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Signature Guitar Guide Semi-HollowboDy Roundup

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All About Analog Delay

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John McLaughlin
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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_depts_masthead_ko2.indd 12

PUBLISHED IN THE U.S.A.

4/8/14 11:23 AM

GP Community
n o i z e fro m the ed i to r

have these manifestos to inform

rather than published. And, much

writing chopsyou could just be

the people and scare the crap out

to the bitter disappointment of

a bad writer with a job. But I still

of conformity! Yeah, I was think-

my teenage self, rock music and

believe that experience, vision,

ing stuff like that as a teenager. I

rock journalism did not CHANGE

an awareness of history, and the

blame growing up in the cultural/

THE WORLD. It was all entertain-

ability to write compelling prose

political volcano of San Francisco

ment. And commerce. And, well,

can be deployed to educate and

in the 60s. I wasnt alone in this

yeah, a good amount of helpful

enrich. Delete the better than

near-worship of rock journalism,

charity events that continue to

thou egotism of the pastunless

of course, as many of the profes-

this day, and Im certainly grate-

its a hilarious and entertaining

first

sional music critics who wrote for

ful for those.

application of haughtinessand

attracted to music journalism as

newspapers and magazines in

But professional music

professional, well-edited writing

a young pup in the 70s, it was

the pre-blog era nearly became

journalism seems to have

should offer a depth and context

because of the record reviews in

rock stars themselvespam-

de-evolved to a level of relative

that the dilettante blogger (even

Rolling Stone, Creem, and other

pered, press-junketed, backstage

disregard that no editor short of

one with an audience) can t

rags of the times. Back then, I

passed, groupied, and simultane-

Nostradamus would have dared

approach. What do you think? Are

viewed rock music as a force for

ously feared by bands and record

predict in 1972. Right now, its pretty

music reviews by the GP editors

good, and the pompous, over-

labels. Wild times.

much a community of peers that

still valuable to you, or do you

When

was

wrought, snide, and often funny

Sadly, much of that stuff seems

handles pop-culture criticism.

learn more from your neighbors

words penned by critics with obvi-

just plain awful in the light of

(Perhaps it was prescient that the

and band mates? School me at

ous biases and out-of-control supe-

today. For every truly crazy-smart

celebrated New Yorker film critic

mmolenda@musicplayer.com.

riority complexes appealed to my

writer like Lester Bangs, there was

Pauline Kael stopped writing in 1991,

own child-like sense of self-impor-

a boatload of arrogant, first-per-

before that web thing really caught

tance. Hey, David Bowie is chang-

son reporting that a sane editor

on.) And, sure, a professional tag

ing the world, man, so we must

probably should have pulped

doesnt ensure perceptiveness or

I f I We r e E d i to r o f Gu itar Player
I wo u l d i n c lu d e articles on
Christian musicians/bands.Seems
like there is too much Black Death
stuff out there.I enjoy metal music, but

GP POLL

Cast your vote! New


poll every week at
guitarplayer.com

Favorite Eagles
Guitarist

there is not enough balance between


good and evil.I would also cover what
tubes and speakers the pros use in their

52%

Joe Walsh

amps, and also provide info on any


mods done to their amps and why. Its
the same with details on guitar mods
and basic amp settings. Nobody seems to ask these questions.Marty Wiebekhaus

Don Felder

40%

For 2014, Rant of the Month has become If I Were Editor. Now, you get to share your wisdom
in a more focused and productive way about a specific element youd like to change about
GP. Take my job! Make the magazine better! Send your ideas to mmolenda@musicplayer.
com with the subject line, If I Were Editor. Due to space constraints, we can only handle

Bernie Leadon

5%

around 100 words. M i c h a e l M o l e n d a

16

Glenn Frey

3%

Hen ry D i ltZ

OOPS!

In the May 2014 issue we printed an incorrect street price of


$2,849 for the Taylor 814ce. That price is for a non-cutaway
version without electronics. The correct street price for the
model we reviewed is $3,349. A r t T h o m p s o n
G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_community_ln2.indd 16

4/7/14 2:20 PM

Interact!

GOT A QUESTION FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?


guitplyr@musicplayer.com

Join the GP community!


SOUND OFF! GET EXCLUSIVE NEWS.

Dig
MY
Rig

COMMENT. CRITIQUE.

This setup rocks and

it is loud as hell! First,


theres my Gibson Les Paul
Zoot Suit. Then, my pedalboard includes a Behringer
Hell-Babe HB01 wah, a
Planet Waves Tru-Strobe
tuner, a Boss NS-2 Noise
Suppressor, an Electo-Harmonix Metal Muff, a Ramble
FX Marvel Drive (which is
awesome), a Boss TR-2
Tremolo, a Boss OC-3 SUPER
Octave, a Rocktron Hypnotic Flange, a TC Electronic Flashback delay, and
a DigiTech JamMan. Finally,
theres my Marshall 100watt Plexi and Marshall
1960A cab loaded with
Celestion 65-watt speakers.
I replaced the cabinets grille
cloth myself. H artsel

SHARE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES.


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR e-NEWSLETTER.

facebook.com/guitarplayermag
twitter.com/guitarplayernow
guitarplayer.com/community

Michael Molenda, Editor In Chief


mmolenda@musicplayer.com

Art Thompson, Senior Editor


athompson@musicplayer.com

Bryant

Facebook Court of Opinion

Matt Blackett, Associate Editor


mblackett@musicplayer.com

Who would you choose as your personal champion to face-off


in a shred cage match against Zakk Wylde?
Jeffry D.
Jaskolka
JoeJimmy
Lucasti

Tyrel Lynes

Nick
Guadagnoli

Page Atkins
would
Chet
destroy
him.
and
Roy Clark.

Tosin Abasi
or Steve Vai.

The ghost of
Dimebag.

Hutch
Draman

Benjamin
Rhoades

Dumb debate!
Zakk is the
best shredder.

Dustin Devine

John 5.

Saving the
Satriani card
for when I
really need it.

Barry Cleveland, Associate Editor


bcleveland@musicplayer.com

Kevin Owens, Managing Editor


kowens@musicplayer.com

James
Sullivan

Jeff Smith

Buckethead.

Synyster
Gates.

Lucas
Fingers
Kimery

Paul Gilbert.

Eddie Van
Wanker

Duane
Brownen

This is stupid!

Other than
me? Al Di
Meola.

gpr0614_community_ln2.indd 17

Jon Wilson

Easy! Glenn
Proudfoot.

paul haggard, Art Director


phaggard@musicplayer.com

j u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

17

4/7/14 2:20 PM

Gear
Opening Shots

JAY BL AK ESBE RG

ROU N DUP

TEENAGE KICKS

Irelands Strypes rave up Austins Ten Oak Bourbon


House during a Gracenote party at SXSW.

18

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4/4/14 4:53 PM

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J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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4/4/14 4:53 PM

R ffs
i

Johnny Plays Berklee


By Barry Clevela nd
From the gritty guitar chords that kick off peren-

nial set opener Raju to the final strains of album closer You
Know You Know, John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimensions
latest release, The Boston Record [Abstract Logix], captures the
high-octane quartet playing an inspired show before an enthusiastic audience at the Berklee College of Music. McLaughlin,
bassist Etienne MBappe, drummer Ranjid Barot, and keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband run down nine numbers drawn from
several eras of McLaughlins celebrated career, from the Mahavishnu Orchestras 1971 debut The Inner Mounting Flame to the 4th
Dimensions own 2012 release Now Here This.
The current quartet has an extraordinary chemistry.

People do speak about the something that passes between certain people as being chemistry, and theres a lot of it in this band.
I dont know how to account for it, but the 4th Dimension has
been in existence for almost eight years now, which is pretty
good. Weve had a few personnel changes, but they have happened organically. At this time, I feel the band is one of the best
Ive ever hadmaybe the greatest.

MBappe, Barot, Husband, and McLaughlin (left to right).

at this point. How did you select the tunes that are included on
The Boston Record?

Gary, Etienne, and Ranjit can play anything I throw at them


with the greatest of ease. In addition, theres a definite connection between the 4th Dimension and the original Mahavishnu
Orchestra. I dont know how or whyits just there. As a consequence, there are pieces that go back to the 70s that I still enjoy
playing. Of course, there are also pieces from the 80s, 90s, and
all the way up to today in the bands repertory.
Of all the early Mahavishnu pieces, what made You Know
You Know the right one to perform and record at this time?

There are tunes I wrote a long time ago, for which I have a particular affection, though I dont know why.
Some music you write at a particular point
online
in your life makes a statement, and, for me,
You Know You Know is one of those tunes.
guitarplayer.com/june2014
Its not really a tune, though, as theres no
real melody. Its just a riff. But the riff tells
> McLaughlin and the
the story somehow.
4th Dimension perform

Your longtime musical relationship with Gary Husband, in particular, has been exceptionally fruitful. What
is it about him that you find so inspiring?

Gary has a gigantic talent, and a total lack


of self-importance. He is without any pretensions whatsoeverwhich is unusual, to
say the least. I believe Im also his greatest
admirer, so you could say that some of the
original chemistry of the band started with
Gary and me.

M ore

The band has an appreciable repertoire

20
gpr0614_riffs_ph3.indd 20

an entire concert in this


HD video from 2012.

Your tone is relatively gritty and rock-like


on many pieces. How are you getting those
nastier sounds?

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

4/9/14 1:39 PM

C HRIS D ORR

tube and a MOSFET. Im playing my custom PRS and Godin Freeway SA guitars. [Editors note: McLaughlins pedalboard also contains
an MXR Stereo Chorus and Carbon Copy delay, a Korg Pitchblack tuner,
a Line 6 Relay G30 wireless system, a Fishman GuitAero WGS6000RX Wireless Guitar Synthesizer, and a Dunlop CD-Brick power supply.]
Did you make a pact with the devil in order to still be playing
at the top of your game during the fifth decade of your career?

No, I didnt. But some people are calling me Dorian Gray


[laughs]. By all rights, I should be playing golf and taking life easy,
but playing music is not like that. In fact, I believe playing music is
the element that keeps me healthy. That said, when Im not touring, I play tennis, swim, bike halfway up a mountain once a week,
and have a healthy, principally vegetarian dietall of which contribute to a healthy life. I also continue my meditation practices,
which definitely help.
What inspires you to keep going?

Ive been using tube preamps for quite a few years now, and I
currently have three that I really like on my pedalboard. I just choose
the one that suits my mood, and on the evening that we recorded
The Boston Record, it was my Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Classic.
The other two are my old Mesa/Boogie V-Twin, which also uses
a pair of tubes, and a Hermida Audio Zen Drive 2, which uses a

Although theres no more record industry, Im glad I can continue to record. Records are like paintings, and I have a friend who
is one of the greatest painters of wild animals in the world. In 2012,
he told me hed sold only one painting the entire year, but he cant
stop painting. We are in the same boat. How can we stop? As long
as there are people who enjoy what we create, were happy! g

gpr0614_riffs_ph3.indd 21

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21
4/9/14 1:39 PM

Riffs

GEORGE b. W ELLS

Robben Ford Battles Adversity to (Kind of) Record an Album in One Day
By Micha el Ross
In o r d e r to k ee p the m o m en tu m

going until his next studio project, Robben


Fords record company recorded three nights
of a European tour for a live record. But
Ford was unhappy with the results, and
instead decided to take the time to write
some new songs, and go ahead and record
his next studio album. Well, sort of. He also
embraced the idea of a live album.
We just took the live-album concept
into a controlled environment, and tried to
replicate a show in the recording studio,
says Ford. We even invited an audience
to watch us perform.
The result is A Day in Nashville [Provogue]
a quite literal title, as the nine tracks on
the album were recorded during one session in Big Boy, the large room at Nashvilles Sound Kitchen Studio.
The band had been playing the two

22
gpr0614_riffs_ph3.indd 22

covers [Cut You Loose and Poor Kelly


Blues] and Different People live, explains
Ford, and I sent the guys demos of the
new songs and charts for the instrumentals. We did one day of rehearsal before the
session. We couldnt spend more than an
hour recording any one song, so we did, at
most, three takes on each track.
One day of rehearsal for nine tracks
when youre heading into a one-day session may seem overly optimistic or just
nuts, but a serious injury to Ford prompted
a few Plan B measures.
We had a two-week tour planned before
recording, he says, and, on the second
day of the tour, I woke up with a fractured
wrist brought on by acute tendinitis. The
tendon had pulled away, taking a little piece
of bone with it. It was very hard for me.
Fords injury also necessitated some
overdubs, so not everything you hear on
A Day in Nashville was recorded in one day.

Two weeks later, Ford returned to Nashvillethis time to House of Blues Studio
D (which had originally been built for Sam
the Sham in the late 1960s as Sounds of
Memphis, and was recently transported
board by board from Memphis to Nashville)to redo guitar parts.
For his last studio outing, the relaxed
Bring It Back Home, Ford played only a 1966
Epiphone Riviera, and exclusively on the
neck pickup. For A Day In Nashville, the
guitarist added his 1968 Les Paul with a
humbucker replacing the original bridge
mini-humbucker. He used bridge and neck
pickups on both instruments to push his
Dumble Overdrive Special, and occasionally boosted the signal with a Hermida
Zen Drive.
I was definitely getting down a bit
more on this one, says Ford, because it
was conceived as a live performance, and
the energy is different when I play live. g

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

4/9/14 1:40 PM

Telling Stories (left to right)Jason

B RA N DO N C L A RK

Mraz, Vince Gill, and Emmylou Harris.

What the Heck Is a Guitar Pull?


Guitar pulls started out infor-

Representing the pop side of contempo-

I saw the guitar pull of all guitar pulls

mally at the houses of songwriters in Nashville,

rary music at the concert is multi-platinum

Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and

says Country Music Hall-of-Famer Emmylou

tunesmith Jason Mraz, who loves the acous-

Townes Van Zandt, says Holly Williams, grand-

Harris in the upstairs lounge at Club Nokia in

tic nature of guitar pulls.

daughter of country-music icon Hank Williams.

Los Angeles, this past March 4. Theyd get

I have an entirely acoustic tour coming up,

That was extraordinary, because the stories

together in someones living roomor maybe

so I couldnt ask for a better warm-up gig, he

between the songs were as entertaining and

in town at Tootsies or the Bluebirdand pass

says. I am beyond honored to be included here.

moving as the songs themselves.

around a guitar and play songs for each other.

As an artist, it makes you feel like your songs

But isnt it challenging to create that cozy

As an audience member, you never get tired of

must be of a certain caliber if youre invited on

and interactive living room atmosphere in a

watching guitar pulls, because theres usually a

stage to trade tunes with Vince and Emmylou.

venue like Club Nokia that holds 2,300 people?

friendship between the songwriters that leads

With its relaxed, interactive, and reveal-

You call this large? jokes Heart lead singer,

to fantastic banter and stories between songs.

ing songwriters-in-the-round format, a guitar

Ann Wilson. This is tiny [laughs]. But dont

Another reason Harris likes guitar pulls is

pull can be captivating in ways conventional

forget that a small room can hate you just as

concerts arent.

much as a big arena. J u d e

because the overhead on them is low, making

Gold

them a great way to raise funds for good causes.


Which is why were seeing a mammoth guitar
pull at Club Nokia for tonights All For the Hall
eventa benefit for Nashvilles Country Music
Hall of Fame and Museum.
Guitar players are usually blown away
when they see our collection, says the Halls
Michael McCall. On the electric side alone,
we have everything from the original Frying
Pan and Les Pauls Log, to recent acquisitions
from Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.
Country singer/guitarist extraordinaire Vince
Gill couldnt agree more.
To see some of those iconic instruments in
personBill Monroes mandolin, Mother MayJ UDE GOLD

belle Carters L-5, an old Martin from Lester Flatt,


Earl Scruggs banjo, a lot of Chet Atkins guitars,
and much moreis off-the-hook great, says Gill.
I am proud to say my first guitar is there, too

Coming through for country (left to right)Vince Gill, Holly Williams, Hearts Ann and

the old ES-335 I got when I was ten years old.

Nancy Wilson, Emmylou Harris, event host Rita Wilson, and Jason Mraz.

gpr0614_riffs_ph3.indd 23

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

23
4/9/14 1:40 PM

Riffs
Editors Faves june 2014
Chris Buono

solos. The accompanying CD lets you hear how everything is supposed

Guitarists Guide to Music Reading:


Bridging the Gap Between the Neck
and Notation

to sound. I would be truly amazed if you didnt instantly get some keeper

Talk about a daunting task! Chris Buono is intent

that? factor. This is a great learning tool by a great teacher and player.

on striking down stereotypes awbout guitarists not

Hal Leonard. M at t

licks off these pages. We all know this scale, and thats what makes
Connecting Pentatonic Patterns so hipthe whole Why didnt I think of
Blackett

being able to read in these 128 pages. He thoughtfully and methodically breaks down everything you

The Nels Cline Singers

need to know to turn those dots and lines on the

Macroscope

page into beautiful music. Note and rhythmic recognition is covered in

On this superb disc, Cline and Co. seduce the lis-

depth, and then once you can see, say, B, C, and D on the page, Buono

tener via a smoothly unfolding series of deep-focus

then shows you all the different places you can find those notes on the

aural panoramas encompassing unexpected stylistic

neck. If you truly go through this book, you will be able to read music. Hal

twists and turns, novel idiomatic and timbral juxta-

Leonard. M at t

Blackett

positions, irresistible rhythmic currents, and enticing


atmospherics. Bassist Trevor Dunn (who replaces original Singers bassist

Michael Bloomfield

Devon Hoff) and drummer/percussionist/circuit tweaker Scott Amendola

From His Head to His Heart to His Hands

are Clines core musos, with percussionists Cyro Baptista and Josh Jones,

This three-CD/one-DVD compilation package gives

harpist Zeena Parkins, and pianist Yuka C. Honda joining them at various

listeners a ton of great music from this legend-

pointsand the guitarist even employs his voice on two pieces. As always,

ary guitarist, who came to prominence in the Paul

Cline somehow manages to be both avant-garde and wonderfully musi-

Butterfield Blues Band during the famed East-West

cal, with lovely melodies and luscious harmonic colorings flowing from his

era, worked with Bob Dylan when the folk star went

hands as easily as jagged riffs, nasty metallic blasts, wailing screeches,

electric on 1965s Highway 61 Revisited, founded the

and wholly unmitigated sonic chaos. Every song on this record is a gem,

band Electric Flag (which featured Buddy Miles, Nick

but at present Im especially fond of the layered percussion, Tomorrow

Gravenites, and Harvey Brooks), and collaborated

Never Knows-inspired reversed washes, and pedal-steel-like thematic

with Al Kooper in 1968 on the mega-selling album Super Session. Pre-

guitar orchestrations on The Wedding Band and the soulful, Benson-

sented here are some 42 tracksa collection of Bloomfields lifes work,

esque Red Before Orange, featuring a wild modulated-wah solo that

reallythat include live performances with Paul Butterfield and Electric

appears out of nowhere. This is arguably the best Singers album to date.

Flag from Fillmore Auditoriums East and West (along with other venues),

Mack Avenue. B a r r y

Cleveland

acoustic sessions, and recordings with Muddy Waters (from Fathers and
Sons) and Janis Joplin (Bloomfield played on her solo debut album, I Got

Rock Candy Funk Party

Dem Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama!). The DVD portion is a mini docu-

Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York

mentary that features live performances, interviews, and personal rec-

If Joe Bonamassa isnt the hardest working man in

ollections from Bloomfields friends and musical cohorts. Not only can

show biz, I dont know who is. Joey B kills it in this

you learn a ton about playing blues by listening to Bloomfields inspired

setting (with only one amp!) along with this great

soloing on many of the songs, but this set offers a fascinating glimpse

band, including his partner in funk, guitarist Ron

into the all-too-short life of one of Americas most gifted blues guitar-

DeJesus. The grooves are deep and the playing is tight throughout this gig.

ists. Legacy. A r t

DeJesus provides gorgeous Tele spank while Bonamassa plays soar-

Thompson

ing melodies in Work before a vicious hybrid-picked solo by DeJesus.

Tom Kolb

Bonamassa plays the coolest ring modulator solo this side of Jan Hammer

Connecting Pentatonic Patterns: The


Essential Guide for All Guitarists

in Octopus-e. Every guy in the band exhibits superb timing and listening

Instructor and player extraordinaire and Musicians

funknot to mention some candyto your next party. Bad to the bone.

Institute lifer Tom Kolb takes every guitarists favor-

J&R Adventures. M at t

skills and its incredibly refreshing. This could be just the thing to add some
Blackett

ite scale and gives you a zillion ways to stretch it all


over the neck. There are cool-sounding exercises
for getting comfortable with the position shifts, and
then he strings them together in musical, useful

24
gpr0614_riffs_ph3.indd 24

George Benson

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

4/9/14 1:40 PM

Now Hear This

S n a ppy Pro fi les


of Players You
S h ould Kn ow

Paul Hammond
Get The Led Out

F o r t e n y e a r s , P h i l a d e l p h i a s

More online

guitarplayer.com/june2014
> Get Hammonds
complete gear list.
Watch GTLO perform Led
Zeps hits.

26

Get The Led Out has built an impressive following paying homage to Led Zeppelin by
recreating the studio versions of the bands
iconic masterworks in live performance.
GTLOs studio-to-stage approach requires
six musicians to cast its spell, including a
gifted musical illusionist in guitarist Paul
Hammond, who not only earned himself a
Masters Degree in the Canon of Jimmy Page,
but also modified some of his own gear to
emulate the sounds on classic Zep tracks.
I try to present Pages tones very precisely, but its not an easy feat, because his
sound varies so widely within a single song,
says Hammond. It all starts with the proper
amps and guitarsI actually built an amp from
scratch using parts from Metro Amps to match
a 1968 Marshall 100-watt head that I retired
from the roadbut then its taken to the next
level. Changing guitars, pickup selections, and
Tone knob settings happens a lot during our
shows. For example, Bring it on Home starts
with a very dark and slightly distorted tone,
which I achieve by using the rhythm pickup on
my Les Paul with the Tone knob at 2. When
the main verse kicks in, its the lead pickup
with the Volume and Tone knobs at around
7, and with a fuzz switched on.
Given his intensive study of Led Zeppelins music, Hammond has a unique and critical perspective on how some players might
miss the essence of Pageys style.
I think some guitarists might try to
straighten out his parts, and get the timing
and tuning a bit more accurate, he says.
However that isnt what makes Jimmys
playing so magical. His quarter-tone bends,
playing around the beat, slurring notes, and
having one of the ballsiest performance attitudes ever makes his playing what it is. For
me, I am definitely trying to reconstruct the
recorded music of Led Zeppelin along with
my bandmates. However, no one in Get The
Led Out is attempting to impersonate the
original members. Im still meIm just me
performing Jimmy Pages parts as accurately
as possible. g

G U I TA R P L A Y ER . C O M / J U NE 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_nowhearthis_ph1.indd 26

4/8/14 5:23 PM

Fretlight is the fastest way to get better.

Orianthi

ripping on the
E minor blues scale

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4/7/14 11:31 AM

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We all get to that point in our playing where we
need to learn something new. Why struggle with
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want to play, Fretlight will get you there faster.

www.fretlight.com

For stage and


performance, Ori plays

Orianthi is an official endorser of the Fretlight Learning System.


YouTube is a registered trademark of Google, Inc.
PRS is a registered trademark of Paul Reed Smith Guitars.

GPspad.indd 11

3/24/14 12:41 PM
4/7/14 11:31 AM

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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

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4/4/14 2:59 PM

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j u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

31

4/4/14 2:59 PM

Features
Relentless Pursuit

Buzz Feitens Obsession With Making Guitars Play and Sound Better
By A rt T h ompson
By all accounts, guitarist Buzz Feiten has led a charmed musical

him ample opportunity to pull from all the


things he has learned about guitars over the
decades and, as always, continue to make
improvements wherever he sees a need.

existence. At age 19 he jammed with Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in New York, and
the next day he was invited to audition for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. That gig
led not only to performing at Woodstock, but subsequently opened the door for Feiten
to play and/or record with a Whos-Who list of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Aretha
Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bette Midler, the Rascals, James Taylor, Gregg Allman, Rickie
Lee Jones, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Bob Dylan, Dave Weckl, Kenny Loggins, the Brecker
Bothers, David Sanborn, Michael Franks, Mr. Mister, Dave Koz, and Olivia Newton-John.

