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Review: Paul Gilbert – Stone Pushing Uphill Man

paul gilbert - stone pushing uphill man
Paul Gilbert’s new record “Stone Pushing Uphill Man” is, as you would expect from one of the world’s best shredders, a guitar-oriented instrumental record however it differs from his last few albums in that on this record Paul Gilbert has recorded instrumental covers of some of his favorite songs such as Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, The Beatles “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”, the opening track chock full of 80′s rifftastic goodness, Loverboy “Working For The Weekend”, Aerosmith “Back In The Saddle Again” and The Police “Murder By Numbers” are among the 11 tracks. With each track Paul uses his guitar to become the iconic voice from each track trying to pick up on all the nuances that make each of these vocalists so special. Interestingly enough Mike Portnoy actually plays drums on two tracks, Working For the Weekend and Why Don’t We Do It in the Road.

The challenge was to match their emotion and expression. This was my goal as a guitarist. “Stone Pushing Uphill Man,” is the first big step to truly find my voice on the guitar. I wanted the inspiration of my favorite singers for such a big challenge, so I chose a lot of cover songs. I think listeners will be surprised at what I’ve been able to do with the guitar.

I love this idea, I quite often hear tracks that people say are classics (The Beatles are a good example) and there’s something about them that I just don’t like, maybe it is the vocalist or the style, what Paul does is to keep true to the original in terms of the progressions, harmony etc. but put his own stamp on the track and then use his guitar a la Jeff Beck to become his voice. Some of these tracks you may thing “WAT?!” such as covering Elton but Gilbert applies a Hendrix style rhythm guitar track that highlights what an amazing writer Elton John is in terms of using interesting chord progressions, can you imagine a modern day pop star using such complex harmony?! The vocal part is then played keeping pretty true to the original with harmony leads that give it an orchestral texture in the chorus. Of course it wouldn’t be a Paul Gilbert track without a guitar solo and he totally rips in this track in particular! This is just one example but each track is so different it makes for a very varied and enjoyable journey listening to ‘Stone Pushing Uphill Man’ from start to finish.

As far as I can tell there are three original Paul Gilbert tracks on the album including the title track “Stone Pushing Uphill man”, the only track on which Paul sings which begins with a simple acoustic guitar backing (with a nice acoustic solo) and the sound of his tapping foot keeping time and turns into a groovy rock track with a group of female backing singers. Also the 60′s inspired ‘Purple Without All The Red’ and one of my favourite tracks on the album ‘Shock Absorber’ which is a sort of 70′s rock blues based track. I could be wrong though, these may be covers I just couldn’t find out who the artists were for these couple of tracks.

If you are a fan of Paul Gilbert I don’t need to tell you that you need this album, if however you are not a fan of his super shredding music you might like Paul’s more vocal style of playing on this album and it might even make you enjoy songs you previously didn’t like!

Paul Gilbert ‘Stone Pushing Uphill Man’ is available on Shrapnel Records from 5 August 2014.

paul gilbert - stone pushing uphill man
Paul Gilbert’s new record “Stone Pushing Uphill Man” is, as you would expect from one of the world’s best shredders, a guitar-oriented instrumental record however it differs from his last few albums in that on this record Paul Gilbert has …

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EVH Circles Guitar Added To The EVH Striped Series

evh circles
“With an otherworldly black-and-white “crop circles” graphic gloss finish, the EVH Circles model is without question one of the most distinctively eye-catching guitars in the Stripe Series lineup.”

The EVH Striped Series has been around for a while now with the 3 classic options and now they have added the crop circles from the Fair Warning era.

As per the other stripe series guitars it features a basswood body, quarter-sawn maple neck with oiled finish, a compound-radius maple fingerboard (12”-16”) with comfortably rolled edges and 22 jumbo frets, a single EVH direct-mount pickup with single black plastic control knob (master volume), EVH Floyd Rose® bridge and locking nut, and EVH tuners.

