Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/all en Joe Bonamassa Talks Fender Strats and His New Album, 'Different Shades of Blue' http://www.guitarworld.com/joe-bonamassa-talks-fender-strats-and-his-new-album-different-shades-blue <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this Joe Bonamassa story, plus features on Slipknot, Slash, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Gilbert, Motionless In White, Electric Wizard and more, including lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from D'Angelico, Washburn, Boss, Morley, Lace Music and Carr Amps, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=JoeBExcerpt">check out the December 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong>The House Is Rocking: To celebrate the release of his new album, <em>Different Shades of Blue</em>, Joe Bonamassa invites us over for a look at his ever-growing collection of vintage axes and amps.</strong> </p> <p>“There’s nothing on my new album that’s going to outplay Clapton, Hendrix or the other greats,” says six-string roots-and-rock rabble-rouser Joe Bonamassa. “That’s not what I’m trying to do. My job in 2014 is to keep that kind of organic music alive.”</p> <p>For Bonamassa, that means fanning the flames of the blues. So after recording his new <em>Different Shades of Blue</em>, he headed to Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in late August to build a bonfire—playing a sold-out concert with a set list culled from the catalogs of genre giants Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf that was shot for DVD. </p> <p>“We had 10,000 people,” he says. “That’s what I call ‘proof of life.’ There’s always talk about the blues dying out, but it won’t. You just have to make it a little different. That’s where the Black Keys and Jack White have succeeded and I’ve failed. They’ve actually convinced college kids that they’re listening to hip music—but it’s just blues twisted a new way—while I’m playing for the college kid’s parents.”</p> <p>That’s not entirely true. Bonamassa’s broadsword tone, conflagrant licks, dusted-soul singing and cinematic songs have sliced through the striations of demography with an efficiency unseen by any roots-based guitar slinger since Stevie Ray Vaughan. He’s a social-media darling who sells out auditoriums and amphitheaters in a flash. And despite putting out his own albums and DVDs, he’s hit Number One on the <em>Billboard</em> blues chart a record dozen times, sells more music than most major-label artists and was nominated for a Grammy in 2013. No wonder the guy owns one of every Gibson Les Paul made between 1952 and 1961, including the two 1959s—his beloved “Spot” and “Principal Skinner” Les Paul Standards—that he played on <em>Different Shades of Blue</em>.</p> <p>Bonamassa’s fortunes turned north when he kicked the beer-and-barbecue circuit in favor of partnering with his producer, Kevin Shirley, a decade ago. Their alchemical mix of music and marketing smarts has resulted in gold. But <em>Different Shades of Blue</em> has a slightly different sheen, raising the already high bar of their studio craftsmanship a few more clicks.</p> <p>There’s even an overture, signaling that something special is afoot, to set up the 10 original tunes. It’s an instrumental excerpt of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” that does justice to the original’s sharp-tooted Strat tones. Bonamassa keeps moving like a single-coil shark into “Oh Beautiful,” tastefully coloring his howling expressionist solo with a patina of phase shifter. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Z3_GOk36JD0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The intro to “Never Give All Your Heart” recalls Pete Townshend’s <em>Who’s Next</em>–era high-wattage humbucker clangor as it takes Bonamassa back to his beloved Les Pauls. By the time the 37-year-old guitar slinger steps up to solo in that tune, his tone has shifted to a sophisticated-but-brass-knuckled distillation of British blues blasters, ranging from Jimmy Page to David Gilmour, yet his phrasing is the unique blend of elongated melody and textural grit that has become Bonamassa’s own trademark. As <em>Different Shades of Blue</em> ends with the ballad “So, What Would I Do,” it’s clear that in the two years since his previous studio recording Driving Toward the Daylight Bonamassa has revised his sound and refined his songwriting and vocal delivery to land on a new and very high creative plateau.</p> <p>After 20-something studio recordings, live albums and DVDs, Bonamassa and Shirley went searching for new fuel for <em>Different Shades of Blue</em>. They found it in Nashville, where Bonamassa traveled five times in the past year for marathon songwriting sessions with ace tunesmiths James House, Jerry Flowers, Jonathan Cain, Jeffrey Steele and Gary Nicholson.</p> <p>“Kevin suggested that I write all original songs for this album,” Bonamassa recounts. “I can write a decent song, but I’m also a touring musician and have a lot of other projects, so I needed help. These guys were brilliant, patient and inspiring, and, like it says in the title, they helped me make a different kind of blues album.</p> <p>“Most blues guitar players don’t concentrate on singing and melodies. And forget about the bridge—the bridge doesn’t exist. They go straight for the solo. This was all about writing great songs and then playing solos that I believe in and that really speak for the songs, and putting it all on analog tape, which is great for warm lower and upper-midrange guitar tones and still has the right brightness and articulation.”</p> <p>And Bonamassa’s guitars have never been more articulate, speaking throughout the tunes in big, clear, warm, perfectly burnished tones that covey the menu of joy, loss and hope in their lyrics. In part, that’s because he varied his usual Marshall, Dumble and Van Wheeldon Twinkleland amp diet for the sessions, adding new Dumbles—ultimately employing four Overdrive Specials—and, more important, a juicy main course of vintage Fenders including a 1965 Twin Reverb, a 1962 Vibroverb, a 1962 Deluxe, a 1958 Twin and a 1962 Reverb. </p> <p>“The sound of the Fenders was so inspiring that, for the first time in 15 years, I’m changing up my road rig and going out with all Fenders,” Bonamassa says. “I’m going to have to work a little harder, but the warmth and the presence is worth forcing myself to make it work. </p> <p>“Plus, every few years I feel like I need to throw a firecracker into my life, musically and otherwise,” he adds. “In the last year a lot has happened in my personal life, too. A relationship I was in for four years broke up, I moved house… I fear being complacent. If I feel like things are getting into a routine, I want them to be different. I need to keep improving and keep moving forward.”</p> <p>Another change on <em>Different Shades of Blue</em> was the increased presence of Stratocasters—a 1956 blonde Strat, a 1963 sunburst and a 1965 in Lake Placid Blue. “I know people associate me with the Les Paul, and I am a Les Paul guy to the bone,” Bonamassa says. “I love my vintage Les Pauls, I love my signature models with Gibson, and I think Gibson is making some of the best guitars they’ve ever made right now. But I also love the sound of a great Strat. To me, that classic Les Paul tone and that classic Strat sound cover pretty much everything I could ever want to play.”</p> <p><em>Photo: Angela Boatwright</em></p> <p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this Joe Bonmassa story, plus features on Slipknot, Slash, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Gilbert, Motionless In White, Electric Wizard and more, including lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from D'Angelico, Washburn, Boss, Morley, Lace Music and Carr Amps, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=JoeBExcerpt">check out the December 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-10-07%20at%2010.21.37%20AM.png" width="620" height="807" alt="Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.21.37 AM.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="/joe-bonamassa">Joe Bonamassa</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/joe-bonamassa-talks-fender-strats-and-his-new-album-different-shades-blue#comments December 2014 Joe Bonamassa Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:36:44 +0000 Ted Drozdowski http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22590 Guitar World's Paul Riario Puts D'Addario's NYXL Strings to the Test on the Streets of NYC — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-paul-riario-puts-daddarios-nyxl-strings-test-new-york-city-video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this brand-new video, <em>Guitar World</em>'s Paul Riario — armed with a Charvel Jake E. Lee signature model guitar — hits the gritty streets of New York City with D'Addario's new NYXL strings.</p> <p> The goal? To put NYXL strings into the hands of New Yorkers (and a superhero or two) to see if the strings really do "allow you to strum harder, stay in tune better and bend further."</p> <p>Several guest stars — from Testament's Alex Skolnick to the Naked Cowboy to Spiderman to guitarist Wayne Krantz — seem to agree the strings hold up to the test!</p> <p>For more information about D'Addario's NYXL strings, visit <a href="http://www.nyxlstory.com/">nyxlstory.com</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yePDRnWahLg?list=UUqHkFMEmOPFO3ahcrrBAj4w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-paul-riario-puts-daddarios-nyxl-strings-test-new-york-city-video#comments Alex Skolnick D'Addario Paul Riario Accessories Videos News Features Gear Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:58:54 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22578 Sample Guitar World's New 'In Deep with the Major Modes' DVD Featuring Andy Aledort — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/video-sample-guitar-worlds-new-deep-major-modes-dvd-featuring-andy-aledort <!--paging_filter--><p>The latest in Andy Aledort's In Deep instructional DVD series, <em>In Deep with the Major Modes</em> includes more than 100 minutes of instruction! It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</p> <p>In this DVD, you'll learn:</p> <p> • Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian modes.<br /> • Essential fingering patterns and keys.<br /> • How to create licks from scale patterns.<br /> • Major pentatonic and hexatonic scales.<br /> • Blues soloing using thirds and sixths<br /> • Hybrid-dominant scales<br /> ... and much more!</p> <p>Your instructor is <strong>Andy Aledort</strong>, a longtime contributor to <em>Guitar World</em> magazine and the author and producer of hundreds of artist transcriptions, books and instructional DVDs. He has influenced and inspired guitarists around the world for many years. </p> <p>During his tenure at <em>Guitar World</em>, Aledort has written lesson features on players such as Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Dimebag Darrell and Yngwie Malmsteen, among others. </p> <p>He also has created many of <em>Guitar World</em>'s best-selling instructional DVDs, including <em>Play Rock Guitar, How to Play Hard Rock and Heavy Metal</em> and <em>How to Play the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Axis: Bold As Love</em>, which can be found at the <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=secondarynav&amp;utm_campaign=store">Guitar World Online Store.</a></p> <p>As a guitarist, Andy has worked live and in the studio with Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and the Band of Gypsys rhythm section of bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. Aledort has been a member of original Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts' band, Great Southern, and performed with Buddy Guy, Double Trouble, Paul Rodgers and many other legends. His solo blues-rock album, <em>Live at North Star 2009</em>, is available on Steve Vai's Digital Nations label.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/products/in-deep-with-the-major-modes-dvd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=MajorModesDVD">For more information, visit the Guitar World Online Store</a> and check out the free lesson below!</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2746050936001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2746050936001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><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="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/video-sample-guitar-worlds-new-deep-major-modes-dvd-featuring-andy-aledort#comments Andy Aledort Videos In Deep with Andy Aledort News Features Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:32:44 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19570 Bill Frisell’s Tele-Portation: 'Guitar in The Space Age'! http://www.guitarworld.com/bill-frisell-s-tele-portation-guitar-space-age <!