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Jimmy Page and Brian May Portrait Sale

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 21, 2010 at 11:13 AM

According to, portraits of Jimmy Page and Brian May are now available to benefit the ABC Trust, the charity run by Page and his wife Jimena. Both rock stars are patrons of the charity. Brian May’s portrait is a composite made up of a photo provided personally by the legendary musician. The finished artwork is available for £250. Jimmy Page’s signed portrait is a silkscreen work produced by Sandra Lawrence. Each print measures approximately 30" by 31".

Proceeds from each portrait go to the ABC Trust and Task Brazil, which runs projects in Brazil to improve the lives and support the needs of children and pregnant teenage girls living on the streets.

Jimmy Page video lessons and Led Zeppelin guitar tabs
Queen guitar tabs and jam tracks

The charity project began when Page was promoting the album No Quarter: Unledded in South America. Page met future wife Jimena, an Argentinean community worker, while on tour. After witnessing conditions in Rio, he determined that he had to do something to help, so he donated money to build “Casa Jimmy,” a shelter for abandoned street children. In the U.K., Jimena set up the ABC Trust with Jimmy as the founding patron.

To donate or learn more about Jimmy Page’s charity work please visit:

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Hal Leonard Books and Music Pro Guides Re-Launch The Power Tools Series

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 21, 2010 at 10:39 AM

PRESS RELEASE: Hal Leonard Books and Music Pro Guides proudly announce the re-launch of the Power Tools series with the first three volumes covering Cubase 5, Logic Pro 9, and Pro Tools 8. Late last year, attendees at the AES show got a peek at the newly redesigned series—which has been completely reworked and redesigned—with veteran pro-audio instructor and DAW specialist Rick Silva's book on Pro Tools 8. At the time that volume was fresh off the presses. The next two books in the series are now making their debut.

The redesigned Power Tools series provides detailed descriptions of the new features of each program alongside interviews with top professionals who reveal how they use these programs for high-level projects on a daily basis. These real-world tips from power users are what sets the Power Tools series apart. Each book contains an extensive collection of power tips and keyboard shortcuts, making the series perfect for both home and academic use.

Brian McConnon, author of Power Tools for Cubase 5, has worked with the application  for over 15 years, both creating music with the program and working with producers and other power users from the inside as a representative of Steinberg and Yamaha. As one of the original MIDI and digital-audio workstations for both Mac OS and Windows platforms, Cubase has built a large and loyal following among beginning and experienced music creators. McConnon channels his 15 years of working with the program into the ultimate guide for making great music with Cubase 5.

Rick Silva, author of Power Tools books on Pro Tools 8 and Logic Pro 9, provides the most in-depth tutorials available on these premier full-featured digital audio workstations, describing real-world music-making strategies and techniques not found in beginner-level books.

Each Power Tools book sells for $39.99 and comes with a DVD-ROM containing QuickTime video lessons, tutorials, session files, and tons of other multimedia tools to enhance the reader’s understanding. A Power Tools book on Ableton Live 8 is scheduled for fall 2010, and in the months ahead, the series will continue to add new volumes on the latest versions of all essential DAW software, making Power Tools the indispensable book series for expert users.

Click on the cover images below to view and purchase at Music Dispatch.

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Taylor Announces Exotic Spring Limited Editions

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 21, 2010 at 9:38 AM

PRESS RELEASE: EL CAJON, Calif. - April 20, 2010 - To celebrate spring's arrival, Taylor Guitars is readying the release of its always anticipated Spring Limited Edition models. This year's Limiteds feature an exciting array of exotic tonewoods - Hawaiian koa, Brazilian imbuia, Tasmanian blackwood and Claro walnut - and boast a unique twist, as the company's newest Specialty guitar, the 12-Fret, joins the springtime fun.

The 12-Fret-LTD is a sweet-sounding, all-koa Grand Concert trimmed with dark, rich ebony binding. Named for the point at which the neck meets the guitar body, the 12-Fret-LTD features a unique geometry between the neck and bridge, which helps give the guitar a warm, robust vintage voice. It's a sound that Bob Taylor calls "magical". "I've fallen in love with it," raves Bob. "It's that pure and wonderful." Premium appointments on the 12-Fret-LTD include a 900 Series abalone rosette with an ebony-bound soundhole and abalone-dotted ebony bridge pins. 

After a long hiatus, Brazilian imbuia returns with a pair of 700 Series Limiteds, the 714ce-LTD and 716ce-LTD. The beautiful batch of imbuia exhibits deep caramel hues with rich variegation and is accented with a figured koa back mini wedge and a matching koa heel cap and binding. The imbuia 700 Series LTDs are topped with Sitka spruce and feature an abalone rosette with koa soundhole binding. Tonally, imbuia's density yields tight, bright tones with plenty of low-end thump and sustain.

Two 500 Series Limiteds, a 514ce-LTD and 516ce-LTD, showcase the rich Tasmanian blackwood backs and sides. Known as a cousin of koa, blackwood shares koa's blend of midrange bloom, top end brightness, and an overall tone that will sweetly mellow over time. Both models are topped with Sitka spruce and include Ivoroid binding, an abalone rosette, and an all-gloss finish.

Fans of walnut's tonal mix of brightness, projection and warmth will rejoice at the sound and look of the 400 Series Limiteds. Offered in four different shapes, the 410ce-LTD, 412ce-LTD, 414ce-LTD, and 416ce-LTD, each sports a deeply figured, chocolate-hued walnut back and sides dramatically contrasted by a figured maple back mini wedge and heel cap, along with a maple neck and body binding. All feature a Sitka spruce top, and additional premium appointments include an abalone rosette and an all-gloss finish.

