An expansive collection of vignettes of seminal guitarists telling how they first planted the playing seed.

My First Guitar: Tales of True Love ...
by Julia Crowe
ECW Press


Julia Crowe has quite a concept in this expansive collection of vignettes of seminal guitarists telling how they first planted the playing seed. The author describes how the book was conceived, her younger self boarding a flight to meet Jimmy Page in London for a cup of coffee—but she lets him, and the other players, do most of the talking.

Crowe (guitarist, composer, journalist, and teacher) impressively executes heartfelt storytelling gleaned from hundreds of interviews with the “who’s who” of players (Dick Dale, Seymour Duncan, Alex Lifeson, Albert Lee, Scotty Moore, Steve Vai, etc.), and she delivers the goods in unique first-person accounts. Les Paul recounts acquiring a $3.95 Sears-Roebuck guitar after his mother gave him grief for playing piano (“it’s not convenient”) and the drums (“she immediately ordered that out of the house”). The rest is history, as they say, but this book is testament. It’s not just about the first guitars or the players themselves, really. It’s much more: the follow-up from that first chance meeting—that coming-of-age experience with music. This is life, told and celebrated through guitars. —Tessa Jeffers

How jangle, glam, punk, shoegaze, and more blended to create a worldwide phenomenon. Just don’t forget your tambourine.

Intermediate

Beginner

  • Learn genre-defining elements of Britpop guitar.
  • Use the various elements to create your own Britpop songs.
  • Discover how “borrowing” from the best can enrich your own playing.
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When considering the many bands that fall under the term “Britpop”–Oasis, Blur, Suede, Elastica, Radiohead’s early work, and more–it’s clear that the genre is more an attitude than a specific musical style. Still, there are a few guitar techniques and approaches that abound in the genre, many of which have been “borrowed” (the British music press’ friendly way of saying “appropriated”) from earlier British bands of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

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"'If I fall and somehow my career ends on that particular day, then so be it," Joe Bonamassa says of his new hobby, bicycling. "If it's over, it's over. You've got to enjoy your life."

Photo by Steve Trager

For his stylistically diverse new album, the fiery guitar hero steps back from his gear obsession and focuses on a deep pool of influences and styles.

Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa was a struggling musician living in New York City. He survived on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles that he procured from the corner bodega at Columbus Avenue and 83rd Street. Like many dreamers waiting for their day in the sun, Joe also played "Win for Life" every week. It was, in his words, "literally my ticket out of this hideous business." While the lottery tickets never brought in the millions, Joe's smokin' guitar playing on a quartet of albums from 2002 to 2006—So, It's Like That, Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today, and You & Me—did get the win, transforming Joe into a guitar megastar.

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