--paging_filter--><p><em>"To you I shall put an end, then you'll never hear surf music again."</em> — Jimi Hendrix, “Third Stone From The Sun”</p> <p>Oh, Jimi … you would’ve loved this. Surf music? I’ll say! Straight from the valleys of Neptune. </p> <p>With <em>Guitar In The Space Age!</em>, Bill Frisell and his talented friends (drummer Kenny Wolleson, bassist Tony Scherr and fellow string wizard Greg Leisz) turn the collars up on their pressurized black leather space suits and head back to the future. </p> <p>The controls are set for the tunes of Frisell’s youth; the quartet’s sonic filters process the music and turn it into something very familiar and very new. As soft-spoken as Frisell is in conversation, he’s some kind of fearless adventurer with a guitar in his hands.</p> <p>There’s funked-up blues (“Messin’ with the Kid”), there’s Brylcreemed sneer (“Rumble”), there’s classic twangorama (“Rebel Rouser”) and happy burble (“Cannonball Rag”). But as recognizable as it all is, there’s plenty of new ground broken as well. </p> <p>Consider the band’s take on the Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You”; the original melody is offered up gently and wistfully … slightly psychedelicized, but straight enough for church. And then things begin to get a little glazey-eyed about three-and-a-half minutes in, wandering way off into the field of flowers as Wolleson and Scherr slo-roll-and-tumble their way along and Frisell and Leisz explore the inner soul of a tie-dyed raga.</p> <p>Sure, you’ve heard “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Surfer Girl” and “Telstar” before, but you’ve never heard them quite like this. Amongst the classics are two newly penned Frisell originals — “The Shortest Day” and “Liftoff” — totally kindred spirits. </p> <p>And you know what the coolest thing of all might be? Frisell covers all this wild-ass sonic territory with a very humble and familiar vehicle … but I’ll let him tell you about it. </p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: I’m pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but I want to hear the story from you. Folks might listen to this album and expect that you used an arsenal of guitars for all the ground you cover, but … </strong></p> <p>Yeah … [laughs] I ended up playing just one guitar for the whole thing. It's a Telecaster made by J.W. Black. I can't remember if I’ve told you about him before, but I met him a long time ago. He used to work for Roger Sadowsky in New York back in the Eighties, before moving out to California. He was around in the early days of the Fender Custom Shop … one of the first guys who made those relic guitars, you know? J.’s incredible … his knowledge of Fender stuff is outrageous. He’s restored many, many Fifties and Sixties vintage guitars, and I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who knows them inside and out the way he does. </p> <p>When he puts something together, it's like you’re getting to play one of those real old guitars … but everything is working right. [laughter]</p> <p>J only builds for customers in Japan these days, but I’m very fortunate to have a few guitars he’s put together. The Tele I used on this album is special because it has a Bigsby vibrato on it, which is so great for this kind of music. And it has a bridge that’s made by a guy named John Woodland.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JtiT-lEkcNY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Oh, Woody. The Mastery bridge, right?</strong></p> <p>You know about them?</p> <p><strong>I put a <a href="http://www.masterybridge.com">Mastery bridge</a> on my Esquire last year after you mentioned it to me.</strong></p> <p>Oh, cool! [laughs] I’d forgotten we’d talked about it.</p> <p><strong>It was the same thing; it seemed like the perfect bridge to try after I installed a Bigsby.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, exactly. Woody makes a Tele bridge with the Mastery saddles on it that’s open in the back so it works with the Bigsby. It’s great.</p> <p><strong>How about pickups?</strong></p> <p>Those came from a guy named Jeff Callahan in Eureka, California — <a href="http://callahanpickups.com/">Callahan Pickups</a>. He was another guy J. hooked me up with. I’m really liking Jeff’s pickups. I have them in this Tele, and I have some in a Strat, too.</p> <p>That came from this super-luxurious situation … [laughs] I went to J. Black’s place, and he had this guitar set up so I could switch out the pickups. He’d made it so that he could just slide the pickguards in and out. I tried about eight different Strat pickups that day. It was a total blind test. I didn't know what I was listening to or anything … just a couple hours of going back and forth and trying to figure out which ones I liked. The Callahan pickups just stood out like crazy.</p> <p>You know … J., Woody, Jeff … I’m so lucky to know people like that.</p> <p><strong>How about amps on this album?</strong></p> <p>I had this one amp that I really like. It’s an old Gibson … oh, boy … I think it's called an Explorer. It’s real low power and one 10-inch speaker. I used that and a Carr Mercury that was in the studio. That was the thing: we recorded it in Portland, Oregon. Usually I can't even use my own amps and stuff.</p> <p><strong>You were home, then … almost. [Bill lives in Seattle.]</strong> </p> <p>Yeah, almost. [laughs] It was weird, because usually it would be, “Now’s my chance,” you know — fill my car with guitars. But this time I ended up with just that Tele.</p> <p><strong>I love it. I’m a longtime champion of the versatility of the Telecaster and the Esquire … both of which are often labeled as limited in their sound.</strong></p> <p>That’s true.</p> <p><strong>And Greg was on a beautiful old Jazzmaster?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, he played that through the whole thing, along with pedal steel on some stuff. He played a 12-string on one song … I’m trying to think …</p> <p><strong>Oh, Lord, it had to be “Turn, Turn, Turn,” didn't it?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, just a little part in there. </p> <p><strong>Before I heard it for the first time, I wondered what the guitar voice would be on that song. The obvious was a take on Roger McGuinn’s 12-string Rick jangle, but you had very little of that.</strong></p> <p>There’s not many overdubs on the record; 99 percent of what you hear is just the four of us playing, but Greg did overdub the 12-string in a few places. It’s the only part of the record that was done in the computer age. [laughter] Some of what you hear on “Turn, Turn, Turn," though, is just our two guitars — his Jazzmaster and my Tele together.</p> <p><strong>Undoubtedly you’ve burrowed into some of these songs over the years, but were there ones that you’d never actually played before?</strong></p> <p>That was part of the thing about it: when I think back to when I first heard that music, I think, “Wait a minute. Between, say, 1963 and 1968 — a five-year period — the amount of music I was moving through and moving past … wow.” [laughs] I mean, like, going from the Ventures to Miles Davis in five years … there’s no way I could play all of those songs.</p> <p>I kind of played some of it, but I had barely figured out how to push down the strings and then I’d be moving onto something else … push it away and move on to the next thing … really quickly.</p> <p>So now it’s like, “Oh, wait a minute — I want to look harder at this stuff that got me going in the beginning.” Like “Pipeline” … or “Baha” by the Astronauts? Those were songs that got me super fired up about the guitar way, way back — and I could never play them then.</p> <p>Now I’m trying to play “Baha,” going “Whoa, whoa, wait a second … this is a lot harder than I thought it was.” That happened with a lot of these songs.</p> <p>When I did the John Lennon album, that was another revelation: “Wait a minute … I don't know these songs at all.” There’s all kinds of stuff in there that you start uncovering and, man …</p> <p><strong>I think that’s the same thing with, say, Duane Eddy’s playing. You listen to “Rebel Rouser” and, on the surface, I think some folks think it’s relatively simple. But it's the tone and phrasing … not a million-notes-a-minute.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, there’s so much more than just whatever the notes are. And we didn't even do “Rebel Rouser” the way Duane Eddy does it; he’s changing keys every time through and we didn't do that. [laughs] That would’ve made it way harder. [laughter]</p> <p>There’s so much in this music. For me, it just keeps on going and going and going …</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/bill-frisell-s-tele-portation-guitar-space-age#comments Bill Frisell Brian Robbins Interviews News Features Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:33:18 +0000 Brian Robbins http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22605 Funk Brothers Legend: Guitarist Dennis Coffey Talks Detroit, Podcasts and Not "Playing Like the Record" http://www.guitarworld.com/funk-brothers-legend-guitarist-dennis-coffey-talks-detroit-podcasts-and-not-playing-record <!--paging_filter--><p>Often recognized as the guitarist who introduced the wah pedal to Motown, Dennis Coffey played on hundreds of tracks as a member of the Funk Brothers, the studio band that recorded countless hits in the Detroit recording studio known as the Snake Pit. </p> <p>On his own, Coffey charted with the million-selling instrumental “Scorpio” and the soundtrack to Black Belt Jones, as well as session and production work for other artists.</p> <p>Coffey was featured in the 2002 award-winning documentary <em>Standing in the Shadows of Motown</em> and published his memoir, <em>Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars</em>, in 2004. He was the subject of a 2010 podcast series called Premium Blend, in which he was interviewed about his years as one of the Funk Brothers and his life as a guitarist.</p> <p>In addition to regular gigs in Detroit with his band, recent projects include guitar work on the Cambodian Space Project CD <em>Whisky Cambodia</em> (2014), which he produced, and several U.K. sold-out dates in March 2014 opening for singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriquez. Coffey also was featured in <em>Searching for Sugar Man</em>, the 2013 Academy Award-winning documentary that chronicled Rodriquez’s life and career.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: What did your experiences with the Funk Brothers teach you about being a band member and a bandleader?</strong></p> <p>I always look after my guys. They get treated fairly and I'm honest. Motown treated me fairly. I got what I was promised, things were always delivered, and they did what they said they were going to do.</p> <p><strong>Is there a difference between what you play for the public and what you play for yourself?</strong></p> <p>For myself, I’m woodshedding. In front of an audience, most of the stuff has been tried, but not a lot. I play at home and with my musicians and see how it flies. If it doesn't, I stop doing it. I've come up with new approaches to my playing over time, and now it’s more dramatic and strong.</p> <p><strong>Do you play much acoustic guitar?</strong></p> <p>I have a few at home. I love writing with acoustic. There is something about the woody sound of an acoustic guitar that lends itself to me when I’m writing.</p> <p><strong>When did you begin working on the podcasts and what appealed to you about the idea?</strong></p> <p>Red Bull asked me to participate in their Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona with a DJ from New York who knew all the records I had played on. He played my records in front of these kids in their 20s, from all over the world, who were doing projects on their laptops. They were all from the digital age. They played “Cloud Nine” and all these records, and the audience had no idea who I was and what I'd done. They gave me a standing ovation at the end of my interview. </p> <p>Then they broke up into teams to do recording projects and asked me if I would overdub some guitar parts. I said, “Sure.” It took three hours to do a project, adding parts, and again they gave me a standing ovation in the control room. That was the beginning of people knowing who I am, because the new generation has no idea and they don’t know my history. The podcasts have the same effect. </p> <p><strong>What do you look for when hiring musicians?</strong></p> <p>I look for guys who want to create stuff and never tell me that they will play like the record. If you're playing like the record, you're not learning. We create new things every week, so we're not stuck in the paradigm of playing like the record. Even I don't play my songs like the record. I play them almost like acid jazz.</p> <p><strong>How far can you take your reinterpretation of a hit?