Blogs en Session Guitar: Top 10 Guitarists to Emulate for a Successful Studio Career <!--paging_filter--><p>I'd like to address a very meat-and-potatoes bit of info that very rarely gets mentioned. </p> <p>Who should you emulate in order to be a session guitarist? </p> <p>The answers and the reasons for each might very well surprise you. Also, you might assume you know how to play like these guys, but, until you really try it, you do <em>not</em> know how! </p> <p>I'm not kidding here; I guarantee you don't know how. And not a week goes by when I'm not asked to imitate at least one of these guys.</p> <p>So now, in the photo gallery below (in no particular order), I give you a list of players you'd better become intimately aware of and learn at least a few of their licks! It will start, save and prolong your "studio guitarist" career.</p> <p>One more thing before I start: These names are used in the way "Kleenex" means "tissue." If someone asks you for a Kleenex and you give them an off-brand tissue, it's the really same thing. So if someone asks for EVH, you know they want some tapping, whammy bar, bluesy, fast playing. Get it?</p> <p>One final note! Learn the history of popular music as seen through the eyes of a guitarist. Play in a wedding band. Play in a show band. Play in a cover band. You will thank me.</p> <p>Merry Christmas!</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> <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 class="field-item even"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chuck-berry">Chuck Berry</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Eddie Van Halen Eric Clapton Ron Zabrocki Roy Clark Session Guitar Slash Blogs Galleries News Thu, 21 May 2015 11:18:07 +0000 Ron Zabrocki 23171 at The DIY Musician: What the Heck Is This Freakish “Jeff Craig Line” Amp-in-Guitar? <!--paging_filter--><p>Behold the Jeff Craig Line. We might be looking at the world’s first amp-in-guitar combination. </p> <p>It was most likely built somewhere in the 1950s. Possibly a prototype, this guitar is loaded with speakers, batteries and a solid-state guitar amp—all covered with textured paint. </p> <p>The body is shaped like a human torso. A brass plaque that’s etched “The Jeff Craig Line” is glued to the face (No luck finding it on Google). The strings are anchored with a trapeze tailpiece similar to old Stella acoustics. The pickup appears to be a Harmony Stratotone “Hershey bar” pickup.</p> <p>A second brass plaque at the bridge says “Allied Artists of America – Patent Pending.” From what I could research, this is a society that promotes and funds artists in the New York area. Perhaps they gave Jeff Craig funding to create this guitar.</p> <p>What makes this really unique is the stuff hidden behind the removable back cover. This guitar has a built-in amplifier that was powered by an old dry cell battery!</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/freak2.jpg" width="620" height="465" alt="freak2.jpg" /></p> <p>The innards of this axe show a neck-thru-body design (We think they body might be Masonite or fiberglass). There are two speakers wired up to an internal solid-state amp. The original inputs even allow for an additional microphone (!). The owner removed the old, rotting dry cell battery to protect the instrument and had a luthier wire it to play straight to a regular guitar amp.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/freak3.jpg" width="620" height="465" alt="freak3.jpg" /></p> <p>Some additional notes:<br /> · The body is painted in a stone spray finish.<br /> · The headstock has another brass plate with no writing.<br /> · The bridge appears to be fashioned from a Stella acoustic floating bridge (rosewood with fretwire running across the length)<br /> · The neck is all original. It’s a standard guitar neck shape (not lap steel) and runs the length of the body.<br /> · All parts used seem to be from the 1950s or before.</p> <p>The Jeff Craig Line amp-in-guitar is owned by collector Jerry Duncan and is on display at <a href="">Guitars on George,</a> 1121 N. George St., York, Pennsylvania. (BTW: This is one of those magical mom-and-pop guitar stores that is packed to the rafters with hundreds of guitars and all kinds of delicious gear. If you plan on visiting, you’ll need to budget a couple of hours.)</p> <p>Does anyone have an idea what this thing is? </p> <p><em>Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at <a href=""></a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="">Holler!</a><em> is on C.B. Gitty Records.</em></p> Jeff Craig Shane Speal The DIY Musician Blogs Wed, 20 May 2015 21:02:27 +0000 Shane Speal 24539 at Stevie Ray Vaughan's Top Five Studio Guest Appearances <!--paging_filter--><p>For someone who spent a mere seven years in the spotlight, Stevie Ray Vaughan left behind an impressive amount of recorded material.</p> <p>He released four studio albums, a double live album and a Vaughan Brothers album (recorded with his big brother, Jimmie Vaughan), not to mention enough leftover live and studio material to fill several posthumous albums and a box set or two. </p> <p>He even found time to perform on albums by several other artists—from Teena Marie to Stevie Wonder to Don Johnson to Lonnie Mack—pretty much always with fiery results. </p> <p>With that in mind, here are Vaughan's top five guest appearances as a guest or session guitarist during his "famous" years, 1983 to 1990. We'll discuss his pre-fame session work in another story (maybe).</p> <p>Just so the Vaughanophiles are clear, this list does not take into account Vaughan's 1983 Canadian TV studio appearance with Albert King—or anything recorded in a TV studio, a radio studio or a studio apartment. </p> <p>It also doesn't include his <a href="">1987 recording of "Pipeline" with Dick Dale</a> because that track is credited to the duo, so neither guitarist is the other's "guest."</p> <p><strong>05. A.C. Reed, "Miami Strut," from <em>I'm In the Wrong Business!</em> (1987)</strong></p> <p>A.C. Reed was a respected Chicago-based sideman who started his lengthy career in the Forties and worked with a host of big names, including Magic Sam, Son Seals, Albert Collins and Buddy Guy.</p> <p>"Miami Strut" is a funky instrumental that features Vaughan playing a Strat through a Leslie cabinet, its revolving speaker providing an exceptionally "wet" sound. Note how he plays around Reed's catchy tenor sax riffs, making his guitar an integral part of the track. Vaughan's guitar solo starts around 1:22.</p> <p>Because the album, which also features Bonnie Raitt, was released in 1987, it represents a lost period in Vaughan's discography, since <em>Soul to Soul</em> came out in 1985 and <em>In Step</em> came out in 1989. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>WHILE YOU'RE AT IT</strong>: Check out "These Blues Is Killing Me" from the same album. Vaughan's guitar solo starts around 2:06. That's Reed on vocals.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>04. Bennie Wallace, "All Night Dance," from <em>Twilight Time</em> (1985)</strong></p> <p>Here's Vaughan guesting with another sax player—this time Bennie Wallace (with Dr. John)—on another blues-based instrumental, a lengthy shuffle called "All Night Dance" from Wallace's now-out-of-print 1985 <em>Twilight Time</em> album. The song also was featured on the <em>Bull Durham</em> soundtrack album in 1988—and even that's out of print (Good luck finding it for less than $60 on Amazon Marketplace or eBay!).</p> <p>Stevie's guitar solo starts around 3:24, and he really pours it on, dialing up his <em>Soul to Soul</em> sound and including several signature SRV motifs and bends. </p> <p>Like a great songwriter who sometimes relegates jaw-dropping tunes to the cutting-room floor or non-album B-sides, Vaughan recorded this brilliant guitar solo one random day in his career—and then just moved on to the next gig, never really looking back.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. Johnny Copeland, "Don't Stop by the Creek, Son," from <em>Texas Twister</em> (1984)</strong></p> <p>Texas blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland (father of blues singer Shemekia Copeland) invited Vaughan to play on two tracks on his <em>Texas Twister</em> album. On "Don't Stop by the Creek, Son," Copeland, a fine player in his own right, stepped aside to let Vaughan handle all the lead work. </p> <p>Although Vaughan's Strat was mixed a little too low in the original vinyl mix (It had to compete with Copeland's acoustic guitar), "Creek" is a fun, engaging, upbeat track with a catchy melody and some nifty guitar work from start to finish.