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Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 11-30-2010

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 30, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Paul Gilbert Intense Rock DVDIn his now-classic (and downright hilarious) "Intense Rock" instructional videos, Paul Gilbert taught a shred pattern that involved playing the first six notes of the natural minor scale on strings 5-6, then moving the pattern up an octave for strings 3-4, and finally up another octave and repeated on strings 1-2. It makes for a fun and effective alternate picking exercise, and it's rather useful for climbing the fretboard in rapid fashion. Still, it's a bit "exercise-y."

To give this lick a little bit of country kick, I took a cue from shredder John 5 and added some open strings and nifty chromaticism. Based loosely on the extended A minor pentatonic scale shape, this lick features a six-note quasi-chromatic pattern that played in three different octaves, with an open-string attack on each string. Even though it starts on the open low E string, the root is the A note on the 6th string, preceded by said open E and then the b7th (G) and major 7th (G#).

As you'll see in the video, the fingering is quite simple, using your index, middle, and ring fingers, for each string's chromatic sequence. Using the open string as a starting note gives your fret hand just enough time to shift positions.

Coincidentally, if you move the six-note pattern down a half step and consider the open E the root, this exact same pattern works deliciously well over an E or E7 chord.

Lick of the Week 14

Paul Gilbert Demos His New DiMarzio Injector Pickups

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 30, 2010 at 1:23 PM

We're always up for watching shred guitar legend Paul Gilbert do his thing, but when he's hawking the sweet new axe and superb-sounding pickups heard on his latest album, Fuzz Universe, we really pay attention.

Shred guitar video lessons

In the video below, Gilbert talks about his new custom Ibanez Fireman guitar, which is based on the Iceman shape, but instead of classic humbuckers, it features three single-coil-sized DiMarzio Injector pickups. Though they look like single-coils, the Injectors are actually stacked hum-cancelling pickups.

The Bridge Model (DP423) has six individual Alnico magnets and was designed to work equally well with speedy single-note lines and arpeggios as well as power chords without becoming muddy. The Neck Model (DP422), according to, tracks high-speed solos at high gain without becoming either thin or muddy, and has a very full, well-balanced clean sound.

Check out the video and listen for yourself!


Allman Brothers Band Announces 2011 Beacon Run

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 24, 2010 at 8:46 AM

The Allman Brothers Band have announced their return to the legendary Beacon Theater in New York City, for eight shows from March 10-19, 2011. Tickets go on sale at on Saturday, December 4, at 11:00 a.m. EST. Tickets will be available at the Beacon Theater box office starting Monday, December 6.

"We are thrilled to return to The Beacon," said Gregg Allman. "It's our New York home and truly where we belong. We have the most dedicated and loyal fans and know that they will be happy to have us back home."

Allman Brothers Band guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks.

The Allman Brothers first played the Beacon in 1989, and since then it has become an annual rite of spring for ABB fans to attend "The Beacon Run."

Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 11-23-2010

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 23, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Editing some new, upcoming solo jazz guitar video lessons from Jake Reichbart put me in the mood for some classic jazz guitar. So I started reading through some transcriptions looking for a lick that would be versatile yet not too pedestrian, and I found it in, of all places, the Hal Leonard Jazz Guitar Method.

This minor ii-V-i lick is in the straight-ahead style of guitarists like Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, and Jim Hall, set over a moderate swing tune like "Autumn Leaves." It's a melodic motif established over the ii chord (F#m7b5) that is simply shifted up a minor 3rd and restated in its entirety over the V chord (B7b9), giving it a bit of diminished-derived tension before resolving comfortably to mostly chord tones over the i (Em7). As a result, this particular lick works well as a closing phrase.

This method of taking an entire phrase and shifting it in intervals can be a very effective soloing device. Jazz guitar instructor Sid Jacobs masterly demonstrates this device in his lessons on using 4ths intervals in jazz improv.

