Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews

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Double Dream Hands - Bizarre Dance or a Guitarist's Dream Come True?

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 17, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Double dream hands? Normally I'd say it's the not-so-secret desire of guitar players everywhere, but right now, it's the Internet sensation sweeping across the globe. In the video below, Hal Leonard author and renowned music educator John Jacobson teaches the "double dream hands" dance choreography to the Music Express (an educational music magazine for elementary school children) song "Planet Rock" (Jacobson/Huff). As innocent as its intentions are, it's actually quite funny taken out of context, which of course has led to some pretty inventive versions posted by YouTube users.

So, if you found this post while looking for the dance video, scroll down, and be sure to check out the official Double Dream Hands web site. If you found it because you are indeed a guitarist looking to turn your own two mitts into dream hands on the fretboard, check out these online guitar video lessons, which are sure to help you on your way:

Building Speed by Troy Stetina
Alternate Picking and Sequencing by Troy Stetina
Scale Sequences by Marcus Henderson
Left Hand Finger Independence by Marcus Henderson
Basic Studies to Build Chops by Jeff Loomis
Economy Picking by Doug Boduch
Fretboard Strength Building by John Denner


John Petrucci Shows You How to Get His Tone

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 16, 2010 at 6:00 PM

This past summer, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci filmed a couple of video segments at the Mesa/Boogie factory in Petaluma, California, in which he shows viewers how to achieve his various guitar tones using the new Mesa/Boogie Mark V guitar amp. Granted, not many of us have a few grand laying around to pick up one of these gorgeous amps, but regardless of your rig, there are plenty of pointers in the tutorials to help you get the Dream Theater clean, rhythm, and lead tones.

John Petrucci guitar video lessons
Progressive rock guitar tabs and video lessons

Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond Inducted into Rock Hall

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Once again, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has shown just how not rock and roll it really is. The latest inductees, announced today (12/15), are Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Dr. John, and Darlene Love. Bon Jovi, arguably deserving over at least two of the inductees, was snubbed, which really isn't too surprising (though it is disappointing) given their lack of popularity with the music critics with a Hall vote.

Other nominees who didn't make the cut, with our votes in parentheses, include the Beastie Boys (yay), Chic (yay), Donovan (nay), J Geils Band (nay), LL Cool J (nay), Laura Nyro (nay), Donna Summer (nay), Joe Tex (nay), and Chuck Willis (nay).

Among the more notably snubbed are deserving icons Journey, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Duran Duran, Heart, and of course, the biggest snub of them all—Rush. And even though I'm not a fan, is it really right that KISS isn't in the Hall yet? Sure, the music itself is pretty crappy, but the Detroit quartet did more to define the rock concert experience than any other band of the past 40 years.

Oh well ... as the song goes: Don't stop believin' ...

Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 12-14-2010

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Three-note patterns—they're a shredder's best friend. Combine them with the key of E minor, and you've died and gone to Note-topia! So that's what I decided to do for our new lick of the week.

This rapid-fire alternate-picked line climbs two octaves of the E natural minor scale (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D) using three-note patterns across three fretboard positions. I've arranged the pattern rhythmically into sextuplets, as these three-note segments fall so nicely into triplet-based rhythms. It's played at a tempo of about 104 bpm, but the shredder's dirty little secret is that as long as you start and end in time, what happens in the middle is like discount day at Barney's. Still, the best (and proper) way to practice these lines is with a metronome. Playing every note in time is what separates the men from the boys.

The three-notes-per-string position shifts employed here are favorites of technicians like John Petrucci, Mark Tremonti, and Rusty Cooley. For more on this type of approach, check out Troy Stetina's excellent lesson "Three-Notes-Per-String Scale Patterns." I've used alternate picking, but these shapes are also popular for legato-based lines.

As always, start slowly and work it up to speed, trying to make each note ring clearly.

Shred lick

Happy 62nd Birthday Ted Nugent!

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 13, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Legendary rock guitarist Ted Nugent turns 62 today (12/13/2010), and the Motor City Madman shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Happy Birthday, Nuge ... May your notes be like your dinner table ... bountiful!

Ted Nugent guitar tabs and video lessons 

For all the latest Nuge news, visit

Judas Priest Announces Farewell Tour

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 13, 2010 at 10:36 AM

After nearly 40 years of balls-out metal, Judas Priest has announced they are hell bent for retirement, announcing that their massive Epitaph tour starting in 2011 will be their last. The band says that the farewell set will feature "the songs that helped make the name Judas Priest synonymous with heavy metal," so you can likely count on an evening of greatest hits.

Judas Priest guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks 

So far, only European festival dates have been announced:

June 9      Sweden Rock Festival - Sweden
June 11    Sauna Festival - Finland
June 17    Copenhell Festival - Copenhagen, Denmark
June 19    Hellfest - Nantes, France
June 22    Gods of Metal Festival - Milan, Italy
June 25    Graspop Festival - Belgium
July 23     High Voltage Festival - London, UK
Aug 5       Wacken Festival - Germany

For all the latest tour date announcements and news, visit

Remembering John Lennon

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 8, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Thirty years ago, outside the Dakota apartment building on the west side of Central Park in New York City, a disturbed young man named Mark David Chapman senselessly shot and killed rock legend John Lennon. Depending on your age, it was one of those rare "Do you remember where you were when it happened" days that will live in eternal infamy. And while that day's story has been told many times, it's never been told quite like it has in this new 256-page tome from Hal Leonard.

John Lennon guitar tab, video song lessons, and jam tracks

John Lennon coverIn a breathtaking, minute-by-minute format, December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died (see below for large cover image) follows the events leading to the horrible moment when Mark David Chapman calmly fired his Charter Arms .38 Special into the rock icon, realizing his perverse fantasy of attaining perennial notoriety.

New York Times bestselling author Keith Elliot Greenberg takes us back to New York City and the world John Lennon woke up to. The day begins with a Rolling Stone photo session that takes on an uncomfortable tone when photographer Annie Leibowitz tries to maneuver Yoko Ono out of the shot. Later Lennon gives the last interview of his life, declaring, "I consider that my work won't be finished until I'm dead and buried and I hope that's a long, long time."

We follow the other Beatles, Lennon's family, the shooter, fans, and New York City officials through the day, and as the hours progress, the pace becomes more breathless. Once the fatal shots are fired, the clock continues to tick as Dr. Stephan Lynn walks from the emergency room after declaring the former Beatle dead, Howard Cosell announces the singer's passing on Monday Night Football, and Paul McCartney is lambasted for muttering "Drag, isn't it?" - his bereavement confused with indifference.

The epilogue examines the aftermath of the killing: the considerable moment when 100,000 New Yorkers stood in silence in Central Park, the posthumous reunion of the Beatles in the studio – with George, Paul, and Ringo accompanying the recordings of their old friend – the unveiling of a bronze John Lennon statue in Fidel Castro's Cuba, and the durable legacy that persists today.

Click here to purchase December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died.

December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died


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