</p> <p>It's worth noting that the original 1984 Black and Blues version of <em>Texas Twister</em> featured two tracks with Vaughan on guitar—"Don't Stop by the Creek, Son" and "When the Rain Stops Fallin'." However, when the album was reissued by Rounder Records in 1986, "When the Rain Stops Fallin'" was gone—and it's still gone. iTunes sells only the <a href="">1986 version of the album</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. Lonnie Mack, "If You Have to Know," from <em>Strike Like Lightning</em> (1985)</strong></p> <p>Serious Vaughan fans got a nice bonus in 1985: Alligator Records released Lonnie Mack's masterful <em>Strike Like Lightning</em> album, which was co-produced by Vaughan and Mack, one of SRV's many guitar idols (Check out Mack's classic 1964 album, <em><a href="!/id285852886">The Wham of That Memphis Man!</a></em>).</p> <p>Vaughan plays on several songs on the album, but he actually plays and sings on "If You Have to Know," making it the closest thing to a straight-ahead bonus SRV track. Check it out below.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>WHILE YOU'RE AT IT</strong>: From the same album, be sure to get a taste of "Oreo Cookie Blues," which features Vaughan on acoustic guitar, predating "Life By the Drop" and his <em>Unplugged</em> appearance by five years ...</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>... and don't forget "Double Whammy" (a new recording of Mack's early Sixties instrumental hit "Wham!" featuring Vaughan and Mack duking it out in E), "Hound Dog Man" and "Satisfy Suzie," which you can hear below. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. David Bowie, "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)," from <em>Let's Dance</em> (1983)</strong></p> <p>Come on, you knew something from David Bowie's <em>Let's Dance</em> album had to be No. 1 on this list. </p> <p><em>Let's Dance</em> served as the world's introduction to Vaughan, who, with Bowie, invented something new by adding Texas-style blues guitar to contemporary, dance-based pop music—raising eyebrows, expectations and bank accounts for all involved.</p> <p>Vaughan plays lead guitar on several tracks, including two of the album's many mega-hits ("Let's Dance" and "China Girl"), but guitar-wise, the song that truly kicks collective ass is the less-famous "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)." It's also got the album's healthiest serving of SRV; he solos in the middle, adds Albert King-style bends throughout and then solos near the end of the song.</p> <p>Note that Bowie recorded two studio versions of this song in the early Eighties; be sure to seek out the <em>Let's Dance</em> version (not that there's anything wrong with the other one).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>WHILE YOU'RE AT IT</strong>: It just feels wrong to leave out the album's title track—which millions of people can credit as the first time they heard Stevie Ray Vaughan.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><a href=",5">Click here to read about THREE MORE SONGS featuring SRV!</a></strong></p> <hr /> <p>Welcome to the bonus page! I don't think too many people get this far. Poor them ...</p> <p>Here are three extra tunes that feature Vaughan as the guest guitarist, each interesting in its own way. </p> <p>Please note that we seriously wanted to include "Bumble Bee Blues" from Brian Slawson's 1988 album, <em>Distant Drums</em>, but it's not available on YouTube. You can always track down the CD on eBay for about $5.</p> <p>Anyway, here we go:</p> <p><strong>Stevie Wonder, "Come Let Me Make Your Love Come Down," from <em>Characters</em> (1987)</strong></p> <p>While the Vaughan-heavy video below is promising, it's also misleading. </p> <p>Sadly, the finished studio recording of this 1987 Stevie Wonder track features much less of Vaughan's playing, although he can be heard closer to the end of the song, going head to head with B.B. King. So make the most of this video! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Don Johnson, "Love Roulette," from <em>Heartbeat</em> (1986)</strong></p> <p>What's interesting about this one? First of all, <em>Miami Vice</em> star Don Johnson released an album in 1986. Second of all, he got Vaughan to play on it. Third of all, the album reached No. 17 on <em>Billboard's</em> Hot 100. </p> <p>The album, <em>Heartbeat</em>, was a star-studded affair that also featured Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Dweezil Zappa and Willie Nelson. Johnson eventually recorded one more album, 1989's <em>Let It Roll</em>.</p> <p>Vaughan's solo on "Love Roulette," which you can check out below, starts around 2:51.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>And then there's this thing, which is from a weird late-Eighties commercial filmed in New Zealand. We don't know what to make of it (and we don't really like it), but we figured we'd share:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo from </em>Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Stevie Ray Vaughan<em> album cover</em></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. Follow him on <a href="">Twitter</a>. Or not. Whatever.</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="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli David Bowie Johnny Copeland list lists Lonnie Mack Stevie Ray Vaughan Stevie Wonder Teena Marie Guitar World Lists Blogs News Features Wed, 20 May 2015 15:20:36 +0000 Damian Fanelli 16097 at What In the World: Using String Skipping to See Scales Differently <!--paging_filter--><p>When you first learn the three-note-per-string and/or single position seven-note scale, you learn the patterns starting on the low E string and work your way up to the high E and back. </p> <p>You do this for each of the seven patterns up the neck, practicing and perfecting your scales. </p> <p>This is great! The only problem is, this is how you are training your hands and brain to approach them. </p> <p>Rather than viewing the scales as the available notes you have to choose from in a given key/mode, the order of the notes sometimes becomes how you rely on playing them in an improvising and/or composing situation. </p> <p>There is absolutely nothing wrong with this; it has worked fine and beautifully for hundreds of years. The melody for “Joy to the World” is simply a descending major scale. Learning to approach your scales in a different way will shake things up and hopefully change your habits of approaching scales in only an A-to-Z fashion. </p> <p>String skipping is mostly associated with being a shred technique, covering a lot of ground quickly on the guitar by skipping over adjacent strings. The approach I am presenting is not so much a shred thing, but more of a way to know the scale on only two strings at a time, rather than all six, as most people generally learn them. If anything, this will force you to know the notes of the scale better, rather than relying on muscle memory to get through them. Remember the most important thing when playing music is to consciously create, rather than go through the motions of learned patterns that are embedded in our brains from constant repetition. </p> <p>For the examples, I have written the scales out in the key of F. Once the concept is learned, it should be applied to all keys/modes. As you play through these, you will notice different shapes that repeat across each set of two strings according to the degree of the scale you start on. Eventually you will see that if, for instance, you start a pattern on the third degree of the scale, you will be playing one shape; if you start on the root of the scale, you will be playing a different one, etc. </p> <p><strong>String set 1, High E and G strings:</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Lesson-10-1.jpg" width="620" height="445" alt="Lesson-10-1.jpg" /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>String set 2, B and D strings:</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Lesson-10-2.jpg" width="620" height="461" alt="Lesson-10-2.jpg" /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>String set 3, G and A strings:</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Lesson-10-3_0.jpg" width="620" height="463" alt="Lesson-10-3_0.jpg" /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>String set 4, D and low E strings:</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Lesson-10-4.jpg" width="620" height="461" alt="Lesson-10-4.jpg" /></p> <p>To further learn and integrate this approach to your playing, try improvising with this technique using only one string set at a time. Move up and down one string and then hop over to the other string in the set, keeping in mind to be as melodic as possible at all times, rather than trying to shred through the scale. </p> <p>Being limited to only two strings at a time will force you to approach the instrument in a way that you may not have possibly explored before.