Guitar Player 713 (Sampler)

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

Retro Rocket! ROCK N ROLL RELICS STARFIGHTER

EXC LUS I V E I N T E RV I E W

“I’m really having a renaissance!”

ALEX LIFESON New signature Les Paul, new music & the thrill of life after Rush

EARL SLICK My career with Bowie & Lennon

First Look EVH BOOK PREVIEW How Eddie hijacked “Beat It”

Players PHIL COLLEN

ROBBEN FORD ANDY McKEE YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Plus HENDRIX CHORDS

Strum ’em like Jimi


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CNOE O WL |&ROCK C O ON L |ROLL ’71 TRELLA RELICS

BOULEVARD OF BROKEN-IN DREAMS Billy Rowe’s Rock N Roll Relics look, play and sound like much-loved and well-traveled treasures. B Y

R I C H A R D

B I E N S T O C K

AS K B ILLY ROW E when his love for

explosion, alongside up-and-coming peers

myself, and then, you know, the internet

building guitars began and he’ll take you all

like Poison, Faster Pussycat and, most

started,” he says. “I sold a guitar on eBay. I

the way back to his San Francisco high

significantly, Guns N’ Roses. Over-the-top

thought, Maybe I’ll start a website. It just

school in 1980. “I was a big Van Halen fan,”

looks and attitude were the calling cards of

happened kind of organically.”

Rowe explains. “And Eddie was the guy of my

the day, and that extended to guitars as well.

generation who took guitars and reconfigured

“I painted my Strat hot pink during the band’s

today is one of the more prominent boutique

them to what he wanted or what he thought

super-early glam era, put a mirrored

builders of high-end, stylish and, as the name

was cool. So I was always into tinkering with

pickguard on it and scratched it up,” Rowe

obviously implies, age-finished electric

guitars, ever since I started playing.

recalls. “It looked like Paul Stanley’s

guitars. And in keeping with the other part of

cracked-glass Ibanez.”

the company’s moniker, the guitars are

“Then, in woodshop class, I decided to make one. I bought a block of wood at a

Jetboy eventually signed a major-label

Thus was born Rock N Roll Relics, which

undeniably rock and roll in sound, look and

hardwood shop in the East Bay, cut it, did the

deal and released a well-received, if not

vibe. They include a Tele-like model named

whole nine yards. I built a star guitar out of

exactly chart-conquering, 1988 debut, Feel

the Richards (as in Keith) and an LP

swamp ash. And that’s where it started.”

the Shake. One more record, Damned Nation,

Junior-style design christened the Thunders

followed in 1990 before the band called it

(that would be Johnny).

Still, it took many years before Rowe

“I’ve always loved classic rock and roll and

became a guitar builder. First he had to

quits. “After the second record, we toured for

become a rock star. In the early ’80s, he

a little bit, got dropped by our label, and then

late ’70s and early ’80s punk,” Rowe says.

co-founded Jetboy, who relocated from the

we all ended up moving back home and kind

“The dirtiness of it. It’s the same way that I’ve

Bay Area to L.A. and quickly established

of went our own ways,” Rowe says. He worked

always liked beat-up Converse instead of

themselves as one of the leading acts of the

a day job but ultimately found his way back to

squeaky-clean white ones. The aging just

Sunset Strip’s mid-decade glam-rock

his first love. “I built a couple guitars for

gives it more character.”

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medium-aged, Paisley-finished Starfighter — has vibe for days. The inspiration for the body shape, Rowe says, was the double-cut Gretsch Jet closely associated with one of his favorite players, AC/DC’s Malcolm Young — “the god of rhythm guitar,” he says. But while Malcolm’s no-nonsense axe and famed “clean-dirty sound,” as Rowe characterizes it, served as something of a template, the Starfighter is its own six-string beast. The African mahogany body boasts an elegant carve and is accented by single-ply binding,

The double-cut

and the ’60s-profile African mahogany set

Gretsch Jet inspired

neck is topped with a fast-playing Macassar

the Starfighter’s body.

ebony fingerboard outfitted with Jescar medium-jumbo frets, pearl block inlays and cream binding. Pickups, meanwhile, are a pair

things a step further tonally, evincing an open

of Mojo Tone Mojo’Tron Filter’Trons (Rowe

and airy midrange spread on chords and

says he became a fan of the original

some pleasant warmth and softness around

Filter’Tron sound back in the Jetboy days)

the edges of single-note lines.

controlled by two volume knobs, one tone

That “clean-dirty” ideal could be extended

knob and a three-way toggle. Appointments

to the Starfighter’s impressive looks as well,

are rounded out by an Advanced Plating

with the grit of the lightly checked finish,

locking ABR bridge, Kluson tuners and a

back-of-the-body buckle wear and oxidized

floating pickguard.

hardware pitted against the gentle swirl of

With its chambered body, the Starfighter

the pink Paisley pattern and cloud-like Aged

was remarkably resonant, even when

White colorway. The result is, true to Rowe’s

strummed unplugged. Hooked into a Fender

intentions, a guitar that is cool, artsy and

Deluxe Reverb and cranked to barely

vibey — and 100 percent rock and roll.

acceptable residential-street volumes, it unleashed that classic Malcolm “clean-dirty”

CONTACT rocknrollrelics.net

roar without sacrificing articulation, fullness

PRICES Starting at $3,800, with up-charge

or dynamics. If anything, the Starfighter took

for Paisley finish and other options

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TRAC KS|

PHIL COLLEN

MY CAREER IN FIVE SONGS

Phil Collen reveals the tales behind his greatest tracks, from the U.K. glam-metal scene to Def Leppard’s blockbuster hits. M A R K

DE F L E P PA R D D O M IN ATED the

wrinkles in his arsenal, including the string

airwaves with “Photograph” in 1983,

gauges on his signature Jackson PC1s

“HOLLYWOOD TEASE” GIRL, SHEER GREED (1979)

establishing the template for much of what

(.013–.054 ) and Fender Telecasters

“I was in Girl prior to Def Leppard. We were a

was to follow in hair metal: catchy riffs,

(.014–.056). Even allowing for his habit of

London-based post-punk, post-glam,

monumental choruses and short, to-the-

tuning down one half-step, that’s some

hard-rock band. We were trying to merge

point, shred-guitar solos. While many of the

seriously heavy metal. Collen also uses brass

everything together. We didn’t have anyone to

era’s bands could be blamed for the genre’s

picks, having abandoned steel picks due to

guide us, so we were kind of flying blind. The

descent into mediocrity, Def Leppard were

their habit of breaking strings. “Now that I use

real tragedy for Girl is that we didn’t meet

constantly finding ways to reinvigorate the

brass picks, the string wins out and there is

someone like Mutt Lange, because he could

limitations of the four-minute rock song. Phil

brass dust everywhere,” he says. “I’m really

have brought a lot to what we did. I really

Collen joined the group as it was recording

lazy with strings, I don’t really change them

believe we could have been a lot bigger if that

Pyromania, the album from which

often because I don’t ever break a string.

had happened. My solo in this was really the

“Photograph” was lifted. Consisting of singer

Some of the guitars I have at home have had

first recording I’d done that sounded like what

Joe Elliott, guitarists Steve Clark and Pete

the same strings on for four years.”

