It was a dark and rainy night. The courthouse clock struck midnight; a stray dog howled. It was all too beautiful when the staff of Gear Vault convened for their semi-annual secret meeting with the confines of the beloved cinder block chamber they call their “office.” Their agenda? To decide the 20 most important people in guitar. Read more
The Greatest Guitar Hero, Jimi Hendrix still remains one of the most influential forces in rock music. Pulling unprecedented sounds out of his Fender Strat, Hendrix challenged musicians and guitarists to explore a wild new world of tones and textures, dazzling and confounding guitar greats like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, who still speak of Hendrix with a hushed reverence. Other players before him might have experimented with feedback and excessive distortion, Hendrix turned those practices into an art fashion. He was the first player to use the whammy bar as an instrument unto itself, making his Stratocaster talk, scream and howl. Read more
When you take the amp that has been the source of pure rock and roll crunch for decades and mix it with one of the most powerful metal guitarists ever to unleash havoc on this planet, what do you get?
Give up? How about Marshall’s 2203KK. What’s the ‘KK’ for? Why, the loveable Mr. Kerry King from Slayer, of course! Did I say ‘loveable’? OK, perhaps not so much, but this amp sure is!
Many guitar players tend to make a certain face when they hear the word “Squier”. It’s the same face you make when someone says “telemarketing job” or “infomercials”. Forever destined to be the Yugo of the music world, the good folks overseas who make Squier guitars for Fender have pushed out a new model that is already changing the minds of those who put their hands on it: The new Squier Bullet Strat HH. Read more
You are true blue musician, a lover of all things sound related, and a consummate professional. Naturally, you’re going to want to destroy your guitar or instrument as part of your live show. Read more
Ah, the classic Gibson vs Fender debate. This dispute has become so famous and so controversial that nearly all guitarists are forced to segregate themselves and declare their allegiances. But why form such specific, exclusive factions, driving a wedge between the guitar playing community? For good reason, as it turns out the two companies build different guitars for different purposes, making it perfectly reasonable that some players only pick a Fender while others are firm Gibson men (and women). But which is best for the player who has yet to pledge themselves to one brand? Read on and find out. Read more
Whether you’ve been playing the guitar for years or you’re just beginning to pick it up for the first time, pretty much anybody can recognize good acoustic guitar songs and appreciate them for their simple beauty. Unfortunately, not all acoustic guitar songs are all that easy to play. You have to master more than just chord progression and rhythm; the key to good acoustic guitar songs is the passion and drive that you play each of the acoustic guitar songs with. Read more
Rock history has proven time and time again that where electric guitars are concerned, you don’t have to break the bank to bust onto the charts. Certainly, a fair share of hit albums have been recorded with instruments that cost more than most used cars, but a remarkable number of legendary discs have also been tracked with extremely inexpensive instruments that produced equally stunning results. Read more
Just as every adult knows that it is inappropriate for one to clean one’s ears at a fancy dinner; every self-respecting guitarist knows there are certain disgusting activities which have for many years been strictly verboten in music stores Read more
As a guitar instructor, I routinely deal with students trying to learn songs they want to play. After all, that’s the whole point of this thing of ours, right? The thing that I notice over and over, however, is the increasing dependence of most students on some sort of online tab website to provide the details on how a given song is played, rather than learning the song in the time-honored play-along-with-the-record ear-based method. When I talk to students about this Read more