Blogs en Beyond the Fretboard: The Double-Edged Sword of Guitar Idols, Part 2 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="">In Part 1 of this column</a>, we discussed the transcendent ability of every "guitar idol" to inspire a new generation of musicians.</p> <p>Inspiration is the lifeblood of creative energy, and these notable individuals have been — and still are — the most effective conduits for conveying that energy.</p> <p>We also discussed the downsides of inspiration on a mass scale. Large amounts of young and ambitious guitar players have trouble defining themselves as individual musicians due to their all-encompassing devotion to a particular band or genre. There are multiple reasons for this, but the larger-than-life concept of a guitar idol and the high level of commercial saturation that come with it definitely play a role.</p> <p>When I was nearing the end of the first part, I felt there were more drawbacks that needed to be addressed. These drawbacks have less to do with the audience than they do with the "idol" him- or herself. </p> <p>Obviously, this perspective is coming from an outsider who has no experience being a "rock star" in the mainstream sense. But I am a lifelong musician who feels comfortable exploring any musical project that happens to interest me, regardless of style or genre. However, I wonder if the same would be true if I had to manage the expectations of millions of fans, in addition to satisfying the financial appetite of a large record label.</p> <p><strong>THE CONSEQUENCES OF HAVING A "SOUND"</strong></p> <p>Many of the greats have that unique quality to their playing that can be instantly discernible from others. Sometimes it's the way they vibrato a note or their particular phrasing style. This generates a powerful sense of familiarity with listeners, which is similar to recognizing a singer's voice.</p> <p>But what does this mean for the originator of those sounds? Are they unknowingly constructing their own cage?</p> <p>We all have those little nuances that are unique to us. But if we hear ourselves on enough recordings or have musically inclined (and honest) friends who can point out our repetitive moments, then we can make a conscious effort to reshape or even overhaul our playing.</p> <p>But if you've built a successful career upon a certain style, then you might be encouraged to "play it safe" by those around you. </p> <p>This could manifest itself in different forms. If you're known for your heavy distortion, then it might be risky to experiment with a "cleaner" tone. If you're playing style is synonymous with "tapping," you might not have much luck writing an album that is completely devoid of tapping licks.</p> <p><strong>LESS PRACTICE TIME</strong></p> <p>I've read in various interviews that practice time can be hard to find for high-profile touring musicians. When you're not playing on stage, you might have obligations involving all kinds of promotional press, which can surely chew up a big part of the day. Not to mention the constant traveling from city to city must take its toll. If you're touring all over the world (as most big names do) you can be stuck on a plane for 10 or more hours at a time. That's 10 hours of potential practice time lost.</p> <p>I'm sure people are reading this and thinking, "Well, that's the trade-off you have to accept for being a successful musician."</p> <p>Since I'm not in that position, the only response I can muster is, "Fair enough." But this loss of practice time could definitely have a negative effect on your future creativity.</p> <p><strong>CAN THERE BE GUITAR IDOLS IN TODAY'S WORLD?</strong></p> <p>The current shape of the music industry hardly resembles the gargantuan cash cow of decades past. This reality highlights the question of whether we'll continue to have guitar idols in the future. Yes, there are those YouTube videos that go viral and produce a burst of temporary "internet fame" to some talented unknowns. But these moments are becoming more and more, well, momentary.</p> <p>Today's viral video can be tomorrow's distant memory in a world where attention spans have become so narrow. In this new world, will there be successors to the "guitar god" throne who can carry on the tradition started by the likes of Jim Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen? I'm not sure.</p> <p>If the answer does turn out to be "no," then what would be the silver lining to this new reality? (After all, there's no sense in living life like the glass is half empty.)</p> <p>One possibility is that we could see an unprecedented level of musical diversity coming out of future guitar players. Tomorrow's aspiring musicians will almost certainly be influenced by 10, 20 or even 30 eclectic musicians from all different genres, instead of one or two of the big names. Even genre categories could receive quite the facelift and terms like "rock star" or 'guitar idol' might fade into the annals of history.</p> <p>But, perhaps not. Humans are, above all else, social animals. We thrive on feeling connected with one another and engaging in emotionally transcendent activities like going to rock concerts. </p> <p>As I said at the beginning of this piece, the "guitar idol" (or "rock star") is perfectly suited to elicit this effect in large groups of people. For as long as we enjoy feeding off of this energy, I suspect there will be a place (and a need) for guitar idols in our uncertain future.</p> <p><em>Chris Breen is a New Jersey-based guitarist with 14 years of experience under his belt. He, along with his brother Jon (on drums) started the two-piece metal project known as <a href="">SCARSIC</a> in 2011. They've recently been joined by bassist Bill Loucas and have released an album, </em>A Tale of Two Worlds<em> (available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify). Chris also is part of an all-acoustic side project called <a href="">Eyes Turn Stone</a>. Chris teaches guitar lessons (in person or via Skype). For more information, visit <a href=""></a>.</em></p> Beyond the Fretboard Chris Breen Blogs Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:40:55 +0000 Chris Breen Bent Out of Shape: An Intensive 30-Minute Guitar Workout for Musicians On the Go <!--paging_filter--><p>Whether you're a professional guitarist or a hobbyist, finding time to practice can be difficult. </p> <p>We all have busy lives and responsibilities that distract us from our playing. For this reason, I've developed a quick, intensive guitar "workout" that can be completed in 30 minutes. You can use this by itself as a quick practice when time is limited or incorporate it into a longer practice session. Either way, this workout will help develop your playing in a number of important areas.