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IRON MAIDEN Coming to Rock Band June 9

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

According to Gamespy, Harmonix and EA today announced that 12 Iron Maiden tracks will be added June 9 to the Rock Band Music Store, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii. This release coincides with the release of Iron Maiden's Flight 666 on Blu-ray and DVD, double-CD soundtrack album, and limited edition double-vinyl picture disc. Flight 666 documents the first leg of Iron Maiden's Somewhere Back In Time World Tour, where the band flew around the world playing 23 concerts on five continents in 45 days.

Here's the complete track listing:

"2 Minutes to Midnight" Powerslave
"The Trooper" Piece of Mind
"Wasted Years" Somewhere in Time
"Run to the Hills" The Number of the Beast
"Can I Play With Madness" Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
"The Clairvoyant" Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
"Powerslave" Powerslave
"Aces High" (live) Flight 666
"Fear of the Dark" (live) Flight 666
"Hallowed Be Thy Name" (live) Flight 666
"Iron Maiden" (live) Flight 666

The tracks will be available as part of the "Iron Maiden Pack" or as individual a la carte downloads for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The tracks will only be sold individually for Wii. Individual tracks will cost the in-game equivalent of $2.00 (160 Microsoft Points, 200 Wii Points) each or $19.99 (1600 Microsoft Points) for the Iron Maiden Pack.

Get Iron Maiden guitar tabs, lessons, and jam tracks here!

GRETSCH GUITARS Presents the Fred and Joe Show

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 29, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Fred Gretsch IIIGretsch enthusiasts will have the chance to celebrate the music Gretsch Guitars has been a part of since their guitar production began in the 1930s. Fred Gretsch III, along with Gretsch marketing honcho Joe Carducci, will be appearing at Gretsch dealers across the U.S. sharing some of the behind-the-scenes stories and musical performances that helped catapult the iconic family business to prominence. 

Patrons will be transported through time with a multi-media presentation of sights and sounds including rare Gretsch family archive photos and mind-blowing guitar footage from past and future legends. Fred will also offer his "$2 Quiz," in which Gretsch-related trivia questions are posed to the audience, and the correct answer wins a crisp $2 bill. This is the chance to get to know Fred Gretsch up-close-and-personal in a casual, open forum.

The Gretsch "Fred & Joe Show" dates, cities, and venues are:

13  Brooklyn, N.Y.       Street Sounds
26  Fort Wayne, Ind.     Sweetwater Sound
27  Fort Wayne, Ind.     Sweetwater Sound

18  San Antonio, Texas   Redbone Guitars

1   Rochester, N.Y.      House of Guitars
8   Brookfield, Wis.     Cream City
15  LaCrosse, Wis.       Dave’s Guitar
22  Tucson, Ariz.        Rainbow Guitar
29  Los Angeles          West LA Music

Get Brian Setzer guitar tabs, video lessons, and jam tracks here!

STEVE VAI's Naked Tracks Box Set To See June Release

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 28, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Steve Vai is set to release his famed Naked Tracks on CD for the first time, available the first week of June exclusively at Guitar Center. Previously only sold at his web site and on iTunes as downloads only, Vai wanted to give his fans and players of all ages something special—an excellent practice tool for any guitarist.

"Through the years, whenever I would mix my records I would usually do a mix of specific songs without the lead guitar," says Vai. "This allowed me to play along with the track or make loops to jam to, and because I figured perhaps someday maybe others would like to do the same. Voila! We have arrived at someday!"

Naked Tracks is housed in a special limited edition digi-pack box set. This series of play-along CDs is designed to help create an atmosphere of focus so you can shred yourself into inspirational nirvana. Included in the set are 5 CDs featuring backing tracks from the following albums:

Passion And Warfare
Sex & Religion
Alien Love Secrets
Fire Garden
The Ultra Zone
Alive In An Ultra World
Real Illusions: Reflections

You can download the liner notes, transcripts, tab, lead sheets, and scores all available soon at There, Vai will give the various parameters regarding the key, scale, time signature, and more of each track as well as guitar solo transcripts and tabs. It's a must-have for aspiring and seasoned guitarists alike.

Meanwhile, get Steve Vai guitar tab here!

Top 10 Must Know Blues Riffs

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 28, 2009 at 4:47 PM

What guitarist doesn't like to sit in on a rippin', roarin' 12-bar blues jam? I can't think of many in my experience. So to help edify your blues knowledge as well as instill a new sense of confidence at that Tuesday night open jam, here are 10 must-know blues tunes, whose riffs form the basis for a majority of the blues you'll ever hear.

10. "Hide Away" Freddie King
Arguably the greatest blues instrumental ever recorded, this tune moves through seven different choruses, including a fun take on the "Peter Gunn" theme.

9. "Born Under a Bad Sign" Albert King
Constructed in the not-so-common key of C#, King's ominous riff drives an unusual blues form consisting of eight-bar choruses and four-bar verses.

8. "Boom Boom" John Lee Hooker
"How! How! How!" And how! This fundamental blues riff is another open-position E blues gem that is so much fun to play you just can't stop.

7. "Killing Floor" Howlin' Wolf
Played by longtime Wolf man Hubert Sumlin, this honkin' riff uses treble-voiced chord inversions and diatonic 6ths intervals to create a riff as big as Wolf's overpowering roar.