Lick of the Week 11-23-2010




Best Hair Metal Riffs of the Eighties

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 22, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Last week, posted a list of their 10 favorite '80s riffs, which included deserving selections like the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" and the Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" But when we think '80s, it's hair metal that first comes to mind, so here's a list of our favorite hair metal riffs. Don't take it too seriously; after all, doing these sorts of lists really ain't "nothin' but a good time."

11. "Down Boys" Warrant
Jani wanted to go to where the down boys got their Aqua Net! Great pedal riff representative of the era.

10. "Shake Me" Cinderella
Cool AC/DC-like riff from the masters of behind-the-back guitar twirling!

9. "Wait" White Lion
Vito Bratta's inventive style made him the heir apparent to Eddie Van Halen. Mike Tramp's mane made him "hair" apparent to David Lee Roth.

8. "Talk Dirty to Me" Poison
C.C. Deville gets a bad rap in guitar circles, but man could he write great hooks, including this one.

7. "Still of the Night" Whitesnake 
They weren't really hair metal until David Coverdale brought in the glamour crew to do the video for this killer John Sykes riff.

6. "Kick Start My Heart" Motley Crue
Mick Mars may have been the band fuddy-duddy, but his tremendous riffs made the bacon to support the Crue's decadent lifestyle.

5. "Photograph" Def Leppard
Def Leppard were the Beatles of hair metal—and with its ringing opening note, "Photograph" the "I Feel Fine."

4. "Wanted Dead or Alive" Bon Jovi
Greatest 12-string riff in rock history? Gets my vote.

3. "Mr. Scary" Dokken
A legend among his peers, George Lynch cemented his guitar hero status with this driving F# minor riff.

2. "Seventeen" Winger
For my money, second-best riff out of the hair metal movement. Technically challenging yet catchy as hell, Reb Beach lays it down perfectly ... Which brings us to ...

1. "Lay It Down" Ratt
The grand-daddy of drop-D riffs! The power and tone of this DeMartini masterpiece make it one for the ages!

Rare Randy Rhoads Guitar Solo Video Footage

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 19, 2010 at 11:42 AM

This past week, unearthed never-before-seen live video (see below) of Randy Rhoads shredding at the Starwood Club in Los Angeles, on October 25, 1979, with Quiet Riot.

Bits of this seemingly pro-shot video have surfaced before, but this marks the first time the extended footage has seen the light of day. Near the end of the eight-minute solo, Rhoads injects not only portions of "Dee" but also a sneak peek at what would become "Crazy Train." In fact, it was shortly after this show that Rhoads nailed the audition for the Ozzy Osbourne gig and went to England to record Blizzard of Ozz, which was released in the U.K. on September 20, 1980, with a stateside release of March 27, 1981.

Randy Rhoads guitar tab and video lessons

After recording just one more studio album with Ozzy, 1981's Diary of a Madman, Rhoads was killed in a plane crash on March 19, 1982.

Did Lady Antebellum Borrow From Alan Parsons for Need You Now?

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Is Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now"—one of the biggest hits of the past year—just a rip-off of the 1982 Alan Parsons Project hit "Eye in the Sky"?

Last week, the editor at the Nashville Scene received a letter from a woman named Lisa Marie Parsons, who claimed to be the "Executive Personal Assistant to Alan Parsons," stating (in brief):

"Our fans are reaching out to us by the hundreds telling us how Need you Now by Lady Antebellum is one of those "lazy rip offs" of Eye in The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project."

In the Nashville Scene's online report, they also included a mash-up video of the two songs (see below), created by a fan of the Alan Parsons Project, in which the tempo and key of "Need You Now" were altered slightly to match "Eye in the Sky."

Official Lady Antebellum "Need You Now" guitar tab
Official Alan Parsons Project "Eye in the Sky" guitar tab

I'm no musicologist, but I am a musician and journalist who cares deeply about intellectual property rights, and in my humble opinion, while there are remarkable similarities in melodic contour in the first half of the main chorus hook, that's about all there is. Certainly, I'd have a hard time believing there was any intentional "borrowing" here.

Tell us what you think ... leave a comment below.

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