I was trying to achieve. It combined all of my

Willis, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick

Like most acts, Leppard are waiting for

rock influences and made it work in my own

Allen, Def Leppard had nearly finished the

the lifting of global restrictions so that they

context: a little bit of Blackmore, Schenker,

album when they let Willis go for excessive

can get back on the road, “As soon as we get

Ronson and some Al Di Meola thrown in, right

alcohol abuse. “I was initially brought in to

the word, we’ll be back out,” Collen says. In

down to the Les Paul with DiMarzios and the

play some solos Pete didn’t finish,” Collen

the meantime, he’s been busy on several

shred/burn lick on the neck pickup. I also

tells Guitar Player. “I thought I was just helping

fronts. “We’re always recording,” he says of

think I based the solo’s format on a Mick Box

out. I didn’t realize that I was actually in the

Def Leppard. “Me and Joe are writing a lot of

[Uriah Heep] solo from ’73. I used my Wine

band until after I’d done some recording and

songs together. I’m constantly busy. I have

Red ’76 Gibson Les Paul Custom with a

they told me they’d booked a major tour.”

everything here at home to record onto my

DiMarzio Super Distortion bridge pickup into a

laptop. I’ve been pulling out guitars that I

Marshall 100-watt master-volume head

Mutt Lange’s production. “We were really

haven’t played for a long time and enjoying

through an angled 4x12 cab.”

blessed when we hooked up with Mutt,”

them. It’s like finding old clothes you haven’t

Collen says. But the album paled in

worn for a while.”

A huge part of Pyromania’s success was

Platinum, giving Def Leppard its first Diamond

piling on the pounds in lockdown, the

“PHOTOGRAPH” DEF LEPPARD, PYROMANIA (1983)

award, for record sales in excess of 10 million.

63-year-old Collen has achieved one of his

“Pyromania kick started the hair-metal thing

The album took more than three years to

personal fitness goals. “I really worked on my

with the big choruses and killer guitar solos.

record, due to the loss of Allen’s left arm and

physical training and diet and achieved my

Ironically, I recorded this in the same room as

delays with Lange’s schedule, and it cost

target of weighing the same as Bruce Lee at

I’d recorded ‘Hollywood Tease’ three years

somewhere in the region of three million

the same height — 140 pounds at five seven,”

before. Def Leppard were actually very much

dollars. “But the results totally justified the

he reveals. “I think you have to keep yourself

a blend of the same influences as we had in

time and money,” Collen says. “The songs still

moving and look after yourself, particularly as

Girl: some Bowie and T.Rex, some AC/DC and

resonate now.”

you get older. I can’t wait to get back out on

the Sex Pistols, glam and Led Zeppelin.

tour, and I want to be sure I’m totally ready for

‘Photograph’ was the song that broke us into

whatever life on the road might throw at me.”

multi-Platinum status, with everything lining

comparison to Hysteria, which went 12 times

A fantastically inventive and devastatingly effective guitarist, Collen has a few unique

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Collen (far right) onstage with Girl, January 1980

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At a time when many of us have been

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

FI N COSTE LLO/ RE DFE RN S/G E TTY IMAGES

B Y


J OSE PH BRANSTON

“YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO HUM THE SOLO. IF YOU HAVEN’ T GOT SOMETHING MEMORABLE, YOU’RE DOING THE SONG A DISSERVICE”

Phil Collen with his X-Stroyer, strung with heavy-gauge (.013–.054) strings

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ALEX LIFESON

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NEW WORLD MAN With a just-released signature guitar and an active band project, Alex Lifeson is finding life after Rush is full of surprises. B Y

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ALEX LIFESON

Editors’ Pick

ROLL T H E TO N E S Epiphone Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Standard T EST E D BY J I M M Y L ESL IE

TH E I N T RO DUCT I ON OF the Epiphone Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Standard is big news for Rush fans because it makes their hero’s signature model much more accessible than its premium Gibson predecessor, introduced a decade ago. In the spirit of Epiphone and Gibson’s modern hand-in-glove coordination and the mother company’s longstanding relationship with one of rock’s premier players, this Epiphone represents a S P E C I F I C AT I O N S

Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Standard CONTACT epiphone.com PRICE $899 street NUT Floyd Rose R4 locking nut, 1 11/16” wide NECK Set mahogany, Axcess contour heel,

24.72” scale, Lifeson profile FRETBOARD Bound Indian laurel, 12” radius,

large dot inlays, trapezoid inlays FRETS 22 medium-jumbo TUNERS Epiphone Deluxe with keystone

buttons BODY Solid mahogany back with comfort-

career’s worth of considerations and

platform. Incorporating the piezo pickup on

carve belly scarf plus carved maple top with

innovations. Primary among them is the

an electric guitar did that, as well as allow me

AAA flame maple veneer

instrument’s tonal versatility. In addition to

to blend in the piezo, adding another

BRIDGE Graph Tech Ghost Tremolo

the coil-splitting capabilities of both

dimension to the live guitar character.”

PICKUPS Epiphone Ceramic Pro (neck),

magnetic pickups, it features a piezo bridge

Epiphone ProBucker 3 (bridge) Graph Tech

pickup that can either be accessed by means

maple veneer on its carved Viceroy Brown–

Ghost Piezo (bridge saddles)

of a dedicated second output jack or summed

finished maple top conjures the vibe of a

FACTORY STRINGS Epiphone .010–.046

with the magnetic pickups into the primary

vintage Gibson Les Paul, albeit not quite as

CONTROLS Three-way switch, neck and bridge

output.

fancy. Appointments include four golden

volume knobs each with push/pull coil split;

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As Lifeson explains to Guitar Player, this

Visually, this guitar is a badass. The flame

top-hat control knobs, trapezoid fretboard

piezo volume knob with push/pull on/off;

unique pickup configuration developed from

inlays, keystone tuners, cream binding all

master tone

his desire for an elegant solution to using an

around, a set-neck glued into a solid

WEIGHT 9 lbs

acoustic guitar onstage. “Switching from

mahogany body, and Lifeson’s signature

BUILT China

electric to acoustic was always cumbersome,

etched in the truss-rod cover. Beyond the

and an acoustic on a stand became a beacon

pickup configuration, Lifeson-specific features

KUDOS Super tonal versatility. Wonderful

for uncontrollable feedback, particularly in

include a Floyd Rose locking vibrato system

playability. Exceptional value

acoustic parts repeated throughout the song,”

and a neck profile built to his personal specs

CONCERNS Faulty pickup switch

he says. “I really needed to have a more stable

— “moderate, not too thick and not too thin.”