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Steve Booke is a composer for film and TV from the New York area. His compositions range from orchestral to metal to world styles from every corner of the planet. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Steve has played guitar for more than 28 years. He has recorded 10 albums of his own and has played on countless others. He plays gigs in the NY area and tours the East Coast with a variety of bands. He has performed with Ben E. King and members of Mahavishnu Orchestra. He endorses D'Addario/Planet Waves, Larrivee Guitars, Levy's Leathers, Peavey, Stylus Pick, Finale PrintMusic, Pigtronix, Tech 21, Toontrack, Graph Tech, Seymour Duncan, Waves, Studio Devil and L.R. Baggs. His music is available on iTunes and Amazon. Steve is now offering Skype lessons and can be contacted at Visit <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a>.</em></p> Steve Booke What In the World Videos Blogs Lessons Tue, 19 May 2015 22:18:28 +0000 Steve Booke 22302 at Time to Burn with Michael Angelo Batio: More on Developing Proper Sweep Picking Technique — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Sweep picking is an incredibly useful and exciting technique that allows guitarists to perform arpeggios in a flashy, keyboard-like manner. </p> <p>It has become a huge part of my playing style, and I’m always looking for new and different ways to incorporate sweep picking into musical ideas I come up with. Last month, I detailed the basic mechanics of the technique, and now I’d like to further demonstrate its proper execution. </p> <p>To review, a sweep is the movement of the pick across two or more adjacent strings in a single, continuous stroke, a downstroke being used to play an ascending melodic line and an upstroke used to play a descending one. Sweeping across only two adjacent strings is also often referred to as economy picking, or rest-stroke picking, typically when applied to phrases that are more scalar than arpeggio-based. </p> <p>Some of the fastest guitarists ever, from gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt to jazz-fusion wizard Frank Gambale, have relied on economy, rest-stroke and sweep picking techniques to perform their breathtaking high-velocity solos and make them sound seemingly effortless.</p> <p>For now, we’re going to focus specifically on arpeggios that move across the top five strings. <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> illustrates a sweep-picked A major arpeggio (A C# E). I begin with my index finger on A, fifth string, 12th fret, and pick this note with a downstroke. I then hammer-on with my pinkie to C# at the 16th fret. </p> <p>Then, with my middle finger barred across the D, G and B strings at the 14th fret, I continue the initial downstroke by dragging the pick across these strings and then the high E string, using my index finger to fret the E note at the 12th fret. I then fret the high A at the 17th fret with my pinkie and pick that note with an upstroke. I follow this with a pull-off back to the 12th fret then continue the upstroke by dragging the pick across the B, G, D and A strings in one continuous, unbroken motion, followed by a downstroke on the A note on the fifth string’s 12th fret. <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> illustrates the complete pattern cycled repeatedly in a continuous, even flow of sextuplets. </p> <p>An essential component of proper sweep picking technique is muting unused strings with both hands. When sweeping, I always lightly rest the edge of the pick-hand palm across the strings in front of the bridge (what is known as palm muting), which helps prevent the strings not being picked from ringing. Additionally, when fretting on the lower strings, I use the fleshy “paws” of my fretting fingers to mute the adjacent higher strings, aiding in clear articulation of each note as it is picked, with no other strings ringing. </p> <p>The next step is to work on applying sweeps to other arpeggio shapes in different positions, as demonstrated with a ninth-position A major shape in <strong>FIGURES 3–5</strong>. When played in this position, a one-note-per-string fingering scheme is used, except on the high E string. <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> presents the basic shape, and <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> demonstrates one way you can continuously cycle the pattern. I myself usually double-pick the initial A note when repeating this pattern, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>. </p> <p>A great way to practice your sweeps is to alternate between parallel major and minor triads, such as A and Am. <strong>FIGURES 6</strong> and <strong>7</strong> illustrate this approach applied to 12th and ninth positions, respectively. </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="myExperience4244566020001" 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="4244566020001" /> </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/time%20to%20burn.png" width="620" height="679" alt="time to burn.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="/michael-angelo-batio-0">Michael Angelo Batio</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> July 2015 Michael Angelo Batio Time to Burn Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Tue, 19 May 2015 19:46:24 +0000 Michael Angelo Batio 24518 at Jennifer Batten Explores Transcribe! — A Powerful Program to Learn New Material <!--paging_filter--><p>I have worked with a lot of musicians during my career and am always surprised when they turn up to a rehearsal and have not learned a tune correctly. </p> <p>Depending on your listening environment, your ears can easily play tricks on you. </p> <p>You can think you heard notes that are either not there, or are actually overtones, or even notes that are being played on a different instrument than yours that you believe are your own instrument. </p> <p>The discrepancies are especially apparent during rehearsal if two or more instruments are supposed to be playing the same single note line together. </p> <p>So it never ceases to amaze me how few musicians use or even know about the computer-only app called “Transcribe!” from <a href=""></a> (Mac/Windows/Linux). What it is first and foremost is a slow downer for audio AND video, but it does so much more. </p> <p>There are a lot of cheap slow downer apps for tablets and smart phones, but they don’t begin to touch the power of this program. </p> <p>When I have a new gig booked with 10 or 15 new songs to learn, I drag every song into Transcribe! and listen down at least a few times before I begin to figure it out with my guitar. Then, I will make section markers (S) which I can custom name “verse,” “chorus,” “solo,” for instance and maybe add measure markers (M) as well, for areas I need to slow down and work on. Then you can zip from marker to marker with shift + right or left bracket.</p> <p>Watch my quick start tutorial here:<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>SPEED/PITCH:</strong> On the app’s main page you will find preset speed buttons as well as a speed slider and pitch change slider.