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Moniker Guitars Adds Customizable Guitar Cases

moniker custom case
Austin (TX) based custom guitar shop Moniker Guitars have announced the addition of an electric guitar case customizer to their website. Moniker have already had great success with their online guitar configurator so it makes perfect sense to expand the business to allow for case customisation and I don’t think any other company offers this as a service. Like the guitar builder, the case customization process allows you to choose pre-designed graphics or add your own graphics or logos. The customizable case as well as shipping is included at no additional cost (on domestic orders only).

“We are always looking to give customers an extra level of customization,” said Moniker co-founder Kevin Tully. “We’ve had a lot of demand for personalized cases and we thought it was a great idea to be able to customize a case to match your custom guitar.”

From the beginning Moniker has differentiated itself from other custom electric guitar manufacturers by offering an easy customization process, an affordable price, and faster turnaround times — about four weeks — compared to the months it typically takes at other shops.

https://monikerguitars.com

moniker custom case
Austin (TX) based custom guitar shop Moniker Guitars have announced the addition of an electric guitar case customizer to their website. Moniker have already had great success with their online guitar configurator so it makes perfect sense to expand the …

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Guitar Lesson: Building riffs from exercises

I was reading a comment from Misha Mansoor of Periphery the other day, he was talking about working with Tosin Abasi on the latest Animals As Leaders album ‘The Joy Of Motion’ and said how Tosin had an amazing knack of turning exercises into riffs, well his exact words were “[Tosin] manages to turn technique exercises into beautiful riffs and passages, which in my opinion is a gift. Although he has a deep understanding of theory, and may use it as the basis for riffs, he still trusts his ear over everything.” This reminded me of another story, I was reading Slash’s biography and he talks about how one day he was noodling on his guitar playing a pentatonic exercise he’d come up with and someone (Izzy maybe?) said that’s great, what is that? Next thing you know it becomes the intro to ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ and a classic rock song is born.

Exercises are usually designed to work on a particular area of technique, it may be to strengthen and improve dexterity of certain fingers or finger combinations, it may be to improve your hybrid picking, it may just be to warm up your fingers before playing a tricky song. Now I’m not expecting you to immediately grab your guitar and start creating challenging exercises, that is almost as difficult as writing great riffs, it takes practice and a lot of experimentation. However, there are loads of resources online and in guitar mags so why not let someone else do some of the work for you? Find an exercise that interests you sonically that you can make some rhythmic or melodic changes to in order to turn it into a riff.

You can’t just play an exercise over a drum beat and expect it to sound good but by using an exercise as a springboard you might just be able to create something really cool. Let’s give it a try by taking a scalar exercise and altering notes and changing the rhythm.

Alternate-picking-exercise

Pretty dull huh? Let’s make some changes to make it more interesting. Let’s keep the first 12 notes the same then play the 8th fret 3 times, 5th fret 3 times, 7th fret 3 times and 8th fret 3 times. Now lets repeat that pattern for the second half of the exercise that starts on the 7th fret.

Alternate-picking-riff

By making this relatively small change to the exercise we have turned it into a riff! Now let’s add some rhythmic variation to the riff, remove the 2nd and 7th notes from the start and the section where you shift down to the 7th fret, in place of these notes we will add a rest or silence.

Alternate-picking-riff-2

Now that’s more like it! Just by making a couple of small changes to what started as a pretty ordinary exercise we have a cool sounding riff. So now it is your turn, search for an exercise online (just google “guitar exercises”) and grab a portion of an exercise you like then experiment with changing the rhythm or like I did in my example repeating notes. It’s a fun and easy way to start creating your own riffs that may eventually turn into songs.

I was reading a comment from Misha Mansoor of Periphery the other day, he was talking about working with Tosin Abasi on the latest Animals As Leaders album ‘The Joy Of Motion’ and said how Tosin had an amazing knack …

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Improve your guitar playing by focussing on your achievements

In my recent article ‘5 Steps Toward Guitar Success Part 2‘ I talked about setting small achievable goals and judging your own achievements rather than listening all the time to the criticism of others. Today I want to take that a little further by discussing how to focus on your achievements, not your failures.