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


tune while facilitating the deep dives and

both worlds. And the controls are easier to

sky-high lifts of Lifeson’s playing that can only

manage than one might suspect.

be achieved with such a serious system. All

The trickiest aspect of mastering the

that extra metal brings some brightness, sure,

Epiphone Alex Lifeson Axcess is working the

but that’s part of the signature sound too.

vibrato bar while having the piezo pickup

Speaking of which, the tonal diversity on

engaged. There’s a reason these features

tap is astounding. The Axcess Standard has

aren’t often offered together. Those piezos

Epiphone’s Ceramic Pro humbucker in the

are located right in the individual bridge

neck position and a ProBucker 3 near the

saddles, so they pick up every rattle of a

bridge, and both can be split into single-coil

shaking vibrato arm. On my Strat, I mitigate

mode with a lift of the corresponding push/

that by wrapping the arm threads in

pull volume knob. In humbucker mode, the

plumber’s tape. That didn’t work here

neck pickup is girthy and the lead pickup is

because the threads aren’t on the bar; they’re

edgy. In combination, they complement each

outside, where the system is secured with a

other to create a copacetic middle ground.

little threaded thimble-like apparatus. No

The coil splitting proved to be versatile.

matter how tight that is, there’s still plenty of

When playing in the lower register with the

wiggle room. The bridge piezos convey the

neck pickup, and using a bit of gain from a

rattle much more than the magnetic pickups

Blackstone Mosfet Overdrive into a 1966

in the body do, so the workaround is to be

Fender Super Pro, I found the sound a bit fizzy,

judicious with the whammy when the

but splitting the coil cleared it up. Doing the

acoustic sound is prominent, and then dial

same with the lead pickup took the tone into

that back when you want to go wild.

funky treble territory. When combined, the

The Epiphone Alex Lifeson Axcess delivers

two pickups coil-tapped all the way to slinky

a whole lotta bang for the buck, with tons of

town. These units don’t sound as crystal clear

features packed into the Les Paul platform. I

and powerful as the Gibson Burstbuckers

can’t think of another guitar that delivers such

included on Epiphone’s Limited Edition 1959

a diverse tonal range, easy playability,

Les Paul Standard, but they do deliver a fine

comfort, impressive looks and quality

PAF vibe and sound that’s similar to the

craftsmanship for under a grand. The main fault I have to report is that

Burstbuckers with the volume knobs dialed back a bit. The most unique feature is the piezo acoustic sound that comes courtesy of the Graph Tech Ghost Tremolo Bridge. Since this Sling it over your shoulder and, yeah, it’s

reviewer has an affinity for

“ SW I TC H I N G FROM ELECTRIC TO ACO UST I C W A S A LW AY S CUMBERSOME. I R E A L LY N E E D E D TO H AV E A M O R E S TA B L E P L AT F O R M ”

the pin securing the pickup selector switch broke during routine use, requiring replacement. It came loose shortly after arrival, so could have been the result of a rocky ride in the UPS truck. As Frets Editor I’ve

heavy, but not particularly so for a Les Paul. A

dual systems, I was all in on

slight scarf cutaway on the top back makes it

going down that rabbit

feel cozy against one’s belly, while a sculpted

hole. The Ghost is engaged

cutaway at the base of the neck allows for

or disengaged by pulling or

more comfortable playing in the upper

pushing what would have

registers. The neck is full without being too

been the second tone knob.

plump, and the fretboard feels nice and

Here it acts as a blend control for bringing in

Lifeson clearly found himself so far down the

smooth all the way up and down. The factory

or out the desired amount of acoustic sound.

acoustic trail that he was inspired to make his

setup was spot-on as well, and while the

Isolating the signal via the second output jack

electric signature instruments in a hybrid

action seemed almost too easy at first, there

and feeding it to an Orange Acoustic Pedal

style. For players like me who revel in the

was no buzz or splat to be found. Shred away

through an L.R.Baggs Synapse Personal P.A., I

balance and want to make the most of both

in the short rows and every note on each

found it delivered a decent acoustic rock tone

rigs onstage, this is a dream delivery. For the

string is actually usable. Power chords and

that sounded believable when I played the

average player, it’s a utilitarian Les Paul with

barre chords in the middle range come readily,

intro to “Closer to the Heart.” It possesses the

some cool features and awesome options.

and cowboy chords in open position have

full low end and top articulation that piezos

For anyone, it’s a steal of a deal on a modern

fantastic jangle. The Floyd Rose–style

do best. Blend that with the magnetics’

marvel of an instrument that easily earns an

double-locking vibrato keeps everything in

fantastic middle range, and it’s the best of

Editors’ Pick Award.

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

become more of an acoustic enthusiast than I ever imagined I’d be when I was growing up listening to hard-rock acts like Rush.

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EDDIE VAN HALEN

Excerpted from the forthcoming book Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen (Hachette Books), by Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill

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UNCHAINED In this excerpt from Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen, Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill reveal how Ed’s recording studio and outside projects unleashed his creativity. The result was Van Halen’s masterpiece, 1984.

A

innovative and most imitated guitarist on the planet, he’d also joined the ranks of the most influential guitar designers of his time. His DIY Frankenstein was hailed as a genuine breakthrough, even receiving a big thumbs-up from the genius of geniuses himself, Les Paul, a man notoriously difficult to impress. A growing number of guitar manufacturers were shamelessly copying Ed’s minimalist single humbucking pickup/volume control–only/vibrato bar “super Strat” design, with some even having the unmitigated gall to rip off his signature striped graphics. He was justifiably becoming angrier by the day as he watched others copy his ideas and rake in the dough. So when the founding partner of Kramer Guitars, Dennis Berardi, approached Ed in February 1982 with a generous endorsement deal, the guitarist was ready to sign on the dotted line. Meanwhile, Edward’s revolutionary two-handed tapping technique, squealing harmonics and deep whammy-bar dives were also being brazenly cannibalized by other players and seemingly overnight incorporated into the arsenal of heavy metal, new wave, pop and even jazz players. Ozzy

PAUL NATKI N /GE TTY IMAG ES

FTER COMPLETING WORK on 1982’s Diver Down, Ed Van Halen felt unusually restless. Although he and the band had worked almost nonstop for five years, the guitarist was in no mood for rest and relaxation. The album may have been an unexpected obligation forced upon Van Halen by Warner Bros., but instead of feeling relieved that he’d gotten it out of the way, Ed had the uneasy sensation that he could have done more. Van Halen had more than four months of time off before their 1982 Hide Your Sheep tour was scheduled to begin in mid-July. With his bandmates away on vacation and his wife occupied with shooting One Day at a Time and made-for-television movies, Ed spent most of his time off alone, playing guitar or writing songs on his piano and synthesizers. The many accolades he’d received for his playing never went to his head, and in fact they made him more determined to grow as a musician instead of resting on his laurels. Ed’s impact on the guitar world had by this time become incalculable. Besides being arguably the most

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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

MORE is

MORE

Yngwie Malmsteen takes his neoclassical shred to new extremes on Parabellum. M A R K

