GUITAR PLAYER: Nice Review of the new Fargen Townhouse Amp.

Fargen Amplification announced today the newest addition to its lineup of boutique guitar amplifiers, the Townhouse.

Following on the success of its first micro-sized amp the Micro Plex, Fargen has built its counterpart, also a 5 Watt Class A design, hand-wired and made in the USA. It’s two-way Decade Switch covers the 50’s and 60’s, with vintage tweed- and brownface-inspired tones. “I wanted to add another super-compact amp to our line”, says Ben Fargen, founder. “This amp is extremely pedal-friendly, and offers the player in essence two amps in one, for $999, which is very reasonable for a boutique amp of this caliber.”

The Townhouse incorporates a USA-built transformer, vintage 60’s style caps and carbon comp resistors, and DC filaments for ultra quiet operation. Its single power tube socket can be used with any octal power tube without re-bias. It measures 16.5”x9”x7’ and can be paired with a matching 1x12" speaker cabinet., MSRP $999 head, $499 cabinet.

Fargen will also debut the Pete Anderson Tumbleweed pedal, MSRP $299, as well as a slanted 1x12" extension cab for the Micro Plex amp, MSSRP $499, which can now be played in a full stack configuration, including the head, slanted cab and standard cab.

These new products will be on display at Summer NAMM in the Fargen booth #1154, and are currently available through Fargen’s authorized dealers.

Video: Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson Perform "Beat It" Live in 1984

Most all of us have (at some point) heard Michael Jackson's 1983 mega-hit, "Beat It," which features Eddie Van Halen on the guitar solo. But have you ever actually seen Eddie perform the song live with Jackson and his band?

I hadn't — until I recently discovered this video...

According to the information provided with the clip, this performance took place July 14, 1984, in Dallas, Texas. Eddie (and his guitar) happened to be in town that night, so he joined Jackson on stage for the song.

The video is fairly poor sound and audio quality, but it is very cool that Eddie's guitar is pumped front and center in the mix during the guitar solo.

Jackson screams, "You got it, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!" just as the solo kicks off.


Andrew Wasson Original: "Mediterranean March"

Andrew Wasson Original: "Mediterranean March"

The opening piece for my August 30, 2013 YouTube Guitar lesson,
"Modal History & Application."

I hope you enjoy the lesson on YouTube:

Donations keep the FREE lessons coming - Please consider!

Nine Inch Nails: Reznor Speaks on the State of Music Biz

The Nine Inch Nails front-man shares his opinion on the current state of music industry.

As Consequence of Sound notes, it's a debate that's raged for years now, and will no doubt continue for the foreseeable future, especially as Thom Yorke declares war against Spotify, Pink Floyd against Pandora, and acts such as Jay Z and Lady Gaga invent new ways to distribute their music, leaving Billboard.

Trent Reznor, having released his 2008 album, "The Slip," for free online, has been catching some slack for his decision to release the band's new album, "Hesitation Marks," on a major label, Columbia, to which he previously replied, "I never signed up to say: 'Hey, I'm the spokesperson for that sort of thing.'"

In a new interview with SPIN, Reznor once again addressed major labeldom and, more specifically, what he perceives the value of his music to be:

"Nine Inch Nails feels bigger than it ever has ... Is it because we're on Columbia? Is it scarcity? I don't know, but it doesn't feel bigger in the sense that we've desperately adopted some new clothing style. It feels organic, and it feels good not to be worrying about whether or not we shipped vinyl to the cool record store in Prague.

"I know that what we're doing flies in the face of the Kickstarter Amanda-Palmer-Start-a-Revolution thing, which is fine for her, but I'm not super-comfortable with the idea of Ziggy Stardust shaking his cup for scraps. I'm not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I'm saying my personal feeling is that my album's not a dime. It's not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go f--k yourself."

The "Atlas" of Plucked Instruments Website!

The "Atlas" of Plucked Instruments Website...


Have you ever thought that it sure would be pretty cool if somebody created an online encyclopedia of all of the world's plucked instruments like; lute, guitar, banjo and mandolin?

Well, there's no need to hope any longer...

If you're looking for information about plucked stringed instruments, (found on the internets' many web-sites) often times these other sites are showing either lots of musical instruments in general - but with only a few plucked ones, or they just have a limited number of instruments, or they only have a few specialty instruments.

However, The "Atlas" of Plucked Instruments Website [APIW] decided to try to make one encyclopedia website to incorporate all plucked /stringed instruments, (plucked chordophones), that is : of the lute, guitar, banjo and mandolin type (no harps or zithers). They wanted to limit the website to just a picture plus a short description of each instrument, (like in a bird book).

Plus, APIW will often give a link to some specialist site, where you can find much more detailed information about a particular type of instrument. Otherwise, their philosophy is that by knowing the name of the instrument it will help you with further searches on the Web. Starting (of course) with the APIW website you will [hopefully] quickly discover the further information that you are looking for.

So in general : APIW is an effort to make the Web a general source of cultural and peaceful string-instrument knowledge.

Besides this website being a kind of encyclopedia (showing all the different kinds of plucked stringed instruments of the world), it is also the best way of making the web-masters vast collection of information on music (instruments, books, LP's, CD's, etc. that they've collected over the years) useful to others, but avoiding the logistic difficulties and limitations to organize an exhibition of his own collection, (but still sharing as much knowledge as possible).

The collection can now be viewed anytime, from anywhere on the world, on this awesome website.

Check it out:

Dave Grohl Shuns 'Rock is Dead' Comments by VMA Report

Foo Fighters mainman Dave Grohl wasn't too thrilled with the latest NY Daily News report from this year's VMAs ceremony, causing him to publicly react on Twitter.

The part of the report claiming "rock is dead" seemed to have the frontman stirred up the most. "Hey NY Daily News - speak for yourself," he reacted.