Was it primarily the tuning issue with


guitars that put you on the map as an
inventor?

strong intuitive feelings about things. For


instance, I noticed that all the guitars I played
exhibited the same tendencies to play out of
tune, so that set off an alarm bell, because
if theyre all tending to sound out of tune
in the same way, maybe theres a correction
that could be just as consistent. That led me
to create the Buzz Feiten tuning system in
1992, and the rest is history.
More recently, Feiten has put his energies into creating a line of electric guitars
bearing his namea venture that affords

Yes, and the real motivation behind


that was I had several experiences working in the studio on projects with producers and I could not tune my guitar. Here I
am, a session guy with 25 years of experience, and I cant get my guitar in tune!
That was an embarrassment to me, and I
swore that I was either going to fix it or
give up playing. And then I remembered
that back in the late 60s when there were
no electronic tuners I was intonating my
guitars by ear. Id pluck a string and play
the octave, and if it sounded sharp or flat

Throughout his long career as a professional guitarist, Feiten has always sought
to improve the performance of his instruments, whether by making them play more
in tune or building his own speaker cabinets to make them sound better onstage.
Feiten chalks up his relentless pursuit of
fixing guitars to a very simple philosophy:
Ive always felt that if something could be
improved, I had to at least try to make it
better. As I got more years of experience in
different situations, I started to have very

32

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_feat_feiten_ph3.indd 32

4/8/14 3:46 PM

Id adjust it. I had more success doing it


that way than I did using a tuner, and it got
me thinking that there must be something
wrong with the formulathats what led
me down that path toward developing my
tuning system.
After that, you got involved for a time
in building speaker cabinets.

Yeah, I got obsessed in the early 90s


with speaker cabinets, because I realized
that most manufacturers were basically just
building a square box and sticking some
speakers in it with very little thought as
to how it sounded. It was more about how
it looked and if it was the same size as
the head. I had some guitar cabinets that
sounded great and others that didnt, so
I started experimenting with cabinets and
came up with a design that was very lightweight and very punchy. It was a closedback design, which was sort of against the
grain in those days, and I ended up being
pretty happy with it. But it took a couple
of years and hundreds of hours of work
to get there.
What did you learn about improving
speaker cabinets?

In order to make a great sounding cabinet, you have to first get rid of the standing wave, which makes things sound boxy.
Most speaker cabinets are dampened
with cotton batting if theyre dampened
at all, so I started using acoustic foam to
dampen the inside of the cabinet which
right away helped by getting rid of that

boxy sound, tightening up the bottom end,


and letting the voice of the speaker come
through better. I also discovered is that if
you combine a high efficiency driver with
a low efficiency driversuch as a Celestion 80-watt Classic Lead, which has a
big magnet, with a Celestion Greenback,
which has a smaller magnetthen you get
the best of both worlds: the headroom of
the big magnet and the sweetness of the
smaller magnet.
Why do you front-load one speaker
and rear-load the other?

Front-loaded cabinets tend to be very


snappy and have a lot more attack, whereas
rear-loaded cabinets tend to be more boxy
sounding, so I discovered that if you frontload the bottom speakerthe one thats
furthest from your ear and closest to the
groundyou get more punch by virtue of
it being front-loaded. Conversely, when
you put a front-loaded speaker up off the
ground they tend to sound very annoying
and piercing. A lot of this has to do with
where youre standing in front of the cabinet, of course, and that being said, I tried
to find the best combination of all those
variables so that if your speaker cabinet is
in a normal position onstage it would have
a great combination of tightness, punch,
bottom end, and attackbut would also
have the warmth that putting a rear-loaded
speaker on the top provides. At the moment,
Fuchs Amplification has licensed both of
my speaker cabinet designs, and you can

gpr0614_feat_feiten_ph3.indd 33

get can them directly though Fuchs.


What was the reason for choosing a
Tele-style design for your guitars?

I started with that basic design because


Id played Strats for years and had developed
shoulder problems. In fact, I had to have
shoulder surgery because of a torn rotator cuff, which was caused from 20 years
of having no support for my right forearm
when I played guitar. And thats because
of the elbow rout on the Strat body, which
means you cant rest your forearm on the
lower bout. So I switched to Teles and all
that went away, and my playing improved
because I was able to rest my forearm on
the lower bout. Thats why youll never
see an elbow rout on one of my guitars,
even though I like how they look. Another
design advantage of the Tele is that its very
simple and has very few parts on it. The
simpler the guitar, the more sound transmission to the body and neck.
Is that why you prefer bolt-on neck
guitars?

Yes. I believe that when theyre set up


right, the amount of volume and bottom
end is way more than on a set-neck guitar.
Its just common sense. If you play a setneck guitar acoustically, it doesnt have
the same amount of bottom end as a boltneck guitar, and thats because the strings
are trying to move one big piece of wood
instead of moving two smaller pieces.
What are some of the other elements
that define your guitars?

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

33

4/8/14 3:46 PM

Features
B uz z F EIt e n

I use 6100 frets, and the 14" radius comes


from playing acoustic guitars. Its just something I got used to and found very comfortable. Another thing is the bridge pickup,
because I love the way Tele pickups sound, but
a stock one is pretty much unusable for me
in a real-world situation because of the single-coil noise. So I started working on different ways of wiring a humbucker to give me a
single-coil sound. Series/parallel is the option
I chose to use, but the parallel setting, which
is the weaker one, usually has way too much
top end and the guitar sounds thin and tinny.
To solve that, I came up with a passive tone
network that works only in the parallel position, and acts like a preset tone pot with the
high end rolled off a little bit. Its standard on
my guitars with humbuckers. The idea is that
the high end stays the same when you switch
from series to parallel, allowing you to get
rock sounds and Tele sounds from one guitar.
Dean Parks has some video on our website
now, and one of the things he talks about a

gpr0614_feat_feiten_ph3.indd 34

lot is that switch. He loves having that snappy


Tele thing available without changing guitars.
We also flip the pickup around so the polepieces are facing the neck, and the pickup is
mounted on an angled pickup ring so that the
polepiece screws are closer to the strings than
the rear coil. This makes the pickup sound a
lot more transparent because only one set of
polepieces is sensing the strings that closely.
Youre also a fan of top-loading bridges,
right?

I dont like string-through-body loading


because it causes excess string tension. I
know some people think thats whats good
about a Telecaster, but guitars with top-load
bridges feel better to me because its easier
to bend strings and play chords. They also
sound better because theres not too much
tension across the bridge saddles. Too much
tension causes excess brightness and a loss
of bottom end, and that goes along with my
general theory that every component on a
guitar that the strings affectthe neck, bridge,

nut, and the tunershas an optimum resonant frequency. When I install a neck on
a guitar its a gentle press fit into the neck
pocket, and the screws that attach the neck
to the body arent real tight. For a long time
I used to make them real tight, but I eventually realized that the guitar sounded better
when the neck was allowed to vibrate more
freely. One way to think of it is the neck and
body are two different pieces of wood, and
if you have screws trying to force them to
become one piece of wood, the strings will have
a harder time vibrating those components.
Its the same with the bridge screws. I
discovered a trick about installing a threescrew bridge: After you tighten all the screws,
if you take the center screw and crack it
loose, the guitar just blossoms. My realization there is if you have a strip of metal
thats held down with three screws, its not
going to vibrate as much as it would if you
loosened the middle screw so that it was
just held down at the ends. Of course, all

4/8/14 3:46 PM

of this is happening at a microscopic level,


but effectively the bridge is being allowed
to vibrate and excite the top of the guitar.
Its the same thing with the nut. I dont
allow the nut on a Buzz Feiten guitar to be
glued in. It requires more labor to press fit
them, but Ive had the experience over and
over of gluing the nut in and destroying the
tone of the guitar and the way it feels. So I
just decided that the nuts on our guitars are
going to be pressed in like on a good nylon
string. You shouldnt tighten the tuning
machines too much either because each
tuner is a piece of metal that the string is
trying to vibrate. The neck is at least 60 percent of the sound of a guitar, so its worth
paying attention to these things.

string tension to sound good. So Ive been


working on a design that replaces the saddles two screws with one. These machinedbrass saddles are currently on our Signature
Elite and Blues Pro guitars, and the new
bridge design will incorporate them while
also preventing side-to-side motion of the
saddles by capturing each of them in a slot.

What do you most enjoy about making


guitars now?

The good part is that I get to really follow


my instincts. I have tremendous support from
the people I work with, and I always get to
try my ideas out even if they dont make it
into production. Sometimes I fail miserably,
but other times it works out really well. g

Redesigned and better than ever!

One thing that definitely stands out on


your guitars is the size of the neck.

People often think the neck is too big at


first, but after playing it for a while theyll
usually say, I dont want to go back to my
other guitars because theres no support for
your hand. But if someone wants a slimmer neck, we can make it. We just got Vince
Gill as an endorser, and Im building him a
Signature Elite with a little thinner neck
because thats what he likes.
Whats the reason for the different top
woods on your various models?

Every guitar has a thin top over an alder


core, and Ive tried to match the top wood
with the tone of the guitar. For instance, the
Tele-style bridge pickup on the T-Pro, which
is hum cancelling, is brighter than a humbucker, so thats why I chose spruce, a very
soft wood, for the top. On the other hand,
the Signature Elite sounds darker because
it has a rosewood neck, and the maple top
works really well to brighten it up.
Whats on the horizon now?

Im working on a two-humbucker model


as well as an alternate body shape that
looks a little snazzier. Im also ready to go
public with an improved bridge design that
solves a lot of problems. One of the things
Ive observed with bridges on electric guitars is that you can drastically alter the way
the guitar feels simply by changing the relationship between the height on the bass and
treble sides of the saddle using the height
adjustment screws. It can make a huge difference, but its an enormous pain in the ass
to do this if you have to set up a lot of guitars and make them all feel loose enough to
bend strings nicely, while also having enough

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J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

35

4/8/14 3:46 PM

Features
ROU N DUP

Head-First Slide

Michael Lee Firkins Brings in


the Heavy Hitters on Yep
By Matt Blacket t
A s a y oun g G u i ta r P l ay e r s ub s c r i b e r ,

I attended the 1990 Winter NAMM show. At the Yamaha


performance stage, I watched as Dokkens Jeff Pilson
introduced a guy he described as a kick-ass guitar
playerMichael Lee Firkins! Firkins launched into his
tune Laughing Stacks and stunned the crowd with his
funky, bluesy, slippery rock licks. Looking beside me, I
noticed GP legend Tom Wheeler checking out Firkins
performance. You should do something on this guy! I
gushed. Wheeler said he was thinking the same thing.
Shortly thereafter, guitarists everywhere would get to
know Firkins thanks to his Shrapnel debut that sold over
100,000 copies. His tunes combined hard rock with Chet
Atkins-style country, deft whammy bar work that could
do a great slide imitation, and a rock-solid sense of time.
In the ensuing years, Firkins would release more of
his own records, serve as the hands of Jason Becker,
and get seriously into singing and slide playing. The
latter two skills are fully on display on his latest, Yep
[Magna Carta]. Firkins is joined on Yep by Govt Mules
Matt Abts and Andy Hess on drums and bass and rock
royalty Chuck Leavell on keys. The albums 11 songs
are a great showcase of his swampy tones and muscular slide work.

36

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_feat_firkins_ph1.indd 36

4/7/14 2:26 PM

How did you go from being a guy who played faux slide
with a whammy bar to being almost totally devoted to
slide playing today?

Its been a weird little journey. It all started with the


whammy bar stuffI kind of emulated the slide with the
whammy bar. I never played slide until about 15 years ago.
I was in a band with a singer and he was playing some slide
and I figured it was time to get my slide playing happening. My dad was a lap-steel player and we had a lap-steel at
the house. He gave it to me about 12 years ago, and I really
started getting into the slide about that point.
Talk a little bit about the contributions of the other
players on this record. Its a really heavy rhythm section.

Theyre just amazing players. Chuck Leavell from the


Stones, man, I dont think it gets much better than that.
And Matt and Andy from Govt Mule had been touring all
year. They played Bonnaroo and then came to my session the
next day, so they were just smokin. Their parts are all live
to tapeno overdubs by them whatsoever, and three takes
max. Chuck Leavell just kicked ass. Hed be directing with
his hands in the air and cueing people. Their stuff sounded
so good, you could take all my guitars and my vocals out
and youd still have a really great, musical thing to listen to.
What was the songwriting and recording process like?

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Features
M i ch ael l ee Firkins

When I write, Ill usually come up with


a riff and Ill instantly be singing over it. It
might be just mumbling but there will usually be something lyrically there, and usually its the main part. Then I have to fill in
verses. I didnt record the demos very extensively at all. The band would hear those and
they would learn the song right there on the
spot and wed record it.

killer. I bought a whole bunch of them a


few years ago.

And then you cut your tracks after the fact?

Is it tricky to get a capo on a guitar that


has a higher action for slide? Or, conversely,
is it tough to play slide with the capo lowering the action?

Yeah. I didnt even sing at the sessions. I did


all of my guitars and vocals at home afterward.
You do a really sweet breakdown at the
end of No More Angry Man. Explain whats
going on there.

First, its all improv. I was supposed to


end the song and I just kept going. Its me
thumping a bass with a melody on top, but
its not like a Chet Atkins thingthere is
no real alternating 1-5-1-5 on the bottom.
Im using a vintage early-70s SG or a Burny
SG. The Burny is a lawsuit guitar from the
70sa Japanese copy of a Gibson. Theyre

38

That one is in open G. What were some of


the other tunings you used for this record?

Mostly open G, open E, and standard,


then Ill capo them. Golden Oldie is in
open G with a capo on the 3rd fret. Standing Ovation and Long Day are both standard tuning, 2nd fret capo.

I dont mind it. If you dont have a guitar


M ore online

guitarplayer.com/june2014
> Dig Firkins video for
Golden Oldie Jam.

set up for slide it can be pretty rough for a


while to get used to that. Ill use .012s and
.013s and have high action for slide when
I can, and my normal action is high but
workable. I think if you can play slide well
enough, you should be able to play with low
action. Besides, it kind of sounds good when
it bumps around and hits frets and sounds
crappy [laughs]. There are a couple of tunes
on this record where Im playing slide on
Strats and Teles that arent specifically set
up for slide or anything.
What amps did you use?

I went through everything, man. This


record took a long time to make and every
year or two there was a new rig. But in the
end, the Vox AC30 Hand-Wired gave me the
most variety. I used that a lot and I also used
a 57 Fender Tweed Deluxe, a Vibrolux, and
my 77 Marshall. That Marshall is an amazingsounding amp, it just had a few issues, and
I couldnt always rely on it. Another setup I
used was the AC30going through vintage

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70s Celestionsalong with the 57 Deluxe


with a room mic close to it. That made the
overall tone sound a little livelier.
How did you track your resonator parts?

I tried all kinds of stuff. Id record it acoustically, like the resonator at the beginning of
No More Angry Man. I would sometimes
plug it into an amp but mic the instrument
at the same time.

Whats next for you?

Ive just written so many songs in the past


few yearshundreds of songs, and they keep
coming. So Im definitely trying to find a way
to always have something new coming out.
Everybody wants an album, but no ones really
listening to whole albums anymore. So, I think
one great track can do just as good as a whole

album could. I wake up every day writing new


ones. Im exploring lowered tunings, like open
Copen E but tuned down two steps. I didnt
do any of that on this record, but I do that live
a lot and on my next record Im sure Ill do
more of that because I love it. Theres also
some stuff I cant even tell you about [laughs].
So theres a lot to be excited about. g

Whats the resonator on Take Me Back?

Thats a Johnson. Its the one with the cutaway and a mini-humbucker in the neckits
a great guitar and only like 300 bucks. I take
that everywhereto the beach, you name
it. I wrote a lot of the songs on that guitar.
When you werent playing your own
music, youve played the role of Jason Beckers hands over the years, playing the parts
that he hears in his head, and being his guitar
voice when he cant be. What is that like?

Its been an evolution, because End of


the Beginning was a very long time ago
more than 20 years now. Back then people
thought Jason was going to die. So that was
a pretty hard thing to deal with obviously,
thinking youre working with someone whos
dying, but at the same time youre very honored that he wants you to play on these
songs. So it was very emotional, but whenever I got to his place, it was all about getting the work done right, because thats all
he wanted. When I first worked with him,
he could still speak, so he was able to tell
me, That notes flat, pinch that harmonic
there. [Laughs.] And we did a lot of great
work because he wasnt afraid to tell me those
things. Some people would just be happy you
came over and they wouldnt complain. But if
theyre really your friend theyre going to say
if its not good enough, and he would. Hes
never been afraid to ask for what he wants
in a very specific way. Ive done some other
things for him where he couldnt speak, but
he could still communicate through his eyes.
Over the years the communication has been
great because he has people that can translate for him and its very quick. You never
feel like youre impaired by the process. So
its changed over the past 20 years, but its
always been amazing. And hes obviously
the nicest guy ever, and hes the most positive force ever. Its a crazy experience. You
scratch your head when you leave because
you just dont know how he can be so positive and so great. Youre kind of in this other
world for a couple hours.

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Features
ROU N DUP

40

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Rob Fetters on the


Transformative Power of Six Strings
by A n il Prasad
T r u t h i s a r e l at i v e c o n c e pt f o r R o b F e tt e r s . It s

at the core of Saint Aint [Baby Ranch], an album of tightly constructed rock and pop anthems that explore personal accountability
and the repercussions of action and inaction. Track titles like Suffer,
Desire, What You Do, Famous Last Words, and Life & Death
Boogie provide a glimpse of the thought-provoking mindset at work.
The album is also huge fun, infused with adventurous arrangements,
fiery guitar solos, and addictive hooks.
Saint Aint is the third solo release from Fetters, who is also
involved in two guitar-driven bands: Psychodots and the Bears. Psychodots includes drummer/vocalist Chris Arduser and bassist Bob
Nyswonger, both of whom play on the record. All three musicians are
also in the Bears, along with guitarist Adrian Belew. Commercial scoring is another career path Fetters engages in, having done work for
ABC, Disney, Nickelodeon, and PBS, as well as major brands including Microsoft, Crest, and Kelloggs.
Fetters life is all about balance. Hes the epitome of the modern
working musician, with irons in many fires that enable him to deal
with the challenges of todays music industry. He has been courted
by Clive Davis, been on the cusp of major label deals, and seen his
share of big promises broken. More importantly, many unexpected
windows of opportunity opened along the way, tooa perspective
he digs into on Saint Aint.
Describe the general perspective presented on Saint Aint.

Its the result of trying to see reality instead of trying to run from
it or attempting to create a separate reality. Im no longer making
judgment calls on what is good versus what is bad. A lot of things
in my life relate to the fact that I didnt get what I wanted and I had

gpr0614_features_fetters_ln1.indd 41

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Features
Rob F e tte rs

to settle for something better. Some people


think Im being ironic or witty about turning lemons into lemonade, but Ive also seen
a lot of lemonade turn into lemons. Im a
bit more unmoored these days, and Im not
afraid to be that way. I heard an interview
with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma once. The interviewer said, Youre Yo-Yo Ma. Youve mastered your instrument. Youre the greatest
cellist in the world. Yo-Yo Ma just chuckled
and said he was at a point in his life where
all he could see was everything he didnt
know. I said to myself, Yeah. Thats why
youre so good. Its because of his humility in the face of reality and his endless curiosity. Those are reasons artists like him are
so adventurous. I feel that way about life in
general. I havent got this sucker figured out
and thats what I wanted to express.
Play Your Guitar is an epic treatise and
confessional for guitarists worldwide. What
went into writing it?

A lifetime of guitar playing went into it.

42

The guitar has literally been a lifesaver to


me. In fact, it has been my life. I know so
many guys that run businesses, are creative
directors at ad agencies, or own studios. But
what do they really love to do? Get out old
guitars and play them. We guitar players get
hooked from the first time we do it. You pick
it up and you start dreaming. Before I could
even play, I held my sisters old Stella tigerstriped acoustic and imagined I was a Beatle,
and then a Rolling Stone, and then someone
in the Who. This was before I knew where
to put my fingers. The song deals with the
fact that if you are a guitar player you will
get in trouble. Someone isnt going to like
you playing that guitar so much. Some girl
wont marry you. Your parents will instantly
be worried sick if you decide to pursue it.
People will tell you guitar players are a dime
a dozen and you need to do something else.
I think every guitarist hits a point where
those realities emerge, but I was never going
to do anything else. Id rather be dead than

not play guitar. The song also resonates with


people who arent guitarists. If youre really
passionate about something, youll run into
the same problems.
How did the guitar save your life?

It pulled me back from doing some bad


things. When I used to drink and use drugs,
somebody said to me, If you keep that up,
youll lose your music. Ill never forget that.
There are lots of famous guitarists who did
just that and lost what made them special.
So, the guitar has saved me from self-destruction. The guitar has never been work. It has
just been a universe of wonder.
Which instruments do you use on Play
Your Guitar?

I played a 1967 Martin 00-18 acoustic and


a 1965 Rickenbacker 625 on it. I also used
a 2012 Strat-style parts-caster called a
Greenie von Schneidocaster, created by master
luthier David Schneider. It has Sperzel locking tuners, a Trem King fixed-bridge vibrato
system, a Warmoth compound-radius neck,

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

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M or e o n li n e

a Mark Jenny body, and Seymour Duncan


Zephyr Silverpickups dipped to kill their
microphonic tendencies. Youll hear me doing
some Keith Richards and Pete Townshend
Whos Next kind of power chording on it
not real distorted, but choppy chords that
sound like a rifle getting cocked and fired.
I also wanted to have a little Jimmy Page in
there, so I put this kind of Lydian scale into
it. For the main solo, I went psychedelic with
a backwards-sounding effect; I used a little
bit of compression from my Keeley 2 Knob
Compressor running into a Boss RPS-10 Digital Pitch Shifter to make it happen.

guitarplayer.com/june2014

Ive got a double-tracked Rickenbacker and


Les Paul on there, as well as a my Taylor
acoustic playing the same thing very tightly.
If I had covered it up with other things, you
wouldnt hear the nuances anymore. Its like
looking at the night sky. You cant pick out
the individual stars if there are too many out
there at once. g

> Fetters kills a slow-burning solo on Heaven.


> Psychodots play Fear Is
Never Boring, their #1 Cincinnati hit.
> Fetters and Adrian Belew explore interlocking
guitar antics.

summer 2014

What else is in your signal chain?

I also rely on a 1992 Fender Strat Plus


with Sperzel locking tuners, a Kahler tremolo, and Fender N3 noiseless pickups with
pickguard electronics. In addition, youll hear
a 2001 Taylor 612-CE acoustic and Broke
Ass, my wildly worn fretless 1974 Les Paul
Custom 20th Anniversary B-stock. My guitars go into a Furman SPB-8 pedal board that
also includes an IbanezTS9Tube Screamer,
a Pro Co Rat, a Boss TR-2 tremolo, a Boss
VB-2 vibrato, a Boss DD-3 delay, a Hughes
& Kettner Rotosphere, and a Boss FV300H
volume pedal. For amps, I use my Wavelength
Audio Rob Fetters Signature 20-watt head
into a 4x12 cabinet loaded with Celestion
Greenback speakers, and a Vox AC15HW1X
15-watt 1x12 handwired tube combo.

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How did you create the sci-fi effects in


God is War?

Im playing the Rickenbacker, which is


great for carving our some nice clear yet
chunky and juicy guitar. When I played the
solo, I was thinking, Dont play anything
fancy. Play something you could have played
when you were 14. I did that as a placeholder for a proper guitar solo that would
impress everybody later. I went back to the
song a month after that and thought, This
is a perfectly good solo. It just needs to be
mangled up. So, I used a Native Instruments
plug-in called Reaktor 5, which is a synth/
sampler. It has a device called The Finger
that has all kinds of octave shifting, filters,
gates, wave shapers, reverse, and ring-modulation options. So, I put the mindless solo
through kind of a food processor.

Dave LaRue

Brent Mason

Don Alder

Alain Caron

Muriel Anderson

The album has a lot of space in the arrangements. Describe the philosophy at work.

I dont believe having a dozen guitar tracks is


a bad thing, but Ive become better at saying
more with less. For instance, on Desire,

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j u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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4/3/14 4:13 PM

Features

Lords of the Otherworld

Peter Hammill and Gary Lucas Summon Imaginary Beings


Into Audible Range
Se an Ke lly

By Barry Clevela nd

44

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Gary Lucas (left) and Peter Hammill.

