On Vividly, Pierre Bensusan defends his title as the all-time king of DADGAD tuning.

Pierre Bensusan

On Vividly, Pierre Bensusan defends his title as the all-time king of DADGAD tuning. Throughout this studio album, which also includes one live track, Bensusan’s touch on his signature Lowden is crystal clear and speaks to not only his amazing technique, but also the quality of the production. Over the course of the 14 tracks, he pays tribute to some of his friends and musical heroes, including jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, whom he offers fitting tribute to using subtle harmonics and ringing open strings on “DADGAD Café” without delving into the “cool jazz” genre that Baker was known for. Sticking to a single modal tuning, it can be easy to fall into a rut. But on Vividly, Bensusan extends the sound of the tuning by exploring different keys and textures not normally associated with DADGAD. This wouldn’t be the first album I would recommend to someone who’s unfamiliar with Bensusan, but the arrangements stand out as some of his most inventive fretwork.
Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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