Video: Yngwie Malmsteen Performs National Anthem at Miami Marlins Game

Guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen performed the National Anthem before last night's Miami Marlins game at Marlins Park.

You can check out the video, which was posted on Malmsteen's official YouTube page, below.

This was the second time Malmsteen performed the National Anthem for the Marlins. The team has even honored the guitarist with a "No. 1" Marlins jersey.

By the way, the Marlins lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-2.

New Guitar Gear of the Month: Review Round-up...

Music Radar's Guitar Department Just Posted Their Guitar Gear Round-up for this month...

In this months gallery, they've brought together several; guitar, amp, pedal, recorder and interface reviews relevant to us guitar players...

All of the gear was originally reviewed in; Guitarist issue 368, Total Guitar issue 240/241, or by MusicRadar's own reviews team!


This Week's Lesson - GUITAR THEORY: Riff and Lick Overhaulin'

Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers a viewers question...

Q: For what seems like years now I've felt as though my guitar riffs and licks have been really monotonous. Everything I play is more or less rooted in the stuff I already know how to do. What would be your top 3 or 4 ways that can help players like me break away from this stagnant feeling?
Ted - Toronto, ON. CANADA

A: The stagnant feeling you're experiencing hits pretty much every guitar player after they've been at this instrument for a good amount of time. We all may start out somewhat differently, but in the grand scheme of things our learning curve almost always follows a pattern. This pattern usually involves; first understanding how to play the chords to a couple of songs, then perhaps we'll go and get hooked on a catchy riff or two, (which will usually help us out with our technique), and then there's always the area of getting involved with trying to play guitar solos. Now, all of this stuff is great... It (of course) helps us learn quite a lot to do with playing the guitar. However, after awhile we tend to become kind of bored with how we peak out in certain areas of our playing skills. In the video lesson I cover a series of ways that any guitarist can start using to give their Riffs & Licks an Overhaul. Be sure to download the handout for all of the TAB's.

Andrew Wasson - Bird of Paradise

The opening piece for my May 31st, 2013 YouTube Guitar lesson, "Riff and Lick Overhaulin."

 I hope you enjoy the lesson on YouTube:

Donations keep the FREE lessons coming - Please consider!

Man Plays Guitar... During Brain Surgery!

A man diagnosed with a neurological disorder recently played guitar during his, "awake," brain surgery. UCLA Health Centre allowed the patient to play his guitar in order to check his improvements while the surgery was ongoing.

 Brad Carter, a musician and actor, was diagnosed with a brain disorder that made his hands shake and eyes twitch. To help alleviate his conditions, he is to have a pacemaker installed in his head to stimulate the damaged nerves and correct the disorder. The installation of the pacemaker will require a brain surgery, which the patient agreed to.


Steve Lukather Demos the new Bogner Ecstasy 101b

Just in case you weren’t already convinced how totally killer Rheinhold Bogner’s creations were, check out Steve Lukather demonstrating the new Bogner Ecstasy 101b. In the video, Steve also gets a chance to chat to Mr. Bogner himself about how Steve's sound has developed over the years.

If you're not entirely familiar with Guitarist Steve Lukather, he is a founding member of the band Toto and an iconic American session musician. He's played on thousands upon thousands of recordings including many hit records such as Michael Jackson's album Thriller. And of course we all know the Toto hits; Rosanna, Africa and Hold The Line.

Video: Steve and Reinhold Bogner meet up at Toto's rehearsal for the start of their 35th Anniversary tour to discuss a range of topics including his use of Bogner Ecstasy 101b amps. Be sure to check out Steve's latest solo release, "Transition" available on iTunes.

Metallica GUITAR at Center of Indonesian Corruption Dispute...

As unbelievable as this may sound, an electric bass guitar signed by current Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo was stripped from the heavy metal-loving Jakarta governor on grounds of the scribble Trujillo wrote upon the bass guitars body.

The bass guitar signed by Trujillo is at the centre of a major political controversy in Indonesia. An instrument owned by Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, was allegedly a gift from Trujillo, has been confiscated by anti-corruption investigators following allegations it was a bribe.

