Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
MARTIN GUITARS Converts Entire X Series to Acoustic Electric
Press Release - Nazareth, PA – March 24, 2010 - Given the continued success of acoustic-electric guitar sales in the marketplace, C.F. Martin & Co is proud to announce all non-cutaway X-Series models will now feature Fishman Sonitone electronics as standard equipment at no up-charge. (The company's acoustic-electric cutaway X Series models already feature onboard Fishman Presys Plus electronics.)
The X Series Guitars feature patented high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides with either a solid Sitka spruce or HPL top, patented mortise and tenon neck construction, and professionally installed Fishman electronics. All non-cutaway X Series models feature proven Sonicore pickup technology with the Fishman Sonitone system featuring "easy access" volume and tone controls conveniently and strategically located just inside the sound hole. All cutaway X Series models are equipped with the Fishman Presys Plus onboard electronics system with onboard digital chromatic tuner, volume and tone shaping controls, and pop-up battery access.
All Martin X Series guitars include a Limited Lifetime Warranty that covers all models purchased from an authorized Martin dealer in the U.S and Canada.
With the recent re-launch of our affordable 1 Series and introduction of the all new Performing Artist Series, this X Series upgrade affirms our commitment to providing an affordable and competitive option to players dedicated to live performance.
For information about the Martin X Series, please visit www.martinguitar.com
BOSS Unveils the BR-800 Digital Recorder
Press Release — Los Angeles, CA, March 24, 2010 — BOSS continues its top-selling tradition of portable, affordable multi-trackers with the new BR-800 — a battery-powered studio to go. The sleek new design is made possible by touch-sensor switches and SD-card recording media. Up to four tracks can be recorded or eight tracks played back simultaneously, plus an additional stereo track dedicated to the built-in rhythm generator. Cont. below image
Whether you're creating intricate, multi-layered songs or point-and-capture field recordings, the BR-800 makes the recording process fast and easy. Beginners will love the new EZ Recording mode that interactively guides you through the recording process. Other helpful features include the convenient RETRY function, which re-cues automatically to fix mistakes, and SONG SKETCH recording for instant, one-touch capture. There's also a built-in stereo condenser microphone, plus a DR-880-quality rhythm generator for adding drum and percussion tracks to your songs.
Enhance your recordings with the powerful BOSS effects onboard the BR-800. Many of the effects are derived from BOSS's flagship processors, including vocal effects from the VE-20, COSM guitar/bass effects from the GT-10 series, and modeled acoustic-guitar body effects from the AP-1 preamp, which imparts pro-quality miked-up sound and rich body tone to line-recorded acoustic guitar. You'll be amazed at how much processing power is built into this little recorder, and how excellent the effects sound.
You can power the BR-800 from the included AC adaptor, or for ultimate mobility, it can be powered from six AA batteries. Record anywhere! The BR-800's USB compatibility enables a variety of functionality with computers. Connected to a PC, the BR-800 will function as an USB audio interface for recordings that utilize the internal effects. The BR-800 can also function as a control surface for DAW software.
No matter where you roam, you'll never miss a moment of musical inspiration with the portable new BR-800. The BR-800 is expected to be available in May with an MSRP of $525. For more information, please visit www.RolandConnect.com.
Listen to the Mary J Blige Cover of Stairway to Heaven
Last month, we reported that R&B singer Mary J. Blige was including a cover of Led Zeppelin's epic masterpiece "Stairway to Heaven"—featuring guitarists Steve Vai and Orianthi—on her new album, Stronger With Each Tear. Well, now you can hear it (see below). Check it out and let us know what you think. Personally, I've heard better, but you've got to give it up for the Zappa-esque horn hits in the interlude that precedes the guitar solo—that had to be Vai's handiwork.
Steve Vai and Orianthi guitar tab for "Highly Strung"
SCORPIONS To Get Star on Hollywood RockWalk
Los Angeles, California, March 23, 2010 – Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine, Matthias Jabs, James Kottak and Pawel Maciwoda of the Scorpions will be inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at noon. The Scorpions—who have sold over 100 million records worldwide—will be honored by fans with a special ceremony at Guitar Center in Hollywood.
This marks a very special occasion for the Scorpions: with the March 23 release of their new album, Sting in the Tail (via Universal Music Enterprises) and a three-year, five-continent mammoth tour, one of the most successful rock bands in the world will be ending their career. It will be the most adventurous if not greatest project of the band: hundreds of shows, hundreds of thousands of fans, countless miles on a plane and tour bus.
