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RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Tops X-Factor Winner on UK Christmas Charts

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 21, 2009 at 9:35 AM

Rage Against the Machine guitar tabLOS ANGELES – Rage Against the Machine issued the following statement today in response to the band's upset victory this afternoon in the historic people's campaign to beat Simon Cowell for Britain's No. 1 Christmas single to raise money and awareness for homelessness: 

"Rage Against the Machine is honored to have been drafted by this historic grassroots campaign to make our song 'Killing in the Name' the No. 1 song on the UK Christmas Week pop chart. This is a huge victory by and for fans of real music and we extend our heartfelt thanks to every fan and freedom fighter who helped make our anthem of defiance and rebellion the Anarchy Christmas Miracle of 2009.

"As promised we will play a free concert in the UK in celebration of this incredible upset victory over the heavily favored X-Factor single. We are also pleased that so much money has been raised for homeless charity Shelter and are happy to donate as well to aid this important cause. While there are many lessons that can be drawn from this historic upset, the main one is this: that ordinary people, banding together in solidarity, can change ANYTHING, be it the pop charts or the world."

Get the official guitar tab for "Killing in the Name" here. For more Rage Against the Machine guitar tabs, click here.

The song, first released in 1992, sold more than 500,000 copies in the week leading up to the end of business yesterday to beat X Factor winner Joe McElderry's "The Climb" to the top of the chart, the Official Charts Company announced today.

McElderry achieved sales of 450,000—although sales of his CD fell away over the past couple of days. In taking the title for 2009, "Killing in the Name" also sets two new landmarks, becoming the UK's first download-only Christmas number one and notching up the biggest one-week download sales total in British chart history.

Rage Against the Machine led the race for #1 from the beginning of the week. By Friday morning, according to the Official Charts Company, Rage Against the Machine held the advantage by just 9,000 copies. But "Killing in the Name" went on to sell 200,000 copies across Friday and yesterday to emerge victorious.


Frank Zappa's Philly '76 Concert To Be Released on CD

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 21, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Today (12/21) would have been Frank Zappa's 69th birthday. To celebrate, Vaulternative Records in conjunction with the Zappa Family Trust will release Philly '76, a double CD concert recording.

Recorded October 29, 1976, at the Philadelphia Spectrum, the thrilling Philly '76 is the only 16-track recording from this lineup, which features Zappa (guitar/vocals), Bianca Odin (keyboards/vocals), Ray White (guitar/vocals/cowbell), Eddie Jobson (keyboards/violin), Patrick O'Hearn (bass/vocals), and Terry Bozzio (drums/vocals). 

The album includes liner notes from Gail Zappa and a first person account from band member Bianca Odin (who now goes by Lady Bianca) about her "apprenticeship with a genius." She writes, "So many beautiful one-time-thing performances—I scarcely had time to actually think or look back on them. I am glad that he taped our shows." 

In commemoration of the bicentennial year in which the Philly '76 concert was recorded, and the city where this country's founding document was signed, the album liner notes also include a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence—with a twist. Many of the claims against the King of Great Britain made in the original document are highlighted here, showing how history is indeed apt to repeat itself.

For more info on the album and Frank Zappa, visit


Frank Zappa guitar tabFrank Zappa guitar tabFrank Zappa guitar tab


Best Riffs of the Decade

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 17, 2009 at 1:25 PM

The Oughties, like every decade before it, certainly had its ups and downs for guitar playing. But positive thinkers that we are here at Guitarinstructor, we're going to focus on 10 of those ups, in the form of the Best Riffs of the Decade. Enjoy, and then let us know what your favorites were in the Comments section!

"Judith" A Perfect Circle (2000)
The early-00's metal scene saw more use of octaves than a Wes Montgomery solo, and none was better at it than Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel.

"Beautiful Day" U2 (2000)
When the Edge's power-chord riff joins with Bono's soaring vocal in the chorus, goosebumps are the inevitable result.

"Drive" Incubus (2001)
Even though guitarist Mike Einziger built it using minor 9th and major 7th chords, this acoustic riff amassed enormous crossover pop appeal.

"Aerials" System of a Down (2002)
Played in DADGAD, down one step, this clean-toned arpeggio riff makes use of ringing open A and D pedal tones, while the melody is played on the low E. Simply intoxicating.

"Clocks" Coldplay (2002)
Yes, it's a piano riff, but this brilliant Chris Martin arpeggio invention sticks in your head like few others, which indeed makes it one of the best riffs of the decade.

"Are You Gonna Be My Girl" Jet (2004)
Sure, it sounds a lot like Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life," but the riff is actually rooted in Motown, which helps explain its undeniable foot-tapping allure.

"Heaven" Los Lonely Boys (2004)
This double-stop fueled riff has celestial seasoning written all over it. Guitarist Henry Garza even claims the song was one of God's true miracles.