M c S T E A

HEN YNGWIE MALMSTEEN spoke with Guitar Player earlier this year to reveal how he composed “Far Beyond the Sun,” his signature song, it was clear that his love for the 1984 track was practically eclipsed by his enthusiasm for his latest creation, Parabellum (Music Theories Recordings). “It is extremely neoclassical,” he said of the new album. “People will think I’ve lost my mind. It is like my Concerto” — 1998’s Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Op.1 — “but metal. I went totally over the top.” Malmsteen has often liked to joke that as far as he is concerned, “more is more,” and the new album exemplifies that philosophy in spades. “What is exciting is when something comes to me, makes me think, Wow! and then I go straight to record it,” he says. “The new album is full of those moments.” Now that Parabellum has been released, it’s clear that his enthusiasm was not misplaced. For fans of the neoclassical metal style Malmsteen pioneered, if not downright invented, Parabellum is the album of their dreams, packed with the Swede’s trademark arpeggios, pedal tones and insanely fast scale runs, but without ever letting technique take precedence over musical content. The album will not convert non-believers, but Malmsteen is only concerned with the integrity of his music. The global shutdown of live music in 2020 allowed him to bring an intense focus to the recording process, and that has resulted in him delivering one of the strongest releases in his catalog. 56 5 6

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AUSTI N HARG RAVE

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“I’M NOT PRETENDING TO BE SOMETHING THAT I’M NOT. THIS ALBUM IS EXACTLY WHO I AM, AND I’M EXTREMELY HAPPY WITH IT”

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EARL SLICK

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DEMON DRIVE LIKE A

As he returns with Fist Full of Devils, his first solo album in 20 years, Earl Slick shares tales of his fast times with David Bowie and John Lennon.

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CHUCK L ANZA

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ARL SLICK CAN remember the last He pauses. “Funny things come into your head, gig he played — right off the top of like, ‘Did I just fake my way through it all?’” He his head. “It was March 7th, 2020, laughs. “But then I go, ‘No, come on. That’s crazy.’ with [former Sex Pistols bassist] Glen Some of the stuff I did, you just can’t fake it.” Matlock, in London,” he says. “Ever Fakers don’t get to play with rock royalty like since then, I’ve been mostly on my own, like David Bowie and John Lennon, two of the more everybody. And let me tell you, you tend to go a celebrated names on Slick’s star-studded resume. little batty with so much free time on your hands.” Slick was just 22 years old in 1974 when he began The veteran guitarist hasn’t exactly done what would become a 30-year, on-and-off association nothing during the past year, and with Bowie. After hearing the he says the period of relative “unschooled, street player” jam along isolation has been a blessing. “I KNEW DAVID WAS to unmixed and unreleased It’s given him time to work on a recordings of songs such as “Rebel A MAJOR STAR, BUT Rebel,” Bowie hired Slick to replace memoir, which he says he’s close to finishing (“You keep thinking I ONLY OWNED ONE Mick Ronson in his band for the you’re close to being done, and Diamond Dogs tour. “I don’t know how BOWIE RECORD — many people were up for the gig, but then you go, Oh, wait, there’s that other thing!”), and it afforded him I got it,” Slick says. “After that, I was ALADDIN SANE” a clear chunk of time to record Fist off and running.” Full of Devils, his first solo album in nearly 20 years. Years earlier, like millions of other teens, the Mostly, though, the extended lockdown has guitarist sat mesmerized in front of his TV set as the provided Slick with the opportunity to do Beatles were introduced to America on The Ed Sullivan something he rarely does. “I just sat around and Show. The next day, he pestered his father to buy him thought a lot,” he says. “I’m always so busy doing a guitar — a $30 secondhand Danelectro. “Did I ever this or that, and if I’m not doing something, my think that one day I’d get good enough to play with mind is on whatever I’ve got to do next. For the John Lennon?” he asks rhetorically. “Of course not. past year and a half, things kind of stopped, and The idea still blows my mind. Lennon was this huge I’ve had a lot of time to just think about who I am guy; he was a hero. A little kid from Brooklyn doesn’t and what I’ve done.” get to be in a room with him.”

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LESSONS|

STYLE

HENDRIX CHORDS Put Jimi Hendrix’s chord inversions, melodic scale-tone embellishments and jazz voicings to work in your own rhythmguitar playing. BY PAT R I CK BR ENNAN

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signature songs as “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Castles Made of Sand” and “Little Wing.” I N V ERSI ONS

In music theory, a voicing refers to the vertical arrangement, or “stacking,” of notes in a chord. For example, an A major chord is made up of three notes, A, C# and E, which are the root (1), major 3rd and 5th, respectively. If you play these three notes together in ascending order, from low to high, the chord is said to be in root position, for which the root is the lowest note, being on the bottom of the voicing, or “in the bass,” as they say. If you take the A note and move it up an octave, it then becomes the top note of the voicing, rendering the ascending order of notes C#, E, A. The chord is now in what’s called 1st inversion, for which the 3rd, C#, is in the bass, Likewise, flipping the C# note up an octave leaves the 5th, E, on the bottom of the note stack, giving us what’s called a 2nd-inversion voicing, for which the 5th is in the bass Ex. 1 has you playing these A major chord voicings in ascending order

through two octaves, running up the neck in the first two bars. Then, in bars 3 and 4, you will descend a series of D major (D, F#, A) inversions before finally ending back on A. The shapes used here are all common major chord inversions and close-position “grips,” and they’re all essential building blocks for understanding Hendrix’s approach to rhythm guitar playing that should be learned well in a variety of keys. Now let’s look at how Jimi would creatively make use of these kinds of shapes. BREA KING THE BA RRE

One of Hendrix’s greatest contributions to the rock guitar vocabulary stemmed from his eschewal of standard six-string barre chord shapes, for which the index finger (1) serves as a movable capo clamped across the strings. Instead of using these stock chord forms, which are technically restrictive, as they use up all four fingers, the guitarist opted to instead hook his thumb around the top side of the fretboard and use it to fret the root of the chord on the low E string while fingering a root-position triad on the D, G and B strings with his 3rd, 2nd G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M

HULTON ARC HIVE /GE TTY IMAGES

influenced music and culture as profoundly as Jimi Hendrix did. Even before burning and smashing his Fender Stratocaster during the bombastic finale of his 1967 Monterey Pop Festival performance, the visionary musician had revolutionized the world of electric guitar with his unique approaches to playing the instrument and using it with his amplifier and effects to create new, otherworldly sounds. While Jimi’s innovative lead guitar style has been widely analyzed and imitated by countless players in the decades since his passing in 1970, one aspect of his six-string artistry that is equally groundbreaking and often overlooked is his approach to playing chords and rhythm guitar. This is where he stands far above his many imitators. As Hendrix famously demonstrated in his ballads, he would often ditch standard barre chords in favor of melodic phrasing built around and woven into chord inversions. In this lesson, we’ll explore this and other aspects of Jimi’s rhythm guitar style and technique with original examples inspired by such

NO GU I TA R I ST H AS


Ex. 1 A root pos.