</p> <p>The workout involves playing a diatonic scale with specific sequences chosen to improve important areas of your playing. You will improve your knowledge/theory of the scale across the whole fretboard and also improve the speed/accuracy of your picking technique. For this workout, you are going to need a metronome. </p> <p>For my examples, I am using the A minor scale. You will play each of these sequences to a metronome; when completed, you will increase the tempo and repeat all of the sequences again. You want to begin at a slow tempo, around 80 bpm, and after completion increase by 10 bpm (90, 100, 110, 120, etc.). </p> <p>The sequences are of varying difficulty, and as soon as one becomes too difficult, you should drop that sequence and continue with the rest. You should make a note of the highest tempo reached for each sequence so you can chart your progress over time. I have included target bpm's for each sequence. If you start at 80 bpm and take each sequence to its target, you should complete the workout in around 30 minutes. Of course, if you are an advanced player, you might be able take each sequence much higher than the target tempos.</p> <p>For each sequence, I've given you the tab and an audio example playing the sequence at 80 bpm and then at the target bpm. </p> <p><strong>Linear Sequences (Target: 160 bpm) </strong></p> <p>These sequences focus on playing the diatonic scale as "four-notes per sting" instead of the usual "three-notes per string." The idea is to use all four fingers when fretting the scale, as highlighted in the first sequence.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/tab1.jpg" width="620" height="420" alt="tab1.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Interval Sequences (Target 120 bpm)</strong></p> <p>These focus on playing the diatonic scale in intervals across three octaves. For this workout, we are using 3rd's, 4th's and 5th's. Note: Advanced players also will be able to play the scale in 6th's and 7th's.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/tab2.jpg" width="620" height="409" alt="tab2.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Arpeggio Sequences (Target 120 bpm)</strong></p> <p>You've probably seen the previous sequences before, but here's something I came up with that's fairly unique. These sequences involve playing the scale across two octaves as arpeggios. The first sequence is played as triad arpeggios (I-III-V). The second sequence is played as 7th arpeggios (I-III-V-VII).</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/tab3.jpg" width="620" height="278" alt="tab3.jpg" /></p> <p>These sequences could be applied to any diatonic scale in any key. After mastering A minor, try experimenting with different scale. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment. Good luck!</p> <p><em>Will Wallner is a guitarist from England now living in Los Angeles. He recently signed a solo deal with Polish record label Metal Mind Productions for the release of his debut album, which features influential musicians from hard rock and heavy metal. He also is the lead guitarist for White Wizzard (Earache Records) and in 2012 toured Japan, America and Canada. Follow Will on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter</a>.</em></p> Bent Out of Shape Will Wallner Blogs Lessons Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:18:28 +0000 Will Wallner Cigar Box: How to Build a Cigar Box Guitar for Around $25 <!--paging_filter--><p>I've decided to start this off by using the most common saying heard when someone lays their eyes on one of my guitars for the first time (myself included): "It’s a cigar box guitar!" </p> <p>Yes, and it's played similar to a regular guitar and can do almost anything a regular guitar can do; it just takes some creativity and a little imagination, much like the building process. </p> <p>After my initial reaction to seeing a cigar box guitar, my second thought was, “I want to make one of those!” Then, my initial reaction when I made my first CBG (cigar box guitar) was, “I want to make another one!” — and my obsession was born. </p> <p>The idea of this series of columns is to show you how to make one of these three-string guitars and to showcase some notable players and builders. </p> <p>Some people ask me, “Aren't you afraid the big guitar companies are going to find out about cigar box guitar and start making them?” </p> <p>I doubt Fender or Gibson would be interested in making these guitars; besides, what makes CBGs cool is that they are handmade, and no two guitars are alike. So I’ve decided to let you in to our secret underground world that is cigar box guitars. </p> <p>Cigar box guitars are often associated with the Depression era, when regular guitars were handmade and cost a great deal of money. People didn’t have extra income to buy guitars, so they got creative. They got a wooden cigar box, put a hole in it for the sound to get out, put a stick in it and a few wires from the screen door — and a guitar was born. Actually, cigar box guitars go back much further than that. There's evidence that they were around as early as the 1840s, and similar primitive or primal instruments go back even further. </p> <p>Today, people make them out of just about anything that will resonate or vibrate, such as an oil can, coffee can, wine crate or soda can. They also use many different things for a neck, like an ordinary 1-by-2 piece of hardwood, broom handles, even wooden rulers. </p> <p>The number of strings can vary, too. I’ve seen them with one string (Diddley bow) on up to 12. I tend to stick to three- and six-string cigar box guitars because you need at least three strings to make a chord, and people are comfortable playing six-string guitars. They also can be fretted or fretless and are played with or without a slide. CBGs also can be wired with pickups, volume and tone controls, just like regular guitars.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/professinal%20electronics.jpg" width="620" height="465" alt="professinal electronics.jpg" /></p> <p>If you want to hear scrape, slide and picking, check out Shane Speal, the world's foremost master of the cigar box guitar. </p> <p>Speal performs gritty blues/rock with handmade and hackwired instruments made from recycled junk. His repertoire is a mix of crankin' originals and songs from blues masters who started out on cigar box guitars. </p> <p>Here's a video of different ways to tune your CBG so you can get the most out of your box. What Speal can do with a stick in the box and a socket from a hardware store for a slide (Yes, that's a socket he's using for a slide) blows my mind. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </p> <p>Speal is a key player and builder in the CBG world and was instrumental in bringing people together to share their thoughts and ideas about CBGs — but more on that later. </p> <p>So the blues isn’t your thing? Not to worry; I’ve seen people play these guitars in nearly every genre. Like I said, you can play anything on a cigar box guitar; you just have to use some creativity and a little imagination. </p> <p>Check out Hollowbelly; listen to this song and I promise it will change your perception of what can be played on a cigar box guitar. Hollowbelly is a one-man-band/cigar box guitar player whose guitar has a mean growl that just can't be explained and a voice that has been described as "like lightning." </p> <p>He has played London's The 100 Club (Yes, THE 100 Club, which has hosted Sex Pistols, Muddy Waters and the White Stripes) on a CBG. He made it in a garage out of a banister rail, an old rusty tin and a cheap pickup. When I need that jolt of energy to keep going, this song delivers.