Each of the Spring Limiteds come with a cutaway, Taylor's popular and intuitive Expression System® pickup, and in a hardshell case. The 2010 Spring Limiteds will be offered at a suggested retail price of $2,798 for the 400-LTDs; $3,698 for the 500-LTDs; $3,898 for the 700-LTDs and at $5,198 for the 12-Fret-LTD. The models are now available at authorized Taylor dealers.

Taylor Spring Koa

Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" Wins Song and Single of the Year at ACM Awards

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert were the big winners this past Sunday night at the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Lady Antebellum racked up three pieces of hardware, for Top Vocal Group and Song of the Year and Single of the Year for their crossover juggernaut "Need You Now." Also taking home awards were Brad Paisley (Top Male Vocalist), Brooks & Dunn (Top Vocal Group), and Luke Bryan (Top New Artist), among others.

It was also nice to see our friend Brent Mason win for Best Guitarist. After all these years and with all the tremendous pickers on the Nashville scene, Mason continues to impress as perhaps the greatest country guitar session players in history. Cheers, Brent!

"Need You Now" Lady Antebellum guitar tab
Brad Paisley guitar tab
Brooks & Dunn guitar tab
Carrie Underwood guitar tab
Brent Mason video lessons and guitar tab

Here's footage of the ACM kickoff featuring Lambert and Underwood performing "Travelin' Band" with special guest appearances by Brad Paisley and Charlie Daniels as well as the man himself—John Fogerty—taking a guitar solo and a vocal turn on the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic.



The Devil Made Him Do It?

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM

A Poconos pastor has been charged with insurance fraud for allegedly claiming a 1959 Gibson Les Paul worth $235,000 was stolen from his church office last year, reports Frank Warner of The Morning Call. The pastor further claimed that a 1982 Fender Stratocaster worth $19,500, a 1985 Telecaster worth $2,500, and a 1996 Korg M-1 keyboard worth $400 were also stolen. Which begs the question: Who's been drinking the sacramental wine?

Gibson BurstPolice consulted with noted guitar historians and experts George Gruhn and Walter Carter of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee, who noted that the guitar the pastor was holding in photos supplied to the insurance company was actually a much less valuable 1970s Les Paul. Police also referred to photos in the book The Gibson Burst (pictured at right), by Jay Scott and Vic DaPra

I'm not a lawyer, but a bit of advice to the fallen reverend: "the devil made me do it" is probably not your best defense strategy.

Shred the Pounds Away With the Guitar Hero Workout

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 15, 2010 at 6:00 PM

From the "Why didn't I think of this?" file: NPR contributor Amy Schriefer put together a fun little story called "The Guitar Hero's Workout: Shred the Pounds Away." With tongue firmly planted in cheek, she explains that you never see rock guitarists at the gym because their stage moves pretty much account for an entire workout. Included are the behind-the-head solos of Jimi Hendrix, the duck-walking of Chuck Berry (see video below), and windmill strums of Pete Townshend, among others.

Check out Ms. Schriefer's full story here.

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Chuck Berry guitar tabs, video lessons, and jam tracks
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GIBSON Unveils 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 15, 2010 at 2:36 PM

1960 Les Paul CustomPRESS RELEASE: Gibson Custom has announced the availability of the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom 'Black Beauty'. Way more than just a looker, though, the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom is also armed to the teeth for tonal splendor.

Equipped exactly like the originals, it carries the legendary pairing of Tune-o-matic (ABR-1) bridge and stopbar tailpiece developed by Ted McCarty to give added adjustability and sustain to the first Black Beauty, along with the kidney button Grover Rotomatic tuners that were considered a major upgrade back in the day.

The "Black Beauty" debuted late in 1953 to instant acclaim, but it would be a few years before the design would reach its zenith. The 1960 Les Paul Custom, upgraded with two gold-plated PAF humbucking pickups and a super-fast, slim neck, is often considered the epitome of the breed - and it's back and dressed for the ball, in the form of the Gibson Custom Shop's new 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom.

Just like the original - intended to emulate the tux a jazz artist would wear to perform at a formal function - the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom has a high-gloss nitrocellulose ebony finish, multi-ply binding on body and headstock, an ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl block markers, a larger headstock with mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay, and gold-plated hardware throughout.

A pair of Gibson's BurstBucker humbucking pickups - a #1 in the neck for smooth, articulate tones and a #2 in the bridge for more sting and punching power - accurately represent the legendary PAFs of the late '50s and early '60s, and are made with unpolished alnico magnets and coils that are wound with unequal turns of 42-gauge enamel-coated wire to induce that single-coil like bite and edge of the originals. To top it all off, routing them through high-quality CTS pots and "bumblebee" tone capacitor keeps your signal sweetly vintage.

Just as significant, though, are the details that you don't see: the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom is built with the long neck tenon that gave added resonance and sustain to the original, its period-correct nylon nut is cut on the PLEK for ultimate accuracy, and beneath the guitar's gloss ebony finish lies a body carved from one piece of solid mahogany, a tonewood known for its blend of warmth, richness and clarity.

Produced in extremely limited numbers in 1960, original Black Beauties are nigh on impossible to come by today. With its historically accurate details and appointments, the Gibson Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom is the finest replication of the model that has ever been produced. Each example comes with a plush-lined Gibson Custom hard shell case, a Certificate of Authenticity, and full owner's literature. MSRP $7,508

For more info, click here.


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