1st inv.

# #3 & 1# 4 œ œœ œœœ Ex. œœA œ and 1st fingers, with the 1st finger sometimes forming a mini barre across the top two strings, to double the root note an octave higher. This unorthodox fretting approach gave the guitarist the option to utilize his now-freed-up 4th finger (the pinkie) to add decorative melodic embellishments and momentary “extensions” to the chord. This technique is showcased most famously in early hits like “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” (both from Are You Experienced). When utilizing thumb fretting this way, it’s very important that the tip of the thumb extends beyond the low E string to lightly touch and mute the unused A string, so that it does not ring open when you strum across the strings, just like when you play a strummed octave on non-adjacent strings, which is what happens here within the chord voicing. Jimi had large hands, which made this technique seemingly effortless for him to employ. Having a fairly thin neck profile on your guitar makes the technique easier to perform than on one with a chunky “baseball bat”-like neck. If you’re having difficulty with the technique, try performing it on a guitar with a thinner neck. Another helpful option is to additionally mute the unused A string with the tip of your 3rd finger as your fret the D string. Ex. 2 revolves around a two chord progression (G to F) and demonstrates how you can use the available surrounding major-scale tones related to each chord to achieve the kind of “chord-melody” activity that’s a hallmark of Hendrix’s distinctive rhythm guitar style. Start by fretting a rootposition G major triad (G, B, D) with the root note doubled an octave higher on the high E string (via a 1st-finger mini-barre), then add your thumb on the low E string to thicken and bolster the voicing, by doubling the root note an octave lower. With this G chord as your base, you will in turn add the “extensions” A, E and C — all of which are conveniently located at the 5th fret on the top three strings — to the chord, fretting each of them with your 4th finger. In bar 2, you will shift down two G U I T A R P L A Y E R . C O M

D

1st inv.

2nd inv.

≥ ≥inv. ≥inv. ≥pos. ≥inv. ≥inv. pos. root

1st

2nd

root pos.

1st inv.

62nd 7inv. 7

# # 43 A œ œ 22œœ 2œ œ 4 4 5 # # 3 ≥ ≥ & # 4 134œ 131œœ œœ œ T

Ex. 1#

T & A B

Ex. 1

A B

T Ex. A2

≥œ

œœ

2 4 3

2

G 4 5

2nd

root pos.

1st inv.

2nd inv.

9 10 10 9 9 11 ≥ ≥

92 2 10 10 3 1 93 91 11

512 63 7

2 4

231 2 4

1st

5 6 7≥

6 7≥ 7

1

1 3 4

B

œœ œ

2 2≥ 4

2≥ 4 5

œ œ5œ 10œœœ 109œœ œ 6 9 9 7 11 œ œœ 1≥œ œ2œ 21≥œœ 32≥œ 1 3 3 root

63 7 7

A

œœ œ œ œœ œœ For audio œœ œof this lesson,˙ .go to œ guitarplayer.com/nov21-lesson1 œ œœ œœ j ˙˙ .. œ œ A D ≥œ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ œ œ œ 5œœ œœ œ 10 D 7 10 7œ œ œ œ 2j ˙˙A .. 11 7 7 7œ œ 7 7 7œ 4œ œ 22œ ˙4 . 9 9 5 œœ œ œ 1≥œœ 1≥œœ 1≥œ 101≥ 52≥ 1≥ 1≥ 1œ 3œ 4 1œ 1 1 ˙3 3 4œ 3œ 1 2 3 œ 3œœœ 1œj ˙˙ ... 10 5 10 7 7

œ œœ œœœ œœ œ

root pos.

2nd inv.

1st inv.

root pos.

root 2nd 2nd 1st inv. M O R inv. E O pos. N L I Ninv. E!

1st inv.

root pos.

2nd inv.

1st inv.

root pos.

2nd inv.

1st inv.

1st inv.

root pos.

2nd inv.

1st inv.

root pos.

2nd inv.

1st inv.

11

7

10 1 10 1 2 11

51 73 73

7 7≥

7 7≥ 9

1

1 1

71 71 7

F

7≥ 9 10 1 3 4

73 7 9

4≥ 5 5

2 2≥ 2 4

4 5 5

21 2 # F 2 4G

2 4 3

7 9 10

1st inv.

1 1

œ1 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 4 .. œœ œœœ34 œœœ œœœ31œœ œœ 43œœ œœ ¿¿ 23¿¿ œ œ13 ¿¿ ¿¿31 12 œ 33œ œœ 11œœ œœ 13œœ œœ 34¿¿ ¿¿ 43# # œœ 11.. &4 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ¿ ¿ œ œ ¿ ¿ œœ œ œ œ œ œ ¿ ¿ # œ Ex. 2 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ # œ# Ex. 2 ≥G ≤ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≤ ≥F ≥ ≥

≥F

œœ œ œœ œœ 1œœ 1œœ 1œœ X¿¿ X¿¿ # #2œœ ... œ œ œ 2œ 2œ 2œ X¿ X¿ # 3œF #. œ œ œ œ œ 31œ 31œ 31œ X X # 42œ 3 œ 4 .. 4œœ≥ 1œœœ≤ 1œœœ≥ 1œœœ≤ 4≥œœ 1œœ≤ 1≥œœ 1œœ≤ ≥¿¿ ¿¿≤ 4≥œ 2≥œ ≥¿¿ ¿¿≤ ≥ ≥ 1≥œ œ 1≥œœ 4≥œœ 1œœ≤ 1≥œœ 1œœ≤ ≥¿¿ ≤¿¿ # #1≥œœ .. & 4 12œ 12œ 12œ 12œ 23œ 23œ 23œ 23œ ¿ ¿ 3œ 3œ ¿ ¿ T T 3œœ2 23œ 23œ 32œ 23œ 23œ ¿ ¿ # 23œ .. T3534œT3343œ T3343œ T3343œT54œ T34œ T34œ T34œXX XX T5œ T4œXX XX œ œ T10œ 2 T12œ T32œ T12œ T12œ T12œ XX XX # T23œ .. T

Ex. 42

T &4 A B

A B

T A B

Ex. 3

.... œœœ œœœœ œœœœ œœœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ œœ œœ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ œœœœœœœœ œœ

≥ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤≥≤

œ

..