Yesterday, Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) announced they are permanently confiscating Widodo's maroon Ibanez guitar, mostly due to a handwritten message on its surface: "Giving back … Keep playing that cool, funky bass."

This outwardly banal scribble is code, (the KPK alleged), for an anticipated kickback. "In Indonesian, [those] words could have a meaning of asking for something in return,"  Indonesia's government official, Giri Supradiyono, told the Jakarta Globe.


NEW: Ibanez Electric Guitar History Book

Available: June 25, 2013... Fans of the Ibanez line of guitars will be pleased to learn that the complete documented history for their favorite axe is on the way!

The book will lead readers systematically from the early years of Ibanez to the modern electric guitars that they offer. Part of the story shows how Ibanez, like many fledgling guitar manufacturers, started out by produced cheap and basic knock-off guitars based on popular designs by Gibson and Fender. It then shows how Ibanez moved up the ladder, and how their original designs became a hit, thanks to their great eye for signing up amazing guitarists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

One of the main stories of the book is how the development of Vai's Jem guitars helped propel the Ibanez electric guitar brand to its current status. It also highlighted the story of the RG series and how it went on to be one of their most popular instruments. The book also mentions how Ibanez was able to branch out into various styles that cover jazz, pop, metal and rock. It shares all the interesting bits that the Japanese manufacturer went through to get to where it is now. Pre-orders are being done through

Where on the Neck Does Your Favorite Guitarist Play?

Interactive Fretboard Data...

Ever wondered which of Jimi Hendrix's fingers were most at risk of injury?
Which part of Eric Clapton's fretboard was the most worn down?

...This interactive freboard data compilation, which uses heatmaps, (darker red indicates more played), CAN tell you. Simply choose an artist or group from the drop down list, (top-right of the page linked below),  and you can see which frets they hit the most often! 


England's Nottingham College to Offer World's First Degree in Heavy Metal

The World's First 2-year Degree in Heavy Metal Music is set to start in September 2013 and will include unique modules like; the role of heavy metal on films and video games, and the history of heavy metal. It will also cover typical music degree subjects such as music business and other music theory.

Students at the New College Nottingham (NCN) will not only learn how to write and perform Metal songs. They will also study the history of the genre, which features such luminaries as Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne, (whose best known antic was biting off the head off a live bat). And, how religion is a large part of this musical style.

The new first of it's kind degree has also met with plenty of resistance from other music professors in England. New College Nottingham (NCN) is under attack by education campaigners for offering a two-year heavy metal degree.

This unique degree is considered by many as the first of its kind, but the Campaign for Real Education group is saying that it is a complete, "waste of time".

However, the school stands by the degree, which was developed by Liam Maloy, a lecturer in music performance at NCN for seven months. Far from being like a music tutorial or lesson, the Heavy Metal Degree is designed to be academically rigorous course that tackles everything from history, theory and actual performance.


Cool Interview with Slash on working with Ozzy, Lemmy and Myles...

The rock star ego is a fragile, complex and deeply complicated thing. Many a superstar has endured an almighty crash to earth after putting out an underwhelming solo record (Gene Simmons?).

Slash however, has encountered no such problems. His first solo album saw a who’s who of the rock world assemble in an all-star collaboration that featured the likes of Ozzy, Iggy Pop, Lemmy and Chris Cornell.


Alice in Chains Drummer Slams The Music Industry

The next Led Zeppelin is out there... but you'll probably never hear them.

That's the opinion of Alice In Chains drummer Sean Kinney, who recently sounded off to Loudwire about the state of the music industry.

Kinney had this to say: "The next Led Zeppelin is playing somewhere and they'll likely never make it because there's no infrastructure for it. They'll never get a chance. People will probably never support them long enough to let them grow into the band that could be, and that's a sad thing, and we're all going to pay the price for that and it'll probably be too late before people realize it."

Kinney also added...
"That's a sad thing because I love music, you love music, we all do, but we all take it for granted. It's in the elevator. It's everywhere. And when we do that we're all just shooting ourselves in the head by not supporting the thing that you love. That really kind of saddens me. I want to hear that new band."

