Here's John Bohlinger in action while leading the CMT Music Awards band during the 2021 show.

Photo by Philip Tuck

John Bohlinger has been the musical director for the CMT Music Awards for 12 years. Before that, he was the bandleader for Nashville Star. Here's how he got—and kept—those gigs.

I just completed my 12th year as musical director/bandleader for the CMT Music Awards. You might be wondering: How does a guy of suboptimal intelligence and talent get and keep such a gig? Here's my odyssey.

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Here's a collection of powered guitar cabs that will help your digital rig feel more alive.

The proliferation of all-digital rigs, from arenas and stadiums to your local pub, proves that it's not a passing fad and that today's tech offers killer tone. This lineup of juiced-up cabs offers a wealth of options at a range of prices.

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Plus—Zakk Wylde's favorite emojis, that time I was Kurt Russell in Antarctica, and what I said to Rodney D. at his house party.

Although there have been times when I thought, "Maybe I should, for posterity's sake," I don't keep a personal journal. A) Who's actually gonna read it? And B) am I really going to stick with it? (I do keep a dream journal for my own amusement from time to time, though. There's some weird shit in there.)

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Its name might sound slightly pharmacological, but this limited-edition P-90–style axe is tough, mean, and unquestionably virile.

Killer P-90-style tones with Fender spank. Excellently voiced tone knob. Nice playability.

Slightly rough fret ends.

$1049 street (w/gigbag)

Fender Noventa Stratocaster
fender.com

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If you never learned to count to 90 in Spanish, Fender's limited-run Noventa series sounds like it needs a lot of small-print "Don't take Noventa if…" disclaimers. Once you get the translation down (and remember the term "P-90" is a Gibson invention), it's clear what the series' three models—a 3-pickup Jazzmaster, a single-pickup Telecaster, and a 2-pickup Strat—have in common.

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There's a lot of musical gold inside the scales.

Intermediate

Intermediate

• Develop a deeper improvisational vocabulary.

• Combine pentatonic scales to create new colors.

• Understand the beauty of diatonic harmony.
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Improvising over one chord for long stretches of time can be a musician's best friend or worst nightmare. With no harmonic variation, we are left to generate interest through our lines, phrasing, and creativity. When I started learning to improvise, a minor 7 chord and a Dorian mode were the only sounds that I wanted to hear at the time. I found it tremendously helpful to have the harmony stay in one spot while I mined for new ideas to play. Playing over a static chord was crucial in developing my sense of time and phrasing.

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Torres' Mackenzie Scott - The Big 5

Rumours love, overdue "M-word" attention, and a whole lot of Muse-ing … our sit-down with the Tele-thrashing indie-rocker.

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