6. "Dust My Broom" Elmore James
Elmore James' reworking of the Robert Johnson classic became his signature tune, and it is one of the most recorded blues songs ever.

5. "I'm Tore Down" Eric Clapton
Clapton's version of Freddie King's rollicking blues swings harder than Prince Fielder! The traditional Chicago blues bass line riff and the stop-time in the chorus combine to make it a blues guitar all-star.

4. "Pride and Joy" Stevie Ray Vaughan
Vaughan's combination of boogie bass line and muted chord stabs made it sound like there were two SRVs playing at once!

3. "Rollin' Stone (Catfish Blues)" Muddy Waters
A traditional Delta blues theme born from K.C. Douglas, Muddy Waters's version of the open-position E blues riff so inspired  Mick and Keef they named the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band after it!

2. "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" Muddy Waters
Put simply, it don't get any bluer than this Willie Dixon-penned 12/8 slow blues riff!

1. "Sweet Home Chicago" Robert Johnson
The standard E blues shuffle of E5-E6-E7-E6 is hands-down the most ubiquitous guitar riff in history, and it's all based Robert Johnson's cut boogie pattern in "Sweet Home Chicago."

JIMMY HERRING BAND Announces Summer Tour Dates

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Jimmy HerringIf you live west of the Mississippi, it's time to get your jam on. Guitarist Jimmy Herring has announced 15 shows this summer, including stops in Wakarusa Festival on June 4 and Telluride Jazz on June 7.

Pioneering a daring hybrid which crosses rock energy with the sophistication and improvisational fire of jazz, Herring's dynamic, exploratory guitar playing has been a key component of such renowned groups as the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jazz is Dead, Project Z, and, most recently, Widespread Panic. Much esteemed by his fellow musicians, Herring has also been called upon for stints with Phil Lesh and Friends, the Allman Brothers Band, and the Dead.

But this summer belongs to the Jimmy Herring Band, which features drummer extraordinaire Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jazz is Dead, Shawn Lane), prolific jazz maverick Greg Osby on saxophone, multifaceted keyboardist Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech), and the dynamic Neal Fountain on bass (Jeff Sipe, Alex Machacek, Col Bruce Hampton). The quintet will be performing a wide range of material, including compositions from Herring's long-awaited and much-acclaimed 2008 solo debut, Lifeboat. In addition, there will be some cover tunes from various influential records from the '60s and '70s, and select favorites from the catalogues of the individual band members. Herring is understandably excited about the prospect of performing this music with this lineup over an extended period of time.

"It's a shot of adrenaline to get to play with musicians who are pushing the envelope and breaking down the walls that exist between genres of music," says the guitarist. "Each of these musicians inspires with every note they play."

Here is a complete tour itinerary:

6/4  Wakarusa Music, Ozark, AK
6/5  Flytrap Music Hall , Tulsa, OK
6/7  Telluride Jazz Fest , Telluride, CO
6/9  Belly Up , Aspen, CO
6/10 Fox Theatre , Boulder, CO
6/11 Aggies Theatre, Ft Collins, CO
6/12 Cervantes Ballroom, Denver, CO
6/13 Cervantes Ballroon, Denver, CO
6/14 Urban Lounge , Salt Lake City, UT
6/16 Crystal Bay Club Casino , Reno, NV
6/17 Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA
6/18 Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
6/19 House of Blues, West Hollywood, CA
6/20 St.Rocke, Hermosa Beach, CA
6/21 Belly Up Tavern, Solano Beach, CA   

Win a PRS Guitar Autographed by Saving Abel

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 26, 2009 at 11:39 AM

TouchTunes has announced a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Paul Reed Smith guitar signed by the members of Saving Abel. You can enter the sweepstakes at TouchTunes digital jukebox screens nationwide or online through June 8. 

The sweepstakes is timed to support the marketing push for "Drowning (Face Down)," the band's third consecutive Top 5 hit from their self-titled debut album. The song is anticipated to mirror the success of the band's first single, "Addicted," which has has sold 1.5 million downloads to date and was the most played song at active rock radio in 2008. Saving Abel is the first band since 2006 to have their first three singles reach the Top 10 at active rock radio.  

Saving Abel will be on tour with Nickelback, another TouchTunes favorite, throughout the summer.   Nickelback partnered with TouchTunes earlier this year to promote their Dark Horse tour with a TouchTunes sweepstakes offering fans the chance to win two tickets for one of six tour dates. 

Get guitar tab to Saving Abel's "Addicted" here!

PRS Saving Abel contest



CHICKENFOOT to Appear on "The Tonight Show" with Conan O'Brien Friday June 5

Posted by Michael Mueller on May 26, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Chickenfoot will perform on "The Tonight Show" with Conan O'Brien on Friday, June 5th. Following the taping, Chickenfoot will head on over to Best Buy at 11301 W. Pico Blvd., in Los Angeles, to autograph their debut self-titled debut, starting at 8:00 pm. The release date for the CD has been moved to June 5th instead of the previously announced June 9th date.

The band's first single, "Oh Yeah," (see below) is the #1 single on the Classic Rock charts and the #1 most added single in the Mainstream Rock charts. For more on Chickenfoot, visit the band's web site here.

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