Today I was mowing the lawn, not a task I particularly enjoy, but when I was finished I looked at what I had achieved in the heat of the midday sun (yeah stupid time to do it I know!) and realised my garden looked amazing in comparison to half an hour prior. This memory will serve well as motivation in a couple of weeks when I need to do it all over again. So what on earth does that have to do with playing guitar I hear you say, well bear with me there is a point to that story I promise…

It is very easy to lose motivation when learning to play guitar, sometimes it feels like you can go days or even weeks without any real noticeable improvement. The thing is every time you practice guitar you are improving you just need a way to focus on what exactly you have achieved each practice session rather than feeling disheartened and that you are failing to become the next .

Here is a simple idea, every time you have finished playing guitar and put it back in the case think about what you have achieved that day. Maybe you were learning a song and you have commit the whole song’s chord sequences to memory, maybe you have just focused on the guitar solo and have been able to play it up to speed…

But maybe this is trying to achieve too much? Maybe you haven’t been able to play through the song yet as hoped but you can now play the intro riff and within a few days expect to have that totally perfect? You see you don’t have to put too much pressure on yourself, just think about what you HAVE achieved rather than what you consider to have failed to achieve.

“Learn to expect, not to doubt. In so doing, you bring everything into the realm of possibility.” — Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

When I was younger I had a pretty defeatist attitude toward guitar playing, if something was too challenging such as an Yngwie solo I’d just accept that I was never going to be good enough to play it. The thing is everybody is capable of learning to play an Yngwie solo as long as they are willing to spend enough time working on the various techniques, fingering and picking patterns and breaking down the solo into bite size sections to work on. Granted this could be months or even years rather than hours or days, but you CAN get there in the end if you have the determination and continue to focus on your achievements along the way.

Just remember that by picking up the guitar again tomorrow, next week, whenever, you have already overcome failure. Keep playing and most of all remind yourself regularly why it is you wanted to learn guitar in the first place, it is meant to be fun and it is something you can spend a lifetime improving on, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself!

In my recent article ‘5 Steps Toward Guitar Success Part 2‘ I talked about setting small achievable goals and judging your own achievements rather than listening all the time to the criticism of others. Today I want to …

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Gear Demo: D’Addario NS Artist Capo


The new NS Artist Capo from D’Addario/Planet Waves has been designed to improve upon regular Capo designs by utilizing a patented tri-action geometry which reduces the force required to open and close the capo while applying even tension regardless of neck profile. The micrometer tension adjustment and direct horizontal pressure means that the NS Artist Capo virtually eliminates pulling the strings side to side and the need to retune during use. But just in case you do, the Capo comes with a mounting bracket for the D’Addario/Planet Waves Micro Tuner which, one attached, is hidden from view around the back of the neck and can be adjusted to be in direct line of sight for quick and easy tuning adjustments.

Something I failed to mention in my demonstration above is that the NS Artist Capo also includes an integrated pick holder so while you have the Capo attached if you drop your pick you can quickly grab a backup pick from the top of the attached Capo. You can see this demonstrated in the photo below:
D'Addario ns artist capo

The main feature for me is how easy this Capo is to attach to your guitar, as you can see in my video demonstration it is possible to open and close the NS Artist Capo fully using just thumb and forefinger, with my other Capo’s this is impossible and requires a full grip, even then you are in danger of it springing open and damaging your guitar with some devices.

Features

  • Designed for use on 6-string electric and acoustic guitars
  • Micrometer tension adjustment assures buzz-free in-tune performance at every fret
  • Patented Tri-Action geometry offers easy use and even clamping tension
  • Lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Integrated pick holder
  • Includes NS Micro Tuner mounting bracket

For more information including links to online dealers check out PlanetWaves.com.


The new NS Artist Capo from D’Addario/Planet Waves has been designed to improve upon regular Capo designs by utilizing a patented tri-action geometry which reduces the force required to open and close the capo while applying even tension regardless of …

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Mesa Boogie “Spirit of Art” Plant Tour






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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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