"Rock seems pretty alive to me."

The given article noted that "rock, hard-core hip-hop and country have seemingly been phased out of the Video Music Awards, and the winners have become less diverse as well."

Apart from calling rockers an endangered species, the author underlined that not a single winner of this year's ceremony came "from the more segmented worlds of rock, hard-core hip-hop or country."

"It wasn't always this way," the article further reads. "In the VMAs' first decade, the '80s, we often had rockers triumphant, from Dire Straits ('Money for Nothing') to Peter Gabriel ('Sledgehammer') to INXS ('Need You Tonight')."

The report ended on a less optimistic note, saying that "today we're living a One Direction world - at least in MTV land. The teen idols stole the 'Song of Summer' prize from expected winners Daft Punk or Mr. Thicke, purely on the hyperactive voting abilities of their teen fan base.

"In theory, there's nothing wrong with that. Today, MTV reflects its audience's tastes, they don't shape it. But it's disappointing that, in a YouTube world filled with such amazing diversity, MTV would point us all in one direction," the author concluded.

Hey @NYDailyNews - speak for yourself … Rock seems pretty alive to me 

In-Depth Guide to Stevie Ray Vaughan's Amps & Effect Pedals

Guitar World online has put together an amazing breakdown of research dedicated to Stevie Ray's Amps and effects. For any fan of "Killer Tone," this article is without a doubt a Must Read...

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.


1980 Marshall model 4140 Club and Country

Most guitarists with multi-amp rigs will use Fender amps for clean tones and Marshalls for distortion and overdrive, but Vaughan did the opposite. However, it made sense that he used a Marshall for clean tones, as his Marshall was a model 4140 Club and Country combo with two 12-inch speakers, which was Marshall’s version of a Fender Twin Reverb. With 100 watts of output and a power amp section driven by KT77 tubes, the Club and Country provides more clean headroom than the typical Marshall design. The amp remained in Vaughan’s rig until early 1984, when a Dumble Steel String Singer replaced it.

1964 Fender Vibroverb

The heart and soul of Vaughan’s live rig for most of the Eighties was a pair of Fender Vibroverb combos. The Vibroverbs, each featuring a single 15-inch speaker, were the source of Vaughan’s cranked-up overdrive tones, and he also used one of the combos to power his Fender Vibratone rotating-speaker cabinet throughout his career. Introduced in 1963, the Vibroverb was Fender’s first amp with built-in reverb.

Fender initially produced the Vibroverb with two 10-inch speakers and brown Tolex covering, but in late 1963 the model’s design switched to a single 15-inch speaker and black Tolex. Vaughan always assumed that his Vibroverbs were one serial number apart from one another based on the numbers “5” and “6” on the tube charts, but those are production run numbers and the actual serial numbers were 36 numbers apart.

Dumble Steel String Singer

Vaughan first discovered the amps of legendary Los Angeles boutique-amp pioneer Alexander “Howard” Dumble when recording Texas Flood at Jackson Browne’s Downtown Studios in 1982, using Browne’s Dumbleland 300-watt bass amp to record most of the tracks during the sessions.

Impressed with the Dumble amp’s ability to maintain crystal-clean tone even when subjected to his aggressive low E string attack, Vaughan custom-ordered a Steel String Singer head, which Dumble beefed up with 6550 tubes and 150 watts of output instead of the model’s usual 6L6 tubes and 100 watts. Vaughan usually used his Dumble head with a custom-built 4x12 cabinet loaded with Electro-Voice speakers.

When delivered in 1984, the Steel String Singer immediately became the main clean amp in Vaughan’s rig, earning the “King Tone Consoul” nickname that Vaughan bestowed upon it. Vaughan acquired a second Dumble Steel String Singer in 1986.


VIDEO: Runaways' Lita Ford & Cherie Currie Join Forces

Former Runaways' Lita Ford and Cherie Currie have teamed up to record a Christmas track together, Classic Rock reports. Ford had been talking up a Runaways reunion in the past months – but Joan Jett recently appeared to put the blocks on the idea, saying she couldn't think why they'd want to do it, adding: "the down side is bigger than the up side."

That hasn't stopped Ford and singer Currie laying down a track for release later this year.

The guitarist tells "My old drummer called me and says, 'Lita, let's record a Christmas song.' So I thought, 'What do you want to do – Jingle Bells?' He said, 'No, let's write something new.'

"I got out a pen and paper and I thought, 'Let's rock this Christmas down.' So we started writing a song called 'Let's Rock This Christmas Down.'"

Ford had only recently got back in touch with Currie, after not having spoken since the Runaways split in 1980.

She explains: "It just so happened that Cherie was on the phone just after we'd talked about recording this song. I said, 'Why don't you sing it with me?' So she flew in, came straight from the airport to the studio, cut the vocal track – and we have a Christmas single with me and Cherie singing lead vocals."

Great Satch Article Posted at Guitar World...

Joe Satriani Lets His Imagination and Fingers Run Wild on New Album, 'Unstoppable Momentum'...

A large painting by Metallica bassist Jason Newsted hangs prominently in the front room of Joe Satriani’s San Francisco townhouse, just above the black, upright piano where Satch composed some of the music for his newest album, Unstoppable Momentum.

The painting, titled Live to Kill Another Day, is an abstract depiction of a human figure viewed from the side and slumped forward in an state of weariness. The white figure is set against a bold red background, and there’s a vivid splatter of red paint, heavily suggestive of blood, in the region of the heart.

“For some reason, this painting really speaks to me,” Satriani says. “It always reminds me of how you feel when you’re walking offstage at the end of a show. You don’t have one ounce of anything left to give, but you need to save one ounce of blood for tomorrow’s show. Jason was nice enough to let me buy the painting, and my wife and I were thinking, Where do you put a blood-red painting? My wife said, ‘Just put it over there now.’ I’m in this room every day, so I see it all the time.”

