Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
ZAKK WYLDE Hospitalized, Cancels Tour; Ozzy Performs with Gus G at BlizzCon
Our friend Joe Bosso at MusicRadar.com reports that guitarist Zakk Wylde has been admitted to a Eugene, Oregon hospital for blood clots in both lungs and one leg. As a result, he's had to cancel the remaining dates of his Pedal to the Metal tour.
The good folks at MR even posted a photo of Zakk being Zakk, only in a hospital gown with what I hope are compression stockings, and not a fashion statement.
All kidding aside, it's a serious condition, and we wish Zakk a smooth and fast recovery. If you want to send Zakk your well wishes, tweet him at @ZakkWyldeBLS.
Get Zakk Wylde guitar tab here!
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In related news, Ozzy Osbourne did indeed play the closing ceremonies of the BlizzCon 2009 convention in Anaheim, California, with Firewind guitarist Gus G. holding down axe duties (see video below). Whether this was a one-off or if it means Gus has got the gig, we don't know. But an Ozzy/Zakk reunion doesn't look too promising right now.
Win Free Tuition to Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp!
Guitar Edge is picking up the tuition tab ($3,999 value) for the lucky winner of the Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp's Rockstar Package Giveaway. The winner will spend three and a half days (Nov. 12-15) in Hollywood, California, learning from and jamming with Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot), and other legendary talents. The camp culminates in a live performance with your assigned "band" at L.A.'s famous Whiskey A Go Go night club.
To enter, click here.
SAVING ABEL to Headline Inaugural Class of 2009 Tour
Platinum-selling rock band Saving Abel will headline the inaugural Class of 2009 tour, with Red, Pop Evil, and Taddy Porter along for the ride. The excursion will get underway on October 27th in San Antonio, TX and continue until the end of the year. The first leg of dates will go on sale the weekend of August 28th, with additional blocks of performances to be announced shortly.
The concept behind this new annual tour is to bring together rock artists who have achieved substantial Top 10 hits at radio in the current calendar year. Each year, an unsigned band, a.k.a. "The Freshman," will be selected to open the show for the full tour, providing an opportunity that is nothing short of a launching pad. Each of the acts on the inaugural run outside of Taddy Porter—this year's Freshman—is riding major airplay at radio, and could be touring as a headliner on their own. The submission process outlining eligibility for consideration to be "The Freshman" for next year's Class of 2010 tour will be unveiled soon.
Saving Abel guitarist Jason Null offered, "I love the idea of this tour. Not only do we get to tour with some of the other hit makers of 2009, we also get a chance to help break a new artist. This is a great line-up that our fans and rock fans in general are going to be way into. We can't wait to get out there."
The concept behind the "Class Of" tours is the collective brainchild of Rick Smith, Scott Frazier, and Larry Mestel as their first project for Primary Wave Music Management, along with booking agent Justin Hirschman from Artist Group International. Future tours in the coming years will be staged, with the intent to see the concept grow exponentially in terms of the number of bands, venue sizes, and attendees.
This upcoming semester should be like no other… Class is in Session.
The itinerary for the first leg of the CLASS OF 2009 tour is:
10/27 SAN ANTONIO, TX
10/28 MOORE, OK
10/30 KANSAS CITY, MO
11/03 SAUGET, IL
11/04 WEST DES MOINES, IA
11/06 ST. PAUL, MN
11/07 CHICAGO, IL
11/08 PEORIA, IL
11/10 CINCINATTI, OH
11/11 FT. WAYNE, IN
11/13 GRAND RAPIDS, MI
11/14 DETROIT, MI
11/15 SAGINAW, MI
11/17 CLEVELAND, OH
11/18 INDIANAPOLIS, IN
11/20 UNCASVILLE, CT
11/21 SAYREVILLE, NJ
11/22 CLIFTON PARK, NY
11/24 BALTIMORE, MD
11/28 ALLENTOWN, PA
MORE DATES WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY
PRS Announces 305 Model Featuring 3 Single-Coil Pickups
(STEVENSVILLE, MD) August 19, 2009 – Based on the PRS 513 model platform, the new PRS 305 model features three proprietary PRS single-coil pickups offering five classic sounds. This guitar's warm clear bite offers single-coil tones unlike any other PRS model.
The 305 boasts a carved alder body, 22-fret rock maple neck, 25-1/2" scale length, banded melon "513" bird inlays. Additional appointments include rosewood fretboard, "513" neck shape, tremolo bridge, PRS phase II low mass locking tuners, nickel hardware with gold option, volume and tone control with a 5-way blade pickup selector.
This instrument incorporates the classic ingredients of vintage single-coil guitars with improved modern construction that adds increased natural acoustic sustain. Carlos Santana and Mark Tremonti of Creed both currently have the first prototypes of 305 models as part of their personal guitar arsenals. Other 305 prototypes have also made recent TV appearances with Reba McEntire guitarist Jeff King on the 2009 CMA awards and on American Idol with Chris Allen.
5 Must-Learn Rock Guitar Solos
One of my biggest regrets as a guitar player was not learning more solos note-for-note when I was younger. It's a tremendous exercise in discipline and the benefits to your chops are immeasurable. That being said, it's important that you start with solos that match your level of technical proficiency on the instrument.
So here are five rock solos that provide building blocks such as developing a solid rhythm pocket, good vibrato, and even some advanced techniques, all aimed at newly intermediate players. Click on the song titles to get the guitar tab!
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
Angus Young's groove sits so deep in the pocket you might think it's lint. Though there are no fiery technical challenges in this solo, his vibrato and time are second to none, and those are two of the most important elements essential to becoming a great lead guitarist, regardless of style.
"Smoke on the Water"
Another cool exercise in minor pentatonic mastery, Ritchie Blackmore's solo here also provides a tremendous lesson in string-bending. His pedalling of bent notes against static ones a whole step apart, as well as the sloooooooooow, stuttered release of that penultimate 8th-fret C note will truly drill your ability to hit a target pitch.
Like "Smoke on the Water," Brian May's opening series of whole-step bends and subsequent pre-bends will test your ability to hit target pitches. But this solo also offers a wonderful introduction to fast scalar lines, first with a descending flurry and then with its famous step-wise climbs up the Bb Mixolydian mode. But it's not just a "play as fast as you can" moment; the rhythm is both distinct and defining, and you should play it as such.
"All Along the Watchtower"
Although most of this solo is based on the C# minor pentatonic scale, Hendrix offers a multitude of "tougher than they look" techniques and moves in this tune. Slide guitar, octaves, unison bends, double stops following the changes—no wonder it's widely considered one of the top five rock guitar solos ever recorded.
This classic Randy Rhoads solo is a terrific introduction to the tapping technique and slippery legato moves. The opening tapped arpeggio sequence is straightforward and fairly simple, but the tapped bend that follows is a great exercise in pitch control. Then, the entire second half of the solo is one big legato fest. From sliding trills, to repeating licks, and the final scalar ascent, it's the ideal gateway to shred guitar.
Public Memorial for LES PAUL on Friday 8/21 in Milwaukee
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Discovery World Museum, which sits on the shore of Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will hold a public visitation and tribute for Les Paul on Friday, August 21. Paul died of pneumonia last week in White Plain, NY. He was 94.
Les Paul lie in repose in the museum's promenade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doors will open at 9 a.m. The museum, which is home to the exhibit "Les Paul's House of Sound," will show video of Paul's last concert in Milwaukee, a 2008 appearance at the Pabst Theater, and admission to the House of Sound exhibit will be free.
A private family service and burial will follow the public visitation. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to the Les Paul Foundation, 236 W. 30 St., 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10001.
Pre-Order New ALICE IN CHAINS Album Now
Alice in Chains has made their first new studio album in 14 years, Black Gives Way to Blue, available for pre-order at iTunes. The album contains two exclusive bonus tracks—"Your Decision" (live) and "Black Gives Way to Blue" (Elton John piano mix)—only available at iTunes. The album is due to arrive in stores on September 29.
Black Gives Way to Black marks the recording debut of new singer William DuVall. Original vocalist Layne Staley died in 2002. The album's first single, "Check My Brain," hit radio this past weekend and is streaming online. Listen to it below.
Get Alice in Chains guitar tab here!