Kinney and company released their new album today May 27, 2013, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.

This Week on the Guitar-Blog... Learning to Play, "Southern Breeze"

This week on the Guitar Blog I run through each song-section of the piece, "Summer Breeze," that I composed for my May 24, 2013 Creative Guitar Studio Video Lesson on The Circle of Fifths. Each part of the song is both discussed and demonstrated (with on-screen TAB) for viewers to fully understand how to play each song part. Thanks for the interest in this song. Have a great week.

Very Cool "Rig Talk" Discussion with Bob Bradshaw

This is a great video from Premier Guitar's, Jason Shadrick. In this video interview, Jason catches up with the legendary electronics genius Bob Bradshaw who is responsible for a myriad of rack systems for guitarists such as Steve Lukather and Eddie Van Halen as as well as designer of effects, amp and MIDI switchers and his own line of Amplifiers built in conjunction with John Suhr called Custom Audio Amplifiers.


Handout & Jam-Track Now Available for the Lesson: The Circle of Fifths

The Circle of Fifths has many different applications for the study of keys and key signatures. The cycle in the symmetrical "wheel" image, (also sometimes called the "Clock" image), helps to allow students to study the movement of keys either upward or downwards. These directions can be applied to the practice of chords, arpeggios, and even guitar licks and riffs. Watch the video lesson to find out more and Download the FREE MP3 JamTrack and PDF lesson handout for the practice examples.

Joe Satriani Talks Band Chemistry

"It cast some sort of spell over me," Joe Satriani says about his forthcoming album, Unstoppable Momentum, just released; May, 07, 2013.

"It took me on a journey. I'm trying to push the boundaries of what I can get away with, but it's always about trying to evoke feelings in the listener. And it starts with myself: How is this music making me feel? If it can elicit some sort of powerful reaction within myself, chances are other people will feel the same way." 

To record the new album, Satriani assembled an killer band that featured one longtime comrade, keyboadist Mike Keneally, and two new players in his world, Jane's Addiction bassist Chris Chaney and drum superstar Vinnie Colaiuta.

Satriani admits that every time he works with a new group of musicians, it's a creative roll of the dice. "When you write down 'Mike Keneally, Chris Chaney and Vinnie Colaiuta,' you don't really know if this is going to work," he says. "But you just have to trust a feeling that everybody is going to play off of one another, and it's going to click." 


Jazz Guitarist Mike Stern Talks Time, Dynamics & More

(from it's soon to be released July 2013 issue) Guitar World Magazine has posted a great video lesson and interview online featuring legendary jazz guitarist Mike Stern...

Two of the most important and effective elements in creating expressive improvisations are the incorporation of dynamics and groove. Dynamics—the use of variations in volume and articulation that can span from quiet, delicate and gentle to loud, forceful and aggressive—and groove—the way in which a player chooses to place the notes against the backbeat—are both key aspects of musicality that come into play.

Awareness of one’s rhythmic pacing, or time, and the way in which it connects with a rhythm section is among the most important aspects of ensemble playing. It’s very beneficial to record yourself both when practicing and when playing with other musicians. When you listen back, you’ll be able to listen more objectively and hear if you’re playing in the pocket or if you’re rushing or slowing down, and this will serve to heighten your awareness to your groove overall.

Richie Sambora Angry at Jon Bon Jovi for "Trash Talking" Him

Speaking to the British paper The Evening Standard recently, the Bon Jovi frontman said of Sambora’s absence, “It’s getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something… Because all I can say is this — it’s for personal reasons. He’s been through it before. Fortunately for us the same guy who filled in last time was available this time.”

Guitarist Richie Sambora has hit back at comments made by his ex-bandmate Jon Bon Jovi, that suggest Richie's shock departure from the band was down to his history with substance abuse.


14-Year-Old Girl Rips on Van Halen's "Eruption" Solo

While it's not unusual to find 12-, 13- and 14-year-old guitarists on YouTube who make adults feel like, well, lame-o guitar players, we thought you'd appreciate this recently posted (May 20) video of 14-year-old "Tina" playing a convincing — and effortless — cover of Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" solo.