When it comes to giving every last drop of blood, sweat, tears and soul to your music, Satriani has few equals. He is relentlessly hardworking. Over the past year, he’s undertaken three jaunts with G3, his long-running guitar tour, and three with Chickenfoot, his side band with vocalist Sammy Hagar, ex–Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Satch also released a book, Joe’s Art 2013—available with Unstoppable Momentum as a part of a limited-edition bundle—which he describes as a “wildly colorful portfolio” of bizarre creatures he’s sketched over the years.


Musicians Institute Welcomes Blasko as Music Business Interim Program Chair

Musicians Institute (MI) has announced that veteran musician and artist manager Blasko has joined the renowned college of contemporary music as their new Music Business Interim Program Chair.

Bringing more than 25 years of music industry experience to his new position, Blasko will oversee the direction and focus of MI's Music Business Program. Reporting to the school's VP of Instruction and Curricular Development and the VP of Academic Affairs, Blasko will evaluate curricular materials, create new courses and events, and recommend visiting guest artists; while interfacing between the administration, faculty and students to maintain MI's high-quality educational environment. In addition, Blasko will be available intermittently for performance workshops to share his experiences as a professional bassist with acts including Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie and Danzig.

Cryptic Slaughter, which was signed to Metal Blade Records in 1985, and released three records for the label between 1986 and 1988. He eventually went on to become the bass player for such heavy metal heavyweights as Danzig, Rob Zombie and, since 2005, Ozzy Osbourne. He also co-founded the artist management and marketing company Mercenary Management, Inc. in 2005. Blasko currently manages the careers of Zakk Wylde, Black Veil Brides and Black Label Society

Blasko has been a recording and touring musician since he was 16 years old. His career began with the seminal hardcore thrash band

"Not only is Blasko a great player who has toured the world with Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osbourne; but he also provides unparalleled management for artists like Zakk Wylde and Black Veil Brides. So his mastery of traditional music business know-how, current marketing trends and cutting-edge social media tactics are a welcome addition to MI's campus offerings," said Donny Gruendler, Vice President of Instruction & Curricular Development at Musicians Institute. "Blasko is the perfect contemporary Program Chair to help shape our Music Business Program and its 21st Century student body."

VIDEO: The New Paul Reed Smith S2 Mira Guitar

VIDEO: Paul Reed Smith S2 Mira Guitar... 

From Guitar Player Magazine Online...

With an understated, refined appearance, instant comfort and playability, and a voice that is familiar and captivating, the vintage-inspired S2 Mira is a guitar you won’t want to put down.
The S2 Mira has an all-mahogany body plus an asymmetrical, beveled top to give the S2 Mira much of its explosive tone. And while not a super high output guitar, the S2 Mira can be overdriven into well-rounded, organic rock tones without sacrificing the punch or clarity found in higher-output guitars (or even active pickups). The bridge pickup is rich with some sparkle and substantial but tight low end, while the neck pickup is a little darker providing great balance and vintage tones.

LESSON: Frank Turner: Songwriting Interview

Frank Turner is the walking, talking embodiment of the punk ideology.

And no, that doesn't mean that he wanders around London with a Mohawk frightening tourists. Rather that with little more than a battered acoustic, a handful of songs and a tireless DIY ethic, he's turned himself into one of the UK's most popular songwriters.

Since going solo from cult post-hardcore outfit Million Dead in 2005, he's worked his way up from the toilet circuit to a sold out Wembley Arena. The world caught a glimpse of him when he performed at the Olympics opening ceremony at London 2012, and latest album Tape Deck Heart has taken him to the main stage at this year's Reading Festival.

MusicRadar met up with Frank in London to record a lesson for Recovery, the lead track from Tape Deck Heart, and to talk heroes, songwriting, and why ABBA have got more in common with NOFX than you might think…

It's interesting to watch you talk through how you put together Recovery – what was your musical education like? Do you have any music theory behind you at all?

"Not really, no. I didn't really study music. I got a few piano lessons as a kid which I didn't pay much attention to, and then just started teaching myself the guitar.

"I was originally into metal and stuff, but Nirvana kind of turned my head on to punk rock. Counting Crows were a big deal for me when I was a kid as well. I still feel like my academy of songwriting was the first three Counting Crows records. But I mean, I didn't have much in the way of official teaching, but I've always been quite analytical in the way I think about music.

"I have always voraciously learned how to play songs by bands that I like. If I hear a song that I like, I'll immediately pick up a guitar and try and figure out how it goes. I think that there is an art to songwriting that is distinct from the technicalities of playing. It's something I've spent a lot of time thinking about.

"I mean, the greats for me songwriting-wise are Adam Duritz, Rivers Cuomo, Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Springsteen obviously. Nina Simone I'm really big on as well, and Loudon Wainwright is a big one too."

So all quite emotionally direct stuff?

"Yeah, totally. I think it's kind of interesting, and after a while it's like that bit at the end of The Matrix where the numbers start coming down, and you start seeing songwriting as something detached from style.

"So you start realised that ABBA and NOFX, to pick bands with four letters in their name, have more in common from a songwriting point of view than they do that separates them. It's about melodic structure and the flow of the song, that kind of thing."

Has the way that you write songs changed over the last few years?

"Yeah it has. I'm trying to improve what I do, I'm trying not to repeat myself, and there's lots of types of song. The obvious ones, you've got ballads and upbeat songs, but you can get way more categorical about it. There are shuffles, fast songs, you know what I mean?

"If I hear something that is in a stylistic mode that I haven't tried yet myself, then my first thought is always 'hmm, I wonder if I could jam something into that approach'. It keeps things fresh, and there's an endless permutation of ways of doing that."

So is songwriting as much an intellectual exercise as an emotional one for you? Are you able to separate the two?

