electric guitar


I Heart Guitar has a review of the new DR guitar strings that are made specifically for dropped tunings. These strings are designed to stay in tune better and produce a clearer sound even when the string is tuned low. Peter notes:

“Tone-wise the DDTs display a slightly reduced treble content compared to most other strings. Far from being a problem or drawback, this makes the DDTs sound even bigger when you’re chugging out at the lower end of the fretboard, and since these strings are specifically designed for downtuning, that’s gotta be a good thing. They also hold up remarkably well in standard tuning, and have a great throaty growl when you really lay into open chords.”

Once you’ve picked up the strings, you’ll need something to play. Try out Jody’s Drop D Metal Licks premium lesson.

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Recently on the Telecaster.com forum, someone asked Jody about his guitar tone in a free video. I wanted to let everyone else in on the answer. The video being referenced is posted below.

Question: Your tone in this clip just knocks me out. Is there any way to get that great sound (specifically the bridge pickup tone in the first minute of the vid) at bedroom, small practice amp levels? Practicing would be a lot more fun if I could hear that fat growling tone.

Jody: I did that shoot with a Peavy Classic 30 at a very reasonable volume….we don’t crank it in the studio because of bleed into the little clip-on mike for my voice. I dialed up the dirtiest sound (you can’t get dirtier with the volume and tone knobs of the guitar, just cleaner) with the pre-amp and master volumes on the amp, then all the other tones came from turning down the guitar! The Custom Shop NoCaster that I’m playing has a special (stock for that guitar) something-or-other in the wiring that allows you to retain high end as you turn down…..then if it’s too thin, you just roll off a little! Thanks for the interest, guys!!!!

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B.B. King discusses what he likes about his favorite guitarists from a 1975 Guitar Player article

I’m as much a jazz fan as I am a blues fan. I like country and western music, too. Chet Atkins, to me, is a master guitarist. But among my very favorites are these ten men: T-Bone Walker, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Johnny Moore, Bill Jennings, Big Joe Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Charlie Christian, Earl Hooker, Robert Nighthawk, and Lloyd Ellis.

T-Bone Walker, for instance, has a touch that nobody has been able to duplicate. I’ve listened to Alexis Korner, Big Bill Broonzy, and others — all possess a certain touch and tone settings that are different. And when I hear T-Bone play, his tone setting is like no one else’s. He has a strange way of holding his guitar, slanting it away from him instead of having it lay flat against his stomach. It’s almost like he were playing a steel guitar, but he curls his left arm underneath, and reaches his fingers up over the top. And he seems to kind of scrape his pick across the strings. How he’s able to hit specific strings, I just don’t know. And that touch he gets! I’ve tried my best to get that sound — especially in the late ’40s and early ’50s. I came pretty close, but I never quite got it. I can still hear T-Bone in my mind today, from that first record I heard, “Stormy Monday,” around ’43 or ’44. He was the first electric guitar player I heard on record. He made me so that I knew I just had to go out and get an electric guitar.

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Are you looking for a way to practice your electric guitar on the road without having to lug an amp and effects pedals around? The iRig by AmpliTube ($39.99) allows you to plug your electric guitar directly into your iPhone. You can also run a separate jack to a pair of headphones so that you can practice quietly in a hotel room. Plug into some speakers or a mixer for a more portable effects setup. With their free AmpliTube app you can add the sound of three different stomp boxes and a guitar amp and cabinet. The LE version and Full version offer even more settings.

Watch their video explanation

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First of all, we’re proud to annouce Peter Vogl’s two new lessons on how to play the lead guitar solo from All Along the Watchtower. The first lesson will cover the Jimi Hendrix inspired opening to the song and the second lesson will cover some Jimi styled lead guitar from later in the song. Peter also has free lessons on a couple of the techniques covered in the solo. First learn how to play Minor Third Bends and Unison Bends, then move on and learn the guitar solo for Watchtower.

You can hear Jimi’s version of the song on this Youtube video

It seems like Jimi has been popping up on guitar sites all over the net the last couple of weeks.

- Strat-o-blogster has the run down of the Fender Custom Shop’s re-creation of the Strat Jimi played at the Monterey Pop Festival 40 years ago. Plus he’s also got youtube clips of Jimi playing the original and John Mayer playing the new model.

- Electric Guitar Review has a post about the “IK Multimedia’s Amplitube Jimi Hendrix digital modeling software”. You can also follow a link from there to hear an .mp3 of “Guitar Player Magazine’s Michael Ross has recorded a pretty impressively authentic Hendrix-style jam”

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Bill: Is it a good idea to practice with both the acoustic and electric guitar at the same time? Or, should I concentrate on one or the other. I am not an experienced player, but I am not a total beginner, either

The reason why I ask is because I find that playing the acoustic guitar has a different feeling than the electric guitar I have. And, going back and forth seems to be harder than staying on one guitar. Or, is it good for my development to go back and forth?

Also, when I try to play songs that I like that famous singers have made (like Vince Gill, etc) the quality of the sound I get out of the electric guitar isn’t as good as the recordings. Is that because the amp that I’m using is a cheap amp (I just have a small student amp)? Also, would buying a pedal improve the sound quality?

Peter Vogl: A bunch of good questions here. It is fine to work on both guitars learning the touch required to play both. Using a good tube amp is the first step to good tone. Guys like Vince Gill are also using a compressor pedal, sometimes a delay pedal, and at times a chorus. You can buy them in one good multi effect if you like. Remember they are going through super expensive processing in the recordings you are listening to. The mixing board alone could very well be worth a million dollars. Best of luck.

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There is a great article about jam tracks over on the Electric Guitar Review. I think the point that I find most important is:

“CONVENIENCE: Let’s face it, the best way to learn music is to play music, and you can’t do it all by your lonesome self. Even if you’re in a band, chances are your band mates are not willing to play back-up for you on demand. With playalongs, you have the luxury of practicing with a rhythm section day after day, anytime you wish, for any length of time.”

There’s nothing like the freedom of being to jam whenever you want to. I’m often moved by a song I’m listening to or performance on tv and pick up the guitar and jam for hours. Sometimes your most inspired moments don’t happen when other musicians are around. Which is just one of the many reasons quality jam track cd’s and mp3s are helpful.

You can check out our full line of jam tracks and see what strikes your fancy. We also have free lessons for each Let’s Jam CD to help guide you towards creating your own solos.

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