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>So why am I writing this? I am addicted to CBG. Yep, addicted, obsessed. I’ve got the sickness and there is no cure. Besides, there are worse things to be addicted to. I spend my days thinking about how I am going to build the next guitar better and how I am going to convert that song I used to play on a six-string so I can play it on one my three-string guitars. </p> <p>I thought there might be more people out there like me. So over the next few columns, we are going to build a cigar box guitar together for about $25. We are going to make a classic fretless acoustic cigar box guitar. </p> <p>I will show you the upgrades as we go along; it will just cost a few more bucks. Most of the stuff you can find in your local hardware store. The other stuff you have to buy in different places, but I’ll give you some tips on where you can get the best deals (If not here, I'll give you the tips on my site, <a href=""></a>. </p> <p>This is the way I find works best for me. There are many other ways to make these instruments; I’m just showing you the way I like to do it. I have to say there is one rule about cigar box guitars: There are no rules! </p> <p>Here is your recon mission for next time: </p> <p>01. <strong>Box:</strong> Find a wooden cigar box. It has to be wooden — at least the sides and the bottom. But if you can score an all-wood one, all the better. A good size to look for is 10-by-7-by-1. Bigger is better, but if it's a little smaller, it'll still work. The thinner the wood, the better the tone (at least in my opinion). The best place to get them is your local tobacco shop. Most stores give them away for free (Free is good). If you can't find one for free, look on eBay or check out <a href="">CB Gitty</a>.</p> <p>02. <strong>Wood</strong>: You will need to find some hardwood for the neck. A good size is a 1-by-2-by-32 (It really measures 3/4-by-1 ½ inches), and it needs to be at least 32 inches long. Most home-improvement stores sell them in 36-inch lengths. </p> <p>It has to be a hardwood. Poplar is a pretty inexpensive choice, but red oak, maple, ash or mahogany look great, although they cost a bit more. I go to the local mill and get a batch of rough-cut hardwood and mill it down myself, but that requires some more tools and more time. I wouldn’t recommend this for your first guitar. The stuff you will find at the local home-improvement or lumber yard is good. I’m just obsessed with finding the best. </p> <p>03. <strong>Tools</strong>: You will need a coping saw, tape measure, pencil, drill with 3/8, 9/32 and 1/8 bits, rasp (Those rasp/chisels are pretty good for the money) and various grits of sandpaper. If you have a belt sander, it will save a lot of time, but it isn’t necessary. Finally, you will need an old-fashioned miter box and saw. </p> <p>If you don’t have these tools, borrow them or make this guitar with a friend who has them (Tools aren't included in the $25 budget). If you don’t know how to use these tools, read up on them or look them up via YouTube. I don’t want any of you guitar players to loose a digit while making one of these. </p> <p>04. <strong>Tension pins</strong>: You will need three each — 1/8-by-3/4 tension pins or roll pins. These can be found in almost any hardware store. </p> <p>05. <strong>Safety gear</strong>: You will need a dust mask, work gloves and safety goggles. </p> <p>Hey, come to think of it, this doesn’t even add up to $25. Sweet!</p> <p>This is a list of items for you to find for next time. I'll give you a list at the end of each article so you won’t have to go buy it all at once. But if you want a full list, I will post it on my site, <a href=""></a>. </p> <p>Till next time, keep on playing!</p> <p><em>Brian Saner owns Saner Cigar Box Guitars, which makes custom handmade guitars and amps using local dry-aged wood in every guitar. These guitars are handmade and might have imperfections, but that's what makes them unique. Once you hear the howl of a CBG, you might not want to play a Fender or Gibson again. Get one at <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a>. Check out <a href="">his Facebook page.</a></em></p> Brian Saner Hollowbelly Saner Cigar Box Guitars Shane Speal Blogs News Features Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:04:37 +0000 Brian Saner Metal For Life with Metal Mike: Mega-Metal Licks in the Style of Metallica, Testament and Pantera <!--paging_filter--><p>I’d like to focus on riffs and rhythm ideas that represent what I think of as “the real deal” metal. </p> <p>I’ve designed these riffs to help you build up both your pick-and fret-hand technique in regard to executing pure metal ideas like these with power and precision.</p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> is inspired by the heavy riffs of Testament and Pantera and is built from combining a few different scales, such as E major (E F# G# A B C# D#) and E Phrygian-dominant (E F G# A B C D), with sliding two-note power chords. </p> <p> Across beats one and two, I begin with two-note E5 and F5 power chords that alternate against open low E string accents, all of which are executed with aggressive down-strokes. Across beats three and four, I switch to alternate (down-up) picking. In bar 2, I begin with the same figure over the first two beats, but I switch to a higher single-note riff for beats three and four, one that moves from E major to E Phrygian-dominant.</p> <p>In bar 3 I repeat the figure from bar 1, which I then follow with sliding two-note power chords, fretted on the bottom two strings, first sliding down one half step, from A5 to G#5, and then up one whole step, from A5 to B5.</p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> is inspired by some of Testament’s heavy rhythm parts, such as the one heard in “Over the Wall,” and utilizes a classic metal “gallop” rhythm, which is an eighth note followed by two 16ths. This type of gallop rhythm was previously popularized by Iron Maiden, who used it on many of their biggest songs, such as “Run to the Hills.” </p> <p> The gallop figure shown here is executed with fast downdown-up picking in conjunction with palm muting on beats one through three, followed by eighth-note sliding power chords. This example is played at a rather quick tempo—194 beats per minute—and practicing it at that tempo will definitely add strength and precision to your pick-hand technique. You’ll hear sliding power chord figures like these on Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” as well as Pantera’s “Mouth for War.”