"Mr. Brightside" The Killers (2005)
The Las Vegas-based outfit hit the scene in 2005 with such convincing British new wave rock that most folks thought they actually were from the Motherland. This one ain't easy to grip, but once you've got it, it's fun.

"The Pretender" Foo Fighters (2007)
Considering he's a drummer first, the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl truly has a knack for writing great hooks and riffs, as is evident in this clean-toned arpeggiated beauty.

"Divinations" Mastodon (2009)
Any metal song that includes banjo is all right by me! And the triplet-driven riff in G minor grooves for days.

John Frusciante Quits Red Hot Chili Peppers

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 17, 2009 at 10:46 AM

John Frusciante After a few days of speculation sparked by a story at Music Radar, guitarist John Frusciante confirmed yesterday (12/16) on his blog that he has indeed left the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "When I quit the band, over a year ago, we were on indefinite hiatus," writes Frusciante. "There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding. They are supportive of my doing whatever makes me happy and that goes both ways.

"To put it simply, my musical interests have led me in a different direction," Frusciante continues. "Upon rejoining, and throughout my time in the band, I was very excited about exploring the musical possibilities inherent in a rock band, and doing so with those people in particular. A couple of years ago, I began to feel that same excitement again, but this time it was about making a different kind of music, alone, and being my own engineer."

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have not yet given an official statement.

Nearly a year ago, in January 2009, Frusciante released his 10th solo album, The Empyrean, which was recorded over a period of 16 months from December 2006 to March 2008. The album features several contributors and guest musicians, including Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Frusciante's friend Josh Klinghoffer, who appears to be Frusciante's replacement in RHCP, as he's been jamming with the band of late.

Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar tab

GUITAR EDGE Names Top Guitar Riffs of 2009

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 17, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Guitar EdgeIt's that time of year again—no not Christmas shopping, though Guitarinstructor gift cards make an excellent gift—time for end of year lists! In their January 2010 issue, Guitar Edge names its top eight guitar riffs of 2009. Not surprisingly, metal dominates the list; however, in a rather refreshing twist, two country riffs made the list. 

In no particular order, here they are:

"Divinations" Mastodon
"My Demise" Shadows Fall
"Catch All the Fish" Brad Paisley
"Fade Away" Breaking Benjamin
"Bulletproof" Five Finger Death Punch
"Toes" Zac Brown
"Grace" Lamb of God
"This Day We Fight" Megadeth

Click here to see the guitar tab for all eight riffs. For full transcriptions (where available), click the highlighted titles above. For more guitar tab from these artists, browse below.

Mastodon guitar tab
Shadows Fall guitar tab
Brad Paisley guitar tab
Breaking Benjamin guitar tab
Five Finger Death Punch guitar tab
Zac Brown guitar tab
Lamb of God guitar tab
Megadeth guitar tab

GENESIS, STOOGES Among 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 16, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Genesis guitar tabOn March 15, 2010, Genesis, the Stooges, the Hollies, Jimmy Cliff, and ABBA will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The 25th annual ceremony will be held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City and will be broadcast live on Fuse TV. Somewhat surprisingly, neither KISS nor the Red Hot Chili Peppers made the final cut, despite being favorites to make it after being nominated earlier this year.

Also being inducted this year as individual recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award will be David Geffen and songwriters Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Elle Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman, and Otis Blackwell.

Genesis guitar tabs and jam tracks
Stooges guitar tab
Hollies guitar tab
ABBA guitar tab

Help Fight Juvenile Diabetes with Hope for the Holidays CD

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 15, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Hope For the Holidays CDThis holiday season, you can help fight juvenile diabetes with the purchase of Hope For the Holidays: Rockin' Christmas For a Cure, a charity album featuring unreleased and rare Christmas songs from well-known artists, which benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). 

Hope for the Holidays is a 27-track CD that includes music by the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, David Coverdale (Whitesnake), Weezer, Collective Soul, Jon Anderson (Yes), and others. It also features the type 1 Children's Choir, a group of northern Nevada children with diabetes.

CCR rhythm section Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford contributed a version of the Christmas classic "Run Rudolph Run" to this year's CD. You can hear the track in its entirety here

"We have always felt blessed, especially as the holidays near, and this season we would like to give some back," said Cook and Clifford. "We hope you will join us in our effort to spread the word about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with this wonderful holiday CD. We believe it can help to make a difference in the fight against this horrible disease."

Juvenile diabetes (Type 1) is a devastating auto immune disease that can strike children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. Approximately 24 million Americans have diabetes, and this number is on the rise. Evidence suggests that 1 in 3 Americans born in 2000 may develop some form of diabetes in their lifetime and, to date, there is no cure. 

Hope for the Holidays is currently available for $13.99 at national retail outlets including Best Buy and can also be found on,, and is available for download on iTunes. All profits will benefit the JDRF. 

Get Creedence Clearwater Revival guitar tab, lessons, and jam tracks


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