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Conquering Dystopia (Jeff Loomis & KeithMerrow) – Guitar Clinic @ Nevada Music


Check out these two videos taken from the Nevada Music (Portsmouth, UK) Conquering Dystopia Clinic Tour, where the lucky folk able to attend were treated to some live performances from Jeff Loomis and Keith Merrow from their new Conquering Dystopia album as well as a Q&A session.

Part 2:


Check out these two videos taken from the Nevada Music (Portsmouth, UK) Conquering Dystopia Clinic Tour, where the lucky folk able to attend were treated to some live performances from Jeff Loomis and Keith Merrow from their new Conquering Dystopia …

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Marty Friedman & Gus G. Guitar Universe 2014 European Tour


With the imminent release of probably the most anticipated Marty Friedman to date Friedman has announced plans to tour Europe visiting Scandanavia for the first time as a solo artist. The tour is a co-headline event called Guitar Universe 2014 with Ozzy Osbourne and Firewind guitarist Gus G.

2014 Inferno Tour Dates
May 01 Klubi Tampere, Finland
May 02 Nosturi Helsinki, Finland
May 03 Stockholm Rocks Stockholm, Sweden
May 07 KB Malmö, Sweden
May 11 Le GRILLEN Colmar, France
May 12 Backstage Munich, Germany
May 15 Turock Essen, Germany
May 16 De Boerderij Zoetermeer, Netherlands
May 17 Muziekodroom Hasselt, Belgium
May 20 L’Empreinte Savigny Le Temple, France
May 21 O2 Academy Islington London, United Kingdom
May 22 Queens Hall Nuneaton, United Kingdom

For a full list of dates and to purchase tickets both now and for future dates visit and bookmark Marty’s Bandsintown page – http://www.bandsintown.com/martyfriedman

Guitar Universe 2014 Marty Friedman & Gus G


With the imminent release of probably the most anticipated Marty Friedman to date Friedman has announced plans to tour Europe visiting Scandanavia for the first time as a solo artist. The tour is a co-headline event called Guitar Universe 2014 …

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Owen Campbell Debut Album Release & Australian Tour


After recently returning to Australia and signing to US label Reckless Grace. Owen Campbell is touring the east coast of Australia to promote the second single of his debut album ‘The Pilgrim‘. The new track is called “Remember to Breathe” (check out the video here). Owen’s new album was produced by the legendary Mark Opitz who has worked with some of the best talent that Australia has churned out. Artists including ACDC, Cold Chisel, INXS and Jeff Lang to name a few.

I’ve actually included the video to Sunshine Road above because I think it has some great acoustic slide playing that you will enjoy. You can check out some more previews from his album over at his website here – http://owencampbell.com.au/. I think you’ll agree Owen has a great bluesy voice and vibe so if you live in Australia get along to one of the dates below!

Remember To Breathe – Tour Dates

WED 16 APRIL – Lizotte’s, CENTRAL COAST NSW
www.lizottes.com.au / (02) 4368 2017
Tix: $20.00 + BF
8:00 PM

THUR 17 APRIL – Old Manly Boatshed, MANLY NSW
FREE ENTRY
8:30 PM

SAT 19 APRIL – Deni Blues & Roots Festival, DENILIQUIN NSW
www.denibluesfestival.com

WED 23 APRIL – Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, MELBOURNE VIC
www.bennettslane.com
Tix: $15.00 + BF / $20.00 Door
8:00 PM

THUR 24 APRIL – Beavs Bar, GEELONG VIC
www.oztix.com.au / 1300 762 545
Tix: $15.00 + BF / $20.00 Door
8:00 PM

SAT 26 APRIL – Babushka Lounge, BALLARAT VIC
Tickets Available At The Door
$15.00 Door
8:00 PM

SUN 27 APRIL – Gerogery Hotel, GEROGERY NSW
FREE ENTRY
3:30 PM

FRI 2 MAY – The Abbey, CANBERRA ACT
www.theabbey.com.au / (02) 6230 2905 or Songland (02) 6293 4677
$20.00 + BF / $25.00
8:00 PM