</p> <p> For our last example, <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, I’ve put together a riff comprised entirely of single notes, and I intentionally made it obscure in terms of outlining a specific tonality. Though the open low E note is accentuated, creating a connection to E5 or E minor, the notes themselves do not stick within the structure of any scale. My goal was simply to come up with a cool, heavy-sounding riff that features a few different articulation techniques. </p> <p> Through all of bar 1 and the first half of bar 2, I repeatedly play pairs of open low E accents in 16th notes, followed by a variety of three-note melodic shapes. Bar 3 presents a shift to 2/4 meter for the fast trills, after which bars 1 and 2 are repeated. </p> <p>The riff ends with quick pull-off phrases on the bottom two strings, fretted with the index and ring fingers. Apply these techniques to some heavily brutal metal riffs of your own design and have fun with them!</p> <p><strong>Part 1</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience1423597117001" 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="1423597117001" /> </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 --><p><br /><br /> <strong>Part 2</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience1423597026001" 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="1423597026001" /> </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 --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-22%20at%201.17.24%20PM.png" width="620" height="688" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.17.24 PM.png" /></p> March 2012 Metal For Life Metal Mike Chlasciak Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:20:39 +0000 Metal Mike Chlasciak Bent Out of Shape: Learning Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, Part 7 <!--paging_filter--><p>Today we are going to learn Part 7 of Mozart's 25th Symphony in G Minor. </p> <p>It's been a while since we started learning the piece, but we're getting very close to the end. To catch up on all the other parts of this lesson, look under RELATED CONTENT directly below my photo to the left.</p> <p>You might remember me saying I was learning this piece with you, section by section. For that reason, it was difficult for me to predict how many lessons would be needed to cover the entire piece. I can now tell you that after this lesson, we'll need two more lessons to finish up. </p> <p>Part 7 is very interesting because it relates very closely to <a href="">Part 3</a>. This new section follows the same themes within Part 3, but in a different relative key. Part 3 was based around Bb major, which is the relative major scale of G minor. Part 7, however, features the same themes but played in G minor and, in some sections, G harmonic minor. </p> <p>We begin in bars 1 to 8 with an octave theme followed by a harmonic minor line that mirrors Part 3 exactly. This isn't technically challenging, but you might like to experiment with different styles of vibrato for the sustained octave notes. </p> <p>As in Part 3, we now play a series of arpeggios outlining the following chord progression: G minor / C minor / F major / Bb major / Eb major / A diminished. These can be played in several different ways. I demonstrated for you in Part 3 the volume swell technique and also 16th-note tremolo picking. You might also like to play around with triplets or even double-picked 8th notes to see which you prefer. In the example, I play 16th-note tremolo picking, which isn't too difficult as long as you have a good alternate-picking technique. </p> <p>To finish we play a sequence of descending arpeggios, which, for me, are the most challenging part of this section as you need to begin every arpeggio from the high E string. This can be difficult as you finish each arpeggios on the A or low E and then need to skip back to high E without interruption. </p> <p>As with anything technically challenging on the guitar, start off slow to a metronome and gradually increase the tempo. Good luck and see you next week with Part 8! </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/tab-for-will.jpg" width="620" height="749" alt="tab-for-will.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Will Wallner is a guitarist from England who now lives in Los Angeles. He recently signed a solo deal with Polish record label Metal Mind Productions for the release of his debut album, which features influential musicians from hard rock and heavy metal. He also is the lead guitarist for White Wizzard (Earache Records) and toured Japan, the US and Canada in 2012. Follow Will on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter</a>.</em></p> Bent Out of Shape Will Wallner Blogs Lessons Sun, 20 Apr 2014 16:02:58 +0000 Will Wallner Session Guitar: How to Create Professional-Sounding Tracks at Home <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello, kids.</p> <p>Every producer has his or her secrets. Some use gear, like a certain mic or pre or vintage amp to get a signature sound.</p> <p>Sometimes it's studio trickery. I just like to think of it as being in control of the studio space and the tools at hand. </p> <p>Sometimes the most obvious tracking methods are overlooked by the casual observer. Here are some of those tips. I guarantee a better sound by applying these simple methods. You might even discover your own signature sound! </p> <p><strong>01. GAIN STAGING</strong>: The guitar goes into the amp or modeler. Then, if it is a modeler, does it go directly into your converter or into a preamp? If it is a preamp, it will leave the pre and then hit the converter before the computer. If the guitar went to an amp, then the amp is mic'd up. </p> <p>The mic signal goes into a pr-amp. The preamp may then go into a compressor. After that, it is off to the converter before the computer. Simple, right? But how is the signal from one piece of the chain to the next? This is called gain staging. Each should be strong and balanced without any weakness or overloads. Be sure to check the gain in each stage (And use quality cables).</p> <p><strong>02. EVENNESS OF SOUND</strong>: This is the most important of my considerations when I am tracking for a client or myself. I like to hear a balance of top, mid and bottom in the character of the one. This way it becomes incredibly flexible when it's time to mix. Use your ears and really hear the sound. Is it muddy on the bottom? Too shrill? Scooped in the mids? Don't be lazy. Make any and all adjustments. You'll be happy you did.</p> <p><strong>03. CREATING NATURAL THICKNESS</strong>: We all double track. Big-sounding guitars panned hard left and right. But how many create an extra layer of natural thickness by doubling each of those parts with another layer de-tuned slightly? And please don't think using your computer to de-tune it a little is the same because it is not! Play it again. Re-tune a few cents off for each new part. </p> <p>The added extra performance will also help if it is slightly off here and there. You are supposed to be musicians and not computer geeks! Work! Play it again! By the way, this works incredibly well on acoustic guitars, too.