</p> <p><strong>LOOPS:</strong> It’s easy to zoom in, (⌘ + →)(Apple’s command key would be ‘Control’ key for Windows) see the downbeats in the waveform and then click and drag to make a perfect loop. You can also store multiple loops for later recall with a simple shift + click in the “misc” window. (To zoom out ⌘+ ←)</p> <p><strong>KARAOKE:</strong> Having the ability to slow music down without changing the pitch can be a godsend, but there are a few other things that you can do to hear even more clearly. At the top of the main window there is a button called “FX” that will toggle in the detail window where you can for instance activate karaoke mode. What that does is remove the center of the stereo spectrum where the lead instrument or vocal is. That is especially useful for singers who can then experiment with the pitch slider to see what their most comfortable singing range is for a song. Karaoke mode is also great for any lead instrument to practice playing along with the track, or just a section of the track. You can toggle karaoke on/off as learning the tune progresses. You can also export your minus one track and send it to bandmates to work with.</p> <p><strong>EQ:</strong> You can click on EQ and for instance instantly remove the bass from the audio with the “bass remove” preset. Now, what you have left is the ability to hear only the drums and rhythm guitar and/or keyboards so you can hear chords more clearly. You can also alter individual frequencies to really zone in on what you want to hear.</p> <p>So I urge readers to get this app as you will find that it is one of the best virtual coaches available, and will help immensely with accuracy.</p> <p>By learning a half a dozen shortcuts it will help you to easily dominate this program in a hurry. Here are a couple more:<br /> To make a loop full screen = ⌘ + F<br /> To make the entire song fit in the screen equals ⌘ + G</p> <p><strong>TIPS:</strong><br /> When you are playing along with a track, make sure your guitar is a little less volume than the track you’re learning. That way you are not masking what is really there and will hear discrepancies to correct easier.</p> <p>Music is learned best when taken in small chunks, slowly. Your brain records everything (including repeated mistakes), so play slowly and perfectly, then speed up in small increments.</p> <p>You can also drag a video into Transcribe!, and, for instance, see where a players hands are on the neck, and slow down what their fingers are doing!</p> <p>I’ll be digging into this app plus multiple other subjects in 15-20 min chunks, during my summer USA tour called “Jennifer Batten’s Self-Empowerment for the Modern Musician Experience.” Find out more at <a href="></a></p> Acoustic Nation Jennifer Batten News Blogs Videos Blogs Tue, 19 May 2015 12:51:33 +0000 Jennifer Batten 24507 at Secrets of Shred with Sammy Boller: Whipping Sweep Arpeggios — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to expand your sweep picking skills by adding slides to create a chaotic, whipping sound. </p> <p>I’m going to show you two different patterns, then combine them to create longer runs all the way down the neck. </p> <p>Let’s jump right into our first example in the key of D minor.</p> <p><strong>EXAMPLE 1</strong> is a diatonic sweep pattern starting in the 17th position. For this example, I slide between positions by utilizing slides on the high E string. To create a whipping sound, accent the slides as much as possible with your fourth finger. This riff ends with a short D minor pentatonic run in the 10th position. </p> <p>Moving on to <strong>EXAMPLE 2</strong>, I take the same sweep as our first example, but this time shift down to the 10th position using a slide on the G string. For this example, I accent the slide with my third finger. This riff also ends with a short run with the D minor pentatonic scale.</p> <p>For <strong>EXAMPLE 3,</strong> we take the slides of <strong>EXAMPLES 1 and 2</strong> and combine them into a longer descending run. This example starts with the same sweep in the 17th position, but this time, we utilize slides on the G and E strings to reach the pentatonic run in the 10th position. To bring out the whipping effect, be sure to focus on exaggerating the slides between positions as much as possible. Remember, how you play a riff is often more important than executing every note perfectly.</p> <p><strong>EXAMPLE 4</strong> takes things one step further by extending our sweep patterns down the neck to the fifth position. I achieve this by utilizing slides on the high E , B and G strings. In each position, I play notes that are diatonic to D minor. This example ends with a short blues run in the fifth position.</p> <p>When soloing, you can sweep any combination of notes that are in a key—not just diatonic arpeggios. A lot of shredders get stuck only sweeping arpeggio shapes, but sweep picking can be utilized in many different ways. Try coming up with sweep patterns of your own and use exaggerated slides to shift between positions. Hopefully using this whipping slide technique will help break you out of your comfort zone and ultimately expand your dynamic range on the guitar. </p> <p>Cheers!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Sliding_Sweep_Arpeggios.jpg" width="620" height="644" alt="Sliding_Sweep_Arpeggios.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Sammy Boller is the guitarist for the Detroit rock band <a href="">Citizen Zero</a>. They’re touring and recording their first full-length album with Al Sutton and Marlon Young (Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Uncle Kracker). In 2012, Boller was selected by Joe Satriani as a winner of Guitar Center’s Master Satriani competition. He studied music at the University of Michigan. For more about Boller, or to ask him a question, write to him at or follow him on <a href="">Twitter</a>.</em></p> Sammy Boller Secrets of Shred Videos Blogs Lessons Mon, 18 May 2015 20:51:42 +0000 Sammy Boller 24504 at Guitar Chalk Sessions: Four Actionable Practice Methods to Help You Improve Every Day <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>FROM THE AUTHOR: If you disagree, keep it kosher. We’re just talking guitars.</em></strong></p> <p>If you’re like me, you would love to spend more time playing guitar.</p> <p>Or at least you’d like to figure out <a href="">how to be more productive</a> with the time you already spend. Because even if you get to play sporadically, it doesn’t always feel like you’re accomplishing anything.</p> <p>It’s possible that you’re not.</p> <p>For most, the tendency when picking up the guitar is to “fiddle” or jam <a href="">whatever song is in our heads.</a> We seldom tackle the instrument with intentionality and aggression, unless we have a lot of time to play.</p> <p>The problem is, we usually don’t have more than 15 or 20 minutes.</p> <p>So I’ll show you how to make the most of that time—and to improve—even if you don’t have hours to spare.</p> <p>We’ll cover four <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0876390114&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=IRXUNFYJHKN346G3">specific practice methods</a> you can use to improve your guitar playing. And none of them take much time.</p> <p><strong>1. Play Through a Loose-Fitting Pentatonic Scale</strong></p> <p>First up is what I’m calling the “loose-fitting pentatonic scale.” That means we’re looking to practice the general pentatonic shape or sound, which should be familiar to you. Here’s the structure:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-15%20at%203.22.56%20PM.png" width="378" height="127" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 3.22.56 PM.png" /></p> <p>This shape is what many blues and rock lead patterns are derived from. Learn it, then practice your own variations for five or ten minutes at a time. </p> <p>Perhaps something like this:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-15%20at%203.24.40%20PM.png" width="538" height="123" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 3.24.40 PM.png" /></p> <p>Change keys, use different techniques or just work on your speed. The better you are at improvising and navigating this shape, the better your foundational lead play will be.</p> <p>And the details don’t matter as much. As long as you’re practicing the shape, you’re doing something worthwhile and substantive.</p> <p><strong>2. Target an Uncomfortable Chord Shape</strong></p> <p>Find a chord shape that doesn’t come naturally to you. By that I mean that you can’t just pop to it without thinking; it’s difficult and awkward. For me, that shape has always been anything where my pinky plays the deep root note.