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SPECIAL COLLECTORS' EDITION GUITAR & BASS Transcriptions

STEVE VAI & RY COODER

“Head Cuttin’ Duel”

GRETA VAN FLEET

“Black Smoke Rising”

PETER GREEN’S FLEETWOOD MAC “Albatross”

THE

GUITARISTS DECADE OF THE

10 YEARS of GEAR EVOLUTION and the 20 TOP STORIES of 2019!

PLUS:

SLEATER-KINNEY

meet St. Vincent!

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA bring on the Yuletide prog!

MICHAEL SCHENKER sounds off!

PLUS!

MARK TREMONTI TOSIN ABASI GARY CLARK JR. NITA STRAUSS and more!

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE STEVE MILLER THE CIRCLE PETE THORN MATEUS ASATO ALAIN JOHANNES


BOB CAREY

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra in action in 2017, featuring [from left] Dustin Brayley, Roddy Chong, Kayla Reeves, Tony Dickinson and Joel Hoekstra

GUITAR WORLD

JANUARY 2020

30

ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES WHILE YOU’RE HANGING YOUR STOCKINGS BY THE CHIMNEY WITH CARE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA ARE CRISS-CROSSING THE COUNTRY WITH THEIR DELUXE YULETIDE-THEMED, PROG-ROCK EXTRAVAGANZA. IN THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, GUITARISTS (AND MUSICAL DIRECTORS) CHRIS CAFFERY AND AL PITRELLI TALK TSO AND TOURING CHRISTMAS EVE AND OTHER STORIES BY CLAY MARSHALL

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GU I TA R WOR L D • NOV EM BER 2019

P POP QUIZ, HOTSHOT: Which group has played to more people in North America over the past decade than any other rock act? Most music

business observers would likely answer U2 or Metallica, maybe the Stones or the Dave Matthews Band. According to industry trade publication Pollstar, however, the top rock draw in the U.S. during the second decade of the 21st century is a band that tours just seven weeks each year. From every mid November through late December, though, TransSiberian Orchestra (TSO) perform to approximately a million fans, selling out arenas


“IPULL “...IQU ALWAYS QUOTEFIND PUKLTHAT QUOTE I DON’T PUKLGET QUOTE PUKL MORE QUOTE TIRED PUKL ASQUOTE THE TOUR PUKLGOES QUOTE ON PUKL — QUOTE I GETPUKL STRONGER, QUOTE PUKL SINCEQUOTE MY MUSCLES PUKL QUOTE PUKL ADJUST QUOTEAND PUKLITQUOTE GETS EASIER” PUKL QUOTE PUKL —CHRISPUKL CAFFERYQUOTE PUKLOTE PUKLQUOTE ” QUOTE —GSOMBSDYEYYY from coast to coast with a Yuletide-themed show that mixes rock, classical and theater with a state-of-the-art production featuring dazzling lasers, extensive pyrotechnics and a stage that literally transforms before your eyes. Two-thousand-nineteen marks the 20th anniversary of the group’s first winter tour, and once again, guitarists Chris Caffery and Al Pitrelli will lead the charge. Pitrelli — who has toured with TSO for all but one

of the past 20 years — boasts an impressive résumé, as in addition to a brief stint in Megadeth (which caused him to miss TSO’s winter tour in 2000), the Long Island native has toured or recorded with the likes of Alice Cooper, Asia and Blue Oyster Cult. Fellow New Yorker Caffery — who, along with drummer Jeff Plate, is the only musician to take part in every TSO tour over the past two decades — has performed with artists ranging from Ger-

man metal queen Doro Pesch to Polka king Jimmy Sturr on top of releasing six solo albums. He’s best known, though, for his work with cult favorites Savatage, whose ambitious and theatrical metallic hard rock — think Queen meets Queensrÿche — laid the groundwork for TSO. Savatage’s 1995 rock opera Dead Winter Dead was the first album on which the two guitarists played together. At the time, Caffery had just rejoined

the band — founded in Florida by brothers Jon and Criss Oliva during the early Eighties — after a nearly five-year sabbatical, while Pitrelli was a new recruit who had been recommended to the group’s producer, Paul O’Neill. The album featured a symphonic instrumental, “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24),” that became a modest hit — but when the song was re-released the following year under the TSO moniker, a star was born.

