Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Brad Paisley Talks Fenders, Floods, and His Career So Far
Just yesterday, I uploaded three Brad Paisley albums to my iPod and discovered a killer Tele lick in his hit song "Alcohol." And now today, I see that the guys at Guitarist magazine—a great U.K.-based guitar mag—snagged an interview with the modern country guitar virtuoso when he was in London this past summer, and they've posted it at MusicRadar.com. Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
You get some of the usual guitar mag fare—Who were your influences? When did you figure out you wanted to be a guitarist?—but there are also some awesome tidbits about his gear (Paisley can talk tech with the best of 'em), and perhaps most exciting of all, he reveals his desire to do another guitar instrumental-type album (Like his 2008 release Play), only with guest blues artists like B.B. King and Robben Ford. Sure would love me some of them "cornbread blues."
StStanders Offers Up Brilliant Shred Parodies
Guitarist Santeri Ojala (aka StSanders) offers up some very well crafted shred guitar parodies using slick-edited video footage of six-string titans like Yngwie Malmsteen (possibly the best one), Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Angelo Batio, Paco de Lucia, and more, plus takes some stabs at full-band performances by Bon Jovi and Marilyn Manson.
At this time, StSanders' shred guitar videos can't be embedded, so watch the clever Van Halen vid below (Ed's "guitar solo" is a good representation of StSanders' shred work), for a quick taste, and then check out the must-see Yngwie Shreds video at his web site here.
Thanks to our friend Chris Buono for the tip on this one!
Activision Gives Guitar Hero Video Game the Axe
In the company's expansive year-end earnings report, video game manufacturer Activision included one tiny line of text that spoke volumes—volume like a Marshall on "10":
"Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011."
Yes, Activision is giving Guitar Hero the Axe—literally. And it's not looking good in general for the music video game industry. This past December, Viacom sold off Rock Band developer Harmonix, and just last week, the longtime Rock Band publisher MTV Games closed its doors.
So now more than ever, it looks like a good time to pick up a REAL guitar and hit the woodshed. As Brad Paisley says, "No matter how good they are at Guitar Hero, they're going home alone. I have faith they'll figure that out and want to learn the real thing."
If only there were a web site that offered lessons in all styles for all levels, along with note-accurate guitar tab and professional jam tracks for all those ex-Guitar Hero players. Hmmm ...
Guitar Hero III guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks
Guitar Hero II guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks
Rock Band 2 guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks
Rock Band guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks
Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 02-08-2011
Yesterday I stumbled upon a lesson by Jesse Gress (Guitar Player contributor) where he mentioned using the E whole-half diminished scale over an E7#9 chord in a funk setting. As I began playing around with the concept, I came up with a really cool, rhythmically funky lick that walked up the scale in step-wise, if stuttered, fashion. Then, today, while playing around on my über-cool Fender G-DEC 30, I came across a 24-bar blues jam track in C (16 bars of C7, 6 bars F7, 2 bars G7#9), and the proverbial light bulb appeared over my head: Would the C whole-half diminished scale work as the basis of a blues turnaround?
As its name implies, the whole-half diminished scale comprises, an alternating series of whole and half steps: W-H-W-H-W-H-W-H. This pattern results in an eight-note scale, which in the key of C as played here, is spelled C-D-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-A-B. Now, if we take a look at the notes that compose the G7#9 (G-B-D-F-A#), you'll see that the C whole-half diminished scale contains the B (3rd), D (5th), and F (7th) chord tones. But more importantly, the Eb, Gb, and A notes are all leading tones to the C7 chord at the top of the tune.
The first thing I did was to play the scale over the turnaround bars, and it sounded so good, I simply put it in a shuffle-friendly triplet rhythm and capped it with a series of whole-step bends to G, which is the 5th of the pending I chord (C7). Play around with the pattern to see what kind of funky licks you can come up with. If you want guidance from a master of "out there" licks and sounds, check out Greg Koch's excellent video lesson "Diminished Returns."
Hal Leonard Releases 100-Song Guitar Tab White Pages Play-Along
In a brilliant move, the powers that be at Hal Leonard have combined their popular White Pages guitar tab concept with the equally popular Play-Along series to create the new, massive Guitar Tab White Pages Play-Along collection. Comprising 100 songs over 752 pages and six CDs, this new tab offers you the tools to jam along to songs by such legendary artists as Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, The Clash, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, and many others. For more info, or to order, click here.