Which is your favourite Van Halen guitar?

evh circles
“With an otherworldly black-and-white “crop circles” graphic gloss finish, the EVH Circles model is without question one of the most distinctively eye-catching guitars in the Stripe Series lineup.”

The EVH Striped Series has been around for a while now with …

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Doyle Coils Tru-Clones PAF Humbuckers


“Tom Doyle was Les Paul’s “Right Hand Man” for over 45 years – His close friend, his personal guitar builder, his co-inventor, confidant, and his soundman.”

There aren’t many people who have had the pleasure of working closely with the late, great Les Paul, let alone being his guitar tech and co-inventor for years. Tom Doyle spent years working with Les Paul trying to create the perfect guitar and pickups and in doing so Tom and Max Stavron have finally realised Les’ dream after 2 years of work with the Doyle Coils Tru-Clones PAF Humbuckers.

Tom Doyle has removed, installed, rewound, repaired, tweaked, cleaned, trouble shot thousands of PAF pickups over the span of his career. Tom was the go-to guy along the East coast and worked on guitars for Jimmy Page, Al Di Meola, Lou Pallo, Tony Mottola, Muddy Waters and George Benson among others.

Check out Andy from ProGuitarShop.com giving the Doyle Coil Tru-Clones PAF Humbuckers a workout:

http://www.doylecoils.com/


“Tom Doyle was Les Paul’s “Right Hand Man” for over 45 years – His close friend, his personal guitar builder, his co-inventor, confidant, and his soundman.”

There aren’t many people who have had the pleasure of working closely with the …

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Joe Bonamassa’s Les Paul Tone Tips


“In Issue 384 of Guitarist magazine’s cover star shows you how you can get a wide variety of tones from your Gibson Les Paul without the need for additional stompbox effects. Want to throw away your pedalboard, plug straight into your amp and use your guitar’s onboard controls as tone-shaping tools? Joe shows you how…”

http://guitarist.co.uk

This is such a great video, I think we all forget just how many tones are packed into a guitar with a good set of pickups and a good tube amp. I’m not saying it is impossible to get great tones from cheap gear but just listen to the tonal variation Joe managed to coax from his Les Paul & Fender amp! I reckon that amp is cranked though, you can hear when the audio switches from amp or room mic back to Joe’s mic the tail end of his guitar sound reverberating around that large hall. Nevertheless take Joe’s advice and see how many tones you can get plugging straight into your amp.


“In Issue 384 of Guitarist magazine’s cover star shows you how you can get a wide variety of tones from your Gibson Les Paul without the need for additional stompbox effects. Want to throw away your pedalboard, plug straight into …

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Jon’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists

When Pappy asked me to contribute my top 5 influential guitarists I had to think hard about who had really influenced me at different points over the years rather than just picking the first 5 guitarists that inspired me as that really doesn’t tell the whole story. So without further ado here is my first pick:

Dave Murray/Adrian Smith
I thought that the first choice was an easy one, Edward Van Halen, but then I really thought about what made me want to play in the first place and the band that really had me listening to the guitar parts intently for the first time in my life was Iron Maiden. I had Seventh ‘Son of a Seventh Son’ on cassette playing endlessly on my Walkman, I had Eddie posters on my wall and t shirts for every single released of the album. I know it’s sort of cheating to say 2 guitarists but I think of Dave Murray & Adrian Smith as a single entity, their styles compliment each other perfectly. There is enough variation in their playing and tone to identify who is who but they merge as one, playing harmony leads and perfect timing rhythm parts (no pro tools back in those days!). My first TAB book was Seventh Son that my dad surprised me with one day, I totally immersed myself in learning those songs at the tender age of 12/13, trying to pick up all the nuances of Dave & Adrian’s styles, the Trills, bends, vibrato, palm muting and of course galloping triplets! It was also my first introduction to power chords, possibly the most exciting thing I’ve ever been shown, I’m not kidding. It was a great leap forward for me as a player.

