Category Archives: Guitar

Finally, a place to keep picks

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Classical guitarist mind melds with the infamous Foxy

Well here’s the whole boring story (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058142/Amanda-Knox-falls-guitar-man-James-Terrano-returns-normal-life.html)

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Lush guitarcentric landscaping

Yes, a yard shaped like a guitar. The yard and the house can be yours for a little under 18 mil. Here.

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Couple of news items…

Are armed attacks on a guitar manufacturing plant really necessary? Here is an update on the Government VS Gibson Guitars.

The Libya connection: guitar playing during street battles (certainly the sound of machine guns right next to a guitar player will drown out the notes–no?).

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Filed under Electric guitar, Guitar

Firebird X

If a hot blue (or red) Corvette–with plenty of electronic gadgetry– could transform into an electric guitar this might be what it would look like. A review of Gibson’s new Firebird X. Here’s a look at it on Gibson’s site.

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Gibson Guitar Co VS the Feds

Here’s a look into Gibson’s exotic woods controversy. Story over @ the LA Times.

Update.

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Cool sounds from strange instruments

Downright catchy.  Their YT channel is here. Site here.

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Filed under Classical Guitar, Guitar

Chinese bossa nova

Some Chinese bossa nova, with–you guessed it– guitar accompaniment. Here.

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The good, the bad and the ugly–on twelve strings

I’ve always loved this theme; on twelve electric strings it’s the next best thing to the full orchestra version.

Hey wait a minute here’s one (with a Irishy folksy variation in the middle) on 36 strings more or less…

Montreal Guitar Trio with the California Guitar Trio

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“a dynamic cyclical model of fetishization appropriate to an age of mass-production.”

I think that sums it up pretty good…After all, why ” would someone create a replica of Blackie, complete with every single nick and scratch, including the wear pattern from Mr. Clapton’s belt buckle and the burn mark from his cigarettes? And why is that replica expected to fetch at least $20,000 at Wednesday’s auction, and probably much more?…” Read the rest of this article in the NY Times.

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The elusive flamenco guitar

“Flamenco has a solid reputation for being hermetic to those who have not been initiated into it. Some pretend that this hermeticism is nothing but a pretext to disguise its limits and insufficiencies.  Isn’t flamenco, under these conditions, nothing but a carefully managed eye fooler? The question of its deep-seated nature cannot be forever eluded. Are we in the presence of true art or a popular art? Yet, it seems to be accessible only to the initiated, even though they are relatively small in number. It is a fact that flamenco, formed by shades of light and dark, is elusive. It loses its own authenticity in contact with the forces of the music hall footlights. Yet, it resurges with its own complete vigor in semi-dark caves…” Read mere here (originally pub way back in 1981 in Guitarra magazine, now brought online.

You’ll notice a flamenco guitar usually has a tapping plate to protect the top from percussive effects.

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“Reinventing Guitar” album

On Greek guitarist Smaro Gregoriado’s new album, Reinventing Guitar: “…The album features a mixture of traditional guitar pieces, all craftily arranged by Gregoriadou, as well as original works penned by the Grecian guitarist. All of the pieces are performed on instruments built by the modern luthier Yorgos Kertsopoulos, guitars that are designed to not only evoke new sounds from the guitar, but to greatly expand the range and harmonic possibilities of the instrument…” Article’interview  here (from Guitar International). This link has some pics of some pretty radical designed classical style guitars

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Cherry supreme: good enough to eat

This is what a $5000.+ guitar looks like: Gibson Les Paul Cherry Sunburst

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East meets West

Duo: Chinese pipa (played by Liu Fang) and classical guitar (Michael O’Toole).

I’m generally not a big fan of Eastern music but the combination here is beautifully haunting. According to the video info it’s is a transcription basesd on Philip Glass’s composition for string quartet.

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…Now for something completely different

Jeff Corallini plays ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ on a seven-string bass.

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Gibson quality control issues

I’ve been reading on and off for several years now about Gibson quality control problems–painting, gluing, etc. Here’s a picture I got off a recent forum showing one of the problems, in this case cracking along the fingerboard perimeter. Type Gibson quality issues or Gibson quality control problems in Bing or Google and you’ll come up with a good cross section.

Forum link here.

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Filed under Electric guitar, Guitar, Guitar links

Another guitar crime

I’ve posted several stories of criminals using guitars as weapons. Here’s another.

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Now this, a, er, looks sort of interesting

Click here.

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Ovation guitars

The Ovation iDea.

I haven’t had a chance to play one of these yet but it looks like a great idea. Not only can you play it like a regular acoustic guitar but it also plugs into an amp, but the most interesting feature is the digital recording console built in; not only does it allow you to instantly and conveniently record, say a run you’ve come up with, some musical idea you’ve stumbled upon, but you can also layer musical lines, as for example a chord progression, and as you’re playing that back you can add a melodic line or another chord progression to go with it. This looks ideal for guitar composers. This particular model lists for over $900. or so but I’ve seen them now for under $250. (Amazon for instance)

Top mounted digital console.

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Filed under Digital playing, Electric guitar, Guitar

Guitar duo: brothers Odair and Sergio

“…Mr. Assad, 57, is half of what critics consider the world’s leading classical guitar duo, with his brother Odair. He almost won a third Latin Grammy in the ceremonies held Nov. 11; he was nominated twice for Contemporary Classical Composition. The Washington Post suggested that the brothers might be “the best two-guitar team in existence, maybe even in history…” Here.

The brothers in younger days.

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Electric guitar Gods

There are Gods of the classic guitar, jazz guitar, flamenco guitar; there are even Gods of the Banjo and Uke. Above are electric guitar Gods (please leave the appropriate sacrifice).

 

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“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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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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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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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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Classical modern: Saudade No 3

I’m surprised how many people think that the classical guitar rep consists only of romantic Spanish or 18th century Western European (Bach, Mozart) transcriptions, or that it that the apex of its modern compositions stopped with H. Villa-Lobos; here’s an example of the wide selection offered by composers of today. For example, this is Saudade #3 by the French composer-guitarist Roland Dyens. It is played here by the great Japanese guitarist Kaori Muraji.

Below is another Dyens piece, played by Meng Su, Yameng Wang, Chen Shanshan ,Li Jie

I think two members of this quartet, Meng Su and Yameng Wang,  are also known as the Beijing Guitar Duo (website)

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The art of the handmade classical guitar

Monica Esparza–this is the first female guitar-maker I’ve come across, though I’m sure there’s more. They seem like first rate instruments. “I create the elegance of the “V-Joint” neck, as employed by Hauser and Romanillos, to add to the craftsmanship and esthetic beauty of the instrument. I finish the instruments with the hand rubbed French polish to bring out the beauty and natural tones of the guitar.” Here’s her website, where the quote was taken.

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“World’s seven most expensive guitars”

Well, actually it’s not the guitar itself that’s so expensive but who owned and played it before. Here.

Below, for example, is Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster. Price: two million dollars, surpassed in value only by a Fender Stratocaster signed by the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, etc., etc and going for two and three-quarter million.

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Filed under Electric guitar, Fender Strat, Guitar

Nice guitar and voice work

This is (in my ever so humble opinion) the best guitar/voice duo I’ve ever heard.

Duo: Sam and Ruby (2010): The Here and the Now

Related: Sam and Ruby sing This I Know (video from 2006)

Related: My Space page

 

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