Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/0 en Learn Guitar World's '50 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time' http://www.guitarworld.com/learn-guitar-worlds-50-greatest-rock-songs-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>The name says it all: <em>Guitar World's 50 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time</em> presents the 50 best as decided by the editors at <em>Guitar World</em> magazine, transcribed note-for-note. </p> <p><strong>The 512-page book Includes: </strong></p> <p> All Along the Watchtower<br /> All Day and All of the Night<br /> Barracuda<br /> Bohemian Rhapsody<br /> Carry on Wayward Son<br /> Crazy Train<br /> Detroit Rock City<br /> Enter Sandman<br /> Free Bird<br /> Highway to Hell<br /> Hotel California<br /> Iron Man<br /> Layla<br /> Misirlou<br /> Pride and Joy<br /> School's Out<br /> Smells like Teen Spirit<br /> Smoke on the Water<br /> Sweet Child O' Mine<br /> Tush<br /> Welcome to the Jungle<br /> You Really Got Me </p> <p> ... and more! </p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/new-products/products/guitar-worlds-50-greatest-rock-songs-of-all-time/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=50GreatestRockSongs">The book is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $35. Head there now for more info!</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zUwEIt9ez7M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/learn-guitar-worlds-50-greatest-rock-songs-all-time#comments News Features Tue, 02 Jun 2015 12:18:36 +0000 Guitar World Staff 18457 at http://www.guitarworld.com Alter Bridge's Mark Tremonti Talks New Solo Album, 'Cauterize' http://www.guitarworld.com/alter-bridges-mark-tremonti-talks-new-solo-album-working-wolfgang-van-halen <!--paging_filter--><p>Mark Tremonti is not the kind of guy who likes to sit still. </p> <p>Between his stint in Creed, his regular gig in Alter Bridge and with his latest project Tremonti, he consistently finds himself amidst a never-ending cycle of writing, recording and touring. </p> <p>It takes a tremendous amount of work ethic and drive to juggle two and sometimes three projects at a time, which is why it should hardly surprise anyone that he’s decided to record two simultaneous follow-up records to 2012’s <em>All I Was</em> rather than just one.</p> <p><em>Cauterize</em> is the first of a set of two albums Tremonti recently laid down with the help of his backing band and producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette and will hit the shelves this summer. Another record, <em>Dust</em>, will follow along sometime thereafter. </p> <p>“I’ve always considered myself as more of a songwriter than a guitar player, and with this huge mountain of song ideas that I needed to whittle down, having a couple of bands to do that with really helps to get those songs to see the light of day.”</p> <p>A key addition this time around to the Tremonti recording unit was bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, who had spent the previous summer on the road with the group. </p> <p>“As soon as we started touring he was just kind of a member of the band,” says Tremonti. “He keeps the rhythm section super tight…and he’s just real creative. When Wolfgang was a part of the whole writing process he came up with things in his mind that by the time we went into the studio it was just perfectly laid down.” </p> <p>With so much material saved up, most other artists might have just released a double record and called it a day, but Tremonti’s old-school ideas of what an album is supposed to convey prevented him from taking that route. </p> <p>“A lot of times when I hear an album and it’s too long I feel like I lose track of the album,” he said. “I wanted this record to be concise, like so many of the albums I grew up listening to. A record you could live with for a year and a half before the next one comes out.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YmoMjMl_Jxw" 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="/creed">Creed</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/alter-bridge">Alter Bridge</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/alter-bridges-mark-tremonti-talks-new-solo-album-working-wolfgang-van-halen#comments Alter Bridge Creed July 2015 Mark Tremonti Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 01 Jun 2015 21:31:47 +0000 Corbin Reiff 24577 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Top 10 Talk Box Moments in Rock http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-talk-box-moments <!--paging_filter--><p>The goal of any musician is to sing through his chosen instrument. </p> <p>And thankfully, advances in technology have made that possible- literally. </p> <p>In the 1970's, someone had the bright idea to take an amp's signal and run it in to the guitarist's mouth via a plastic tube, allowing him to, in a sense, speak to the audience through single notes. At the time, it blew the wah pedal out of the water. </p> <p>So what makes a great talk-box player? Good question. </p> <p><strong>10. Bon Jovi, "Livin' on a Prayer"</strong></p> <p>Damn, man! This is the Jovi at their funkiest! A round of applause to Richie Sambora for laying down some sweet-ass talk box over that rolling bass groove. Keep that dream alive!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lDK9QqIzhwk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. Mötley Crüe, "Kickstart My Heart"</strong></p> <p>Mick Mars is not one of metal's more remarkable soloists. Yet he may have been the first to send a flurry of tremolo-picked notes flying out of his mouth. It's a sound as scary as his makeup. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CmXWkMlKFkI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. Nazareth, "Hair of the Dog"</strong></p> <p>To some Scottish accents render words unintelligible. So while Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton is probably just making electronic noises in the breakdown of this cock-rocker, there's a chance he's actually issuing a cry for Scottish independence. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kyXz6eMCj2k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. Weezer, "Beverly Hills"</strong></p> <p>The talk box makes a comeback in the 21st century! Oddly, because the song hints at the excess of Seventies rock, Rivers Cuomo's talk-box embellishments feel totally appropriate. For some reason, Muppets come to mind when he cuts loose. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HL_WvOly7mY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. Steely Dan, "Haitian Divorce"</strong></p> <p>One of the most melodic talk-box solos ever recorded is also a prime example of studio trickery. Session man Dean Parks played the lead, but Walter Becker added the effect later- which required him essentially to ghost-play the exact same solo, and jack his jaw accordingly. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iWYchJI0Cv8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. Pink Floyd, "Pigs"</strong></p> <p>David Gilmour was already one of the most articulate lead players in the prog-rock pantheon. Give him a talk box and... look out! He's literally wailing on this track; a string bend becomes a drawing syllable that never ends. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gOqblSqx_VI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box"</strong></p> <p>Rather than using the talk box as other guitarists had—to make an ordinary solo sound like it was recorded by space aliens—Jerry Cantrell broke new ground by using it to "sing" harmonies with Layne Staley. Grunge reinvented <em>some</em> rock clichés for the better. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TAqZb52sgpU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Joe Walsh, "Rocky Mountain Way"</strong></p> <p>This song is a classic not just for its chunky riff but also for how Walsh takes robot scat singing to new heights. Live clips reveal that Walsh really gets into his box work; you can actually see the drool dripping from the tube. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mmWWl65_juQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. Jeff Beck, "She's a Woman"</strong> </p> <p>Beck is a weird-guitar-sound pioneer, so it made perfect sense when he used the talk box to slur some syllables on this funked-up Beatles cover. Which raises the question: Is <em>Blow by Blow</em> truly an instrumental album?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Khmsksk5w_o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. Peter Frampton, "Do You Feel Like We Do</strong></p> <p>Not only is <em>Frampton Comes Alive!</em> one of the biggest-selling live albums of all time, but with its biggest hit Frampton singlehandedly increased the vocabulary of the talk box, spitting out phrases previously unattempted by guitarists and easily one-upping Beck on articulation. Just listen to how the audience roars when the guitar asks the immortal question: "Do you feel like we do?" Stoned, maybe? </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V9Yq5m9eLIQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-talk-box-moments#comments GO May 2006 Guitar One Jeff Beck News Features Mon, 01 Jun 2015 21:28:04 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24596 at http://www.guitarworld.com Built To Spill's Doug Martsch Talks New Album, 'Untethered Moon' http://www.guitarworld.com/built-spills-doug-martsch-discusses-recording-process-behind-untethered-moon <!--paging_filter--><p>For more than 20 years, Boise, Idaho–based Built to Spill have been carving out a distinct niche in the rock and roll universe, balancing a tuneful, indie-pop aesthetic against a tendency to fly off on long, distorto-guitar excursions that recall the work of Dinosaur Jr’s J. Mascis and Neil Young in full-on Crazy Horse mode. </p> <p>The band’s new and eighth studio album, <em>Untethered Moon</em>, lays out this paradox right from the get-go—leadoff track “All Our Songs” builds to a finale that explodes in a skronky guitar lead (“I wanted it to sound like the Stooges or something, sorta belligerent” says singer and guitarist Doug Martsch), and doesn’t let up until closer “When I’m Blind,” which gives over roughly six of its eight-and-a-half minutes to Martsch to wring out as many frenzied notes from his Fender Strat as possible.</p> <p>Despite the multitude of tones and textures layered throughout these songs, Martsch recorded all the guitars on <em>Untethered Moon</em> on his own, accompanied only by the new BTS rhythm section of bassist Jason Albertini and drummer Steve Gere. </p> <p>“Though that changes from record to record,” he says about his guitar duties, pointing out that he sometimes utilizes additional players in the studio. </p> <p>“But this time I had the songs done, and I wanted to work on them with just the rhythm section to get stuff all figured out. I thought maybe I’d bring the other guys in at the end to put on some finishing touches, but by then it just seemed like it was fine and didn’t need anything else.”