60-piece orchestra and vocalist Nona Hendryx). Lucas other


credits include working with artists such as Jeff Buckley,
Lou Reed, Nick Cave, the Future Sound of London, Chris
Cornell, and Indian singer Najma Akhtar, in addition to releasing
dozens of solo albums and recordings with his band Gods &
Monsters. Lucas has also scored numerous major films and
television programs.
All of the sounds on Hammill and Lucas debut collaboration,
Other World [Cherry Red], were produced with electric and
acoustic guitarsalbeit often morphed and mutated via Lucas
thaumaturgic manipulation of talismanic pedals and Hammills
deft mixing moves. The music comprises slightly ambiguous
song-like structures infused with bits of blues and Americana,
psychedelic instrumental soundscapes, and compelling hybrids
of the two. Nine of the 14 tracks also feature Hammills inimitable
vocals and literate lyrics.
Hammill and Lucas performed their first show together in
London earlier this year with more to follow.

Peter Hammill and Gary Lucas are both musical

nonconformists who have sustained successful careers for


decades without compromising their artistic integrity.
Hammill is best known for his work with the seminal British
progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator, which formed
in 1967, disbanded in 1978 after releasing eight epic albums,
and then reformed unexpectedly in 2005, subsequently releasing four superb studio records and playing to ecstatic audiences
around the world. In addition to his role as guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, and lyricist for Van der Graaf, Hammill has released
more than 35 solo albums since 1971 and worked with luminaries such as Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel, Roger Eno, the Stranglers, and Kronos Quartet.
Drafted into Captain Beefhearts Magic Band in 1980, Gary
Lucas appeared on two classic Beefheart albums and toured
with the group for several years (he still occasionally helms a
post-Beefheart Magic Band, and recently presented The World
of Captain Beefheart, a concert in Amsterdam featuring a

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Features

S ean K el ly

pe t er H ammi ll an d gary Lucas

What was the genesis of your collaboration?

Lucas: Ive been a fan of Peters work


going back to 1969, when I purchased the
first Van der Graaf album, The Aerosol Grey
Machine. Three years later I was in England,
where I saw him perform solo, and I actually interviewed him for a music magazine
after the show. Then, after attending the
amazing Van der Graaf Generator reunion
at the Royal Festival Hall in London in
2005 I reached out to him via Twitter and
he remembered me.
Hammill: Gary got in touch and just kind
of threw out a line of fancy doing something?
At first he was thinking of going to a studio
somewhere in London because he had happened to be in Britain. I thought that might
set up too much pressure, however, and since
I have my studio here it seemed natural to
suggest that he come down to my domain.
Was anything worked out when you
began?

Hammill: There was never any discussion of what exactly we were going to aim
for, or even of what our hopes would bewe
just agreed to have a go at doing something.
So, Gary rolled up here with his guitar and
his array of effects and we set about it over a
couple of days. He had prepared a few instrumental pieces that he thought I might be able
to find something to do on top of, and those
were more-or-less coherent song ideas. He
also played some improvised soundscapes
and sonic washes.
Lucas: In addition to my instrumentals,
Peter had a few long loops and a song that
was more finished, which I improvised along
with. By the time I left we had a lot of music

46

and he had his work cut out for him. I also


came back four months later and did some
brief overdubs on a couple of things.
Hammill: Kith & Kin is actually a tune
that I wrote when I was 16 or 17, and a day
before Gary arrived I thought, Actually, that
tune might work out in this context. So it
just kind of popped up. Its not something Ive
been saving for years or denying for years. It
just appeared again at that moment.
Was it always your intention for the album
to be limited to guitar and vocals?

Hammill: Not really. That came along in


the course of things. Obviously, I was living
with this a lot longer than Gary was, because
he had done his pieces, and I had to find what
the lyrics were, what the top lines were, and
come up with improvised responses to his
playing. So, I got immersed in this world of
two guitars and voice, and got very used to
the idea, which became a definition in a way.
In fact, I think theres a maximum of four
guitars playing at any one time, with things
just coming in and out in the mix. At its simplest, its two aged blokes with guitars and
a voicebasically back-porch blues stuff filtered through the rather strange lens of both
of our experiences. Gary was keen at first to
have some other instruments, but I think it
adds even more strength for it just to be guitars and voice.
Lucas: Originally, Id thought Peter might
play some keyboards, and when I listened to
a few of the early mixes I asked if we might
add percussion to one or two of the tracks
but he really wanted to keep it just guitar and
vocals, and basically he just went off and did
what he wanted to do once the initial tracks

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were recorded, which was fine with me.


There are shades of blues and Americana
in Garys playing, which fall outside of the
usual musical vocabulary present on a Van
der Graaf or Peter Hammill album.

Hammill: Quite so. Theres no point in


collaborating with someone if youre both
coming in and doing exactly the same thing
that you normally do. Otherwise, Id just
stick to my day job [laughs]. In this particular
case I also find it interesting that the Americana stuff is pretty simple. I mean it might be
complicated within itselfthe little nuances
may be complicatedbut in terms of structure and shape, and compared to zipping
around lots of time signatures and that sort
of thing, it is quite simple. Obviously, Ive
ended up doing whatever it is that I do, but
thats after 40 years of playing, and I began
by writing simple songs as everybody does.
So, in a way, doing this project reconnected
me to my origins.
Given that you wrote the lyrics after
the music was already recorded, did any
of those idiomatic elements seep into your
songwriting?

Hammill: It wasnt so much the Americana bit. We had a pretty intensive time those
first couple days that we were recording, but
of course we werent just making music. We
also chatted about this and that, and obviously we both have quite a few road years
on us, so we discussed our shared and contrasting experiences of what life in music has
been like and what its been about. So, the
fact that we had this intensive talk as well as
the intensive playing resulted in some of the
songs touching on those kinds of experiences.

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Features

pe t e r Ha m m ill a nd gary Lucas

1946 Gibson J-45, which is my main acoustic. Im not a big collector of guitars, and
those two are the ones Im most comfortable with. Peter had a bunch of gear there,
but I chose not to use any of it.
Hammill: I mostly played the DeArmond that I got a few years ago for the Van
der Graaf reunion, which is a copy of the
Guild Bluesbirds that Ive played for years,
but with a Bigsby tailpiece, which was pretty
useful on the record. That extra little bit of
wobble is very helpful.
I also have a kind of bizarre hybrid guitar
of my own invention. Its made up of various bits of Squier Stratocasters, but the
strings are raised up high above the fretboard, making it a de facto lap-steel, and it
also has a Hipshot Bender bridge, which lets
you bend two strings to set intervals using
a couple of levers, getting you sort of into
the world of pedal-steel sounds.
For example, the title and basic themes for
This Is Showbiz arose because thats something Captain Beefheart once said to Gary.
You said that theres a maximum of four
guitar tracks playing at the same time. What
percentage of the original performances
are we hearing on the record, as opposed
to edited performances?

Hammill: The only piece thats a bit


complicated is Black Ice, because its obviously composed of different sections. With
the written songs its fairly obvious what
is what, but in the sonic world there was
typically a single part that we would begin
within my case it might be a loopand
generally that original track would run all
the way through, maybe drifting out and
in here and there. And then we might add
an extra color or two on the other tracks.
In other words, it wasnt a case of, Heres
this bit, chop this out, drop in the other
guitar, and what have you. It was very
much an organic flow.
Did you record your parts separately or
together or both?

Lucas: We were in the same room together


while I was playing all my stuff down and
I think that helped a lot.
Peter, you engineered and mixed the
entire project?

Hammill: Thats right.


Lucas: Peter and I discussed the mixes
via email and sometimes by phone as he
was doing them and I made suggestions.

48

For example, I kept pushing him to add


more depth into the tracks vis--vis reverb
sounds because I think that draws people
in as a listener.
Gary, you have done a lot of film scoring.
When you are improvising soundscapes,
are you thinking cinematically?

Lucas: Absolutely. This goes back to


when I was a boy. I loved cinema, particularly horror and science fiction films, and
I used to get these little 8mm versions of
some of the classics and put my own music
to them. I think its beautifully expressive
to create soundscapes for the images one
sees in ones mind.
Hammill: A lot of the material on the
album is quite film-like in the sense that the
way it flows, its as if youre kind of drifting
and then suddenly theres a bit of dialogue
and then the piece goes off to something
else. In the case of the pieces that began
as atmospheric improvisations, I suppose
most people would say, Well, okay, thats an
instrumental, so it doesnt need any vocals,
and if there are going to be some, surely
there should be verses and it should go a
bit more than it actually does. But, actually, thats one of the things I found really
interesting about the whole project: that it
was possible just to stick in, say, 20 seconds
of voice, and thats just another character.
What guitars did you play on the record?

Lucas: I brought a 1966 Fender Stratocaster, which is my main electric, and a

I heard that sound and wondered what


it was.

Hammill: It is quite unusual, isnt it? Its


not a pedal-steel guitar, but its not straight
slide guitar either.
There are also some regular slide parts.
Who played those?

Lucas: I played a few slide parts, using a


glass Dunlop slide, though there are some
places on the album where Im not sure
whos playing what [laughs]. One example
of something that I definitely played with a
slide is the choppy glissando part on Some
Kind of Fracas.
Did you use any amplifiers or record
direct?

Lucas: I typically use a Roland JC-120


combined with some tube amps, but I
didnt use any amps on this record. Peter
had me going directly into the board and it
sounded great.
Hammill: I use Native Instruments
Guitar Rig a lot, and I believe thats what
I had Gary playing through. I just set up
clean sounds, as he obviously didnt need
distortion or effects, given all of his pedals.
I played through a Korg AX300G multieffects unit that has some good Vox amp
models and other sounds in it, which is
also part of my basic setup in Van der Graaf.
Beyond that, I added a few effects with outboard gear, including a really nice TC Electronic delay line.
Lucas: Ive used pedals to develop a very
specific vocabulary thats unique to me. I

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have quite a few vintage pedals and I brought


some of them for the session.
There are lots of great delay effects on
the record, including cool time smears and
wild regeneration effects. Whats responsible for those?

Hammill: Gary produced all those sounds


using pedals of various sorts.
Lucas: Those sounds were probably made
with my old Electro-Harmonix 16-Second
Delay pedals. I have three of them, including
one with a heavier chassis and more solid circuitry that was custom built for me by a guy
who used to work for Mike Matthews. Supposedly, there were only 500 of the original
units made, and they break down really easily.
The reissued ones that came out a few years
ago dont sound the same or function in the
same way. Some of the sounds you described
were made by recording different sections of
a loop at different speeds and then changing
the speed during the song.

Lucas: The TC Electronic Hall of Fame


reverb pedal is also fantastic, and Ive used
their Sustainer + Parametric Equalizer pedal
for years. And I have a lot of old Boss pedals
that I love, including a tremolo, a flanger,
and a pitch shifter. At one point I was taking
22 pedals out on the road, but Ive only got
about half that many now.
Theres a very synth-like voice on the
opening track, Spinning Coins. Whats
going on there?

Lucas: Im using a Boss volume pedal into


More online

guitarplayer.com/june014
> See and hear the official
Other World album preview.
> Watch Hammill and Lucas
perform Lucas The Lady of Shalott live.
> Stay abreast of PH/GL happenings on their official Facebook page.

What are a few of your other go-to pedals?

TM

gpr0614_features_hammill_lucas_ln3.indd 49

a delay with lots of feedback and the delay


volume set higher than the original guitar
sound, which gives me some great surges
that are very keyboard-like, or even orchestral sounding. Of course, a lot of any guitar
sound is the result of touch. You could have
all the pedals in the world, but its your own
touch and approach to the guitar that really
give you your individual sound. Between my
left-hand vibrato and my right-hand tremolo bar work, I get a very expressive sound,
almost like a human voice.
Hammill: That song is also one the most
back-porch-like on the record, as we are both
playing acoustic guitars together. Thats one
of Garys pieces, and he had recorded his original part while he was in my studio. When I
came to play my part, I didnt examine what
the chord shapes were or what the structure
was at all before I started playingso although
by that time Gary was on the other side of the
Atlantic, in a sense we were actually playing
together and I was responding to his playing

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immediately, much in the same way one would


do live. That was pretty much the philosophy throughout. Neither of us looked for an
overly considered or perfect part.
Lucas: Also, my acoustic part on that tune
was played in open-Eb tuning, though when
we played it live we did it in standard tuning.
Did you use open tuning on any of the
other songs?

Lucas: I think for Some Kind of Fracas


and Built from Scratch I was in dropped
D, and on Attar of Roses I think Im in D
modal or DADGAD. There were others, but
as my late father used to advise me, A magician never reveals his secrets.
Speaking of Some Kind of Fracas, whats
making that huge, choppy modulation sound
on that tune?

Lucas: I think thats just my Boss tremolo pedal set to extreme, and there may also
be fuzz and an octave pedal on that track. Of
course, a lot of what I do is hands on, painting the sound with the gear by manipulating parameters on the fly. Thats why Ive
never used rack setups or pedals with presets,
because part of the joy for me is to spontaneously create sort of oceanic surges of sounds.
I still surprise myself with various combinations of sounds, but Ive mastered the process
of building them up and then bringing them
back down to nothing. The combinations are
like worlds within worlds of soundand then
they disappear. Theyre very ephemeral. Its
a beautiful thing.
Did you also use any unusual playing
techniques?

Lucas: Nothing unusual. I used the flesh


of my fingertips, and sometimes also a little
Dunlop Jazz III pick. When I was playing with
Captain Beefheart I developed a fingerpicking
technique using all of my fingers, because he
would compose music on a piano and then ask
me to play it on guitar. I had to figure out the
notes and then voice them over six strings,
which really stretched my techniqueand my
tendons, as well [laughs]. I did bring an EBow
to the sessions, though I dont think I used it.
Peter used one on a couple of tracks, though.
Hammill: I actually used it quite a bit on
Fracas, as well as on some other pieces.
There is some dramatic sound design
on the album. How much of that took place
in front of the recorder, and how much was
done afterward when you were mixing and
putting things together?

Hammill: Nearly all of it was done going

in. Garys stuff is created with his array of sorcerers pedals and it comes as it comes. I use
a more restricted palette in terms of effects,
basically just long delays and loops, and bits of
modulation and short delaysnothing much
more extreme than that. And the post stuff was
fundamentally just reverbs and maybe a little
bit of delay here and there, but definitely not
completely altering the entire shape of things.
And its evident in fact because when we performed live with just two guitars as opposed
to four it sounded pretty much like the record.
Were there any particularly memorable
instances of happy accidents as you were
recording?

Hammill: Doing improvisational music is


often kind of funny and serious at the same
time, and there were lots of bits like that. I
was particularly happy to record the sound of
the fountain in my garden, which I did late
at night when there was no traffic noise, and
use that as an ambient texture.
Lucas: I was particularly happy about some
of the sounds on Fracas and Black Ice.
The guitar on the latter sounds really huge
and demonic, and there are also the distorted
radio voices, which worked well. I was thinking of I Am the Walrus, when you hear the
voice of King Lear or whatever it is, and Peter
liked the idea. But Im really happy with my
guitar playing on the album overall, because
I think it shows off my freakier psychedelic
side to the max. The playing field was wide
open, and because even the written parts of the
music were fairly random, there were really no
parameters in place that I had to conform to.
Hammill: While Gary was tracking his
parts, I was engineering and therefore being
more of a technical boffin than the enthusiastic partner attempting to vibe him up as a
performer, or paying much attention to the
actual performances. But once a track was
completed wed often look at each other and
say, Yeah, thats great. That really works out
in the song.
Lucas: Im very proud to be working with
Peter. I think we made a brilliant record and
Id love people to hear it because it doesnt
sound like anything else out there and it
might open some minds. Its not so way out
that its like angry alienating noise. It draws
people in, even when it gets freaky, as it does
at points. Im all about trying to meet audiences halfway, but they have to be willing to
dare to listen to something newand in this
case, something really new! g

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Model

M17BWC

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Zakk
Wyldes
Undaunted Guitar

Odyssey Continues in the


Catacombs of the Black Vatican

By Jude Gold
I ts n o secret that Za kk Wylde has, at t i mes, been a b i t of

a rock and roll wild man (no pun intended). He is, after all, the guy who once
totaled a golf cart backstage in Detroit, and, in his drinking days, would open
beer cans on stage at Ozzfest by slamming them against his skull so hard
they exploded. But while a strong argument can be made that youd have to
possess such a wild side in order to keep up with Ozzy Osbourne for the better

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4/8/14 4:58 PM

Cover Story
Zakk Wyld e

IGOR VIDYAS HEV/AT LAS ICON S.COM

part of two decades, it would be a mistake


to judge the guitarist solely on his antics.
This guitar hero is a lot more sophisticated than many guitar cognoscenti realize.
Take, for example, the militaristic bullseye logo Wylde is so vividly associated with.
Its all over his signature Gibson guitars,
Marshall heads, and Dunlop/MXR pedals
but while it may invite combat-related puns
when describing his aggressive guitar parts
(like machine gun riffs, explosive tones,
etc.), the logo Wylde originally envisioned
had nothing to do with artillery or targets.
I wanted a spiral graphic like the
one Alfred Hitchcock used for the movie
Vertigo, says the Black Label Society (BLS)
leader. But when I got the first guitar back,
it had a bullseye on it. I had to do a photo
shoot that day, so I thought, Oh well, I
guess Ill be the bullseye guy.

Two years ago, with the release of the


Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom Vertigo, Gibson
remedied that. I had to wait 25 years for
it, but I finally got the design I wanted.
Other facts you might be surprised to
learn about Wylde:
He likes to sit at a grand piano and
sing Simon & Garfunkel songs. (For proof,
spin his rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water, off BLSs 2011 album The Song
Remains Not the Same.)
M ore online

guitarplayer.com/june2014
>Check out Zakks video for
My Dying Time.

He almost did a book reading at a


Barnes & Noble near you. (Thats right
Wylde was going to a do a standard book
tour to promote his new memoir, Bringing Metal to the Children, but decided a run
of acoustic club and theater shows with
new BLS co-guitarist Dario Lorina would
be more fun.)
He is known to study the playing of
jazz genius Joe Pass and the books of chord
chemist Ted Greene.
He is not afraid to venture out of the
world of metal, where he is king, as he proved
by being a featured performer on this years
Experience Hendrix tour.
He is, rock and roll rogue exterior
aside, a family man. He and his wife, Barbaranne, have four children whose ages,
amazingly, span 18 months to 21 years.
Continues on page 56

The Gentle Side of MetalZakk and Dario unplugged.

54

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IGOR VIDYASHEV/ATLASICONS.COM

Young Gun on the Gig

DARIO LORINA JOINS BLACK LABEL SOCIETY


I N T H E E A R LY 9 0 S, W H E N DA R I O LO R I N A WAS J UST A

audition in metaldom, as Nick Catanese had left Black Label Society

toddler, his parents noticed that he loved hearing Alice In Chains, Mtley

after 17 years. The days of doing the whole cattle-call, American Idol

Cre, Metallica, and other heavy bands cranked loudly through the car

approach of sitting there trying out 500 guitar players are over, says

stereo. That music would become the soundtrack of his childhood. The

Wylde. Instead of doing that, we simply had people who know us and

one tape I could not get enough of was the rst Van Halen album, says

work with us recommend players they thought might be a good t.

Lorina. I listened to that incessantly as a little kid. Eddie was my guy.

Osbournes bassist, Blaskowho is also Wyldes managerwas

In 1995, when Lorina was six years old, he took up the guitar. At age

immediately on the case. In addition to seeking out talented guitarists

16, four years after his family had relocated from Boston to Las Vegas,

hed never heard of, he thought of Lorina. He had kept in touch with

he landed a pro gig touring with Warrant frontman Jani Lane. Just three

the now 24-year-old guitarist ever since the Osbourne audition, and

years later, he found himself in Los Angeles, invited to try out for every

encouraged him to send some links. Lorina immediately got to work.

metal players dream gigplaying guitar for Ozzy Osbourne. This was

He went into his home studio in Las Vegas, set up his go-to Marshall

the job that his future employer, Zakk Wylde, had held on and off (mostly

JCM 900 stack, grabbed two LAG guitars (including his new signature

on) since 1987, two years before Lorina was born. Although Osbourne

model LAG Arkanator), used a construction lamp from his garage to

ultimately chose Firewinds Gus G to be his new guitarist, Lorinas audi-

light the room in a cool way, set up his Canon video camera, and shot

tion was by no means a failure. Just getting on the radar at Ozzquarters

a few videos of himself performing BLS songs.

would prove a success in itself.

I wanted it to look like I was on stage at a festival gig, says Lorina.

In the ve years that followed, Lorina kept busy, playing shows in the

Although each video was just one long, continuous shot, I did trim

U.S., Japan, Mexico, and Europe with Lizzy Borden. The Ozzy audition

the beginnings and endings later in iMovie so that things started and

went well, but I was just 19 at the time, and not that experienced yet,

stopped cleanly. With the P.A. speakers facing me, I started with Funeral

says Lorina. I learned a lot doing all that touring with Lizzy Borden

Bell, playing along with the song note for note, doing the rhythm parts

like how to set up your rig in three minutes and get your tone at a fes-

and the solo.

tival where theres no soundcheck. I also learned basic but important

Lorina made sure to showcase his vocals, too, singing along with

stuff, like how to travel and be professional on the road. That was also

BLSs Sold My Soul for the camera. Next, he grabbed a Crafter DV250

when I rst started learning to sing. And, of course, being in that band, I

steel-string and sang the Bill Withers soul classic, Aint No Sunshine,

had to learn how to play solos by [former Lizzy Borden/Ozzy Osbourne/

la Wyldes version on BLSs 2013 live and unplugged album, Unblackened.

David Lee Roth guitarist] Joe Holmes, which wasnt the easiest thing in
the world to do. That sure got my chops up!
One person whod had an eye on Lorina since his Jani Lane days was
Mike Varney, owner and founder of Shrapnel Records. Impressed with

Wylde watched the videos and liked what he saw, so he ew Lorina


out to Los Angeles. When I nally met with Zakk, says Lorina, we didnt
really even play. I guess he already knew what I could do on guitar, so he
just wanted to make sure I was a halfway decent person.

the demos Lorina had been sending, he signed Lorina last year and put

Lorina was hired. It was his great tan, says Wylde, laughing. The

out the guitarists debut album, Dario Lorina. I am beyond humbled to

rst thing I asked him was, Is that a spray tan or a real tan? He said,

be on the same label as Paul Gilbert, George Lynch, Richie Kotzen, and

Real. I looked at Blasko and said, Obviously, hes committed to the

all the other great Shrapnel artists, says Lorina.

project. And hes a monster player, too, whos done a record with Father

Suddenly, late last year, there was industry buzz of another big guitar

Varney. This is our guy!

JG

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4/9/14 1:47 PM

Cover Story
Zakk Wyld e

He shows respect to his influences in


ways that are matched by few other guitarists. (He named his sons Hendrix and
Sabbath Page, after all.)
He still practices his brains out. Hes
always playing, says Lorina. Zakk always
has a guitar in his hands and is running
licks and scales. Its very inspiring.
The passion and discipline Wylde has put
into the guitar has resulted in the ultimate
payoff: Like only a handful of other players on the planet, he has achieved a sound.
Take, for example, the distinctive way he
applies his snarling, ultra-wide vibrato to
pinch harmonics, most notably on the low
string. Now theres a sonic signature that
can pass Les Pauls famous Can your mom
tell its you on the radio? test.
Really, though, if you want to understand
Wylde in an instant, theres only one way:
Close your eyes, open your ears, and listen
to one of his solossuch as his volcanic
lead on My Dying Time, off the new Black
Label Society album, Catacombs of the Black
Vatican [eOne Music]and reflect on how
powerfully his playing pairs anarchy with
grace, ferocity with finesse, mayhem with
musicality, chaos with calm, blues with
bombast, defiance with discipline. Those
things arent usually found together, but
they go hand in hand with Wyldeboth
in his playing and in his life.
What is the Black Vatican?

Its my home studio. It used to be the


guesthouse, but we hired Zack Fagan and
his company, Under the Wire, to convert
it into a place where we could track and
mix. Zack designed Ozzys home studio,
and he does the job right. We basically
gutted the place, which used to be a mobile
homeripped out the floors, the bathroom, and the showerand remodeled.
One bedroom became the drum room, and
the master bedroom became the lounge.
There is also a piano room, and another
bedroom is now the amp room. The console and Pro Tools rig are in the middle of
it all. It came out great.
What was your main amp on Catacombs
of the Black Vatican?

Im actually working with Marshall on


updating my signature head, and we have
a solid prototype that Ive been using.
Thats what I used on the majority of the
record. Were still tweaking ityou know,

56

experimenting with different transformers,


tubes, and stuff. It wont be drastically different than the current version. The goal
is just to further expand on the shimmer
and tight bottom end thats always been
there. We were hoping it would be ready
by Januarys NAMM show, but we were
still messing around with it.
I also have some Marshall Bluesbreaker
combos at the Vatican, including a rare Jaguar
Bluesbreaker that Jim Marshall gave to me
personally. That thing sounds awesome.
There were only like 45 of those made.
What did you do for clean sounds on
the new album?