</strong></p> <p>Audiences kind of expect that from me now. I guess it will be time to stop pushing the envelope when the place is empty. Then I'll know I've gone too far. Sometimes I'm on edge and I look out and they're clapping, so I keep going. If they all walk out, I won't push it that hard anymore. Right now, they seem to like it because it's different and fun. </p> <p>Detroit audiences are loyal, but they are a tough crowd. They see music every night, and you'd better be fresh and different and energetic for them. Two of the great players that influenced me melodically were Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery because they were so lyrical in their playing. You've got to get the audience’s attention and be melodic so that it doesn’t all sound like noise, and so that people can understand it and relate to it. </p> <p><em>Read more of this interview with Coffey <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/rewind-with-dennis-coffey">HERE.</a></em></p> <p><em>For more about Coffey, visit <a href="http://denniscoffeysite.com/">denniscoffeysite.com</a> and <a href="http://denniscoffey.bandcamp.com/">denniscoffey.bandcamp.com</a>.</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/funk-brothers-legend-guitarist-dennis-coffey-talks-detroit-podcasts-and-not-playing-record#comments Alison Richter Dennis Coffey The Funk Brothers Interviews News Features Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:56:45 +0000 Alison Richter http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22602 The Guitarist's Guide to Playing Bass: 20 Guidelines to Help You Think and Play Like a Real Bass Guitarist http://www.guitarworld.com/guitarists-guide-playing-bass <!--paging_filter--><p>Bass is more than just a guitar with two fewer strings. It has a different tone, scale length, feel and musical role, and in many cases it requires a different conceptual and technical approach. </p> <p>Guitarists who are new to playing bass will often double the guitar part one octave lower. There is certainly a place for lockstep octave doubling—just listen to Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean” and Pantera’s “I’m Broken.” </p> <p>But there is so much more that can be done with the bass guitar.</p> <p>As a bassist who later took up guitar, I have developed 20 general guidelines that I live by when I play the bass. Apply them to the instrument, and hear your playing improve as they help you to think and play like a real bass guitarist. </p> <p><strong>1. PLAY FOR THE SONG</strong></p> <p>More often than not, solid bass playing requires that you exercise restraint and subtlety rather than showcase your technique and slick moves. In many situations, it’s best to work mostly with the root notes of the chords and lock in with the drummer’s kick and snare drums. </p> <p><strong>2. LEARN TO WALK</strong></p> <p>“Walking bass” originated in jazz and blues, but it has since been adopted in other styles. The term refers to a way of playing in which the bass line remains in perpetual motion as opposed to staying on or reiterating one note. The line “walks” from one chord’s root note up or down to the next, mostly in a quarter-note rhythm, with the occasional embellishment. </p> <p>To achieve this, you use “transition notes” to smoothly connect the dots and bridge the gap between different root notes as the chords change. The transition notes can be any combination of chord tones (arpeggios), scale tones that relate to the chords, or chromatic passing tones. </p> <p>In general, chord tones are the musically safest bet, as they sound harmonically consonant, while scale tones add a touch of light dissonance when heard against an underlying chord. The more chromatic notes that are used, the more dissonant the line becomes, as these notes momentarily clash with the prevailing chord. Whether this is a good thing or not is up to your discretion and instincts. </p> <p>FIGURE 1 shows a stock blues walking bass line. Although the line is rhythmically animated, with staccato (short, clipped) swing eighth notes and a triplet fill at the end of each bar, it is fairly tame harmonically, as it uses mostly chord tones (the root, fifth and dominant seventh) with a brief chromatic run-up to the fifth. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass1.jpg" /></p> <p>By contrast, FIGURE 2 illustrates a jazz-style walking bass line played over these same two chords for which chromatic passing tones are liberally employed. Note the difference in contour between these two examples, the first being very angular and the second being smooth and rolling. Also note the use of “dead” notes (indicated by Xs in the notation), which help propel the line. These are performed by picking the string while lightly muting it with the fret hand.</p> <p>When crafting a walking bass line, it’s best to land on the root note whenever there’s a chord change. If you’re staying on the same chord for several bars, it’s a good idea to play the root on the downbeat of every other bar or every fourth bar, depending on how grounded you want the line to sound.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass3.jpg" /></p> <p>The walking bass concept isn’t just for swing grooves and can be also employed with great results in a rock context with an even-eighths feel. Inspired by Herbie Flowers’ tasteful bass work on David Bowie’s 1974 hit, “Rebel Rebel,” FIGURE 3 is a fairly straightforward example of a great way to use scalar passing tones and fills to spice up a bass line over a repeating two-chord progression.</p> <p><strong>3. LOCK IN WITH THE DRUMMER</strong></p> <p>In a rhythm section, part of the bass guitar’s role is to function as a liaison between the drums and the rest of the band. In most cases you want to make the bass and drums sound like one entity, and a great way to do this is to craft bass lines that fit like a glove with the drummer’s kick and snare drums. Using octave root notes is often an excellent way to do this, the low octave corresponding to the kick drum and the high octave hitting with the snare, typically on beats two and four, which are also known as the backbeats. </p> <p>Octaves allow you to create an active bass line with an interesting, angular melodic contour without clashing harmonically with the underlying chords, as the octave root note “agrees” perfectly with the chord.</p> <p>“Grooving” doesn’t necessarily mean playing the same thing over and over. John Paul Jones’ playing throughout Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” is a perfect case in point, as he embellishes the groove and stays within the bass’ role as a support instrument for six solid minutes without repeating himself once.</p> <p><strong>4. USE OCTAVES AND FIFTHS</strong></p> <p>After the octave root, the fifth is the most harmonically agreeable note you can play. Many classic bass lines have been constructed using mostly roots, octaves and fifths as the framework. The great thing about this approach is that it allows you to create a bass line that is interesting and melodic, locks in perfectly with the drums and doesn’t clash harmonically with the underlying chords. FIGURE 4 is an example of this kind of approach, inspired by John Paul Jones’ nimble playing on Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.”</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass4.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>5. TONE IS IN THE HANDS </strong></p> <p>This old adage could not ring truer for bass playing. Plucking the strings hard and near the base of the fretboard (FIGURE 5a) like Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler makes them slap against it; plucking the strings near the bridge with just the very tips of your fingers (FIGURE 5b) lets you get that punchy Jaco Pastorius/Rocco Prestia machine-gun 16th-note attack. (Be sure to check out the video demonstrations for these musical examples on GuitarWorld.com to hear the difference in tone between them.) </p> <p>You can go from a dull thud to a sharp, funky punch simply by choosing where along the string you pick it and how aggressively you hit it. Between that, your pickup selector (if your bass has one) and tone controls, you have a considerable range of tonal possibilities before the signal even hits the amp.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass5.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>6. TO PICK OR NOT TO PICK? </strong></p> <p>Not all bassists use their fingers to pluck the instrument. Megadeth’s David Ellefson, Rex Brown of Pantera and Down, Yes’ Chris Squire and Paul McCartney use a pick, and John Paul Jones, the Who’s John Entwistle and Michael Anthony in his Van Halen days were known for switching from fingers to pick depending on the song. If playing with a pick works for you, go for it. I recommend the large, non-celluloid kind, such as Dunlop’s Tortex Triangle, with a thick gauge (at least 1mm). </p> <p>The large surface area of the big triangle picks is well suited to the wide spacing of bass strings and will help you keep a grip on the pick. Tortex (or Delrin, depending on the manufacturer) is also sturdier than celluloid and less likely to break, and the thick, unbendable gauge will allow you to get more volume and power out of those thick strings, with less effort. </p> <p><strong>7. SINGLE-FINGER TECHNIQUE</strong></p> <p>Some record producers actually prefer having bass players use a pick because the attack is more even. But if you’re a fingerstyle player and want to achieve a more consistent attack, try using only one finger, such as the index (instead of alternating between the index and middle fingers) as much as possible. John Paul Jones copped this technique from Motown bass legend James Jamerson and made great use of it on several classic Led Zeppelin tracks, such as “Good Times Bad Times” and “Ramble On.” </p> <p><strong>8. GET YOUR TIME SOLID </strong></p> <p>Someone has to keep the tempo steady, and if the drummer can’t, than the bassist has to. The pocket depends on you, so learn how to be your own metronome. Don’t just count in 4/4—you should also feel in 8/8, especially when playing ballads, where the tendency to rush the tempo is greater. To help you land on the beat more accurately, listen to the drummer’s hi-hat or ride cymbal, not just his kick and snare drums. </p> <p><strong>9. TO FILL OR NOT TO FILL?</strong></p> <p>Fills are the little pieces of ear candy that embellish a solid bass line and help propel a song. Listen to how other bass players set up a new section, and shamelessly jack anything that grabs your ear. Playing fills that conclude one section of a song (such as a verse) and lead into the next (such as the chorus) is a great way to break monotony in a bass part and set yourself apart from whatever the guitarist is doing. </p> <p>Filling is an art form in and of itself, in that there’s a fine line between adding to the song or groove and obscuring it and detracting from it. In keeping with the “bass-and-drums-as-one” concept, make your fills coincide with a drummer’s so that they sound like the same person’s idea being expressed. If a drummer plays a fill, it’s usually at the end of every second, fourth or eighth bar, so listen to the drums and pick your spots to fill accordingly. Of course, all your playing decisions should depend on the style of music you’re playing, and some styles, such as hip-hop or club music, are more about maintaining a relentless groove, with very little variation.</p> <p>For examples of great fills, check out R&amp;B/soul session players such as James Jamerson (countless Motown hits), Chuck Rainey (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan) and Nathan Watts (especially on Stevie Wonder’s “Do I Do”), or rock players such as Rex Brown, Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert DeLeo (another Jamerson disciple) and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses. And don’t let genre get in the way—just because it’s a “Motown” fill doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a rock context, and vice versa.</p> <p><strong>10. OCTAVE APPROPRIATE</strong></p> <p>Are you playing in the right register (octave)? Perhaps that cool part you came up with sounds badass played down low but may be too heavy for the mood of the song. Or perhaps it’s too high and is interfering with the vocal or guitar part. Make sure your note-range choices are right for the situation.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>11. AVOID LOW-B OBSESSION</strong></p> <p>If you’re playing a five-string, don’t just play sub-E notes, as it can become annoying. It’s one thing to hit a low B or C every now and then for dramatic effect and to show everyone who’s boss, but unless you’re in a Korn or Type O Negative tribute band, don’t live there.