</p> <p><strong>04. CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT</strong>: Are you tracking all your guitars using the same amp? How about the same mic? How about the same speaker? And you leave them all in the same position in the same room for every track on the song. good! </p> <p>If you have only one mic, one guitar and one amp, you can still vary the mic position. Sometimes radically. Or the position on the cone of the mic. Or take the amp into a different room and track from there! And if you are only using a modeling amp, then you can still make the same considerations! Add a room sound, early reflection or mic position in the modeler. I love the combination of tracks using amps and modelers.</p> <p><strong>05. DEFINITION</strong>: Do your tracks sound sloppy? Muddy? Distortion is a temptress. Too much juice can be incredible! But not necessarily in the studio. Cut back on the gain by at least 20 percent on the rhythm parts. Then try adding uber-clean guitar tracks playing the same parts and tuck them in so they are just barely audible! This will add definition to your dense, fast metal tracks and the added benefit of actually hearing some tone come into your sonic landscape!</p> <p><strong>06. MULTI-MIC</strong>: I do not believe any one microphone can capture all of the guitar sound. That being said, the most common combination is the dynamic mic and a ribbon. The dynamic captures the bite while the ribbon captures the body. Invest in your own mics. The combo does not cost any more than another good guitar. And as sexy as those preamps look in the studio, the mics are more obvious to your ears. But a couple of good pre's are certainly not going to hurt you in any way.</p> <p>And here's the big one; I've saved the best for last. This will make your solo stand out in any song more than any tip you will ever find.</p> <p><strong>07. MODULATE AND COMPOSE</strong>: How many of you solo over the verse? Gee, that's exciting! Play something boring over the same part that has already been repeated. How about writing a new part, modulated up to a new key (I like a minor 3rd), vary the rhythm and chords to a new groove and watch the solo jump out! It will be like a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded room with a boring speaker! And no piece of gear or studio can fix a bad composition or add energy to a boring composition. </p> <p>Seriously, I could do a whole column on this alone...hmmm?</p> <p>Till next time…</p> <p> <em><a href="">Ron Zabrocki</a> is a session guitarist from New York, now living in Connecticut. Says Ron: "I started playing at age 6, sight reading right off the bat. That’s how I was taught, so I just thought everyone started that way. I could sight read anything within a few years, and that helped me become a session guy later in life. I took lessons from anyone I could find and had some wonderful instructors, including John Scofield, Joe Pass and Alan DeMausse. I’ve played several jingle sessions (and have written a few along the way). I’ve “ghosted” for a few people who shall remain nameless, but they get the credit and I get the money! I’ve played sessions in every style, from pop to jazz.</em></p> Ron Zabrocki Session Guitar Blogs Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:35:06 +0000 Ron Zabrocki Knowing When and How to Transform Your Tone <!--paging_filter--><p>This column is for “chameleon” guitarists, those who play in a variety of bands in different genres. </p> <p>In New York City, it's not uncommon to meet a guitarist after a metal show who's been shedding his jazz chops (Jazz and metal have a lot more in common than you might think; just ask Animals As Leaders) and playing down the street at a "singer-songwriter night" later that week. </p> <p>There are people who can fit into a wide variety of genres, and it's not just the licks or music-theory knowledge or clothing that gets them the gig, but the tones as well. I'm not saying you can't bring your Kramer to a country gig; just know how to make it sound twangy.</p> <p><strong>THE GUITAR</strong>: It's good to start with an easily manipulated guitar like a Strat or Les Paul, but it's not necessary. The fewer pedals you require to change your tone, the easier your life will be on a crowded stage. Strats with single coils are harder to manipulate because of the 60-cycle hum, so I'd suggest equipping your Strat with some Fender Hot-Noiseless pickups. They look the same and sound fantastic. Also the hum from single coils greatly limits your ability to go from genre to genre; any time distortion is needed, the humming will be unbearable.</p> <p><strong>THE AMP</strong>: You're going to want an honest amp with a clear, clean tone and a nice distorted tone. This is why Marshalls are a staple amp. Jeff Beck, Slash and Zakk Wylde have little in common as players (besides being great) but they all use Marshall. While this isn't an endorsement, a good amp lets the player be his- or herself. I find that the more presets and modeling there is on the amp, the less likely I'll be happy with the tone.</p> <p><strong>THE PEDALS</strong>: Here's where things get tricky. With high-output pickups, it's harder to get a subtle, crunchy overdriven tone; with low-output pickups, a high gain tone is a chore to achieve without losing dynamics. Take a second to find out how your pickups react to basic aggressive pedals (overdrive, distortion and fuzz) and plan accordingly. For example, I have a VFE “The Scream” overdrive pedal. With my Strat, it's a thick, ballsy overdrive that is seriously dynamic. With my Schecter seven-string, it's basically a full-on distortion pedal. Take the time to experiment with your gear. There are a lot of pedals out there, and it's worth it to get to know them. I got weird looks walking into a metal rehearsal with a Strat, but with my fuzz pedal (Fiery Red Horse — look it up), I fit right in.</p> <p><strong>BUT THAT'S TOO MUCH GEAR</strong>: Fine. If it's too much to carry around, consider using your computer. Digital modeling is getting better and better. A lot of people swear by tube amps vs. solid state, or amps vs. modeling, and it's best not to give the argument too much importance. Try out Guitar Rig 5 through a PA at your rehearsal space or through good speakers. It sounds amazing. While still not quite like an amp, it gets the job done in so many settings. Nothing feels like cranking an amp and using your pedals, but if the PA is nice and you don't plan on fussing with your volume knob, it can be a decent and much lighter alternative.</p> <p>Feel free to leave questions below or reach out to me on <a href="">YouTube here</a>. </p> <p><em>Elliott Klein is a New York City-based guitarist/singer/songwriter who plays in <a href="">Bright and Loud</a>, <a href="">Party Lights</a> and many more.</em></p> Elliott Klein Blogs Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:30:20 +0000 Elliott Klein The Ataris Tour Blog: The Mystery and Majesty of the American Truck Stop <!--paging_filter--><p><em>The Ataris just wrapped a tour that reunited the classic lineup that created their 2003 major label debut</em> So Long, Astoria. <em>Guitarist John Collura documented this reunion. Check out the final installment of his report below.