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G U I TA R P L AY E R . C O M

P L AY B E T T E R • S O U N D B E T T E R

RORY GALLAGHER

SHRED SPECIAL

Inside his guitar collection

FEATURING ZAKK WYLDE • YNGWIE STEVE MORSE MARTY FRIEDMAN SCALES

PLUS

DUFF McKAGAN GEORGE BENSON DOYLE DYKES ALBERT LEE

RED!

W SH E N E H T E TO WELCOM

D N A E R A HIS R . M U B L WA E N T O H LES E T HIS M O T US C L A C I D RA LEARN

THE DARK STUFF

Unlocking the Harmonic Minor Modes

REVIEWED

GIBSON ’60TH ANNIVERSARY LES PAUL STANDARD PEDALMANIA 2019 24 STOMP-TASTIC EFFECTS


ALBUM

Double-Barrel Brew

Zakk Wylde serves up a special anniversary reissue of Black Label Society’s debut. B Y

R I C H A R D

B I E N S T O C K

YOU CA N SAY a lot of things about Zakk Wylde, but never say the man lacks perspective. Ask him how he feels about the 20th anniversary of Black Label Society’s debut album, Sonic Brew, and he quickly puts the years into context. “Everybody’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it’s 20 years already!’ ” Wylde remarks from a Black Label Society tour stop in Chicago. “But look, I have an old Guitar Player magazine with Keith [Richards] on the cover, and it says, ’16 Years in the Rolling Stones.’ That was a big deal at the time! Now they’re past 50. So we had a birthday cake made for our band that said, ‘Happy 20th Birthday, Black Label Society. Thirty More Years to Go. Now Get to Work!’ ” The 52-year-old guitarist lets out a hearty laugh as he says this. Wylde was already a guitar hero when he formed the group in 1999, thanks to more than a decade of working with Ozzy Osbourne, but it’s obvious that hitting the 20-year mark with his solo band has struck a chord with him. Which is why he opted to revisit that 1999 debut with a new anniversary reissue, which he’s dubbed Sonic Brew 20th Anniversary Blend 5.99–5.19. The slight change in title is significant, as this is no mere remix-andremaster job. As it happens, the master tapes for Sonic Brew went missing a long time ago. “I remember after we recorded everything,” Wylde deadpans, “Doug Henning, the magician, came in and he goes, ‘Hey, fellas, let me show you a trick!’ Then he took the two-inch masters, put a blanket over them and removed the blanket, and the two-inchers were gone.” Given the circumstances, Wylde

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approached this new version with some

original BLS drummer] played. He just

the parts up in the mix, I had to recreate

degree of latitude. “All we have is the record

went in and played along with the record,

them, because there was nothing to mix.”

that exists,” he notes. “So when I wanted

so there’s actually two drummers on the

In either its original or reissued form,

to bring a kick drum up in the mix or give a

new version. It’s like the Allman Brothers,

Sonic Brew demonstrates that the Black

snare some TLC, I had to have Jeff [Fabb,

where you’ve got Jaimoe and Butch Trucks

Label Society blueprint was solid in Wylde’s

current Black Label Society drummer] go in

back there. The same went for the guitars

mind from the start. Songs like “Bored to

and re-record the part that Phil [Ondich,

and vocals — if we wanted to bring any of

Tears,” “The Rose Petalled Garden” and “Born

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to Lose” exhibit the doomy, Sabbath-on-

His no-nonsense approach to guitars and

steroids approach that would come to define

amps demonstrates that Wylde had already

the BLS sound. (Indeed, the song “Peddlers

found the perfect formula for creating his

of Death,” which had originally appeared in

massive tone. “I never understood guys who

acoustic form on Wylde’s 1996 solo album,

change gear all the time,” Wylde says. “To

Book of Shadows, incorporates Tony Iommi’s

me it’s like, you ask Billy Gibbons what he

famous “Sweet Leaf” riff into the mix.) The

used on ‘Tush,’ and he’ll tell you, ‘Well, it’s

record also features folky acoustic work

this amp over here and that guitar over there.’

(“Spoke in the Wheel”), EVH-style unplugged

Okay, why don’t we just use that? Last time

shredding (“T.A.Z.”) and some southern-

I checked, that sounded pretty amazing.”

rock remnants from Zakk’s early 1990s

Wylde may have made quick and easy

outfit, Pride and Glory (“Mother Mary”).

work of the recording sessions for Sonic

According to Wylde, Sonic Brew

Brew, but the album wasn’t without its

came about following a period of career uncertainty in the mid ’90s. “I had just done the Ozzmosis record with Ozzy, and I was also playing with Guns N’ Roses at the time [following Gilby Clarke’s departure from the band],” he recalls. “Oz was like, ‘Zakk, are you playing with GN’R? What are we doin’ here?’ I couldn’t get an answer from the fellas about my status, so finally Oz said, ‘Zakk, I gotta get another guy in here, I can’t be waiting around.’ That’s when Joe [Holmes] came in to play with Ozzy. And then the GN’R thing didn’t happen. It was in limbo.” And so for the first time in a long time, Wylde was a man without a band. “But I don’t care if I have $20 billion in the bank,” he says. “I just want to work. That’s what I do.”

creative snags. The initial pressings featured

music, and we’re going to get paid for this?’ How can you not love that?”