"I think that they go hand in hand. There's definitely two sides to it. I mean, there is a technical side, I know what you mean by intellectual but intellectual sounds a little too cold. It is an emotional thing, at the end of the day one creates in order to express yourself. I'm doing this stuff because I have to make music, I have to make sounds to scratch a certain itch in myself that I can't adequately describe.

"There's a technical side to it when you're talking about building blocks and structure, and all the things I was talking about - using simple ascending chord sequences and going from first to fifth or whatever – but then at the same time, that's an intellectual veneer over the fact that it hits you one an emotional level. And actually, the emotional impact of any good song is completely unquantifiable really.

"I remember seeing a great thing of Springsteen talking through Thunder Road. He talked through the whole thing, got to the end and said 'Was I thinking any of that when I wrote it, hell no! Was I feeling it? Hell yes!' And that's it. You've got to trust your gut at the end of the day.

"I don't really have a method for songwriting, sometimes lyrics comes first, sometimes music comes first, sometimes it's slow, sometimes it's fast, whatever, but my favourite moments are when something comes quickly. I really feel like if you're running on pure instinct and gut then you're writing something good. If the song just kind of tumbles out, that's way better than something that you spend six months agonising over chords changes with."


Richie Sambora - Fired From Bon Jovi Tour...

Bon Jovi drama was stirred up again with the latest reports claiming guitarist Richie Sambora was officially fired from the current tour...

According to RumorFix, Ritchie Sambora and front-man /singer Jon Bon Jovi are clashing over (of all things), money! Roumours now out that their differences have officially become irreconcilable.

The firing itself will force Sambora to skip performing with the band until at least 2014.

As the same source indicates, Richie was earning $2 million per month plus a 20 percent bonus from each of the Jovi shows.

"Richie wants to go back on stage - that's his first love," the unnamed source said. "He's really upset over the news."

Sambora initially stopped performing with the band in early April due to "personal issues." Up until now, a series of various reports surfaced indicating an internal turmoil and a feud between the two musicians. But seeing that both remain fairly secluded about the entire matter, not much is known for sure.

Sambora's temporary replacement in the band will be guitarist Phil X, (being paid - at a significant savings to the rest of the band - of only $10,000 a month).

Steve Stevens Explains his Stage Rig...

Steve Stevens [Billy Idol] Runs Through his Stage Rig...

Premier Guitar’s Shawn Hammond is on location in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he catches up with Steve Stevens on the Billy Idol 2013 summer tour.

Stevens discusses his new signature gear from Knaggs Guitars and Friedman Amplification, as well as his go-to Gibsons, Suhrs, and Roland synth-equipped Godins. We also get the straight story on how he got the ray-gun sound in the original studio version of “Rebel Yell”— and see the modified toy ray gun he uses onstage.

Guitars: Stevens’ “main rock ’n’ roll” guitar—the second prototype of his Knaggs signature model—weighs about 8.6 pounds and features a maple-topped mahogany body, a solid-aluminum bridge, and custom, vintage-voiced Bare Knuckle pickups. His main recording axe for the last few years has been this goldtop Les Paul, which has the same aluminum wraparound bridge and Motor City PAF-style pickups.

Amps: For most of his dirty and semi-clean tones, Stevens relies on his 2-channel, EL34-powered signature Friedman Amplification head (top). One channel is based on his ’69 Marshall plexi, while the other is voiced to respond like a Fender Twin Reverb. Stevens uses the first prototype of his signature Friedman (second from top), which doesn’t have the clean channel, as a backup for dirty sounds. For super-clean tones, like on the verses in “Flesh for Fantasy,” he brings along two Custom Audio Amplifiers PT100s, one for backup.

Effects: Stevens has a single fridge-sized rack that includes Egnater and Axess switchers, Line 6 Mod Pro and Echo Pro units, a TC Electronic D-Two, an Eventide H7600 Ultra-Harmonizer, and a couple of drawers stocked with pedals from Moog, Source Audio, MXR, Joemeek, Boss, and more.

LESSON: The Blues / Metal Connection

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

Q: One of my favorite players of all time is Kirk Hammett from Metallica. His riffs and leads are great. But, one thing I keep noticing is that he uses a lot of different notes around the basic Minor Scale. The most common one seems to be the flatted-5 from the Blues scale. Can you make a video on the, "Blues-Metal Connection," used by guys like Kirk?
Chris - Auckland, New Zealand 

A: Almost every guitar player out there will get into messing around with at least some blues at some point... There's almost no way to escape it. The Blues scale is one of the most popular, (and one of the most foundational), scales for nearly all of the styles of music that we find the guitar used in. Plus, almost every famous player from, Hendrix, to Kirk Hammett will use the Blues scale in their solos. However, when it comes down to Hard-Rock and Heavy Metal, the use of the Blues scale keeps the riffs, and the leads flowing along in a much more vocal manner. Blues scale also adds some attitude to Metal. We can certainly hear this in Metallica's, "Enter Sandman," (which is based almost entirely upon the Minor Blues). In the video I will dig into building riffs and melodies using Blues scale, plus I'll take a quick look at the music theory connection.

Andrew Wasson Original: "Endangered Species"

Andrew Wasson Original: "Endangered Species"

The opening piece for my August 23, 2013 YouTube Guitar lesson,
"The Blues / Metal Connection."

I hope you enjoy the lesson on YouTube:

Donations keep the FREE lessons coming - Please consider!

VERY SAD: Musicians Are Mostly Judged by Their Looks!

New Study Suggests:
That Musicians Are Mostly Judged by How They Look...

A study carried out by University College London is suggesting that our musical tastes may be determined more by aesthetics than musical ability. As SupaJam reports, Chia-Jung Tsay, who administered the experiment, has issued the following statement about the findings:

"People consistently report that sound is the most important source of information in evaluating performance in music," Tsay said,

"However, the findings demonstrate that people actually depend primarily on visual information when making judgments about music performance."