Well, I can get a great clean sound from


my 800s by turning off my overdrive pedal
and backing off the guitars volumethat
results in a tone that kind of sounds like
the clean part on ZZ Tops La Grange. But
a lot of the chimey stuff you hear on new
songs like Scars and Angel of Mercy,
and in the breakdown on Ive Gone Away
was done with a Roland Jazz/Chorus 120.
For those parts, I used either the tobacco
sunburst 57 Les Paul Junior Ozzy gave
me when we were recording No Rest for the
Wicked or the 58 double-cutaway Junior that
Michael Beinhorn got me when we were
doing Ozzmosis. The P-90 pickups in those
guitars sound great through the Roland.
Your new Les Paul Vertigo has a maple
top, clear finish, and a maple fretboard.
Thats a pretty striking combination. How
does it sound?

Its a bit brighter than, say, my Grail,


which, like most Les Paul Customs, has an
ebony fretboard. Its a bit honkier. I remember Gibson put out a Les Paul in 1978 or
so that had a maple fretboard and a clear
maple neck, and looked cool. That was the
idea behind the new guitar.
I used the Vertigo for pretty much all the
distorted rhythm guitar tracks and many
of the solos on Black Vatican. For the solos
on Angel of Mercy and Scars, though, I
used Blue Balls, which is what I call one of
my Pelham Blue Les Paul Customs. And for
the solo on Damn the Flood, I used the
tobacco sunburst Johnny Winter-style Firebird that I got after we finished Ozzmosis.
The single-coils on that thing sound great.

The original design I wanted was not a


bullseye, but a spiral graphic like the one

Whats the inspiration behind your new


Gibson ZV Buzzsaw model? It looks like
an SG fused with a Flying V.

the Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom Vertigo

Tony Iommi in the front, St. Rhoads in

(right), he finally got his wish.

Alfred Hitchcock used for the movie


Vertigo, says Wylde. With the release of

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KEN S ETTLE

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Cover Story
Zakk Wyld e

Continued FROM PAGE 54

the back. [Laughs.]


Speaking of inspiration, what inspired
you to stop drinking?

Well, five years ago, the back of my knee


had been killing me, so I finally went to the
doctor, and he said, Youve developed blood
clots and need to be on blood thinners. I

said, Doc, does this mean I have to chill


out on the booze? He goes, Put it this
way, Zakk. If you drink the way you tell me
you do, and youre on these blood thinners,
whatever your first night of drinking is, I
hope its a good one, because it will be your
last. I thought, Well, that might suck. So
I stopped drinking.

What caused the clots?

I have no idea. I had always thought you


only get blood clots when youre 80 years
old or so. Doc says, No. Truck drivers get
them, too. So do airplane pilots. I guess if
youre sitting stationary for any length of
time, youre at risk. I thought, I dont sit
around much. I work out, I lift, Im always
walking around, and I play shows. But then
I got to thinking about how I practice. When
Im sitting watching a Yankees game, running
scales and noodling, theres three hours in
a chair right there. As soon as I wake up in
the morning, I get a cup of hot java and Im
sitting there practicing. And when were in
the studio tracking or mixing, and going to
the club afterwards, thats tons more hours
of sitting down. The doctor said, If clotting
is a genetic tendency youve inherited from
your parents, then all your years of drinking alcoholalcohol being a blood thinnerironically may have saved your life.
What was it like to step out on stage
sober for the first time in so long?

You cant be different if youre playing what everyone else is. Visit reverendguitars.com to start your journey to becoming an individual.

I remember talking to Alice Cooper once


about my drinking days, and he told me,
Zakk, there are two entire records that I
dont even remember making. [Laughs.] I
was never that deep into it. But it did feel
weird the first few times I went on stage
without a few beers in me. Id be looking at
the guys going, Bro, are we really about to
play a rock show? Are we doing this? But
its just like playing football. The moment
you hit somebody that first time, everything
else goes out the window and its game on.
Either way, the drinking just was what
it wasthat was me back then. How would
the Beatles or Hendrix have sounded if they
came out in 1955 and never became engrossed
in the 60s culture of acid and weed and
the hippie movement? Different, thats for
sure. Jimi was, at his core, a blues player
an amazing blues player. When you stuck all
that psychedelia on top of his sound, well,
thats what made that soup.

58

On the subject of Jimi, you were featured


on this years Experience Hendrix tour. That
seems like a branching out of sorts for you.

Its definitely cool to have had the opportunity to show people a different side of
what I do. I was doing songs like I Dont
Live Today, Purple Haze, and, with Jonny
Lang, All Along the Watchtower. One night
we all closed with Red House, led by Billy
Cox. And for Are You Experienced, Id be
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on piano, accompanying Eric Johnson. The


after-show hang was unbeatable. Youre sitting there trading war stories with Kenny
Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Rich Robinson, Dweezil Zappa, and Chris Layton from
Double Trouble, and everyones laughing
their balls off.
Whats most amazing, though, is hearing all these great players put their unique
spin on somebody elses musicin this
case, the music of Jimi Hendrix. It makes
me think of how Al Di Meola just put out a
record of Beatles stuff [All Your Life: A Tribute to the Beatles].

at the time, and one of my students walked


in with a Fender Jaguar with EMGs installed.
We plugged it into my little Marshall combo,
and I was stunned by the difference in tone
between his skinny little guitar and my fat
Les Paul Custom. With his guitar, it sounded
like I had pulled a moving blanket off the
speakers. I was like, Wow, so thats what

that amp really sounds like. I was blown


away and have used EMGs ever since.
Why did Nick Catanese leave the Black
Label Society?

Nicks doing his own thing right now,


working his ass off with a bunch of guys hes
jamming with. Its not that there was a fight,
or that he got kicked out or was fired. There

What gear did you use on a Hendrix song


like, say, Purple Haze?

I just used the same gear I use when I


play with Ozzy or Black Labeltwo of my
signature Marshall JCM 800 tops driving
two Marshall 4x12 bottoms loaded with my
EV 300-watt Black Label speakers. I love
those speakers. They give me headroom
like Ive never had before, and have a great,
automatic tightness about them. My pedals
are all from my signature line at Dunlop. I
designed it all with Dunlop, and use all of it
every night, including my Dunlop Cry Baby
Wah, my signature Rotovibe, and my MXR
Wylde Phase and Overdrive. After the overdrive, I sometimes kick in a Dunlop Carbon
Copy analog delay for some slap-back. I get
a wide stereo sweep from my MXR Black
Label Chorus pedal. I just go left and right
out of that thing straight into the two heads
Wouldnt it be cleaner to run the chorus
through the effects loop?

The only reason I put effects loops on


my signature heads is for all the guitar players out there who do like to use them. One
reason the chorus works straight in for me
is because my basic amp tone is not too
distortedits delivering an AC/DC-style
Back in Black level of overdrive. I can hit
it with the guitar full up and it doesnt feed
back. For solos or heavy rhythm parts
like if Im doing Miracle ManI kick in
the overdrive. That pedal pushes things
over the top and adds a ton of sustain.
If Im recording and want a wide spread,
though, I dont usually use chorus. I just
double the parts, which results in a natural chorusing effect.
When did you first start using EMG 81/85
active humbuckers?

Ever since I started with Ozzy. I remember


the day I got sold on EMGs. I was teaching

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Cover Story
ZAKK W YLDE

PLUG IN.
Weve gone electric.

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for electric guitars. All the things
you love for your acoustic but
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K EN S ETTLE

Smaller body. Less spring tension.

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was none of that. We all love him and always


will. Hes off writing new music and giving
it 1,000 percent. Thats the beautiful thing
about this bandthe guys can always leave
and always have a home to come back to.
Its all about having creative freedom, just
as it is with me and Ozzy.
How has it been playing with Dario Lorina?

60

Great. He really throws down. Our rst


concert together was the big Schecter event
at the NAMM show in January, and then we
did the acoustic book tour togetherthe
Canada leg of which I call the Polar Bear
Run, because temperatures were hysterically cold, often 40 or 60 below with wind
chill factor. It was just me and Dario, and

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

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Cover Story
ZAKK W YLDE

BRYAN BE AS LE Y

when Id switch to piano, hed be shredding


on the guitar solos.
I love talking with Dario about guitar players we dig, because when I say, Are you an
Al Di Meola guy? he says, Yeah, but I found
out about Al through Paul Gilbert, because
hes 24. I asked him, Are you a Jaco Pastorius guy? And he said, No, Im a Billy Sheehan guy, but I found out about Jaco through
Billy. Its really interesting how we reference things. Ask a young guitarist today if

62

he likes Jimmy Page, and hell probably say,


Yeah. I learned about him through Slash.
Does Dario use different gear than you
on stage with BLS?

No, he actually goes with a complete


copycat version of my rigsame Marshall
heads, same Dunlop pedals. Theres no sense
in lugging in a ton of outside sh*t when I
have everything we need right herethe
same gear we used on the album, pretty
much. He does use different guitars than

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_wylde_ko5.indd 62

4/9/14 1:48 PM

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Cover Story
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those and has been playing them for years.

Available wherever books are sold.

64

You often use dropped tunings. Do you


ever lower strings other the sixth string?

I keep the top five strings normal, so that


when Im soloing on those strings, all the scale
patterns are the same as when I learned them.
If all six strings in are in standard, Ill be using
one of my signature Dunlop .010-.052 sets.

But the lower you drop a string in pitch, the


thicker the string gauge youll need to keep the
tension up so the string doesnt start flopping
around and you cant tell what youre playing. The lowest Ill go is dropped-B, and for
that I like to have at least a .060 on there
maybe even a .070to keep the string tight.
I actually didnt use any dropped-B on the
Continues on page 67

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

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Guitar is all about


learning from other
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getting recipes from
each other.
ContinueD FROM PAGE 64

new record, but a good example of it would


be Crazy Horse, the first song on our last
studio album, Order of the Black.
The first time I interviewed you, years
ago, we hung out on your tour bus at Ozzfest
for a couple hours. You had a Marshall Mini
Stack installed beneath the table in the
front lounge, and I dont think the guitar
left your hands once.

Nothings gonna change that. I start practicing first thing in the morning, every day.
And if you really love guitar, it hardly feels
like practicing. Its funyoure like a kid
playing a video game all day, trying to get
to the next level.
Seeing you play up close, people might be
surprised to see how often, in the middle of
fast picked lines, you throw in notes plucked
on higher strings with your picking hands
middle finger, Nashville style.

Thats the Albert Lee influence. I really


got into that sort of hybrid picking just before
I joined up with Ozzy. You can hear some
of it on our first album together, No Rest for
the Wicked, on solos like Crazy Babies and
Devils Daughter. When I got the Ozzy
gig, I thought, Obviously, Im not going in
the classical guitar direction, because that
was Randys thing. I have to have my own
thing. I had seen this video of Albert Lee,
and I just loved the sound of what he was
doing, so I bought it. I learned all the licks
on it, and thats where the hybrid stuff came
from. Guitar is all about learning from other
players. One day you cop some licks from
a Joe Pass or Allan Holdsworth record, and
then you try to incorporate those licks into

your playing. Thats always a cool thing to


do. Were all cooks getting recipes from
each other.
Have you actually incorporated Joe Pass
stuff into your playing?

Yeah, without a doubt. Ive got a bunch of


Joe Pass on my iTunes. I have some Ted Greene
books, too. So every now and then Ill whip
those things out and go through some different licks, arpeggios, scales, orespecially in
the case of Ted Greenechords, and figure
out ways to use it all, not just in my playing,
but also in my writing. Its just limitless,
man. Thats the beautiful thing about guitar.
What advice do you give young players
who have seen you play and tell you, Man,
I want to do that?

Well, it depends what you want to do


with music. If its just going to be a hobby
for you, thats coolbut when I was 14, I
said, Im going to dedicate my life to this. Im
doing this. Even if I had never been blessed
with having Ozzy in my life and having our
Black Label family, Id still be doing music.
Id never be one to sell all my gear and try
something else. Me and JD [BLS bassist John
DeServio], who Ive known since I was 17,
would still be at it. Were lifers. Wed have a
music store, be teaching, or have a wedding
band and maybe also a cover band devoted to
the music we loveprobably all of the above.
And wed be writing music and doing our own
thing, too. I could never have some crummy
job where Im digging a ditch, wondering,
What am I doing with my life? I cant stand
this. Everything would still revolve around
music. Id be cleaning the floors at a music
studio right now if I had to. g

gpr0614_wylde_ph4.indd 67

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

67

4/8/14 5:04 PM

Lessons
Under Investigation

Frees
All Right Now
with Paul Kossoff
By Jesse G r ess

68

Mi chae l Putland/G ETT Y

W h e n r e a d e r T i m K e l l e y r ec e n t ly sugg est e d f e at u r i n g F r e e s A l l R i g h t N ow

(from Fire and Water) in a future Youre Playing It Wrong, I recognized a golden opportunity not only
to clarify the songs intro and verse figures, but also to showcase the late Paul Kossoff s (1950-1976)
superlative playing and signature vibrato, which is highly regarded as one of the best in the biz. So
this months Under Investigation is a two-fer (or bogo, if you prefer).
Perhaps the most powerful guitar sound to permeate both AM and FM airwaves circa 1970, Kossoff s
visceral playing on All Right Nowwhich charted at #2 in the U.K. and #4 in the U.S.virtually
defined all of the guts and glory of a 1959 Gibson Les Paul burst plugged straight into a Marshall
stack. Kosss muscular and anthemic playing drove the song, in both edited single and full album

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 68

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Koss leans into a bend with wicked vibrato in 1972.

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 69

j u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

69

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Lessons

Pau l Kosso ff

Ex. 1

 = ca.
120
= ca.
120

1. 1.

AA

D/A
D/A AA

2. 2.

Dadd4/A
Dadd4/A D/A
D/A

AA

Dadd4/A
Dadd4/A

D/A
D/A

AA

44          


            

         

         



 44        

  













33
22
33
33
22
 22 22
  30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 22 22
22
22
00
22
22
Gtr.
1 (left)
Gtr.
1 (left)

11
11
11

22
11
33

22

33
44
l.r.l.r.
- -------------------------------------- -

44

letlet
ring
ring

TT
AA
BB

22
(0)(0)
55

22
11
33

44
(0)(0)
55

22
(0)(0)
55

(0)(0)
55

44

l.r.l.r.

44

22
(0)(0)
55

l.r.l.r.

4 44 44 44 4 4 44 44 44 4
22
(0)(0)
(0)(0)
55
55

44            


             
               























     



               
 44   

   
         






55
55
55
0 0 0 00 0
33
55
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 33 3
55
 52 52
  30 30 30 30 30 30 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 552 552
22
22
0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 22 2
22
22
44
22
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 44 4
22
4 4 4 44 4 4 44 44 44 4
22
Gtr.
2 (right)
Gtr.
2 (right)

44
44
11
11

11
33

letlet
ring
ring

TT
AA
BB

00

00

00

l.r.l.r.

l.r.l.r.

l.r.l.r.

00

00

00

Ex. 2

 = ca.
= ca.
120
120

1. 1.



2. 2.





44           
  


        
































    


 44  
   


  
 

Gtrs.
Gtrs.
1 and
1 and
2 2

A5
A5

4 4

G5
G5

D/F
D/F

4 4

4 4

1 1

1 1

A5
A5

4 4

D/F
D/F

1 1
1 1

1 1

3 3 1 11 1

TT
AA
BB

 
1414

1414 1414
1212
1212 1212 1212
1010
14141212

versions, deep into the American, Anglo,


and Euro psyches, where it remains relevant
to this day. Lets find out how and why.

THE STUDIO INTRO & VERSE FIGURE


Two key elements in the studio version of
Kossoff s fat-ass intro and verse rhythm
figure are his choice of chord voicings and
fingerings, and the fact that he doubletracked, but didnt exactly double the part.
Ex. 1 brings both parts into focus and clears
up the Y.P.I.W. factor by revealing how Gtr.1
(left channel) utilizes unorthodox A and D/A
chord voicings in which Kossoff frets the low
A roots on the sixth string/fifth fret with
his pinkyoften in tandem with the open

70

1212 1212
1111 1111

1414
1212

A string(!)instead of using the easier-toplay, standard open-A fingering. Granted,


theres no tangible evidence of this on the
Fire and Water version, but several live versions available online do provide visual confirmation, so theres no reason to surmise
that Kossoff played it any differently in the
studio. Also notable is the four-bar progression itselfA-D/A-A (not A-Dadd4/A-A) in
bars 1 and 2, and then Dadd4/A-D/A-A in
bars 3 and 4. Note how Gtr. 1 plays halfnotes for the Dadd4/A and D/A chords in
the first ending, and then gets busier on the
second round.
Meanwhile, Gtr. 2 (right channel) utilizes the same rhythm in bars 1 and 2, but

A5
A5

 
1212

1212
1111 1111

22
22
00

employs a partial fifth-fret pinky barre to


fret the root and 5 on top of a standard open
A5. Koss fills out bars 3 and 4 with dottedeighth-to-sixteenth-to-quarter-note hits
on Dadd4/A and D/A, and a slight rhythmic variation during the second ending.
You can also discern an open E (the 9) on
top of the Dadd4/A in the first half of the
second ending, which creates a wonderful
harmonic cluster of major and minor seconds. The space between the chords is as
important as the chords themselves, so be
sure to play each rest. As the verse commences, both guitars repeat the first two
bars verbatim, but Kossoff chose to double
Gtr. 2s part during both endings. Its also

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 70

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Ex. 3a

 = ca. 120

(A5)
N.C.




   
(  )
     











  


 4
 
  

 4


3

B1/4

T
A
B

14

13

B1/4

14

13

 B1/4

B1/4

14

13(13) 15 13
14
14

14

13



preB

(17)

15 13 15

13



14

14

14

Ex. 3b

 = ca. 120

(A5)
N.C.



( )   

  () ()
 4 


 4

) ()   

3 (

15(17)



( )

15 13

15(17)

notable that the intro features only Koss,


drummer Simon Kirke, and vocalist Paul
Rodgers joining in on the verseAndy Frasers bass doesnt enter until the chorus.

THE CHORUS
Except for a few anomaliesGtr. 1 leaves
out the A5 in the first ending, and Gtr. 2
adds a third D/F# hit on beat three of bar
3Kossoff essentially doubles the songs
chorus rhythm figure with both guitars. Ex.
2 shows how he used a pair of single notes
(F# and E) to connect the sparse twelfth- and
tenth-position A5 and G5 voicings in bars 1
and 2. He drops the bottom voice in the G5
chord one half-step to form the D/F# hits in
bars 3 and 4 before resolving back to A5,
which is anticipated on the and of beat four
in the first ending, and played squarely on
the downbeat in the second ending. (Tip:
For total authenticity, sustain that final A5
for another measure before returning to the
second intro/verse figure.)



T
A
B

17(20)

13



grad.
B

15

17

14

All Right Now


Words and Music by Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser
Copyright 1970 Blue Mountain Music, Ltd.
Copyright Renewed
All Rights Reserved

THE FIRST SOLO


The bass lays out once again for Kossoff s first solo, an A pentatonic-minorbased guitar-and-drum breakdown played
over a pseudo-march beat following the
second chorus. Ex. 3a illustrates how
Koss begins with a partial 3/16 hemiola
(see this months Rhythm Workshop),
superimposing the root, b3, and a stray
4 (A, C, and D) over four sixteenth-pluseighth-note groupings. He finishes this
call phrase with a pair of eighth-notes
in bar 2, and then responds to it in bars
3 and 4 with an Albert King-style prebend-release-pull-off move, some trademark unbroken vibrato added to a pair of
adjacent As, and a staccato octave gracenote slide. Koss repeats bar 1 (with a C in
place of the only D), plus the first half of
bar 2 before completing the section with
the phrase in Ex. 3b, where bar 3 features
his signature delayed vibrato added to a
gradual G-to-A bend.

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 71



(17)

j u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

71

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Lessons

Pau l Kosso ff

Ex. 4a

 = ca. 120

D/F

 4






 4 

        



Bass arr. for gtr.

T
A
B

0 0

l.r. - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - -

12

10

12

11

Ex. 4b

Ex. 4c

 = ca. 120

D/F

 = ca. 120

D/F


 4  
  
 4  










     

 4  
 
 4
2

T
A
B



Ex. 4d

 = ca. 120

D/F



2 4



T
A
B



0
5 7

Ex. 4e

 = ca. 120

D/F






 4      ( ) 
 4                ( )() ()


 4 

 4

4




let ring - - - - - - - -

5
T
A
B

4 (5) 4

Ex. 4f

 = ca. 120

D/F

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

T
A
B

10

9 11

10

9 11

10

9 11

10

9 11

10

12(14)



(14)

 
 4   ()      

 4

4

T
A
B

72

12

12
12 (14)




12 10 (10)



11

10



(10)

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 72

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Ex. 5a

G
D/F 
A
G
D/F 
A




 () ()         











( ) ( )
( ) ( )
 4              ( )( ) ( ) ( ) 
4




 = ca. 120

17 20

T
A
B

17

17 20

17

17 20

17

17 20

17

17

17 20



20(22)

(22)

17

3 2

12

20 17 20

20(22)



20(22)(22)

17

17



20(22)

(22)

Ex. 5b

= ca. 120

44
T
A
B

17

3
1

17

20

( )

(22)

D/F
( )( )

A
3

( )( )

G
2

( )( )

preB hold - - - - - - - - - R

20 (22)

(22) 20 17

20

( )

17

20(22)(22)

20

20

THE SECOND SOLO

THE CLIMAX

Immediately following Ex. 3b, Frasers memorable bass figurearranged for guitar in Ex.
4atransforms the mood and sets the stage
for Koss second solo section. Half Motown
and half classic rockthink James Jamerson and Joe Cockers Woodstock version
of With a Little Help from My Friends
the riff implies a two-bar A-G-D/F# chord
progression as Kossoff begins exploring A
pentatonic major with single-string moves
like the one in Ex. 4b. (Tip: Use the neck
pickup.) He repeats bars 2 and 3, and suddenly an interesting anomaly occurs. Five
bars in, Koss jumps to the B string (plus a
perfectly placed open E), plays Ex. 4c, and
essentially turns the progression around
from A-G-D/F# to G-D/F#-Afor the duration of the solo! Check out his phrasing
on the almost-country lick in Ex. 4d, the
rhythmically displaced partial 3/16 hemiola hammer-ons (plus delayed vibrato) in
Ex. 4e, and the expressive oblique doublestop bend and release in Ex. 4f, and how
each lick is played in a higher position,
building tension and excitement before

Switch to your bridge pickup before tackling


Ex. 5a, which begins with the seventeenthposition, three-against-four, 5-to-b7-to-root
hammer-onsyet another 3/16 hemiola
that bring Kossoff s solo to its apex. (And
check out how the chord progression still
sounds reversed!) Delay that wide vibrato
in bar 2 until the and of beat two, and follow
through with the high bends and succinct
moves in bars 3 and 4. Koss repeats the first
bar-and-a-half of Ex. 5a, and then wraps up
his solo with Ex. 5b, which paraphrases bar
3 of Ex. 5a, and then paves the way back to
the chorus via two bars of E, though only
one is notated. (Tip: In concert, Koss was
known to substitute full G5, D/F#, and E
chords for the lick in bars 3 and 4.)

19 19

17

17

M or e o n li n e

guitarplayer.com/june2014
> No charge for this live
version of All Right Now
(which begins at 20:32).

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 73

D/F

j u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

73

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Lessons

Pau l Kosso ff
Ex. 6a

 = ca. 128

Dadd4/A A

Dadd4/A

 4   
      
  

 


 4 



 
 










 

 


1
1
1

1
1
1

3
let ring

or

2
2
2
(0)
5

T
A
B

2
1
3

l.r.

1
1
1
4

or

3
2
4

(0)
5

2
2
2
(0)
5

3
0
4

(0)
5

3
2
4

2
2
2
(0)
5

INTRO & VERSE (LIVE VERSION)

Ex. 6b

Dadd4/A

= ca. 128

44
T
A
B

let ring

(0)
5

2
1
3

3 3
0 0
4 4

1
1
1

l.r.

3 3
0 0
4 4

In concert, Kossoff had to consolidate his twopart intro and verse figures, and online video
evidence backs up the fact that he utilized the
pinky-enhanced A, Dadd4/A, and D/A chord
fingerings illustrated in Ex. 6a, but also shows
how he altered the progression in bars 1 and
2 from A-D/A-A to A-Dadd4/A-A. (Tip: You
can check out Frees 7/70 gig at Manchesters Granada Studios and freeze-frame the
money shots!) Those two measures remain
consistent throughout, but Koss freely played
with the rhythms in bars 3 and 4, switching
from the half-note hits in bars 3 and 4 to the
busier variations depicted in Examples 6b
and 6c. (Note the muted A-chord chunks
in the latter.)

l.r.

