Monthly Archives: November 2010

“King of the Surf Guitar”

Known as the King of the Surf Guitar during the early sixties, Dick Dale, now 73, a survivor of cancer which struck him at 27, is probably best known today for that amp-driven bassey sixties surfer hit Miserlou, which, by the way, had a comeback in the movie Pulp Fiction. Well Dale is back anew with “Guitar Legend: The Very Best of Dick Dale” and is about to start his “Electric Acoustic” tour in California. Here’s a recent article about him.

Dick Dale & The Del Tones:  “Misirlou” from 1963 (as played in the movie A Swingin’ Affair)

Notes: When you’re watching this try to concentrate on Dale’s playing and not the blonde dancing in front of him; secondly keep in mind that the bass player is NOT a zombie…Here’s Dick Dale performing an updated version of “Misirlou”(1996)…Here’s Dick Dale, along with Stevie Ray Vaughan doing “Pipeline”; it’s about the weirdest video I’ve ever seen (Dale’s hair is scarrrrrrrrey)… It seems, at least in some of his videos (er, like the one above),  Dale plays with the strings in reverse order, high e at the top, then b, g, d, a, and low e…Dale, as he admits in some interviews, isn’t a great player but he does play loud, and for him, and his fans, that’s all that really matters… Type his name in Youtube and you’ll come up with a basket of stuff.

Update: new Dick Dale article.


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Filed under Electric guitar, Guitar

Classical to folk…

This is the stuff that gives performers nightmares: what happens to your career when your hand is injured or some medical condition, sometimes even a minor one, reduces your normally superb hand control to something a lot less than it was at its peak. Well about ten years ago this  nightmare came true for world-renowned classical guitarist Liona Boyd. One of her fingers developed a nerve condition which gradually ruled out a concert career. “…I’ve worn out the neuroreceptors that control the fingers,” she explains. “With me, it was mostly the one finger, the one you need for arpeggios…” Result? Today Ms Boyd is a folk singer who, along with performing song styles ranging from Joan Baez and other music from the sixties, to New Age type compositions, and in accompaniment uses a regular strumming technique, which is to say she uses a pick. Read more here (“Liona Boyd Sings a New Song”).

Below is Liona Byrd with a her singing partner Srdjan Givoje. She’s not using a pick here though;  evidently she’s back to fingerstyle to some extent. I’ve seen several of her singing videos on Youtube; though she has a really beautiful voice, some of her facial gestures are overly dramatic, stagy.

Note: As far as a bad finger goes here’s some advice (and I have no idea whether or not it’s sound)

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Filed under Classical Guitar, Guitar

“Promenade by the Mind”

Haunting little classical guitar composition (here or here) by Woody Guitar Roots (that’s his user name on the Vimeo and Yourtube video sites). Here he is on a hollow-body electric playing a jazzy number called Rain in the Soul. Very nice–and smooth. Channel.

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Filed under Classical Guitar, Electric guitar

World’s cheapest electric guitar

Ingredients: strings (well, for this model at least one), pickups, assorted fasteners, and one bottle of beer (but make sure you drink it first).

Here’s another low techie (there’s quite a fiew of these on Youtube)

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Filed under Electric guitar

Christopher Parkening explains how guitar playing is like trout fishing (who knew?)

By the way this video is from a great Youtube channel–Rare Guitar Video Exchange. Like the name says, there’s lot of rare guitar vids here.


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Filed under Classical Guitar, Guitar, Guitar links

The Fretless guitar

I’ve heard of fretless bass guitars of course but never a regular six string fretless. Below is a demonstration (the guitarist on the right). Looks pretty cool

And here’s your friendly fretless guitar resource.

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Filed under Electric guitar, Guitar

What the concert guitarist needs is a new and ever changing repertoire

It’s no secret, in order for the guitar to more effectively and, let’s face it,  commercially, compete for the ever changing tastes of concert audiences, it has to experiment with as many facets of composition as possible, and according to some, like concert guitarist Flavio Sala, in this interview with Guitar International, for example, that includes renditions of pop and other genres and rhythms of music (by the way, Sala also talks about the touchy subject of using amplification). Well, anyway, here’s a quote from Sala stating the crux of the matter: “I spent a lot of time practicing and playing classical repertoire in my concerts and tours, but suddenly I realized that each place has its functional repertoire. I saw quite well known guitarists playing Villa-Lobos Studies and Brouwer compositions in a popular party like they were in the Carnegie Hall. That was just ridiculous…Guitarists should not close their eyes and live their lives as if the traditional classical guitar repertoire is the best in the world. Come on, the world is full of beautiful music. We just need to open our minds, discover it and share it with people…” I guess he’s saying, Loosen up.

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Filed under Classical Guitar, Guitar