer. She played a lot of theaters, so there were a lot of women and the boyfriends of the girls that wanted to be there. I thought that it was going to be a disaster, because my music was more for the beer-drinking crowd with a weird sense of humor. I put songs on my record that nobody else wanted to cut because they were afraid to cut them, and rightfully so! In that situation I learned that you can’t judge the crowd and say, “They’re not going to like this.” You’ve got to throw it out there and see what happens. They like to have a good time. You can’t play ballad after ballad, and tearjerker after tearjerker, because people come there to escape their normal life and you don’t want to bring them down. So I tried to keep it upbeat, keep them laughing, and keep them feeling good. </p> <p>When I write for other artists, I’m picturing them onstage and thinking, What is going to get the crowd into this? It’s not just the lyrics or the melody; sometimes it’s the production, so when I produce a demo that my publishing company is going to pitch to an artist, I think, What’s going to get the crowd fired up? What’s going to make the artist feel cool and look cool? That’s pretty much what I pulled from touring. What was good about being onstage is that I got to witness what worked and what didn’t, but at the same time, every artist is different. There are artists who can sing ballad after ballad, but they’re not singing to 18- to 25-year-olds who are drinking beer and wearing bikini tops. It’s probably an older crowd. If you’re writing for an artist who gets their sales from that audience, then you play it safer and you write deeper stuff. But when somebody’s drunk, they don’t want to get too deep. </p> <p><strong>At what point did you feel that you “got it” as a songwriter — that you understood the craft and had the material to take to audiences?</strong></p> <p>I’ve always had an idea, but in the past four years I feel more confident than I’ve ever felt. I feel like this is my time. Before, especially when I was in my artist deal, I was writing a lot of funny songs. People loved them, but nobody would record them because they were a little bit too quirky, and they were afraid that listeners would going to get tired of hearing them. I’ve dialed in a little bit more in the past four years. That’s a long time to wait, but I’ve hit and missed since 2001. I’ve been more consistent in dialing in what I want to say. I never really cared before. I just said, “Well, this sounds like a hit,” or “I’m just going to write my song and not worry about it.” Now it’s “What do these guys want?” I’ve buckled down more and I’ve grown a lot as a writer. They say that the best way to get good is to write with someone who’s better than you, and I’ve tried to do a lot of that and learn from them.</p> <p><strong>Your songs have positive, upbeat lyrics and melodies. Are you happy by nature, or are happy songs just more radio-friendly?</strong></p> <p>I’ve always been that way. Any time I’ve tried to write a “downer” song, it brought me down and I said, “Screw it, I just want to go home.” I like to have fun. I was raised around goofy people. Everybody was always cracking jokes and having a good time. We had our serious moments, but I always seemed to thrive a little bit more when I could laugh or get to rocking. I enjoyed Merle Haggard and all that stuff, I listen to that too, but I don’t want to listen to downer songs all the time. When I write, if I’m going to sit here for six or seven hours, I can't sit here depressed, trying to find out what this song needs. </p> <p>“Outta My Head” was kind of a sad song, but it was still upbeat, it had some passion to it, and it was fun to write. As long as I’m having fun in the writing session, I think I write a better song, and that’s why I stick with those topics. I have my share of leaving songs and all that, but it’s rare that I ever write a song where I’m sitting at the house, on the couch and drinking, because I know that an artist is not going to want to self-loathe all the way through the song. Nobody wants to do that in front of a crowd unless it’s a killer song. If it’s a killer idea, I’ll do it because I get excited about it, but most of the time I like to keep it upbeat. </p> <p><em>Photo: Stephen Gilbert</em></p> <p><em>Read more of Brandon Kinney’s interview <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/brandon-kinney-writes-the-songs-that-make-the-whole-country-world-sing">here</a></em></p> <p><em>— Alison Richter</em></p> <p><em>Alison Richter interviews artists, producers, engineers and other music industry professionals for print and online publications. <a href="http://www.examiner.com/music-industry-in-national/alison-richter">Read more of her interviews right here.</a></em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/brandon-kinney-talks-songwriting-and-getting-his-start-nashville#comments Alison Richter Brandon Kinney Interviews News Features Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:44:29 +0000 Alison Richter http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21962