3 3
2 2
4 4

(0)
5

3
2
4

2
2
2

(0)
5

Ex. 6c

 = ca. 128

Dadd4/A

 4
       
  


4
     






        
 
P.M.

T
A
B

(0)
5

P.M.

3
0
4

3 3
0 0
4 4

(0)
5

FATTEN UP THE BOTTOM


Finally, live versions of All Right Now reveal
how Kossoff would sometimes voice the 5 on
the bottom of his A5 and G5 power chords
during the chorus, as in Ex. 7. This simply
entails barring your index finger across the sixth
string for both chords, while the D/F# (now
a D) maintains the same bass note as G5. In
conjunction with Frasers bass line, this adds
extra girth and emphasizes Kosss talent for
creating magnificently huge-sounding rhythm
figures in a power trio format. Salute! g

P.M.

3
2
4

3 3
2 2
4 4

(0)
5

2
2
2
(0)
5

X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X

Ex. 7
= ca. 128

4
4
T
A
B

74

A5(/E)

G5(/D)
4
1

4
1

( )

(1)

( )

( )

1.

D/F (/D)

D/F (/D)

A5

4
1

( )

( )

12
12
9
9
(10) (10)

14
12
(12)

( )

( )

(1)

(2)

14 14 14
12
12 12 12
10
(12) (12) (12)14 12(10)

2.

A5(/E)

( )

( )

12
12
9
9
(10) (10)

2
2
0

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lesson UI_free_ln1.indd 74

4/7/14 2:28 PM

Lessons

Rhythm Workshop
Rhythmic Displacement Pt. 2 - Hemiola
By J ess e G ress

quarter-notes or 24 eighth-notes, which can


be grouped as three groups of eight (3 x 8
= 24), or as eight groups of three (8 x 3 =
24). The latter grouping forms a 3/8 hemiola, which displaces itself eight times over
the course of three bars of the 4/4 reference
beat before starting over again at its point of
origin. This example uses three repetitive chromatic eighth-notes to illustrate (think b7-to7-to-root in E, or 4-b5-5 in A), but any notes
may be applied to any hemiola. You can also
substitute swing eighths for straight eighths.
Not every note in a hemiola has to be
played. The figure in Ex. 2a replaces the third

Another popular rhythmic

displacement technique common to all musical styles is known as hemiola, which involves
superimposing a repetitive, but contrasting
rhythmic grouping over a reference beat.
The most common hemiola is three-againstfour. This could refer to three quarter-notes,
three eighth-notes, or three sixteenth-notes
repeated over a 4/4 pulse until they recycle
back to their starting point.
For instance, a 3/8 hemiola would look
and sound like Ex. 1, and recycle every three
measures. Why? Count the eighth-notes and
do the math. Three bars of 4/4 will house 12

eighth-note of each 3/8 grouping with a rest,


while Ex. 2b simply shifts the replacement rest
to the first eighth-note of each 3/8 grouping. Both examples produce hemiolas that
are equally applicable to styles from blues
to bossa nova. (Tip: Try replacing the single
notes with a jazzy chord progression, such as
Dm9-G7#5-C6/9.) You can also shift the rest
to the second eighth-note of each 3/8 grouping. Replace each pair of notes with a broken
oblique bendi.e., a D-to-E bend followed by
an unbent unison Eand play them with a
swing feel to form trademark T-Bone Walker
and Chuck Berry rhythms.

Ex. 1

4

 4                                        
3/8

T
A
B



3/8

3/8

3/8

3/8

3/8

3/8

3/8



Ex. 2a

4









 4     
 
 
   
    
1

T
A
B





Ex. 2b

4 








 4   
   
   
   
 
1

T
A
B

76





G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lessons_rhythm_ln1.indd 76

4/3/14 2:23 PM

Ex. 3

4
 

 4                                                


T
A
B

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7

5 7



Ex. 4a

44 ()   ()   ()   ()   ()   ()   () 





3

etc.

T
A
B

(9)

5 8

(9)

5 8

(9)

5 8

(9)

5 8

(9)

5 8

(9)

5 8

(9)

Ex. 4b

44 ()    ()    ()    ()    ()    ()    () 





1

4 1

T
A
B

(9)

5 8 5

(9)

5 8 5

(9)

5 8 5

(9)

5 8 5

(9)

5 8 5

etc.

(9)

5 8 5

(9)

Ex. 4c

4                    

4
1

1 3

etc.

T
A
B

8 7 5

5
7

8 7 5

5
7

8 7 5

Ex. 5a

 = ca. 115

Bsus4( VII)
x134

C m7(I)
x2x34

   
44




gpr0614_lessons_rhythm_ln1.indd 77

Sixteenth-notes can also function as the


common denominator in a hemiola, as shown
in the 3/16 adaptation of Ex. 2a illustrated
in Ex. 3. Think the I know, I know, I know,
etc. vocal line from Bill Withers Aint No
Sunshine. (Tip: Ex. 2b can be adapted to
3/16 in the same manner.) Repetitive 3/16
hemiolas like the one in Ex. 4a are commonplace in the blues-rock vernacular, and Ex.
4b demonstrates how to squeeze one more
note into the same hemiola by subdividing
the third sixteenth-note into two thirty-second-notes. You can also mix combinations
of sixteenths and eighths in any 3/8 hemiola, as shown in the Example 4cs jazz-organinspired A blues lick.
Partial hemiolas, which only last for a bar or
two and dont completely recycle, also abound
in all musical styles. Some real-world examples include the intro to Hendrixs Crosstown Traffic, whose sixteenth-plus-eighth
3/16 hemiola is simulated in Ex. 5a. Note
how this partial version uses two eighthnotes on beat four of bar 2 to break out of
the repetitive sixteenth-plus-eighth pattern.

J u n e 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

77

4/3/14 2:23 PM

Lessons
R h y t h m Wo rksho p
Ex. 5b

E7 9(V)

= ca. 100

44

4
3
1
2

( )
8
7
6
7

T
A
B

A(I)

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

8
7
6
7

even
gliss

14 14 14 14 14
14 14 14 14 14
14 14 14 14 14
(0)

8
7
6
7

Ex. 5c

 = ca. 100

E7(V)

A5(I)

 4
         

 4                       
          
 6 7 6 7 6 7 6 7 6 7 2
3

1
1

T
A
B

5 6

5 6

5 6

5 6

D&A ROCK SOLID

Ex. 5b shows a Johnny Winter-inspired


V-chord turnaround in A that uses a partial
hemiola derived from the 3/16 version of
Ex. 2b, while the one in Ex. 5c, which features a partial 3/16 hemiola that begins on
the and of beat one, is based on Rick Derringers pre-verse figure from his classic
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo. For extra
credit, reference this months Under Investigation and Youre Playing It Wrong and
see if you can pick out the partial hemiolas
contained in Examples 3a, 4e, and 5a of the
former and Ex. 7b of the latter. Once you
discover that any rhythmic grouping that
adds up to three eighth- or sixteenth-notes
can be used to create a hemiola, youll discover that theyre everywhere! g

2
0

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HEYDNA.COM

78

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lessons_rhythm_ln1.indd 78

4/8/14 2:51 PM

guitar player_may2.indd 1

2/25/14 9:43 AM

Lessons
Youre Playing It Wrong

Free Ride

The Edgar Winter Group (from


left): Dan Hartman, Ronnie
Montrose (kneeling), Edgar
Winter, Chuck Ruff.

The Edgar Winter Group with


Ronnie Montrose
By Jesse G r ess

adds several details to this instantly recognizable intro that often go unnoticed. Reminiscent of the opening moves in Hendrixs
Wait Until Tomorrow, Ex. 1 begins with a
two-eighth-note pickup that implies D/F#
and immediately clarifies any rhythmic
discrepancies. (Sorry, Mattyoure playing it wrong!) Bar 1 of the figure employs
a grace-note slide between D-shaped G/B
and A/C# triads on beat one, the same G/B
to an A-shaped D/A triad on beat two, four
muted-sixteenth chuck-a-chuck-as on
beat three, and a repeat of the pickup on
beat four. Bar 2 completes the figure with
a grace-hammer from D/A to G/B on beat
one, dual eighth-note hits from D/A to A

T h i s m o n t h , w e p rov e t h at t h e

Wheres one? phenomenon truly lies in


the ear of the beholder. Case in point: I had
already planned to feature the late, great
Ronnie Montroses intro to Dan Hartmans
Free Ride (from the Edgar Winter Groups
They Only Come Out at Night), but not in a
Wheres one? contextthat is, until GP
Associate Editor Matt Blackett related that
he had always thought the figure started on
the downbeat of bar 1, and had to add an
extra beat to the last bar in order to fall in
sync with the verse. Apparently, one persons Youre hearing it wrong is anothers Im hearing it right!
Regardless of how you hear it, Montrose
Ex. 1

 = ca. 125

D/F

Rhy. Fig. 1

A/C

G/B D/A

D/F

G/B

on beat two, and a reprise of beats three


and four from the previous measure. (Tip:
Chuck-a-chuck-a on the muted A chord.)
While were at it, Ex. 2 occurs at the tail
end of the songs chorus and features a twobar lead-in to Montroses funky, hybridchicken-pickin on adjacent strings in bar 3.
Pedal between the down-picked (and slightly
muted) open D, and snapped, chromatically
descending middle-finger upstrokes using a
three-against-four hemiolatwo sixteenths,
plus a sixteenth restthat lasts for threeand-a-half beats. (Tip: Cross-reference this
months Rhythm Workshop for the lowdown
on hemiola, and check out Under Investigation for a bonus Youre Playing it Wrong!) g

D/A A

D/F

           
         
 4

    






 

           









 4   


2
1
3

1
1

2
1

1
1
1

Ex. 2

 = ca. 125



7
7

F m

8
7
9

10
9
11

10 8
9 7
11 9

1
2
3

1
1

2
1
3

T
A
B

7
7
7

X X X X
X X X X
X X X X

7
7

7
7
7

8 8 7
7 7 7
9 9 7

5
6
7

X X X X
X X X X
X X X X

Free Ride
Words and Music by Dan Hartman
1972, 1974 (Renewed 2000, 2002)
EMI BLACKWOOD MUSIC INC.
All Rights Reserved International
Copyright Secured Used by Permission
Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard
Corporation



7
7

N.C.


 
 4

   



  
             
 

 4










 
   





   
1

T
A
B

80

1
1
1
4
3

2
2
2
4
4

4
4
1

m
snap

l.r. - - - - - - - -

1
1
2
4
3

let ring - - - - - - - -

w/Rhy. Fig. 1

3
3
4
5
5

7
7
7
5

7
7
7
5

m
sim.

2 4

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lessons_ypiw_ln1.indd 80

4/3/14 2:24 PM

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BY GHS STRINGS
THE STRING EXPERTS

ghsstrings.com

800.388.4447

PHOTO BY MAX CRACE

Lessons

Fretboard Recipes: Modes Pt. 1


Relative and Parallel Modes
By J esse G r ess
Music derived from the major

scale doesnt always sound major. Modes


provide alternative major and minor tonalities that are relative, or diatonic, to a
given major key. They may be thought of
as scales within scales, or inversions of a
scale. Any scale contains as many relative
modes as it has different notesone starting on each scale degree. Since the major
scale consists of seven different notes, it

yields seven relative modes.


Modes can have two relationships to
a root, or tonic note: relative or parallel. The seven relative modes are derived
by designating each degree of the major
scale as a new root, and playing through
its octave. Though a relative mode uses the
same notes as the original major scale, the
interval structure and step formula shifts,
changing its sound.

Parallel modes build each modal formula from a single root note. This requires
a different major scale for each mode. The
chart in Fig. 1 shows the seven modes relative to and parallel to the key of C.
Jesse Gress is the author of The Guitar
Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Rhythm,
Melody, Harmony, Technique & Improvisation [Backbeat]. g

Fig. 1

82

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lessons_fretboard_recipes_ln1.indd 82

4/3/14 2:19 PM

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Lessons

Punching Holes in Scales


Pt. 2
By Scott H ug hes
W h at go es u p, must come dow n ,

and with that being the case, lets try some


descending ideas based on the punching
holes concept from the April issue.
Ex. 1 starts with a three-note-per-string
scale fragment. Based in the key of C, this
establishes our note-skip as we cross
strings. Notice how, even with the skip,
the fretting-hand notes fall within typical three-note-per-string configurations

(half-step/whole-step, whole-step/halfstep, or whole-step/whole-step). No big


stretches!
If this sort of diagonal movement
when crossing strings feels strange, try
practicing the string change by itself.
Ex. 2 isolates this small shift. Use your
ring finger or pinky to play the first note
on the lower string. You can create similar exercises for every other string shift.

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

  
  
44
 


17 15 13
T
A
B

   

4


4

17 15 13

15 13 12

T
A
B

15

Ex. 3

  
    
3
  
3
44







3
  
3
3
3

17 15 13

T
A
B

84

15 13 12

14 12 10

12 10 9

12 10 8

10 8

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lessons_punching holes_ln1.indd 84

4/7/14 2:24 PM

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Lessons

PU n ch i ng ho l es in scales

Ex. 4

    
     
44
     
     




17 15 13

T
A
B

15 12 15 13 12

14 12 10

12

12 10

12 10

10

7 10

Ex. 5

    
     
44
    
  



     
17 15 13

T
A
B

15 12 15 13 12

12 10 9

10

7 10

Ex. 6

    
     
3
3
3
44
     



3
    
3
3
3


3
17 15 13

T
A
B

15 12 15 13 12

12 10 9

Drill them a bit and they wont feel


awkward.
Ex. 3 carries our fragment in octaves
across the remaining sets of two adjacent
strings. Were playing triplets now, but
dont let that throw you. Just get comfortable with the moves.
Sequence time! Ex. 4s first measure
sets the tone, and then descends in octaves
across two string sets. Once you get this

86

10

7 10 9

8 7

3 7

5 3

down, feel free to play with the rhythms,


throwing in rests and syncopations. That
will keep things fresh and musical.
Expanding on this idea, Ex. 5 skips a
note at every string change. Upon completion, reward yourself by hitting that final
open E and giving a wave of acknowledgement to your adoring public.
When a musical idea stems from
physicality, its easy to overlook things

like rhythm. With rhythmic variations,


we can get a lot of extra mileage from our
stockpile of licks. Our last example demonstrates this, by regrouping the notes as
triplets (Ex 6).
With some creativity, you can apply
your favorite harmonic/melodic/rhythmic
concepts to these ideas and generate some
cool new sounds in your diatonic scale lines.
Experiment and have fun! g

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_lessons_punching holes_ln1.indd 86

4/7/14 2:24 PM

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Gear
Rou n dup

Six Semi-Hollow Electrics


T est e d by t h e Gui tar P lay er Sta ff
T h e e v o l u t i o n o f t h e e l e c tr i c

guitar that would coin the term thinline. When

of a split personality guitar has inspired and

guitar has followed a fairly predictable path

Gibsons ES-335 debuted in 1958 there was noth-

intrigued builders ever since.

from pickup-equipped archtops of the 40s to

ing else like it. Basically an acoustic shell with a

For this roundup we are featuring six semi-

the sleek solidbodies that Fender and Gibson

log inside it to which the neck and hardware were

hollow guitars with dual humbuckers, which

introduced in the early 1950s. Obviously GIbson

mounted, the ES-335 seemingly had it all with its

include from the high end an early 60s ES-335

wanted to hang on to as much of its legendary

ability to offer a good amount of acoustic reso-

reissue from Gibson to Epiphones ultra afford-

status as a maker of acoustic archtops as pos-

nance while providing the enhanced sustain and

able ES-339 Pro. In between on the pricing scale

sible, and like its competitor Gretsch, came up

feedback resistance that a solidbody excelled at.

are are Fenders Starcaster reissue, Godins new

with designs that navigated the line to various

Even those who didnt appreciate the new

Montreal Premier, PRSs SE Zach Myers Signature,

degrees between hollow and solid. In the late

wave of solidbody guitars could find plenty to

and the Ibanez Artcore Expressionist. We tested

50s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was on a

like about the 335s slim, double cutaway body

these guitars on gigs, rehearsals, and in our stu-

roll with futuristic designs such as the Explorer

shape and its Les Paul-approved complement

dios, using a variety of amplifiers that included

and Flying V, but apparently he also saw the

of humbucking pickups, Tune-o-matic bridge,

a Dr. Z Remedy head and Z Wreck combo, a

need for a modern electric that would appeal to

and stud tailpiece. The ES-335 opened to door to

Fender Blues Junior and Deluxe Reverb, Little

more conservative tastesand what better way

subsequent semi-hollow offerings from Epiph-

Walter 50-watt and Orange Tiny Terror heads,

to corner that sector of the market than with a

one, Fender, and other makers, and the concept

and a Mesa/Boogie DC-5.

Hear It Now!

www.guitarplayer.com/june2014

gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 89

Art Thompson

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

89

4/7/14 2:29 PM

Gear

ROUNDUP

Epiphone ES-339 Pro


Upon its introduction a few years back, Gibsons

given its update of the format, the ES-339 Pro should be one to do even

ES-339 became in instant hit, and a modern success story of sorts. Fol-

a little more than that.

lowing in its footsteps, Epiphones own ES-339 Pro is a scaled-down but

Honey-I-shrunk-the-guitar antics aside, the ES-339 Pro is appointed

otherwise fully-endowed rendition of the legendary ES-335, with all the

like any traditional 335, with Epis LockTone renditions of the Tune-o-

same construction and appointments, only lessmaking it a more com-

matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, Grover Deluxe vintage-style tuners,

fortable instrument for many players to handle, and perhaps better suited

and the traditional Epiphone headstock and E pickguard logo. The

to a wider range of genres too. As such, this guitar is instantly familiar to

rosewood fingerboard carries the late-50s dot inlays, atop a three-piece

anyone with even a remote awareness of the classics of electric guitar

mahogany neck carved in the familiar Gib/Epi SlimTaper profilesort of

from the past 50-plus years, yet closer examination reveals how inge-

a mid-60s slender D in the hand. It all looks elegantly understated in

niously this scaling down has been achieved. Compared to an ES-335s

a natural finish, with ebony, cherry, and vintage sunburst also available.

width of 16.5 across the lower bout, the ES-339 clocks in at 14.25, yet it

Epiphone loads the ES-339 Pro with its Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers,

retains the elegance of the originals lines, its rounded Micky Mouse-ears

units based roughly on Gibsons 57 Classics, with readings firmly in PAF

cutaways, and, with it all, its bold versatility. The ES-335 was always a

territory at 8.12k in the bridge position and 7.64k in the neck. And, as a

guitar that could do anythingfrom jazz to blues to rock to countryand

nifty bonus, you get individual coil splitting from the push-pull switching

90

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 90

4/7/14 2:29 PM

MODEL

Epiphone ES-339 Pro


CONTACT

PRICE

epiphone.com
$449 street

S peci f ications
NUT

NECK

Synthetic, 1 11/16 wide


Three-piece mahogany, SlimTaper D profile, 24.75" scale

FRETBOARD

Rosewood, 12 radius

FRETS

22 medium-jumbo

TUNERS

Grover Deluxe vintage-style


tuners

BODY

Laminated maple top, back and


sides; semi-hollow with solid
center block

BRIDGE

LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge


and stopbar tailpiece

PICKUPS

on each volume pot, which simply dumps one

overabundant in any setting (other than the

coil to give you half of each humbucker. Over-

split-coil mode), although the neck pickup pos-

allfrom looks, to features, to construction

sessed just enough to help both clean and over-

and setupits all pretty darned impressive.

driven lead runs ring through, while also excelling

Two Epiphone Alnico Classic Pro


humbuckers

CONTROLS

Individual Tone and Volume for


each pickup with push-pull coilsplit switching on volume pots

The ES-339 Pro had a tasty setup right out

at warm jazz tones. Kicking in a Tube Screamer

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario XL .010-.046

of its optional hardshell case, with an easy

queued beefy rhythm tones and creamy lead

WEIGHT

7.9 lbs

action, good playability all up and down the

voicings so familiar from five decades of 335-wei-

BUILT

China

neck, and a lively, somewhat snappy acoustic

lding rockers, and added more liveliness to the

KUDOS

A clever re-imagining of the

tone. Plugged into a Dr. Z Remedy head with

ES-339 Pros overall sonic feel, too, goosing its

ES-335. Well put-together and

1x12 cab set for clean tones, the guitar dis-

dynamics in a rather tasty way. An impressive

impressively playable for its price.

played a slightly nasal, midrangey honk that

performer for an attractive price, the ES-339

Delivers classic semi tone with

predisposed it toward even more than expected

successfully captures the ES-335 magic in a

toward raunchy blues in the neck position and

more compact format. D a v e

Hunter

split-coil options
CONCERNS

None.

gutsy rocknroll in the bridge. Clarity wasnt

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Gear
ROU N DUP

Fender Starcaster
Produced from 1974 to roughly 1982, the Starcaster

anchoring the maple to a laminated maple body with a newly added alder

wasnt the semi-hollow success that Fender had originally hoped for. Leo

center-block. The former string-through-body bridge has been updated

Nocentelli of the Meters could occasionally be seen playing the funk out of

to a pinned Adjusto-Matic with anchored tailpiece, and the f-holes now

the distinctive looking guitar, but, like the Jazzmaster, it remained lost in the

feature the same binding as the body. Gone too is the master volume,

wilderness for some time after its release. Things change, though, and the

which is too bad.

popularity of this idiosyncratic axe among younger, alternative musicians

I found the C-shaped neck quite comfortable. The 22 medium-jumbo

such as Jonny Greenwood ofRadiohead, Sammy James Jr. of theMooney

frets and excellent setup allowed unfettered bends with a relatively low

Suzuki, Dave Keuningofthe Killers, Arctic MonkeysguitaristJamie Cook,

actiondespite the traditional 9.5 radius. The semi-hollow design gives

and Chris WallaofDeath Cab for Cutie, made it ripe for reissue.

it plenty of acoustic ring, though the sound is not what you would describe

The new Starcasters offset waist body and curved headstock make

as warm. Still, that is one thing that sets the Starcaster apart from other

it instantly recognizable as descended from the instrument of decades

semi-hollows: the combination of a maple neck and maple body makes

past. Fender has, however, made a few changes: the original three-bolt

it significantly brighter than most instruments of its ilk, and less prone to

neck joint has been replaced with a more solid four-bolt variety, firmly

muddying out, especially at high gain settings.

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MODEL

Starcaster
CONTACT

fender.com

PRICE

$699 Street

S peci f ications
NUT WIDTH

1.650"

NECK

Maple bolt-on, 25.5" scale

FRETBOARD

Maple

FRETS

Medium jumbo

TUNERS

Fender Standard die-cast

BODY

Laminated maple with alder


center block

BRIDGE

Pinned Adjusto-Matic with


Anchored Tailpiece

This clarity of tone carried over when plugged


into Little Walter 50-watt and Orange Tiny Terror

pots that let me achieve a wide variety of tones

PICKUPS

by merely adjusting the level of each pickup.

Two Fender Wide Range humbuckers

heads, or a Fender Blues Junior combo. Rolling

Semi-hollow guitars were invented to offer

off the Tone of the neck-position Wide Range

some of the acoustic properties of an archtop

humbucker allowed a serviceable jazz sound,

while reducing feedback issues. This makes

FACTORY STRINGS Fender, .009-.042

but where the Starcaster shined was the extra

them extremely versatile instruments that can

WEIGHT

11 lbs

presence available in the neck position, which

work equally well for rock, country, funk, blues

BUILT

China

afforded blues bite, funk snap, and pop jangle

or jazz. While firmly in this tradition, the Fender

KUDOS

Well made. A great sounding

rarely heard from a semi-hollow. The bridge

Starcaster is not only unique in appearance, but

pickup produced plenty of twang through a clean

has a sound of its ownproviding a combination

amp setting, while retaining enough girth to play

of fast attack, in your face presence, and hol-

well with overdrive and distortion. Switching on

lowed out woodiness thats perfect for stand-

both pickups revealed smoothly tapered Volume

ing out in the band. M i c h a e l


gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 93

CONTROLS

Dual Volume and Tone controls,


3-way toggle

semi-hollow with its own look


and voice.
CONCERNS

Heavy. May be too bright for


some.