“I D O N ’ T U ND ERSTA N D P EO P L E WH O WO R K SO H A RD TO GE T TO T H IS PO I N T, A N D ON C E THE Y G ET H ER E THE Y WA N T TO GO HOM E ”

He feels the same way about performing onstage. “People say to me, ‘Zakk, I can’t believe you’re still touring.’ I go, ‘Yeah, I’m doing what I love.’ I don’t understand people who work so hard to get to this point, and once they get here and they’re doing it, they want to go home. That mentality doesn’t compute with me.” Indeed, with 10 studio albums, a handful of EPs and live efforts, and countless tours under his belt, Wylde has practiced what he’s preached over his 20 years with Black Label Society. And that’s to say nothing of his other work, which includes Steve Vai’s Generation Axe outings, several runs on the Experience Hendrix tour, live dates with Zakk

The first thing he did was make the largely acoustic Book of Shadows. But, he

a Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky bottle

Sabbath (his Black Sabbath cover band),

says, “I was like, ‘I’m not ready to be James

on the cover, with the wording altered

and the guitar, amp and pedal creations of

Taylor and be a singer-songwriter and play

to reflect the band name and album

his gear brand, Wylde Audio. “The way I look

mellow stuff.’ I had these riffs laying around,

title. Wylde thought the brand would be

at it, I just love dancing,” Wylde says. “And

and I just started writing with them. And

thrilled by his heavy-metal homage and

each project is a different form of dance: tap,

that’s how Black Label was created.”

offer him an endorsement deal. It was,

ballet, street — stuff like that. I enjoy it all!”

Wylde got in touch with Phil Ondich, who had previously played with New York City

he admits, a “slight” miscalculation. “We got a cease and desist,” Wylde says.

High on that list continues to be his work with Osbourne. The two men are currently

southern/stoner rockers Raging Slab, and

“They basically told us, ‘Listen, we run a

gearing up to head back out on the road for

the two booked time in a Miami recording

fine product here. We don’t need any of you

the No More Tours II trek. As for whether

facility to cut Sonic Brew, with Ondich playing

scumbag mutants tarnishing our amazing

he might enter the studio with Osbourne

drums and Wylde handling everything else.

whisky!’ ” He laughs. “I was just like, ‘Oh,

once again, Wylde demurs. “That’s up to the

“The approach was basically ‘Let’s get a good

okay.’ I just used it as an excuse to come

boss. Right now we’re in tour mode. But if Oz

drum track,’ and then off we’d go!” he says.

up with another album cover and then go

calls up and says, ‘Hey, Zakk, you have any

in and track another new song or two.”

riffs laying around?’ Then it’s just, ‘Yeah, no

At the end of the day, of course,

problem. I’ll be right there. On the way over

When it came to his gear, Wylde simply hauled his usual rig into the studio. “My amp was what it always was with Ozzy —

everything worked out fine. “Right from

do you want me to grab some milk and some

a [Marshall] JCM800 2203,” he says. “And

the get-go, I knew Black Label was it for

eggs?’ If Oz wants to do it, then we’ll do it.”

then for guitars I was using the Rebel [his

me,” Wylde says. “Because it’s always been

1989 Les Paul Custom decorated with bottle

a blast. I’ve never had a bad time. I don’t

Black Label Society record. “I always look

caps] and the Grail [his 1981 bull’s-eye Les

know how you could. I mean, especially

forward to cutting a new album with the

Paul Custom]. Then I had another Les Paul

back in the boozing days, it was like, ‘Let

band,” Wylde says. “It’s like baseball. Whether

that had a Sustainer pickup in it, which was

me get this straight: We’re gonna be

we just won the World Series or we just came

great for feedback and different things.

drinking all day and writing and recording

in last place, it’s always a new season.”

G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M

And at some point, there will be a new

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FA B R I C E CO F F R I N I /G E TTY I MAG ES

TIPS

Solo Flight

Steve Morse reveals what it takes to write a soaring guitar instrumental

ST E V E M ORS E H AS defined himself as one of music’s most versatile shredders, not only through his work with Deep Purple but also with the Dixie Dregs and the Steve Morse Band, where he’s demonstrated his talent for crafting inspiring instrumental fusion and rock guitar songs. What does it take to write a

“I US E M A J OR TOO M UCH TO E V E R B E E M B RAC E D AS A L EG IT HA R D- ROC K GU ITA R IST ”

successful guitar instrumental? We asked, vocal melodies. Vocalists tend to use many

play makes somebody happy, I’m fine with

different techniques, and guitarists can always

that! But seriously, I use major too much to

learn from trying to sing a melody.

ever be embraced as a legit hard-rock guitarist.