53 33 4G4 55 33

3 3 4 5 3

5≥ 5≤ 33 3 45 31 311 42 42 53 53 T T 33

5≥ 5≤ 5≥ 5≤ 3333 31 31 1 31 31 542 32 42 42 43 43 53 53 T5 5T T T 3333

5≥ 5≤ X≥ X≤ 5≥ 5≥ X≥ X≤ ≥ ≥ 3≥ 33 33 1 1 1 312 43 5T 3

312 X X 4 43 X X 53 5T X X T5 3 3

1 1 2 3 T

1 2 3 T

1 2 3 T

4 1 C2 3 T

Ex. 3

1 1 2 3 T

3 3 4 5 3

1 1 2 3 T

5 4 5 3

4 2 3 T

3 4 5 3

4 .. œœ œœ œœ ¿¿ ¿¿ & Ex.43 œ œ ¿ ¿ ≥

C

1 2 3 T

3 4 5 3

XX 4XX 5XX

1 1 3 0 2 2 2 F 3 3 3 1 1 1 1 1

11 11 34 2 XX 43 X X T T 03 22 223 223 5T X X 3T 3T 3T 3 1 1 1 1 1

4 2 3 3 T T

T T

. ..

b

1 1 2 3 2 3 T BT

≥ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤

œœ œ œœ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ 8œ 10 8œ X¿¿ X¿¿ X¿¿ X¿¿ 9œ 9œ X X X X œ 5 7 5 X X b œ 10 10 XXXX B 6 8 8œ œ 8œ œ œ ¿¿¿¿ 4 œœ œ¿¿ & 4 .. 111≥œœ 23œ 111œœ≤ ≥¿¿ ≤¿¿ T≥ T 123≥œ 4 231≥œ ≥¿¿ ≤¿¿ ≥¿¿ ≤¿¿ . 5 6 5 X X b œ œ 8Tœ 10 T8œ X X X X T

Ex. 43

3≥ 3≥ 3≤ 3≥ 3≤ X≥ X≤ 1 1 1 1 1

4 2 3 T

112 23 3T 1

112 23 3T 1

112 X X 23 X X 3T X X 1

1 2 3 T

1 2 3 T

1 2 3 T

œœ œ œœ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ œ b œ œ ¿ œ œ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ b œ œ œ ¿ œ œ¿ œ bœ œ œ

≤≥ ≤ ≥

.. 5œœœ 6œœ 5œœœX¿¿¿ X¿¿¿ . T & 4 . 5C 5 X X A

3 XX 4 XX 5 5 XX 5 3 3

5 5XX 9 9 XXXX A 5 7 5XX ≥ whole ≤ ≥ ≤ step ≥ to10 ≥an F 10 ≥ X≥ X≤ X≥ X≤ frets chord B and one 6 8 8 8 (F, A, C) and utilize the open G string in 1 1 X 62 511 X scale 82 10 82 X X X X T addition to511 fretted tones similarly X X T T 93 4 93 X X X X 5 5 3 1 1 A T Xbar. Tprevious patterned 5after 7 5those X X in the10 10 XXX B we’re not utilizing Since 6 8the8 high8E 1 1 a mini string here,1 you 2 1 needn’t form T T 23 4 23 1 1 barre across and can 3 1 top two strings 1 the T T fret the B string with the tip of the 1st finger.

Bb

¿¿ ¿ bœ bœ

≥≥ ≤ ≥

4≥ 2 212 33 4T 2 1 2 3 T

..

3

˙˙ ˙˙ ˙

3

≥G

˙˙ ˙˙ ˙ ≥˙ 1˙ 1˙ ˙ 2 33 3T˙ 4

3 3 4G 5 3

Ó Ó Ó

5≥ 3 31 31 42 53T 3

1 1 2 3 T

œœœ œ œœœ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ . . œ œ¿¿¿¿ ≥

≥ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤

7

7 XXXX

œœ œ œœ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ b3œœœ b4œœ 3œœœ XX¿¿¿ XX¿¿¿ 6œ 8 6œ X¿¿ X¿¿ X¿¿ X¿¿ ... 3B b 3 7 7 XXXX . 3 5 3 X X b œ b œ 8œ 8œ X X X X 4 6 6 œ6 b 11≥œœœ b 2œœ 11≥œœœ ≥¿¿¿ ≤¿¿¿ T≥ T 12≥œœœ 4 123≥œœœ ≥¿¿¿ ≤¿¿¿ ≥¿¿¿ ≤¿¿¿ .. 1 3 1 b œ T36œ 8 T6œ X X X X . 3 4 3 X X bœ 3 3XX 3 5 3XX

. ..

8 8 XXXX ≥ Ex. 3≥ is≥ inspired ≤ ≥ by ≥ the≥opening ≥ ≤ ≥ riff ≤ to 4 6 6

6

“Wait Until Tomorrow” (Axis: Bold As 1 1 X X Xa C 311 42 Begin 31 X Xin 5th position, 62 8 62 Xplaying Love). 31 3 311 X X T T 73 4 73 X X X X major 3 5 triad 3 X Xin 2nd inversion 8T 8T X(voiced X X X G, C, E, low to high) 4 6with 6 your 6 1st finger 1 barring Then 1 2 1the D, G and1B strings. 2 4 2 1 1 3 triad (F, A, C) 3 hammer-on toTan TF major 1 3 1 T T in 1st inversion with your 2nd and 3rd fingers before resolving back to C. As the N OVEM BER

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75


G E AR |

AMPLIFICATION

VICTORY

The Duchess V4 Guitar Amp T EST E D BY JA M ES ROTO NDI

VICTO RY A M PS A N D their chief designer, Martin Kidd, have enjoyed a sterling reputation for high-quality British-made boutique amplifiers for nearly a decade. From their stunning aesthetics to the careful selection of tubes, transformers, speakers and voicings, there are reasons Victory amplifiers like The Duchess V40, The Sheriff 22 and the VC35 The Copper Deluxe have won over players like Guthrie Govan, Richie Kotzen, Joe Gore and Chris Buck. Built (and generally priced) for pros, Victory’s goods surely belong in the top echelon of modernday amp makers. That said, being a notable maker of Class A tube amplifiers in the age of modelers and profilers may not be the most mixed portfolio an amp company could have. It’s perhaps to

input. There’s even a nine-volt DC jack, which

address this new market that Victory last year

can power up to 500mA. (Note that many

The Duchess V4 Guitar Amp

added The Duchess V4 Guitar Amplifier to its

single pedals are rated for nine-volt 300mA,

CONTACT victoryamps.com

Duchess line, the company’s ode to the

so be sure not to exceed this limit.) The

PRICE $699 street

dreamy cleans and light overdrives of classic

industrial design is super cool, and the pedal

Fender amps. With essentially the same

is light and portable. The digital reverb and

CONTROLS Bass, middle, treble, volume,

preamp section you’ll find in the widely

tremolo are top-notch, and the preamp has

master volume, tremolo depth/speed, reverb

admired The Duchess V40 Deluxe full head

sensational tonal colors.