SAT 3 MAY – Camelot Lounge, SYDNEY NSW
www.camelotlounge.wordpress.com
Tix: $15.00 + BF / $20.00 Door
8:00 PM

SUN 4 MAY – Lizotte’s, NEWCASTLE NSW
http://www.lizottes.com.au/ (02) 4956 2066
Tix: $20.00 + BF
8:00 PM

FRI 9 MAY – Mudgee Brewing Company, MUDGEE NSW **
FREE ENTRY
5:00 PM

SAT 10 MAY – Garden Hotel, DUBBO NSW
FREE ENTRY
8:00 PM

SUN 11 MAY – Towradgi Beach Hotel, TOWRADGI NSW
FREE ENTRY
3:30 PM

THUR 15 MAY – Armidale Club, ARMIDALE NSW
www.thearmidaleclub.com
Tix: $15.00 + BF / $20.00 Door
8:30 PM

FRI 16 MAY + SAT 17 MAY – Goondiwindi River Jam, GOONDIWINDI QLD
FREE ENTRY

SAT 17 MAY – Queensland Hotel, GOONDIWINDI QLD (evening)
FREE ENTRY
9:00 PM

SUN 18 MAY – The Royal Mail Hotel, GOODNA QLD
FREE ENTRY
2:00 PM

WED 21 MAY – The Joynt, BRISBANE QLD
Tickets Available At The Door
$5.00
8:00 PM

THUR 22 – SUN 25 MAY – Blues On Broadbeach Festival, GOLD COAST QLD
http://www.bluesonbroadbeach.com/ FREE ENTRY


After recently returning to Australia and signing to US label Reckless Grace. Owen Campbell is touring the east coast of Australia to promote the second single of his debut album ‘The Pilgrim‘. The new track is called “Remember …

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Maxon releases Fuzz Elements Series Effects Pedals

MAXON FUZZ ELEMENTS
Wow Fuzz pedals must be really popular, Maxon aren’t releasing one Fuzz pedal but 7! Each of the new models is designed to reproduce classic vintage Fuzz pedals.

Using modern software technology, Maxon has modeled and mapped the complex elements that make up the core sounds of these legendary effect units, reproducing them using advanced analog circuitry that is both accurate and stable.

Each Fuzz Elements model features a compact, diecast enclosure, LED status indicator, easy-access battery door and true bypass switching.

FA10 Fuzz Elements Air – Accurately replicates the classic octave-fuzz sounds of the Univox Super Fuzz. Two distinct fuzz tones via the Fat/Scoop switch. Street Price $189

FEA10 Fuzz Elements Earth – Based on the classic “Ram’s Head” transistor fuzz circuit of the 70’s – loud, throaty fuzz with singing sustain and excellent note definition. Street price $189

FE10 Fuzz Elements Ether – Adds a parametric tone section to the FA10 circuit. Cut or Boost specific frequencies to create a variety of new fuzz/Octavia tones. Street price $199

FF10 Fuzz Elements Fire – Emulates the massive, bottom-heavy octave-fuzz sounds of the Roland Bee Baa. Features two distinct fuzz sounds via the Notch Footswitch. Street price $189

FWA10 Fuzz Elements Water – Adds a parametric tone section to the FEA10 circuit. Cut or Boost specific frequencies to create a variety of new fuzz/distortion tones. Street price $199

FW10 Fuzz Elements Wind – Conjures up the classic fuzz tones of the Vox Tonebender Mk. II. Vintage/Hot gain settings and switchable output buffer. Street price $189

FV10 Fuzz Elements Void – Based on the Ampeg Scrambler, generates even-order harmonic overtones that are dynamic and frequency dependent to create unique Octavia/ring modulator sounds. Street Price $189

For more info on Maxon products visit their website www.maxonfx.com

MAXON FUZZ ELEMENTS
Wow Fuzz pedals must be really popular, Maxon aren’t releasing one Fuzz pedal but 7! Each of the new models is designed to reproduce classic vintage Fuzz pedals.