The main thing is that the guitar can control

How do you keep a solo performance

Any favorite modes?

the mood and energy. It’s totally a composed

interesting over a long stretch?

Mixolydian and Dorian seem to come up a lot

creation mixed with some improvised soloing.

I use a variety of tones or attack, changing

in my stuff!

Vocals are very expressive, and the guitar can

from a mono to a more polyphonic approach,

be too when you use a wide range of attack,

or changing the density of the notes in

What about modulations into new keys?

tone, vibrato, bends and so on.

different sections. I’ll change effects for

I always try to do it, because it seems to

different parts, too.

freshen everything up sonically. It can be very

and he answered. What about guitar instrumentals appeals to you?

corny, though, if it’s done as a huge deal and

What can an instrumental provide a

uses a big Broadway-style turnaround.

listener that a vocal song can’t?

Do you ever adopt the approach of “start

Less repetition, for one thing. In songs, the

low and slow, and finish high and fast”?

music often stays the same for three rounds

I wouldn’t say that’s a feature that I always

Does the backing band have to work

of verses. Instrumentals work better when

use. However, I have often used the approach

differently than it would on a vocal song?

there’s always something changing, or when

of adding more and more melodies as

Yes. For example, the bass often doubles lines

you add more parts to them.

overdubs to the ending section to make the

or takes over my original riff while I add a

sound more dense.

melody or harmony.

I use a combination of experimentation,

Do you have any favorite keys or tempos?

What are your thoughts on harmonizing?

inspiration and transcribing what’s in my head.

Keys? Any that might allow some open strings

Don’t just stay with diatonic harmony that

to be used in voicings of chords. Tempos? No

follows the exact contour of the melody. Let it

Do you try to retain a typical song

favorites, but sometimes I limit the tempo if it

take some jumps to 6ths, 5ths, 4ths, as well

structure?

is very technical, of course.  

as the usual 3rds.

some changes at the end. That said, the

Do you find it easier to write in minor or

What guitar instrumentals have inspired

typical song format can work fine if you

major keys?

you?

inculde some changes on each verse.

I change to the relative major or minor so much

Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover” and Joe

within a song that it doesn’t make much

Satriani’s “Satch Boogie” come to mind. My

When it comes to writing guitar melodies,

difference. Some of my more metal friends

earlier influences were the Allman Brothers’

is it useful to study a vocalist’s approach?

hate that I often use major-key melodies and

“Jessica,” Jeff Beck’s “Ain’t Superstitious” and

I think it’s good to study horn melodies and

chords. They sound “too happy.” If anything I

the Ventures’ “Walk Don’t Run.”

How do you start writing one?

Usually not. I tend to revisit the melody with

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John 5 with his cat, Vlad, and Ken Meyer–built Munsters guitar, featuring a Fender neck and Jason Oberly paint job.

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PLAYERS

D E R H S T R E L A B Y P H O T O G R A P H Y

B Y

J O E

N E I L

B O S S O Z L O Z O W E R / A T L A S

I C O N S

A RMED W I T H A STASH OF RARE AND CUSTOM T E L ECAST ERS, M U LTI FACE T E D GUI TAR VI RT UOSO J OH N 5 L AUNCHES I NVAS I ON, T HE M OST S H R EDWORT HY ALBUM OF 2 019.

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PLAYERS

FOREVER MAN

YNGW IE MA L M ST E E N ’S LO NG AND UNPRECE DE NT E D RU N AS T HE WO R L D ’S P R EMI E R SHRE DDE R CONT I NUES WIT H B LU E L I G H TN I NG , HI S NE W ALBUM OF O RIG I N A L T U N ES A ND CLASSI C ROCK COVE RS B Y

M A R K

M c S T E A

T H E RE A RE A HAND FUL OF LEG ENDA RY, GENR E-D EFIN IN G GU I TA RI STS WHO AR E INSTAN TLY I D ENT I FI A BLE BY THEIR FI RST NA ME A LONE: JIMI, ED D IE AN D A NGUS, FOR EXAMPLE. immediately recognizable name of all is that of Yngwie, the man who invented an entire genre of music known as neoclassical rock. Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s astounding technical ability and unprecedented approach to virtuoso guitar playing set the bar to a previously unimaginable level when he was first heard on record in 1983, on the self-titled debut album from American heavy-metal band Steeler. For those old enough to remember, Malmsteen’s initial appearance in the U.S. press was in Mike Varney’s “Spotlight” column in the February 1983

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G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M

issue of Guitar Player. The tape he submitted to Varney has surfaced on YouTube and serves as a sobering example of the difference between a great guitarist and one who is truly gifted. The 19-year-old’s style was already fully formed and unlike anything else that came before it. Critics will sometimes try to point to some of Malmsteen’s influences, such as Ritchie Blackmore, but his playing and chops were from another universe. At the time of his emergence, the undisputed god of all things shred was Eddie Van Halen. Remarkably,