</p> <p>Those “other guys” are guitarists Brett Netson and Jim Roth, both of whom play with Built To Spill live. In fact, the band has long been known for its triple-guitar attack onstage, a configuration that helps to bring Martsch’s multifarious six-string studio work to life. “Most of our catalog, we’re kind of known for having a lot of textures in our songs,” he says. “There’s a lot going on. So it’s cool to be able to cover that stuff onstage.”</p> <p>As for the fact that Martsch has been able to pursue his unique vision for Built to Spill for close to a quarter century now, it’s something that the frontman says still amazes him. “I never dreamed of having even a shitty music career,” he says. “So to have one I feel pretty good about, that’s unbelievable to me.”</p> <p><em>Photo: Rene Gomez</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LZ1VqwPmKkw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/built-spills-doug-martsch-discusses-recording-process-behind-untethered-moon#comments Built To Spill Doug Martsch July 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 01 Jun 2015 21:22:42 +0000 Richard Bienstock 24579 at http://www.guitarworld.com 'Red Light District': Kicking Harold Guitarist Tim David Kelly Talks New Album, Gear and More http://www.guitarworld.com/kicking-harold-guitarist-tim-david-kelly-discusses-red-light-district-kicking-harolds-new-album <!--paging_filter--><p>Kicking Harold—a band featuring Tim David Kelly (lead vocals, guitar), Bret Domrose (bass) and Michael Odabashian (drums)—consider themselves modern rock alchemists, with "modern" being the operative word.</p> <p>In fact, the first single from their latest album, <em>Red Light District,</em> fits that philosophy rather nicely. </p> <p>After years of unsuccessful attempts to re-release the original song, the band decided to give a 21st-century upgrade to the fan-favorite, "Kill You," a song that originally appeared on their 1996 debut album, <em>Ugly and Festering</em>. </p> <p>A video for “Kill You,” which features an appearance by adult film star Mary Carey, has already racked up more than 50,000 views.</p> <p>I recently spoke with guitarist Tim David Kelly about <em>Red Light District,</em> his gear and more.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: If I asked you to describe the sound of <em>Red Light District</em>, what would you say?</strong></p> <p>I would say it’s a combination of all of our albums put together. There are elements of our early days when we were a little bit grungier to the more current style of where we are now. We’ve really tried to evolve the band without reducing where we’ve come from. </p> <p><strong>What’s your songwriting process like?</strong></p> <p>Over the years, it’s been different for every album. The last album we did was more of a personal studio project built up layer by layer. As a songwriter, I’m constantly writing. I’ll usually keep small, one-minute demos of verses, choruses and lyrics, and then when it’s time to make an album, I’ll start going through all of the different ideas to find the ones that work best. </p> <p><strong>Let’s talk about a few tracks from <em>Red Light District,</em> starting with “Underneath It All."</strong></p> <p>That’s a good example of how songs can hang around for a long time. I originally wrote that song around 2006. It was something I had worked up and played but never got around to recording. When we started looking for songs for this album, I wanted to choose something from around that time period. I really liked the riff and revamped it to what it is now. Once you hit the studio everything comes to life!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wE8U8gBAcUI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>"Drinkin’ to Forget You"</strong></p> <p>That song was actually written with completely different lyrics. It started out as more of a love song. I had tracked the whole song and really liked the music and melody but when I was listening back, I realized the love lyrics didn’t seem to work. So I pulled them off and re-wrote the song around the opposite theme! [laughs].</p> <p><strong>Why did you decide to do a remake of "Kill You"?</strong></p> <p>That was originally the first single off of our very first album when we got signed. In the late Nineties our old record label let the album go out of print. So even though the song was still in rotation on radio, it was no longer available. I remember approaching the label about buying back the masters to release to the fans, but they basically told us no. That’s when our manager suggested we re-track it. So we decided to change things up and include it on the new album. </p> <p><strong>The INXS song "Need You Tonight" was an interesting cover selection. How did this song make it on to the album?</strong> </p> <p>I’ve always loved INXS, and we used to do a heavy version of “Devil Inside." I remember wanting to do a cover of a Number 1 song for this album, so what I did was buy the Number 1 hits of the Eighties. I listened to every song from 1980 to 1990, trying to figure if any of them would work. I actually had no idea that “Need You Tonight” was one of the songs that went to Number 1. I loved it and knew right away it was the one to do!</p> <p><strong>When did you know you wanted to have a career in music?</strong></p> <p>The genesis of the whole thing actually began in high school. I had two friends who played guitar and piano and were starting a band. I didn't want to be left out so I had one of them teach me guitar. I learned the chords to “Fly by Night” by Rush and that was it. That’s when I was hooked and really started immersing myself in it. I started playing when I was 15 and about a year later was already doing four sets a night in bars. I even remember having to hide in the kitchen in between sets because we weren’t old enough to be in the bar when we weren’t playing [laughs].</p> <p><strong>What’s your current setup like?</strong></p> <p>I’ve had the same amp for 20 years now. It’s a 1990 Marshall 50-watt JCM 900. I’ve had to re-tube it over the years, and I like to run it through 75-watt 4x12 speakers because they don’t crunch out as much. For the past few albums, I’ll usually have my Les Paul as my main guitar and a newer 335 with the double coils. They sound like Les Pauls but are a little rounder.</p> <p><strong>What gives you the most excitement about music?</strong> </p> <p>For me, it’s about playing and connecting with fans. There’s nothing like going into a rehearsal room or playing a gig, cracking open a beer, firing up the guitar and having that camaraderie with a band and audience. That’s really what it’s all about!</p> <p><em>For more about Kicking Harold, visit <a href="http://www.kickingharold.com/">kickingharold.com.</a></em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8f9hP29MwYc" 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> http://www.guitarworld.com/kicking-harold-guitarist-tim-david-kelly-discusses-red-light-district-kicking-harolds-new-album#comments James Wood Kicking Harold Tim David Kelly Interviews News Features Mon, 01 Jun 2015 20:51:32 +0000 James Wood 24582 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar World Rounds Up 15 of the Tastiest Seven- and Eight-String Guitars on the Market Today http://www.guitarworld.com/sweet-and-low-roundup-15-tastiest-7-and-8-string-axes-market-today <!--paging_filter--><p>Today—in the photo gallery below—we bring you "Sweet and Low: A Roundup of 15 of the Tastiest Seven- and Eight-String Axes on the Market Today," a gear feature that appears in the all-new <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-july-15-lynyrd-skynyrd?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=7and8stringguitars">July 2015 issue</a> of <em><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-july-15-lynyrd-skynyrd?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=7and8stringguitars">Guitar World</a> </em>magazine.</p> <p>We've made sure to include models for every guitarist's budget, not to mention a wide assortment of manufacturers.</p> <p>Note that these guitars are presented in no particular order.</p> <p>Remember you can click on each photo to take a closer look!</p> <p>For more information about these guitars, check out:</p> <p>• <a href="http://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/banshee-elite-8-detail">Schecter Banshee Elite 8</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/hellraiser-c-7-passive-detail">Schecter Hellraiser Passive 7</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Matt-Heafy-Les-Paul-Custom-7.aspx">Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.jacksonguitars.com/guitars/soloist/models/slathxq-3-8-dark-rosewood-fingerboard-transparent-black/">Jackson X Series SLATHXQ 3-8</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.jacksonguitars.com/guitars/soloist/models/slattxmg3-7-soloist-rosewood-fingerboard-black/">Jackson X Series SLATXM 3-7</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.prsguitars.com/secustom7string/">PRS Guitars SE Custom 24 7-String</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.caparisonguitars.com/en/products/tat/item/tat-special-7">Caparison TAT Special 7</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.caparisonguitars.com/en/products/brocken">Caparison Brocken 8 FX</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.espguitars.com/products/13498-frx-407-blk">ESP LTD FRX-407</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.espguitars.com/products/13504-h-408b-fm-stblksb">ESP LTD H-408B FM</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/scb7">Carvin/Kiesel SCB7</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/v8">Carvin/Kiesel Vader Series V8</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.music-man.com/instruments/guitars/artisan-majesty.html">Ernie Ball/Music Man John Petrucci Artisan Majesty</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.sterlingbymusicman.com/jp-guitars/jp170d-series">Sterling By Music Man JP170D-RRB</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_eg_page15.php?year=2015&amp;cat_id=1&amp;series_id=1&amp;data_id=162&amp;color=CL01">Ibanez RG Prestige RG852MPB-GFB</a></p> <p><strong>For more about the new July 2015 issue of GW, head to <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-july-15-lynyrd-skynyrd?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=7and8stringguitars">the Guitar World Online Store now.</a></strong></p> <p><em>Top photo: Damian Fanelli (ESP LTD FRX-407 in Snow White); other photos supplied by the manufacturers</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/sweet-and-low-roundup-15-tastiest-7-and-8-string-axes-market-today#comments Caparison Guitars Carvin Guitars Epiphone ESP Guitars Ibanez Jackson Guitars July 2015 PRS Guitars Schecter Guitars Sterling by Music Man Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 01 Jun 2015 18:04:53 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24589 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Top 10 Misspelled Band Names http://www.guitarworld.com/photo-gallery-top-10-misspelled-band-names <!