</p> <p><strong>12. SUBSTITUTE DIFFERENT CHORD TONES </strong></p> <p>Occasionally playing the third or fifth of the underlying chord instead of its root note can radically change the whole feel of a chord progression, and when done tastefully it can add warmth or tension. This device has been used for centuries by great classical composers like Bach and Beethoven and creates what are known as chord inversions. Master pop songwriters such as Elton John and Paul McCartney use inversions, via bass line substitutions, to build their chord progressions to a harmonic climax. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass6.jpg" /></p> <p>Realize that the ear reckons harmony from the ground up, so as a bass player you have the power to dictate how the chord is going to sound and fundamentally change its character. FIGURE 6 is an example of a common rock chord progression for which the bass line takes a left turn (in bars 2 and 3) to create chord inversions. In the second and third bars, instead of playing the roots (shown in cue-size notes and tab numbers), the third or fifth of the chord are substituted, creating a continually ascending and more melodic bass line in the process. </p> <p><strong>13. GREASE</strong></p> <p>It’s that grimy, funky stuff that oozes between the beats. With all due respect to hardcore prog-rock bands, for which precision is key, rock and roll has always been more about attitude and spirit. </p> <p>This isn’t an excuse to be sloppy and unmusical, but more an exhortation to make low, rumbling noises and revel in it. Listen to John Paul Jones’ low-end grumble during the “Hey baby, oh baby, pretty baby” chorus section of Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” (played with a pick) or Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler on pretty much any song. For a more modern take, check out session legend Pino Palladino’s work on D’Angelo’s <em>Voodoo</em> album. In some situations, it’s perfectly okay to make excessive fret noise, be a little behind the beat or slide out of a note perhaps a bit longer than you should, as long as it’s not disruptive to the music and contributes to the intended vibe.</p> <p><strong>14. SHAKE IT</strong></p> <p>I’m not talking about a long trill or extreme vibrato but literally shaking a pitch. Fret the note, pick it, then quickly slide, hammer on or pull off to another fret and back, as demonstrated in FIGURE 7. Regardless of what style you’re playing, the resulting sound is funky and adds a little extra kick to the sound of the rhythm section. Sure, guitarists can do this too, but it just doesn’t sound the same (or as good) on that little instrument. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass7.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>15. USE DEAD NOTES AND RAKES</strong></p> <p>Just as you might mute the strings on your guitar with your fretting hand while you strum “chucka-chucka,” the same principle and function applies to bass, whether it’s funk (FIGURE 8) or hard rock (FIGURE 9). Rakes on a bass are executed a bit differently than on guitar: you perform them by dragging a picking finger across the strings in an upstroke, usually in a specified rhythm, as demonstrated in FIGURE 10. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass8.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass9.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>16. ARTICULATION VARIATION</strong></p> <p>As a guitarist, you employ all sorts of techniques to convey your musical statements, and you can do that on bass, too. Check out session legend Will Lee’s work in Dionne Warwick’s “Déjà Vu.” Lee makes use of rakes, palm muting while picking with his thumb, slapping, and finger slides in addition to plain-old conventional fingerstyle playing (FIGURE 11). And he does it without ever interrupting the groove or getting in the way of the vocal. </p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass11.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>17. IT’S ALL BASS</strong></p> <p>A cool bass part is a cool bass part, regardless of what instrument it was played on, be it electric bass, synth or piano, so be open to hearing new ideas. Next time you’re at that bar and hear house or club music blasting over the sound system, listen to the bass lines. No matter how far-flung it is from your preferred musical style, you can translate it to your own bass playing.</p> <p><strong>18. LESS IS MORE</strong></p> <p>Take “September,” one of Earth, Wind &amp; Fire’s most enduring tunes. Bassist Verdine White is capable of playing so much more, but in this song his bass line is almost rudimentary. Even so, it’s funky as hell, making great use of rests and staccato phrasing—space between notes—and, without fail, people get up and move as soon as that bass line kicks in. For a more modern example, listen to Branden Campbell of Neon Trees. His lines never get more complicated than eighth notes with the rare fill, but his fat tone and solid playing more than adequately complement drummer Elaine Bradley’s grooves and help propel the songs.</p> <p><strong>19. MORE IS MORE</strong></p> <p>A master groove monster like Juan Nelson from Ben Harper’s band can lull you into a groove, then hit you with a fill like the one heard at 4:30 in “Faded,” from The Will to Live album. The groove and lick shown in FIGURE 12 draws its inspiration from this approach.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/tabs/guitaristsguidetobass12.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>20. LET IT ALL HANG OUT</strong></p> <p>What do you want people to hear in your playing? Anger? Joy? Whatever it is, get in that zone and play it like you mean it. Whether you’re a shredder or a “feel” player, express yourself. Because if you’re not connecting with people, what’s the point?</p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience1876118165001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="360" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="1876118165001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitarists-guide-playing-bass#comments Articles December 2012 GW Archive 2012 Videos News Features Lessons Magazine Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:18:02 +0000 Matt Scharfglass http://www.guitarworld.com/article/16961 Slipknot's Jim Root and Mick Thomson Talk Brutal New Album, '.5: The Gray Chapter' http://www.guitarworld.com/slipknots-jim-root-and-mick-thomson-talk-brutal-new-album-5-gray-chapter <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this Slipknot story, plus features on Slash, Joe Bonamassa, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Gilbert, Motionless In White, Electric Wizard and more, including lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from D'Angelico, Washburn, Boss, Morley, Lace Music and Carr Amps, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SlipknotExcerpt">check out the December 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong>Shades of Gray: Between the death and departure of various band members, Slipknot have had a rough few years. With <em>.5: The Gray Chapter</em>, they channel the energy of deceased bassist Paul Gray and return with a brutal but multifaceted album.</strong></p> <p>“The future of Slipknot is always in doubt,” guitarist Jim Root says. “I always prepare for each album as if it’s gonna be the last.”</p> <p>It’s a minor miracle that Slipknot have lasted as long as they have. They have nine members in their lineup, each of whom lives up to the band’s aggro metal image in one way or another, and thereby contributes to the potential for volatility. </p> <p>Yet, they have endured since the group formed in Des Moines, Iowa, 19 years ago, becoming one of the heaviest and scariest bands in a genre crowded with heavy, scary acts. Some 13 years have elapsed since the band’s self-titled 2001 debut album placed them at the forefront of the then-burgeoning nu-metal scene. </p> <p>“With all the different guys in the band and all the different ideas of what’s what, it’s hard to get everybody on the same page sometimes,” Root says. “We are a very tight brotherhood, but we never know what we’re going to do.”</p> <p>However, nothing in Slipknot’s turbulent history has been as daunting as the death of their longtime bass player, Paul Gray, from a morphine overdose in 2010. The tragedy was compounded by the recent departure—somewhat acrimonious, apparently—of longtime drummer Joey Jordison. Because both Gray and Jordison were key songwriters for the band, Slipknot’s future has hung in the balance these past few years. </p> <p>But Mick Thomson, Gray’s coguitarist, says he never really considered packing it in. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sgA7KIwKlOE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“Any devastating moment throws you into shock,” he says. “I was just hoping that no one in the band was going to get caught up in the raw emotion of the moment and make any kind of grand statement, like, ‘I will not go on without Paul.’ You say something in the heat of emotion, and sometimes later when you settle down, you think, Maybe I should take that back. Once you can think straight again, what do you do? Obviously, you gotta get on with your life. We all grieve differently. I mean, we still are grieving, every time we think about it. It’s not something you get over. You just find a way to deal with it.”</p> <p>With Gray and Jordison out of the picture, the bulk of songwriting duties fell to Root on Slipknot’s new album <em>.5: The Gray Chapter</em>. The title pays homage to the deceased bassist, and the music remains true to Slipknot’s disturbing legacy. </p> <p>Somber, sound-collage intros—generally assembled by Slipknot’s turntablist Sid Wilson, sampling maven Craig Jones and provocateur-in-chief Shawn “Clown” Crahan—lull the listener into a false sense of security. Then all hell breaks loose in a cacophony of car-bomb percussion as Root and Thomson’s down-tuned guitars chug and grind like some diabolic machine and lead singer Corey Taylor does his level best to projectile-vomit his tonsils out over his front teeth. </p> <p>“Once we get in the studio, it sounds like us,” Thomson says of <em>The Gray Chapter</em>. “Some of it is very classic us. Some of it is slightly more experimental us.” </p> <p>“We’re still evolving as a band,” Root adds. “I think that’s really important for a band to do, especially after being around for so many years. Paul, before he passed away, really wanted the band to experiment a lot more, musically, with the direction of where we’re going. We’d done Slipknot. We’d done Iowa. I think the closest thing we’ve done to a record that Paul was very excited about was probably The Subliminal Verses. It’s very diverse. It had a little bit of everything in it. And we’re still trying to find our way. For me, and for Paul’s legacy, it’s important that we continue to evolve.”</p> <p>In Gray’s absence, Root and Thomson handled the majority of bass duties on the new album, although the band did some early work with Slipknot’s touring bassist Donnie Steele. “Donnie’s a great guy,” Root says. “We brought him in to help us out in the studio for a while. But it wasn’t really jivin’. He wanted to go home and get married and do all that stuff. It’s just better off for us to kinda move on from Donnie.”</p> <p>The identity of the drummer on <em>The Gray Chapter</em>, as well as that of the bassist who will take Gray’s place once Slipknot hit the road, was still a closely guarded secret at press time.</p> <p>“We’re not saying who the new drummer is,” Root confirms. “Even if people find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who the new drummer is, I think we’re always going to deny who it is. He might not last. He might tour with us a year and figure out we’re all insane and he can’t handle being around us. Or we might shut him out. Who knows? For Slipknot, I’d say drumming is only 50 or 60 percent of the job. The rest of it is who you are and what your personality is. Will you clash with guys like me, Mick, Clown, Corey, Craig and Chris? We all have these strong alpha-male personalities.”</p> <p><em>Photo: Sean Murphy</em></p> <p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this Slipknot story, plus features on Slash, Joe Bonamassa, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Gilbert, Motionless In White, Electric Wizard and more, including lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from D'Angelico, Washburn, Boss, Morley, Lace Music and Carr Amps, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SlipknotExcerpt">check out the December 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-10-07%20at%2010.21.37%20AM.png" width="620" height="807" alt="Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.21.37 AM.