Malmsteen rapidly became as influential as Eddie, and was copied by many — from players who threw a few harmonic minor runs into their solos to imitators who appropriated his technique wholesale. The copycats are considerably fewer these days, but Malmsteen’s 1984 debut album, Rising Force, remains one of the definitive go-to shred albums of all time. Malmsteen is currently promoting his new release, Blue Lightning (Rising Force). Early rumors tantalizingly suggested it would be a blues album. In actuality, it features his signature takes on a number of classic rock staples, mixed in with a handful of original songs. Performed entirely by Malmsteen and recorded in his own studio, Blue Lightning is a testament to his ability to take songs like the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” and Eric Clapton’s “Forever Man” and make them his own. In addition to playing all the instruments, Yngwie sings all vocals, as he has since 2016’s World on Fire. His voice has continued to develop with each release, making the final product an even more personal statement. AUGUST

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G IJSBERT HANE KROOT/GE TTY IMAGES

Rory Gallagher onstage in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1974

G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M


AFICIONADO

BLUES POWER O N TH E 5 0 t h ANNI VE RSARY OF RO RY GA L L AG H E R ’S RECORDI NG DE BUT, W E GET A FI RST-HAND LOOK AT T HE GU I TA RS B EH I ND HI S POT E NT M USI C B Y

W

J A M I E

D I C K S O N

H E N THE WOR L D

learned of Rory Gallagher’s death in 1995, he was mourned almost as one might a friend, even by those who only knew him through his music. At 47 years of age, he was too young to leave the stage with such finality. Witnesses to Rory’s electrifying live shows knew what a formidable performer he was — coming back for encore after full-tilt encore, shredding with his battered ’61 Strat as long as the crowd cheered and stamped their feet for more. So it was all the more saddening that there could be no more curtain calls for a man who was humble by nature but whose guitar

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P H O T O G R A P H Y

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playing was loved by millions for its ecstatic energy and unaffected eloquence. Rory was also a prolific recording artist and left behind a back catalog as thick as a phone book. Like the wheels of his tour bus, the tape was always rolling, so there was always going to be more to discover in the vaults. Now, on what would have been the 50th year of his recording career, Rory’s family has unveiled Blues (Chess/Ume), a compilation of previously unreleased tracks, all linked by his lifelong love for blues guitar. More than 90 percent of the songs featured on the new 36-track collection are previously unheard. Some show off Rory’s haunting affinity for old-time

J O B Y

S E S S I O N S

country blues, played on his National resonator, while others are full-flight rockers that send showers of sparks flying with every incandescent slide lick. The collection also documents rite-ofpassage encounters between Rory and the American bluesmen who’d been his childhood heroes, including Muddy Waters and Albert King. It’s an occasion worth marking. In that spirit, we joined Rory’s nephew, producer Daniel Gallagher, to take a close look at his best-loved guitars. Along the way, Daniel revealed how each instrument earned its place in his extensive collection, and how Rory used them to craft songs that still leave listeners spellbound today. AUGUST

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M A RK SU LLIVA N /G E T T Y IM AG ES

1961 FENDER STRATOCASTER

Rory’s main squeeze survived decades of gigs to become an icon RO RY ’S FA M OUS LY WEATHE R ED ’61

Stratocaster was his most prized guitar, but he certainly didn’t treat it with kid gloves. “Despite this guitar being his favorite thing in the world, he would still mess with it,” Daniel explains. “He’d rout things out, try different pickups and alter things. For example, the middle tone control is glued in a fixed position, and all the pickups work off one knob, which allowed him to do wah-wahstyle effects with his right hand. There is also footage of him in 1979 in Montreux, where he drags the Strat across the stage, front-side down. It sounds mad, because he’s got a phaser running at the same time, and I think he damaged the neck pickup when that happened. “While it was being repaired, he had a black DiMarzio single-coil pickup installed in the guitar for a while. Around the same time, he found that the neck wasn’t holding its tuning properly, and he actually needed to dry it out. There was so much sweat in the neck that he took it off for a year or so. He put it above a fireplace, on the mantelpiece, and just let it dry out. He got a replacement neck from Fender, which was a suitable match for the era. I think that was around 1980 or late ’79. There are pictures of him with it.” Daniel adds that Rory’s Strat was originally ordered for another guitarist, who decided to pass on it because he wanted one in a Fiesta Red finish, like Hank Marvin’s. 54

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The ’61 Strat’s middle tone control is disabled and glued in place.

Some of the heaviest wear on the finish occurred when the Strat was stolen and left in a ditch.

The headstock has a visible radius on its top edge from the sheer number of times Rory tuned up.

