Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Explore the Exotic Sounds of World Guitar
It seems that guitar players are always looking for ways to expand their vocabularies, break out of ruts, and generally become better players. Often, these explorations involve looking to other instruments, such as the piano or saxophone, for chordal or phrasing ideas. In his two excellent books, guitarist/author Greg Herriges takes another tack: looking to other stringed instruments, such as the Puerto Rican cuatro, the Indian sitar, the Greek bouzouki, or the African kora, among many others to create interesting new sounds and arrangements.
First up is his latest book, Guitar Explorer. Here, Herriges offers an in-depth exploration of world music and how to play the music and mimic the sounds of various other stringed/fretted instruments on the guitar.
In World Guitar, Herriges similarly provides lessons on existing guitar traditions from all over the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, and more.
Both books come with audio CDs with demos of all the exercises and song arrangements.
For an impressive example of Herriges's expertise on these topics, check out the videos below, and then head over to GregHerriges.com to learn more, and to buy his latest CD, Telluric Currents.
Experience Music Project to Stage World's Most Extensive Nirvana Exhibit
Experience Music Project (EMP) announced today the 2011 opening of the world's most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana. Curated by EMP's Jacob McMurray, and featuring rare and unseen pieces from the band, their crews and families, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses runs April 16, 2011 – April 22, 2013.
Nirvana singer, songwriter and guitarist Kurt Cobain "was a visionary artist who touched people all over the world," said Krist Novoselic, the band's bassist and co-founder. "It's great that there will soon be a collection that celebrates that contribution to music and culture. There's a story with Nirvana at its center, but it's a story that also includes the many people, bands and institutions that make up a music community. The show is a celebration of Northwest music."
More than two years in the making, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses features 200 artifacts tied to the band and the independent punk rock music community that nurtured it. Among the many pieces of music history included in the exhibition are Kurt Cobain's never-before exhibited high school painting informally known as "punk American gothic," the Teac reel-to-reel tape machine owned by Mari Earl, Cobain's aunt, on which a young Kurt recorded material for his early bands, Cobain's handwritten lyrics for Nirvana songs, the yellow cardigan worn often by Cobain between 1991 and 1994, the winged angel stage prop featured on Nirvana's In Utero tour and numerous candid snapshots capturing the band's early years to the media frenzy that erupted after Nevermind.
The exhibit contains more than 100 new and archived oral histories from key figures in the independent music scene of the late 1980s and early '90s, including Novoselic; Mark Arm and Steve Turner of the band Mudhoney; Jack Endino, who produced Nirvana's first album Bleach (1989); Steve Albini, who recorded their third album, In Utero (1993); Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, co-founders of Sub Pop Records; Seattle scene photographers Charles Peterson and Alice Wheeler; Nirvana drummer Chad Channing; and Earnie Bailey, Kurt Cobain's guitar tech.
Steve Fisk, who co-produced the band's Blew EP (1989), created the ambient soundtrack fans will hear as they move through the exhibition. Visitors eager to dig even further into the vast store of images, audio and video that informed the collection will be able to explore them in detail at media kiosks.
To highlight the integral role that fans played and continue to play in relationship with Nirvana, the exhibit will also include a "confessional" in which fans can record their own stories, memories, poems and other thoughts about the band, its music and its members. That footage will be woven into concert film and interviews that screen continuously during the exhibit.
Concurrently with the exhibit launch, renowned Seattle publisher Fantagraphics Books will release Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind, a 250-page, full-color exploration of grunge's explosion, set within the cultural environs of the punk underground that developed in the U.S. in 1970s and '80s.
For more info, visit the EMP web site.
Official Ozzy Osbourne Guitar Tabs for Scream
GuitarInstructor is excited to announce we're the exclusive online source for official, note-for-note guitar tab for all 11 songs from Ozzy Osbourne's latest album, Scream. Featuring the fiery fretwork of new axeman Gus G., these new Ozzy tabs are sure to give your metal chops a workout from hell.
Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 10-19-2010
Last week, a colleague asked me to recommend a Steely Dan guitar book, which led to a brief discussion of guitarist Larry Carlton, who was a hired gun for the band. So I thought it might be cool to do a Larry Carlton lick this week.
A bit short on time, I then remembered this slippery LC lick that my friend and colleague Tom Kolb had once showed me, based on his solo in Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne." Here, chromatic passing tones adorn and serve to link Em7 (E-G-B-D) and C6 (C-E-G-A) arpeggios as well as a bluesy C Mixolydian (C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb) phrase.
Tom recommended using the chromatic embellishment in the context of minor pentatonic passages, to add finesse and comfortable unpredictability. Sage advice from one fine picker!
Noted Prewar Blues Scholar Stephen Calt Dead at 62
Our friend Dave Rubin has regrettably informed us that noted prewar blues scholar Stephen Calt died October 17, 2010, in Queens, New York. He was 62.
The New York native Calt was best known as the author of the biographies I'd Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues and King of the Delta Blues: The Life and Music of Charlie Patton. In addition, he wrote countless articles and liner notes, and had recently published Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary, which examines the meanings of blues lyrics and slang.
Our condolences to his family and friends.
To check out Calt's books, visit Amazon.com.
Irish Blues-Rocker Simon McBride Releases New Album
Being Irish born and bred, guitarist Simon McBride understands it will inevitably lead to comparisons to fellow countrymen like Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, and Vivian Campbell. However, it's his American cohort Joe Bonamassa to which he draws the most favorable comparisons, be it his youthful start, his blues-rock songwriting style, or impressive chops and phrasing. Fortunately McBride's new album, Since Then, shows that although he's worthy of being mentioned alongside all those greats, he's got a voice all his own.
The album kicks off with the uptempo slide-fueled cooker, "Take My Hand," before launching into the swampy E-blues stomp "Hell Waters Rising," which should make for a monster live tune. On the slow blues "Down to the Wire," the PRS-wielding McBride indeed mines the repertoire of fellow Irishman Gary Moore, but if you can pull it off—and McBride does—more power to you. But it's in the solo on the funky shuffle "Be My Baby" that you really hear the Bonamassa influence.
Like Bonamassa, McBride possesses an amazing gift for articulation, particularly in his fast phrases. It's a rare trait among blues-rock guitarists that should pay off for McBride in time, as long as he, like Bonamassa, keeps plugging away. If he does, the blues-rock world will be more exciting for it.
New Joe Bonamassa Guitar Tabs Now Available
GuitarInstructor has just posted 11 new official guitar tabs from modern-day blues-rock guitar hero Joe Bonamassa. Starting at just 99¢ each, these tabs come from Cherry Lane's Joe Bonamassa Collection tab book, in their note-for-note Play It Like It Is series.
Click here or on the book cover below to purchase the entire tab book, or select any individual title below:
Asking Around For You
Bridge to Better Days
Dirt in My Pocket
Lonesome Road Blues
One of These Days
So Many Roads, So Many Trains
The Ballad of John Henry
The Great Flood