Two-Handed Tapping, Tone Tips, & Aluminum Frame Guitars

Retro Finger-Tapping: While widely popularized by guitarist Eddie Van Halen, it’s been evident for some time that he did not invent the technique (nor did he ever claim such). What is rather amazing, is how far back guitarists have been using this technique, since it didn’t really gain exposure until the 1980s. This video is from 1965, and features Italian guitarist Vittorio Camardese.

12 Bar Blues: Learn how to play a slow blues progression that has a down and dirty feel to it.

The Path to Great Tone: Have you ever tweaked your guitar sound to the point where it sounded absolutely incredible, but when combined with the rest of the band, it just didn’t cut it? Peter Thorn has written a great article in Premier Guitar about how we have to think about our tone in the full context of how it will be applied, both in the studio and on the stage. So before you think you have your next killer tone, think how it will blend with the bass, drums, keyboards, and other instruments.

Iron Maiden: The New Wave of British Heavy Metal rockers have often tapped into movies as the inspiration for their songs. VH1 has complied a list of the 10 Best Iron Maiden Songs with theatrical influences, complete with YouTube videos.

Aluminum Frame Guitars: Looking for a new concept in guitar construction? Relish Guitars, a company out of Switzerland, has created a streamlined design for the 21st Century. The body architecture is very different than traditional models in that it incorporates an aluminum frame. Pickup selection is through a touch sensor, rather than a toggle switch. You’ll be hard pressed to find these at your local guitar shop.  But they were at NAMM this year (video reviews) so maybe distribution will pick up soon.


Rupert Neve Recording Gear Giveaway


Sweetwater’s monthly gear giveaway for March features a Rupert Neve Designs prize package which includes:

R6 six-space 500 series rack

  • Meticulously designed, with a double-shielded power supply to eliminate magnetic interference

Two 511 mic preamps

  • Combines the pristine sound of the acclaimed 5017 preamp, the sweepable highpass filter from the 5012, and the Silk/Texture circuit from the Portico II.

Two 551 Inductor EQs

  • From classic Neve consoles, featuring Class A gain blocks, custom-wound inductors and transformers, and and a few modern updates

Two 543 mono compressor-limiters

  • Derived from the extremely popular Portico 5043, with unobtrusive, musical-sounding dynamic control

This gear is worth nearly $6,000, and sounds great for recording guitars, bass, vocals, drums, you name it! Enter by March 31, 2015

Acoustic Nation D’Angelico Guitar Giveaway

Guitar World is offering a guitar giveaway in which you can win a D’Angelico Lexington SD300 acoustic guitar, as well Will Dailey’s album, National Throat. This giveaway runs through March 31, 2015.

Win A Earthquaker Devices Cloven Hoof Fuzz Pedal

Chicago Music Exchange is offering the chance to win a boutique fuzz pedal from Earthquaker Devices. But hurry, it ends on March 13, 2015! 

Busking Laws for the Street Performer

Are you thinking of becoming a street performer? Are you already taking your guitar to the streets and busking for a living?

Street performers, or “buskers” can greatly enhance the atmosphere of what might be a routine, busy street. However, if not careful, they can create a situation unpleasant with both those passing by and law enforcement.

If you’re going to be a street performer, it is important to know the local laws and ordinances so that you will not only be successful, but that both you and your audience may also have an enjoyable experience.

Some cities have very clear laws on street performing. However, there is a gray area—commercial solicitation. As a street performer, you need to make money. Everyone does. But how aggressive you are with obtaining it from a crowd can be considered solicitation, and that will get you in trouble with the police very quickly.

While busking may be accomplished almost anywhere that might have a crowd of people, compiled here is information for several major US cities that may be found useful. Some may seem like common sense, but it is always best to have it in writing just in case! [Read more…]

How to Protect an Acoustic Guitar | Making Music on iOS

Three simple rules can help you avoid any major issues with your acoustic guitar:

  • Keep your guitar in it’s case. While it’s easy to grab your guitar off its stand to play, with extreme changes in temperature and humidity, it’s best to keep it in it’s case.
  • Humidifiers really help. Maintaining a constant humidity level helps to keep your guitar in optimum playability.
  • Avoid the extremes. Too hot or too cold. If the temperature bothers you, your guitar doesn’t like it either.

You can get more information on this at the PRS blog.

Tape Saturation FX Unit Review

Looking for a new FX unit to play around with? Premier Guitar has just reviewed the Strymon Deco Tape Saturation & Doubletracker, and it has some really great features! It’s tape saturation is aimed to rival even the high-end DAW plugins. The double-tracking is a vintage delay-feature where you can create some cool chorusing and flanging effects.

A Guide to Using Your Guitar with an iPhone/iPad

MacStories has an extensive look at all the different ways you can have your guitar and iOS device work together.  This detailed article contains reviews of different amp/effects/recording apps, devices for hooking your guitar up, and many more issues and ideas.

Willie Nelson and Trigger

Rolling Stone has a new documentary series that features an installment on Willie Nelson and his now famous Martin N-20 acoustic guitar.  Watch the video to hear the backstory and tall tales on what’s become one of the most famous guitars on earth.

Nelson discovered Trigger at a crossroads in his career. By 1969, he had spent nearly a decade trying to become a clean-cut solo success in Nashville. After a drunk destroyed his Guild acoustic, he decided to look for a new guitar with a sound similar to his gypsy-jazz hero Django Reinhardt (“I think he was the best guitar player ever,” Nelson says). His buddy Shot Jackson suggested the Martin classical “gut-string” guitar; Nelson bought it sight-unseen and gave it a name. “I named my guitar Trigger because it’s kind of my horse,” he explains. “Roy Rogers had a horse called Trigger.”

Win a Custom Suhr Guitar and Other Giveaways


Win and Design the Suhr Guitars “Guitar of your Dreams” from Make’n Music

Make’n Music is hosting their “Guitar of Your Dreams 2″ giveaway, in which you can win and design your own Suhr guitar. The retail value of this prize package is worth about $3,800! These are some amazing instruments. You’ll need to fill out an entry form along with liking and sharing their Facebook page.

Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Acoustic Guitar from Alvarez

This guitar has a solid A grade western red cedar top, which is screen printed with a flawless satin finish. It also has custom mother of pearl inlays, a rosewood fingerboard and bi-level bridge and 12th fret lightning bolt inlay. The guitar utilizes the Alvarez FST2M hand finished, forward shifted, scalloped bracing system for optimal performance and response. Enter now!