Here's the complete song list:
All Right Now
Black Hole Sun
The Boys Are Back In Town
Bye Bye Love
Can't Buy Me Love
Flying High Again
Fun, Fun, Fun
Get The Funk Out
God Save The Queen
Hawaii Five-O Theme
Heart Shaped Box
Hold On Loosely
The House Of The Rising Sun
I Ain't Got You
I Fought The Law
I Love Rock 'N Roll
I Stand Alone
I Walk The Line
I Won't Back Down
If It Makes You Happy
In A Mellow Tone
It's My Life
Just A Girl
Just Like A Woman
Just Like You
Knock On Wood
Lay Down Sally
Let It Ride
The Magic Bus
Me And My Gang
Money For Nothing
No Particular Place To Go
Rock & Roll Band
Rock This Town
Secret Agent Man
Smokin' In The Boys Room
Stir It Up
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Sultans Of Swing
Sweet Home Chicago
Symphony Of Destruction
Too Rolling Stoned
Train Kept A-Rollin'
Turn It On Again
Up Around The Bend
Wait And Bleed
What's My Age Again?
What's Your Name
Wish You Were Here
Workin' Man Blues
You Don't Mess Around With Jim
You Were Meant For Me
Smithsonian Acquires Eddie Van Halen Frank 2 Guitar
Give the Smithsonian National Museum of American History some kudos. In acquiring Eddie Van Halen's "Frank 2" guitar, they recognize Eddie's immense impact on and contributions to not only rock music history but also American pop culture. About time a hard rock artist—particularly one as influential as Van Halen—is given the credit they deserve in mainstream cultural circles. Check out the live footage below the press release of Eddie using the guitar on the band's 2007 reunion tour. The video comes in with Eddie and David Lee Roth riffin' on Cream's "Spoonful," before they wrap up "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" and then launch into "Beautiful Girls."
Here's the Press Release:
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has recently acquired the Van Halen "Frank 2" guitar played and made famous by Eddie Van Halen through a partnership donation with Fender Musical Instruments. It was made in 2006 as part of a joint venture between the artist and Fender to produce a limited edition number of guitars for the EVH Brand. Known as the "Frankenstein Replica," or "Frank 2," it will be part of the museum's Division of Culture and the Arts, which preserves a large and diverse collection of instruments.
Edward "Eddie" Van Halen (b. Jan. 26, 1955) is a Dutch-American guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, producer and self-taught inventor of guitar technology and technique. He is best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the hard-rock band Van Halen and recognized for his innovative performing and recording styles in blues-based rock, tapping, intense solos and high-frequency feedback; he is also famous for energetic and acrobatic stage performances. The band's self-titled debut album was released Feb. 10, 1978.
"The museum collects objects that are multidimensional, and this guitar reflects innovation, talent and influence," said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. "The guitar moves the museum's instrument collections into more contemporary history."
In 1975 Eddie Van Halen realized that no existing guitar had the features that he needed to create his signature sound. A constant tinkerer, he set out to construct a guitar to fit his standards, needs and playing style, combining different elements of long-established guitar designs into one instrument. Fans nicknamed the custom creation "Frankenstein." By 2006, the original "Frankenstein" guitar had been in service for more than 30 years and was retired from performances. Chip Ellis, a master guitar builder at Fender, replicated every detail of the original guitar, which, when presented to Eddie Van Halen, appeared to be indistinguishable from the original. During the Van Halen 2007-08 North American tour with original lead singer David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen used the replica guitar, "Frank 2" for the majority of the performances.
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, check americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).
Guitarist Gary Moore Dies at Age 58
According to the BBC, ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore was found dead in a hotel room while on vacation in Southern Spain. He was 58.
Moore, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, moved to Dublin when he was just 16 years old, to join Skid Row, which featured Phil Lynott on vocals. Lynott later recruited Moore in Thin Lizzy, to replace outgoing guitarist Eric Bell, who told the BBC he was shocked by Moore's passing.
"I can't believe it," said Bell. "He was so robust, he wasn't a rock casualty, he was a healthy guy."
Moore first garnered critical acclaim for his work on Thin Lizzy's 1974 album, Nightlife, but over the course of his career, his solo material, ranging from hard rock to heavy blues, would earn him recognition as virtuoso blues-rock guitarist. One of Moore's greatest calling cards was his monster guitar tone. Whether he was playing a single-coil-loaded Fender Strat or his famous 1959 Peter Green Les Paul, Moore produced one of the thickest, fattest, badass guitar tones ever heard.
Somewhat ironically, even though Moore was one of the greatest blues-rock shredders of all time, one of his most famous solo moments is the single note he incredibly sustains and vibratos for nearly 30 seconds in his stunning ballad "Parisienne Walkways."
Rest in peace, Gary. Your brilliant playing will last for eternity. Thank you for sharing it with us all.