G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M


FRETS

MORE TO IT

K E B ’ M O ’ R E V E A LS T H E C RA F T B E H I N D H I S N E W A L B UM , O K L AH O M A, A N D SO LO ACOUST I C S H OW S T O R Y

A N D

K

P H O T O

B Y

E B ’ M O ’ HAS been such a fixture on the acoustic roots scene for the past quarter century that it’s easy to take him for granted. That would be a major mistake, however. The Grammy-winning master finger picker and slide stalwart is still challenging himself and listeners, both onstage and on record. His new release,

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J I M M Y

L E S L I E

Oklahoma (Concord), features inventive songcraft and interesting acoustic instrumentation, as well as important contributions from players like Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal and Rosanne Cash, and producer Colin Linden. The title track begins with a wild stuttering, turntable-scratching kind of sound layered over a Latin-flavored nylon-string vamp. It proceeds to address

Americana subject matter and features a tasty fiddle solo, along with a mercurial slide solo on the outro. “I’ve got to give Robert Randolph credit for bringing that tune to life and inspiring me to put it on the record,” Mo’ says. On “Put a Woman In Charge,” he combines driving acoustic guitar rhythms and resonator slide playing in a “Me Too”-era anthem that features a commanding vocal G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M


FRETS

side, laughing and joking as he runs through the gamut of Americana styles. But as he reveals, when it comes to his shows, guitars and music, a great amount of technical and creative decision making is at work. What design elements are most important to you on an acoustic guitar?

I like a smaller box with 12 frets to the body, and I prefer a wide fingerboard with enough string spacing to really get in between and do some finger picking. I like the sponginess in the way a 12-fret plays, and there’s something about the anatomy, perhaps the location of the bridge in relation to the soundhole, that makes it sound sweeter and feel more resonant. When I had a chance to work with Gibson on a signature model, I asked for a parlor-sized 12-fret because I wanted something I would actually play as my own main instrument on- and offstage.

“ I US E FI NGE R P IC KS W H E N I P LAY ST EEL GUI TA R B ECAUS E I LI KE T H E C LA NKI NESS TH E Y B R I N G, AND I LI KE T H E WA R M SOU N D O F FIN GERS ON A WO O D E N GU I TAR” performance from Cash. Says Mo’, “Her appearance is the most powerful moment on the album.” The guitarist lends nuanced finger picking to the delicate tune “The Way I,” while “Ridin’ on a Train” is a quintessential stomping resonator blues with a choppy rhythm track and another that weaves in and out as Mo’ alternates between fretted and slide licks. “That’s a National ResoRocket in DADGAD,” he explains. “I played both parts using the same guitar because I wanted them to blend together.” The guitarist has been taking Oklahoma on the road in a solo acoustic show that gives him ample room to display his chops. Its set features a backdrop that looks like the front of a rustic building, a bar with a turntable on it and his name emblazoned in lights. Mo’ waltzes out alone to his stool and picks from the five instruments at his G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M

“The Way I” is a good example of its sound. Having 14 frets to the body can be convenient, but as Chet Atkins used to say, all the money is in the first few frets anyway. [laughs] Didn’t you also work with Martin on a limited-edition signature dreadnought with 14 frets to the body?

Yes, but that was back around 2003, when I was going for a bigger sound. I wound up combining the stylistic elements of a D-45 and D-18, and I chose Hawaiian koa for the back and sides, making it somewhat exotic. The Martin was my main guitar for a long time before I adopted the Gibson Bluesmaster as my primary flattop. I also use a Martin 00-18 quite a bit on gigs, in open tunings as well as standard tuning dropped down a whole step when I want a wooden-body sound for playing slide.

How about when you want a steel-body sound?

I mainly use a National ResoRocket, which is a single-cone resonator that’s based on a tri-cone design. The ResoRocket is cool, because it delivers the resonance of a 12-fret guitar, and it’s got a cutaway so you can slide up high on the neck. My other main resonator is a Republic guitar that I use to get that really nice cheap sound. What kind of slide do you prefer?

I exclusively use the Mudslide by Moonshine Slides. I love the feel of the Mudslide because it’s thick without being too heavy like some thick metal slides. I like the sound of a ceramic slide because it doesn’t make any noise when you drag it across the strings. I use medium-gauge D’Addario EJ17 Phosphor Bronze strings for my slide guitars, including the Martin, and the light EJ16 set for finger picking on the Gibson. What’s your M.O. when it comes to finger picks?

I’m generally an either/or type of player. I use finger picks when I play steel guitar because I like the clankiness they bring, and I like the warm sound of fingers on a wooden guitar. But I’m experimenting with using just a thumb pick on the wooden guitars. Did you use any other acoustic guitars on Oklahoma?

I used an acoustic that was handmade by Will Hirsch out of Northern California to play the title track in DADGAD tuning. I also played a Bedell nylon-string on that song. Robert Randolph played lap steel over the intro vamp and on the outro. How did all the elements on the title track come together?

