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October 2011

Rhythm & Grooves: Spin the Wheel, Map the Fretboard

September 20, 2011
Learning to name the notes on the fretboard is a big deal. The goal is to be able to press any string to any fret and immediately identify the resulting note.
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Amplifying a Solo Acoustic Performance

September 20, 2011
Equally important in making the proper choice is deciding on why you want to amplify in the first place.
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Ampeg Lee Jackson VL502

September 20, 2011
The Ampeg VL502, along with all the amps in the VL Series, was designed by amp guru Lee Jackson.
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B.C. Rich Beginnings

September 20, 2011
How a small retail shop in L.A. morphed into becoming a builder of the most radical designs of the 1970s and ’80s—and then managed to redefine Reagan-era metal guitar.
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Kick Out The Jams: One-Chord Monte

September 20, 2011
Soloing over one chord can either be the most freeing musical experience or the most terrifying.
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Yamaha A-Series A3M Acoustic Guitar Review

September 20, 2011
The A3M cutaway dreadnought reviewed here features solid tonewoods and an S.R.T (Studio Response Technology) microphone-modeling preamp, making this a guitar for serious gigging players, but at a price that won’t leave you destitute.
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The Red Queen and 5 Steps to a Lutherie Career

September 20, 2011
And over the years I’ve been asked the same two questions over and over: “How do you get into guitar making?” and “What does it take to have a career in it?”
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CD Review: Mastodon - "The Hunter"

September 20, 2011
with The Hunter, Mastodon loosens the recording reins to offer up a wider spectrum of musical goodness.
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1986 Fender Super Champ Deluxe

September 20, 2011
The ’86 Super Champ Deluxe featured here is one of the last examples of the modern circuitry upgrades that were housed in a more traditional package.
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CD Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers - "I'm With You"

September 20, 2011
The great news for RHCP fans is that new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer—a longtime Frusciante friend and collaborator who toured with the band for Stadium—is an excellent fit.
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CD Review: Wild Flag - "Wild Flag"

September 20, 2011
Wild Flag is not just a reworked version of Sleater-Kinney, but like that band, it’s so absolutely unique and innovative that it’s scary.
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Builder Profile: Gene Baker and Premier Builders Guild

September 20, 2011
Master builder and chief engineer Gene Baker has been around and then some—from studying at GIT to working for Gibson and the Fender Custom Shop to having his own prestigious shop torpedoed by unscrupulous lenders to heading up one of the guitar industry’s most intriguing gear onsortiums.
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Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 Amp Review

September 20, 2011
The EL84-powered TubeMeister 18 marks an interesting deviation from the company’s usual medium-to high-wattage fare.
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Blackstar HT-5R Amp Review

September 20, 2011
Featuring a very cool stereo digital reverb, the amp uses a single ECC83 tube to produce 5 watts of output power.
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Goosing a Supro Thunderbolt S6420

September 20, 2011
A Supro S6420 with volume issues.
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Amptweaker TightMetal Pedal Review

September 20, 2011
The TightMetal is a smorgasbord of vicious distortion options and a smooth, natural-sounding noise gate that expands its usefulness.
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Matt Palmer: Classical Nitro

September 20, 2011
Jaw-dropping classical guitarist Matt Palmer reveals how his love of ’80s shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen and an unwanted gift from his mother inspired him to turbocharge the “Classical Gas” mentality of yore and create his own mind-bogglingly fast nylon-string picking technique.
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Dingwall Guitars Z3 5-String Bass Review

September 20, 2011
The Z3 is a striking bass that challenges convention with thoughtful features and versatile sounds.
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Primus: 3-Ring Circus

September 20, 2011
Primus’ Les Claypool and Ler LaLonde reveal how friendship and new tone toys helped them resurrect the most bizarre power trio of the last 25 years.
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