Eddie Van Halen
About a year after I had started learning guitar (I would be 13 at the time) my friend loaned me his Van Halen: Live Without A Net VHS tape (still one of my Favourite live shows) and what I thought was possible on guitar was completely turned on it’s head. Remember this was the late 80′s there was no YouTube, there was no internet! I studied that concert for hours and hours on end, through Eddie’s playing I learned so much about technique, timing, vibrato etc. and his enjoyment of playing at that period of time was infectious, how could I not want to do exactly what he was doing?! From that point on I have been listening to Van Halen, new and old, and still get blown away by Eddie’s playing.

After Eddie I started to uncover other amazing players, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai… but the person who for me became a life long inspiration as soon as I heard the Dreaming #11 EP was this guy:

Joe Satriani
What I’d learned on guitar so far was by listening and copying players who had great feel but here was someone who not only had great feel in his playing but also a deep understanding of music theory which he used to craft his music and solos. Not only that but he was thinking of ways to extend techniques introduced by guitar players like Eddie Van Halen and use them to create different textures. Eddie’s two handed tapping usually center’s around arpeggios whereas Joe Satriani started tapping across multiple strings, creating chords with multi finger tapping etc. I’m not saying he was the first to do this, I think he had probably been inspired by someone like Stanley Jordan, but it was a fresh approach for an instrumental rock guitar player and he created amazing compositions like “Day At The Beach” that almost sound like a completely new type of instrument. What’s more Joe has continued writing great music year after year and is still touring endlessly, a huge inspiration.

Talking of prolific composers and endless touring brings me to my next influential guitarist:

Tommy Emmanuel
When I finished my music degree I was totally burnt out, I didn’t touch a guitar for years. When I moved to Australia I didn’t even have a guitar for about 3 years. One day I was watching TV and saw an ad for Tommy Emmanuel with a quote from Eric Clapton saying how he was the greatest living guitar player or words to that effect so I thought I’d check him out. At this time YouTube had yet to be invented so I found Tommy’s website and thankfully there were streams of a few songs from his album “Only”.  I heard “Train to Dusseldorf” and that was it, I needed another guitar in my life and this time it had to be an acoustic. 

I bought myself a nice Takamine guitar, although I made the mistake if rushing into that purchase as it was a fantastic looking and sounding guitar but it was a strummer, not a modern fingerpicking style guitar with a flatter radius that I should have bought for what I was wanting to play. I’m sure Tommy would have managed no problem on it but I struggled. Nevertheless I bought a couple of Tommy’s album TAB books and set about learning how to play again. My Classical guitar training helped a lot with the right hand complexity of Tommy’s music and my Electric guitar skills helped with the left hand. I never got close to learning “Train to Dusseldorf” as it should be played but Tommy did and still does inspire me to play. If it wasn’t for him Guitar Noize wouldn’t even exist.

From that point on I have never looked back, I totally regained the obsession that had gripped me back in my early teenage years. I am always looking for new guitar players to inspire me and to write about and then one day I saw a video on YouTube that completely blew my mind. Bear in mind that I hadn’t been buying guitar mags for years and had a significant period of time where I hadn’t played electric guitar so when I stumbled upon this incredible musician I was a bit late to the game but he has been a continuous inspiration ever since. I am of course talking about:

Guthrie Govan
The video I referred to was the Jamtrackcentral.com (known back then as bluesjamtracks) video of Guthrie playing over his ‘Erotic Cakes’ album track ‘Fives’ uploaded in May 2007. Incidentally this was also the first time I’d seen a Suhr guitar and was immediately intrigued, I’ve since bought two.  I ordered a copy of ‘Erotic Cakes’ on CD and actually received it which at that time was apparently a rarity due to the dodgy distributor Cornford Records. Thankfully Jamtrackcentral.com managed to take over as the distributor so you can still buy this landmark instrumental guitar album. 