</em></p> <p>When truck stops were first being built around this country did the people who built them ever take into consideration how much these would mean to traveling musicians?</p> <p>Where else can one buy a 64-ounce Mountain Dew, a sandwich under a hot lamp, a bagged pickle and an alligator head under one roof? More over, why the fuck would you buy any of these items in the first place? I do not hold the answer to these questions but rest assured I have purchased one or more of these items.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ataris-TacoTime.jpg" width="620" height="407" alt="Ataris-TacoTime.jpg" /></p> <p>What's really a phenomenon is that when the band enters these establishments we act as if we don't even know each other. We just aimlessly wonder through the aisles, rifling through useless shit. It's like our own version of <em>The Walking Dead</em>. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ataris-NoLotLizards.jpg" width="620" height="411" alt="Ataris-NoLotLizards.jpg" /></p> <p>In my 15 years of touring I have seen my fair share of truck stops. I have slept in their parking lots, taken bird baths in their sinks, and gambled and ate their biscuits and gravy. These are truly American staples, the oasis for bands and the nightmare for tour managers and bus drivers...because it's near impossible to make it a 15-minute stop. I am now home from another U.S. tour but I feel myself wanting to just drive to the nearest truck stop so I can feel like I'm back on the road. "Number 17, your shower is now ready..."</p> John Collura The Ataris Blogs News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:12:04 +0000 John Collura The Ataris Tour Blog: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Ovation Acoustic <!--paging_filter--><p><em>The Ataris just wrapped a tour that reunited the classic lineup that created their 2003 major label debut</em> So Long, Astoria.<em> Guitarist John Collura documented this reunion. Check out the second installment of his report below.</em></p> <p>Let me just put this out there: I love my Martin. I'm the type of person that would want to keep my Martin in a glass case at all times. With that said, when I go on the road I like to take an acoustic guitar with me to write. When traveling on a bus it's really easy to be able to carry an acoustic guitar on board and stow it away in a junk bunk or back lounge. </p> <p>But when traveling with a van and trailer it becomes more difficult. I know there are some really great road cases built specifically for acoustic guitars. SKB makes a really nice one, but with quality comes price. So on this latest tour, I opted not to bring my Martin because I was paranoid with leaving it in the trailer. My friend Jason at Fender/Ovation helped me out with an alternative solution. He sent me out an Elite T 2078TX Ovation guitar.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ataris-Ovation-Martin.jpg" width="620" height="422" alt="Ataris-Ovation-Martin.jpg" /><br /> <strong>Collura's new Elite T 2078TX Ovation (left), and his beloved Martin</strong></p> <p>Yeah I know what you're thinking, I have a Martin and took out an Ovation instead. Well to my surprise this 2078TX has some serious tone, it's not your Uncle Rick's Ovation from his 1980's terrible cover band. And even more surprisingly, the guitar is built like a brick shit house. It's covered in a textured enamel, like the same as the back of a pickup truck. I'm not concerned with babying this guitar, it's built to be road worthy and the action and feel of the guitar is really comfortable.</p> <p>Does this mean I'm done with my Martin? Hell no. But I couldn't be happier to have a durable, great sounding acoustic that I can take on the road. </p> John Collura The Ataris Blogs News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:01:43 +0000 John Collura The Ataris Tour Blog: "Tubes? We Don't Need No Stinking Tubes!" <!--paging_filter--><p><em>The Ataris just wrapped a tour that reunited the classic lineup that created their 2003 major label debut </em>So Long, Astoria<em>. Guitarist John Collura documented this reunion. Check out the first installment of his report below.</em></p> <p>I just got home form being out on The Ataris, "So Long, Astoria Reunion Tour". Prior to leaving for tour I was debating which amp I would take with me. We performed our record <em>So Long, Astoria</em> in its entirety so I was consciously making an effort to take the most versatile amp that I own. </p> <p>I have been playing in bands for almost 18 years and I've become a bit of tone snob. I currently own four different amp heads and all of them are amazing tube amps. The problem is, they are all great at producing their own tone. Doesn't sound like a problem until you have to perform an entire record that was produced using multiple types of amplifiers.</p> <p>Weeks before I left for tour I was extremely lucky to be introduced to the fine folks at Blackstar. They had me come down to their showroom and try out all types of wonderful amps, all of them being tube heads. The last amp that we tried out was the Blackstar ID 100 TVP head. When we fired this baby up everyone in the room turned their heads with their mouths open.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Blackstar-Comp.jpg" width="620" height="422" alt="Blackstar-Comp.jpg" /></p> <p>The power, bite and bottom end out of this amp was incredible. It was then brought to my attention that this is not a tube amp, it's all digital. I couldn't believe it so I needed to test it out some more. I was already sold on the massive amount of distortion and gain the amp had but I needed to see if this thing could produce some natural breakup. Here's where things get really interesting.</p> <p>The amp is basically a tube emulator, it models 6 different types of tubes (EL84, 6V6, EL34, KT66, 6L6, KT88) which they call True Valve Power or TVP. The ID 100 also has 6 different voicing features Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD1, OD2. I tried the Super Crunch channel matched with the KT66 and pushed the gain to about 1 o'clock and now the amp sounds like a Vox on steroids! </p> <p>The possibilities are endless and there's no shortage of tone or versatility, there's just no tubes. I asked Blackstar for one amp and they gave me 36! I challenge anyone to a blind test that you will never believe this amp is all digital. Sorry you elitist tube snobs, the Blackstar ID 100TVP is the real deal.</p> John Collura The Ataris Blogs News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:02:53 +0000 John Collura Betcha Can't Play This: Luis Carlos Maldonado's Add9 Roller Coaster <!--paging_filter--><p> This is an alternate-picking run based on an add9 arpeggio shape on the top three strings that’s moved up and down the neck to four different positions and tonal centers, with a slight variation in bar 2. </p> <p>It begins in E, moves down to C with a little twist—more on that in a moment—then up to D and finally A.