--paging_filter--><p>When the whole cheeky-misspelling nonsense started in the Sixties, it was cute, inspiring names like the Monkees, the Byrds, the Cyrkle and the Human Beinz.</p> <p>And after all, the psychedelic era brought with it certain liberties. It wasn’t until the Eighties that the whole misspelling idea began spiraling out of control, when hair-metal bands started twisting up their names with extra letters, missing letters, backward letters, random lowercasing and overzealous umlauting.</p> <p>Years later, nü-metal acts (who couldn’t even spell their own genre properly) mucked things up beyond all recognition. The confusion kept editors proofreading at their cubicles well into the night, and sent graphic designers prone to ducking deadlines out to even longer lunches.</p> <p>The bad news is, given today’s txt-msg and e-mail trends, we may B n 4 sum dp sht.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/photo-gallery-top-10-misspelled-band-names#comments GO April 2006 Guitar One Galleries News Features Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:29:13 +0000 Guitar World Staff 2000 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar World's Top 50 Guitar Albums of the Eighties http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-top-50-guitar-albums-eighties <!--paging_filter--><p>In early 1990, the editors of <em>Guitar World</em> magazine sat back, grabbed some coffee and painstakingly selected what they considered the top 50 guitar albums of the just-ended Eighties.</p> <p>In the photo gallery below, you can see what they came up with! </p> <p>The albums are listed in order, from "killer" to "jaw-droppingly awesome." Or from 50 to 1, depending on your perspective. </p> <p>Please note that there are actually 51 albums in the gallery (There was a tie somewhere along the way).</p> <p>Don't agree with the vintage editors' vintage choices? As always, let your voice be heard! Share your opinion in the comments below or on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/GuitarWorld">Facebook!</a></p> <p>Head back to the ... past!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-top-50-guitar-albums-eighties#comments GW Archive Guitar World Lists Galleries News Features Magazine Mon, 01 Jun 2015 14:57:20 +0000 Guitar World Staff 13083 at http://www.guitarworld.com Harmonic Minor and Beyond: Killer Scales for Modern Heavy Metal Guitar http://www.guitarworld.com/harmonic-minor-and-beyond-great-scales-heavy-metal-guitar-playing <!--paging_filter--><p>For this column, I've responded to a great question from a reader — Zachary in Houston, Texas.</p> <p><em>"Dave: What is your favorite scale to use when playing heavy metal?"</em></p> <p>Thanks for the question! Harmonic minor is always a very cool choice and a favorite of mine. It’s great to use when you’re improvising or coming up with song ideas and lead parts. </p> <p>So many impressive players have made great use of it in their songs—guys like Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and many others. Mozart also was a big fan.</p> <p>If you want to hear how I use it, check out my song “Devils Roadmap” below: </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/t1nDO69kLxY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Listen to my guitar solo from 3:22 to 3:40 to hear the scale in action. It’s a fun scale; you can map out crazy three-note-per-string runs all across the fretboard.</p> <p>I also like the pentatonic scale. Pentatonic is huge in metal for a reason: It sounds good in so many situations. Zakk Wylde, Frank Marino and Dave Mustaine are amazing players who have used it to great effect over the decades.</p> <p>• <strong>Pentatonic Scale</strong> (1, b3, 4, 5, b7). For example, in the key of E, that would be E, G, A, B, D.</p> <p>My solo on “I Just Don’t Want to Say Goodbye” is a favorite of mine, and I basically stick to straight-up minor pentatonic. The solo is from 3:26 to 4:37:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ObL-XYTdy24" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Even though I'm a trained musician, I'm still very much a self-taught player in my heart and mind and in the way I think and approach things. </p> <p>I use the approach of just going for it and seeing what happens when I play leads and improvise. Knowledge is great as a guide, but when I’m writing, I just go for it. Usually, my best stuff happens when I'm not over-thinking it.</p> <p>I come from the Marty Friedman school of thought when it comes to scales. Marty had a great instructional DVD out where he talked about how players can get caught up thinking that they need to know tons of scales. He goes on to say you can just make up your own scales.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uSaTAGsIBEI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>I teach my students to think in this freethinking style. For example, take the simple pentatonic scale and improvise over a riff or chord progression and throw in any chromatic passing tones you like. Practice this approach and see what sounds cool to your ears!</p> <p>The so-called “wrong notes” people might tell you to not play are sometimes the ones that sound amazing against the riff and really make your playing stand out. Take Marty's playing on Megadeth's <em>Rust In Peace.</em> He is throwing in all kinds of exotic scales and interesting note choices all over the place. </p> <p>Below, check out some great scales to add into your arsenal when you're trying to write. I’ll put these in the key of E to keep it easy, but you can move these to any key.</p> <p>• <strong>Harmonic Minor</strong> (1, 2, b3, 4, 5 b6, 7) or (E, F#, G, A, B, C, D#). Like I said, Yngwie Malmsteen and Uli Jon Roth love this scale, but you can hear it from Michael Schenker, Ritchie Blackmore and many others.</p> <p>• <strong>Phrygian Dominant</strong> (1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7) or (E, F, G#, A, B, C, D). This scale is simply the 5th mode of the harmonic minor scale. If you listen to Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” you can hear this scale in action: </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0NYiOHGapRk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Al Di Meola’s “Egyptian Danza” is another great example of this scale in action. Notice a theme? This scale gets a very Egyptian-type sound! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XrO29hsWgto" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>• <strong>Gypsy Scale</strong> (1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7) or (E, F, G#, A, B, C, D#). This scale is the same as Phrygian dominant except for the natural 7, which this scale has. Any time you are improvising over a chord progression that has major chords that are a half step apart, this scale (as well as the Phrygian dominant) is a good choice. The Gypsy scale is cool to use when you're going for that whole snake-charming, exotic, "magic carpet ride" sound. Blackmore captured it very well on many tunes. “Gates of Babylon” by the Ronnie James Dio-fronted Rainbow is a good example.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qu8HiZepRWo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>• <strong>Hungarian Minor</strong> (1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, 7) or (E, F#, G, A#, B, C, D#). This is a cool-sounding scale. This works well over a minor (major 7) chord. The Hungarian gypsy minor and harmonic minor scales are used on Chris Broderick’s solo on Megadeth's “Head Crusher” from 2:58 to 3:24.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XurU3TPHjzY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>• <strong>Persian</strong> (1, b2, 3, 4, b5, b6, 7) or (E, F, G#, A, Bb, C, D#). This scale is cool and has that whole dark Middle Eastern feel to it. It’s got the flat 5 or “tri-tone” in there, which is always great for metal. That’s the interval that Marilyn Manson used on “The Beautiful People” or that Black Sabbath used on one of my all-time favorite songs, “Symptom of the Universe." You can get some crazy-sounding metal riffs out of this scale. It also works well for soloing over a (maj 7 #11) chord.</p> <p>• <strong>Japanese Scale</strong> (1, b2, 4, 5, b6) or (E, F, A, B, C). Friedman, Jason Becker and so many other greats have used this one. Give it a try in your soloing. It works well in minor and major key progressions. Also, with the b2 in there, it makes for a good choice when working in a Phrygian-style situation. </p> <p>• <strong>Chinese Scale</strong> (1, 2, 3, 5, 6) or (E, F#, G#, B, C#) In the Western world, we know this scale by its other name: major pentatonic. Bands like the Allman Brothers really dig its sound and use it quite a bit, as well as bluesmen like B.B. King.</p> <p>Don’t forget the different modes of the major scale. These can be very helpful. Learn them and practice how to apply them all over your fretboard. I will put these in C to keep things easy.</p> <p>• Ionian (Major Scale) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) or (C, D, E, F, G, A, B)<br /> • Dorian (1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7) or (D, E, F, G, A, B, C)<br /> • Phrygian (1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7) or (E, F, G, A, B, C, D)<br /> • Lydian (1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7) or (F, G, A, B, C, D, E)<br /> • Mixolydian (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7) or (G, A, B, C, D, E, F)<br /> • Aeolian (Minor Scale) (1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7) or (A, B, C, D, E, F, G)<br /> • Locrian (1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7) or (B, C, D, E, F, G, A)</p> <p>Here's a cool trick someone showed me to help remember what order these modes go in: “I Don’t Punch Like Muhammad A Li.”</p> <p>I= Ionian<br /> Don’t= Dorian<br /> Punch= Phrygian<br /> Like= Lydian<br /> Muhammad= Mixolydian<br /> A= Aeolian<br /> Li= Locrian.</p> <p><em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Reffett">Dave Reffett</a> is a Berklee College of Music graduate and has worked with some of the best players in rock and metal. He is an instructor at (and the head of) the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal department at The Real School of Music in the metro Boston area. He also is a master clinician and a highly-in-demand private guitar teacher. He teaches lessons in person and worldwide via Skype. As an artist and performer, he is working on some soon-to-be revealed high-profile projects with A-list players in rock and metal. In 2009, he formed the musical project Shredding The Envelope and released the critically acclaimed album The Call Of The Flames. Dave also is an official artist endorsee for companies like Seymour Duncan, Gibson, Eminence and Esoterik Guitars, which in 2011 released a Dave Reffett signature model guitar, the DR-1. Dave has worked in the past at Sanctuary Records and Virgin Records, where he promoting acts like the Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Korn and Meat Loaf.