Using modern software technology, Maxon has modeled and mapped the complex elements

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Reverend Horton Heat “REV” Review

byline picby Pappy

As far as important bands go, there are none more important to me than the Reverend Horton Heat.  As my guitar playing became stagnant and my music appreciation dipped to an all-time low, nothing was exciting.  Nothing was motivating.  Nothing was fun anymore.  Musically, I mean.  I’m not saying I was a depressed teenager, I was just playing guitar way less and I pretty much stopped listening to music.

But then a boss at work asked if I like 50s music (I do) and have I ever heard the Reverend Horton Heat (I hadn’t).  He put it on the store’s stereo and I was greeted with the strangest musical mix I’ve ever heard.  You could tell that it was inspired by the very roots of rock and roll’s golden era, but took elements from all sorts of more modern music genres.  In an interview, singer/guitarist Jim “Reverend Horton Heat” Heath said he knew a guy in art school who did every project with popsicle sticks.  They were always incorporated into the projects somehow and was the artist’s signature.  Heath went on to say that his song writing is meant to be diverse, to be original, and not repetitious, but there will always be a similar core to his music.  His popsicle sticks, so to speak.

Right away my musical interest was piqued, my motivation to play guitar rekindled. Jim Heath saved my guitar-playing life and is responsible for me still playing and, ultimately, being here right now writing about it.

Lyrically, The Reverend Horton Heat talks about everything, but that first album I heard (Holy Roller, which is a greatest hits of sorts from his time on the Sub Pop record label) dealt with cars, drugs, alcohol, advocating the eating of meat, asking his girlfriend to masturbate for him, and an interracial cowboy homosexual relationship.  Some of the songs were more subtle than others lyrically, but they were all enjoyable and humorous.

I was sold immediately, and began to devour his other offerings.  Every album sounds different from the last, with more emphasis placed on this style, or this theme, or leaning more toward this genre, but they are all great and worth listening to.

Fans have their favorites for various reasons, as do the critics, but the band’s latest offering, REV, is a pleaser to every fan of the band, regardless of their favorite albums/eras.  Imagine a greatest hits album from your favorite band that includes songs you’ve never heard before.  THAT is the REV album.  It’s like new songs sampling from the band’s long and diverse career, but written to a higher standard that only time and experience can provide.  If any fan of the band expressed their favorite thing about the band’s music, it’s included in this album.  Like suggestive lyrics?  There’s a song with all sorts of innuendos.  Like the darker, western swing-ish era like from the band’s offering Spend a Night in the Box (my previous favorite album)?  There’s a song on this album that sounds like it belongs on that one.  Like fast music?  Like slow music?  Like vintage-sounding music?  Like more modern, fast paced roots rock and roll?  Everything is on the album waiting for you.

cover

I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and diversity of the album.  It was pitched as a more edgy, fast-paced album, and I expected full-throttle from beginning to end.  I still expected awesome stuff, but I expected it to all be in the same vein.  While the album is edgy and some songs are indeed fast-paced, the album has enough ebbs and flows in tempo, themes, and sounds that keep you interested.  It also includes some amazing guitar playing that is very uniquely Jim Heath.

Heath’s playing needs to be heard to be believed.  He uses few pedals, instead relying on his playing dynamics and his guitar’s volume, and has a command of multiple genres that are all put in his mind’s blender and what comes out is intricate, difficult stuff, but he plays it effortlessly, usually with his eyes closed on stage, unfazed by what the crowds are doing around him.

REV is the band’s masterpiece so far, and I can’t recommend it enough.  If you’ve never heard of the Reverend Horton Heat, this a great starting-point.  If you haven’t been listening to their more recent material for whatever reason, you really need to check this album out and get back into them.  If you like roots rock and roll in all its varieties, this album is for you.  Do yourself a favor and go buy it.