R o ss

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Gear
ROU N DUP

Gibson Historic 1963 ES-335 TDC


Introduced in 1958, the early dot neck ES-335 got

accurate trussrod (which is heavier than modern rods and doesnt have

its first update in 1963, which morphed it into the classic block neck

a plastic sleeve), Aniline dye grain filler (which exactly matches the orig-

model associated with Eric Clapton, Larry Carlton, Alvin Lee, and many

inal translucent color), single-line Kluson tuners with double ring tulip

other top-name players. The Gibson Memphis reissue of the 1963 ES-335

buttons, an ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge with nylon saddles, and an alu-

TDC nails all the key elements of the original model, including the lam-

minum stop tailpiece that uses long, original-style anchor studs with the

inated body construction with spruce bracing, cedar rim liners, and a

correct metallurgy, spline size, and flat cut slots.

maple center block with period-correct window. In case youre wonder-

On the pickup side are new Memphis Historic Spec (MHS) hum-

ing, TDC in the name stands for Thinline, Double cutaway, Cherry finish.

buckers, which are based on 50s-era models and designed to enhance

The quartersawn mahogany neck is carved to a correct 63 profile

the sound of semi-hollow guitars. These unpotted pickups feature

which is fairly slender by todays standardsand the original-style nylon

asymmetrical coil winding using 42-gauge enameled wire, and they

nut is cut to perfection using very modern PLECK technology. The bind-

feature alnico 3 and alnico 2 magnets respectively for the neck and

ing is nicely aged to replicate the yellowish appearance of 50 year old cel-

bridge. The Historic 1963 ES-335 also uses custom audio taper CTS

luloid, and the nitro-lacquer finish on the body and neck is also treated

550k potsa value that ensures the pots will be at least 500k, so

to Gibsons VOS process to give it a lightly aged look. In concert with the

as to keep the neck pickup from sounding muddy or the bridge pickup

dulled patina on the nickel-plated hardware and pickup covers, the over-

from being too bright.

all effect is one of a guitar that has been lightly used for a half century by
a non-smoking player who never wore a belt.
Other details include hot hide glue for the neck joint, a historically

94

Our review model arrived with an excellent setup that provided low
action without any string buzz. The neck shape is very comfy, the frets
are evenly crowned and lightly polished, and the intonation sounds sweet

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

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MODEL

Historic 1963 ES-335 TDC


CONTACT

gibsonmemphis.com

PRICE

$3,999 Street

S peci f ications
NUT WIDTH

1.650"

NECK

Mahogany, glued-in

FRETBOARD

Rosewood

FRETS

Medium jumbo

and tuneful. In all, we give it top marks for play-

I could vary the distortion or nudge the 1963

ability as this guitar has a very easy and accom-

ES-335 into controlled feedback. There were

TUNERS

Kluson Deluxe

modating feel that facilitates everything from

no problems with squeals from the unpotted

BODY

Laminated maple with maple

string bending to flatpicking to fingering com-

pickups (that might be an issue if you play at

plex chords.

really high volumes, however), and the dual

center block
BRIDGE

Tune-o-matic with stop tail-

Played on gigs and rehearsals though a65

Volume controls and well voiced Tone pots

Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue and a Dr. Z Z

made it easy to dial in just the right texture

Wreck combo, the Historic 1963 ES-335 was

for whatever the song called for. This guitar

an inspiring instrument. Its clean to lightly

sounds badass for slide, its great for finger-

overdriven tones are juicy and sweet with a

picking, and its do-it-all versatility makes it a

nice sense of acoustic openness, and when

fine candidate for blues, rock, country, fusion,

I turned it up to coax more sustain from the

funk, and probably anything else you care to

FACTORY STRINGS .010-.046

amp or pedal (an Alairex Halo in this case), the

throw its way. All considered, its easy to see

WEIGHT

7.5 lbs

singing distortion tones gushed with harmonics

why early to mid 60s ES-335s have been

BUILT

USA

and assumed a cool, vocal-like character that

popular over the years with so many different

KUDOS

A beautifully made reissue. Inspir-

stood out compared to other guitars Ive played

kinds of players, and the Historic 1963 ES-335

though these amps. The touch responsiveness

brings it all together in classic form to easily

is excellent, and simply by adjusting my picking

nab an Editors Pick Award. A r t


gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 95

piece
PICKUPS

Memphis Historic Spec humbuckers; alnico 3 neck, alnico 2


bridge

CONTROLS

Dual Volume and Tone controls,


3-way selector

ing playability and tone.


CONCERNS

None.

Th o m p s o n

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Gear
ROU N DUP

Godin Montreal Premiere


Canadas Godin has a solid track record as one of

with a lightweight spruce center block thats contoured to touch the guitars

the most innovative makers of stringed instruments around. MIDI-equipped

back in just a few areas. This not only leads to the guitar being incredibly light,

acoustic-electrics? Check. 11-string, oud-inspired fretless creations? Oui. State-

but it also creates an ability to resonate that gives the Godin much more true

of-the-art electric nylon-strings? Of course! Having expanded its offerings

archtop character than is typical for most semi-hollows.

into the archtop and jazz guitar market in recent years, its no surprise that

The Montreal Premiere features a medium-depth, half-round mahog-

Robert Godin and his crew didnt simply copy a classic design when creat-

any neck that wears an unbound rosewood fretboard with simple dot

ing the Montreal Premiere semi-hollowbody. With its elegant, 14 5/8-wide

inlays. The fretwork is excellent and the intonation is tuneful in all posi-

single-cutaway body, floating pickguard, and curvy f-holes, the guitar gives

tions. Topped off with a great factory setup, the playability was superb.

off a sophisticated vibe that is enhanced by its beautiful sunburst finish. And

The Montreal Premiere is a very resonant guitar with an acoustic voice

while you might think the Montreal Premiere is based on an ES-335 (Gibsons

that is dynamic and complex. For example, when I covered the f-holes

iconic semi-hollowbody that uses laminated maple for its body construc-

with my hand after strumming the strings, the guitars tone and volume

tion), Godin chose laminated wild cherry wood for the body, which is paired

changed considerably. This cant be said of most thinline guitars, which

96

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MODEL

Montreal Premiere
CONTACT

godinguitars.com

PRICE

$1,495 street

S peci f ications
NUT WIDTH

1 11/16"

NECK

Glued-in mahogany

FRETBOARD

Rosewood, 24.75" scale

FRETS

22

TUNERS

Vintage Kluson-style chrome

BODY

Cherry top, back, and sides;


solid spruce center-block
(a.k.a. Breathe-Through Core)

BRIDGE

GraphTech Resomax
Tune-o-matic style

PICKUPS

Two custom Godin


humbuckers

are built more stiffly. Plugged it into my Mesa/

funky. Even though my AER Compact 60 acous-

Boogie DC-5, my immediate impression was

tic amp it yielded a warm, burnished tone that

CONTROLS

that the Montreal Premiere sounded more like

would work well in a jazz trio.

FACTORY STRINGS Godin High-Definition E-10

Volume, Tone, 3-way selector

a traditional archtopespecially on the bass

Kicking in some overdrive gave me a great

strings, which had that slightly dry timbre you

roots-rock sort of a sound, and while a com-

WEIGHT

6.2 lbs

typically get from a deep-bodied acoustic-

pletely hollow archtop wouldnt be likely to

BUILT

Canada

electric. But the cool thing is that the Montreal

stay cohesive sounding with the Boogies lead

KUDOS

Highly resonant arch-

Premiere offers those tonal qualities with the

channel, the Montreal Premiere performed

top-like tone. Surpris-

enhanced sustain and resistance to feedback

admiringly in this context too. A killer guitar

ing versatility. Innovative

that are gained by adding a center block. The

thats bound to find a ton of fans among jazz

guitar excelled at clean tones and could easily

cats and rockers alike, the Montreal Premiere

be dialed to sound fat and jazzy or bright and

receives an Editors Pick Award. T e j a


gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 97

Nickel Regular Light, .010-.046

design. Light weight.


CONCERNS

None.

Gerken

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Gear
ROU N DUP

Ibanez Artcore Expressionist AM93


The Artcore series has brought a broad range of

sunburst finish over a beautifully figured top (trans yellow and red sun-

fully- and semi-hollow electrics to the Ibanez stable for several years

bursts also available), gold-plated hardware, acrylic pearloid block mark-

from jazz boxes to thinline rockersand has won over a lot of fans, pro and

ers, and multi-ply-bound body, headstock, and pickguard.

amateur alike. The Artcore Expressionist AM93 combines a little something

The pickups are Ibanezs Super 58s, the same humbuckers that

for players from both polarities, ultimately landing on what is likely to be a

have appeared in higher-priced signature models for John Scofield, Pat

budget-conscious fusion players dream. The quilt-maple laminated body

Metheny, and George Benson. Hardware is also solid, time-tested Ibanez

with solid core is just enough smaller than the ES-335 template to feel a

fare in an ART-1 Tune-o-matic style bridge, stud-mounted Quick Change

bit more speedy and manageable, and the AM93 also leans toward con-

III tailpiece (with the strings loading through slots in the bar, rather than

temporary design with its deeper cutaways and sharper horns, although

running through from the rear like a traditional stopbar), and enclosed

the headstocks broad top and decorative inlay give a nod to the compa-

Ibanez tuners that are reminiscent of Grover kidney beans, all gold plated.

nys many successful full-bodied archtop-electrics. Right out of the box

The glued-in neck is a three-piece affair made from mahogany and

it promises to be a versatile and value-packed semi-acousticand deliv-

maple, with a volute behind the nut. As with many Ibanez axes, the pro-

ers soundly in the looks department, too, with a tasty transparent black

file leans toward the thin side; its a little shallower than I would normally

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MODEL

Artcore Expressionist
AM93
CONTACT

ibanez.com

PRICE

$600 street

S peci f ications
NUT

NECK

Synthetic, 1 11/16" wide


Three-piece mahogany/maple,
slim C profile, 24.75" scale

FRETBOARD

Rosewood, 12 radius

FRETS

22 jumbo

TUNERS

Enclosed die-cast, gold plated

BODY

Quilted laminated maple top,


back and sides; semi-hollow
with solid center block

BRIDGE

Ibanez ART-1 Tune-o-maticstyle bridge and Quick Change


III stopbar tailpiece

prefer, and just a bit square-edged to my palm

bonus was that it stayed crispy and well

while playing. But it still feels good overall and

defined, with a cutting edge remaining in its

should delight fans of what some makers like

attack even in the warmer neck-pickup set-

to call shred necks. The AM93 arrived with a

tings. This kept jazz runs from getting mired

decent factory setup, with action on the lower

in the mud, and even allowed a little semi-

side of medium, and good overall intonation.

twang from the bridge pickup when called

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario XL .010-.052

My only issue concerned some sharp corners

upon. With an Ibanez Tube Screamer TS-10

WEIGHT

8.1 lbs

on the low- and high-E saddles where you rest

engaged, the overdrive tones were tight and

BUILT

China

the edge of your picking hand.

focused, yet with plenty of sting in the tail

KUDOS

Upmarket looks. Great build

Through a Dr. Z Remedy and 1x12 cab set

definitely no trouble rocking out on this thing.

semi-clean, the Artcore Expressionist AM93

A confident and versatile performer overall,

sounded a little underpowered compared

the AM93 is a welcome addition to the Art-

to other humbucker-loaded semis, but the

core line. D a v e

Ibanez Super 58 Custom neck


and bridge humbuckers

CONTROLS

Individual Volume and Tone for


each pickup, 3-way switch

quality for the price. Versatile


tones.
CONCERNS

Sharp bridge saddle corners.

Hunter

gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 99

PICKUPS

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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Gear
ROU N DUP

PRS SE Zach Myers Signature


U n z i p t h e Zac k M y e rs S i g n at ur e mod e ls g i g bag,

The guitars glued-in neck has what PRS calls its Wide Fat profile, a

and youll immediately be wowed by the insane value that PRS is offer-

designation that basically denotes that the neck feels a bit thicker than

ing with its imported SE series. But lets zero in for a closer look. Based

a typical PRS design. I loved its satin finish, which lends a feel that is sim-

on PRSs Singlecut Hollowbody design, the Zach Myers features a cham-

ilar to unfinished wood. The unbound rosewood fretboard sports PRSs

bered mahogany body with a maple top thats flat overall, but beveled

well-known Bird position markers, and the headstock is home to a set of

around the edges. Rather than using a single piece of cosmetically attrac-

Kluson-style tuning machines.

tive maple for the entire top, as would be customary for a more expensive

In the electronics department, the SE Zach Myers is fitted with a set

guitar, PRS chose to use a highly flamed veneer to cap the actual topa

of PRS SE 245 humbuckers, which are wired to a 3-way selector in the

move that brings cost down and enhances the appearance. On the Zach

upper bout and individual Volume and Tone controls. Another hardware

Myers, the top features a lovely green stain, which offers a contrast to the

choice worth noting is PRSs original Stoptail bridge, which adds intona-

lightly colored mahogany of the body. The guitars single f-hole is located

tion adjustments to a wrap-around design.

on the bass side of the lower bout.

100

Semi-hollow electrics can range in character from being not much

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MODEL

SE Zach Myers
Signature
CONTACT

prsguitars.com

PRICE

$679 Street

S peci f ications
NUT WIDTH

1 11/16"

NECK

Glued-in mahogany

FRETBOARD

Rosewood, 24.5" scale

FRETS

22

TUNERS

Vintage Kluson-style chrome

BODY

Chambered mahogany body


with maple top and flamed
maple veneer

BRIDGE

PRS Adjustable Stoptail

PICKUPS

PRS SE 245 Treble and PRS SE

different than a solidbody to leaning more in

sound, which then allowed me to solo using

the direction of a fully hollow jazz box, and the

a variety of tones. Playing single-note lines, I

SE Zach Myers leans firmly toward the former

found that while I sometimes wished for more

category. Plugged into a Mesa/Boogie DC-5

fatness in the trebles when playing clean, the

amplifier, the guitar immediately impressed

guitar excelled with overdriven tones, whether

FACTORY STRINGS .010-.046

me with a sparkly response and great sus-

coming from a DigiTech iStomp pedal loaded

WEIGHT

6.5 lbs.

tain. Combined with low action and excellent

with a Screamer overdrive patch, or my Boo-

BUILT

Korea

fretwork, the guitars somewhat shorter 24.5

gies lead channel. In this context, the PRS

KUDOS

Excellent playability. Great sus-

scale facilitated stretched-out jazz chords,

offered killer sustain, clarity, and note sepa-

and I had fun laying down the changes to

ration. Bottom line: The SE Zach Myers is an

Blue Bossa into a looper pedal, rolling back

impressive axe that offers a ton of performance

the neck pickups Tone control for a clean jazz

for a great price.

Two Volume, two Tone, 3-way


switch

tain. Happening overdriven tones.


CONCERNS

Slightly thin treble with clean


sounds.

Te j a Ge r k e n

gpr0614_hollowbody_ph1.indd 101

245 Bass humbuckers


CONTROLS

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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Gear

Product Guid e

10
Top Signature Guitars

Rock the Same Tone Machines as Your Heroes!


Carvin
Allan Holdsworth Signature HH2
$1,299 street

Key Features
Headless design
Chambered alder body with white birch top
25 1/2"-scale, eastern hard rock maple, set-neck
20" radius
Ebony fretboard
24 jumbo frets
1.68" nut width
JCustom Headless Research hardtail or tremolo bridge
Black hardware
H22 humbuckers
Factory Strings: Elixir, .010-.046
carvinguitars.com

The vibrato that I use mostly came from


the violin, and is akin to the vibrato that
classical players usestretching and
shortening the string by by moving your
finger backward and forwardas opposed
to across the fret.
Allan Holdsworth

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Collings
Pete Huttlinger
Limited Edition OM1
$4,725 retail

Key Features
Sitka spruce top
Mahogany back and sides
Mahogany neck
Ebony fingerboard and bridge
25 1/2"-scale mahogany set neck
Bone nut and drop-in saddle
Ebony bridge pins and end pin
Nickel Waverly tuners
Tortoise-style binding and pickguard
Pre-war scalloped bracing
High gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish
Pete Huttlinger Signature on 12th Fret
Factory Strings: DAddario EJ-16,
.012-.053
collingsguitars.com

Im not the kind of


player who likes to edit
takes together because
you lose the feel, and
its just not honest. Im
really only good for four
or five takes, and if I cant
pull a song off within that
timeI go practice.
Pete Huttlinger

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4/9/14 3:53 PM

Gear
1 0 TOP S IG NATURE GUITARS

Epiphone
Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom
$699 street

Key Features
Mahogany body with maple veneer top
24.75"-scale, mahogany set-neck
12" radius
Ebony fretboard
22 medium jumbo frets
1.68" nut width
EMG-85 (neck) and EMG-81 (bridge) pickups
LockTone bridge
Die-cast tuners with black metal tulip buttons
Kill switch on neck Tone knob
7-string also available
epiphone.com

We took my original Les Paul


Customthe one I got when I was 12
years oldand modeled its playability
and all the specs. But the big test was
whether it could withstand Triviums
grueling touring schedule. I wanted to
make sure that what I was playing live
was the same guitar that Trivium fans
can pick up in the stores. M at t H e a f y

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Ernie Ball/Music Man


Luke III
$1,750 street

Key Features
Alder body
25-1/2"-scale, bolt-on, roasted-maple neck
12" radius
Rosewood fretboard
22 low-profile wide frets
1-5/8" nut width
DiMarzio Transition humbuckers
Music Man floating vintage tremolo
Schaller M6-IND locking tuners
Push/pull Volume knob for gain boost
Factory Strings: Ernie Ball Slinkys, .009-.042
music-man.com

I just like so many different kinds


of music. I think thats why Ive
sort of fallen through the cracks.
Im too rock for jazz, too jazz for
rock. Ive never totally fit in
anybodys club. S t e v e L u k at h e r

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Gear
1 0 TOP S IG NATURE GUITARS

Framus
Stevie Salas Signature
$TBD

Key Features
Mahogany body with AAA quilted-maple top
24.75"-scale maple set-neck
12" radius
Tiger-stripe ebony fretboard
24 jumbo frets
Invisible Fret Technology and Plek fret leveling
Graph Tech Black Tusq low-friction nut
TonePros bridge
Graph Tech Ratio locking tuners with wooden knobs
Toggle kill switch
Factory Strings: Cleartone, .010-.046
framus.de/en/framus

I like a guitar that has a unique


and sexy look. I remember being
a kid in sixth grade going to see
Kiss in concert, and when Paul
Stanley walked out with that
Iceman, I never saw anything
like that in my life. So I decided
I didnt want to play guitars on
stage that look like everyone
elses.
Stevie Salas

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BUDDY GUY

INTRODUCES THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY FENDER STRATOCASTER


A true living legend, Buddy Guy is more than
just an originator of the Chicago-style blues, a
Kennedy Center honoree and a six-time Grammy
winner. The music of Buddy Guy, as a guitarist
and singer/songwriter, transcends any era or
geography and has influenced countless artists
the world over.
For most of his career, Buddy Guy has had the
Fender Strat as his guitar of choice. Due to his
stature as a player, he was offered a signature
model guitar, although it didnt happen
immediately. You know, it took them a while to
make the polka dot. My mother, I promised her
I lied to her and told her I was going to move
to Chicago and get a job at a university and drive
back to Louisiana in a polka dot Cadillac. And I
knew I was lying. And she passed away and I said,
You know, I owe her something. And I went to
them, and I said, I want a polka dot guitar if I

8858-Guitar Player - June 2014 - BuddyGuy-8x10.5-v6.indd 1

endorse for you. And they said they couldnt do


it And finally, I guess it was 10, 12, 15 years,
they called back and said, We found a guy [who]
can put those polka dots on that guitar for you.
Guys amplifier has remained the same for many
years. The Fender came out Bassman, for a
bass. We guitar players turned that thing into a
guitar amp You didnt have to plug no special
effects or nothing on it. He still has one of his first
models, as he explains. I remember I loaned Otis
Rush my amplifier once, the Bassman. And Gary,
Indiana, is about 30 miles away from here, and he
was on his way back here and he had an accident
in the car. I said, Oh, my amp. And when they
broke the trunk open, all smashed up, I plugged
it up, and its at my house now, still playing.

Read the entire interview and


see the gear at guitarcenter.com.

FENDER 60TH ANNIVERSARY


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(014 0602 789)

FENDER 60TH ANNIVERSARY


AMERICAN STANDARD STRATOCASTER
(017 0182 703)

FENDER 60TH ANNIVERSARY


AMERICAN VINTAGE 1954 STRATOCASTER
(011 0002 803)

Get the new album,


Rhythm & Blues,
available on iTunes &
all digital retailers.
buddyguy.com

3/25/14 6:49 PM

Gear
1 0 TOP S IG NATURE GUITARS

Ibanez
Andy Timmons Signature
Prestige
$2,699 street

Key Features
Alder body
25.5"-scale, bolt-on maple neck
12" radius
Maple fretboard
22 jumbo frets
1.59" nut width
DiMarzio Cruiser and DiMarzio AT1 Custom pickups
Wilkinson/Gotoh VSVG bridge
Sperzel locking tuners
Chrome hardware
Factory Strings: DAddario XL110
ibanez.com

Chops are great, but I always make


the analogy that making music is
like painting a pictureif all you
have is red, its going to be a really
boring picture. So I always want to
hear something lyrical to go along
with the flash. A n d y T i m m o n s

108

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

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PRS
SE Marty Friedman
$649 street

Key Features
Mahogany body with beveled maple top
25"-scale, mahogany set-neck
20" radius
Rosewood fretboard
22 medium-jumbo frets
1.68" nut width
PRS Designed SE humbuckers
PRS Adjustable Stoptail bridge
PRS Designed SE tuners
Factory Strings: Elixir, .010-.046
prsguitars.com

Youre not going to wind up in the


studio with Paul McCartney one day,
and hear him say, Alright mate, can
you play some of those arpeggios a
little faster? Theres no reason to get
stuck on stuff that wont have any
real-world application.
Marty Friedman

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J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

109
4/9/14 3:54 PM

Gear
1 0 TOP S IG NATURE GUITARS

Reverend
Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk
$1,199 street

Key Features
Semi-hollow korina body with solid maple top
24 1/4"-scale, korina set-neck
Rosewood fretboard
22 medium-jumbo frets
1 11/16" nut width
Railhammer Chisel (bridge) and Hyper-Vintage (neck)
Bigsby B-50 bridge
Reverend pin-lock tuners
Toggle kill switch
Bass Contour control
Factory Strings: .009-.046
reverendguitars.com

The only way to get an idea to


blossom is not to judge it until it does.
But Im always looking for that event
that shard of sound that hits and then
is gone. R e e v e s G a b r e l s

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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

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4/9/14 3:54 PM

The electric guitar. Remixed.


TriplePlay, the wireless guitar controller that lets you turn your electric guitar into
any instrument that you want and compose, perform and record like never before.
Includes a comprehensive software suite from PreSonus, Native Instruments, Notion
Music, and IK Multimedia.

Compose
The revolutionary songwriting and composition
software makes it easy to create your own guitar tabs,
lead sheets, and standard sheet music complete with
an audio track of your work.

Perform
Experience limitless guitar tones and effects, and
a split fret capability that lets you play up to 4
instruments at once! This revolutionary new guitar
synth provides fast, accurate tracking with virtually no lag.

Record
Use the included DAW software on your PC or Mac
to build entire multi-instrument arrangements or
mind-blowing patches. Explore an entire library of
tonal choices to help your music stand apart.