POWER 180 watts, ICEpower solid-state

and the V40H lunchbox head, the V4 follows

TUBES Preamp tubes only: 1 x Mullard EC900,

the same basic design map of Victory’s widely

power section, specifically, the V4’s 180-watt

3 x CV4014

admired unpowered V4 preamp pedals

German-built ICEpower ASW200AS1, the

EFFECTS LOOP low-impedance series loop

— including the Sheriff, Kraken, Jack and

same Class D compact amp design found in

EXTRAS Tremolo and Reverb foot switch

Copper models — if with a slightly bigger form

powered Kemper modelers, among others. As

(optional)

factor, and with its own internal power.

with the Kemper PowerHead, the early

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

CABINET Victory V112 Neo Cabinet with Neo

88

Atop the V4’s powder-coated aluminum

So what’s not to like? Well, the solid-state

consensus among many users — and not just

250 Copperback speaker, $719 street

chassis, the Duchess script graphics surround

old cork-sniffing tube guys — is that

WEIGHT 3.75 lbs

a clutch of mini chicken-head knobs that

something is not quite right with the way

BUILT U.K.

control a tone stack of bass, middle, treble

ICEpower drives a speaker cabinet. Scan the

and (preamp) volume. There are also controls

comments sections of many a thread on how

KUDOS An elegant and smartly designed

for master volume, tremolo depth and speed,

to power your Profiler, or the many U.K.

portable pedal amp with a superb preamp

and digital reverb. The back panel sports a

reviews of the The Duchess V4 itself, and

section. Great for ultra-clean tones or

speaker out, a line out (bypassing the power

you’ll find the jury is still out.

direct-recording applications

section and ideal for direct recording), a

CONCERNS A brassy-sounding high-tech

low-impedance series effects send and

unnatural and hard attack of these ICE amps,

solid-state power section that rattles the ears

return, a foot-switch output and a guitar

some players use the terms pokey, bright and

NOV EM BER

20 2 1

Describing the somewhat brassy,

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


is a terrific amp for ultra-clean tones. I played

Again, this Duchess preamp circuit, with its

my Fender American Professional II

one Mullard EC900 triode and three Mullard

Jazzmaster through the V4 on a recent

CV4014s, is really stunning.

jazz-blues gig, setting a subtle tremolo and

Though the solid-state V4 has no need to

reverb sound, and that big headroom really

match the impedance of your speaker cab,

delivered some nice Grant Green tones and

the wattage is reduced significantly as you

even echoes of Jimmy Wilsey–style lounge

increase the speaker load. That is, it takes

twang. A Jazzmaster, Gretsch or more atypical

advantage of its full 180 watts through a

choice are good with the V4, as your Strat,

four-ohm load like the Neo 1x12, but that is

brash, or simply remark, “something seems

Tele and Les Paul tones are not likely to sound

reduced to an effective 100 watts into eight

off.” As much as I respect Martin Kidd and

quite the way you’re used to. I suspect the V4

ohms and 50 watts into 16 ohms. Still, these

Victory, I have to agree, and it points to a

would make a brilliant keyboard amp, too,

are solid-state watts, not tube watts. It’s just

troubling marketing trend in the industry.

and running my acoustic-electric guitars

not the same. Plugging the V4 into eight-ohm

Manufacturers love to tout their partly (or

through it was not unlike plugging into a solid-

and 16-ohm cabinets yielded mixed results:

completely) solid-state designs, and even

state acoustic amp like a Henricksen or an

The amp sounded diminished to my ears

their 100-percent digital modelers, as

AER. Though some have called The Duchess

— less power, but less fullness and projection

possessing “real tube warmth” or “fat tube

V4 a “great pedal platform,” I don’t think any

as well — and still had that nagging hard and

saturation.” But as useful as the benefits of

of my gain pedals offset that sonic hardness.

brassy sound. Even with the preamp volume

these tools may be, only tubes have tube warmth. Anything else is a simulation. Some modelers and preamp pedals

Our V4 was paired with a Victory V112 Neo

all the way up to dial in some breakup, it

(neodymium) 1x12 cabinet, and Victory was

didn’t deliver what I would ever call real tube

kind enough to send us a more conventional

warmth.

accomplish this extremely well in a direct

2x12 V12 VCD cab with Celestion G12M-65

recording environment, but it’s still a

Creambacks, as well, for comparison. There’s

power is not going to end with this review.

simulation. You may have great preamp tubes

no question the Neo cab, with its Celestion

There are those who will find the portability

at play, but without a tube power-amp

Neo 250 Cooperback speaker rated for up to

and versatility of The Duchess V4 worth any

delivering those modeler/preamp sounds to a

250 watts, exaggerated that brassy solid-

sonic trade-offs, and there will be younger

cabinet, it’s not going to be real tube warmth.

state quality, but it was still evident through

players raised on virtual amps who may not

The difference isn’t subtle, either, at least not

the 2x12 as well, though certainly boasting a

hear it as a trade-off at all. Tone is surely a

for someone who’s spent a lifetime playing

more natural breakup. Interestingly, I found

subjective experience, though with Victory’s

tube amps. If you’ve been playing solid-state

the V4 made an excellent direct-recording

well-earned reputation in the world of

gear for years, perhaps you won’t notice the

device. Although it has no built-in cabinet

boutique all-tube amps, I’m not sure

difference at all.

emulation of its own, it sounded great with

gambling with this type of solid-state power

my own IRs going straight into a Universal

is the best objective approach to designing a

Audio Apollo Twin and into Apple Logic Pro.

smaller footprint amplifier for the faithful.

Still, let’s talk about what this amp does well. Because of its massive clean power, this

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

The debate over tube versus solid-state

N OVEM BER

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89


G E AR |

ACCESSORIES

EMINENCE

DV-77 Mick Thomson signature speaker and Kristian Kohle Metal IR Pack T EST E D BY DAV E H U NTE R W ITH T H E QU EST for modern metal

aggressive, yet balanced heavy rock

tones becoming an ever-more-refined

performance.

adventure, Eminence has thrown down the

While accepting that plenty of guitarists

gauntlet with the new DV-77 Mick Thomson

achieve their speaker sounds in the virtual

Signature model. Designed in collaboration

realm these days, Eminence-Digital has

with the Slipknot guitarist and Mike Smith of

almost simultaneously released the

Omega Ampworks, the DV-77 uses

DV-7–laden Metal IR Pack, a selection of

Eminence’s popular CV-75 (think of the earlier

metal-minded impulse responses created by

English Vintage 30 platform) as a springboard

Kristian Kohle of Kohlekeller Studio in

to recalibrate the formula for an ideal

Germany. We tested the actual and virtual to see how they performed.

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

Though its foundation lies in existing technology, Eminence tells us they designed

DV-77 Mick Thomson Signature Speaker

the DV-77 from the ground up, using new

CONTACT eminence.com

voice coil and spider designs, a carefully

PRICE $149 street

selected U.K.-made Kurt Mueller cone and a

KRISTIA N KOHLE META L IR PAC K

hefty 50-ounce ceramic magnet. A high-

In addition to several great DV-77 IRs, this

POWER HANDLING 70 watts

efficiency of 100.6 db (1W/1M) and 70-watt

pack includes files generated using

EFFICIENCY 100.6db (1W/1M)

power handling round out the specs list.

