by Daniel Brooks Slide guitar is a simple thing, really. All you need is a metal, glass, or ceramic finger-length tube or “slide” to use as a movable fret in direct contact with the strings. Play it well and it can completely transform your guitar into a primordial force of nature with the power to create a sound of primal emotion, a wild and beautiful invitation to the eternal dance, the fundamental growl that gives new life to the soul. To do this, however, you’ll have to develop a different set of skills than those you need to play a guitar the standard way. You can learn these basics immediately, but, like many things worth doing,
Don't Forget these Gigging Essentials by Daniel Brooks Congratulations! You got the gig. You know you’re ready. You’ve created a great set list. Your gear is modified and adjusted to perfection. You’re so well rehearsed you could play any of your songs perfectly, anytime, anywhere, for any audience. Rock and roll greatness awaits you! What could go wrong? Well, a lot of little things, actually. Regardless of whether it’s your debut or your thousandth time on stage, there are minor snags that can mess up your show or keep the unprepared from doing the gig altogether. Any of them could happen to anyone, and are likely to happen to you, sooner
by Daniel Brooks The Rolling Stones have created some of the most iconic music of the past fifty years, and from the very beginning, the creative soul of the Stones has been guitarist Keith Richards and singer Mick Jagger. Typically, Keith would come up with a riff or two and maybe a lyric line or a title, Mick would come back with lyrics and a melody. Together, they would work out a song from the elements, one of hundreds they would contribute to the rock and roll canon. Their decades in the studio and on stage represent an essential part of the history of rock, just as the tales of their rock and roll excess are now the stuff of
by Daniel Brooks You can fine tune the basic tone and output of your guitar by adjusting the height of each of your pickups. It sounds like a simple thing, but any adjustment of any part of your guitar can have a considerable affect on your sound, so it’s good to keep a few realities in mind as you tweak your way toward tonal perfection. Typically, a pickup raised higher to be closer to the strings will deliver a higher output with a more pronounced and defined high end than one positioned lower. But you will not necessarily maximize your sound by just setting the pickups as high as they’ll go. In fact, a higher setting
By Daniel Brooks Last week we took a look at the Black Keys, whose passionate celebration of guitar-driven music continues to draw a steadily growing audience. An essential part of their success is Dan Auerbach's guitar sound, a big, distorted presence that comes from a variety of unusual guitars, the blended output of three different amps, an assortment of fuzz pedals, a few modulation effects and a tape delay. His sound and their music are deeply rooted in tradition and well within reach of most guitarists. Fortunately for those of us who want that sound for our own creative purposes, most of his gear is relatively easy to find, and there are inexpensive alternatives for each piece of equipment.
Review By Ian Garrett The Pedal: Dunlop JHM2 Octavio The Point: Octavio fuzz replica The Cost: $129.99 Find the Dunlop Octavio at Pro Guitar Shop Last time I reviewed the Dunlop JHM1 Fuzz Face, a part of the 70th Anniversary series to Jimi Hendrix. And this time is another in the Tribute series - the JHM2 Octavio. Dunlop keeps it simple again with just a fuzz and volume control. And like the Fuzz Face, it has the modern updates too, including an
by Daniel Brooks Whether you’re just giving your old guitar one more tweak toward perfection, or getting ready to do your first complete set up on your new instrument, there are a few essential items you should have in your tool kit. Most of these are inexpensive and well worth the investment, if you don’t already have them, and they will help you fine tune any guitar to its maximum level of performance and playability. Screwdrivers A set of Phillips screwdrivers. There are several standard sizes of Phillips screwdrivers, but you’ll need only three to do any work on any standard guitar. A good Craftsman #2 is the largest. It fits the neck attachment screws
Review by Ian Garrett The Pedal: Dunlop JHM1 Fuzz Face The Point: Fuzz Face replica The Cost: $129.99 Find it at Pro Guitar Shop If you’re a fan of Jimi Hendrix, you’re probably a fan of one of his main effects, the Fuzz Face. Similar to the original, the JHM1 keeps it simple with just a fuzz and volume control. But this version comes with some welcome modern updates, like an LED indicator, a 9v adapter, true bypass and a much smaller enclosure. The exterior is a limited