</p> <p> The first thing you’ll notice is that the pinkie is the lead-off finger in each bar and that a five-fret stretch is required between it and the index finger for the first two notes. [Fret-hand fingerings are indicated throughout the run.] </p> <p>Be sure to ease into these stretches and warm up with them in the upper area of the fretboard before attempting them in the lower positions.</p> <p> For bar 2, I felt it sounded more colorful and interesting to alter the basic Cadd9 arpeggio [C D E G] by incorporating the #11, or #4, F#, into it, and in so doing the notes on the B and G strings are played two frets higher than where they would be if I would have simply applied the initial add9 shape from bar 1 to this position. In bar 3, the pinkie does a quick slide up to D, and the initial cell from bar 1 is used again, only a whole step lower.</p> <p> Notice the common tones on the B and G strings in bars 2 and 3. The run concludes with a long pinkie slide up to A at the 17th fret—be careful not to overshoot it—and an Aadd9 arpeggio.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%204.32.24%20PM.png" width="620" height="238" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 4.32.24 PM.png" /></p> Betcha Can't Play This Luis Carlos Maldonado May 2010 Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:03:09 +0000 Luis Carlos Maldonado Merchant of Menace with Jeff Loomis: Incorporating Sweep Arpeggios with Fast-Moving Position Shifts <!--paging_filter--><p> This month, I ’d like to finish our analysis of the guitar solo from the title track of Nevermore’s latest release, <em>The Obsidian Conspiracy</em>, with a look at the last four bars of the solo, which carry into the first bar of the subsequent verse.</p> <p> The majority of what I play during this section is built from sweep arpeggios of B minor triads (B D F#) that shift through a variety of positions. There’s a lot happening in this little four-bar section, so let’s get to it.</p> <p> For this last section of the solo, illustrated in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, I’m playing over the same rhythm part that was illustrated in last month’s column. </p> <p>As this rhythm part sits on the B minor “home” tonality for two full bars, it gives me plenty of room to explore fast-moving sweeps based on B minor triads: I begin in 10th position on the top three strings, quickly descending as I pull off with the pinkie on F#, first string/14th fret, to the index finger on D, first string/10th fret, followed by the middle finger on B, second string/12th fret. </p> <p>The index finger then moves down to F#, third string/11th fret to complete the first descent, after which I ascend through the same series of notes, and then carry the subsequent descent back through the same note series all the way down to the fifth string in one long upstroke sweep. </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 2a</strong> illustrates this sweep in isolation; notice that the arpeggio covers three octaves, starting from a high F# (the fifth of B) and carrying through to F# two octaves lower. The nice thing about playing a seven-string is that it allows me to expand this downward sweeping pattern all the way down through another complete octave, culminating on a low F#, seventh string/ninth fret, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 2b</strong>. </p> <p>If you put the pieces of both sweeps together, you get the complete 9th/10th position sweep shown in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. I recommend that you practice each of these elements with both upstroke and downstroke sweeps, starting slowly and concentrating on clear articulation when either dragging the pick across the strings.</p> <p> Looking back at <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, you can see that I like to “cycle” smaller pieces of the arpeggios before expanding them across the majority of the strings. For example, I begin by repeating the small four-note/three-string sweep on the top three strings, and then, on beat three, I “cycle” the four-note/three-string sweep across the bottom three strings.</p> <p> Then on beat four, I sweep back across all of the strings, from low to high. Bar 2 begins in a similar fashion to bar 1, but starting on the upbeat of beat two, with the index finger on F#, fifth string/ninth fret, I change positions by sliding the index finger up to B at the 14th fret, allowing me to initiate upward and downward sweeps across 14th position B minor triads, which I then “cycle” up and down across the top five strings.</p> <p> On the upbeat of beat four in bar 2, I use the index finger once again for a quick position shift, sliding from F# at the 14th fret to the B root note at the 19th fret. Now situated in 19th position in bar 4, I wrap up the solo with more conventional B Aeolian type riffs, utilizing hammer-ons, pulloffs and bends for a legato sound, emphasizing very wide vibratos on each sustained note. </p> <p> I tried to articulate a feeling of rhythmic freedom while executing all of these sweeps, thus the odd groupings of decuplets (10 notes played over one beat) and nonuplets (nine notes played over one beat) as well as pairs of 32nd note sextuplets (six notes) played over one beat.</p> <p> The rhythmic precision of these groupings is less important than the effect created by crossing the strings in alternating sweeps very quickly, which takes a lot of practice to master. </p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience919847812001" 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="919847812001" /> </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 --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%203.43.41%20PM_0.png" width="620" height="498" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.43.41 PM_0.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%203.43.54%20PM.png" width="620" height="152" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.43.54 PM.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="/jeff-loomis">Jeff Loomis</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 February 2011 Jeff Loomis The Merchant of Menace Blogs Lessons Magazine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:50:37 +0000 Jeff Loomis Thoughts on Using Your Computer As a Guitar Amp <!--paging_filter--><p>I never thought I'd be writing about using a computer as an amp. </p> <p>I absolutely adore my 2x12 Deville, love the sound of a Marshall stack, the brutality of a Mesa, etc. I love the feeling of an amp screaming at you live — and feeling the rumble in the floor. </p> <p>That being said, amps are heavy, and you'd have to be borderline insane (or Captain America) to carry them all around a city, especially New York City during rush hour. A computer, a charger, two cables and a quarter-inch to eighth-inch adapter (all in one bag) is my go-to for the smaller gigs that come my way.</p> <p><strong>“But I love my tube amp!”