In terms of extra information, all we know is that Tina was taught by Renaud Louis-Servais, who also shot and posted the video.

Tina is playing a Vigier Excalibur Custom guitar. Enjoy! And start practicing!

MUSIC THEORY: The Circle of Fifths

Q: A concept I keep hearing mentioned is, "The Circle of 5th's." Could you run through this music theory idea, and explain both; what it is exactly, and what it could be used for? I know pretty much nothing to do with this topic, so any kind of information would be highly appreciated. Thank you for all of the Guitar lessons, your website & your GuitarBlog.
 Alex - Windermere, FL. USA

A: This is a very important concept. It's also one that can have many great practice spin-offs. We can use the circle of fifths for learning better technique with chords, guitar licks, even for knowledge of the neck. Not to mention for understanding the keys and key signature movements for all of the sharps and flats as they appear in the key signatures. In the video I will begin with a run down of the music theory as it's associated to the Circle of 5ths. Then, we'll head over to the guitar neck and have a go at how this circle of 5ths idea can be used to practice; technique, chord knowledge and even scales & arpeggios!

Andrew Wasson - Southern Breeze 

 The opening piece for my May 24th, 2013 YouTube Guitar lesson, "The Circle of Fifths." I hope you enjoy the lesson on YouTube:

Donations keep the FREE lessons coming - Please consider!

THE ARISTOCRATS: Album Release Date Announced!

THE ARISTOCRATS, the rock/fusion instrumental virtuoso power trio featuring celebrated musicians; Guthrie Govan (guitar), Bryan Beller (bass) and Marco Minnemann (drums), will release their new album, Culture Clash, on July 16, 2013 via BOING Music.
Culture Clash will be sold in both regular and deluxe editions.

The deluxe package will contain a bonus DVD called, “Accept The Mystery: The Making Of The Aristocrats’ Culture Clash”, a 33-minute DVD documentary shot while THE ARISTOCRATS were tracking the album in Nashville, TN., between January 15th-21st. Containing both studio footage and exclusive interviews with each member of the band, this is a special behind-the-scenes look at THE ARISTOCRATS!

Guitarbots: New browser based online guitar game!

GuitarBots is designed to be played with a real guitar, and it runs LIVE on the Web! As you play notes on an acoustic or electric guitar, your computer’s microphone picks up the sound and uses it to control the game. Here’s the company’s own demo, explaining how it all works:

The game takes clear inspiration from Guitar Hero, but with the benefit of working with real guitars and an emphasis on teaching you how to play. Read More...

Rob Halford Must Use Wheelchair for His On-Stage Entrances...

Judas Priest - Epitaph in Cinemas from 14th May 2013 

Judas Priest front-man Rob Halford has swapped his Harley motorbike for a wheelchair as a result of a back problem. But he says it’s a temporary issue and he’ll be fighting fit very soon. Halford tells Eddie Trunk: “It’s not as evil – well, it is evil. I’m in agony right now. But it’s just a back injury; it’s going to be fixed. The Metal God will be bouncing back and everything will be great.”


John Lennon guitar snags $408,000 at auction

A custom-made electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles sold at a New York auction on Saturday for $408,000 US, said officials with the company behind the event. The semi-hollow-body guitar, manufactured by the VOX company, was sold to an unidentified U.S. buyer at the "Music Icons" event organized by Beverly Hills, California-based Julien's Auctions and held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.


Left... Darren Julien, head of Julien's Auctions, holds a custom made prototype VOX guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon during The Beatles 1967 Magical Mystery Tour.(Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press)

Great Paul Gilbert and Andy Timmons Interview!

 A unique interview with two great guitar players: Andy Timmons and Paul Gilbert. Ibanez had these two sit down and actually interview each other! They discuss their early days learning the guitar, exchange ideas, and rap about music - pretty much the way you do with your friends. It's a super cool /laid-back interview, it's enlightening, entertaining and just overall a heck of a lot of fun. Check it out!

Listen Here...

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Amps and Effect Pedals

Great article on GuitarWorld covering Stevie Ray's gear...