After 7 years of following Guthrie Govan’s career as a solo artist, band member of both The Aristocrats and the Steven Wilson band, online teacher and travelling clinician I finally got to experience a Guthrie Govan Masterclass for myself last week and he didn’t disappoint. GG was every bit as inspiring talking about music as he was playing his music and after years of attending various clinics I felt that I got the most out of this particular clinic. It also made me realise that I should be exposing my children to way more music and not to lazily give in to their requests for the same old pop songs they hear on the radio. Govan was exposed to all styles of music by his parents which is what has helped shaped him as a musician, I began this weekend with some Jeff Beck (with Joss Stone singing, I’ll ease them into instrumental music!). 

So there you have it, my top 5 influential guitarists. There are so many more guitarists I would have loved to have mentioned but I’ll have to save those for another day.

When Pappy asked me to contribute my top 5 influential guitarists I had to think hard about who had really influenced me at different points over the years rather than just picking the first 5 guitarists that inspired me as …

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Pappy’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists

byline picby Pappy

We all have our favorite guitarists out there, but the problem with them (or us) is that favorites change and they can change pretty often. What we loved as young guitarists sometimes don’t do it for us anymore as we age.

But INFLUENTIAL guitarists, those don’t change. They may not always be our favorites, but they will always be responsible for part of your guitar upbringing. They’re the ones that inspired you to pick up the guitar, or dictated the shift on your learning path to other genres, or the ones that rekindled your love of the instrument during a dry spell when you were uninspired. In short, they are the ones who helped shape you and your playing with their own.

With this in mind, I put together a list of my own Top 5 Influential Guitarists. I even roped Jon into adding his Top 5 as well, but I’m curious what yours are! Share your list in the comments with how they influenced you. Don’t be shy – this is a safe place.

In descending order:

5) Nick 13 of Tiger Army

Tiger Army came into my life with a fantastic merger of genres I loved that always seemed separated by time and style: punk and rockabilly. I have always been a fan of oldies from the late 50s and early 60s, but it just didn’t have the same level of energy that got me like punk did. In walked Nick 13 and blended the two in a delay-drenched tone with vintage instruments and a whole lot of attitude, and gave me a different outlook on what punk could be.

Check out this video from their sophomore effort, II: The Power of Moonlight called “Incorporeal.”

4) James “Munky” Shaffer of Korn

james_shaffer tcelectronic.com

I’ve always wanted to play guitar at some level, but it was Korn and Shaffer specifically that made me say “enough,” and finally get the ball rolling. Korn was my education in guitar. Shaffer thrashed about on stage, giving himself to emotion, not necessarily musicianship, and the band was never out to show off. It seemed very much more like a cathartic experience for the band – a freak show of people simultaneously working out their demons – than an actual band like we’ve always known, and I loved it. After listening to the first album, I knew I had to play guitar as soon as possible, and it had to be an Ibanez (incorrectly pronounced), and, if possible, it had to have seven strings. Eventually I got a hold of an RG7620 and loved it for the most part, but the locking bridge drove me right up the wall and I ended up getting rid of it. To this day, it’s the only guitar I regret selling.

Korn was the first music I had ever heard that felt uniquely mine. It wasn’t in my dad’s CD collection, nobody from school was listening to them, and they weren’t cool at all when I found them. They lit a huge fire in me for music in general and it was because of them that I branched off to other varieties of metal, eventually stumbling onto the massive institution known as Metallica, and a little further down into punk and the Misfits in particular. Korn was the door that led to every single influence that came afterward, so I feel like I owe Shaffer quite a bit. Maybe I should get an Apex 20 as a way of saying “thank you.”

APEX20 ibanez.co.jp

Check out this video from their first album, Korn, entitled “Blind.”

