Some names you’ve heard, others maybe not. But they all have a unique voice on the instrument.
• Open your ears to new influences.
• Understand how to create interlocking rhythm parts.
• Develop a new appreciate for the rhythmic complexity of Wayne Krantz, the effortless bebop of Biréli Lagrène, and the driving force that is David Williams.
Biréli Lagrène’s Bombastic Bop
Standards was the first jazz guitar record I really listened to, and his playing on this entire album is devastating. There is so much groove, joy, and ferocity in every note. The way he lays ideas out on the fretboard made a lot of sense to me, his rhythms were intentional and clear, and it was surprisingly easy to dig into as a rock guitarist at the time. He has an extensive catalog of jazz, gypsy jazz, and fusion records with some of the best in the world, and he’s also a killer bass player who can sing just like Frank Sinatra! Ex. 1 is over the first eight measures of “Stella by Starlight.” I stole so much vocabulary from this solo that I can still play bits from memory 20 years later. Lagrène’s treatment of two-measure chunks to play his ideas was significantly helpful. Whether it was an engaging rhythmic phrase, constant eighth-notes, or just cramming in as much as he could, I stopped worrying so much about catching every chord change after I learned this one.
Stella by Starlight
George Barnes is a unique jazz guitarist who was a contemporary of Charlie Christian, Johnny Smith, and Django. A significant part of his early work was writing and arranging for radio and television, for NBC, and he also wrote the very first electric guitar method book in 1942. A friend in Austin gave me two CDs of his: a collection of his playing from the Plantation Party radio show and an overview of his octet recordings. The octet recordings sound like unhinged cartoon music with guitar and orchestral instruments and are highly enjoyable. Ex. 2 is a line I lifted from a recording of him playing “Ain’t Misbehavin.” It was one of the hippest endings I have ever heard on a jazz tune, and although I can’t find the recording anywhere, I still use it all the time. I love the intention in George Barnes’ playing. Swinging and mischievous, he always sounds like he was having fun.
The George Barnes Sextet - Lover, Come Back to Me
“Thrilling” Rhythm Solos
David Williams is one of the greatest rhythm players of all time. He is responsible for most of the memorable guitar moments on Michael Jackson’s records, and all his parts have an infectious nature. He is the primary reason I got interested in rhythm guitar, and he is still an inspiration on that front. One of my favorite examples of his playing is the breakdown in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (where Vincent Price does the rap). His signature thunderous right-hand approach to single-note rhythm parts is in full effect, and the natural accents between the two rhythm parts are infectious on their own but weave perfectly together. Ex. 3 is my interpretation of two interlocking parts in this style. He’s said in interviews that his concept as a player was to develop “rhythm solos” that could stand out front in a song, and this is a perfect example of that.
(Better than) Average Riffs
Though Hamish Stuart is most known for being an original member of the Average White Band, the singer/guitarist/composer/producer also did extensive work with heavyweights such as George Benson, Paul McCartney, Chaka Khan, and Aretha Franklin. Though AWB was still working until 1983, Hamish was doing sessions with various artists as a sideman in the early ’80s, including this excerpt from “Move Me No Mountain” off Chaka Khan’s Naughty from 1980 (Ex. 4). I’ve always loved the interplay between these two parts, range-wise and rhythmically. The lower pick line hits some unusual 16th-note placements, and the higher dyads have a churn to them that is amazing. Both parts together feel different rhythmically from anything I have ever heard but sound so cool and unique.
Chaka Khan - Move Me No Mountain
Wayne Krantz is one of those guys that hit me like a lightning bolt. Upon hearing him, I felt like I had “permission” to play more with the fingers of my right hand, use jagged and intentional rhythms, and above all, to play more naturally. Wayne has always played like himself. His control over rhythm and articulation alone is legendary, not to mention the vast body of unique work he has created. Ex. 5 is an excerpt from the only solo I ever learned of his, from “Infinity Split” off 1999’s Greenwich Mean. I love this solo because it is incredibly engaging rhythmically and melodically, but almost 100 percent inside the harmony. This solo taught me more about rhythmic placement and articulation than anything.
Wayne Krantz - Infinity Split
Though I could only grab a certain percentage of these guys’ “vocabulary,” learning these parts over the years helped me find my sound. The result was an attempt to emulate some of their musicality in my way, rather than outright imitating them. Anything you hear that grabs your interest is probably worth sitting down and figuring out. While we might not mention the guitarists above alongside Hendrix or Van Halen, they have all done their part to put a brick in the cathedral, furthering music, and the instrument.
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We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.