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20 19 GUITAR WORLD MAGAZINE . JANUARY 2020

036

David Gilmour

A monumental guitar auction, a gargantuan pedalboard,

040

Van Halen

a long-awaited Tool album and a Kiss tongue-lashing!

041

Brian May

Here are the 20 top guitar stories of 2019.

35 PAGE

A YEAR IN REVIEW

By Richard Bienstock

[right] The gang at Sweetwater assemble a recordsetting pedalboard

C H A D J E N K I N S/ S W E E T WAT E R

[below] Our March issue contained a few choice words from Kiss’ Gene Simmons


B

Y NOW, WE’VE all heard the arguments and read the think-pieces that have popped up repeatedly over the past decade, declaring that guitar-based music, and maybe even — gasp! — the guitar itself, is on pop-culture life support. Someone must’ve forgotten to inform 2019 of this news, because judging by the past 12 months, the instrument is fully alive and doing quite well, thank you very much. Don’t believe us? Just ask New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which hit it out of the park this year with its massively successful Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll exhibition. Or Gibson, which dazzled as the music-industry (and maybe even “industry” in general) comeback story of the year. Or David Gilmour, who raised more than $21

million by auctioning off a collection of his favorite guitars for charity. As for the music itself, Tool and Slipknot topped the album charts, Queen and Kiss killed it on the road, and artists ranging from Dream Theater to Joe Bonamassa to John 5 had banner years. And so: guitars and guitar music dead? We think not. And for anyone who tries to tell you otherwise, here are 20 arguments for its continued reign. By the way, while we at GW had a hand in selecting these (blatantly obvious to us) events and stories, they were mostly chosen by you, our readers; GuitarWorld.com stories pertaining to all of these events sent our online numbers into the stratosphere in 2019. By the way, remember to check out GuitarWorld.com for daily guitar news of all shapes and sizes, and sign up for our newsletter!

2019

IN THE BLACK BACK IN JUNE, Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour put more than 120 guitars up for auction at Christie’s, with estimates ranging from $300 to $150,000. These numbers turned out to be…what’s the word?…low, with his legendary black 1969 Fender Strat fetching an astonishing $3,975,000 — a new world record for any guitar sold at auction. What’s more, the entire David Gilmour Collection raked in more than $21 million, with all the proceeds going to charity. “This just felt like a good moment to raise some good, hard cash for people who need it,” Gilmour told Guitar World in an exclusive cover story in the May issue. As for no longer owning classics like the Black Strat, heard on The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall and more? “I don’t feel I won’t be able to achieve just as much on a different guitar,” Gilmour said. “So, yeah, I guess I’m not overly sentimental.”

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GU I TA R WOR L D • JA N UA RY 2020

GIBSON GOES BIG GIBSON CAME BACK in a big way this year, with

new leadership, a refocused vision and a splashy reintroduction at the Winter NAMM Show. But the real story from the legacy company was the products — true Fifties and Sixties-spec Les Pauls and SGs; innovative, excessively playable modern guitars; and lots and lots of impressive Gibson and Epiphone artist models from the likes of Joe Perry, George Thorogood,

Jared James Nichols, Vivian Campbell and more. And while there were some bumps along the way (among them a YouTube video or two — and a perception, albeit a somewhat unfair one, from some corners that the company was too aggressive in protecting its copyright), the fact is that in 2019, the iconic brand unquestionably reclaimed its position among the top of the guitar heap. Here’s to seeing what 2020 brings.


A YEAR IN REVIEW

THE MET GETS ROCKED most iconic tools this year — or any year, for that matter — than the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll exhibit? Partially inspired by former GW editor-in-chief Brad Tolinski and GW scribe Alan di Perna’s 2016 book, Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Sound, Style and Revolution of the Electric Guitar, the show brought together Eddie

TOOL TIME AFTER YEARS AND years…and years

of rumors, vague progress reports and obsessive moaning by frustrated fans, Tool released a new album, Fear Inoculum, in August. As would be expected, the effort, their first in 13 years, was a big deal — it hit Number One on the Billboard charts, knocking out Taylor Swift’s latest and leading millions of confused Swifties to ask, “What the heck is Tool?” For an answer, they could have read our October cover story with guitarist Adam Jones, who explained, “It’s a system and it’s a group effort.” He continued, “It takes a lot of discipline to think about what the song needs at a given time and really dial it in. There are times when my part on its own might sound stupid or childish, but it can be what the song needs to drive everything else.”