3) Keith Merrow of Conquering Dystopia

keithmerrow schecter.fr

This may sound like a slight, but hear me out: Keith Merrow, for all his insane songwriting and riffing abilities, strikes me as an Everyman. Here is a guy who wasn’t confident enough in his music to put it out until his friend goaded him into it and he wasn’t a professional. He was doing all this amazing stuff with a family and a day job. He was releasing whole albums in his spare time and building a truly grass-roots fan base by word of mouth and some seriously great video editing skills to accompany his seriously great guitar work. He seems humble, and he’s always been friendly to me, but perhaps even more importantly, he’s been unknowingly acting as an inspiration. Maybe I’ll never be as fast at playing, or thrash quite as hard as he can, but I CAN do better than I currently am. I can write better music than I have been, I can play faster than I was last week, and I can get better at recording and editing. Videos (and their editing) don’t scare me anymore. I am always trying to write (words!) better than I have been previously.

Keith Merrow isn’t an untouchable guitar god that was birthed under the bright lights of an arena, nor groomed by major labels – he is all fire, homegrown, and is my personal example that even someone with those kinds of skills probably started or resided in my wheelhouse at one point or another, and progressed from it. Just like I will.

To hang on to this example in a non-creepy way, I had to order his signature Schecter. Also, because it jives the most with what I personally look for in a guitar spec-wise.

Check out this video to see exactly what I’m talking about regarding his skills.

2) Chris Cheney of the Living End

the-living-end-25 boudist.com

Just a bit after I fell in love with Korn, an Australian band called the Living End hit the US in a pretty big way with their first US single “Prisoner of Society,” and it was the most punk thing I had ever heard at that point, but it was so much more. It was unique in that day’s popular soundscape of Godsmack’s “Whatever,” Metallica’s “Whiskey in the Jar,” and Orgy’s “Blue Monday,” with loud, standard-tuned, hollowbody guitars, a stand-up bass, and a confrontational outlook regarding the generation coming up, while not just being angry. Where the guitar offerings if the day were… Sparse in displayed abilities, Cheney whipped out a fantastic solo that wasn’t just needless “wheedleywheedleywheedley,” but fit the song and truly took it up to the next level like any good solo should.

Upon investigation, it turned out that their first album was packed to the gills with great songs, excellent guitar work, and more than a fair nod to the past both in songwriting an aesthetics. Cheney was what originally had me pulling to Gretsch guitars, but always on the back burner while I was enveloped in nu-metal. Eventually, though, nu-metal became homogenous and there were a LOT of bands that sounded the same or, even worse, devolved to an intolerable level of self-indulgence. This was the time when I revisited the Living End and Cheney’s guitar work, and took a turn in a different music direction, leading me to my number one most influential guitarist.

Also, Australians have a valid points when they complain about their home country: Guitars are ridiculously expensive, they are often forgotten on tours, and literally everything in the country is attempting to kill its inhabitants, even the country itself with its mind-blowing expansive desert of not-much-at-all, but at least they have the Living End, and (as a bonus) access to Chris Cheney’s signature guitar, which even the US doesn’t have access to (presumably because it is very similar to some guy named Billy Duffy’s signature White Falcon). Oh yeah! They also have decent weather, fantastic beaches, intriguing soap-operas, friendly people, a unique history, and a really, really large rock. Pros and cons, folks. Pros and cons.

cheney gretsch.com

Check out this video of “Prisoner of Society,” for their self-titled album to see the solo I was talking about.

1)  Jim “the Reverend Horton Heat” Heath of the Reverend Horton Heat

revhortonheathighres vegasnews.com

In college, I was done with music. A great deal of punk sounded the same, I had given up on nu-metal a while ago, guitar was boring, and I drifted, listless in the void that is a guitarist who doesn’t play guitar or like music. The Living End was the only lifeline to music that I had, and I said as much to a boss at work who replied that if I liked the Living End, I would love the Reverend Horton Heat.