</em></p> <p><em>Dave Reffett headshot photo by Yolanda Sutherland</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="/deep-purple">Deep Purple</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/metallica">Metallica</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/harmonic-minor-and-beyond-great-scales-heavy-metal-guitar-playing#comments Dave Reffett Blogs Features Lessons Mon, 01 Jun 2015 14:18:01 +0000 Dave Reffett 12389 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Top 10 Pick Squealers of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-pick-squealers-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>There has always been a good deal of mystery surrounding the pinch harmonic, or, as hip players like to call it, “pick squeal.” </p> <p>A pick squeal is simply an artificial harmonic, or high-pitched sound, produced by choking up on the pick and allowing the thumb or thumbnail to catch the string in just as it is picked. </p> <p>The result, of course, resembles a squeal. Or a squawk. Or a scream. (It could take several tries before you get the desired s word.)</p> <p>Anyhow, what was once the domain of blues-rock string benders is now a staple for most metal guitarists. </p> <p>Here be the dudes who made it so.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>10. Greg Howe</strong> </p> <p>Sure, he’s moved on to smoother and faster fusion pastures, but early on in his rock career, velocity merchant Greg Howe used the pinch harmonic like it was going out of style. Listen to <em>Howe II</em> to hear him bend notes into frequencies perceptible only by canines. Sure, it went out of style. But it came back.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. John Sykes</strong> </p> <p>A speed freak of the scalar variety, Sykes really showed his know-how for the squeal upon joining Thin Lizzy for their 1983 swan song <em>Thunder and Lightning</em>. </p> <p>The repeated, howling fills in “Cold Sweat” were the precursor of the exaggerated squeals that became rampant in metal guitar playing during the decade. Later, Sykes would Top 40-fy the technique on Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jIvBpe7q1Cg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. Shadows Fall</strong> </p> <p>Jonathan Donais and Matthew Bachand haven’t merely led the return of melodic thrash to the America. No. </p> <p>They’ve punctuated their intricate leads with pinch harmonics, helping to bring the technique back into prominence in extremely heavy music. It’s like havin’ Zakk Wylde and John Sykes in one band!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. Skid Row</strong> </p> <p>A Skid Row song without a scream or 300 from the guitar just wasn’t complete. In fact, the band’s self-titled debut may have more pick squeals than Van Halen had David Lee Roth squeals. And speaking of frontmen, the pinch harmonics of guitarists Scotti Hill and Snake Sabo were the antidote Sebastian Bach Eighties-metal wailing.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. Eddie Van Halen</strong> </p> <p>Look no further than Van Halen’s landmark debut. With his aggressive pick attack, Ed sounds almost as if he’s using some weird wah-wah effect when he pinches the strings in the hyperboogie riffs of “I’m the One” and “Jamie’s Crying.” </p> <p>And how about the opening riff of “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love”? Rock guitar changed at this point.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mPP7fshTtv4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. Dimebag Darrell</strong> </p> <p>By the time Pantera made the transformation to Metallica-inspired power metal, the Dime had moved from inserting EVH squeals in his solos to writing riffs around pinch harmonics, as in “Cemetary Gates.” </p> <p>When that song came out, death-metal bands immediately started taking their cues from Mr. Abbott.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0hzX88bzlnQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Steve Vai</strong></p> <p>The Big V has been making weird guitar noises since his infancy—when Frank Zappa’s wolf pack adopted and raised him. </p> <p>But it all came together, pinchwise, on <em>Flexable</em>’s chromatic <em>tour de force</em> “Attitude Song.” </p> <p>Later, Vai merged commercial success, whammy bar, and pick squeals on David Lee Roth’s version of “Tobacco Road,” and the technique all but dominated the boogie tune “Juice,” from <em>Alien Love Secrets.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f0-OvL2pHsM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Roy Buchanan</strong></p> <p>The late and lamented Buchanan gets credit for inventing the technique, back in the Sixties. The way he laid into his strings made it so that virtually every bend had a harmonic overtone of some sort. </p> <p>Yep, he was chicken pickin’, and the notes they were squawkin’. Some of his most over-the-top pinch harmonics—produced without the aid of ridiculous distortion—can be found on the album <em>Live Stock</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ka7yHdNzpVA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. Zakk Wylde</strong> </p> <p>A 19-year-old feller rejuvenates Ozzy’s band by twisting steroid-enhanced riffs into “Miracle Man” and interspersing pick squeals in just about any gap that opens up. </p> <p>Wylde realized he was onto something; the technique is now integral to his rowdy playing style. Indeed, when he touches off his A squeal, it sounds as though the string is screaming for help.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gkeFtDVCZMo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. Billy Gibbons</strong> </p> <p>The fact that The Beard sustained a large portion of his “La Grange” solo with harmonic squeals puts him in the books as a master of the technique. The fact that song is a tribute to a house of ill repute makes the sound effects—the squeals—ever more appropriate.</p> <p>According to lore, Gibbons attains his signature squeals by picking with an old coin. The thicker the pick, the louder the squeal louder, or so they say.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SE1xO44FlME" 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="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/zz-top">ZZ Top</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-pick-squealers-all-time#comments Billy Gibbons Dimebag Darrell Eddie Van Halen Greg Howe John Sykes Roy Buchanan Steve Vai Guitar World Lists News Features Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:04:37 +0000 Guitar World Staff 2008 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book: 60 Years of White Falcons, 6120s, Jets, Gents and More http://www.guitarworld.com/gretsch-electric-guitar-book-60-years-white-falcons-6120s-jets-gents-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p>Tony Bacon's new book, <em><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/the-gretsch-electric-guitar-book/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GretschElectricGuitar">The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book: 60 Years of White Falcons, 6120s, Jets, Gents and More,</a></em> is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $29.99.</p> <p>Gretsch guitars have a style all their own: a glitzy, wacky, retro charm that over the years has drawn players from all kinds of popular music, from timeless stars to unknown teens. </p> <p>The Beatles, Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy and Brian Setzer all made their mark with Gretsch, and new bands continually discover and fall in love with the Falcons, Gents, 6120s, Jets and the rest.</p> <p><em>The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book</em> comes right up to the present, including Gretsch's alliance to the powerful Fender company, a move that has done wonders for the reliability and playability of the modern Gretsch axe. </p> <p>Every great model is here, but the book also tells the story of the lesser-known guitars and the projects that almost never happened. There are archival and fresh interviews with Gretsch personnel over the years and with many leading Gretsch players, including Chet Atkins, Billy Duffy, Duane Eddy and Brian Setzer.</p> <p>In the tradition of Tony Bacon's best-selling series of guitar books, his updated and revised story of Gretsch is three great volumes in one: a compendium of luscious pictures of the coolest guitars; a gripping story from early exploits to the most recent developments; and a detailed collector's guide to every production electric Gretsch model ever made.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/the-gretsch-electric-guitar-book/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GretschElectricGuitar">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/gretsch-electric-guitar-book-60-years-white-falcons-6120s-jets-gents-and-more#comments Gretsch News Features Mon, 01 Jun 2015 11:58:29 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24593 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar World DVD: Learn '50 Essential Expert Licks' from Joe Satriani, Jeff Loomis, Andy Timmons and More http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-world-dvd-learn-50-essential-expert-licks-joe-satriani-jeff-loomis-andy-timmons-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p>Want to expand and diversify your guitar skills and repertoire? </p> <p><em>Guitar World</em>'s new <em><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/products/50-essential-expert-licks/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=50ExpertLicks">50 Expert Guitar Licks</a></em> DVD helps you do it with great guitar phrases written and presented by some of the biggest virtuosos in rock, metal, shred, prog, fusion and other styles, including Joe Satriani, Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Gus G and <em>Guitar World</em>'s own resident expert, senior music editor Jimmy Brown. </p> <p>Each lick includes tab, a written explanation to guide you through the lick and — best of all — video from the artist who created it. </p> <p><em>50 Expert Guitar Licks</em> is the most comprehensive instructional course of its kind.</p> <p><strong>Your Instructors:</strong></p> <p>• Michael Angelo Batio<br /> • Jimmy Brown<br /> • Zane Carney (John Mayer)<br /> • Mike Errico<br /> • Marty Friedman<br /> • Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne)<br /> • Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger)<br /> • Joel Kosche (Collective Soul)<br /> • Jeff Loomis (Nevermore)<br /> • Rob Math (Leatherwolf)<br /> • Gary Potter<br /> • Glenn Proudfoot<br /> • Dave Reffett<br /> • Joe Satriani<br /> • Alex Skolnick (Testament)<br /> • Andy Timmons</p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/products/50-essential-expert-licks/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=50ExpertLicks">'50 Essential Expert Licks' is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $14.95.