Tsay's study put together a group of musical novices and experts and over a series of tests
asked them to predict the winners of several prestigious competitions. Participants were asked to predict the winner using either audio-only recordings, videos without audio, or videos without sound. The correct prediction rate for those watching without sound was higher than those watching with audio. For those listening to audio only, the prediction rate was significantly worse.

"Both experts and novices appear to be surprised by their own data, and experts in particular reported a severe lack of confidence in their judgment when they were assigned to the video-only recordings, not knowing that their approximations of the actual outcomes would be superior under such constrained conditions."

Jeff Loomis (Nevermore) Discusses the New Schecter Hellraiser

Jeff Loomis and Keith Merrow take a break in Jeff's home studio from working on the next Nevermore album to try out the killer new Schecter Hellraiser 100 watt amp.

They tossed together a couple random riffs and gave the amp a test drive. The signal chain in the video is Schecter 7 string guitars- Hellraiser amp (no pedals in front) - Two Notes Torpedo Live Loadbox - Interface. No post EQ or effects in the in the DAW.

Wattage: 100 watts, optional 50 watt operation 
Tubes: 4-EL34-B POWER TUBES (Electron) 
Dimensions: 12H x 27W x 10.875D 
Weight: 43lbs 
Tube Preamp / Phase Inverter: 4-EI12AX7EH (Electro Harmonix) 
Footswitch: Effects Loop- Yes- Footswitchable. Variable Boost - Yes Footswitchable. 
Channels: Lead I and Clean: Clean Channel Controls- Bass, Mid, Treble, Volume, Gain and U.K./USA Voicing. Lead Channel I - Bass, Mid, Treble, Volume, Gain, Gate. 
Direct Out: w/ 412 SL/ST Cabinet Emulation 
Country of Origin: USA 

VIDEO: Great Interview with Dream Theater on Bloodstock Radio

In the 14-minute-long video below, Bloodstock Radio's Michelle Livings chats with Dream Theater's John Petrucci and James LaBrie.

The trio discuss the band's new self-titled album, which will be released September 24 by Roadrunner Records. They also discuss what it was like recording with new drummer Mike Mangini, the concepts behind the album and its cover artwork.

Also, be sure to take note of what might be hints about an upcoming world tour announcement.

Petrucci and LaBrie also throw in some handy nutritional advice. Enjoy!

Bride & Groom Play Guitar Duet at Their Ceremony...

This wedding procession, caught on tape, strikes a chord - literally: Bride & Groom Play Heavy Metal Guitar Duet at Their Wedding Ceremony...

Before tying the knot, the musical duo - with backup - performed a very heavy sounding over-driven guitar version of Pachelbel's canon on their axes along with members of the wedding party! Crazy Dude!

Jordan Strauss, 30, a guitar teacher in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, taught his bride, Andrea Strauss, 25, how to play so the two could make music together on their big day.

The video of the wedding, which took place in May, is getting attention on the Web.

Bride and groom celebrate wedding with guitars by storyfulviral
"We wanted to do something that we knew would stand out and put our own personal stamp to make it even more memorable," Jordan Strauss told Yahoo news.

The ceremony takes place in Long Valley, New Jersey. The scene is traditional except that Jordan, dressed in a dark suit, is strumming an electric version of Pachelbel's "Canon" with one of his groomsmen as the priest stands nearby. Then Andrea enters in white, with a guitar strapped on, and joins in.

The bride shows her multiple talents: walking down the aisle in four-inch red heels while playing her matching red guitar. The couple then face each other as they continue to play.

The pair, who met online and got engaged just eight months later, seem to be perfectly in tune!

Jordan has played guitar for 18 years and given lessons for 11. He taught Andrea to play the guitar for the ceremony; it took about two months of practice!

The performance was the first time the bride showed the world her guitar skills. "She was an easy student to teach. She's a natural. I told her that from day one," said her proud husband!

FANTASTIC Eric Johnson Interview at Guitar World...

Eric Johnson Discusses His “Koto” Technique, Tone,
Signature Strat and More...

He's a perfection-driven, genre-bending ax slinger from Texas with one of the most distinctive electric guitar tones in music. But what Guitar World readers wanted to know is ...

How did you get that fantastic liquid tone on “Cliffs of Dover,” and was that one cohesive solo or an amalgam? — J. Paradis

I played a Gibson ES-335 through a 100-watt Marshall. I put it all together by playing sections, then dropping them in and connecting them into a seamless whole.

What is the greatest misconception about you and your music? — Ray Wilson

That’s hard to say. The music business constructs an image of an artist based on what it wants, and that image tends to stick around. Sometimes, no one bothers to look between the cracks to see if the image resembles the truth. That can be frustrating, but it’s also the responsibility of the artist to obliterate that image by making something powerful enough to dispel it. There is certainly a stigma to being a “guitar hero.” But I know what music turns me on and how I want to fit into the world of guitar players. I try to keep on that journey with everything I do, without worrying too much about how others perceive me.

What would you suggest for someone on a limited budget who wants that trademark Texas-sized Eric Johnson tone? — Voltage

Good tone, whether it’s based around mine or not, begins with a versatile amplifier. I recommend a silverface Fender Twin or Pro Reverb, especially if you can get one with a nice old Jensen speaker. You want an amp with pure tone, something with which you can create a clean and simple sound. From there, you can add an overdrive pedal or any other effect you want, but you have to begin with a good clean sound. To make another point, I think people overemphasize the importance of gear in their search for tone. Your sound comes from how you pick and dampen the strings, and from your attack, as much as anything.

Who are some of your favorite classical composers? — Joe Sweep

Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel, Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky and Mozart. Franz Liszt and Chopin are way up there. Georg Telemann is a very interesting guy, and I also love George Gershwin.