Derek Song performs Solar


Flare with the Fishman TriplePlay

fishman.com/tripleplay

Gear
1 0 TOP S IG NATURE GUITARS

Seagull
Artist Peppino
DAgostino Signature
CW QII
$1,499 street

Key Features
Solid spruce top
Solid rosewood back and sides
25 1/2"-scale, mahogany, integrated set-neck
Ebony fretboard
21 frets
Graph Tech Compensated Tusq nut and saddle
1.9" nut width
Ebony bridge
Godin EPM Quantum II electronics with tuner
Seagull high-ratio tuners with cream buttons
Factory Strings: Godin Phosphor Bronze Light,
.012-.053
seagullguitars.com

I like both live and studio


playing, because they both
help me grow as a musician.
There is a big difference between
live gigs and studio recording.
The precision required in the
studio and the excitement of a
live performance are both
essential and fulfilling
elements in my life.
P e pp i n o D A g o s t i n o

112

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

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4/9/14 3:54 PM

Taylor
Jason Mraz
$2,999 street

Key Features
Grand Concert shape
Western red cedar top
Indian rosewood back and sides
25-1/2"-scale, tropical mahogany neck,
NT design bolt-on
Ebony fretboard
17 frets
Tusq nut and saddle
1-7/8" nut
Nylon bracing
Expression System-N electronics
Classical gold tuners with synthetic ivory
buttons
Be Love circle/triangle inlay
Factory Strings: DAddario Classical Extra
Hard Tension
taylorguitars.com

On steel-string Ill play


differently, Ill feel
differently, and ultimately Ill
emote differently. Ive fallen
in love with vintage steels
lately, but my go-to is always
the nylon-string. Theres
something soft and smooth
and buttery about it that
really sits with me in a
beautiful way.
Jason Mraz

gpr0614_gear_SIGGUIDE_ko2.indd 113

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

113
4/9/14 3:54 PM

Gear
1 0 TOP S IG NATURE GUITARS
Paul Waller

The Making of a Signature Model


FENDER CUSTOM SHOPS NILE RODGERS HITMAKER STRATOCASTER
FENDER CUSTOM SHOP MASTER

Chic and Sister Sledge to David Bow-

nd something that was identiable, he

Builder Paul Waller has pretty much

ies Lets Dance to the recent mega-

would stop, take a photo, and make a

Soon, the Nile Rodgers Limited

seen it all when it comes to Fender

hit by Daft Punk, Get Lucky. He got

note. Thats when I really did feel con-

Edition Hitmaker Stratocaster was a

guitars, but even he got a big surprise

the Hitmakera 1960 Stratocaster

dent I was going to get my baby back

reality, which prompted Rodgers to

when he started measuring Nile Rod-

with a 1959 neckfor a trade-in at a

or a reasonable facsimile of it.

reect on the guitars past.

gers Strat for what would become the

small music shop in Miami Beach.

in that area due to years of playing.

Eventually, Rodgers traveled to

I feel like Im the most fortunate

Limited Edition Hitmaker Stratocaster.

Waller traveled to Rodgers home

the Fender Custom Shop in Corona,

recipient of this incredible accident

He told me, Ive never seen a guitar

in New York to study the Hitmaker,

California, to oversee final details.

this chain of events, he said. I could

like this before, related Rodgers. He

and, apparently, become quite inti-

While playing yet another prototype,

have gone to a different music shop

said, Its so not to spec that a guitar like

mate with its features.

he asked for neck measurements at

or seen another instrument in the

the 5th and 7th frets.

window. This was probably the cheap-

this would never get past the inspectors

After two hours of measuring it and

today. Then, he promised the replica

doing all of this stuff, he spent another

The neck width dimension was off

est Strat in the place. Who would ever

would be exactly like my one-of-a-kind.

two hours rubbing the neck, said Rod-

by .020, explained Waller, which is

thought in a million years that Id get

Rodgers Strat has reportedly made

gers. Im going, Dude, that looks like

about the same thickness as a human

something so unbelievably unique

the scene on hundreds of hits, from

porno to me. But whenever he would

hair. The neck had been worn thinner

and special? M I C H A E L

114

MOLENDAg

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_SIGGUIDE_ko2.indd 114

4/9/14 3:55 PM

Audley Freed
and Collings Guitars

Audley Freed and his TV Yellow Collings 290

Serious Guitars | www.CollingsGuitars.com | (512) 288-7770

Gear

T est D riv e

Dr. Z Zwreck

Tes t ed By A rt Th o m pso N

O r i g i na l ly d e s i g n e d f o r B r a d

so. That changed in 2010, when the flood that

Paisley, the Z Wreck was born out of a collab-

hit Nashville destroyed all of Paisleys road

For the production model, Dr. Z started with

oration between Dr. Z and Ken Fischer of Train-

amps, except for his Z Wreck. Dr. Z quickly built

a clean slate and began with a new aluminum

wreck Circuits. The amp has been a mainstay of

two more Wrecks to keep him going, and that

chassis and a birch-ply cabinet. According to Z,

Paisleys rig since 2006, but when Ken Fischer

effort spurred the idea to add the Z Wreck to

every component was placed with the utmost

passed away the same year, Dr. Z shelved the

the Dr. Z line. With some further refining of the

attention to having short wire lengths and

project and refused to put the amp into pro-

circuit and Brad Paisleys encouragement, the

increased separation between the preamp and

duction despite getting a lot of requests to do

end result was a Z Wreck head/cab setup, and,

output sections. Dr. Z says the heart of the amp

Hear It Now!
116

subsequently, the combo version on deck here.

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4/4/14 2:57 PM

is the output transformer that Fischer designed

Tested with a PRS 22, a Gibson Les Paul, and a

in the early 2000s, but a newly designed power

Feiten T-Pro, the Z Wreck proved the less-is-more

transformer was added that incorporates a multi-

theory when it comes to tone. The Volume knob is

Z Wreck combo

tapped secondary, which allows for two different

a primary function here, and at settings below noon

CONTACT

drzamps.com

plate voltage settings that you can choose via

(with the EQ knobs at or around 12 o clock) the

PRICE

$2,999 street (padded cover

the Comfort/Speed switch. The Speed setting

amp delivers shimmering clean tones with great

runs the tubes at 320 volts for a strong attack

note detail and chime. The headroom is excellent,

with increased clarity and dynamic headroom,

and the well-implemented passive EQ makes it

and the Comfort position drops it to 280 volts

easy to obtain anything from darker jazz sounds to

for a softer, more vintage-like feel.

supremely sparkling timbres, especially with sin-

MODEL

included)

S peci f ications
CHANNELS

CONTROLS

1
Volume, Bass, Treble, Cut; Com-

For the combo version, Dr. Z uses an open-

gle-coils. Never a thin-sounding amp, however, the

back cabinet made from 1/2 birch-ply, which

Z Wreck stays beefy and balanced when its oper-

houses a Celestion Gold 12 speaker and grips

ating on the cleaner side of the tracks. Although

the chassis in a top-mount position with the

it doesnt have a spring reverb, the resonance of

tubes laying horizontally. Covered in navy blue

the cabinet makes the sound breathe with a sort

SPEAKER

12 Celestion Gold

Tolex with gold piping and a black grille, the amp

of natural verb that is quite cool.

EXTRAS

4, 8, and 16 speaker outs

WEIGHT

46 lbs

fort/Speed switch

POWER

30 watts

TUBES

Three 12AX7s, four EL84s (cathode bias), 5AR4 rectifier.

exudes a hip, British kind of look. On the inside

But this is only half the story, as the Z wreck

we find beautifully handwired circuitry with nicely

quickly brews up a storm of distortion as the

BUILT

USA

dressed leads, and high-grade components such

Volume control is turned up past noon. Things

KUDOS

Excellent build quality and com-

as Mallory 150 coupling caps (which are known

begin mildly enough as the tones take on a grit-

for their smooth sound), NOS 6N14NS (EL84)

tier attitude, and depending on the strength of

power tubes, and one-percent tolerance metal-

the pickups, there are plenty of places where

oxide resistors. (See chassis photo.)

the clean grind is spot-on for rhythm playing

gpr0614_gear_drz_ph3.indd 117

ponents. Amazing dynamics and


playing feel.
CONCERNS

None.

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

117

4/4/14 2:57 PM

Gear
Dr. Z

and twangy leads. Turn the wick up and the tones


become more savage, delivering a rush of harmonics and touch-responsive sustain as the Volume
knob points toward three o clock or higher. The
cool thing is how dynamic the Z Wreck remains
even when pouring out a torrent of Brit-flavored
distortion. Turn down the guitar volume and/or
adjust your picking, and the tones clean up in an
organic way that allows for seamless transitions
between lead and rhythm. Excellent!
The Z Wreck has no master volume or wattage-reduction features, and it does get loud. The
Comfort setting tames the aggression a bit and
makes the amp feel a little saggier, but a good
attenuator (such as Dr. Zs own Airbrake) would be
helpful for situations where you need to crank up
in smaller rooms. In all other regards, the Z Wreck
is an ideal stage amp for anyone who prefers to
get their sound from one great channel coupled
to a dynamically responsive output stage. Ultimately, if youre looking for the simplest route to
killer tone, this boutique amp delivers on a level
that earns it an Editors Pick Award. g

118

The Zwreck combo includes a 12'' Celestion Gold speaker.

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_drz_ph3.indd 118

4/7/14 12:05 PM

BUYONCE

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.2014Event
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Gear

DAV E HU N T ER

T est Dr i v e

Komet Aero 33

Tes te d By DAVE H UN TER

A small outfit run by Riverfront

volume, a versatile EQ, and an emphasis on

well as the gain and the degree to which play-

Music of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Komet is con-

tone, articulation, and playing dynamics. A

ing dynamics induces breakup.

sidered by many to be the torchbearer for the

lone Volume control governs multiple gain

Inside the chassis, the Aero 33 reveals Kom-

late Ken Fischer of Trainwreck Circuits. This rep

stages fueled by two of the amps three 12AX7

ets adherence to Fischers no effort or expense

comes not because they copy Trainwrecks leg-

preamp tubes, in a contemporary re-think of

spared ethos. The chassis is 1/8-thick aircraft-

endary Express or Liverpool amps (they dont),

an old-school high gain design, intended to

grade aluminum, laser cut and welded; trans-

but because the brand was launched more

be controlled with playing dynamics and your

formers are custom-designed and built in the

than a decade ago on a then-new model, the

guitars volume control. And while the EQ facil-

USA; and all switches, jacks, tube sockets, and

K60, designed from the ground up by Fischer

ities might look like a somewhat modified Brit-

other components are of the highest quality

himself and put into production by Komet with

inspired tone stack, nothing within the circuit

(often military spec)including stainless-steel

close guidance from the New Jersey tube-amp

is directly lifted from anything that has gone

PEC 2-watt potentiometers and a big output-

guru. Since that time, Komets Michael Kennedy

beforeother than a little past Komet here

impedance switch that barks a sturdy click

and Holger Notzel have branched out into their

and there. In addition to the front-panel offer-

when you twist it. All signal capacitors and resis-

own original designs, of which the hotly awaited

ings, the back panel holds what is arguably the

tors on the 1/8"-thick fiberglass circuit board

Aero 33 is the latest.

most powerful control in the Komet arsenala

are individually concealed in black shrink wrap,

The Aero 33 is entirely what weve come to

Fast/Gradual Touch Response switch that dra-

although I have no concerns about the verac-

expect from Komet: single channel, no master

matically alters the playing feel of the amp, as

ity of whats inside. Everything is immaculately

Hear It Now!
120

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4/4/14 3:09 PM

MODEL

Aero 33
strung together with silver-plated Teflon wire.

Switching to Fast mode not only ups the

CONTACT

kometamps.com

PRICE

$3,799 street (head only)

I tested the Aero 33 with a Les Paul, a Tele-

gain and volume, it increases the rapidity with

caster, and a Thorn SoCal C/S, through 1x12,

which your pick attack spurs the Aero 33 into

2x12, and 4x12 cabs loaded with a variety of

overdrive. With the Tele and the amp Volume

CHANNELS

Celestion and Scumback speakers. First reveal:

backed down to 11 oclock, the Aero 33 delivers

CONTROLS

Volume, Treble, Midrange, Bass,

toss your preconceptions about classic EL84

some of the sweetest hot-country sounds you

chime out the window. Oh, the Aero 33 will do

could wish for, slipping from throaty twang to

that, but this is an amp thats born to grind,

snarly, wiry lead tones at will. The Aero 33 is loud,

wail, and roar, and it does so pretty quickly once

too, so it simply aint a bedroom amp. That said,

you get the Volume up beyond 10 oclock. This

it responded well to the three quality output

POWER

33 watts

amp to be governed by your guitar-volume set-

attenuators I used to control its volume: an Alexs

TUBES

Three 12AX7 , four EL84

tings and picking attack, so once you find your

Attenuator, Weber High-Powered Load Dump,

EXTRAS

4/8/16 impedance switch,

sweet zone, clean to mean is only a twist or a

and a Dr. Z Air Brake. Throughout its range, and

quick away. Push the Volume past noon with

no matter what I threw at it, the Aero 33 deliv-

WEIGHT

38 lbs

Touch Response set to Gradual, and the Aero

ered like few amps I have ever played. Make no

BUILT

U.S.A.

33 is thick, rich, and more classic-Marshall-y

mistake, though, this is predominantly a lead

KUDOS

Top-tier build quality and com-

than youd ever expect from EL84s, but with a

players amp. Sure, itll eat chunky, power-chord

ponents. Extremely deep, rich

fine texture and glassy clarity that you dont get

rhythm work for breakfast, but its abundant har-

tones. Superb dynamics and

from bigger bottles. My Les Paul ate this stuff

monic texture and wired to your fingertips play-

up, churning out vintage-rock tones of the sort

ing feel urge you to tear it up in a major way. For

that dreams are made of, with easy, controlla-

all of this, and more, the Komet Aero 33 earns

ble feedback at the ready.

an Editors Pick Award. g

gpr0614_gear_komet_ph3.indd 121

S peci f ications

Presence, Hi-Cut, 3-way Bright


switch (low/off/high); Fast/
Gradual Touch Response switch
on the back panel

dual speaker outs

playing feel.
CONCERNS

Expensive, but you get what you


pay for.

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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4/4/14 3:10 PM

Gear

T est Dr iv e

Demeter TGA 2.1 Inverter

Teste d By Ba rry C l e v e l a n d

Rooted in Demeters feature-packed

and the rugged handle is comfortable and sol-

transformer, etc.) and is available as either a 1x12

legacy TGA-3 amplifier (still available by spe-

idly attached, which is a good thing given that

or 2x10 combo, or as a head. The 1x12 combo

cial order from the Demeter Custom Shop), the

this 1x12 combo weighs a substantial 51 pounds.

reviewed here produces 22 watts via a pair of JJ

TGA 2.1 goes for a simplified and more stream-

Inside, the handwired amp is also a thing of

6V6 power tubes, with four 12AX7sthree Mul-

lined design than its predecessor. Its a hand-

beauty, with all components and wiring orga-

lard and one Electro-Harmonixin the preamp

some amp, with classic lines, a vintage-style

nized neatly and all workmanship well executed.

section, along with a Triode TF110-48UL Deluxe

woven speaker grille with white piping, and a

As detailed on Demeters website, the TGA

Style Ultra-Linear output transformer and a Clas-

slightly angled front panel for increased upward

2.1 may be ordered in several configurations (22

sound dispersion. The classy ribbed knobs, too,

to 110 watts, class A or AB, various tube com-

The TGA 2.1 is a 2-channel amp, with two

contribute to the amps retro-modern design,

plements, with or without a toroidal power

variations on the second channel, resulting in

Hear It Now!
122

sicTone 40-18066 power transformer.

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4/8/14 1:52 PM

three options: Clean, Edge, and Solobut these

including a PRS Custom 24 Brazilian, a 1969

are only general designations. For example,

Gibson Les Paul Custom, a 70s Fender Strato-

cranking the Clean Gain control on the Clean

caster, and a Danelectro 59 Alligator with lip-

channel results in impressive Fender Deluxe-

stick pickups. In general, I preferred the bolder

like overdriven sounds (and pulling the control

tones I got with the humbucker-equipped gui-

knob up for Bright provides additional bite). The

tars, though the Strat and Dano sounds were

Edge setting was designed to deliver brighter

also superb, particularly the clean and slightly

and higher-gain overdriven sounds, a little like a

overdriven ones. The amps four tone con-

pumped-up 60s-era Marshall, and the Solo set-

trols are beautifully voiced, with wide ranges,

ting increases the gain yet further, while adding

and they were definitely useful when sculpting

overall girth. The amp comes with an FS-2 Dual

tones for specific purposes or compensating

Footswitch for toggling between Clean/Dirty

for the room generallybut after several hours

and Edge/Lead (but dont break or lose it, as a

of experimentation I wound up leaving them

replacement will set you back $149).

more or less straight up, which worked well for

Switches on the Edge Gain (pull/Boost),

all three settings.

MODEL

TGA 2.1 Inverter

Solo Gain (pull/Dark), and Channel 2 Master

In other words, I was able to dial in all the

(pull/Boost, with midrange emphasis) controls

variations I neededfrom gorgeous, full-bod-

present even more gain-staging and tone-color-

ied clean tones to vibey crunch and overdriven

ation options, and although the Treble, Middle,

sounds to searing, super-saturated, over-the-

Bass, and Presence controls are global, per-

top distortionjust by adjusting the gain staging,

SPEAKER

12" Jensen Jet Special Edition

sonally I didnt find that to be a significant lim-

engaging the Bright switch on the Clean channel,

POWER

22 watts

itation. (Note: according to Demeter the tone

and toggling between Triode and Pentode oper-

controls are boost/cut, with the center posi-

ation. Classic and modern rock, blues, country,

tion being essentially flat).

jazzyou name it, the TGA 2.1 can handle it. And

CONTACT

demeteramps.com

PRICE

$2,599 retail/$2,099 direct

S peci f ications

CONTROLS

Channel 1: Clean Gain (pull/


Bright), Master; Channel 2:
Edge Gain (pull/Boost), Solo

There is also a Triode/Pentode switch on the

when pushing a 4x12 cab, the amp even does a

Gain (pull/Dark), Master

rear panel that decreases the power by 50 per-

respectable job of bringing the metal fury. The

(pull/Boost); Treble, Middle,

cent, as well as altering the amps overall char-

TGA 2.1 is also pedal friendly, particularly when

acter and responsiveness, and a tube-buffered

run clean. Hit it with a little boost and it satu-

TUBES

2 6V6 power, 4 12AX7 preamp

effects loop, with front-panel Send and Return

rates smoothly without losing definition; blast

EXTRAS

Triode/Pentode switch

controls. A Voltage Selector enables the TGA 2.1

it with an overdrive or a nasty fuzzbox, and it

WEIGHT

51 lbs

to run on either 110 or 240V, to facilitate globe-

maintains its sonic integrity.

BUILT

U.S.A.

KUDOS

Excellent sound and work-

Bass, Presence, Send, Return.

trotting users, and theres a choice of 4, 8, and

The TGA 2.1 delivers a huge array of spec-

16 speaker outputs. Conspicuously absent is

tacular sounds, features well-designed and

manship. Diverse tone-

an onboard spring reverb, which is ironic given

easy to use controls, and despite its boutique

crafting capabilities.

that Demeter makes two of the best stand-

qualifications, its solid construction should

alone spring reverb units available.

make it highly roadworthy. Thats why it earns

I tested the TGA 2.1 with several guitars,

No onboard reverb.

an Editors Pick Award. g

gpr0614_gear_demeter_ko2.indd 123

Solid construction.
CONCERNS

J U N E 2 0 1 4 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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4/8/14 1:52 PM

Gear

STUDIO TOOLS

Celemony Melodyne Editor 2.1.2


T este d by Ba r ry C levela nd
Celemonys Melodyne audio editing

again with the implementation of its Direct Note

Melodyne Assistant ($199 street), the stripped-

application blew a lot of minds when it was first

Access (DNA) technology, which enabled Melo-

down Melodyne Essential ($69 street), and the

introduced back in 2001. Rather than merely

dyne to function polyphonically. Suddenly, entire

multi-track Melodyne Studio Bundle ($559

displaying waveforms or even frequency infor-

chords and even lines played simultaneously by

street), which is likely more Melodyne than

mation, Melodyne teased out actual notes, and

more than one instrument could be extracted

most non-pro users will ever need. (See the

represented them as individual blobs within a

from audio files and manipulated in myriad ways.

Celemony website for full details and a com-

user interface that functioned much like a stan-

Since then, Celemony has continued to

dard piano-roll MIDI editor. You could then

both refine and expand Melodynes capabil-

Melodyne is compatible with both OS X and

adjust their pitch and duration, and even modify

ities, and now offers the application in four

Windows operating systems, and functions as

the phrasing, dynamics, and other primary char-

flavors, to address the needsand fit the bud-

either a stand-alone application (linked to your

acteristics of complete performancesas long

getsof users from home recording enthusi-

DAW via Rewire), or as a VST, AU, RTAS, or AAX

as you were dealing with a monophonic event

asts to recording industry professionals. Theres

plug-in, within both 32- and 64-bit environ-

such as a melody line or a drum part. Then, in

the fully featured polyphonic Melodyne Editor

ments. The plug-in versions play particularly

2009, Celemony stunned the audio community

($349 street) reviewed here, the monophonic

well with Presonus Studio One and Cakewalk

124

parative chart.)

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_melodyne_ph1.indd 124

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gpr0614_gear_melodyne_ph1.indd 125

4/8/14 4:52 PM

Gear
Ce l e mo ny

Sonar, via Celemonys proprietary Audio Random

they apply to guitar. I tested Melodyne both as a

envelope or duration, or even substitute notes

Access (ARA) extension, which integrates them

stand-alone application, and as a 32-bit RTAS

played with one tone for those played with another.

more thoroughly by streamlining communication

plug-in within Pro Tools 10 (theres also a 64-bit

And most of these things are done by simply drag-

and expanding functionality.

AAX version for Pro Tools 11). The interfaces for

ging and dropping or via simple key commands.

the two versions are very similar, and the results

Dont like the sound of that Db? Just drag its blob

in all cases were essentially identical.

to, say, the Bb line and presto!

The principles upon which Melodyne is based


have their origins in the works of mathematicians
such as Pythagorias, Ptolemy, and Kepler (partic-

Melodyne operates in three modes: Melodic,

Another truly amazing capability is translat-

ularly the latters Harmony of the World, which,

Percussive, and Polyphonic. When working with,

ing audio/note information into MIDI informa-

among other things, specifically addresses the

say, single-note guitar lines and riffs, youll likely

tion. Once you have a performance loaded into

mathematics of vibration and harmony). German

want to go with Melodic mode, whereas Poly-

Melodyne, and converted to MIDI, you can have

software engineer Peter Neubckerwho is also

phonic mode is required for chords. Melodyne

any MIDI synth, sampler, or other device play the

a musician and a luthier, as well as something of

does a good job of identifying notes and other

partand the MIDI information may be used

a mysticreportedly stumbled upon the concept

musical events, though there are lots of ways to

to generate musical notation for creating sheet

for Melodyne while pondering the question, What

fine-tune the analysis process, and to correct any

music (heads up sound designers, remixers, and

does a stone sound like? Given the applications

errors. Then, once you have an accurate represen-

film composers).

seemingly magical music-manipulating capabil-

tation of the performance, you can use the Pitch,

Youll find an abundance of information about

ities, it might be more pertinent to ask, What can

Timing, Amplitude, Formant, and many other tools

Melodyne on the Celemony website, including

a stone sound like?

to either correct problems, or get creative. For

some excellent instructional videosand you

Melodyne Editor is so robust that it isnt pos-

example, you could add, subtract, or alter notes

can download a free 30-day trial version, along

sible to even list all of its features and capabili-

within chords to create new harmonies, change

with demo files for several major DAWs, to see for

ties in a quick overview such as this, much less

keys, or even construct voicings that it would be

yourself what all the fuss is about. But beware:

provide details about themso Ill just highlight

impossible to actually play on a guitar. You can

this thing is totally addictive, and it has the poten-

a few of the most important ones, particularly as

also accent particular notes, change their attack

tial to change the way you make music forever. g

126

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_melodyne_ph1.indd 126

4/4/14 3:36 PM

Just follow the tab, listen to the CD to hear how the guitar should sound, and then play along using the separate backing tracks. Mac and PC
users can also slow down the tempo without changing pitch! by using the CD in their computer. The melody and lyrics are also included in
the book in case you want to sing, or to simply help you follow along.

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Gear

Acc esso ry F i l e

DAddario
NS Artist Capo

to GPs Matt Blackett while covering the Winter


NAMM show. (Sorry, Matt, I decided to keep
it.) The trigger-style operation made using the
Artist Capo quick and easy. I could position it
on the guitar neck, take it off, clamp it to the
headstock so I wouldnt lose it, and then put it
back on the neck practically without thinking.
Tuning integrity was spot-on. I didnt notice any
sour intonation at any time I used the capo
even with those open Beatle chords played
so far up the neck. I never had occasion to use
the micrometer-adjustment mechanism that
helps prevent string buzz, because, right out of
the packaging and onto my Gretsch Rancher
acoustic, the Artist Capo didnt cause any buzzing issues. The capos performance was just as
flawless on my Epiphone Dot semi-hollowbody,
when I decided, post-memorial, to try playing
an electric version of the song, as well as fool
around with capo positions and chord inversions. There are actually a lot of textures to discover when you start moving that thing up and

I d s o m e h o w m a n ag e d to avo i d

said, Coolcapo at the 7th fret. Ack. Thanks

down the neck. Who knew? Call me converted!

using a capo my entire career, until a memorial

a lot, George Harrison! But any trepidation over

The NS Artist Capo also comes with a pick

gig requested I perform the Beatles Here Comes

using a string clamp dissipated almost imme-

holder and a mounting bracket for a DAddario

the Sun. I found the chords online, of course,

diately, when I deployed the NS Artist Capo ($17

NS Micro Headstock Tuner (not included).

but got a wake-up call when the other guitarist

street) that DAddario had given me to deliver

planetwaves.com M ichae l

Steve Hunter
String Change
Buddy

M o l enda

and Lou Reed records (among many others), he

Swim-like, planet-rending explosions of cartoon

would do me one more huge solid by devising the

anger. Im also more inclined to change my strings

String Change Buddy ($9.99 direct). As he says

long before they become caked with sweat, grit,

himself, Sometimes the most frustrating prob-

and other nasty things that kill tone. The String

lems have the simplest answers, and the ber-

Change Buddy also can be stored between the

simplistic String Change Buddy is a lifesaver.

bridge and string bar to dampen string rattle.