</strong></p> <p>I totally understand that, and plugging directly into Garageband doesn't produce the best sounds. Many guitarists already know about Axe-Fx II, but there are many other programs to play around with that aren't as expensive yet produce awesome sounds. Guitar Rig 5, for example. </p> <p>One huge complaint among amp users about amp simulators is the lack of body. Hearing a speaker scream in a wood box is not easy to replicate, no matter the electronics. Despite my saying I use my computer for smaller gigs, I still like to make sure whatever venue I'm playing has a decent PA system. The PA won't turn into your amp, but it will sound like a pre-recorded version of you playing. </p> <p>That's where a lot of people get turned around. Expecting it to sound exactly like an amp isn't possible yet, but expecting it to sound like a living iPod, or like you're in the control room of a recording studio instead of the live room, is possible. It's also an experience that is about 40 pounds lighter.</p> <p>When preparing for a computer-amp gig, it's best to keep it simple, tone wise. Having a clean tone, a dirty rhythm tone and a solo tone keeps it very easy and reliable. Changing presets during a show is dangerous as some are much different in volume from each other. Sticking to three and matching the volume beforehand with your monitors at home or even headphones saves a lot of time and mistakes. Also making sure your input recording volume isn't too loud is an easily forgotten step that is crucial is making sure your tone isn't clipping. Unlike an overdriven amp, a clipping signal does not sound good.</p> <p><strong>“But what about the dynamics from my amp?”</strong></p> <p>Depending on your pickups, they still exist. I was actually surprised by this. Playing on the dirty rhythm channel with my Strat, I was fully expecting to having the saturation level remain the same whether or not I turned my guitar volume down. Turns out it reacts just the same, and I was a able to have a relatively clean arpeggiated pattern turn into a distorted power chords, just as I would with my amp.</p> <p>At some point, a wah pedal must have sounded weird and confusing to people, and now it's been a common pedal for 50 years. Coming from an amp and pedal-board lover, I highly suggest taking some time to figure out different amp modelers for smaller gigs.</p> <p><em>Elliott Klein is a New York City-based guitarist/singer/songwriter who plays in <a href="">Bright and Loud</a>, <a href="">Party Lights</a> and many more.</em></p> Elliott Klein Blogs Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:32:45 +0000 Elliott Klein Betcha Can't Play This: Bill Hudson's Lydian Cascade <!--paging_filter--><p>This is a scalar run based on the F Lydian mode [F G A B C D E], which is the fifth mode of C major. It incorporates several different lead-playing techniques and sounds cool when played over an F or F5 chord.</p> <p>I start off with an ascending F major triad [F A C] sweep across the top four strings, played in a rhythm of 16th-note triplets. </p> <p>Once I hit the high E string, I switch to legato phrasing, continuing the triplet rhythm and using all four fret-hand fingers, spread out wide, to perform "stacked" hammer-ons and pull-offs, capped off by a pick-hand tap with the middle finger.</p> <p> Once I come back down to the F note at the 13th fret, I skip over to the G string, where I play another legato sequence, this time incorporating a descending finger slide followed by two hammer-ons and three consecutive taps with the pick hand, using the first, second and fourth fingers.</p> <p> When performing this tapping sequence, I temporarily clamp the pick between my thumb and the top side of the fretboard. I then jump back up to the high E string and perform another ascending legato sequence, incorporating taps with the first and third fingers. </p> <p> After the last tapped note, I switch to straight alternate picking and play a descending sequence of cascading 16th notes and 16th-note triplets across the top four strings, followed by an ascending climb that finishes with a high bend. When practicing this lick, be mindful of the different rhythmic subdivisions used.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%201.08.38%20PM.png" width="620" height="379" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.08.38 PM.png" /></p> Betcha Can't Play This Bill Hudson February 2011 Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:22:24 +0000 Bill Hudson How I Make One Guitar Sound Like an Army <!--paging_filter--><p><em>As the singer/guitarist in Swedish rock duo Johnossi, John Engelbert knows a thing or two about filling up space with a six string. You can hear Engelbert's work on Johnossi's new release, </em>Transitions.</p> <p><em>In the meantime, read his tips to maximize your own guitar sound (and check the video for "Into the Wild") below.</em></p> <p>I could speak for hours about guitar tones...but I'm not going to! Instead here's a short list of how you can make one guitar sound like an army.</p> <p><strong>01. PLAY HARD AS FUCK.</strong> This is the most important thing. Don't strum like a chicken. Strum like a beast!</p> <p><strong>02. USE THICK STRINGS.</strong> It may seem obvious, but with thick strings, like .013-.056., you have to play hard as fuck (see above) in order to tame the feedback.</p> <p><strong>03. CRANK UP THE AMP VOLUME.</strong> Don't leave all the volume for the sound guy to decide, because he's probably a pussy when it comes to cranking it up. A lot of output from the main source is always good.</p> <p><strong>04. KNOW YOUR PEDALS.</strong> Figure out how to use your pedals...and don't be afraid to really turn up the volume. If your clean tone is high as fuck on the amp, an Ibanez Tube Screamer with the volume set to max will sound <em>amazing</em>.</p> <p><strong>05. TRICK OUT YOUR SOUND.</strong> It's crucial to develop your own little secret trick that makes you sound like you...and don't ever tell anyone about it.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/john-amps.jpg" width="620" height="232" alt="john-amps.jpg" /></p> <p>My main amps (pictured above) are a Music Man 410 Sixty-Five (Most people think the Fender Super Reverb sounds better, but I prefer this one) and a Marshall Super Lead head through a vintage 412 Celestion cabinet.</p> <p>My main guitar is a very rare Lag acoustic from 2001-2002. Only five were ever made, and I own four. Note that I play acoustic guitar with an acoustic guitar pickup through amps, pedals and all. It sounds like an electric guitar but with a unique sound.</p> <p>For our first three records I only used the Lag acoustics. For our latest record I started to use a 1957 blonde Kay Barney Kessel electric guitar. The Barney Kessel pickups have a really unique fat warm tone I love.</p> <p>Last but not least, here are my pedalboards:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/pedals1.jpg" width="620" height="465" alt="pedals1.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/pedals2.jpg" width="620" height="370" alt="pedals2.jpg" /></p> <p>Watch the video for Johnossi's "Into the Wild" below:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Johnossi Blogs News Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:59:03 +0000 John Engelbert