Read More at Guitar World...

How to Spice Up Your Rock & Metal Riffs

How to Spice Up Your Rock and Metal Riffs: 

Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his Guitar Blog website...

Q). Rock and metal are my favorite styles but I'm new to inventing the guitar riffs. I want to get this into my playing because this summer I started a band with my friends. Could you make a video lesson that gets into how to spice up rock and metal riffs? My riffs are all sounding boring & the same, so I could really use some tips. Marty - Springfield, IL, USA

A). After you can play the typical power-chord progressions for rock and metal then the next step is to start composing riffs. Like a lot of things to do with writing on guitar I always suggest doing a ton of transcribing. By learning the songs by your favorite bands and taking stock of how they perform their lines you'll build your own riff concepts. Find out if your fav bands use chromatic ideas, blues concepts, or if they apply fast sixteenth-note phrases. Learn how to interpret parts by your favorite players, and notice what they do on guitar. For the video I've developed a collection of solid ways to get you going with adding a little more spice to your rock and metal guitar riffs.

Papa Roach's guide to surviving life on the road...

Jerry Horton talks touring:

It's been 13 years since Northern California's Papa Roach first broke-through off the back of triple platinum debut album, Infest.

Like their namesake, the 'Roach has not just survived, but thrived – selling over 10 million albums worldwide, most recently releasing The Connection, which landed at 17 on the Billboard 200. If anyone has experienced the full impact of the changing face of live music in the 20th century, it's these guys.

As of this week they're off around the U.S. on the Carnival Of Madness tour with Shinedown, Skillet and In This Moment. To celebrate this epic run of summer rawk madness (the good kind, presumably), we cornered six-stringer Jerry Horton to find out how Papa Roach got their start live, how to conduct yourself on tour and his essential advice for bands on the road...

"Before we got signed, we never really fully toured, we did weekend stuff within California. We had built a following in Northern California around Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose.

"Then we basically found other bands that were sort of on the same level, but in Southern California, and we would trade shows. That actually worked out really well and we would eventually get to a point where we would do three Monday nights at [Legendary L.A. club] The Troubadour."

More Great Andy Aledort Lessons from G.W.

Phrasing approaches and use the A minor pentatonic...
w/Andy Aledort

Harmony & Theory Course: Units 1 - 5

Harmony & Theory Course...

PRACTICE & TRAINING: Positive Musical Growth

PRACTICE &TRAINING: Positive Musical Growth

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

Q: I'm wondering if you can explain how I can improve how some days I play really good and other days I play awful. I've played for 7 years, and I've noticed that things have gotten better. But, I wonder if my practice time could be improved to help me balance things out? Also, any sage advice on how musicians can think more balanced would be really cool.
 Reggie - Dallas, TX. USA

A: Most players find that as the years go by their trend with having more and more "Better" days of playing, recording and jamming will constantly improve. However, there are things that you can do regarding your; daily, weekly and monthly practice routine, as well as, your lifestyle... which will help to make a difference in having really good days compared to having those unfortunate bad guitar days.

Some musicians will chalk up bad days to, 'bio-rhythms.' Some will blame bad days on a poor nights sleep. But, regardless whatever you might decide to point the blame toward, be sure that you take into account the many things that always contribute to those superior moments that allow you to have your best connection to your musical abilities. In the video lesson, I begin with an overview of some of the top ideas that encompass overall musical consistency. Then, I head to the guitar neck and run through several examples of topics that should be addressed in daily at home practice. The handout for this video will be available for download on my blogsite as of; August 18, 2013. 

Current Black Sabbath Tour Probably Band's Last

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler recently gave an honest opinion about his ability to keep jamming and touring, admitting that the band's current tour will likely be their last.

"It probably will be the last time, [it] will probably be the last tour," the bassist told Chicago Sun-Times. "But I want to go out on a high. The band is playing really well at the moment."

When asked to explain further, Geezer said: "I don't know. I just got a feeling. It's getting tough, it really is. I can't lie about that. I'm old now. It really is tough going on every night. You wake up next day, all the pains you never had before. I don't want to go onstage for the sake of the money. You have to have a lot pride in yourself, and I honestly think I'm coming to the end of the top of my job," he concluded.

In a separate interview, guitarist Tony Iommi elaborated his views on Sabbath future, sharing a similar dose of uncertainty.

"I don't know," the axeman said when asked about the possibility of new Sabbath music. "It's a question that's been asked a few times. I don't really have an answer for you. At the moment, we're playing it - because of my [cancer] treatments and stuff - I can't commit to doing another two years, or anything like that."

Metal icons released their latest studio effort "13" on June 10 via Vertigo Records, landing at No. 1 on both the UK Albums Chart and Billboard 200 with 155,000 copies sold in the US during the first week.

Devilcat Amps - Jean Series

Statesboro, GA (August 14, 2013) -- Boasting solid American construction for the solid musician, Devilcat Amplifiers is pleased to unveil the “Jean” Series of amplifiers at Summer NAMM in Nashville, TN.
Devilcat Amplifiers has added 3 new tube amplifiers to their lineup - the “Mean Jean”, “Clean Jean” and “Lean Jean”, all made in their Statesboro, GA manufacturing facility. Like their flagship amplifier, “Jimmy”, the “Jean” series costs hundreds of dollars less than traditional American made amplifiers in the same class. With the working musician in mind, founder Chris Mitchell created the “Jean” series as an alternative to the “one trick pony” trimmed down boutique amplifiers currently on the market. The “Jean” series continues to follow the company’s philosophy of offering solutions for the guitarist trying to achieve a maximum style range for an amplifier. The Jean Series of amplifiers features include:

Mean Jean specs:
  • 15 Watts 6L6 CLASS A tube power and tube preamp
  • “Dirt” channel that adds extra gain, boost, or both.
  • “Boost” channel that allows you to boost either channel (dirt or clean)
  • Speaker Attenuator allows you to drop the wattage of the amplifier to ¼ power
  • Classic Class A Distortion when overdriven
  • Accutronics spring reverb tank
  • Tube configuration: 2 x 6L6GC (power), 4x 12AX7
  • Galvanized Steel chassis and corrosion resistant hardware
  • Jensen Falcon 12" speaker
  • Foot switchable channel select allows the user to obtain all 4 channel options
  • Self Biasing any 6L6, 6V6, or EL34 (for different response)
  • Series Effects Loop
  • Available in combo or head / cabinet configuration
  • Hand wired and 100% manufactured in our Statesboro, GA facility
Clean Jean Specs:
  • 40 Watts 6L6 CLASS AB clean amplifier
  • “Boost” channel that has adjustable volume control
  • “Tone Boost” channel that allows the user to switch to a brighter tone
  • Accutronics spring reverb tank
  • Tube configuration: 2 x 6L6, 1 x 12AT7, 3 x 12AX7
  • Galvanized Steel chassis construction and corrosion resistant hardware
  • Jensen Falcon 12" speaker
  • Foot switchable channel select allows for all 4 tonal options
  • Series Effects Loop
  • Available in combo or head / cabinet configuration
  • Hand wired and 100% manufactured in our Statesboro, GA facility
Little Jean Specs:
  • 15 Watts 6L6 CLASS A tube power and tube preamp
  • “Boost” channel that allows you to boost either channel (dirt or clean)
  • “Tone” channel allows you to switch to a brighter tone
  • Classic Class A Distortion when overdriven
  • Speaker Attenuator allows you to drop the wattage of the amplifier to 1/4 power
  • Tube configuration: 2 x 6L6GC (power), 4x 12AX7
  • Galvanized Steel chassis and corrosion resistant hardware
  • Jensen Falcon 12” speaker
  • Foot switchable channel select allows the user to obtain all 4 channel options
  • Self Biasing any 6L6, 6V6, or EL34 (for different response)
  • Series Effects Loop
  • Available in combo or head / cabinet configuration
  • Hand wired and 100% manufactured in our Statesboro, GA facility

The Devilcat “Mean Jean” combo and “Mean Jean” Head carry street prices of $1299.00 and $1249.00 respectively. The “Clean Jean” combo and “Clean Jean” head are $1199 and $1149 respectively. The “Lean Jean” combo is $999.00 (street), while the head is $949 (street).
For more information:
Devilcat Amps

Andrew Wasson Original: "Ready to Fly"

The opening piece for my August 16, 2013 YouTube Guitar lesson,
"Positive Musical Growth."

 I hope you enjoy the lesson on YouTube:

Donations keep the FREE lessons coming - Please consider!


Guitar World's: Top 5 Programmable Delay Pedals

From Guitar World Magazine:

Rock guitarists — and manufacturers of effect pedals — have been obsessed with delay in its many forms since Cliff Gallup achieved that ultra-cool delayed-echo effect on the first few Gene Vincent albums in the mid-'50s.

The mechanics behind basic delay are simple: Play a note or chord into an audio-storage medium, then get that device to play that sound back to you — either once or multiple times — after whatever amount of time makes you happy.

Of course, people have improved upon this simple formula, taking delay to new depths and heights, adding multi-taps, reverse, looping and stereo, often including a seemingly infinite assortment of combinations in one pedal.

Which brings us to the story you're reading right now, our guide to five of the most powerful, versatile and useful programmable delay pedals on the market today. By programmable, we're talking about pedals that offer numerous (more than, say, four, for instance) presets that make changing your sound on the fly effortless — and the results limitless.

Like our last gear feature, this list was compiled by a group of Guitar World staffers, including Technical Editor Paul Riario. As always, these five pedals are presented in no particular order.

Strymon TimeLine:
For maximum tweakabilitiy and sheer processing power, virtually nothing surpasses the new TimeLine from Strymon.

With the ability to save up to 200(!) presets, you can take full advantage of the TimeLine's 12 delay engines, each of which are further customizable by the unit's front panel controls for Time, Repeats, Mix, Filter, Grit, Mod Speed and Mod Depth.

Add in the ultra-powerful SHARC digital signal processor and you might just have more than enough brain power to take Apollo 11 to the moon — or, at the very least, create some killer delay sounds!

Read more at Guitar World...

Steve Vai's 'The Story of Light Live' to Premiere on AXS TV August 25

 Steve Vai will present The Story of Light Live, a full-on spectacle of a concert performed live in Los Angeles, on AXS TV.

The network will premiere the performance 8 p.m. ET August 25 with an encore showing 12:10 a.m. ET August 26.

Vai will take the audience on an instrumental journey playing songs from his latest album, The Story of Light. The album was released on Favored Nations Entertainment, the label Vai founded in 1999.

After an enthusiastic response to his 90-plus shows performed last year on his Story of Light 2013 Tour, Vai continues to tour in Europe and the US.

Vai will kick off a US solo run October 16 in Santa Cruz, California. The Story of Light 2013 Tour will take him throughout the country, with shows in San Diego, Las Vegas, Birmingham, Austin and Houston.

The Story of Light 2013 tour will feature a unique premium package: the Evo Experience, which includes a meet-and-greet pass, Q&A session with Vai, access to sound check, an exclusive EVO Experience laminate and other Vai merchandise items. EVO Experience premium tickets will be available through A limited number of EVO Experience tickets are available for each show.

To see Vai's current tour dates, visit

Jason Newsted's 'Heavy Metal Music' Cracks US Top 40

 "Heavy Metal Music", the debut album from Newsted - the new band featuring former Metallica, Vovoid and Flotsam and Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok - sold nearly 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 40 on the Billboard 200 chart, Blabbermouth reports.