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="/slipknot">Slipknot</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/slipknots-jim-root-and-mick-thomson-talk-brutal-new-album-5-gray-chapter#comments December 2014 Jim Root Mick Thomson Slipknot Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:33:12 +0000 Alan Di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22544 Learn Essential Techniques of World's Greatest Guitarists with Musicians Institute's 'Guitar Lick-tionary' Book/CD http://www.guitarworld.com/learn-essential-techniques-worlds-greatest-guitarists-musicians-institutes-guitar-lick-tionary-bookcd <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn the essential lines and techniques of the world's greatest guitarists with <em>The Guitar Lick-tionary</em>, a super-cool book/CD pack from Musicians Institute! </p> <p>Set up like a dictionary, it provides clear, concise instruction and application tips in standard notation and tab for licks in all styles of music, including rock, blues, jazz, country, pop, acoustic and fusion. The accompanying CD features 99 demo tracks so you can hear how each lick should sound.</p> <p>Pages: 72</p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/new-products/products/the-guitar-lick-tionary/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=Licktionary">'The Guitar Lick-tionary' is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $19.99</a>.</strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/learn-essential-techniques-worlds-greatest-guitarists-musicians-institutes-guitar-lick-tionary-bookcd#comments News Features Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:31:55 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19158 Guitar World DVD: Go 'In Deep' with Stevie Ray Vaughan http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-world-dvd-go-deep-stevie-ray-vaughan <!--paging_filter--><p>One of the most important electric blues artists of the 20th century, Stevie Ray Vaughan revived blues rock and influenced guitarists across many genres with his fiery, soulful playing. </p> <p>A new instructional DVD from <em>Guitar World</em>, <em>In Deep with Stevie Ray Vaughan</em>, will teach you everything you need to master his techniques and unlock the secrets of his indelible style. </p> <p>You'll learn how to play in SRV's style using licks, patterns and tricks that will transform your blues playing overnight! <em>In Deep with Stevie Ray Vaughan</em> features more than 60 minutes of instruction! </p> <p><strong>Highlights include:</strong></p> <p> • Essential Licks &amp; Phrases<br /> • Uptempo &amp; Slow Blues<br /> • Mastering the "Stevie Shuffle"<br /> • Great SRV Turnarounds<br /> • Phrasing, Bending &amp; Chords</p> <p>Your instructor is Andy Aledort, a longtime contributor to <em>Guitar World</em> magazine and the author and producer of literally hundreds of artist transcriptions, books and instructional DVDs, Andy has influenced and inspired guitarists around the world for decades. </p> <p><strong>Note: This product includes a PDF booklet on the DVD and can be retrieved by opening the DVD on your computer.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/products/in-deep-with-stevie-ray-vaughan/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=InDeepSRV">This DVD is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $14.99.</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-world-dvd-go-deep-stevie-ray-vaughan#comments Stevie Ray Vaughan In Deep with Andy Aledort News Features Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:40:59 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20222 Slash Discusses His New Album with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, 'World on Fire' http://www.guitarworld.com/slash-discusses-his-new-album-myles-kennedy-and-conspirators-world-fire <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this Slash story, plus features on Slipknot, Joe Bonamassa, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Gilbert, Motionless In White, Electric Wizard and more, including lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from D'Angelico, Washburn, Boss, Morley, Lace Music and Carr Amps, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SlashExcerpt">check out the December 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong>Slash and Burn: Everyone’s favorite hard-rocking riffmaster returns with <em>World on Fire</em>, his new searing-hot album with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.</strong></p> <p>When <em>Guitar World</em> catches up with Slash, it’s still weeks before the release of <em>World on Fire</em>, his new and second album with his band, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. And yet, he, Kennedy, bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz have already been out on the road supporting the album for more than a month, opening up a string of arena shows for Slash’s old friends in Aerosmith.</p> <p> “We hadn’t planned on being out this summer,” he admits. “But it sounded like such a great rock and roll package, and there’s so much camaraderie between the bands. So it was something we decided to tack on in front of the album release and tour.”</p> <p> For Slash, the extra gigs seem to be par for the course. Despite now being more than a quarter century into his recording career, the 49-year-old musician and established guitar legend is working and playing as hard as ever. In the past few years alone, he’s recorded and released a star-studded solo album [2010’s <em>Slash</em>], an effort with Kennedy and the Conspirators [2012’s <em>Apocalyptic Love</em>] and a full soundtrack album to a movie on which he served as producer [2013’s <em>Nothing Left to Fear</em>].</p> <p> And then there’s the new <em>World on Fire</em>. Slash began working on the album almost immediately after coming off the tour for <em>Apocalyptic Love</em>, and the result is another bold and unapologetically riffy statement, exemplified in high-octane barnburners like the title track, “30 Years to Life” and “Avalon.” But there’s also plenty of diversity in the album’s 17—yes, 17—tracks, from the epic “Iris of the Storm” and the cinematic, dark-hued “The Unholy,” to the soaring pop-rock workout “The Dissident” and the instrumental guitar showcase “Safari Inn.”</p> <p>It’s a varied, immersive and incredibly hard-rocking effort, and one that, Slash says, is a product of the exceptional musical relationship he enjoys with his current band. Working with Kennedy and the Conspirators, he says, “feels as solid, if not more so, than anything I’ve done in a really long time.” And so, while the outfit gears up for another worldwide jaunt in support of World on Fire, Slash is already looking toward the future. “I was backstage before our show at the Forum [in Inglewood, California] the other day, and I actually recorded the first new idea toward the next record,” he says. “So I’m excited to jam it at soundcheck with the guys.” He laughs. “Not that I’m thinking that far ahead.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://cache.vevo.com/m/html/embed.html?video=US9T51400038" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>EXCERPT: You stayed out on the road for a year and a half in support of <em>Apocalyptic Love</em>, and it seems as if right after that tour ended you started work on <em>World on Fire</em>. </strong></p> <p>It did happen pretty fast. The tour finished up in July [2013] and I took some time to hang out at home. Because every time I go out on the road, I’m more or less gone for a year. So you come home and you chill out for a minute and decompress. But by September, I was getting anxious. I started picking through the ideas I had recorded into my phone on the road and seeing which ones I wanted to pursue. Then I think it was in October that I started going into the studio a couple days a week to jam with Brent and Todd. I didn’t have a deadline or anything like that, but we started jamming and it started moving. We had a lot of material pretty quickly. Then Myles came in and we started hashing out the arrangements. And the next thing you know, Mike [producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette] was over and we were knee deep in pre-production.</p> <p><strong>Did you say that when you’re on the road you record song ideas into your phone?</strong></p> <p>I do. [laughs] On an acoustic-electric. I have all the tools to record proper demos; I have Pro Tools on my laptop. But, you know, anything that takes more than two seconds to set up, I just hate doing it. If I have to pull out some guitar cords and hook the thing up, put some headphones on, do all that shit, by the time I’m ready to go I don’t even feel like it anymore. I have to strike the second the inspiration happens. And the phone is the fastest fucking way to just put down an idea.</p> <p><strong>Can you point to any material on the new album that came from a phone riff?</strong></p> <p>Every song. [laughs] Actually, there are two that have older origins. One is “Dirty Girl,” which came from demos I made back when I was doing the first solo record. The other is “Shadow Life.” The main riff in that song was actually a part of “You’re a Lie” [from <em>Apocalyptic Love</em>]. We were just about to record “You’re a Lie” and I started realizing the chorus wasn’t working. As much as I hated to do it, I pulled out the coolest riff in the song and came up with another idea for the chorus. But I’ve always loved the riff I pulled out and I didn’t want to lose it. And the thing is, I have a really hard time going back and revisiting old stuff. I hate doing it and I won’t do it. It’s like pulling teeth to me. </p> <p>But this one riff—when we started on this record everybody wanted to see where we were gonna go with it. And that riff became “Shadow Life.” That was actually the one song on the record that Todd had some input on as well. He wrote the verse, and that really sort of helped steer the direction of the song away from sounding like “You’re a Lie.”</p> <p><strong>This record has a lot of music on it, and also a lot of diversity.</strong></p> <p>It’s just what was coming out. I sit around in dressing rooms and hotel rooms—probably all the time I used to spend out at the bar—and I just write. And I write a lot of different types of stuff. I think that’s one of the reasons I jam with a lot of different sorts of people, just to not be pigeonholed into one style. It’s not a conscious thing, but I like different types of things and I like to play them.<br /> And with Myles, I’ve found that anything I come up with, if I think it’s good, I can present it to him and nine times out of 10 he’ll come up with a melody for it. And that really broadens the scope so that I can actually do a lot of stuff that I maybe wouldn’t be able to do with the likes of, say, Velvet Revolver. Even with GN’R, back in the day, there were certain songs I ended up doing with other people because they didn’t work with Guns.</p> <p><strong>Like what?</strong></p> <p>A good example is “Always on the Run” [which appeared on Lenny Kravitz’s 1991 album, <em>Mama Said</em>]. I wrote it during Guns, but I don’t remember there ever being any interest in it from the guys. So it was just a riff I had that Lenny happened to hear me playing. It wasn’t something I presented to him. He heard me playing it in the recording studio when I was doing “Fields of Joy” [Slash contributes guitar to this track, also from Mama Said]. I guess in between takes or something I was fucking with that riff, and Lenny was like, “Oh, what’s that?” And that’s how that happened. </p> <p><em>Photo: Travis Shinn</em></p> <p><strong><em>This is an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this Slash story, plus features on Slipknot, Joe Bonamassa, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Gilbert, Motionless In White, Electric Wizard and more, including lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from D'Angelico, Washburn, Boss, Morley, Lace Music and Carr Amps, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SlashExcerpt">check out the December 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-10-07%20at%2010.21.37%20AM.png" width="620" height="807" alt="Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.21.37 AM.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="/slash">Slash</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/slash-discusses-his-new-album-myles-kennedy-and-conspirators-world-fire#comments December 2014 Slash Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:48:12 +0000 Richard Bienstock http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22566 December 2014 Guitar World: Slipknot, Slash on 'Fire,' Joe Bonamassa, D'Angelico Jazz Box Phenomenon and More http://www.guitarworld.com/december-2014-guitar-world-slipknot-slash-fire-joe-bonamassa-dangelico-jazz-box-phenomenon-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWDEC14">The all-new December 2014 issue of Guitar World is available now!</a></strong></p> <p>In the new issue, we feature <strong>Slipknot</strong>. Between the death and departure of various band members, Slipknot have had a rough few years. With <em>.5: The Gray Chapter</em>, they channel the energy of deceased bassist Paul Gray and return with a brutal but multifaceted album.