Photo of album cover courtesy of ReverendHortonHeat.com

byline picby Pappy

As far as important bands go, there are none more important to me than the Reverend Horton Heat.  As my guitar playing became stagnant and my music appreciation dipped to an all-time low, nothing was exciting.  Nothing was …

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Seymour Duncan Releases The Jason Becker Perpetual Burn Humbucker

jason becker seymour duncan humbucker
I didn’t know that Jason Becker had been working on a signature Seymour Duncan pickup when he was recording David Lee Roth’s “A Little ‘Aint Enough”, which by the way is one of my favourite albums of that era and definitely my favourite of Jason Becker’s work as it showed an amazing rhythmic and melodic side to him that people hadn’t heard before before. The story of this new humbucker is explained in the video below but to sum it up Michael Lee Firkins was over at Jason’s house testing an amp with a load of Jason’s guitars and one stood out. That particular guitar had the prototype Jason Becker signature Seymour Duncan humbucker that was never released due to his illness.

We finally plugged in the guitar with one of my test Duncans in it, and we were all floored! It was like magic. We decided to finalize the pickup and I would say the final tone sounds like me, only way better! It has the thick beef and balls that we metal players and old Van Halen fans like, plus a sweet, clear and crisp, yet warm lead tone.”

With an Alnico 5 bar magnet and a 12.11k DC resistance, this pickup has the clarity and punch for Jason’s brand of high-octane shred but is a great choice for rock, blues, and fusion as well. It’s a drop-in replacement for any humbucker-equipped guitar and requires no modification to the instrument. Each Perpetual Burn pickup is hand built in Santa Barbara, California and is available in standard spacing or trembucker and in black, white or zebra and can be ordered in an assortment of colors as a shop floor custom.

For more information, visit: www.SeymourDuncan.com

jason becker seymour duncan humbucker
I didn’t know that Jason Becker had been working on a signature Seymour Duncan pickup when he was recording David Lee Roth’s “A Little ‘Aint Enough”, which by the way is one of my favourite albums of that era and …

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Hutchinson Guitar Concepts Viking Les Paul

hutchinson viking les paul concept
Hutchinson Guitar Concepts has just released its third Viking concept, based on a Gibson Les Paul Custom. Check out the previous two Viking concepts, the Viking V and Viking SG.

With detailed knotwork carved into the top and arching shiplap style panelling, it looks ready to invade the shoreline.

The Zakk Wylde EMG 81/85 pickups feature engraved knotwork and a worn metal finish matching the Evertune bridge. As with all HGC designs, the weight and tone of the original guitar is left unaffected.

More designs are available through the Hutchinson Guitar Concepts website, which feature a portfolio of finished instruments inspired by wide ranging themes and executed through hundreds of hours of intricate wood carving, masterful finishing and state of the art electronics.

Hutchinson Guitar Concepts accept requests for new custom concepts and designs, offering extensive modifications to existing guitars, or complete concept instruments built to the highest standard. Contact james@hutchinsonguitars.com for quotations and design requests.

To learn more about Hutchinson Guitar Concepts visit: www.hutchinsonguitars.com

hutchinson viking les paul concept
Hutchinson Guitar Concepts has just released its third Viking concept, based on a Gibson Les Paul Custom. Check out the previous two Viking concepts, the Viking V and Viking SG.

With detailed knotwork carved into the top and arching

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5 Things You Learn When You Compete in Guitar Contests

byline picby Pappy

Pro Tone Pedals came out with a contest last month that challenged guitar players to record their riffs using Pro Tone pedals and upload them to SoundCloud where Dennis and Co. would judge them.  The winner would get a free pedal, the runner-up would get a tee-shirt, and everyone else received a hearty thank you in a tie for third place.  So you were guaranteed to win something.

I had never entered a guitar contest before.  My opinions on playing always fell on the “peace and love” side of things where music is individual expression and completely subjective and because of these two things, how can you have a contest?  But Pro Tone never gives out free pedals and I wanted to jump on this opportunity since they make some of the best pedals out there.  So I started laying out my riffs, writing, practicing, and recording.  I worked my tail off, ultimately turning in 9 of the 29 submitted tracks.  Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

merrow

 

#1: Competition is good.