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-15%20at%203.25.34%20PM.png" width="100" height="133" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 3.25.34 PM.png" /></p> <p>The plan is to simply work on it, and that can look however you want. Practice going in and out of that chord, moving the shape or work on picking through it in an arpeggiated pattern.</p> <p>It’ll be tough, because chances are you haven’t bothered much with a shape that gives you a lot of trouble.</p> <p>But if you work on it intentionally, even for a few minutes, it’ll be easier the next time around. You’ll have <a href="">improved dexterity,</a> finger strength and—over time—added another layer to your rhythm playing.</p> <p><strong>3. Actually Track a Solo</strong></p> <p>Tracking a solo is tedious, though not as time consuming as you might think. Pick a solo that has some complexity to it—something that <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00HZ2M5KE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=MIQVFQ6EOAQN4LLO">will challenge you</a>—that you wouldn’t expect to come easy.</p> <p>Then, look up the tabs (I recommend printing them out) and take a small portion of the solo every day.</p> <p>Let’s say the solo lasts for 16 measures.</p> <p>Take two measures per day. In just over a week, you’ll know the solo and you’ll have played a lot of lead patterns that you’re not used to.</p> <p>Our hands and fingers fall into what I’ll call “lead ruts” where we gravitate to certain patterns and movements and get into the habit of playing them most of the time.</p> <p>Tracking solos help us break out of those ruts by playing patterns and runs that we’re not used to.</p> <p>It’s a win-win.</p> <p><strong>4. Memorize the Sound of a Common Chord Progression Interval</strong></p> <p>If you want to be a better ear player and perhaps free yourself from looking at chord sheets, learning to recognize (by ear) common chord progression intervals is a huge step in the right direction.</p> <p>First, consider that most of the chord progressions we use in the west are the same. </p> <p>Take G, C and D for example. You use it all the time, and if you can remember how it sounds then you’ll establish auditory familiarity that will help you anticipate chord changes and free you from always looking at sheet music.</p> <p>So how do you do it?</p> <p>Note that what you’re actually memorizing is a series of intervals between the roots of the chords. And the location of those intervals can change; for example:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-15%20at%203.29.06%20PM.png" width="135" height="127" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 3.29.06 PM.png" /></p> <p>This interval and the following interval are exactly the same, because they share the same root notes.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-15%20at%203.29.39%20PM.png" width="157" height="127" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 3.29.39 PM.png" /></p> <p>However, keep in mind we’re talking about intervals which means the root intervals of a chord progression can move. In that case, you’ll have new chords, but the intervals between them will be the same.</p> <p>Let’s say we move the previous shape up one whole step (two frets). We’d have the following tab:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-15%20at%203.31.49%20PM.png" width="160" height="127" alt="Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 3.31.49 PM.png" /></p> <p>At this point, our chord progression has changed to A, D and E, yet our interval is still the same. </p> <p>So it’s helpful to train our minds, not just to a specific chord progressions, but to the intervals that separate those progressions.</p> <p><a href="">This article on recurring patterns in chord progressions</a> delves a little deeper into this topic.</p> <p>If you take one progression at a time and familiarize yourself with the sounds of the root notes, it won’t take more than 10-15 minutes a day to make substantial progress in this area. Here are the steps you’ll want to take:</p> <p>1. Choose a common chord progression to start working with.</p> <p>2. Play through the most conventional form you know (usually open chords) and pay close attention to what it sounds like, while familiarizing yourself with the chord changes.</p> <p>3. Then play through just the root notes and remember the intervals between each one.</p> <p>4. Now, move the progression to a new set of roots and continue to focus on the changes between each interval.</p> <p>5. Repeat this process for several days, until you can easily recognize the progressions and intervals.</p> <p><strong>Follow Up</strong></p> <p>Have thoughts or questions about this lesson? Leave it in the comments or get in touch via <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter.</a></p> <p><em>Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of <a href="">Kmeron</a></em></p> <p><em>Robert Kittleberger is the founder and editor of <a href="">Guitar Chalk</a> and <a href="">Guitar Bargain</a>. You can get in touch with him <a href="">here</a>, or via <a href="">Twitter</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Google Plus.</a></em></p> Bobby Kittleberger Guitar Chalk Sessions Blogs Lessons Fri, 15 May 2015 19:37:10 +0000 Bobby Kittleberger 24490 at Monster Licks Unleashed: Take the Blues Scale to Ferocious New Places — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this Monster Lick, I'm using the E "blues scale." This also is known as the flat five pentatonic scale. The notes in this scale are E, G, A, Bb, B and D. </p> <p>This lick ventures way outside the traditional "blues" use of this scale. </p> <p>It always amazes me how the same six notes, when played with a new spin, can have such a drastic impact. Obviously, speed is a factor here, but for the most part it's all about accentuation or a focus on the flat five note, the Bb. </p> <p>You'll notice throughout the lick that I'm utilizing the dissonance of the flat five to create the intensity of the tonality. This enables me to use this traditional blues scale in a more ferocious environment—sonically and musically. </p> <p>Because my influences are the greats of blues-rock guitar—Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc.—I wanted to be able to stick to the same tonality but adapt it to the heavier, more aggressive style of music I tend to lean toward; certainly in the rock genre, anyway. Don’t get me wrong; there's nothing I love more than blasting away over a slow blues, but my natural style is on the heavier side of rock. </p> <p><strong>The Lick:</strong></p> <p>The lick features legato, wide intervals and tapping. Notice the use of the flat five note; you'll see how I use this note almost as a pivot point in the first half of the lick to create the intensity, at least tonally.</p> <p>From there I move into the tapping section. You'll notice I tap three consecutive notes with my second and third fingers on my right hand. I always keep grip of the pick with my thumb and index finger to help with the transitions in and out of the tapping. </p> <p>The next section is by far the trickiest. It requires hard hammering with the left hand to sound the notes correctly while transitioning up and down the neck. It looks cool and sounds even cooler, so it's well worth the effort!</p> <p>Please reference the video and transcript below and work through each section at your own pace. Most of all, have fun!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/proud.jpg" width="620" height="467" alt="proud.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>I hope you enjoy this Monster Lick Unleashed! Join me on <a href="">YouTube right here!</a> Contact me through <a href=""></a> or <a href="">my Facebook page</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, </em>Lick Em<em>, in 2010. It's available on iTunes and at <a href=""></a>. His brand-new instrumental album — </em>Ineffable<em> — is out now and is available through <a href=""></a> and <a href="">iTunes</a>.</em></p> Glenn Proudfoot Monster Licks Monster Licks Unleashed Videos Blogs Lessons Fri, 15 May 2015 18:06:59 +0000 Glenn Proudfoot 24489 at Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale Play "Pipeline" — a Video That's Got It All <!--paging_filter--><p>The video below, a clip of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale performing "Pipeline," one of the most famous surf-guitar instrumentals of all time, has got it <em>all.</em></p> <p>I mean, you've got the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan, a righty ... you've got the under-appreciated Dick Dale, a lefty ... you've got Dick Dale's bizarre hair ... you've got Annette Funicello ... you've got some lovely Fender Stratocasters ...</p> <p>You've got Gilligan and the Skipper from <em>Gilligan's Island</em> ... there's Pee-wee Herman, not to mention several high-quality Eighties women in bikinis, a few Wayfarers, Frankie Avalon and more.</p> <p>The clip is, of course, taken from a 1987 comedy called <em>Back to the Beach</em>. For more about this non-classic film, <a href="">head here.</a></p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Former surf guitarist (check out Mister Neutron) Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. Follow him on <a href="">Twitter</a>. Or not. Whatever.</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="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli Dick Dale Stevie Ray Vaughan Videos Blogs News Thu, 14 May 2015 21:16:01 +0000 Damian Fanelli 22218 at Guitar Strength: 10 Commandments of Playing Guitar in the Style of Dimebag Darrell, Part 1 <!--paging_filter--><p>This is a two-part column; part 1 is below, <a href="">and part 2 is right here.</a></p> <p><strong>Commandment 1: Honor Thy Van Halen</strong></p> <p>... and ZZ Top, Kiss, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent, Pat Travers, early Metallica (<em>Kill ‘em All</em>, <em>Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets</em>) and Randy Rhoads.</p> <p>Van Halen’s impact on Dimebag’s playing is unmistakable. The “vibe” of early Van Halen is by far the most recognizable influence in Dimebag’s playing. From the grooving rhythms played like leads of their own, to the tone, to the phrasing in his lead playing, Dimebag took the inspiration of Edward Van Halen and forged his own identity.</p> <p>Pieces such as “Eruption” and “Spanish Fly” were favorites of Dimebag, who would play them in his unaccompanied guitar solos back in Pantera’s early club days.</p> <p>Dime has been noted as being Texas’ “Van Halen clone,” the local hotshot who could play all of the most impressive licks of his hero. Further, the brotherly bond of the Van Halen brothers (Eddie on guitar and Alex on drums) was mirrored in Pantera (Vinnie on drums and Dime on guitar).</p> <p>Van Halen’s impact is further felt as the words “Van Halen” were actually Dimebag’s last words spoken before he was tragically murdered. “Van Halen” was something Dime would say to his brother Vinnie before a live performance to inspire them both to play a fun, lively, rocking show. Also, Dime was actually buried with the guitar that inspired him most -- Eddie Van Halen’s yellow and black striped guitar featured on the back cover of <em>Van Halen II</em>.</p> <p>To truly understand Dimebag’s playing, it is crucial to absorb the “Van Halen” feel, as well as the techniques and attention to tone that were such a part of the early Van Halen experience.</p> <p><strong>Commandment 2: Thou Shalt Use the Major 3rd</strong></p> <p>Always wearing his Van Halen influence on his sleeve, Dimebag was never one to shy away from using the interval of a major 3rd in his heavy playing. Shunned by most “metal” players, the major 3rd was an essential tool in Dime’s bag of tricks.</p> <p>When playing in E (minor), the major third is G#, which adds a unique feel to riffs and licks that also utilize the minor 3rd (G). Theoretically, this major 3rd lends lines a Mixolydian quality, though it essentially gives a bluesy type of sound and adds tension/dissonance to minor key tonalities (For more information, check out <a href="">Guitar Strength Volume 1: Mastering the Modes</a>.)</p> <p>Example 1 is a Dimebag-inspired riff using this major 3rd in a minor key.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example1_0.jpg" width="620" height="156" alt="Example1_0.jpg" /></p> <p>Notice also how Dime gets extra mileage out of the interval by using it in a pattern that also makes use of the flat 9 (F in E minor). Example 2 is another Dimebag-inspired riff using the same intervals. (For another riff using the major 3rd, which was clearly an influence on Dimebag, check out the end of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath.)</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example2.jpg" width="620" height="140" alt="Example2.jpg" /></p> <p>The major 3rd was not just essential to Dimebag’s riffs, it was also extensively used in his lead playing. Example 3 is an E minor fingering of the “Dimebag Scale,” a minor pentatonic scale with the addition of a flat 5, major 6th (omitted on the A string and used only on the B string, 14th fret for ease of fingering), and major 3rd. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example3.jpg" width="620" height="141" alt="Example3.jpg" /> </p> <p>Example 4 is a Dimebag-inspired lick using this scale.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example4.jpg" width="620" height="161" alt="Example4.jpg" /></p> <p>When attempting to conjure the influence of Dimebag in your own playing, experimentation with the integration of this major 3rd into more “standard” minor phrases is highly encouraged. Don’t be afraid of sounding “happy”; play the note like you mean it and you’ll be amazed at its versatility and its ability to make your playing substantially more interesting.</p> <p><strong>Commandment #3: Embrace Symmetry</strong></p> <p>Another Van Halen-inspired technique employed by Dimebag was the use of symmetrical fingerings. This technique is extremely easy to learn but requires taste and skill for successful implementation. To perform this technique, simply devise a fingering shape on one string and apply it across all six. </p> <p>Example 5 is a Van Halen-esque lick, based on a root, major 3rd, 5th shape in E, continuing down to the A string and resolving on a B string bend from D to E (and back down to D for some minor 7th tension).</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example5.jpg" width="620" height="300" alt="Example5.jpg" /></p> <p>Clearly inspirational to Dime, example 6 is a variation in the same (12th) position, this time using the minor 3rd (G), 5th (B), and a slide to and from the flat 6th (C). This expanded symmetrical shape still uses a simple 1-2-4 fret hand fingering across all six strings, yet the pinky slide gives it some extra range and movement.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example6.jpg" width="620" height="170" alt="Example6.jpg" /></p> <p>Further examples of simple, yet effective symmetrical patterns used by Dimebag can be seen in examples 7 and 8. Example 7 is another shape, this time using the major 7 (Eb in E), the root (E), and the minor 3rd (G) as its basis. In this case, the pattern is an ascending climb combining both picking and legato phrasing, again using the 1-2-4 fingering. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example7.jpg" width="620" height="212" alt="Example7.jpg" /></p> <p>In example 8, based on one of Dimebag’s favorite patterns, the shape uses a 4-3-1 fingering in a descending sequence on the top three strings. This shape in this position is a throwback to the playing of Pat Travers, and can be quite effective when playing over rhythms in A minor and E minor. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example8.jpg" width="620" height="145" alt="Example8.jpg" /></p> <p>Feel free to transpose it into other keys and use it often, just as Dime did.</p> <p>It is important to notice that though Dimebag possessed astounding picking technique, he tended to favor executing most of his lines in a legato fashion (another homage to Mr. Edward Van Halen). Dimebag’s love of legato gave his lines a fluid, lively quality, and his powerful left hand technique was extremely important when effectively implementing these symmetrical patterns into his lead licks.</p> <p><strong>Commandment 4: Give Chords New Found Power</strong></p> <p>Never content with “standard” guitar techniques, Dimebag was an avid user of the “other” power chords. Instead of relying on normal root-5th and root-4th (inverted 5th) power chords (though he was an obvious master when it came to using them), Dimebag would often come up with and use alternative dyads (two-note chords) in place of standard power chords. These chords were usually major or minor thirds stacked on top of the root. Example 9 is the two basic versions of these chords with 6th and 5th string roots. The first is the “major 3rd” variation and the second is the “minor 3rd” version.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example9.jpg" width="620" height="195" alt="Example9.jpg" /></p> <p>Example 10 is a figure using the minor 3rd power chord. Notice how the chords act to add texture and movement to the riff, as they work well when used in the same riff as the more pedestrian root-5th power chords. The chords also add a nice tension, as they are not as “homogenous” and “neutered” sounding as the standard root-5th chords. Also, when used with a rocking distorted tone, these chords have an extremely powerful sonic fingerprint with their unique overtones. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example10.jpg" width="620" height="132" alt="Example10.jpg" /></p> <p>These overtones are, in fact, what makes these chords so special and useful. With usual major or minor chords and triads, playing them with distortion often results in a cluttered, un-musical noise. There is just too much information present to allow sonorous, musical sounds when using the standard major or minor chord shapes. However, by just playing the root and 3rd, a vibrant, tense, rich sound is created, really putting the “power” in power chord.</p> <p>Experiment often with substituting these root-3rd power chords for standard root-5th chords in your riffs. Also, try varying your usage of major and minor 3rds, as often times the “wrong” (out of key) 3rd will sound most interesting in a riff. Example 11 is a Dimebag inspired riff using these harmonically “wrong” power chords. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example11.jpg" width="620" height="278" alt="Example11.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Commandment 5: Know your Nodes</strong></p> <p>No discussion of Dimebag would be complete without mentioning his penchant for playing with harmonics. Dimebag’s playing was peppered with any and every type of harmonics: natural, artificial, tapped, etc.</p> <p>Playing with an overtone-rich, distorted sound, harmonics (whether naturally or artificially produced) are an integral component in the beast of electric guitar. Harmonics can occur almost anywhere and can be produced by a myriad of means, and can occur many times as an accidental consequence of playing with a loud, distorted sound.</p> <p>Dimebag, however, excelled at controlling the beast, and was able to skillfully use harmonics as one of the most expressive elements in his playing. To understand how Dime would use harmonics, we’ll first look at the naturally occurring harmonic nodes that occur across the fretboard. Example 12 is a basic depiction of the most common, “easy” harmonics that occur when a fret hand finger is used to lightly touch a plucked string (without actually pushing it down and fretting it) and produce a harmonic. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example12.jpg" width="620" height="154" alt="Example12.jpg" /></p> <p>Example 13 shows some more difficult to produce harmonics along the same string, many of which were used extensively by Dime.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example13.jpg" width="620" height="159" alt="Example13.jpg" /></p> <p>Dime was never content to just play the harmonics, though, as he would often use a variety of techniques to produce and manipulate them. The most famous of these techniques was Dime’s signature “harmonic scream” technique. The basic maneuver is depicted in example 14. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example14.jpg" width="620" height="388" alt="Example14.jpg" /></p> <p>To perform this technique as Dimebag would, a floating tremolo bridge (able to bend a note below and above) is necessary (preferably a locking Floyd Rose or its equivalent). First, get the string moving by “plucking” it with a silent fret hand pull-off while simultaneously dumping / depressing the bar and bending the tremolo down. As the open string is lowered in pitch and its tension is reduced, lightly tap the selected harmonic node with the fret hand “bird”/middle finger. Next, after the harmonic has been sounded, slowly return the bar to pitch, pull it up higher, and apply vibrato with the whammy bar. Note that the actual time the open/dumped string rings is only a fraction of a second, it is only sounded so as to allow the string movement enough to produce the fret hand “tapped” harmonic. </p> <p>Also note the importance of fret hand muting, being sure to use the fret hand thumb (wrapped over the top of the neck) and fret hand fingers to mute any unwanted noise from the unused strings. Experiment with different harmonic nodes, as some will be easier to execute and some will sound more interesting than others. </p> <p>While Dimebag was also quite adept at using Zakk Wylde/John Sykes/George Lynch/Billy F. Gibbons style “pings” (artificial harmonics, A.K.A. pick harmonics) he was especially adept at using multiple, combined harmonics as a way to spice up his rhythm playing. </p> <p>Example 15 shows this technique at play. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example15.jpg" width="620" height="164" alt="Example15.jpg" /></p> <p>Notice first that Dime loved using “in-between” harmonics, those that had a particularly shrieking/squealing sound. Also notice that in combining two or more harmonics, an extremely cool set of screaming, dissonant overtones is created. Try any and all combinations of harmonics on various string sets and at various node points, and also experiment with manipulating the combinations with your whammy bar and/or effects pedals. Example 16 is several available combinations.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example16.jpg" width="620" height="365" alt="Example16.jpg" /></p> <p>The possibilities are endless. <a href="">Check out Part 2!</a></p> <p><em>Scott Marano has dedicated his life to the study of the guitar, honing his chops at the Berklee College of Music under the tutelage of Jon Finn and Joe Stump and working as an accomplished guitarist, performer, songwriter and in-demand instructor. In 2007, Scott developed the Guitar Strength program to inspire and provide accelerated education to guitarists of all ages and in all styles through state-of-the-art private guitar lessons in his home state of Rhode Island and globally via Skype. <a href="">Visit Scott and learn more at</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/pantera">Pantera</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/damageplan">Damageplan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damageplan Dimebag Darrell Guitar Strength Pantera Scott Marano Blogs Features Lessons Thu, 14 May 2015 14:33:28 +0000 Scott Marano 13074 at Bent Out of Shape: Learning Paganini's 16th Caprice in G Minor <!--paging_filter--><p>A couple of weeks ago, <a href="">I gave you a short, 30-minute guitar workout</a> designed for guitarists whose practice time is limited. </p> <p>The positive response I received prompted me to create an additional lesson, which, in combination with my original workout, will give you a good hour of intensive practice. </p> <p>For this lesson, I have selected a classical piece for you to learn: Paganini's 16th Caprice in G minor. Learning classical pieces is a great way to improve your technique and theory. It's also more beneficial to practice something musical, rather than just working on exercises. Use my 30-minute workout as a warmup and then spend an additional 30 minutes to an hour working on this piece. </p> <p>It's very challenging and features a good selection of arpeggios, wide intervals, chromatic runs, string skipping and sequences. It's very rewarding to learn and play in its entirety. Because of its length, I have the divided the piece into three parts. </p> <p>Your first task will be to memorize the notes, which in itself is a big challenge. I would suggest taking it one bar at a time, memorizing the notes and working out the fingering. Then attempt to perform the bar in full. Start at the beginning with bar 1, and add a new bar every day. Once the notes are memorized, you can begin to work with a metronome and build speed. </p> <p>Start at 80 bpm playing 8th notes and increase the metronome by 10 bpm after each successful performance. When you reach 120 bpm, go back to 60 bpm and play the piece as 16th notes. From there, take it as fast you can. </p> <p>It's meant to be at a tempo of 165 bpm, which is incredibly fast for a piece so complex. I can only get to around 120 bpm before it becomes too challenging. For this lesson, I have recorded myself performing the piece in full at the comfortable tempo of 100 bpm. Use this as a reference for yourself when learning. I have also marked in the Soundcloud link where each of the three parts begins to help you navigate.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/caprice1.jpg" width="620" height="1145" alt="caprice1.jpg" /></p> <p>The first part begins with several arpeggios which you will need to play using sweep picking (bars 1 to 6). Everything else should be played with alternate picking. There's a tricky string skipping section at bar 7, which you can either play with your second finger or entirely with the pick. After bar 8, it repeats from the beginning. From bars 9 to 14, you have more arpeggios and string-skipping, but this time you will not need to sweep the arpeggios. Bar 14 ends with a long A# major arpeggio over three octaves. </p> <p>Next week, we will look into detail at the second part of the piece and also analyze some of the theory used in its composition. Best of luck, cheers!</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 Niccolo Paganini Will Wallner Blogs News Lessons Thu, 14 May 2015 14:28:03 +0000 Will Wallner 18306 at The Next Bend: Brad Paisley Demos Crook Custom Red Sparkle T-Style Guitar with G-Bender — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the video below, Biff Parsons—who looks, sounds, plays and deadpans exactly like Brad Paisley—demos the pickups and playability of his new hand-pinstriped Crook Custom Red Sparkle T-Style guitar.</p> <p>As you'll see in the video, Parsons is not a Paisley fan ... at all.</p> <p>Obviously, Parsons is Paisley! But Paisley (or someone) even went out of his way to create a Twitter account for the Paisley-hating Parsons, <a href="">and you can follow him here</a>. </p> <p>Like a lot of Paisley's guitars, this model is equipped with a <a href="">McVay G-bender</a>, which Paisley (aka Parsons) also demos in the clip. </p> <p>The neck pickup is by <a href=";id=3&amp;parent=2">APC Pickups</a>; the bridge is by <a href="">Voodoo Pickups/Peter Florance</a>.</p> <p>For more about Crook Custom Guitars, visit <a href=""></a>. For more about Biff Parsons, follow him on <a href="">Twitter.</a></p> <p>To see this guitar in action, check out Paisley's recent performance of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" (bottom video).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. He's a B-bending guitarist who collects B-bender-equipped guitars. He has four at the moment. Follow him on <a href="">Twitter.</a></em></p> Brad Paisley The Next Bend Videos Blogs News Wed, 13 May 2015 17:23:20 +0000 Damian Fanelli 22975 at Gear Review: StringJoy Custom Guitar and Bass Strings <!--paging_filter--><p>String experimentation is nothing new. </p> <p>Chuck Berry used banjo strings to make his bends easier, and you can always shush the guy who says “Thicker strings give you better tone” with “Well, Billy Gibbons uses 8's!” </p> <p>StringJoy is an online custom string shop that makes its own strings in the U.S. and lets you pick the gauges. Sure, it offers a common .10-.46 electric set, but its aim is to let you build a set you can’t get elsewhere, even for seven- and eight-string guitars.</p> <p>Picking a custom set is as easy as selecting a gauge from a drop-down menu. Gauges run from .008 to .090 for guitar strings and .025-.135 for bass strings.</p> <p>For my review, I went with a Light .10-.48 electric set, a Custom .030-.105 five-string-bass set (tuned EADGC) and a Custom Acoustic set so I could tune my guitar to Nashville tuning. (Nashville tuning requires tuning a six-string guitar to the octave notes of a 12-string guitar.)</p> <p>For the Nashville tuning set, I used StringJoy’s “Find the Perfect Set” section where you explain what you want to do, and with what guitar, and they’ll suggest a set for you.</p> <p>Each set arrived in a sealed envelope with each string labeled in a plastic bag. Everything went on and tuned up as planned. I had plenty of slack to work with.</p> <p>StringJoy’s custom strings sound and feel like a good set of strings. I know that sounds vague, but what I mean is they didn’t try anything extreme. The tone is well balanced and there’s no odd texture or coated feel to the string.</p> <p>Here’s a clip with all three string sets featured. The acoustic set is on an Ibanez JX70, the bass set is on a Fender P5 Precision Bass and the electric set is on a Fender Strat. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Price:</strong> Six-string guitar sets are $10 (add $2 or $4 for seven- and eight-string sets); four-string bass sets are $25 (add $5 or $10 for five- and six-string sets)</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> <p><em>You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at</em></p> Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown StringJoy Accessories Blogs Gear Tue, 12 May 2015 20:08:13 +0000 Billy Voight 24456 at The DIY Musician: Increasing Your Band's Merch Sales, Part 3 <!--paging_filter--><p>We’re exploring more ways to increase your income as a musician though your merchandise sales. </p> <p>If you missed the previous columns in this series, check out <a href="">Increasing Your Band's Merch Sales, Part 1</a> and <a href="">Part 2.</a></p> <p><strong>MY BIG-ASS MERCH TENT:</strong> (Gene Simmons would be proud.) In part 2 of this series, I mentioned that I will sometimes trade a live festival performance for a 10-by-10 booth space at that fest. The organizers will often go for this because they save money in performance fees.</p> <p>I do it because my merch sales go through the roof when I bring out the tent.</p> <p>On any given night, I make more money in merch than I do in performance fees. Even a small dive-bar gig can net a few hundred dollars in extra sales if done right. But when I bring my merch tent to a festival where thousands of people will come with money burning a hole in their pockets, I clean up.</p> <p> I think about the items I sell as much as I do the music I play. They are dependent on each other, and it is all a business. The fact is, your fans want to buy something—and it’s not just because they want to support you. They want to identify with you. </p> <p><strong>MY MERCH:</strong> Because I make and play cigar box guitars, these instruments are at the core of my stand. In addition, I have CDs, shirts, pins and the usual band merch stuff. This year, I’ve increased my items by working with local artists to make handmade items that compliment my show. (This is a wonderful way to support the local art scene!) </p> <p>But I have to pay attention to the merch as much as the music. Yes, I obsess over the songwriting, shredding and show performance as much as other bands—but I also must devote time to consider the real income stream.</p> <p> My main breadwinner is my handmade cigar box guitars. However, this is a very specific item that's unique to my own act. You should take a look at your performance, your songs and your audience to come up with unique things to sell. I’ve seen everything from voodoo charms to hand-painted broken cymbals and drum heads. </p> <p><strong>ARTISTIC INTEGRITY:</strong> Maybe the idea of running a mobile store makes you wince. If so, why not find a close friend who would want to run it for you? Give them a commission. Give them an opportunity to present merch ideas and find local artists to create them. You’ll be helping out a friend while supporting your life as a musician.</p> <p><strong>VIDEO TOUR OF MY TENT:</strong> I filmed a video for you this past weekend as I performed at a fest. Yes, I performed for free, but I also made eight times the amount of money in merch than I would have if I just got a performance fee. (For the curious, many of the unsold guitars in the video are now on sale at <a href=""></a> They’ll remain there until later this week when I take them offline and head to the <a href="">Rocky Knob Folky Fest in Gardeners, Pennsylvania.</a> </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at <a href=""></a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="">Holler!</a><em> is on C.B. Gitty Records.</em></p> Shane Speal The DIY Musician Blogs News Mon, 11 May 2015 20:07:19 +0000 Shane Speal 24443 at