Pre-Buddy, it took gymnastic dexterity to drop

stringchangebuddy.com M ichae l

M o l enda

the ball end of the string onto the tremolo bars


pin, and, in my case at least, nine times out of ten,
as soon as I started pulling the string towards
the headstock tuners
plopthe
ball would
drop off the
pin. Now,

I love Bigsbys. I love the vintage

I just slide

vibe and the smooth warble, and, as a result, I have

the foam

far too many guitars that are Bigsby equipped.

String

This is a problema BIG problembecause that

Change

means I have a lot of strings to change on these

Buddy under

beautiful demons, and changing strings on a Bigbsy

the bar, and the

tremolo sucks almost as bad as slamming your

string-end balls

thumb in door of a Ford F-150 truck. Well, little

are held gently and

did I know that for all the joy Steve Hunters guitar

firmly on their pins.

parts have brought me on classic Alice Cooper

Voila! No more Adult

128

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j u n e 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_Gear_AccFile_ko2.indd 128

4/9/14 1:50 PM

come
in ALL

SIZES
Decades of legendary tone goes into every
Acoustic amp we make. And now is the
perfect time to join musicians worldwide
who have trusted Acoustics low-end FREQs
for over 45 years in the studio and on
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ACOUSTIC B100MKII STAGE COMBO


100 Watts @ 4 ohms
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4-band EQ with shape for perfect tone
Club-ready performance power

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200 Watts @ 4 ohms
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Ideal for mid-sized clubs and stages
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Shelf port for amazing low frequency response
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Plenty of power for almost any venue
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Low-End Freqs Since 1967

Available at these preferred retailers

1406_GP_Acoustic_MarkIIFam.indd 1

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Gear

T est Drive

Recycled Sound Power Plug 100


Test e d By Mi cha el Ross
G u i ta r p l ay e r , t u r n d o w n !

to -10dB. At -10dB, the large knob takes over for

can accompany intensive attenuation. Regard-

Those words are heard so regularly because

continuous bedroom level control, up to -30dB.

less of the volume drop, both amps reacted to

tube amps sound best when the power stage is

I tested it with an Orange Tiny Terror 15-watt

the guitar volume knob by cleaning up quickly

pushed, often resulting in a louder volume than

head and a Little Walter 50-watt head through a

just as if they were going full blast. The Power

a venue or gig permits. Thats where an atten-

custom cabinet with one 12 Eminence speaker.

Plug 100 will ingratiate you with soundmen and

uator comes in: Placed between the speaker

Each 2dB increment of the left knob revealed a

club owners everywhere without compromising

output of a combo or head and the speaker, it

distinctly audible volume drop, with virtually no

your tone, and for that reason alone its worthy

lowers or attenuates the volumeideally with-

tone loss. With the right knob between full on

of an Editors Pick Award.

out affecting the tone of the amp.

(-10dB) and about halfway counter-clockwise

Recycled Sounds Power Plug 100 ($199 direct)

(approximately -20dB) the sound of both amps

KUDOS Allows wide ranging control over your

is suitable for taming amps of up to 100 watts.

remained nearly identical to bypass. Once past

amp volume, without sacrificing sound.

The small notched knob on the left offers 2db

noon, the amps started getting more compressed

CONCERNS None.

increments of attenuation from none (bypass)

and distorted, but without any of the fizz that

CONTACT recycledsound.net g

130

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_powerplug_ko3.indd 130

4/8/14 1:37 PM

GPad.indd 1

4/8/14 2:14 PM

Gear

Wh ack Job

Dinette Guitars Harlequin


By Te rry Ca r le ton
O f t e n fou n d i n top-t en l i sts of

that just rip, a 60s Schaller bridge and trem-

the worlds ugliest guitars is the late-1950s Kay

olo, and modern Kluson locking tuners.

Solo King, whose shape looks like the state of


Ohio with a guitar neck sticking sideways out

Value

of its eastern border. The guitar pictured here

The Kay Solo King listed for 75 bucks in 1960.

made in 2013 and dubbed The Harlequin by

Now, if you ever came across one, I suspect that

Dinette Guitarsis an obvious nod to the origi-

it would fetch stoopid moneythough theres

nal Kay whack job, but it differs greatly for what

a great copy made by MyRareGuitars that sells

might be obvious reasons, as well as some not-

for just under $500 that is worth investigating.

so-obvious reasons. Um, let me explain

The Harlequin is mos def a one-off. It is what


it is, and only this one exists. What I paid for it

W ei r do Fac to r

doesnt even begin to express how much I like

The body shape is close enough to the origi-

it, so Im not going to say

nal Kay design that a silhouette-only rendering

what I paid, but I would

might prompt an ambulance chaser to consider

highly recommend that

the benefits of a copyright-infringement case.

you go to the Dinette

But Dinette dressed things up (or down) a bit

website to get a better

more than the rather Spartan Solo King. The

idea of what they do.

phrase functional art comes to mind, as the


diamond-shaped pieces of hand-painted, inter-

Why I t Rules

locking plexiglass look like wall art stolen from

This guitar rules on

Ricky and Lucys apartment. Then, theres the

many levels. The Har-

hollow pink formica body, which further trans-

lequins color combi-

forms the vibe into the arena of kitsch. What

nations, playability,

were they going for here? An LSD-inspired

and sound are awe-

and subsequently junkedtailfin design for a

some and unique to

powder-puff hued 1956 Plymouth?

this guitar. Everything


comes together in per-

P laya b i li ty & Sou n d

fect harmony. But I have

Another one of the ways the Harlequin differs

to warn you, Dinette gui-

from its Kay counterpart is that it plays like a

tars are hard to come

dream. While Im not suggesting that Kay guitars

by, and for as long as

didnt play wellsome models are, in fact, awe-

they have been around,

somethe Solo King was not known as one of

theyve managed to

their better-playing models. Ive played several

stay very underground.

Dinette guitars (I own two), and they really have

Located in some secret

a special feel. Theres a resonance and tight-

lair in northern Califor-

ness that just shakes your bonesand thats

nia, one might surf into

when its unplugged! Plugged into an amp, this

one for sale on Craigslist

guitar has a wonderful sustain and a raucous,

or reverb.com. But however

vintage-vibe sound. The 22-fret neck is quite

hard the hunt is, these gui-

comfortable, and it allows clear access to the

tars are well worth it. Check

upper frets. The components are a combina-

out dinetteguitars.com and try

tion of new and old: Seymour Duncan P-90s

to tell me it aint so! g

132

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_whack_ph1.indd 132

4/7/14 2:16 PM

Mitchell Acoustic
Guitar Pack
MO100SPK

19999

Everything You Need To Play Today!

Built to inspire new students, younger musicians or anyone who


wants a great sounding, comfortable-playing instrument. The
MO100S features a solid spruce top for full tone, a mahogany neck,
back and sides for a rich sound, a bound rosewood fingerboard,
and detailed abalone rosette for the look and playability of guitars
costing much more.

The Mitchell Acoustic Pack Includes:


Solid-top acoustic guitar
Protective gig bag
Instructional DVD
Extra set of strings

E-Z Tune digital tuner


Comfortable strap
Guitar picks

Find the entire family of Mitchell


instruments at these preferred resellers.

Quality
Musical Instruments
MitchellGuitars.com
2013 Mitchell Guitars

gpr429317_1213.indd 1
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9/20/13 4:10 PM
9/20/13 2:39 PM

Gear

FA B L E F IG H TERS

Whats the Big Deal About Analog Delay Pedals?


By Dav e Hu nt er
In broad swathes of the consumer

help matters much.

Digital has come a long way in the three

audio world digital has long been the watch-

Digital delay does its thing, in basic terms,

decades since its infancy, though, and the ways

word for clean, clear, precise, and perfect sound.

by splitting the signal at the input, running one

in which more creative effects designers today

Why is it, then, that so many guitarists con-

path through an analog-to-digital (A/D) con-

are using the technology to process delays has

tinue to go nuts for analog delay? Can it really

verter, sampling it, and blending it back with the

come even further. Essentially, manufacturers

still outstrip the best that digital has to offer?

dry signal at a desired delay time after trans-

such as Strymon, TC Electronic, Eventide, Line

Part of our frequent predisposition toward

lating it back through a digital-to-analog (D/A)

6, Wampler, and others have made digital delay

analog delay pedals circles back to old truths

converter. Voila: echo! When this is done at a

sound much more appealing to guitarists ears

about guitar tone in general: distortion adds

low resolution, however, and with little extra

by doing what the digital-audio realm often does

depth, imperfection adds character. Just as we

thought to the timbre and character of the

in respect to guitar tone: copying the sound of

rarely like the sound of a guitar played through

sound, the delayed signal can often sound cold

analog. Vastly improved resolution, better A/D

a high-fidelity audio amp with extremely low

and slightly harsh.

and D/A converters, and all-analog side chains

total harmonic distortion (THD), we often find

Analog delay happens in much the same

have been teamed with accurate emulations

that an echo effect with a little fur and flutter

way, essentially, except that the entire delay-

of what different types of analog echoes really

on the repeats simply sounds betterwhether

line portion of that split signal path is produced

sound like. The result is not only a great-sound-

or not we pause to analyze how accurate that

with analog technology, which also means that

ing digital effect, but in many cases, one with

delayed signal actually is. The slight distor-

no conversion of the signal out of the analog

enormous versatility and tweakability, enabling

tion in many analog delays is often heard as

realm and back again is required. The original

you to hop from warm, grainy BBD delay; to rich,

a good thing, an artifact that thickens up the

and most beloved form of non-mechanical (i.e.

warbly tape delay; to sharp, pristine digital delay

sound. Digital delays can distort too, but in its

non-tape-generated) solid-state analog delay

at the punch of a preset button.

native state, this doesnt occur in a way that is

technology of the mid 70s onward was the so-

Meanwhile, while analog delay still sounds

very appealing.

called bucket-brigade delay, the echo at the

great, some of the best-loved renditions are vir-

To a certain extent, the quality or lack thereof

heart of early delay pedals by Electro-Harmonix,

tually in their death throws, thanks to the ever-

of many of the more affordable (though often

MXR, Ibanez, and others. Enabled by Bucket-Bri-

decreasing availability of the preferred BBD chips

still quite expensive) early digital delay pedals

gade Device (BBD) chips that, essentially, took

used to build them.

on the market in the mid 80s compounded this

a signal in at one end and passed it along to the

Fortunately, amid all this debate, its mainly

analog/digital dichotomy. Not only did these

other via several stages at a desired delay time,

just we guitarists who fret over such nuances.

units sport fairly low resolution (a.k.a bit rates)

these units had a warm, rich sonic quality with a

To the ears out in the audience, an echo is an

compared to what is more commonly used

smooth, furry texture when they clipped. In short,

echo is an echo. Maybe that little bit of warm

todaysay 8 bits or 16 bits versus 32 bitsbut

when the echo signal came out the other end

and fuzzy we hear in just the right kind of echo

the rest of the technology used around their

in less-than-pristine condition, it often actually

makes us better players, though, and thats

digital hearts to produce the echo effect didnt

sounded better to guitarists than it did going in.

really what its all about. g

134

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U N E 2 0 1 4

gpr0614_gear_fable_ph2.indd 134

4/7/14 2:33 PM

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GetSmart
Gary Brawer on Maintenance

RIC K Gould

St uart S evastos

Dropped Tuning Dos and Donts

Dropped TunersSoundgardens Kim Thayil (top), and


Ty Tabor of Kings X.

A s i f p l ay i n g i n t u n e

isnt hard enough on a normal


day, try doing it in a lowered
or dropped tuning. When your
strings are tuned to a lower
pitch, the tension is also lower
and the vibration is much more
erratic, which makes the pitch
harder for a tuner to read. On
top of that, its more difficult
to get the lower part of the
neck to play in tune, since

136

there is normally no intonation


adjustment at the nut, and its
easy to squeeze the string sharp
when fretting. Then, there is
the fact that the harder you hit
the string, the sharper the pitch
goes on attack, going flat on
the decay. So what can you do
to correct for lowered tension,
and get the string to have more
tuning stability?
First lets talk about strings,

scale length, and pitch. There is


a reason that a bass has a longer
scale and larger strings than a
guitar. In a perfect world, whenever you lower the pitch, you
would increase both string size
and scale length. For example,
if you have a 25.5" scale-length
guitar, and you want to drop
your low E to C#, you would
increase the scale length to
around 26" or 27" and step up
the size of the string from .046
to around .060. Another trick
is to try strings with a larger
core-to-wrap ratio. The tension
and stability of the string can
be increased with a larger core,
and combining that larger core
with a smaller wind adds up to
the same gauge. A simple thing
you can do with a normal set of
guitar strings is to swap out the
plain G string with a wound G
string of similar gauge. So long
as you intonate correctly, all of
a sudden your cowboy chords
will be more in tune.
I have worked with many
bands that play in droppedD or dropped-C#, where the
whole guitar is tuned a halfstep down and the low E is
dropped an extra full-step down
to C#. Again, this is doable on
regular-scale guitars if you use
heavier strings or a heavier coreto-wrap ratio. When the low
string gets below C# you have
real problems playing chords
in tune. I have checked in with
a few bands that tune low and
they use tricks like hitting the

string briskly when tuning and


tuning to the attack, not the
decay. Another helpful tip is
to purposely tune a few cents
flat on the low E and maybe
the G string if it is a plain/
unwound string.
The first few frets can be
especially problematicthats
where everything plays sharp
and there is no intonation
adjustment to fix it. There are
some tricks to help: tuning
systems like Buzz Feiten, the
Earvana Nut, and the newer
Hosco S.O.S. nut shim. The
idea of the Earvana and S.O.S.
is that you are shortening the
distance from the nut to the
first fret to flatten the pitch
of the string near the nut.
You have to make up the difference as you go up the neck
by intonating the bridge saddles. Of course there are compromises on other areas of the
neck, but the payoff of getting
those first-position chords in
tune is usually worth it.
The good news is that strings
are relatively cheap and changing them is easy, so if you want
to experiment with lowered
tunings, you can do it without
fear. Just be sure the nut slot is
cut wide enough for whatever
size string you are trying and
check your intonation.
Gary Brawer runs Stringed Instrument Repair in San Francisco. His
many clients include Joe Satriani,
Metallica, and Neal Schon. g

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GetSmart
Carl Verheyen on Performance

Some Good News from SXSW


I JUST RETURNED FROM

GOOD THING #1
THE CD IS NOT DEAD

As guitarists, we are obsessed


with tone. And, for many of
us, this obsession with picks,
strings, pickups, cables, tubes,
and speakers feels like an exercise in futility when the nal
recorded product of all this
effort is an mp3the worstquality media for music playback in many decades. But I
heard multiple times that, contrary to popular media ranting,
the CD is not going away any
time soon. Everyone from artists, management, marketing
people, and booking agents
agreed. In fact, David Goldsen,
who is an A&R executive for
Warner/Chappell Music, said
the CD would be around at least
until 2035. He cited many reasons including the most basic:
a fans desire to own a piece of
product from the band, and to
get that product signed by the

138

EXT REM E AIRS HOTS

Austin, Texas, where I was


asked to be a panelist on one
of the many sessions the SXSW
(South by Southwest) conference schedules for the music
industry. The conference panels
are too numerous to mention,
but you can attend everything
from Rodney Crowell discussing songwriting to an interview
with Neil Young.
The session I participated in
focused on the new world order
of the music business. Panelists
consisted of a record producer,
a music attorney, a branding/
talent executive, and myself representing the recording artist.
I found the discussion to be
invigorating and quite positive.

artist at the show. Audiophiles,


serious listeners, and collectors
make up another CD Lives
demographic. Then, there is
the infrastructure currently in
place for playback in cars, computers, and home-entertainment
equipment.
For touring bands that rely
heavily on merch sales on the
road, this is positive news. And if
youre a tone freak, knowing that
the higher audio quality reproduced by the CD is not going to
disappear is even better news.

GOOD THING #2
THE GUITAR IS NOT DEAD

Another positive observation I


made was while checking out
the shows in the clubs. Most
of the bands were guitar based.
It seems that the guitar is still
king, and many young guitarists are tearing it up! I heard a

duo from London consisting of


an accomplished singer/songwriter named Alex Vargas on
an acoustic Martin D-18, and
an electric guitarist playing a
Gretsch Duo Jet. I wish I had
caught his name, because the
tones he got with a few pedals
plugged into the house amp
were astounding. The beauty of
our instrument is the degree to
which we can create a personal
sonic statement using simple
tools. Beyond tones, the guitarists I saw in young bands like
Phox and Thumpers each had
tons of vibe in their approach to
the instrument. Taste and chops
are a satisfying combination.

GOOD THING #3
MUSIC IS NOT DEAD

Finally, I came away with a sense


that music is still important to
people in this country. NPR

radio offered a free download


of 100 songs from 100 selected
bands appearing at SXSW, so you
could plan your club excursions,
and people enthusiastically did.
The upbeat songs and exciting
stage show of Fantogram created
a strong feeling of community
within their audience. And,
with the band Wild Cub (two
Tele players cant be wrong!),
the buzz was infectious. Kate,
my 28-year-old niece and her
friends had researched many of
the featured bands, and I was
swept up in their excitement.
All of this conrmed the truth
that we, the musicians, matter!
Carl Verheyen is a critically acclaimed,
Grammy-nominated guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, producer,
clinician, educator, and tone master
with 12 CDs, two live DVDs, and
two books released worldwide. g

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The Aged Tone Series

I love the sound of


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Im always the guy in the front row, enjoying
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Ive devoted a career to exploring nuances of
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Aged Tone guitars combine whats in my ear and
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- Dana Bourgeois

Aged Tone Package now available


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bourgeoisguitars.com

gpr450745_0614.indd 1

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GetSmart
Craig Anderton on Technology
Creating Keyboard Pads with Guitar
He y, I Starte d You Out!
Go to guitarplayer.com/june2014 to grab a 12-second pad in E major
(44.1kHz/24-bit) that uses this technique. Ive already looped it for
you, so if you load it into a DAW that reads Acidized WAV files (most
do), it will loop perfectly from 10bpm to 400bpm (really). Or, you can
just copy the clip end-to-end for as much sustain time as youd like.

The expanded view of track 1 shows how the original track


has been copied, layered, and crossfaded to extend the
sustain. The tracks with additional chord notes are below it.

Keyboard players often

ask me how to get a convincing guitar sound with keyboards, but few guitarists ask
how they can sound more like
a keyboardmaybe because
they re already playing the
instrument keyboard players
want to sound like! Yet guitars
are great for sound design. You
can sample a guitar tone and/
or texture to make something
interesting that you can drop
into songs as needed. Heres an
example: Creating a sustaining,
keyboard-like pad sound. This
is particularly easy to do with a
hex output-guitar, but as these
are still relatively rare, try the
following

140

[1]

I nsert six audio tracks


in your DAW. Choose a
chord to play, and then record
each string of the chord individually in its own track. (Note:
an E-Bow works great in this
application.)

[2]

Cut off the beginning of


each attack (the part with
the pick noise) to create a more
keyboard-like characteristic. Add
a short fade-in if theres a click.
Then, trim the clip ends to the
same length. Youll probably have
five to eight seconds of sound
before the sustain deteriorates.

[3]

Most DAWs have a timestretch algorithm. For

maximum sustain, use it to


stretch each clip as long as practical. (Because the sound is relatively simple, I can stretch up
to 400 percent with the iZotope stretch algorithm in Cakewalk Sonar). If your DAW lacks
a good time-stretch algorithm,
zplanes lastique plug-in (VST,
AU, RTAS) is excellent.

[4]

For even more sustain,


copy the clips and crossfade them, one after another,
about every second or so (Fig.
1) until the sustain is as long
as desired.

[5]

N ow, get creative with


signal processing. Distortion gives a more synth-like
timbre, and flanging each string
independently at different rates
sounds pretty amazing, as does
applying phasing and/or reverb.

[6]

Once theres a cool sound,


bounce all the clips together
into a single, stereo clip.
Note: You can record additional chords for a full octave
of pads, but if your DAW has a

quality pitch-shifting algorithm,


you can probably cheat. Simply
copy the existing clip twice, and
then transpose one copy up a
semitone, and the other down a
semitone. (A semitone transposition does virtually no damage
to audio quality, but the sound
will suffer if you transpose too
far out of range.) You may even
be able to get away with transposing a single chord to cover an
octave if youre willing to tweak
the transposed copies with EQ.
This way, you can compensate
for the extra brightness that
happens when you transpose
up, and the extra dullness when
transposing down.
Now you have an octave of
pad sounds you can drag into
a project whenever you need a
sustaining background pad that
serves the function of a keyboard,
but that has the organic, evolving sound of a guitar.
Craig Anderton has played on
or produced more than 20 major
label releases, mastered hundreds of
tracks, and written dozens of books.
Check out some of his latest music at
youtube.com/thecraiganderton. g

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4/8/14 1:53 PM

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Guitar Showcase

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Product Spotlight

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Product Spotlight
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Product Spotlight
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GigBlade - Worlds first side-carry hybrid guitar bag.


Gruv Gear

Preorder now, available July 2014

Grab your guitar and go with the amazing new GigBlade from Gruv Gear, the most revolutionary
gig bag ever designed. Its unique side-carry approach offers the quickest, most practical and
user-friendly way to carry your guitar or bass. Staying closer to the ground, it keeps a low
center of gravity so it feels more stable and natural. The top never sticks out above your head
so you wont have to duck under doorways, and having the bag against your side means it
wont bounce on your legs, staying clear out of the way while you walk. Offers both quick load
and full clamshell access for ultimate versatility. Simple, intuitive, genius!
Street Price: $199
www.gruvgear.com/gigblade
(714) 253-GRUV (4788)

The Super-Vee BladeRunner


Super-Vee Tremolo Systems
Available Now

The BladeRunner with patented technology gives your Stratocaster superior tuning
stability, improved clarity, and a marked boost in sustain. Unlike any other tremolo,
the BladeRunner delivers. Crafted in multiple finishes - six screw, two-post and lefty.
MAP Price - $149.95 - $179.95
www.super-vee.com
887-TREMOLO

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Classified Ads
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P a r t s /A cc e s s o r i e s

Acoustic Materials
Instruments
Education and Tutorial
Shows
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Schools

MUSIC THEORY COURSE FOR GUITAR.


Correspondence Course. Certificate issued on
completion. Jim Sutton Institute of Guitar,
23014 Quail Shute, Spring, TX 77389-3944, USA
Jim@JSIGuitar.com
http://www.JSIGuitar.com
(800) 621-7669

A c o u s t i c M at e r i a l s

Design and Construction


of Tube Guitar Amplifiers
this book is incredible
www.translucidamps.com

Shows

GREAT AMERICAN GUITAR SHOW OAKS, PA.


June 21-22, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
100 Station Ave. Oaks, PA 19456. Route 422,
Exit at Oaks. Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-4. 100s of exhibitors,
1000s of instruments. Mega Show! Adm. $12.
Bee-3 Vintage (828)298-2197
www.bee3vintage.com

P a r t s /A cc e s s o r i e s

RiceAge Guitars and Parts


Gently used guitar parts
Broken guitars for repair
10% Discount Code GP2014
www.riceageguitarsandparts.com

JustStrings.com
Worlds Largest Selection of Guitar & Bass Strings!

Sets, Singles & Bulk Strings www.just

strings.com

Instruments

guitarplayer.com

To Advertise here, contact:


Specialty Sales Advertising, West:
Michelle Eigen - meigen@nbmedia.com
Specialty Sales Advertising, East:
Jon Brudner - jbrudner@nbmedia.com

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Classic Column

Custom graphics were still in their infancy in 1975, as evidenced by these picks of the stars
in the July issue. Matt Blackett

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