</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-world-dvd-learn-50-essential-expert-licks-joe-satriani-jeff-loomis-andy-timmons-and-more#comments News Features Fri, 29 May 2015 15:35:21 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20058 at http://www.guitarworld.com The 25 Greatest Pantera Songs of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/25-greatest-pantera-songs <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World</em> celebrates the heaviest of the heavy—from "Revolution Is My Name" to "This Love" ... from "Cemetery Gates" to "Cowboys from Hell" ... </p> <p>Check out our guide to the 25 greatest Pantera songs of all time!</p> <p>Note: This list is from GW's recent Dimebag Darrell tribute issue. To check out a video of our exclusive tour of Dime's guitar vault, home and recording studio, <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tour-dimebag-darrells-guitar-vault-home-and-recording-studio-video">step right this way.</a></p> <p><strong>25. “10’s”</strong><br /> <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em> (1996)</p> <p>One of Pantera’s most haunting compositions, “10’s” comes into focus slowly, floating in on an ethereal, if crusty-sounding, bent-note Dimebag riff. The warped guitars and slow pacing provide an appropriately uneasy environment for a weary vocal from Phil Anselmo, who documents a man “disgusted with [his] cheapness” and destroying himself from the inside out through addiction. </p> <p>An acoustic guitar interlude and a liquid Dime solo that, for a few bars at least, unexpectedly wanders into major-key territory, allow a few seconds of sunshine to poke through the black clouds. But overall, “10’s” is positively chilling and all-consuming in its atmosphere of impending doom.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XV_D1Y_YHlA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>24. “Goddamn Electric”</strong><br /> <em>Reinventing the Steel</em> (2000)</p> <p>Pantera’s final studio album didn’t actually reinvent the steel, but thanks to tracks like “Goddamn Electric” they certainly reclaimed their title as the masters of metal heading into the new millennium. This song’s main riff stomps along like Godzilla slowly moshing to “Walk,” and the entire tune wouldn’t have sounded out of place on <em>Vulgar Display of Power</em>. </p> <p>Dimebag’s solo is killer, but the thriller is a guest spot by Slayer’s Kerry King, who delivers a wicked whammy-bar blast to close out the song’s final 45 seconds. Pantera rarely featured guests on their albums, so this appearance by Dime’s blood brother is an unexpected surprise.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LRiZ_Gy2mxg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>23. “It Makes Them Disappear”</strong><br /> <em>Reinventing the Steel</em></p> <p>“It Makes Them Disappear” kicks off with a psychedelic, cleanly voiced guitar lick, but from there the song quickly descends into a molasses-thick pit of sludge. The downtuned, wobbly guitars and bloated bass, not to mention Anselmo’s raw-throated delivery, suggest a song that could have been tackled just as appropriately by the singer’s doomy southern metal side project, Down. </p> <p>And yet, the final two minutes of the tune are largely a Dimebag showcase, with the guitarist ripping out an incredibly bluesy and melodic solo, albeit one that sounds like it’s being delivered from the depths of a tar pit.</p> <p>“The majority of <em>Reinventing the Steel</em> was recorded with the guitar tuned down a whole step [low to high: D G C F A D],” Dime told <em>Guitar World</em> in early 2000. “The cool thing about this tuning, besides sounding heavy, is that your guitar feels totally different—the strings are real loose and spongy, which means you can get some big-assed bends and killer wide vibrato happening.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IwHPBTm_Wao" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>22. “P*S*T*88”</strong><br /> <em>Power Metal</em> (1988)</p> <p>Pantera’s pre-<em>Cowboys</em> albums aren’t particularly highly regarded—even by the band members themselves—but out of all of those efforts <em>Power Metal</em> had more than a few worthy moments. “P*S*T*88” (“Pussy Tight”) is particularly noteworthy as it features one of Dimebag’s rare performances as lead vocalist. </p> <p>The overall recording resembles a mash-up of Judas Priest and <em>Kill Em All</em>–era Metallica, and Dimebag even sounds like the mutant offspring of James Hetfield and Rob Halford, proving that he could have been a frontman if he so desired. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3hGkn03bGXo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>21. “Planet Caravan”/“Hole in the Sky”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven &amp; The Best of Pantera (2003)</em></p> <p>The list of Pantera influences is long and includes bands like Judas Priest, Slayer and even King’s X, Kiss and Van Halen, but Black Sabbath were their biggest influence. </p> <p>They name-checked them in the lyrics to “Goddamn Electric,” and of the six cover songs they recorded in the studio during their career, three of them were Black Sabbath tunes. “Planet Caravan” was originally intended for the <em>Nativity in Black</em> tribute album, but when it was cut due to a record company dispute, they added it to the end of <em>Far Beyond Driven</em>. </p> <p>Pantera’s faithful rendition of “Hole in the Sky” debuted on the Japanese 2001 “Revolution Is My Name” EP along with the non-LP track “Immortally Insane.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/025mnKFUFw4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>20. “Floods”</strong><br /> <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em> <p>Despite the fact that Pantera called the album that “Floods” appeared on <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em>, this song sounds an awful lot like grunge (particularly Soundgarden), one of the many musical genres at which the cocky album title takes aim. </p> <p>Regardless, it’s still a very good song, which was made great by what many consider to be the finest guitar solo Dimebag ever laid down in the studio. </p> <p>The sweetly melodic main guitar figure in the intro and ending often gets overlooked, but it’s a fine example of Dimebag’s emotional range, proving that there was much more to his playing than his usual blunt-force trauma.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/td-v6vG2Xhs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>19. “Shedding Skin”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven</em> (1994)</p> <p>“Shedding Skin” continues the theme of emotional cleansing that Phil Anselmo began on <em>Far Beyond Driven</em>’s previous track, “25 Years.” </p> <p>Only here the singer’s object of ire is not his father but rather a former girlfriend. The song comes crashing in right out of the gate with a choppy, staircase-like unison riff from Dime and Rex. But then it abruptly shifts gears into a mellow verse punctuated by Dimebag’s gently plucked guitar harmonics, over which Anselmo paints a vivid and disturbing picture of a relationship as a scabrous membrane needing to be excised from his body. </p> <p>By the song’s climactic finale, Anselmo finds the only escape is to shed his own skin “to peel you off of me.” Dimebag then punctuates the singer’s cathartic metamorphosis with an appropriately anguished and squealing solo.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l3kA04yXVeY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>18. “25 Years”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven</em></p> <p>Both this song and the same album’s “Becoming” are said to deal with Phil Anselmo’s difficult relationship with his father. But whereas the latter wraps the singer’s paternal purging in a catchy riff and an almost inspirational lyric, “25 Years” is a dark and twisted descent into the deepest recesses of his pain. </p> <p>Anselmo delivers his lyrics to a “weakling” and a “liar” in a monotone bark, and each syllable he utters is backed by a similarly minimal one-note chord hit. It’s a brilliantly corrosive, almost claustrophobic arrangement that finally breaks four-and-a-half minutes in—Dime, Rex and Vinnie open up the song with a quicker groove and Anselmo turns the tables, announcing himself the bastard father to Pantera’s unwashed and unwanted masses of fans. </p> <p>“We’re fucking you back!” he screams repeatedly, exorcising his demons and finding a little bit of redemption in the almighty power of the riff. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RmB6OFplI2k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>17. “Strength Beyond Strength”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven</em></p> <p>Hardcore punk and thrash were always closely related, but rarely did the twain meet more effectively than on “Strength Beyond Strength.” Fans who popped new copies of <em>Far Beyond Driven</em> into their CD players in 1994 and were greeted by the initial sonic assault of “Strength Beyond Strength” can be forgiven for thinking that the Exploited’s latest album was mistakenly inserted in the case. </p> <p>When the breakneck pace slows to a grind a little more than a minute into the song, the mood and attitude becomes unmistakably Pantera, especially after Dimebag unleashes an eerie harmonized guitar interlude about another minute later. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ss-SUz3163U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>16. “War Nerve”</strong><br /> <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em></p> <p>By the time of <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em>, Pantera were bona fide rock stars. As such, their music and, in particular, Anselmo’s lyrics and actions as a frontman, had started to be put under a mainstream microscope. </p> <p>Among other things, the band and singer had been hit with charges in the media of racism and homophobia, and “War Nerve” was in a way Anselmo’s response to these and other accusations: “For every fucking second the pathetic media pisses on me,” he rants in the chorus, “Fuck you all.” The band backs him up with one of the leanest and most direct arrangements to be found in their post Vulgar-output. </p> <p>In fact, “War Nerve” is a rare instance in which there’s no Dime solo to be found. That said, his brother Vinnie picks up the slack with a vicious and unusually busy drum performance.