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Top 10 Lessons of 2020

Top 10 Lessons of 2020
Top 10 Lessons of 2020

This year we looked into how to solo like Garcia, bend like the late Peter Green, and think deeper about the blues scale.

Grateful Dead-Style Solo Tricks

By Michael Palmisano
Learn how to connect triads in the style of Grateful Dead legends Jerry Garcia and John Mayer.


Rethinking the Blues Scale

By Shawn Persinger
There's way more than blues-rock fodder buried in the crevices of the most overused scale in music.

Spice Up Your Cowboy Chords

By Shawn Persinger
Just because you live on the low end of the fretboard doesn't mean you can't add melodic and harmonic interest to your progressions.

Pentatonic Escape Routes

By Paul DePauw
Don't be a prisoner of the pentatonic box. Time to break out!

Walking the Blues

By Jason Beaudreau
Eight ways to add excitement to your blues rhythms.

How to Learn a Song Like a Nashville Pro

By Annie Clements
Here's a fool-proof process for systematically embedding a song in your soul.

Hendrix Rhythms Made Easy

By Jon MacLennan
Understanding Hendrix's rhythm guitar style will help you create new, exciting guitar parts that add momentum to the song.

Blues Arpeggio Tricks

By Corey Congilio
A simple half-step slide is all it takes to spice up those vanilla arpeggios.

Peter Green's Magic Scale

By Jeff McErlain
Put some Green into your blues with the minor pentatonic major 6 scale.

A Beginner's Guide to Standard Slide

Arthur Rotfeld
Just because you want to slide, doesn't mean you need to retune.

The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview
The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview on Johnny’s New Songwriter Album

The Man in Black returns with the unreleased Songwriter album. John Carter Cash tells us the story.

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This 1968 Epiphone Al Caiola Standard came stocked with P-90s and a 5-switch Tone Expressor system.

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (guitarpoint.de)

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (guitarpoint.de)

The session ace’s signature model offers a wide range of tones at the flip of a switch … or five.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. Not long ago, I came home late from a band rehearsal, still overly excited about the new songs we played. I got myself a coffee (I know, it's a crazy procedure to calm down) and turned on the TV. I ended up with an old Bonanza episode from the ’60s, the mother of all Western TV series. Hearing the theme after a long time instantly reminded me of the great Al Caiola, who is the prolific session guitarist who plays on the song. With him in mind, I looked up the ’60s Epiphone “Al Caiola” model and decided I want to talk about the Epiphone/Gibson Tone Expressor system that was used in this guitar.

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Slinky playability, snappy sounds, and elegant, comfortable proportions distinguish an affordable 0-bodied flattop.

Satisfying, slinky playability. Nice string-to-string balance. Beautiful, comfortable proportions.

Cocobolo-patterned HPL back looks plasticky.

$699

Martin 0-X2E
martinguitar.com

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Embracing the idea of an acoustic flattop made with anything other than wood can, understandably, be tricky stuff. There’s a lot of precedent for excellent-sounding acoustics built with alternative materials, though. Carbon-fiber flattops can sound amazing and I’ve been hooked by the sound and playability of Ovation and Adamas instruments many times.

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The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

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