Eminence’s Swamp Thang and CV-75, plus

NOMINAL IMPEDANCE 8 Ω

blends, and the selection proves a real boon

MAGNET 50 oz. ceramic

cabs with a Les Paul into a Friedman Small

to any rockers going the digital route. Flipping

TOTAL WEIGHT 10.4 lbs

Box and Boogie Mark III, the DV-77 took high

between speaker IRs always requires an aural

BUILT USA

gain extremely well, punching out a voice

readjustment to

that’s lush, meaty and extremely well

the surprisingly

KUDOS A punchy, well-balanced speaker that

balanced, with no mush at the low end

dramatic EQ

takes a lot of punishment. Sounds great with

or stridency at the top. Where some players

shifts, but once

high gain and surprisingly good with cleans

find a certain spiky upper-mid harshness in

I’d played with

CONCERNS None, as long as you heed its

the Vintage 30, for example — justifiable

them a bit via a

rock-inspired intentions

classic though it is — the DV-77’s midrange is

Mesa CabClone

thick and full, just a little bit creamy when

IR+ and the

Eminence Kristian Kohle METAL IR Pack

overdriven, and not the least bit fatiguing.

Neural DSP

CONTACT eminence-digital.com

More to the point, it chugs and sings with

PRICE $49 street

equal aplomb while feeling dynamic and

I found most options both extremely useful,

playable through all settings.

and they were great-sounding captures by

FEATURES 18 individual and blended impulse

92

Tested in both closed- and open-back

Used with either amp set clean, the DV-77

Quad Cortex

any measure.

responses in total, each at 44.1 khz, 48 kHz,

was impressive, and even at lower volumes it

and 96 kHz (54 WAV files in all)

exhibited a linearity that beautifully threw

and the DV-77 Fat WAV became one of my

I liked the various DV-77 IRs in particular,

SETUP Captures made using a Mesa 4x12

back whatever you put into it. There’s a little

new all-round favorites. Like the physical

cabinet variously miked with Shure SM57,

bark from the open G and D strings that might

speaker, it’s big, full, aggressive and muscular,

Rode NTR, Heil PR-20 and sE V7x

be just a bit obtrusive for some styles, but it

yet well balanced and impressively musical

isn’t intended for country twanging. All in all,

all at the same time. All in all, this is a great

KUDOS Great-sounding speaker-and-cab

the Eminence DV-77 is simply a very likable

selection of well-judged emulations, and

emulations. Useful for rock applications

and versatile performer, and a real winner for

worth grabbing for heavy and moderate

CONCERNS None

rock in particular.

IR needs.

NOV EM BER

20 2 1

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


E N D PAG E |

LEGACIES

How I Wrote…

“Do You Feel Like We Do” Peter Frampton explains how his 1973 sleeper became the monster hit of 1976. J O E

at London’s Empire Pool on the Frampton Comes Alive! tour, October 1976.

B O S S O

“ OUT O F T H E hits that I’ve had, I can’t

something better,’” he says. “Of course, I never

out and play with its dynamics,” he says. “The

underestimate its importance,” Peter

did.” After coming up with an A-to-E chord

crowds seemed to love it more and more.”

Frampton says of “Do You Feel Like We Do.”

pattern for the verse, he wrote lyrics that

Originally released as a six-minute studio cut

summed up how he felt after a night of

introduction of a talk box during one of the

on the guitarist’s second solo album, 1973’s

overindulgence: “Woke up this morning with a

extended solo sections. He first used the

Frampton’s Camel, the song became an

wine glass in my hand.” “They came right out,”

effects unit for the studio recording of “Show

instant classic thanks to the epic 14-minute

he explains, “and they’re probably the most

Me the Way,” but during his 1975 concerts he

version on his epochal 1976 live album,

iconic lyrics I’ve ever written.”

fully embraced the device. “People went nuts when I went to use the talk box,” Frampton

Frampton Comes Alive! SOME THING’S HA PPENING

says. “Hey, everybody needs a gimmick, and

things wide open,” he says. “It sort of worked

The band previewed the song at a few shows

this was mine.”

as the trailer for both the album and my

before recording it at New York City’s Electric

concerts. ‘You want to know what Peter

Lady Studios. Frampton used his now-

FRA MPTON IS EVERYWHERE

Frampton sounds like live? Listen to this!’”

famous 1954 Les Paul Custom that he paired

The release of Frampton Comes Alive! was a

with a late-’50s Ampeg Echo Twin. “That

seismic cultural moment, and within months

“ WO K E U P T H I S M O R N I N G…”

amp wasn’t designed for distortion, but it

of the record’s appearance, Frampton went

In preparation for Frampton’s Camel,

broke up beautifully and gave me a great

from playing theaters to selling out arenas.

Frampton assembled a band consisting of

sound,” he says. Getting the song on tape was

The double album sold in the millions, his

keyboardist Mick Gallagher, bassist Rick Wills

relatively straightforward, but the band

posters adorned millions of teenagers’

and drummer John Siomos. “We did a lot of

recorded two versions: one slower, one faster.

bedrooms, and his presence on both AM and

jamming back then,” he recalls. “We were a

“We thought the slower one was best, so that

FM stations was a lock. “I was everywhere,” he

new band, and jamming was our way of

wound up on the album.”

recalls. “It got to the point where I was sick of

“That’s the version that helped break

Nobody in the

myself. I’d turn on the

came to rehearsal with his reel-to-reel tape

guitarist’s camp or at

radio and hear myself.

machine, on which he’d recorded chord ideas

his label thought the

and a melody for a new song.

song was a hit. “It was a

figuring out our sound.” One day, the guitarist

9000

“I didn’t have much else to it,” he says. “We

98

Adding to the excitement was his

good FM deep track,

“WE STARTED TO DRAW IT OUT, AND THEY SEEMED TO LOVE IT MORE AND MORE”

I’d change the station and land on myself again.” Over the course of

jammed a bit, and at one point somebody

and it got some play in

said, ‘Wind the tape back to three or four

various spots of the

minutes in. You played a line that’s really cool.’

U.S.,” Frampton

That line turned out to be what I then used for

remembers. But over

the main hook riff. Then Mick started to play

the next two years, during which time he

Feel Like We Do.” “It’s my show closer, the

harmonies of the line on the keyboard.”

his career, Frampton never played a gig that didn’t include “Do You

released two more studio albums — 1974’s

ultimate capper to a concert,” he says. “What

Stuck for a chorus, Frampton improvised

Somethin’s Happening and 1975’s Frampton

was really remarkable was when I would play

what he considered to be a dummy lyric: “Do

— “Do You Feel Like We Do” began to stand

with Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’d play ‘Do You Feel’ and

you feel like I do?” “It didn’t sound right, so I

out as an audience favorite. “We closed the

they’d play ‘Free Bird,’ so you’d get the two

told the guys, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll come up with

show with it, and we really started to draw it

longest FM songs in one night.”

NOV EM BER

20 2 1

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

I AN DI CKSON/ RE DFE RN S/G E TTY IMAGES

B Y

Peter Frampton performs


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