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BWaHfVtnen4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>15. “Mouth for War”</strong><br /> <em>Vulgar Display of Power</em> (1992) <p>“Mouth for War” is a prime example of Pantera at the height of their early Nineties powers: Vinnie Paul bashes out a machine-gun beat, Dimebag and Rex pair up on a wickedly intricate yet incredibly catchy riff built on sheets of sliding power chords, and Phil Anselmo barks out a self-empowerment lyric with searing rage and intensity. </p> <p>And the music video, which presented the band mostly in stark black-and-white and with plenty of chaotic strobe lighting for effect, only further cemented their status as the new kings of metal. When people think of Pantera, it is most likely this iteration of the band, led by a shaven-headed, bare-chested Anselmo, that comes to mind. By the time they break into a ferocious double-time groove and Anselmo signs off with the line, “No one can piss on this determination,” only a fool would dare to disagree with the sentiment. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/a3JSbOt7CLo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>14. “5 Minutes Alone”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven</em></p> <p>When the pissed-off father of a Pantera heckler who was beaten up at a show said that he wanted five minutes alone with Phil Anselmo, the band turned that threat into this song. </p> <p>Of course anyone who knows Anselmo also knows that five minutes alone with him is the last thing anyone would want. The slow, ground-and-pound groove behind this song suggests that Phil would probably take his sweet time delivering the beat down, but while the instigator who influenced this song would probably be screaming for mercy by the song’s end, listeners are begging for more as the riff fades into oblivion.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7m7njvwB-Ks" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>13. “Domination”</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> (1990)</p> <p>Pantera are often seen as the progenitors of groove metal, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more defining example of the style than the first 30 seconds of this classic. </p> <p>In fact, from the raging intro/chorus riff, to the stop-start verse, to the brutal breakdown that ends the song, “Domination” is basically one ridiculously savage power-groove after another. Given this fact, the song was also used as the band’s live set opener during shows in 1990 and 1991, as it was guaranteed to immediately whip a crowd into a batshit-crazy frenzy. As for what is screamed at the very beginning of the song? </p> <p>General consensus points to “Fart stinks like a motherfucker!” Which might help to explain the ferocity with which the band then tears into the opening riff.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lYPFrXvc2rE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>12. “I’m Broken”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven</em></p> <p>Pantera wisely placed <em>Far Beyond Driven</em>’s three best songs (“Becoming,” “5 Minutes Alone,” “I’m Broken”) near the album’s beginning. “I’m Broken” was the last of this triple threat, neatly completing the band’s most devastating studio recording hat trick. </p> <p>“I think that ‘I’m Broken’ is the riff of all riffs,” Rex Brown says, and for most Pantera fans it would be hard to disagree. Anselmo compares the song to the blues, but has there ever been a blues song with lyrics as cryptic and critical as “Too young for one’s delusion the lifestyle cost/Venereal mother embrace the loss”?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2-V8kYT1pvE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>11. “Becoming”</strong><br /> <em>Far Beyond Driven</em></p> <p>Anyone who went to a Pantera concert between 1994 and 2001 knows why “Becoming” is revered by the band’s fans. The combination of Vinnie Paul’s military drum corps–inspired double-kick rumble and Dimebag’s gut-pummeling riff instantly instigated the most violent mosh pits known to mankind, and the energy that filled the room was so electric that no one would have been surprised if thunder clouds suddenly formed. </p> <p>Dimebag’s solo is the ultimate anti-solo, saying more in an obnoxious burst of noise than most players say in entire careers. The way he uses a Whammy Pedal to make his guitar sound like a howler monkey in a Vitamix is simply brilliant. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2ht3XGhlfYs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>10. “The Art of Shredding”</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> <p>A classic Eighties-style thrasher, “The Art of Shredding” combines the heavily scooped guitar tone and speed-metal attack of bands like Testament and Overkill with the type of meta subject matter and gang-shouted background vocals that have always been Exodus’ stock in trade. </p> <p>In that respect, it’s hardly the most progressive moment on <em>Cowboys from Hell</em>. But with its rollercoaster ride of whiplash riffs and rhythms, it is one of the most enjoyable. Furthermore, Dimebag tops off the proceedings with a gonzo, whammy-filled solo that ably demonstrates that shredding is, in fact, very much an art. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e97cQYWt314" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>9. “Revolution Is My Name”</strong><br /> <em>Reinventing the Steel</em> <p>While Dimebag’s atonal guitar howls on this song’s intro may be the weirdest sounds ever to grace a Grammy-nominated song, the remainder of this tune wouldn’t have been out of place on an early Black Sabbath album. </p> <p>Anselmo even sounds a bit like Ozzy in a few parts—perhaps after Ozzy woke up hung over and gargled with benzene and razor blades. Beyond the classic metal melodiousness, what makes this song so damn good is the way it seamlessly darts between dramatic tempo and rhythmic shifts and somehow sounds cohesive. </p> <p>After delivering a note-perfect metal solo, complete with harmonies, Dimebag returns to the groove with sounds that defy transcription, proving revolution was <em>his</em> name.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NKiR4_QgWB8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>8. “Drag the Waters”</strong><br /> <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em> <p>As one of the most straightforward and definitively Pantera songs on <em>The Great Southern Trendkill</em>, “Drag the Waters” was the obvious choice to be the album’s first single. </p> <p>While it mostly treads familiar ground, it also finds the band growing in new directions. Dimebag’s guitar tone in particular is more massive than ever, and you don’t need to be Bruce Dickinson to love the cowbell that Vinnie Paul lays down with his drum track. </p> <p>Anyone needing a track to explain what Pantera’s “power groove” means would be wise to choose “Drag the Waters,” as it’s heavy as hell, but you can still shake your ass to it.</p> <p>The solo is particularly tasty, as Dimebag goes for more of a slow burn than his usual balls-to-the-wall explosions of speed. “That lead is kinda like an old Van Halen thing, where the band breaks to feature the solo,” Dimebag said in 1996. “Actually, on this one I ended up keeping a lot of the original guide-track stuff I laid down while we were cutting the drums. Sometimes you record something that you plan on redoing later, but then when you listen back to it you decide to keep it because you realize that it’s gonna be real tough to beat!”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4hx8TW6sYys" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>7. “Message in Blood”</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> <p>This deep <em>Cowboys</em> cut comes on like a demented sonic funhouse, replete with eerie atmospherics, detached voices laughing behind Anselmo’s vocal (with lyrics ostensibly about the Charles Manson murders) and constantly changing tempos and attacks. </p> <p>The first half is an all-out creepfest highlighted by Anselmo’s blood-curdling screams. Then the tone abruptly shifts as Dimebag steps up with an intensely layered and textured solo, which only leads into more instrumental twists and turns. </p> <p>A disorienting and disturbing prog-metal death trip.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XMWLS-D97I0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>6. “Walk”</strong><br /> <em>Vulgar Display of Power</em> <p>Pantera wasn’t the kind of band that radio warmed up to during the Nineties, but in the rare instances when Pantera did get airplay it was usually this song. </p> <p>Dimebag often described Pantera’s music as “power goove,” and “Walk” may be the best example of what he meant, even though it swaggered along to an unorthodox 12/8 time signature. The chromatic open low E string and first-fret riff seems simpler than it actually is, thanks to Dimebag’s expert string bends, salacious swing and impeccable feel. </p> <p>To match the menace of Phil Anselmo’s Travis Bickle–inspired taunts, he tuned his guitar down a little more than a whole step, until the strings growled through his solid-state Randall amps.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AkFqg5wAuFk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>5. “This Love”</strong><br /> <em>Vulgar Display of Power</em> <p>Back in 1992, “This Love” was a staple video on MTV and even climbed to Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. </p> <p>With a verse consisting of watery guitar arpeggios and Phil Anselmo’s crooned vocals offset by a mammoth, aggro chorus, the song signified Pantera’s big mainstream power-ballad moment—except other power ballads didn’t feature lyrics like, “I’d kill myself for you/I’d kill you for myself,” or a video in which a prostitute murders an overly frisky john in the back of a taxicab. </p> <p>The song also wraps with a breakdown so crushingly slow and heavy that it could make a thousand metalcore bands wet their pants. But these moments still didn’t save the band from ridicule at the hands of the ultimate metalheads of the day, Beavis and Butt-head: “Is that a tear, Pantera?” taunted Beavis while watching the “This Love” video in an episode of the MTV cartoon. “Is daddy’s little girl upset?”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tymWpEU8wpM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>4. “Shattered”</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> (1990) <p>One listen to Phil Anselmo shrieking his way through the verses on “Shattered” might lead you to wonder whether somebody slipped a Judas Priest disc into your Pantera jewel case. </p> <p>But the singer’s histrionics are just one of many ways in which this <em>Cowboys</em> track deviates from the Pantera norm. From Anselmo’s vocals to Dimebag’s nimble, racing riff to his uncharacteristically traditional-sounding shred solo, “Shattered” is three-minutes-and-twenty-one seconds of steroid-injected, Eighties-style Technicolor metal, and one of the few post-major-label nods to Pantera’s “glam era” output. </p> <p>And yet, while the song is miles away in tone and temperament from, say, “Suicide Note Pt. II,” it’s hardly a puff piece. The jackhammer pace and explosive guitar pyrotechnics (both Abbott brothers shine here)—not to mention its sheer “otherness” in relation to the rest of the post–Power Metal Pantera catalog—make “Shattered” something of a hidden and enormously entertaining gem. </p> <p>As an added bonus, the song is spackled with a nice helping of Eighties-metal cheese: Anselmo’s castrato screams on the song’s title (harmonized for our pleasure); Dime’s whiz-bang outro solo; and a finale that climaxes with the sound of—you guessed it—a piece of glass being shattered.