And he was right. Jim Heath is an AMAZING player who has had a long career of writing original material and always striving to progress and reach new grounds sonically. A fan once accosted him, expressing disappointment that he didn’t write more songs like one of his hits (“400 Bucks”) and he said he had no interest in rewriting the song as a different one. He wanted to write new stuff, and go new places, but always to have a common core in the middle – a sound that was uniquely him – a goal any fan could tell you he accomplished.

His songs span from the hilarious to the sexual; from depressing to avant garde; from solo electric pieces to full-throttle rock songs that toe the line between fast-paced rockabilly and flat-out punk rock, but throughout the entirety of his huge catalog, the songs remain entertaining and interesting. The guitar work is nothing short of spectacular and any guitarist could study what Heath is doing and find inspiration and new ideas. He was what made me fall back in love with music and grab my guitar again. Ultimately, it was Heath that has me playing today and everything I’ve done since listening to his album Holy Roller at work that fateful day has been his fault including starting a guitar-centered blog that eventually fell away to being picked up by the best guitar blog on this planet, becoming a host on Six String Bliss, and finally getting my very own Gretsch hollowbody that I have used (per Heath’s example) on any damn genre I want, because it could handle them all, and even interviewing the man for Guitar Lifestyle! You could even say that this post right here is because of Heath, because I wanted to share who made me who I am guitar-wise, and share that list with you fine folks.

Oh!  AND he’s got a killer signature guitar that, like him, isn’t strictly tied to the past with appointments that weren’t used on Gretsch guitars together until the early 90s when Fred Gretsch III regained control of the company.  Now there’s an anomaly of a Gretsch 6120 out there that is both vintage and modern, two periods pushed together for art’s sake, just like Heath.

7830_Gretsch_G6120RHH_Reverend_Horton_Heat_JT12010302_a

Here’s a video from his latest (awesome) album that everyone should pick up, REV called “Scenery Going By.”

XXX—XXX

 

So that’s my list! Time to warm up your fingers and get to typing, because I want to see what your Top 5 list looks like!

byline picby Pappy

We all have our favorite guitarists out there, but the problem with them (or us) is that favorites change and they can change pretty often. What we loved as young guitarists sometimes don’t do it for us anymore …

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Guitar Power Episode 1 featuring Tosin Abasi


Presented by D’Addario and Rolling Stone Young Guns, Guitar Power is a new series hosted by Matt Sweeney. In each episode, Matt will sit and chat with an up-and-coming guitarist to discuss their influences, technique, gear, and approach. In Episode 1 Matt chats with Animals As Leaders front man Tosin Abasi.


Presented by D’Addario and Rolling Stone Young Guns, Guitar Power is a new series hosted by Matt Sweeney. In each episode, Matt will sit and chat with an up-and-coming guitarist to discuss their influences, technique, gear, and approach. In Episode …

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Roeller’s Custom Guitars – The Crusader

Roeller Crusader
Roeller’s Custom Guitars recently completed this guitar called the “Crusader” (for obvious reasons). The guitar started out life as a Schecter 7 String which Brett Roeller carved, hand painted and refinished.

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For more info on Roeller’s Custom Guitars check out their website at http://roellerscustomguitars.com/.

image

Roeller Crusader
Roeller’s Custom Guitars recently completed this guitar called the “Crusader” (for obvious reasons). The guitar started out life as a Schecter 7 String which Brett Roeller carved, hand painted and refinished.

image

For more info on Roeller’s Custom Guitars check out …

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Andreas Varady, Teenage Jazz Virtuoso – Mind Blown


A few minutes ago Joe Bonamassa posted the following tweet:

Now you’ve probably watched the video above and thought, wow, this kid is really good. Well that particular video was recorded and uploaded in 2010 so Andreas is now 16, one can only imagine how incredible he must be as a guitar player and musician now. Oh wait a minute you don’t have to wonder too much because here is a video of Andreas performing “Quincology” with his trio, the Andreas Varady Trio, at the 47th Montreux Jazz Festival in 2013 (he was still 14 at the time). Quincy Jones introduces Andreas saying “I heard a rumour that he could play like George Benson when he was 10 years old”, he’s not kidding!

