Month: October 2013

Guthrie Govan – a guitarist’s guitarist

Guthrie Govan is definitely a guitarist’s guitarist. He currently plays in a trio called the Aristocrats, playing a combination of jazz fusion, rock, blues and shred. The fluidity of his playing is something that really stands out. He moves from smooth slow runs to lightning speed flurry  with complete mastery of scales and rhythms. He has such control of the fretboard that it makes it so much fun to watch him play, whether it’s on video or live. Check out the Aristocrats live album or the new album Culture Clash, released in July of this year.

Aristocrats | Culture Clash [DELUXE EDITION] Aristocrats | Boing, We’ll Do It Live! The Aristocrats

Finger pickin good

Guitarists lose guitar picks faster than Lindsay Lohan loses her dignity. In most cases, it renders them completely incapable of playing anything exciting. For me though, this has become quite a blessing.

At first, I played really simple things when sans pick, but over time as I did it more, I found a bit of a style developing. I attacked the guitar differently. Because of the limits of my fingers, I was forced to play in a unique way. Over time, I noticed that I was able to play faster and more complex lines. I also started using several fingers at once, which resulted in even more interesting lines. (more…)

Allen Hinds – Smooth and tasty

Allen Hinds has a very smooth style, mixing jazz, blues and rock. He has that elusive touch that many guitar players seek but never find. Allen is known for his legato style and very smooth tone. He performs live and does session work for various acts, and is on staff at “Musician’s Institute”. Check out his solo cds. My favorite is his latest release, Monkeys and Slides.

The perks of guitar playing

Playing guitar has always been a big part of my life. I always encourage kids, teens and parents of kids and teens to pick one up and start learning. Most people value playing an instrument, but they don’t often think of all the benefits it can provide. Here are a few from my life so far…

1. Boredom doesn’t ever happen

Since I started playing the guitar at the age of 11, I’ve never been bored, except for times when I didn’t have a guitar around. I started writing right away, so when I would get frustrated technically, I would try to write something. Today, I do a combination of practice and writing. Basically, any time I pick up the guitar, I have something to do and the only reason I put it down is that I have to move on to something else like work, family, or chores. I often hear kids complain of being bored, even though they play sports and video games. Give them an instrument. (more…)

Richie Kotzen – few can sing and play this well

Richie Kotzen is an amazing guitar player and singer. He’s played in Poison, Mr. Big, and has been recording and touring as a solo artist for years. Currently, he has joined forces with Billy Sheehan on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums to form the supergroup, the Winery Dogs. Their first album was released last July, and it’s simply amazing. Few people on this planet can play and sing this proficiently with such soul and passion. Check out his finger-picking style on the solo of this song. It’s very tasty and inspiring.

The Winery Dogs – Get the album!!!

Fender American Deluxe Telecaster (2012) – my latest obsession

ImageA couple of years ago, I began itching for a telecaster. I loved the twang especially with subtle distortion applied. However, I didn’t want to get one and be bound by the limitations I assumed it had. I love playing blues and country, but I need to rock as well, and sometimes hard.

As I researched the models, I was first mesmerized by the look of the 2012 American Deluxe. As I dug deeper, I found the magic piece that sold me instantly…the S-1 switch. I went to the local guitar store and played one, and the infatuation started. This guitar felt and played so good, I felt at home. Then I plugged her in and found all the lovely sounds that a tele is known for. But then, I hit the S-1 switch, turned up the gain on my amp, and I was playing metal on a tele….completely mind-blowing. So, I started saving.

I don’t buy guitars on a whim. I spend a lot of time researching them and I let some time pass to make sure I still really want that kind of guitar as my next one. Well, it’s been over a year, and as surely as I love my wife and kids, I love this guitar. She will be mine…soon!!!

No excuses for not playing the guitar

The other day, I saw a kid I know who is very gifted and was totally obsessed with guitar six months ago. I asked him how it’s going. With sad eyes, he said, “Well, I don’t have much time to play these days. You know, school, sports, and stuff”.

It broke my heart because this kid has talent and passion. So, I told him there is no excuse. Everyone who loves to play should be able to find at least 15-30 minutes a day to play. Here are a few ideas… (more…)