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZqU5wWuv-Po" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>3. “A New Level”</strong><br /> <em>Vulgar Display of Power</em> (1992) <p>Though it was never issued as a single, “A New Level” is arguably as well known as any of the <em>Vulgar Display of Power</em> cuts that were. Its intro riff, built on a slowly ascending barrage of crushing chromatics, is as iconic as the opening of “Walk” or “Mouth for War.” </p> <p>The song also features some subtle shifts in dynamics, such as the chromatic half-step modulation that occurs as Anselmo’s vocal enters at the verse, and the way Dimebag varies his attack on the intro, sometimes playing the chords wide open, at other times with slight palm muting and yet at others with an extremely tight chunk. Of course, subtle is hardly the word to describe “A New Level.” Rather, it’s a classic Pantera rager that finds the band in full-on anthem mode, with Anselmo issuing a call to arms for the shit-, pissed- and spit-on metal masses. But it was Dime’s riffing that also helped the tune reach beyond those metal masses. </p> <p>On the 2008–2009 Sticky &amp; Sweet tour, Madonna ended performances of her retro-disco hit “Hung Up” by leading her band through a few bars of the song’s intro. What’s more, the Material Girl herself even riffed along on a black Les Paul. A new level, indeed.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jnRP77QN59w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>2. “Cemetery Gates”</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> (1990) <p>As far as heavy metal epics go, “Cemetery Gates” belongs in the company of celebrated classics like Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and Metallica’s “One.” </p> <p>Clocking in at 7:03, it’s the longest studio song Pantera recorded. It’s also by far the pinnacle songwriting achievement of Dimebag Darrell, Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown and Vinnie Paul when they worked together in Pantera, with a masterfully structured arrangement that seamlessly ebbs and flows to support the eerie mood before it builds to its dramatic conclusion. </p> <p>Dimebag’s virtuoso performance, from his melodic solos to the harmonic whammy-bar screams at the song’s climax, features some of his finest work. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1OYw7FPB7CE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>1. “Cowboys from Hell”</strong><br /> <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> (1990) <p>With its razor-sharp riff, pummeling groove and ominous “we’re taking over this town” refrain, “Cowboys from Hell” started life as a rallying cry for the reborn version of Pantera circa 1989. </p> <p>As the first track on Pantera’s major-label debut of the same name, it quickly became the band’s anthem for the rest of its existence. The song proclaimed in no uncertain terms that Pantera meant serious business as the next contenders to metal’s throne, while Dimebag Darrell’s delicious solo boldly announced that a new guitar hero was in town and loaded for bear.</p> <p>Although “Cowboys from Hell” was allegedly the first song that Pantera wrote for the album, by the time Pantera finished recording <em>Cowboys from Hell</em> they contemplated cutting it from the final version. The band felt that the song seemed too tame and commercial compared to the album’s other material, particularly the newer songs they wrote in the studio while recording. </p> <p>Pantera’s manager, Walter O’Brien, convinced them otherwise. “I knew that Pantera were going to be called the Cowboys from Hell from then on,” he says. </p> <p>“Every great band has a nickname. Bruce Springsteen is the Boss. ZZ Top is that Little Ol’ Band from Texas. Cowboys from Hell was perfect for them. I rarely insist on anything creative from a band, but I just knew it was a massive song. Dimebag put the CFH logo on everything, and he lived that persona.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_7EQlfprV9E" 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 class="field-item even"> <a href="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/25-greatest-pantera-songs#comments Dimebag Darrell February 2015 Pantera Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Thu, 28 May 2015 16:10:27 +0000 Richard Bienstock, Chris Gill 24535 at http://www.guitarworld.com July 2015 Guitar World: 25 Greatest Lynyrd Skynyrd Songs, Kirk Hammett, Whitesnake, Slayer and More http://www.guitarworld.com/july-2015-guitar-world-lynyrd-skynyrd-kirk-hammett-whitesnake-slayer-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-july-15-lynyrd-skynyrd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWJUL15">The all-new July 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now!</a></p> <p><em>Guitar World</em>’s July 2015 issue features <strong>Lynyrd Skynyrd</strong>. As they gear up to release their latest live record, <em>One More for the Fans!,</em> guitarist <strong>Gary Rossington</strong> reflects on his career as the sole surviving original member of the Southern rock giants. </p> <p>Then, in an excerpt from his new biography on the rise of <strong>Lynyrd Skynyrd</strong>, <em>Whiskey Bottles and Brand-New Cars: The Fast Life and Sudden Death of Lynyrd Skynyrd</em>, author <strong>Mark Ribowsky</strong> provides a harrowing account of the 1977 plane crash that rocked the music world.</p> <p>Also, from "Free Bird" to "That Smell" and "Swamp Music" to "Call Me the Breeze," we pay tribute to the legends of Southern rock by ranking their <strong>25 best tracks</strong>. </p> <p>Also in the issue, <em>Guitar World</em> gets freaky with <strong>Kirk Hammett</strong> as the second annual Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEvil, the Metallica guitarist's star-studded celebration of all things metal and horror. </p> <p>Finally, <em>Guitar World</em> presents a selection of 15 of the tastiest <strong>seven- and eight-string axes</strong> on the market today.</p> <p>PLUS: Tune-ups: <strong>Whitesnake play Deep Purple, Slayer in the studio, Mark Tremonti, Kitty, Daisy &amp; Lewis and more,</strong> Soundcheck: <strong>Eventide</strong> H9 Max multi-effect pedal, <strong>EVH</strong> Wolfgang WG Standard electric, <strong>Orange</strong> Rockerverb 100 MKIII amp and much more!</p> <p><strong>Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass:</strong></p> <p>• Lynyrd Skynyrd - "I Know A Little"<br /> • System of a Down - "Chop Suey!"<br /> • Grateful Dead - "Sugar Magnolia"<br /> • 38 Special - "Hold On Loosely"<br /> • Metallica - "Stone Cold Crazy"</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-july-15-lynyrd-skynyrd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWJUL15">The all-new July 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-19%20at%201.20.05%20PM_0.png" width="620" height="805" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.20.05 PM_0.png" /></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="/lynyrd-skynyrd">Lynyrd Skynyrd</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/july-2015-guitar-world-lynyrd-skynyrd-kirk-hammett-whitesnake-slayer-and-more#comments July 2015 Lynyrd Skynyrd News Features Thu, 28 May 2015 16:03:46 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24567 at http://www.guitarworld.com Milk Carton Kids Guitarist Kenneth Pattengale Talks Tone, Playing in a Duo and New Album, 'Monterey' http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-milk-carton-kids-guitarist-kenneth-pattengale-tone-playing-duo-new-album-monterey <!--paging_filter--><p>The Milk Carton Kids' Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan are studied craftsmen of the folk tradition. </p> <p>Over the course of their five years together as a band, they have mastered the delicate vocal harmonies, sophisticated songwriting and subtle musical interplay set forth by seminal folk duos such as Simon &amp; Garfunkel or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. </p> <p>Words like "enchanting" and "haunting" get tossed around when describing this intimate format, but the Milk Carton Kids have more than earned such distinctions.</p> <p>The two singer-songwriters formed the group in 2011 and promptly hit the road, touring the country. </p> <p>Since then, they have earned numerous accolades, including a Grammy nomination for <em>Ash &amp; Clay,</em> the 2014 Group of the Year Award from the Americana Music Association and a spot in the T Bone Burnett and Coen Brothers-produced concert film documentary, <em>Another Day/Another Time: Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’</em>—in which their performance literally moved Marcus Mumford to tears. </p> <p>When first hearing the Milk Carton Kids, Pattengale’s guitar jumps out immediately. His counterpoint accompaniment is tasteful and undeniably impressive, utilizing a mix of cross-kicking, double-stops and single-note lines to create an elegant style that has made him one of the most exciting contemporary voices on the acoustic guitar. </p> <p>I spoke with Kenneth about achieving tone, his sense of harmony, playing in a duo and recording the Milk Carton Kids’ new album, <em>Monterey.</em></p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: You play a very small-bodied acoustic guitar. What model is it?</strong></p> <p>It’s a Martin 0-15 from 1954. Outside of the little turn-of-the-century parlor guitars and the guitars that predate the OM model, it’s the smallest short-scale guitar Martin has made in the modern era. It's funny; yesterday we were doing a thing with Béla Fleck in Nashville and he walked by the guitar and said, “What, did your guitar shrink in the dryer?” </p> <p>So it’s from ’54 and it’s kind of beat to shit. I bought it off a lady on the Internet, sight unseen. I’ve bought a number of guitars that way, but this one just seems to have its own thing. And after touring it for five years with this band, it’s developed a kind of tone that’s hard to replace when I’m swapping guitars in and out. Every time that one’s in the mix, it seems to be saying the right thing.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wFIzO6mR3-U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>You incorporate a ton of single-note lines into your playing while always retaining a very even, full tone. I know the bluegrass guys have a very specific approach to achieving their tone on an acoustic instrument, but you seem to be going after something different.