The CD was made available on August 6 in North America via Chophouse Records/Collective Sounds and August 5 in Europe through Spinefarm Records.

Jason told the 11-song album was very similar to the band's debut EP, "Metal," which opened with around 6,200 units to debut at No. 62. "The EP was always intended to be the primer, a sampler of what was to come on the LP," he said. "It's all metal all the time. It's not all fast, but it is all heavy."

Regarding how the material for Newsted's debut album came together, Jason told Loudwire: "It started out as my seeds for the first eleven songs that I made on my GarageBand thing. I wrote all the tracks - guitars, bass, drums, everything and gave them to Jessie [Farnsworth, guitar] and Jesus [Mendez Jr., drums] and had them go learn it, put their artistry on it and so it was collaborative in that way for the first batch. Like the four songs on the EP came from that initial eleven, so that's how those songs went. Each day as we get deeper into the songs, the collaboration gets deeper as well. I have come a long way from my tunnel vision of 'Only my ideas are good enough' bullshit, and I'm a lot more open to everyone's ideas and the artistry of each person to make it what it is. And three heads is better than one and that kind of thing. So it has become more collaborative as we go.

"I've written ten more since that time in October last year and a few of them have made their way onto this LP now. Once again, they were all my seeds, but now that we have Mike Mushok in the band and I give the music to all three of those guys, now I have three great artists bringing back their responses and their counterpoint playing to my ideas, so it's becoming more and more collaborative every day and on this LP there will be shared writing credits on at least half of the songs with the writing credits now."

Misa "Tri-Bass" Digital Bass-guitar Concept

Misa tri-bass: new touch-sensitive digital guitar controller.

A MIDI device with three strings and a whole lot of touch technology...

Misa's Kitara digital guitar got a lot of attention when it was shown at the 2011 Winter NAMM show, but it was very much an experimental instrument and has now been discontinued. In its place we have the tri-bass which, despite having a moniker that would suggest otherwise, is not specifically a bass instrument but rather an evolution of the digital guitar concept.

The tri-bass is a MIDI controller that has just three 'strings'. These are positioned on a neck that's touch-sensitive but doesn't have any buttons. There's also a touchscreen in the centre of the body. Notes are played by holding them down on the neck and then pressing the touchscreen to add expression, effects and the like. There are additional playing modes, too.

Check out the video above to see the tri-bass in action. You can buy it now from the Misa website for $649.

Cool Neck Diagram Software...

People are always asking me about neck diagram software. And, this was just emailed to me as an excellent looking piece of software for both PC & Mac.

Watch a video demo...

Find out more here...

Andy Aledort Lesson - Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing"

Guitar World's "Andy Aledort" takes a close look at Jimi Hendrix's, "Little Wing."

Gear Rundown w/ Roger Glover from Deep Purple

Roger Glover from Deep Purple presenting his setup of TC Electronic gear...

Metal Bands Banned From Swearing at Bloodstock!

Heavy metal has always had a 'thing' with cursing. The songs are loaded with foul mouthed lyrics and for the most part swearing has always been an acceptable feature of this genre for a number of decades.

However, bands performing at this year's Bloodstock Festival in Birmingham, England, were, somewhat unusually, told to, "Please mind their language."

As Express & Star reports, bands such as; Slayer, Death Angel and Anthrax were banned from swearing on the stage because of the festival site's proximity to a war memorial...

Bloodstock takes place near the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and officials from the Royal British Legion were concerned that the peace of mourners at the memorial would be disturbed if any of the metal groups used foul-language on stage.

Bloodstock co-director Adam Gregory issued the following statement regarding the decision:

"We are very conscious of the local community," he said. "We have the Arboretum very close by and we try to respect that. "Most of the bands were very obliging when we told them. I don't think it detracted one iota and I think the fans were in agreement."

Bloodstock took place from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th August and featured headliners King Diamond, Lamb of God and Slayer. This year's event was attended by 14,000 people with a further 1.3 million watching live streams of the festival online.

But what do you think? Were the Bloodstock organizers right to ban swearing at the event? Would you attend a metal music festival if you knew that there was a no swearing policy?

Andy Timmons on the features & design of his signature Ibanez

Andy Timmons on the features and design of his signature Ibanez AT10P

Ibanez catches up with Andy Timmons in Texas to discuss the features and design of his new AT10P signature model.

The instrument features a 1pc Maple neck with KTS Titanium Rods, an Alder body, Jumbo frets with Premium fret edge treatment, a Wilkinson WV6-SB bridge and DiMarzio Cruiser and AT-1 pickups.

Justin Stone's Eight-neck Rocktopus Guitar...

Justin Stone, who conceived his eight-neck Rocktopus guitar while absent-mindedly scribbling on a scrap of paper.

I drew a cross and thought to myself that a guitar with four necks would be pretty cool,”

Stone says. “Then I drew an X over the cross and thought that an instrument with eight necks that were each different kinds of stringed instruments would be even more incredible. Right away, I thought of an octopus wrapping its tentacles around it, and the ideas kept snowballing.”

The Rocktopus, which Stone describes as “a functional piece of art,” consists of three electric guitars (tuned to E, D and F), an electric 12-string, bass, cello, five-string banjo and acoustic guitar attached to a central body. “Connecting eight 45-degree-angled wedges — two of which are hollow — to fit perfectly together as a single body was the biggest challenge,”

Stone says. “The octopus is carved out of wood and encrusted with rainbow abalone shell and steel suction cups.”

Because the Rocktopus weighs 40 pounds and is six feet in diameter, Stone waits for special occasions to assemble it.

Playing it isn’t difficult,” he explains, “and so is the setup... It takes about three hours to affix the necks, put on strings and stretch them.”

Perhaps someday Stone can hire the Octomom’s brood to tend to the Rocktopus!