</p> <p>Then, <em>Guitar World</em> focuses on <strong>Slash</strong>. Everyone's favorite hard-rocking riffmaster returns with <em>World on Fire</em>, his new searing-hot album with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.</p> <p>Next, to celebrate the release of his new album, <em>Different Shades of Blue</em>, <strong>Joe Bonamassa</strong> invites us over for a look at his ever-growing collection of vintage axes and amps.</p> <p>Later, <strong>Motionless in White</strong> have been one of metal's most outrageous and audacious bands. On <em>Reincarnate</em>, they bring their vision into focus and wind up with a killer album.</p> <p>Finally, read about <strong>Electric Wizard</strong>. They've been cursed with arrests, accidents and a recent breakup with their label. But with their latest album, <em>Time to Die</em>, the stoner-doomers prove they still have plenty of life left.</p> <p>PLUS: Tune-ups for <strong>Pierce the Veil, Royal Blood, Uncle Acid &amp; the Deadbeats, Lenny Kravitz, Archaon of 1349, Wovenwar, Parquet Courts, Crowbar's</strong> Set List, <strong>Mr. Big,</strong> New EQ The latest and greatest, Lace USA Sensor pickup, Man of Steel, Metal for Life, Acoustic Nation and much more!</p> <p><strong>Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass</strong></p> <p>• Blue Öyster Cult - “Cities On Flame with Rock and Roll"<br /> • Trivium - “Strife”<br /> • Joe Bonamassa - " The Ballad of John Henry"<br /> • W.A. Mozart - “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"<br /> • Bad Company - "Can't Get Enough"</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-world-december-14-slipknot/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWDEC14">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-10-07%20at%2010.21.37%20AM.png" width="620" height="807" alt="Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.21.37 AM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/december-2014-guitar-world-slipknot-slash-fire-joe-bonamassa-dangelico-jazz-box-phenomenon-and-more#comments December 2014 News Features Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:28:56 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22579 Stryper's Michael Sweet Talks New CD/DVD Package, 'Live at the Whisky’ http://www.guitarworld.com/strypers-michael-sweet-talks-new-cddvd-package-live-whisky <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.whiskyagogo.com/">The Whisky a Go Go</a> is a legendary Sunset Boulevard club with a deep-rooted musical history. </p> <p>Everyone from Led Zeppelin to Van Halen has performed on its tiny stage. It also has served as the launching pad for bands like the Doors and Guns N’ Roses, to name just a few. In fact, one can argue that the Los Angeles rock scene began when the Whisky opened its doors in 1964.</p> <p>The guys in Christian hard rock band Stryper also cut their teeth at the Whisky. The small, intimate setting was the starting point for the band’s musical journey, back when they were called Roxx Regime. So it’s no surprise Stryper’s new live CD/DVD package, <em>Live at the Whisky</em> pays homage to those early days. </p> <p>Recorded at a sold-out November 2013 show, the 16-track collection documents the band’s first show in support of their latest album, 2013's <em>No More Hell To Pay.</em> <em>Live at the Whisky</em> features live performances of the some of the band’s classic hits, including “Calling On You,” “Free,” “Always There for You,” “Soldiers Under Command” and “To Hell with the Devil."</p> <p>Included with the live album and DVD are music videos for “No More Hell to Pay” and “Sympathy,” plus an interview segment the band — Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass) and Robert Sweet (drums) — recorded for Nashville All Access.</p> <p>I recently spoke to Sweet about <em>Live at the Whisky</em> as well as Sweet &amp; Lynch, Sweet's new side project with George Lynch, James Lomenzo and Brian Tichy.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Tell me a little about the band’s history at the Whisky.</strong></p> <p>We go way back with the Whisky. I’ll never forget the first time I played there when I was 16. I was with my brother, Robert, in the band Roxx Regime and we played there with Kevin Dubrow’s Quiet Riot, which was what it was called at the time. We had this small dressing room and I remember Kevin kicking the door open and screaming at us because we were using too much hairspray [laughs]. </p> <p><strong>What do you like most about that venue?</strong></p> <p>Playing at the Whisky is such a unique experience. There’s a certain vibe there that’s hard to explain. You can actually feel the history when you walk through the doors. It’s a tiny kitty-corner stage with not much room to move around. You’re right in the corner bumping elbows all night long, but that’s part of the cool factor of performing there. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uCB8lvXw5pk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Were there any special concerns about recording the live album?</strong></p> <p>For as much as you try to beat down those nerves and stress, it’s still there. You always feel that little extra sense of urgency to deliver. But at the same time, it’s a little more fun because the crowd is also participating on a whole new level. It kicks things up a bit.</p> <p><strong>Some people might have questioned your guitar playing ability as it pertains to Stryper, but this package leaves no doubt that you know what you're doing.</strong></p> <p>I’m definitely a guitar player first. I actually started playing guitar before I even started singing. From the very beginning, we’ve always been a tag-team, dual-guitar band.</p> <p><strong>What would say is the secret to the band’s longevity?</strong></p> <p>I like to think it’s letting our faith do the talking and being the example. Sort of practicing what we preach and being able to work things out. It’s been a big help in getting us through these last 30 years. </p> <p><strong>What’s next for Stryper?</strong></p> <p>I’m getting into writing mode because we’re going to start work on a new all-original Stryper album in January. It will be the followup to our last album, <em>No More Hell to Pay.</em></p> <p><strong>How did your side project, Sweet &amp; Lynch, come together?</strong></p> <p>Frontiers Records sent me an email saying they were interested in doing “supergroup” albums and wanted me to be on one of the first. I had already done some previous dates with George. He’s a great guy and I think the world of him as a player. So I reached out to him and he immediately said yes. Then I reached out to James Lomenzo and Brian Tichy, because I knew they would make a great rhythm section. Everything just fell into place so easily.</p> <p><strong>How would you describe the sound of the Sweet &amp; Lynch album?</strong></p> <p>I hear flavors of the Seventies. There are elements of Bad Company, Journey and Van Halen, and I certainly hear some Dokken there in spots. It’s kind of like George, Brian, James and I all got in a time capsule, went back to the late Seventies and made an album. It’s got a “take you back to that period” kind of sound to it, but with today’s modern production. The song styles, melody and vibe is more old school but in a really cool way. We all dug deep within ourselves to pull out the best of all of us. I can’t wait for people to hear it.</p> <p><strong>Can you tell me a few memorable moments from your career with Stryper?</strong></p> <p>The moment I always go back to is the whole <em>To Hell with the Devil</em> era. When we made that album, the videos and toured, it was so magical, fresh and unique. It was such a special time in our lives and I’ll never forget it. I’m really a thankful guy. I always try to give thanks to God and appreciate the fact that we’re still alive and breathing and are able to still perform and make music and do what we love to do after thirty years.</p> <p><em>For more about Stryper, visit <a href="http://www.stryper.com/">stryper.com</a>.</em></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/strypers-michael-sweet-talks-new-cddvd-package-live-whisky#comments James Wood Michael Sweet Stryper Interviews News Features Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:45:30 +0000 James Wood http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22571 John 5 Shows Off His Telecaster Collection and Discusses New Album, 'Careful with That Axe' http://www.guitarworld.com/john-5-shows-his-telecaster-collection-and-discusses-new-album-careful-axe <!--paging_filter--><p>“It all starts when you get your first guitar for Christmas or your birthday,” John 5 explains. “You never know what that guitar is going to bring you. Is it going to bring you happiness or sadness, fortune or poverty?”</p> <p>In John’s case, that first guitar, acquired at the tender age of seven, has led to a stellar career as one of recent rock’s most admired and sought-after guitarslingers. He’s enjoyed high-profile stints with everyone from Marilyn Manson to David Lee Roth to k.d. lang to Lynyrd Skynyrd. </p> <p>Since 2005, he’s been guitarist-in-chief for Rob Zombie and is currently working on the score for Zombie’s newest horror flick, <em>31</em>. In the past decade, the man born John William Lowery has also emerged as a solo artist and all-around virtuoso guitar hero in his own right. He pioneered the now-popular, if unlikely, hybrid of shred guitar and wild country pickin’, and serves it up with his own twisted sense of campy goth panache. </p> <p>John’s newest solo album, his eighth to date, is called <em>Careful with That Axe</em> and features bassist Matt Bissonette (Joe Satriani, David Lee Roth, Elton John) and drummer Rodger Carter (Lita Ford, Gene Simmons, Glen Campbell). The album is packed with all the speed-demon riffology and feats of fretboard acrobatics that his fans have come to expect. “I wanted to make this record so intense,” he says. “You know, it’s a guitar record. It’s not like anything else. So I just wanted to make it absolutely insane. Really crazy playing.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pVPvCctULYk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The album’s title is a nod to Pink Floyd’s 1968 tour de force psychedelic jam “Careful with that Axe, Eugene.” But given the macabre side of John’s persona, he feels that the name has a special resonance in his case. “An axe is a guitar, obviously,” he says. “But the phrase ‘careful with that axe’ could also be about ax murders, and some of the song titles revolve around ax murders.”</p> <p>While his over-the-top playing style is always reckless and daring, John has indeed been careful with his ax, steering it from triumph to triumph amid the meltdown vicissitudes of the music business. And he’s especially careful with the axes in his legendary collection of mint-condition vintage Telecasters. </p> <p>“I’m a Telecaster connoisseur, and I love my Teles,” he says. “I have one from almost every year since the very beginning, in 1950. I’m so obsessed with them. I just really enjoy the history of Fender—the story of Fender and how it all came about. I have a collector’s soul.” </p> <p>For <em>Careful with That Axe</em>, John mainly stuck with his favorite contemporary Fender, a gold John 5 signature model Tele. “I’ve had that guitar for about six years now, and it’s just worn in beautifully,” he says. “I play it all the time. I didn’t use a lot of other guitars on the album just because we were playing everything live in the studio and just this one guitar gave me pretty much everything I needed. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/j49brlQpsoc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>"I only used one Marshall JVM combo amp with a Boss Super Overdrive, Boss Noise Supressor and Boss Chorus. That’s pretty much what I use live too, when I’m playing with Zombie, and I wanted to have that vibe in the studio. I didn’t use a lot of gear this time because I just wanted to do everything with my hands. I went into this kind of like a boxer. I trained and trained, and I rehearsed quite a bit with Rodger and Matt. I think they both did a phenomenal job with this, just sounding out of control at times, but then pulling back on the songs that called for that.”</p> <p>The album reflects on John’s formative years as a guitar monster in training, starting with the opening track, “We Need to Have a Talk About John.” A chaotic collage of wild sounds and spoken-voice snippets, it sets the mood for what’s to come. “When my parents gave me that first guitar, I became totally obsessed,” John says. “I would stay in my room all the time with it, and my parents were concerned. That’s why the track is called ‘We Need to Have a Talk About John.’ It’s just this weird intro—all this crazy stuff. That’s kind of what was going on in my mind at that time.” </p> <p> Other tracks pay homage to some of John’s earliest musical influences. The frenzied first single, “This Is My Rifle,” he says, “is a kind of tribute to Al Di Meola. And there are two covers of songs by [country guitarist/singer/songwriter] Jerry Reed—‘Jerry’s Breakdown’ and ‘Jiffy Jam’—’cause my dad used to listen to Jerry Reed a lot, and that’s what I heard growing up. And the song ‘El ‘Cucuy,’ which means ‘The Boogieman,’ is a tribute to Spanish flamenco guitar, which I really love.”</p> <p> For “El Cucuy,” John played a Martin nylon-string and a D-45 steel-string, while for the two Jerry Reed tunes, he busted out one of the rarest items from his vintage Tele collection: his 1950 Broadcaster.</p> <p> “For those songs, I wanted that traditional sound of the old Fifties and Sixties type of playing,” he says. “And of my vintage Teles, I would have to say this Broadcaster is my favorite. It’s got a small neck and I’ve got small hands. It’s just a great player. Fender only made about 150 of these guitars. Leo Fender loved TV and radio, so he named the guitar the Broadcaster. But Gretsch already made a drum set named the Broadkaster, so they sued Fender and Fender had to stop making Broadcasters immediately. So they’re very rare. The one I have is all original, and it’s in perfect condition. It’s the cleanest Broadcaster I’ve ever seen. I got this from Norm’s Rare Guitars, and even they said it’s the cleanest Broadcaster they’ve ever seen. It was the priciest of any of my guitars. I paid about $135,000 for it, but it’s worth it.” </p> <p> John’s vintage guitar collection is lodged in massive wooden storage crates inside a warehouse at a top-secret location. “The crates are kept off the ground in case of, God forbid, a flood or an earthquake,” John explains. “Because they’re all really expensive guitars. The best of the best of the best. I have tons of Telecasters but also about 50 Les Pauls, six or seven SGs and a bunch of Gretsches. I have pretty much everything, and I keep it all in this storage place. I’ll break one out every once in a while and play it.” </p> <p> Always a collecting maniac, John had previously amassed a horde of Kiss posters that he sold for $75,000 a few years back. He used that money to start his vintage guitar collection. Asked to name his top five Fender faves from the collection, apart from the 1950 Broadcaster, he’s quick to cite his 1961 Telecaster Custom with a rare sienna sunburst finish. The instrument is so pristine, it still has the original hangtag dangling from the headstock. </p> <p> “This is another one I got from Norm’s Rare Guitars,” he says. “This guitar had just one previous owner, who purchased it from Ernie Ball’s music store on Ventura Boulevard in 1961 for $200. [The shop, at 19501 Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, was the first music store in America to sell guitars exclusively.] The guitar came with the original purchase sheet. It’s just a beautiful piece of wood. Fender only did the sienna sunburst—with the red sides rather than the dark, almost black sides—until about 1962. So it’s rare to get one of these. It’s one of my most prized possessions.” </p> <p> Next up on John’s Top Tele list is a 1959 Telecaster in absolutely mint condition that he tracked down at Dave’s Guitar Shop in Wisconsin while passing through the state on tour. “I hunt all the time,” he says. “I do love the hunt. Sometimes I find a great deal. Sometimes I find a guitar that’s not such a great deal. But you gotta do what you gotta do, ’cause you’ll never find it again.”</p> <p> Like most lovers of early Telecasters, John has a special fondness for “blackguard” Telecasters/Broadcasters and Esquires—those produced between 1950 and 1954, which are recognizable by their black pickguards. His 1954 blackguard Telecaster boasts a particularly vivid and gorgeous blond finish. “The reason why the color is so light is that the guitar has not been out of the case so much,” he says. “So it’s kept its original color really well. They’re usually darker in color ’cause they’ve been out in the light. But this one is really bright.” </p> <p> Then there’s John’s 1952 Esquire. The Telecaster’s single-pickup cousin, the Esquire was actually Fender’s first foray into the solidbody Spanish guitar market, preceding the Broadcaster by a few months in 1950. Like everything in his astounding collection, John’s 1952 Esquire is in frighteningly mint condition. </p> <p> “I got a really good deal on this one,” he says, beaming. “I paid around $30,000 for it, but it’s worth a lot more today, especially in this condition.”</p> <p> Not at all hung-up on the past, John also has a penchant for designing brand-new custom Teles based on bizarre concepts. These include such curios as his famed Lava Lamp Tele. Its clear, hollow acrylic body is filled with green antifreeze, which produces trippy visual effects. He calls his latest creation Tele-Vision. </p> <p> “I had this Fender Esquire body laying around,” he explains. “I routed it out and put an iPad Mini in it. So when I’m playing this guitar onstage, I’ll have a movie playing on it. I just thought it made a lot of sense, since the Broadcaster and Telecaster were named for TV, and everything is so visual these days. Everybody’s watching downloads of TV shows, videos and movies. I think Leo Fender would be proud of this guitar.” </p> <p><em>Photos: Sean Murphy</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="/john5">John5</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/john-5-shows-his-telecaster-collection-and-discusses-new-album-careful-axe#comments John 5 October 2014 Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 10 Oct 2014 16:05:14 +0000 Alan di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22091 Yes Guitarist Steve Howe Discusses the Making of 'Fragile' and 'Close to the Edge' http://www.guitarworld.com/steve-howe-talks-vintage-and-line-6-guitars-and-new-yes-album-heaven-earth <!--paging_filter--><p>“Somebody called me the granddaddy of prog-rock,” Steve Howe says with a laugh. </p> <p>“I’m not ashamed to be called that. But the thing that matters most to me is musicality. I don’t think prog is all about technical playing. Much more important are your musical ideas. What choices and decisions are you making in the music? If that’s still an intelligent force within the music, then I like being considered a part of prog.”</p> <p>More than just a part of progressive rock, Howe is one of the music’s great originators. </p> <p>From the moment he joined Yes in 1970, he staked out a bold and vast territorial range for the guitar in a musical form often dominated by keyboard virtuosos like Keith Emerson and his former Yes bandmate Rick Wakeman. What those guys needed banks of pianos, organs and synthesizers to achieve Howe could often attain with just six strings and a boundless imagination. </p> <p>His contribution, moreover, transcends prog-rock or any single musical genre. Steve Howe is one of the most distinctive and original guitarists in all of rock, a brilliant musical colorist whose evocative volume pedal swells and echoey textures possess all the subtle and complex expressiveness of the human voice itself. Howe’s palette has always been incredibly broad, drafting everything from classical and flamenco fire to psychedelic expansiveness to jazzy archtop electric abstraction into the rock guitar vocabulary. </p> <p>At age 67, he’s still in top form, as can be clearly heard on the brand new Yes album, <em>Heaven &amp; Earth</em>. On the disc, Howe is joined by longtime Yes members bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downs, who has been an on-and-off Yes-man since 1980. </p> <p>On vocals is the group’s newest member, Jon Davison, who joined in 2012 and does a superb job of channeling the dulcet melodicism of original Yes vocalist Jon Anderson. Davison even shares Anderson’s spiritual perspective on lyric writing and fondness of Indian guru Paramahansa Yogananda. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IxKoM9imbm8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>While some tracks on <em>Heaven &amp; Earth</em> evoke the prog symphonic majesty of Yes’ Seventies heyday, others skew in a lighter pop direction more in keeping with radio-friendly Eighties Yes recordings, such as their <em>90125</em> album. But in working with legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, the Cars, Smashing Pumpkins), on <em>Heaven &amp; Earth</em>, Howe had one supreme mandate.</p> <p>“I told Roy, ‘It’s gotta be Yes.’ ” </p> <p>The prominent presence of Howe’s guitar work on the album is a sterling guarantee that the disc does indeed sound like Yes. Howe’s inventive melody lines and otherworldly textures are woven deep into the polychromatic musical fabric. Never an overtly flash player, Howe will nonetheless sometimes conclude a tuneful guitar passage with a brief burst of sheer incandescent brilliance. The effortlessness with which he executes these dazzling little interludes offers understated testimony to his mastery of his instrument.</p> <p>“I don’t think guitarists should concentrate on being guitarists,” he says. “They should concentrate on being musicians. Being a guitarist can be a dangerous thing if you just want to race off and steal the show all the time on bended knees with your tiddly tiddly tiddly. I think that’s pretty dead in the water. I daresay most people agree.” </p> <p>Once famed for bringing a vast arsenal of guitars with him onstage and in the studio, Howe has taken a more streamlined approach in recent years. His rig is based largely around his Line 6 Variax guitar and Line 6 HD500/Bogner DT50 digital modeling amp and pedal board, which allow him to cover a wide range of traditional guitar and amp tones. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ne317y_eOYs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“I think the Variax is one of the most overlooked instruments in the guitar universe,” he says. “The first time I saw it, I knew it was made for me. I like affordable guitars that can make lots of sounds and textures. I’ve got to tell you, the Strat, ’58 Les Paul and [Gibson] ES-175 models, in particular, are sensational on the Variax. Okay, it doesn’t feel like a Les Paul. But when you plug it in and it sounds like one, what’s the problem?”</p> <p>Howe does augment this digital setup with several “real” guitars in his live rig, however, all of which made it into the studio for the Heaven &amp; Earth sessions. These include his mid-Eighties red Fender Stratocaster; a 1955 Fender Telecaster which he has modified with a humbucker in the neck position, six-saddle bridge and Gibson-style toggle switch; a Martin MC-38 Steve Howe signature model acoustic; a Fender dual-neck steel guitar; and a Gibson Steve Howe signature model ES-175 electric archtop. </p> <p>“That one is actually Number One—the first-ever Steve Howe production model 175,” he says. “And I added a third pickup to it, because at the time I was using it cover the sound of the [Gibson] ES-5 Switchmaster that I used on Yes’ <em>Fragile</em> album.”</p> <p>This signature model 175 is based on Howe’s 1964 ES-175D, his first serious electric guitar, purchased new when he was just 17 and an instrument with which he has been closely associated ever since. These days he uses the guitar only in the U.K. where he lives, “because the airlines have been such an effing pain in the butt over the years,” he says. “But I have actually got a ’63 175 as well, which a friend of mine in Fort Wayne [Indiana] found for me. That was there with me in the studio as well.” </p> <p>Another key instrument for Howe onstage and in the studio is his guitarra portuguesa, or Portuguese guitar. Heard on the track “To Ascend” from <em>Heaven &amp; Earth</em>, it is also featured prominently on classic Yes tracks like “Your Move/All Good People” and “The Preacher The Teacher” and “Wonderous Stories.” Strung in six double-string courses, the instrument is tuned unconventionally by Howe: [low to high] E B E B E Ab. </p> <hr /> <p>“That one came from Spain,” he says, “My sister bought it for me when I was a kid. It has a slightly ringy, sitarish kind of sound that I really like. It has become a real identity thing with me.” </p> <p> To this array of instruments from his live rig, Howe added a few more items during sessions for <em>Heaven &amp; Earth</em>. “The only extra guitar was a Steinberger GMT that I really like,” he says. “And the studio had some really nice Marshall and Vox amps that I used. I also rented a Fender Deluxe that was customized by a good friend of mine, Rick Coberly.”</p> <p> So while Howe wasn’t exactly lacking for guitars and amps while making the album, the setup was minimal compared with the days of Seventies prog-rock opulence. “Usually I would do a whole setup for an album, which could be anything from 15 to 30 guitars—a bit extravagant,” Howe says, with a laugh. “Plus various amps—things I liked and had tried out. The whole fiddly process. But this time, we really didn’t have time for that. Nobody did in their own departments. Basically, we wanted to streamline the whole process.”