Yes, music is subjective, and yes, music is individual expression, but competition doesn’t always mean you competing with someone else directly.  The way I tackled it, I wanted to win and my best opportunity to win would come from putting forth the best product I could.  The competition (not the competitors) made me really focus and actively try to do things I normally couldn’t.  I tried to play faster, tighter, put more emphasis on timing and variety, to write more than just one or two-bar licks and actually try to write riffs that were interesting and worth listening to.  If the competition hadn’t been there, the driving force behind getting better and pushing my quality of work wouldn’t have been nearly as strong.  Yes, I probably would have been happy with my licks as they stood pre-competition, but not nearly as happy as I am now that I’ve fleshed them out a bit more.

dead horse

 

#2: It’s frustrating.  

Good lord, it is SO frustrating to record guitar.  First you have to hunt down the tone that you want or at least want to build on.  There’s a ton of mouse-clicking and knob-twisting and there’s always a fight going on in your mind between what is “good enough,” and “what you really want.”  Even after you settle on your tone (or achieve tonal bliss and hit the right spots in your setup), other little things creep in to your consciousness.  The hum that wasn’t there a second ago is now very prevalent in your headphones.  You’re hungry now.  You have to pee.  Whatever.  When you finally get everything where you want and you’re all settled down, there’s still the little matter of playing the riff.  ”Practice bears only fruit,” (as Scorpion from Mortal Kombat said) but that doesn’t mean that the first time you play your riff after hitting record will be the last time.  I had such a hard time recording one of the riffs I wrote that I sat there playing it for hours, just running through it again and again until I missed a triplet and then starting all over.  I didn’t want to turn in sub-par work, or work that I wouldn’t be proud of, so I held myself to doing my absolute best.  Not THE best, but MY best.  In the end I can spot some errors in my playing, but overall I’m pretty satisfied with the results.

 

#3: You’re better than you think.

While I had my above excuses why I never entered a guitar competition, the core truth of the matter is that I was unsure of my own playing ability.  Scared.  Nobody likes to be mocked or made to feel bad about anything, especially something they love.  At least I don’t.  You may be different.  So to save myself all the grief of being the weakest player, I play alone a lot.  I would listen to albums and think that there’s no WAY I could actually write something worth listening to or that people would like, or even jam with friends because my quality wasn’t nearly the same as the recording artists I listen to all the time.  Of course this is a ridiculous line of thought.  It would be like if a kid insisted on not playing basketball with his friends because he’s not as good RIGHT NOW as Larry Bird (or whoever you kids like nowadays).  After submitting my tracks and listening to the others, though… I’m still not on the same level as some of the other players, But at least the ratio between my playing and theirs isn’t as gaping as it is with pros.  It’s almost like we’re from the same world when it comes to playing, not like the pros who might as well be aliens.  While I still feel a bit dominated, I do feel a lot better about my writing.

 phase

#4: Faces matter.

The Internet is an interesting thing that everyone knows is populated by trolls and undesirable people.  We were all warned about before we logged in for the first time.  The recordings I’ve done in the past have been good enough, but JUST good enough.  I cared about the quality some of the time, but others I would completely say “that’s good enough,” and punch off.  The recordings that I put effort into weren’t all that much better – I would just listen for a lack of mistakes and call it good.  I wouldn’t focus on tone, or quality, just a lack of mistakes.  But Dennis announced this contest on video and it’s DENNIS.  Dennis has a name (Dennis) and he’s a real person (evidenced by the video), not an anonymous Internet troll.  The people that he works with are real people, too.  The fact that there were real people that were going to sit down and judge the riffs made the whole thing seem much more real and way more important to me.  I had names and faces of real people who mattered, not a global sea of usernames.  I wanted to impress these people, and that was a huge motivator.

#5: All the work pays off (even if you don’t win).