I wrote the music and started singing “Oklahoma” over the hook. It sounded right, but I’m not from there, and I like to be authentic. I eventually did a songwriting session with a lady I’d just met named Dara Tucker, and it turned out she was from Oklahoma. We finished the song together. I was still on the fence about recording it, because I wasn’t sure AUGUST

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LESSONS

STYLE

Tornado of Solos

Marty Friedman’s Exotic Scale Mastery BY DAV I D BR E WST E R

former Megadeth lead guitarist Marty Friedman remains an important source of inspiration for building unusual melodic twists and finding unique directions in music. As a player, Friedman has always combined self-expression with a fearless approach to the less-traveled areas of music and his instrument, entertaining and inspiring metalminded musicians and fans since the 1980s. As a founding member of the shred-metal group Cacophony in the late ’80s, Friedman honed his chops alongside fellow six-string firebrand Jason Becker. Together, they raised the bar of the dual-guitar attack heard at the time and were commonly referred to as “the band with two Yngwies.” While Cacophony failed to chart massive success, the band’s output was noticed and enthusiastically admired and embraced by shred-hungry guitarists the world over. The two rising stars each went on to release inspired solo albums, with Friedman’s Dragon’s Kiss and Becker’s Perpetual Burn both hitting the streets via Shrapnel Records in 1988. The records pushed the two guitarists’ names into the spotlight in the guitar community, but it was Becker teaming up with David Lee Roth (notably replacing Steve Vai) and Friedman joining the now legendary metal band Megadeth that propelled both players toward mainstream rock guitar stardom. Friedman collaborated on arranging songs with Megadeth founder and frontman Dave Mustaine for his debut recording with the band, the landmark 1990 release Rust in Peace, which is still widely regarded as one of the finest metal albums ever. A large part of the respect for this

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recording comes from Friedman’s wicked fretwork and extended soloing throughout the LP’s now-classic tracks. Marquee songs like “Hanger 18,” “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” and “Take No Prisoners” are celebrated album highlights, but for many fans, the most coveted diamond is “Tornado of Souls,” a song on which Friedman recorded one of the most inspired guitar solos of his career. Through the 1990s, Friedman

F R I E DM A N ’S M US ICA L OU T PU T CO N T IN U ES TO E VO LV E IN N EW D I R ECT ION S continued to pave a path of success with Megadeth and quickly became a regular on MTV with his excessive headbanging and fret burning. The guitarist embarked on numerous world tours with the band in support of subsequent albums, including the charttoppers Countdown to Extinction (1992) and Youthanasia (1994). During this time, Friedman also managed to record and release a pair of inspired instrumental albums on Shrapnel Records, Scenes (1992) and Introduction (1994). Friedman’s distinguished run with Megadeth came to an end by the year 2000, and in 2003 he moved to Japan, where the guitarist became remarkably famous. He has since appeared on more than 700 Japanese television programs and remains a popular and famous celebrity in the country. His musical output continues to evolve in new

directions, including guest appearances with musicians from Japan and all over the world, not to mention additional solo material, including 2014’s Inferno and his most recent release, Wall of Sound (2017). Analyzing Friedman’s approach to playing and music making is challenging, as his intuitive knack for combining breathtakingly acrobatic arpeggios, sinister string-bending motifs and a plethora of exotic scales in any given phrase produces a truly unique and inspiring sound. It’s Friedman’s signature single-note lead style and expressive articulation that make his playing demand attention, admiration and respect. This lesson will reveal some of the exotic scales that Friedman likes to use, and with practice, you’ll understand how this mix-and-match approach to combining various scales based off the same root note, or tonal center — a concept known as modal interchange — can push your own playing to new levels of inspiration. To begin this exotic scale discovery, Ex. 1 illustrates the E Aeolian mode, also known as the E natural, or pure, minor scale (E F# G A B C D). This is a common scale heard in timeless rock and metal classics, such as “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne and “Fade to Black” by Metallica. As you play through this example, notice the emphasized E octave notes performed at the beginning. This root emphasis will help you accurately hear the overall key and tonality of the scale that you’re moving through in this and other examples in this lesson. Ex. 2 is a Friedman-style rolling legato run in E Aeolian. In addition to the fingering, which has been relocated to a higher register on the top three strings, notice how the phrase sounds surprisingly exotic, yet the scale it came from is the same basic E Aeolian mode. This kind of rolling phrasing is one of Friedman’s specialties, as he has a talent for taking a basic melody and magically transforming it into a unique, ear-twisting line. Our next pair of examples rework the Aeolian scale formula by altering G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M


J OBY S ESSI ONS

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Pedalmania 2019 24 Hot Stompboxes…Revealed!

THE G P STAF F got an early peek at stompbox releases at the winter NAMM show last January, and we requested many of them for reviews — some of which have already been published, including models from Aclam, Danelectro, EarthQuaker Devices, Electro-Harmonix, Tech 21, TWA and others. As more pedals are rolling in for upcoming reviews, we decided to take this opportunity to present 24 of our top picks from the show, which highlight how manufacturers are creating distortion, fuzz, delay, modulation, reverb and multi-effects pedals that give guitarists more sonic options than ever before — whether the goal is better lead tone, crafting otherworldly soundscapes or being able to get your entire stage sound from something small enough to fit in a suitcase. There are tons of options out there in stompbox land — as well as cool accessories, like pedalboards — and we look forward to reporting on as many new products as possible in the coming months.