It has been 35 years since the original formation of the legendary German hard rock band Scorpions drove their rickety red VW bus from one small pub to another, from one back yard to another, in their home state of Lower-Saxony to unpack their equipment and rock on. Five years earlier, in the little town of Sarstedt, Rudolf Schenker had given the band its name. From the very beginning the band showed signs for a promising career.
From an Echo for Life Achievement (2009) and Best National Band (1994) to the World Music Award (1994), there aren't many noteworthy awards the Scorpions have not received. The accomplishments throughout their career have built a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow: they drew more than 150,000 spectators between Manaus and Rio on the last big South America tour, sold out stadiums in Greece last summer, jam-packed venues in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Mumbai and performed at Monsters Of Rock.
Hollywood's RockWalk is the only sidewalk gallery dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of Rock 'n' Roll, Blues and R&B. The Scorpions handprints will reside alongside the handprints, signatures, and faces of other equally accomplished musicians and innovators such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker and Earth, Wind & Fire among numerous others.
Fan-Filmed Video of New Joe Bonamassa Supergroup Black Country
Music blog Nightwatcher's House of Rock reports that Black Country—the new supergroup comprising Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals), Derek Sherinian (keys), and Jason Bonham (drums)—made their debut appearance during the encore of Bonamassa's show at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California, this past Wednesday (3/17).
The band performed two songs: "One Last Soul," which is an original tune tentatively slated for inclusion on their yet-untitled album; and a cover of Deep Purple's "Mistreated."
As was previously reported here, the band is working with producer Kevin Shirley, who at his web site, CavemanProductions.com, recently mentioned they would be completing basic tracks for the band's album in mid-March. We're hoping for a late-spring release, because this kind of classic blues-rock is perfect for outdoor summer gigs!
You can see fan-filmed video footage from the show below.
Joe Bonamassa guitar tabs and video lessons
Deep Purple guitar tabs, video lessons, and jam tracks
Top 10 Metal Riffs of All Time!
We posted some classic Black Sabbath and Dio guitar tabs this past week, which put us into a rather metal mood. So I picked up my axe, cranked the gain, and had a little metal riffing session, which in turn inspired this list. Which ones made your list?
9. "Ashes of the Wake" Lamb of God
On the strength of pulverizing riffs like this one, guitarists Mark Morton and Will Adler have helped Lamb of God become one of the most important metal bands of its generation.
8. "Holy Wars ... The Punishment Due" Megadeth
We love Chris Poland, but Marty Friedman was absolutely the perfect guitarist for this band.
7. "Holy Diver" Dio
Vivian Campbell once told Guitar Edge magazine that Ronnie James Dio chose him over all the flashier L.A. guitarists of the era because Campbell wasn't fast and flashy ... yeah, right.
6. "Electric Eye" Judas Priest
"Breaking the Law" may have been the breakthrough riff for Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, but "Electric Eye" is simply one of the most, um, "electrifying" riffs in all metaldom.
5. "The Trooper" Iron Maiden
Frenetic riffing, galloping rhythms, epic storyline ... yep, it could only be Maiden!
4. "Raining Blood" Slayer
Run for the hills! It's the apocalypse! Oh, wait, it's just Slayer. Yeah, it's that heavy.
3. "Crazy Train" Ozzy Osbourne
Randy Rhoads was responsible for some of the most accessible yet hammering riffs in metal history, with this F# minor gem marking his finest hour.
2. "Master of Puppets" Metallica
James Hetfield is known for his insistent use of nearly all downstrokes—not on this intricate finger-twister.
1. "Iron Man" Black Sabbath
Yeah, I know, big surprise ... but ... can there really be any doubt that Tony Iommi's sliding power-chord masterpiece is the defining sound and vibe of all that is heavy metal? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Gibson Introduces the JOAN JETT BLACKHEART Signature Melody Maker
Gibson has announced the launch of the Joan Jett "Blackheart" signature Melody Maker guitar. Featuring a single Burstbucker 3 pickup and a kill switch to cut out the noise during those hand-clap stop choruses, this axe is built for no-nonsense rock and roll.
"I needed a black guitar. This guitar has the same body and the neck runs smooth as silk," said Jett. "I wanted some flash of color, so the fret inlays are bright red, and the 12th fret is marked by mother of pearl inlay hearts lying end to end. I am using it onstage now, and it sounds ferocious. But of course, she can play gentle as well. Just like the earlier white Joan Jett Gibson model, it is a great guitar for anybody."
With the highly anticipated film The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, hitting select theaters tomorrow (Friday 3/19), and the recent release of a Greatest Hits album, the timing couldn't be better.
The Joan Jett "Blackheart" Melody Maker has a MSRP of $1,533.