While writing more fleshed-out material is sometimes tricky, and getting your playing up to your personal best is a pain, and getting it all on tape is an exercise in frustration, it’s all worth it in the end.  My writing has never been better, my playing has never been tighter, and the recordings are there as proof.  I’m happier and more satisfied as a player.  How can this not be worth it?  Even if I didn’t win, I still consider myself a winner of sorts with these cool recordings.  I mean, how could I not?

Update: I wanted to wait until after the winners were announced before publishing this post and they were announced last night.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t win, but at least I have nine better riffs to continue working on.  Want to hear the winning tracks?  If so, here you go:

1st Place: https://soundcloud.com/m-plk/serenade-of-the-muffin

Tied 2nd Place: https://soundcloud.com/smarek/pro-tone-pedals-winter-riff

https://soundcloud.com/canniballistix/pro-tone-pedals-winter-riff-1

And, if you would like to hear everyone else’s submissions, including my own, you can click HERE.

 

All photos courtesy of Pro Tone Pedals.

byline picby Pappy

Pro Tone Pedals came out with a contest last month that challenged guitar players to record their riffs using Pro Tone pedals and upload them to SoundCloud where Dennis and Co. would judge them.  The winner would get …

Click here to comment

Parker Guitars Announces USA Model Humbucker Pickup Upgrade

Seymour Duncan
Press Release
Parker Guitars is pleased to announce an upgrade to the pickups in its USA Fly and MaxxFly humbucker equipped lines. The new pickups are based on Seymour Duncan’s current ’59(SH1N), Jazz(SH2N) and JB(TB4) pickups but will now feature 2 rows of black screws and a black Seymour Duncan Logo. The second row of screws replaces the old standard flat pole piece.

The new pickups will tie in nicely with the current all black hardware on USA Flys and Maxflys while still making a quality statement with the subtly visible Seymour Duncan name. Having 2 rows of black screws will provide unprecedented control over string to string balance, allowing players to tailor the response of the pickup to their individual playing style with more precision than ever before.

Parker is currently shipping 6 string models with these new Seymour Duncan pickups with 7 string models soon to follow.

http://www.parkerguitars.com/

Seymour Duncan
Press Release
Parker Guitars is pleased to announce an upgrade to the pickups in its USA Fly and MaxxFly humbucker equipped lines. The new pickups are based on Seymour Duncan’s current ’59(SH1N), Jazz(SH2N) and JB(TB4) pickups but will now feature …

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Guitar Center’s 2nd Annual Guitar Expo

image

Guitar Center’s second annual Musician’s Expo is slated to return to the Long Beach Convention Center this month, providing attendees an exclusive opportunity to preview the latest products from premier music manufacturers around the world. The Expo is yet another example of Guitar Center’s commitment to encouraging and inspiring musicians, by bringing vendors, demos, workshops, and musical performances to musicians and fans in the SoCal area. Attendees will get a sneak-peek at the newest musical instruments and accessories not-yet-available in stores and are encouraged to test out the equipment and interact with the expert representatives. Tickets are free and available at Guitar Center stores around Los Angeles. Additional tickets will be available at the door for $5 admission.

WHO:
10:30 AM – Antoine DuFour
11:25 AM – Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘n Roses) featuring EJ Curse and Eric Gardner
12:20 PM – The Beta Machine featuring Jeff Friedl, Matt McJunkins (A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Puscifer), and special guests
1:15 PM – Tokimonsta
2:10 PM – Grinder Blues featuring dUg Pinnick (King’s X) and the Bihlman Bros (five time Emmy Award winners)
3:05 PM – ROME

WHEN:
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Doors at 10 AM
Performances run from 10:30 AM – 4 PM

WHERE:
Long Beach Convention Center
HALL C
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802

image

Guitar Center’s second annual Musician’s Expo is slated to return to the Long Beach Convention Center this month, providing attendees an exclusive opportunity to preview the latest products from premier music manufacturers around the world. The Expo is yet another

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