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Boss Dimension C DC-2w

Crazy Tube Circuits Falcon

Danelectro The Breakdown

$ 229.9 9 st reet

$1 89

$149 street

Danelectro The Eisenhower Fuzz

Often mistaken for a chorus,

In a world of distortion boxes

This simple-looking pedal is a

Boss’s ’80s-era Dimension

that attempt to give you the

six-stage gain booster with a

effect was an innovative 3-D

sound of a raging full stack, it’s

volume control that works

This powerhouse can produce

spatial processing unit that

refreshingly cool to find a pedal

interactively to let you push the

searing octave-fuzz effects and

made everything you put

that’s going for the sound and

front end of an amp with

plenty of other shades of

through it sound remarkably

feel of a small, lower-gain

different combinations of gain

clipped-transistor grind courtesy

more lifelike and present.

combo. The Falcon aims to

and volume boost. The first

of its extreme gain, quartet of

Though time-based like a

produce the vibe of two different

position of the rotary Break-Up

controls (volume, treble, fuzz,

chorus, Dimension adds width

combos: a ’55 tweed Deluxe and

switch provides a slight gain

bass) and hugely effective

and depth to the source but

a ’61 brownface Princeton. It

boost and progresses with each

Fat-Sculpt switch, which scoops

without the obvious modulation.

features super-simple operation,

click to a stout distortion at the

mids in the latter position while

The new Dimension C DC-2W

with just output, tone and

sixth position. The idea is to get

boosting bass and treble for

has modes for not only the

volume knobs, plus a Year

the Break-Up setting and

badass metal tone. Hardly a

original DC-2 Dimension C pedal

Switch to take you from ’55 to

volume level combination that

one-trick pony, though, the

but also the legendary SDD-320

’61. The Tweed tones have a little

produces the overdriven tone

Eisenhower can also produce

Dimension D studio rack effect

more compression and sag, as

you want, then either roll down

buzzy early ’60s fuzz sounds,

on which it was based. The

well as more gain on tap, while

the guitar volume for less grind

bizarre ring-modulator textures

pedal retains the original’s

the Princeton sounds are tighter

or hit the bypass switch to revert

and thick distortion by adjusting

familiar four-button preset

and respond beautifully to

to the straight amp sound. The

the highly effective controls. The

interface, now updated with

changes in pickup output or

Breakdown runs on external

octave effect is prominent on all

electronic switches and LED

rolling back your guitar’s volume.

nine-volt power only, and it

settings (particularly when the

indicators. Each mode — S and

Not fancy, not modern. Just cool

delivers a fat, edgy solo tone

guitar volume is turned down),

SDD-320 — offers four variations

and musical.

with Break-Up on five or six and

and while Sculpt mode tends to

on the Dimension effect with

crazytubecircuits.com —MB

the volume about halfway up.

obscure the octave harmonic a

increasing width and depth, plus

For a smoother response, keep

bit, it still comes through even in

another six additional sounds

the Break-Up switch at three or

a blizzard of overdriven outrage,

accessed by pressing

four and turn up the volume as

adding a welcome definition to

combinations of the four

needed to drive the amp into

the sound that fuzz pedals

buttons. With its versatile mono/

distortion.

sometimes lack. The Eisenhower

stereo I/Os, the pedal will play

danelectro.com —AT

is certainly a great choice for

$149

nice with any rig, onstage or in

heavy styles, but it also qualifies

the studio. boss.info —CS

as a fine do-it-all fuzz machine. danelectro.com —AT

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GEAR

rich overdriven tones when driving a

Gibson

high-gain amp like the Mesa/Boogie Mark 5:25. The highs stay present when the volume is turned down, and the tone controls are voiced so that you can roll into browner

CUSTOM 1959–2019 ’60TH ANNIVERSARY LES PAUL STANDARD

textures without losing note detail.

T ESTED BY A RT T H O M PSO N

amazing-sounding PAF-style pickups makes

Gibson has created a stylish replica with the Custom 1959–2019 60th Anniversary Les Paul Standard. The attention to detail in the build and effort put into creating such it a great choice for players and collectors

CRE AT E D TO C E L E BRATE the six

Custom.” An authentic acrylic cover is included

seeking to get as close as possible to a real

decades since Gibson rolled out the Les Paul

for those who want a totally stock look.

late-’50s Les Paul.

with newfangled humbucking pickups and a

The ’59 medium C-shape neck feels

sunburst finish, this Anniversary model is an

awesome, and the medium jumbo frets are

accurate replica of what is probably the most

given a satin polish that makes for effortless

Custom 1959–2019 60th Anniversary

coveted solidbody electric guitar of all time.

bending. Possibly a result of being shipped

Les Paul Standard

The Custom 1959–2019 60th Anniversary Les

from Nashville to California, the guitar arrived

CONTACT gibson.com

Standard is a classic beauty, with its Royal

with quite low action, enough to cause some

PRICE $6,499 street, hardshell case included

Teaburst nitro-lacquer finish (one of 10

buzzing on the bottom strings, which was

sunburst options) on a very vintage-looking

easy to fix by raising the bridge a bit and

NUT WIDTH 1 11/16"

two-piece maple top (note that the guitar

adjusting the truss rod.

