Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Gibson HD6x Pro digital guitar

It’s billed as a digital guitar, “the first guitar of the 21st century.” Take a look at what the hub-bub is all about. It sure looks neat. What, no classical guitar version?

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Rock & Jazz guitar improv

Here’s an article you may find worth a read–A step-by-step approach to rock and jazz guitar improvization. Here’s a short excerpt:

STEP 1: LEARNING THE NAMES OF THE INDIVIDUAL NOTES ON THE ENTIRE FRETBOARD – This is vital because in the art of improvisation, one has to know where one is on the fretboard at all times, regardless of what type of music is being played or improvised. Without knowing all the notes on the fretboard, it becomes easy to get lost and fall behind on the tune (while the chord changes the other musicians in the band are playing just roll on by). The natural shortcut, or the easy way out, is to only learn some of the notes on the fretboard. This approach will have at least two undesirable results: (A) the limited ability of only being able to improvise in certain keys (like A and E), and/or, (B) the limited ability of only being able to improvise on certain areas of the guitar neck. Jamming with other musicians and having these types of situations arise tends to lead to a good deal of embarrassment.

The article’s written by Tony Emmanuelli. Another article of his on this site (Intellectual Musician) is The mandatory scale to know for rock guitar lead playing

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Lead guitar software

Hey, it’s a web info-commercial but it looks interesting.

Who else Wants to Discover the Astonishing, Step-By-Step Secrets of How to Play Lead guitar Like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Chet Atkins, Stevie Ray Vaugnh, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani…and so many others?

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E-guitar

Check out this article about a wireless electronic guitar by Dan Ott from Yanko Design.

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More on ten-string guitar players

If you’re interested in ten-string classic guitar music there’s recordings and videos of Narcisco yepes and Dominic Frasca mentioned in an earlier post. But there is also (new to me) Perfecto De Castro. His A Journey Through 10 Strings is reviewed here.

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Nightmare guitar

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Yes, that’s actually the name of this guitar–Nightmare, Jimi’s Nightmare to be exact. It’s a sculpture by Bruce Gray of a Fender Squire guitar that was cut up and reassembled (duh).

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Chris Parkening’s book

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Here’s some non-news: Christopher Parkening’s autobiography, Grace Like a River, not yet available in paperback. Here’s a short excerpt: “Play it again,” my father would say, “Play it again seven times perfectly! If you’re not one of the top four or five in the world, you’ll starve with this instrument.” I hope this book is better than the autobio by Andres Segovia; unfortunately that reads a lot like a very long tombstone inscription.

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Method Books

If you’re studying classical guitar the best method book I’ve come across (and the one I used) is Classic Guitar Technique by Aaron Shearer:

Here’s the rundown of the course books:

Classic Guitar Technique, Vols 1 and 2

Supplements 1 (Slur, Ornament and Reach Development Exercises) , 2 (Basic Elements of Music Theory for the Guitar)  and 3 (Scale Pattern Studies for Guitar)

I still have my complete copies of these and still refer to them once in awhile.

You can get these on Amazon; also there are several other online music stores, such as The Sheet Music Store

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Was the guitar once worshipped as a goddess?

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In the Secret Life of Instruments, published circa 1617, Sir James Harry, musical advisor to England’s King James, mentions the strange and secret guitar cult that would gather in open fields on the ides of March and pray to the “womanly figure of the guitarra.” (Actually i just made that up.)

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Fourth of July guitar (minus Alaska and Hawaii)

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They laughed when I sat down to play

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This is the classic seating position but I have always preferred holding the guitar to the side, sort of like a jazz guitarist would hold his guitar. But hey, I sit this politically correct way, as shown in the illustration, when I’m playing in front of people. I mean sit the wrong way and other guitarists look at you like you’re a novice–yeah, they get that little smirk on their faces and talk about you behind your back.

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Sometimes a big voice requires a big guitar

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Rammstein live at Volkerball

Here’s the very heavy metal, very heavy electric guitar German group, Rammstein (certainly the most popular band in Europe). In this particular song, however, there’s an emphasis on the electrified acoustic guitar. If you’re in the mood for a very heavy thundering guitar piece however, Sonne, for example, go here.

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Electric wood

Does the type of wood used in its construction have anything to do with the sound of an electric guitar? A lot of electric guitarists swear it does–light wood, for example, vs heavier–but I have personally consulted the Great Solid-Body Electric Guitar Oracle of the Mountain and he/she has categorically stated that it does not. The strings of an electric sold body guitar, so the Oracle stated, are brought to life only by electrical means, through the pickups which…well, “pickup” the vibrations of the strings. And that’s that. The Oracle has spoken.

If I may be so bold as to interpret the Oracle, what he/she is saying is that the solid-body electric guitar is essentially nothing more than a music synthesizer with frets. Now that’s cold.

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Batman’s guitar (or does it actually belong to the Boy Wonder)?

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This and plenty of other weird electric guitars are here. Some even have fur.

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More finger slogging


Despite the hokey background which gives it a…well, hokey 70s‘ look this is a great video of a Chinese girl (I believe it’s Li Jie) playing the difficult Caprice N0 24 by Paganini .

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Talk about finger slogging…

This is guitarist Dominic Frasca playing a ten-string classical guitar, followed by a six-string (notice on the six-string–is that sort of a C-clamp capo he’s using or I’m I just seeing it wrong?). The only other ten-string guitar player I’m familiar with is the late Narcisco Yepes. There’s a short chronological bio of him here.

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