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Alt-Tuning Curious with Ariel Posen

Canadian guitarist Ariel Posen joins the pod to talk about his slide guitar influences, how he broke into open tunings, and how to get the most out of your fuzz pedals.

Zach and Rhett kick things off with a catch-up on recent projects. Rhett celebrates his new 100-watt Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature, which recently terrorized a couple sitting in the front row of one of his gigs. Then guitarist Ariel Posen logs on to, first and foremost, clear up how to pronounce his name.


Alt-Tuning Curious with Ariel Posen

Posen and Rhett swap horror stories from working on film sets, where they were expected to do way more than their job descriptions covered. Both agree that the film life is infinitely worse than touring. “I don’t know shit!” protests Posen. “I’m just a guitar player, dude!”

Thanks to Sweetwater for sponsoring this episode! Head to sweetwater.com for your musical gear needs.

Posen discusses how he got into playing slide in standard tuning by learning George Harrison leads (blues slide guitar was never his thing), but Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit inspired him to try open tunings, a process with “a lot of trial by fire, lots of, ‘oops, sorry!’” Blake Mills’ 2014 record Heigh Ho prompted Posen to chase lower tunings, although Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Big Wreck lit that same candle years earlier. For the open tuning-curious, Posen suggests starting in open E.

Posen talks about how he wrote his new record, and the honesty and simplicity behind his favorite lyricists like Jason Isbell. Finally, the trio dig into how to stack and squeeze the best sounds from your fuzz pedals. (Is a mini version of the Mythos Argo fuzz pedal coming? Zach doesn’t say yes—but he doesn’t say no, either.) Finally, the crew dips a slick Americana rig that draws near perfect scores.

Full Slash Interview
Full Slash Interview on New Blues Album, S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival, Guitar Gear, Pedal Steel & More

The guitar icon shares what went into making his chart-topping blues album and what gear fans can expect to see at the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Blues Festival tour.

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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