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar tone was as dry as a San Antonio summer and as sparkling clean as a Dallas debutante, the product of the natural sound of amps with ample clean headroom. However, Vaughan occasionally used pedals to augment his sound, mainly to boost the signal, although he occasionally employed a rotating speaker cabinet and wah pedals for added textural flair. Vaughan’s fierce playing style was the key to his distinctive sound, but it was also very hard on his equipment, and over the years his amps and pedals were heavily modified to withstand the abuse.


Larrivee Guitars to re-start production of the 'Space Guitar'

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth just over a week ago from the International Space Station, where he recorded a number of songs using a Larrivée Parlor acoustic.

He was Commander of Expedition 35 of the ISS and has become one of the most popular Astronauts in recent times with his high level of participation on Social Media having over 900,000 Twitter Followers, and his love for playing Guitar in space.

According to a report by CBC News, the Larrivée guitar has become so popular that the company will resume production of the model. The report says that Larrivee Production Manager, Edwin Bond, claimed that they have already received over $100,000 in orders for the small body acoustic guitar.

The following video was shot on the ISS - the greatest of locations for a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" by Chris Hadfield:

Visit Larivee Guitars for more info...

Fender Acoustic Custom Shop Tour

Here is a very cool quick video tour of Fender's Acoustic Custom Shop facility in New Hartford Connecticut.

The video shows the process on which their high-end custom shop acoustic guitars are being made.

When it comes to acoustic guitars, Fender's line are mostly outsourced affordable units which target only the low to mid priced acoustic market. This year, Fender decides to enter the realm of hand-made acoustics under the direction of Luthier Ren Ferguson.

This guitar workshop currently produces three different series of guitars. The Pro Custom Series offers limited edition instruments based on traditional acoustic designs, and the acoustic with Fender headstock design that came from the '60s. The Collector Custom Series are acoustics with artistic graphics on the body. Finally, the Master Designed Series is their flagship line of custom acoustics, these are highly limited production instruments that feature exotic wood and top of the line craftsmanship.

On this video, we are given a glimpse of how the custom instruments are built, along with the type of materials used. Enjoy!

Playing Open Strings for Speed

Q). I'm 53 and I only started playing guitar two years ago. Things are coming along with basic chording, but the thing I'm getting interested in now is playing lead. I have developed a couple of licks, but I cannot play them quickly. Is there a way to snap off to strings that are open to make it sound like I am playing faster? I'm sure I've heard this sort of thing, but I'd be very appreciative if you might be able to make a video lesson covering this.
Thank you. Lester - Edmonton, AB. CANADA

A). Using the open guitar strings as a way to enhance the whole speed thing, is a great flashy speed gaining method that can make runs appear to sound like they're moving far quicker. Guitar styles like; Blues, Country and Rock all use this technique, and this playing idea can be done all over the neck without being limited to open and it's neighboring positions on the guitar. Watch the video for several examples with on-screen TAB.

Visit my GuitarBlog website for more Q & A from viewers!

GUITAR THEORY: Dominant Suspended Chords

Q: Currently, I'm studying modal jazz. In particular, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. One chord type I keep seeing in plenty of songs is the, "Dominant 7th suspended fourth." Could you consider making a video showing some chord voicings and some ideas with related single-note (scale and arpeggio) lines for this chord? Thanks in advance.
Brent - Reno, NV. USA

 A: Even though we might not find the Dominant Suspended Chord in a great deal of pieces, it is actually quite popular. And, it's not just in modal jazz of the 70's, but also in modern pop and country-western songs, in big-band jazz music, in pop jazz, and in jazz fusion as well. The problem that many guitar players typically face with this chord type, centers around getting it to groove well in various harmonic situations. So, aside from being fully aware of the music theory associated to this chord, you'll need to have a good familiarity with several chord voicings on the neck, and it's also good to have the ability to be able to create composed and improvised single-note lines too. In the video, I begin by taking a look at the basic theory involved with creating dominant suspended chords. After that, we'll head over to the guitar to run through some practical chord shapes and a few single-note line melody concepts on the neck.

Follow the link to my Official BlogSite to get the handout, and a copy of the MP3 jam track used in the solo example at the start of the video lesson.