Written by PGS staff The quest to find TONE—it’s an endless, Sisyphusian journey. With the insane amount of gear available, we guitarists can have a tendency to not see the forest for the trees, constantly swapping gear in and out as we look for the sound we hear in our heads. This week, we’re highlighting ways to tweak your tone that don’t involve dropping a bunch of Benjamins on new gear—not to say that it isn’t a ton of fun, too. 1. HEAR It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to listen passively. Actively use your ears and brain to hear tones,
Written by PGS staff. Play music with others: This is probably the single best piece of advice anyone can offer. Music is rarely a solitary activity. Whether it’s a rock band, a jazz trio, or a full orchestra—it typically takes a village to bring music to life. A bedroom player who has mastered the instrument is going to go back to square one once he or she starts playing with other musicians—the communication and instincts that are developed by playing music with others are both irreplaceable and unteachable. You just have to do it and live it to get good at it. You can always benefit from guitar lessons: One of
Written by PGS staff SLASH Appetite for Destruction came out almost 30 years ago but stands the test of time as one of the greatest rock records ever made. In a sea of super-Strats and Aqua-Net, Slash came on the scene with an arsenal of Les Paul copies (as the legend goes, the band was too poor to afford high-quality instruments in the early days) that later became the basis for his Gibson Signature Les Paul. Though he has been seen rocking a number of other instruments throughout his career, Slash is associated only with the LP. BILLY GIBBONS Pearly Gates. The defense rests.
I think there’s one thing we can all agree on: there are only 12 notes in the musical scale. Though there’s seemingly endless ways to arrange them in a unique fashion, there’s bound to be overlap from time to time. However, sometimes the overlap is a little too uncanny. When Katy Perry released her single “Roar,” it was immediately noted how eerily similar the track was to the Sara Bareilles song “Brave” (which was co-written by Jack Antonoff from the band .fun). Perry and her co-writers (Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, and Cirkut) remained mostly mum on the subject, while Bareilles was pleased as punch to have a sudden burst
EADGBE: boring! Okay, standard tuning isn’t boring, it’s probably the language that we all speak in every day on our guitars—but it is exactly what its name implies: standard. We’ve talked before about different ways to open up your playing and songwriting, so today we’re taking a high-level look at open and alternate tunings that you can try out on your instrument, no matter what style of music you play. Using alternate and open tunings has the obvious benefit of breaking you out of your comfort zone and can force you to rethink how you play your guitar, but there’s also a tonal benefit to playing certain songs
Tony Iommi Tony is the man behind Black Sabbath’s tone; his huge sound and playing style influenced an entire genre of music called heavy metal. Bands such as Judas Priest and Metallica took their cues from Black Sabbath. Born in Birmingham, England in 1948, Tony originally wanted to play drums but due to the noise level, he instead turned to guitar. A lefty, Tony played with a few bands before Sabbath such as The Rockin’ Chevrolets, The Rest (with Bill Ward), and Mythology. In 1968, he joined future band members Terry Butler and John “Ozzy” Osbourne in a band called the Polka Tulk Blues Company which shortly thereafter became Earth. In August 1969 there was some confusion with
Ten TOP TIPS for Practicing Guitarists! Whoever you are, whatever your skill level—there’s always room to grow. Guitar is a lifelong passion and hopefully we all have many, many more years of exploring and getting better as players and composers. Here are 10 tips to help spark your practicing, playing and writing. PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME Think of practicing with a metronome as your karate training from Mr. Miyagi—you’ll think it’s boring and repetitive and sometimes even meaningless but then, when you least expect it, a drummer starts throwing punches at you and suddenly your instinctive skills kick in! When you practice, use a metronome as much as possible so
Tele, Strat, P-Bass, J-Bass, Jag . . . instruments so ubiquitous that we forget these are not their actual names. Each has its own distinctive sounds, its own look, its own luminous history and its parade of inspired players who have used it to create some of the most popular music ever, sometimes even completely transforming pop culture in the process. Fender guitars and basses have become so iconic that it is difficult to imagine how the last 60 or 70 years might have sounded without them. But, while not every Fender instrument has inspired this same level of success, many relatively obscure Fender guitars do have their fans. These fans may be adventurous musicians looking for a quality instrument that is different enough to