NECK Mahogany ’59 medium C shape

shown is not of the example we tested). The

FRETBOARD Bolivian rosewood 24.75" scale

neck is hide-glued to the body for superior

and the 60th Anniversary Les Paul Standard

FRETS 22 Historic Medium Jumbo

transfer of vibration, and it has an extended

is resonant and sustaining, and it sounds

TUNERS Kluson single line, single ring

tenon for enhanced neck-to-body coupling

satisfyingly in tune along the neck. Played

BODY Mahogany with carved two-piece figured-

and, hence, sustain. As per original spec, the

through a Fender reissue Deluxe Reverb with

maple top

pickguard is made from laminated acrylic and

Alessandro hand-wired circuitry, it delivered

BRIDGE ABR-1, no wire

the trapezoid fretboard inlays are aged

excellent tones on all pickup settings. The

PICKUPS Gibson CustomBucker unpotted

nitrate. All the metal parts are treated to give

low-wind PAF-style humbuckers have an

humbucking pickups with Alnico III magnets

the appearance of being decades old, and the

outstanding balance of clarity, girth and

CONTROLS Dual volume and tone, 3-way switch

cream binding surrounding the top and

brightness, and there’s a distinct vibrancy to

WEIGHT 8.36 lbs

fretboard edges is flawlessly rendered.

them that’s a benefit of the coils not being

FACTORY STRINGS .010–.046

submerged in wax. True, this makes them

BUILT U.S.A.

Inside the control cavity we find 500kΩ

92

A lively acoustic sound is always a plus,

S P E C I F I C AT I O N S

CTS pots for the volume and tone controls

less resistant to pickup squeal when playing

and old-style “bumble bee” capacitors. The

close to a speaker at high volume, but the

KUDOS A well-made and great sounding replica of a

only nod to modernity is a die-cast metal

payoff is that this guitar can sound very

1959 Les Paul

plate behind the pickup switch stamped

sparkling and Tele-like if you want it to, while

CONCERNS Slight amount of filler can be seen

“1959–2019 60th Anniversary Gibson

still delivering snarling blues sounds and fat,

around the fretboard inlays

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M ICH A E L PU T LA ND/G E T T Y IM AG ES

HERO

Lee at Advision Studios, London, during the recording of jazz flautist Herbie Mann’s album London Underground, November 5, 1973

Albert Lee Five Acts of a Legend > “He’s the greatest guitarist in the world. The

Burton and the Everly Brothers. He left school

Burton, and in 1978 began a five-year stint

at 16 to pursue his music career, and by the

performing with Clapton. In 1983, Lee

early 1960s he was one of many young rock

reunited the Everly Brothers for a concert and

and rollers, including the Beatles, cutting his

served as its musical director. He went on to

teeth in nightclubs on Hamburg’s notorious

perform with the duo for more than 20 years.

Reeperbahn. > In the late ’80s, Lee began fronting his own

ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary, and he’s gifted on just

> In the early 1970s, Lee achieved guitar hero

band, which over the years has performed

about every level.” So said Eric Clapton of

status with the British country-rock group

with Clapton, Tommy Emmanuel and Willie

Albert Lee, known to many as both “the guitar

Heads Hands & Feet, playing his Fender

Nelson, among many others. Lee has also

player’s guitar player” and “Mr. Telecaster.”

Telecaster at breakneck tempos. Though he’s

toured with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings,

Born in Lingen, Herefordshire, England, on

celebrated for his speed and virtuosity on the

performed at the 2002 George Harrison

December 21, 1943, Lee began studying piano

instrument, he’s also held in high regard for

tribute show Concert for George and

at age seven but took up guitar in 1958, when

his melodicism. Over the years, Lee has used

appeared at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar

rock and roll came along. His first guitar was a

both Telecasters and Music Man guitars

Festival. His numerous awards include

second-hand Höfner President, which he later

equipped with B-Benders.

a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for “Foggy

9000

traded for a Resonet Grazioso, the forerunner

1 14

of the Höfner Futurama. Said Lee, “I always

> Lee’s career kicked into high gear in 1974

Mountain Breakdown” from the album Earl

used to wish that I’d bought a Fender instead.”

when he moved to Los Angeles, where he

Scruggs and Friends. He’s also notched five

performed session work on albums by Buddy

consecutive wins for Guitar Player’s Best

> Lee was drawn to American country, rock

Holly’s former group, the Crickets. He

Country Guitarist and in 2017 was honored at

and roll, and R&B, and his early influences

subsequently worked with Emmylou Harris’s

the U.K. Americana Awards with the

included Jimmy Bryant, Cliff Gallup, James

Hot Band, where he replaced his hero James

Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Profile for Future PLC

Guitar Player 684 (Sampler)  

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Guitar Player 684 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @ www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk