Starting a band isn’t as straightforward as you might think. If you’re gonna do it, do it right. Read More
“After driving the iconic guitar riff along with the a thundering kick drum and snare snap provided by booming right-hand slaps, Marcin shifts up a gear with a dizzying display of his prolific playing skills, executing a number of high-speed percussive drum lines and melodic strums.” Read More
MTV was definitely a paradigm shift. It changed the way music was consumed, and the things that people valued. Aesthetics were suddenly much more important. It would be naïve to say that a band’s image didn’t matter before MTV – the Beatles didn’t sport those mop tops and matching Pierre Cardin suits for nothing – but music videos put a group’s appearance under the microscope like never before. Read More
“There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. What matters most is choosing the DAW that appeals to you, your needs, and your budget, and learning it as well as you can.” Read More
He didn’t just mechanically run through scales. He paused for emphasis, used loud and quiet dynamics to convey different feelings, and accentuated certain notes to give them meaning. How he phrased his guitar playing was very considered and deliberate. Read More
Like me, Slash is a man with chunky digits. Slash also happens to be one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. Needless to say, my complex about inadequate fingers for guitar playing disappeared soon after. Read More
After a while of reading and re-reading this list, I gave up trying to weigh up the merits and demerits of the selections and whether or not they truly were the “greatest.” Ultimately, it’s impossible to qualify that, given the subjectivity of these things. Besides, I loved so many of the songs on the list in equal measure, I found it way too difficult to rank them. Read More
Coming up with a great cover is an art in itself. Effectively, you’ve got to take a strong template established by someone else and rework it enough that your voice shines through, while retaining the integrity of the original piece. It certainly isn’t easy. When you think about it, there have been many, many cover versions released over the years, but only a minority of those can hold a candle to the original version.
“Playing the guitar is like telling the truth - you never have to worry about repeating the same [lie] if you told the truth. You don't have to pretend, or cover up. If someone asks you again, you don't have to think about it or worry about it because there it is. It's you.” – B.B. King
“Truth was almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums. Its attributes weren't all new -- Cream and Jimi Hendrix had been moving in similar directions -- but the combination was: the wailing, heart-stoppingly dramatic vocalizing by Rod Stewart, the thunderous rhythm section of Ron Wood's bass and Mickey Waller's drums, and Beck's blistering lead guitar, which sounds like his amp is turned up to 13 and ready to short out.”
McCarty et al. used those paint schemes to fix a problem (the blemishes). Rather than seeing them as a band-aid, though, they came up with a solution that added to the aesthetic of the guitar. They found a problem and turned into a win-win scenario. In the process, they designed some of the most enduring instruments in the Gibson portfolio used by some of the most famous players in the world. Read More
Peter Green’s Les Paul is one of the most storied instruments in rock history. Some of that is down to its trio of famous owners. The instrument started off in the hands of Mr. Green, was passed on to Gary Moore, and eventually ended up in the possession of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. But its celebrity owners aren’t the only thing that make this guitar noteworthy. It’s also one of the most distinctive sounding Les Pauls out there, thanks to a peculiarity in its pickup configuration.
I thought about it for a moment. “Texas Flood” or “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” were the obvious answers, with an honorable mention for “In Step” (“Tightrope” is an absolute jam). But the more I considered the question, the more I realized my favorite Stevie Ray Vaughan album wasn’t actually an album at all. Read More
Vinyl’s different. When I put a vinyl record on, the screen of my device isn’t competing for my attention. Thanks to the creakiness of the floorboards in my house, I can’t really move around for fear of skipping the record. Vinyl forces me to sit still, to stop everything else I’m doing and to really listen to a given album, to appreciate it, and to discover new things I’d never before heard in old favorite records. Read More
40 years on, Lennon’s music still communicates with millions. There are 13-year-old kids out there listening to The Beatles and Lennon’s solo albums for the first time, and connecting to the music just like their parents and grandparents did. “Strawberry Fields Forever” still blows minds; “Give Peace a Chance” still speaks truth and people still come together to “Come Together.” Read More
“Whatever your standing in life, the most important thing is behaving in ways that help other people. It's the same with music. I am a servant of the music ... and if I get caught up in ego, I'll lose everything... it'll burn and that's a guarantee.” Read More
The great thing about home recording these days is that it’s more accessible than ever. You really don’t need a great deal to get started, and for a couple of hundred bucks, you can make some pretty decent sounds. Over the next couple of articles, I thought I’d run through the gear you need for a basic home recording setup, as well as some recommendations for equipment.
You’ve got the young and hungry Stones out to prove their rock n’ roll mettle to the U.S. crowd, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Supremes giving it their all just as Motown was setting the charts ablaze for the first time. And then there’s James Brown. Those dance moves, that explosive, incendiary energy, the Famous Flames absolutely on it, never missing a beat…
So, theory numero uno suggests that the “TV” in TV Yellow actually stood for “Telecaster Version.” According to this one, Gibson execs went for a color that was similar to the Butterscotch finish used on Fender’s Telecaster models. Apparently, the hope was that the color - in combination with the Les Paul TV model’s black pickguard - would confuse unschooled guitarists who would buy it over a Tele.
That’s because sacrificing the lamb isn’t just about getting rid of a guitar. It’s about making you look like you’ve turned over a new leaf; like you’re not the sort of person who hoards all things six string, someone who has a financial compass and isn’t prone to impulsive guitar splurging (or asking loved ones to do the splurging for them once the holidays roll around). If you really want to seal the deal, consider using a coaster or getting a haircut. Read More
“I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sound exactly the same, In fact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.”
“I honestly believe that you have to be able to play the guitar hard if you want to be able to get the whole spectrum of tones out of it. Since I normally play so hard, when I start picking a bit softer my tone changes completely, and that's really useful sometimes for creating a more laid-back feel.”
As a young guitarist, I completely rejected any notion that music theory would help me in my journey. At the time, I justified this as a “punk rock/music is freedom” attitude to playing. If I learned my theory, I told myself, I’m just putting myself in a box. “[Insert guitar hero of the week] didn’t need theory, and they were a genius. Why do I?”
But, they could only pull the wool over peoples’ eyes for so long. When the group played their first gig at the Civic Center, Amarillo Texas on May 17th, 1980, punters weren’t fooled by the Bogus Deep Purple. As the tour went on, audiences were disgruntled, with some shows ending in riots. Watching the footage that exists of Bogus Deep Purple (taken from a Brazilian TV report about the band), it’s not hard to see why. Their meat and potatoes take on “Smoke on the Water” is more bar band than arena rock, while Rod Evans’ limited vocal range never soars to the heights of either Coverdale or Gillan. Read More
The management company Steve G worked for were fly-by-night, used car salesman types, determined to make a fast buck from the legions of rock n’ roll fans, ethics be damned. That year, they’d organized a “Steppenwolf” reunion tour. Steppenwolf was a hot ticket, but the problem was that their version of the band that featured no original members. After being sued by real Steppenwolf front man John Kay, the company decided to try another tactic and made plans to form a new version of Deep Purple. Unlike with their “Steppenwolf” facsimile, Steve G and co tried to build a new Purple lineup that featured actual past members of the group, albeit none from Purple’s most famous iterations. Read More