Andreas Varady was born on the 24th July 1997, he was born of Hungarian Gypsy descent and raised in a small town in Slovakia. Andreas first began to play the guitar at four years old, tutored by his father, Bandi and is influenced by and idolises George Benson. Varady, now 16, is actually managed by the legengary Quincy Jones and has played at Jazz festivals all over Europe and has performed with the likes of Frank Vignola, Andreas Oberg and Lee Ritenour. Andreas Varady released his first album ‘Questions’ in 2010, yep at the age of 12. His new self-titled album is currently available for pre-order via iTunes.

“…Andreas caught the interest of Bob Zievers, George Benson’s agent, who has signed on to work with the young guitarist. Along with Bob, Andreas simultaneously caught the eye of the famous record producer and music executive David Foster. In the fall of 2013, Foster signed Andreas to his record label, Verve records, which will be releasing his first mass distributed album on August 5, 2014. The new album recorded in January 2014 was executive produced by both Quincy Jones and David Foster, and produced by accomplished musicians and producers David Paich and Jay Oliver. In anticipation of Varady’s debut, four-songs from the album will be released as a digital-only EP called Come Together on June 17, 2014.”

For more info on Andreas Varady check out his website – http://www.andreasvarady.com/.


A few minutes ago Joe Bonamassa posted the following tweet:

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Hal Leonard Blues Guitar Soloing Review

byline picby Pappy

Hal Leonard recently sent me a new instructional book by Keith Wyatt called Blues Guitar Soloing and it is packed to the gills with great instruction to take you from the very basics of blues solos (the minor pentatonic scale), all the way to blues fusions solos, with tons of technique explanation, riffs and licks to practice on, and always a progressive style from least difficult to more difficult before branching off into fusion styles, gear, and what makes for good reference material music-wise.

The book is not written specifically for beginners, though beginners will benefit from it since it starts with basic scales. Instead, it’s written for any players that want to get into blues and it is recommended in the text that even if you are experienced with guitar and think you have a good grip on what the lessons are covering, to at least do some of the first ones to make sure you’re on the right path. This makes perfect sense to me since you’re not going to be a detriment to yourself if you go over what you already know.

Meanwhile, you are on the path desired by the author so the potential miscommunications will be mitigated.

Techniques covered in the book include:

  • Essential skills
  • Blue notes
  • Shuffle phrasing – rhythm and blues
  • Legato, picking, and dynamics
  • Sliding, bending, and vibrato
  • Blues melody – core and color
  • Getting around the neck
  • 12-bar blues
  • Soloing strategies
  • Flavor and textures
  • Harmony and form
  • Tempo – from ballad to boogie
  • Blues fusion
  • Blues sound
  • Style and influences

 There is substantial written instruction in the book so players – particularly new ones – can get a good grasp on technique before being unleashed on the practice licks. Those licks are written out in standard notation and TAB, and the book also includes access to audio examples that can be downloaded with the code provided in the book (no audio discs are included).

 Where Hal Leonard has other books that focus on quick lessons of techniques and feature sparse instructional bits and a couple practice licks to complete lessons of random difficulty, there is definite merit to making a progressional book for students to work through from front to back and come out the other side with a solid grasp on blues that will only be expanded on with further playing and experimentation.

If anyone is looking to become better versed in blues, but also gain a better understanding of the fretboard, this may just be the book for you, and it retails for $24.99 so it’s still affordable too and, for the amount of education you get, that’s a really good price.

You can find this at your local music retailer or online HERE.

byline picby Pappy

Hal Leonard recently sent me a new instructional book by Keith Wyatt called Blues Guitar Soloing and it is packed to the gills with great instruction to take you from the very basics of blues solos (the minor …

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