</p> <p>Howe’s relatively compact live rig will also serve him in good stead on the current Yes tour, which will feature live performances by the band of two classic Yes albums, <em>Fragile</em> and <em>Close to the Edge</em>, in their entirety. Released in 1971, <em>Fragile</em> was Yes’ breakthrough record. It featured what for many is the classic Yes lineup: Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and drummer extraordinaire Bill Bruford. But what really put the album across at the time was its lead track and hit single “Roundabout,” a perfect amalgam of melodic accessibility, driving rock, deft arrangement and superior musicianship. </p> <p> “We’ve been playing ‘Roundabout’ and ‘Heart of the Sunrise’ from Fragile for years,” Howe says. “But in performing the entire album live, I really wanted to revisit the way we actually did those songs on the record—to capture the understatement, the subtleties and the playing down. Because playing onstage is often—too often for my liking—all about playing up. But I really like the subtleties and less expected moments of tranquility and gentleness. I think people sometimes forget that that’s the key to Yes. There’s no bash and crash about Yes.”</p> <p> “Roundabout” is one of many classic Yes songs that Howe wrote in collaboration with Jon Anderson. “Jon and I were in a hotel room up in Scotland when we started writing that song,” Howe recalls. “We seemed to find a lot of time to do that in the Seventies. We had a private plane. We got to places. People sat by the pool. And Jon and I were in this hotel room, kind of going, ‘Well, what have you got that’s a bit like this?’ We used to quiz one another like that. We did those exchanges in our music, and lyrically as well. This was the era of cassettes, and I’ve still got all of them—Jon and me fooling around in hotel rooms. </p> <p>"And with ‘Roundabout,’ we had all these bits of music, tentative moments. I was big on intros back then, and the classical guitar intro I came up with for ‘Roundabout’ was really one of the most signature things. And I believe I thought of the backward piano [also in the intro], but I won’t lay 100 percent claim to that, in case I’m wrong. But basically the song just kept developing. Jon and I presented as much as we had to the band, and the band did a fair amount of input and arrangement. What Yes were brilliant at, even before I joined, was arranging skills.”</p> <p> Another key feature of Fragile were its solo tracks, written and performed by each of the five band members. Howe’s contribution was “Mood for a Day,” a solo piece he performed on a Conde classical guitar and which toggles neatly between baroque decorum and flamenco passion. </p> <p> “It was Bill Bruford who thought of the concept of doing individual tracks, not to mention the album title <em>Fragile</em>,” Howe recalls. “But his original idea wasn’t that each guy should do a completely solo track, the way I did mine and Rick Wakeman did his. Bill’s concept was more like he did with his own track, ‘Five Per Cent for Nothing,’ where the group were utilized at his command—like, ‘You play this and you play that.’ I think we could make up our own notes, but we had to play his beats, which was a marvelous way of doing it. I was really excited about doing that live, but other people in the group were like, ‘Are we really gonna do this?’ I think the guitar part is one of the easiest parts in it. But there was a fair amount of struggling with some of the other parts, because they have to mix together. Bill wasn’t the kind of drummer you could just busk along to.” </p> <p> Howe’s main electric guitar for Fragile was the aforementioned Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, which he recalls playing through a Dual Showman amp. “In 1969, I toured with Delaney &amp; Bonnie as guitarist for the opening act, P.P. Arnold,” Howe narrates. “On that tour, both Eric Clapton and George Harrison were playing with Delaney &amp; Bonnie, and they both had Dual Showmen. So when I joined Yes a year later, I was hell-bent to buy a Dual Showman. And I did.”</p> <p> Yes’ 1972 masterpiece, <em>Close to the Edge</em>, was the triumphant follow-up to Fragile. While capitalizing on all the strengths of <em>Fragile, Close to the Edge</em> also took Yes into a new compositional dimension. Occupying all of side one on the original vinyl release, the album’s title track is a tour de force of brilliant, recurring melodic and lyrical themes that overlap in myriad permutations—transposed, superimposed, reharmonized, contrapuctualized and melded into one of progressive rock’s proudest and finest moments. “Close to the Edge” is another outstanding compositional collaboration between Anderson and Howe.</p> <p> “Jon was more competent than me lyrically,” Howe says. “But I wound up writing lyrics for ‘Close to the Edge,’ and our next album <em>Tales from Topographic Oceans. My stuff was more lateral, more earthbound, as opposed to his skybound stuff. The lyrical phrase ‘Close to the edge, down by the river’ was originally about the River Thames! But Jon converted that into the river of life, which was a wonderful thing.” As with “Roundabout,” Howe and Anderson began by amassing the musical fragments that would eventually go to making up “Close to the Edge.”</em></p> <p> “Jon and I put together a lot of the shape of that song. We’d been working live with the Mahavishnu Orchestra at the time, and it might have been Jon who said to me, ‘Why don’t we start this with improvisation? That would be really scary.’ Normally you start off with something you can grasp—an intro or a hook. But we inspired Yes to go into this improvisation. All I had on guitar was that octave jumping two-note phrase you hear on the record. But that was enough to kick off an improvisation. After that it was purely freeform. Although we did have those stops arranged. [i.e., climactic moments that give way to a single a cappella chord in vocal harmony.] I can only look back in amazement that we were able to do some of that. But we did. We didn’t always count everything out. It was almost like we could remember things that were quite complicated. So that intro then spawned the whole idea of a thematic approach—the musical themes that come in and out of the track.</p> <p> “Jon and I really had a certain magic going on at that time,” Howe continues. “That level of collaboration ended after we wrote ‘Awaken’ [from 1977’s <em>Going for the One</em>], which is another really epic piece. We did some good work after that, like “Bring Me to the Power” on <em>Keys to Ascension 2</em> [1997], some songs on <em>The Ladder</em> [1999] and a few on <em>Magnification</em> [2001]. But I think that greatest time was ‘Roundabout’ through ‘Awaken.’ ” </p> <p> Howe’s main electric guitar for <em>Close to the Edge</em> was a Gibson ES-345 stereo model. He is one of the few rock guitarists to fully exploit the atmospheric potential of stereo guitar. Each of the 345’s two pickups would be routed to a separate amp with a separate delay line and volume pedal for each. “A lot of the panning I did live with my feet between the two pickups,” he explains. “I had a volume pedal for each pickup and panned them in opposite ways. When one went down, the other one went up. I had a lot of fun! You can hear it if you listen with headphones.” </p> <p> The volume pedal has always been a key element to Howe’s guitar approach. He’s used a variety of pedals down through the years, including Fender, Sho-Bud and Ernie Ball units. Since 2006, he’s employed the volume pedal on the Line 6 HD500 pedal board. “As soon as I got an electric guitar I also got a volume pedal,” he says. “And that really started my relationship with phrasing, effects and being able to alter the way a guitar sounds. And of course delays are also very important. The way you can play into a delay with a volume pedal is also a very exciting thing I developed. And then of course the fuzz box, wah and all kinds of guitar processing.” </p> <p><em>Close to the Edge</em> was also Bill Bruford’s last album with Yes. He departed the band to join King Crimson not long after <em>Close to the Edge</em> was completed. “I see him as a quintessential Yes member,” Howe says. “And when he ran off from us to join Crimson, that was a really painful experience for me. Because I didn’t want him to go, not one bit. Yet what he proved to me is that a musician always has to follow his music. And I tend to do that. That’s why I left Asia a year or so back. Because I listened to myself and said, ‘I can’t do this now.’ And I’ve done that often in my career when I’ve made decisions. It’s good to remember that, no matter who the paymaster is, or what you’re going to lose, if you don’t follow the direction your music takes you in, then you’ll fall. You’ll lose much more than a few bucks.”</p> <p> In the years since Yes’ early Seventies classic run, Howe has kept up with old band mates like Bruford and Anderson through projects like Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe in the late Eighties/early Nineties. He’s currently planning to record a few of Bruford’s compositions on the next release by his side group, the Steve Howe Trio. Meanwhile, he still keeps an ear out for exciting new guitarists. </p> <p> “I really love Martin Taylor as a jazz guitarist,” he says. “He does everything I love. Wonderful guitarist. Wonderful technique. And yet he isn’t stifled by technique. By the time you’re a virtuoso, you don’t think along the lines of technique. Your technique is solid enough to enable you to do anything you want. Another guitarist I really admire is Flavio Sala, a young guitarist from Italy. He’s just over 30 now. </p> <p>"And he’s got all the classical repertoire under his belt, which is a huge goal to be at by your 30th birthday. But now he’s looking at music in a more general way, and not shy about it. I met him a few years ago. We recorded a track together, which we haven’t released yet. But whenever I see a guitarist, I can’t help but want to understand more about, Where’s this guy at? What’s his repertoire? With a guy like Flavio I think, That’s a true international guitarist. And I think that’s the goal for all of us as players—to become an international guitarist.”</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="/steve-howe">Steve Howe</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/yes">Yes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/steve-howe-talks-vintage-and-line-6-guitars-and-new-yes-album-heaven-earth#comments October 2014 Steve Howe Yes Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:30:04 +0000 Alan di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/22095 Revisit Steve Vai's Classic Guitar World Lessons with New Book, 'Steve Vai's Guitar Workout' http://www.guitarworld.com/revisit-steve-vais-classic-guitar-world-lessons-new-book-steve-vais-guitar-workout <!--paging_filter--><p>Since its appearance in <em>Guitar World</em> in 1990, Steve Vai's intensive guitar regimen has been the Holy Grail for serious players. </p> <p>In our new book, <em><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/new-products/products/guitar-world-presents-steve-vais-guitar-workout/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=SteveVaiGuitarWorkout">Guitar World Presents Steve Vai's Guitar Workout</a></em>, you'll find the lessons that shaped a generation of guitarists. Vai sat down with guitarist/transcriber Dave Whitehill and outlined his practice routine for the January 1990 issue of GW. Never before had a guitarist given such an in-depth explanation of his musical exercise regimen. </p> <p>It became a must-have for guitarists. Many of the players interviewed in GW have cited it as an influence on their development as guitarists. Here's a chance to experience the workout in its original form and to learn some of the things Vai has done to develop his formidable chops and remarkable music vocabulary.</p> <p>In this book, Vai reveals his path to virtuoso enlightenment with two challenging guitar workouts – one 10-hour and one 30-hour – which include scale and chord exercises, ear training, sight-reading, music theory, and much more. These comprehensive workouts are reprinted by permission from <em>Guitar World</em> magazine.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/new-products/products/guitar-world-presents-steve-vais-guitar-workout/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=SteveVaiGuitarWorkout">This book is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for only $14.99.</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/steve-vai">Steve Vai</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/revisit-steve-vais-classic-guitar-world-lessons-new-book-steve-vais-guitar-workout#comments Steve Vai News Features Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:22:39 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19280