</strong></p> <p>I feel like tone is the most important thing. My impression of the bluegrass thing is really funny. I think those players are really precious about tone, but often times I feel like those guys are relying on their instrument more than their technique in a strange way. That big, clear, open, bell dreadnought sound you hear out of all those guys is such a particular thing. For me, maybe I had access to too many guitars, or maybe I didn’t have an ear for it … to feel comfortable in what I was playing, the only thing I could manipulate or change was just my technique. </p> <p>We’ll see if it hurts me in the end, but I think if there’s anything that sets me apart from other people is that when I know that I like what’s coming out of my instrument, it’s because literally I press down on the fingerboard harder than most players. I’ve always found that to get a really warm, sustained and clear tone that’s still sort of real and gritty, in order to get that out of the instruments I play, I always have to really take that string across the frets. </p> <p>I guess you could compare it to the way you need to make sure joints in woodworking are sound. When you glue two pieces of wood together, the closer you can get them to existing as a fundamental structure, and the more you create that bond, the more structural integrity it has. In a metaphorical way, that holds true in my mind for the guitar. The more you can establish a totally firm intentionally with which you play, and in how that’s represented physically, the truer it sounds. </p> <p>But then again I don’t know … I might be shooting myself in the foot. I might not be able to play the guitar when I’m 60 [laughs].</p> <p><strong>Is that something you’re aware of while playing? I’ve talked before with Julian Lage, whom I know you produced a record with, and he spoke of having a similar intentionality to his playing.</strong></p> <p>I think I’m more aware of it when I’m not playing. If I don’t play the guitar for a few weeks, and then I start to play again, the first four or five days I’m in excruciating pain. My calluses go away and my hand cramps up and feels overused. The opposite is like Joey, who doesn’t have light strings on his guitar, but to get the sound he gets out of his instrument he doesn’t have to press the guitar as hard. He can go months without playing and then do some strumming and it won’t really matter. </p> <p>When I’m actually playing and in the zone and not distracted by anything, I think I’m far enough in where I don’t have to think about technique anymore. When you’re performing, technique probably isn’t a good thing to focus on because you might miss some artistic information. </p> <p>You mentioned Julian; I’ve never had more conversations about technique with anyone than Julian. Not necessarily about playing the guitar but everything that surrounds playing the guitar. He’s given a lot of thought and made a lot of personal choices and corrections based on body posture and breathing and all of these theoretical ideas about what it means physically to play the guitar. Obviously, when you hear that guy play the guitar, anything that’s going into it is valuable information because what’s coming out of it is pretty astounding. </p> <p><strong>You have such an interesting and sophisticated sense of harmony in your playing. I hear half-step moves, close intervals, 9ths and 13ths. How did you develop this sound?</strong></p> <p>I think it comes from having global influences. I spent long stretches listening to Tom Waits recordings, long stretches listening to Duke Ellington recordings—composers that seem not to be afraid to work in the margins. Duke’s a perfect example of where there’s so much intentionally, and clearly composition, but he’s also not afraid to challenge the ear. </p> <p>Secondarily, not to be bashful about it, but I’m not the most consistent guitar player around. I feel like I kind of backed into this job. Joey and I started a band where there are only two guitars and two voices. There are a few ways to arrange those four elements, and to our ear the best way is to really be interesting with those four things. When we’re striving to sing as one with our voices, and Joey’s fundamentally providing rhythm, there’s all this wide-open space for me to play the guitar as counterpoint in and around that. There’s a lot of room to fill there and I guess I was the guy for the job. </p> <p>And I’m not the greatest guitar player, so a lot of that comes from trying to be ambitious on the guitar and then landing in the wrong place and having to find my way out of it while trying to make it musical. In that a lot of discovery happens. Sometimes I’d land in the wrong place but I’d really like how it sounded and what it did for the music. </p> <p>In some ways this feels like a running experiment for me trying to seek out the guitar in the public forum. I’ve also got a band mate and collaborator who can tell me if I sound shitty or if I’ve gone too far. I’m not necessarily stuck in my own world thinking this stuff sounds great or not. There’s always somebody else to tell if it’s working. </p> <p><strong>Even though you play a lot of very defined single note lines, it never sounds like you’re playing “lead guitar." It seems like you always make an effort to accompany the song even while you’re doing all this cool guitar stuff.</strong></p> <p>Yeah and that’s intentional. When we perform we do maybe 20 songs, and of the those 20, there are only ever two or three songs where we get to a point and it feels like, “Oh and now for a guitar solo.”</p> <p>There’s a song of ours, “Girls Gather Round” that has a guitar solo in the middle. But it’s really only there because the structure of the song is so traditional that when you get to that point in the song, everybody knows that it’s time for the guitar solo. </p> <p>We’re conscious of writing parts in our songs, sections that while they’re instrumental, usually have different chord patterns than in the verses and chorus. Sometimes these songs, over the course of a year or two will change from the recorded version to something we feel more comfortable in or something that can be lightly improvised around. Throughout that process we try not to reach points in songs where it’s just time for me to show off on the guitar. </p> <p>First I’m not capable of that, but more importantly, we found to have a clear idea of what the direction of my guitar part is really strengthens the songwriting. Or at least it gives an identity to the song that without it our band doesn’t actually work. It’s never supposed to feel like a guitar solo. It’s exactly like you said, it’s supposed to feel like accompaniment; it’s supposed to feel like it’s contextual and that it’s purposeful and serves the song. </p> <p>If somebody was going to pick guitar solos over our tunes there are plenty of other guys that would do that better. Julian Lage or Elbridge or Rawlins can all play a way better guitar solo than I can. </p> <p><strong>For the new album, I read you recorded it in empty rooms and halls to utilize their natural reverb. Was that the concept for making this record?</strong></p> <p>You know, that’s actually how I thought about the Critter [Chris Eldridge] and Julian album. That duo-guitar thing is a format that’s happened a few times, and my frustration with those recordings is that it seems like those type of players, who are so good and so detailed, the production aesthetics are always … you get this really close-mic’d, precise, pristine sound. It sounds so close and detailed; it’s hard for me to hear the context when I listen to those. </p> <p>I wanted to get them into a room where I could back all the mics off so that the context would be more firmly established before the listener hears it. In fact, we recorded that album in the middle of the tour that Joey and I recorded our album on. It was the same recording rig, and I found a hall in Easton, Maryland, to take them into. What ended up happening, standing on stage in this empty room with all of this reverb, is that all of a sudden everything was different. Just playing guitar sounded different than playing in the studio or sitting on the edge of your bed. You’d strike the guitar and hear the sounds in just an entirely different way. And it seemed to not only make you play differently, but that different context alone painted the whole picture differently.</p> <p>For Joey and me, it was important because we’ve done close to 500 shows, and we’ve only been in the studio eight days over those five years. At this point, he and I are much happier thinking about our accomplishments onstage rather than our accomplishments in the studio. And we’ve spent so much damn time out there; it occurred to us, “Why don’t we just record it here?” We thought it would feel a lot more natural and take away the preciousness of what going into the studio means. Every time you go into the studio, everyone gets emotionally psyched up, and you can’t expect that it’s not going to change what you do. </p> <p>I know that if I sit down at the studio and try to cut a song for three hours, knowing that at end of it I’m going to have to move on and that’s going to be the one, it means that I’m less ambitious playing the guitar and that sometimes I’m thinking about the wrong things—worrying about how the guitar sounds rather than thinking about how to make the guitar sound good.</p> <p>On that tour, I think we played 55 shows. We’d set up the recording studio every day on stage in these halls and play for a few hours and then take it down. We didn’t even listen to anything for about six months. So during that whole time we never thought, “Oh, this has got to be the one,” or “We gotta play this right.” Instead, we’d set up for the day and either we’d play or we wouldn’t. </p> <p>When we went back and listened, we found that the songs sounded totally different than if we were in the studio and precious about it. As a result, I think it’s much more reflective of what we do every day. It captures a side of our music that definitely hasn’t been captured on any of the previous records. But more importantly, it represents what we think we’re good at and how we think we found it. </p> <p><em>For more about the Milk Carton Kids, visit <a href="http://www.themilkcartonkids.com/">themilkcartonkids.com.</a></em></p> <p><em>Ethan Varian is a freelance writer and guitarist based in San Francisco. He has performed with a number of rock, blues, jazz and bluegrass groups in the Bay Area and in Colorado. <a href="https://twitter.com/ervarian">Follow him on Twitter.</a></em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-milk-carton-kids-guitarist-kenneth-pattengale-tone-playing-duo-new-album-monterey#comments Acoustic Nation Kenneth Pattengale The Milk Carton Kids Interviews Blogs Interviews News Features Wed, 27 May 2015 20:51:31 +0000 Ethan Varian 24561 at http://www.guitarworld.com