Van Halen’s Frankenstein, SRV’s “Number One” Strat, Keith Richards’ “Micawber” Tele, Jimmy Page’s EDS-1275 doubleneck and so, so, so many more, for the greatest guitar party ever. Equal parts astonishing, inspiring and educational, the exhibit was, in the words of Tolinski, “a triumphant validation of the importance of the instrument, and how it has touched the lives of millions.”

2019

CREAM OF THE CROP GUITAR CENTER’S 2019 Crossroads Col-

lection achieved a rare feat — bringing various big-name brands, in this case Fender, Gibson, PRS Guitars and Martin, together under one umbrella to create limited-edition instruments for a charitable cause. And those instruments, which included a Martin 00-42JSC John Mayer acoustic and a PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana, were pretty spectacular. But the standouts were two Eric Clapton models — Gibson’s recreation of his 1964 Gibson single-pickup Firebird I with reverse headstock and Fender’s Blind Faith Telecaster by Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause, which boasts a “Brownie” style Strat neck on a Tele body — that truly stole the show. Now excuse us while we head down to the crossroads to pick up one of each.

MAN WITH MANY GUITARS PICKS FAVORITE JOE BONAMASSA, IT goes without saying, owns a lot of gear. Not too long ago, the man himself estimated his collection at somewhere just south of 1,000 guitars and amps. So when he named his ’51 Fender Nocaster his favorite six-string in an August Instagram post — “It is the most dynamic instrument I have ever played in my life,” JoBo wrote — the, um, guitar world stood up and took notice. As did Bonamassa and Fender, apparently. Just a few months later, Bonamassa returned to Instagram to reveal that he had dropped his Nocaster off at the Fender Custom Shop for master builder Greg Fessler to create a replica signature model. According to reports, the guitar will be available in a limited run of 100 and sold initially through Bonamassa’s official website.

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D O N E M M E R T/A F P/ G E T T Y I M A G E S

WAS THERE ANY bigger gathering of rock’s


JA N UA RY

2 02 0

10’LL GETCHA 20:

GUITAR WORLD ’S READERS AND WRITERS BAND TOGETHER TO PINPOINT GUITARDOM’S MOST VITAL PLAYERS OF THE PAST 10 YEARS WE KNOW, WE KNOW— you’re sick of polls. And they’re all rigged anyway, right? Wrong! In fact, we take them pretty damn seriously, and, well, this one is particularly important. Maybe the most important GW poll ever. Because we’re not only poised at the end of another year, but also the end of a decade. With that in mind, GW put out the call to find out who you — our readers — consider the “Guitarist of the Decade,” and we received a lot of responses. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. Tens of thousands of them. Dozens of thousands of them. Seriously. All told, it was nearly 50,000 votes! Of course, we decided we wanted to weigh in as well, so we put together a panel of 30 trusted “guitar folk,” including the entire Guitar World editorial staff; editors from our sister music magazines, including Guitarist, Total Guitar, Metal Hammer and Classic Rock; plus a legion of GW contributors including Alan Paul, Jeff Perrin, Jon Wiederhorn, Brad Tolinski, Jeff Kitts, Brad Angle, Joe Bosso, Tom Gilbert, Adam Kovac, Damon Orion, Gregory Adams, Laura B. Whitmore, Bruce Fagerstrom, Clay Marshall, Nick Bowcott, Mark McStea and more. And then we got to work! What we were looking for? That’s where things get a little tricky — because the past decade was an era of major activity and advances in the six-string…and seven-string…and eight-string…and 18-string (we’re lookin’ at you, Jared Dines) worlds. A little over 10 years ago guitarists weren’t djenting or thumping (or, at least, they weren’t calling it that), and in terms of gear — especially that of the signature and modeling variety — the twenty-teens coughed up a motherload of incredible stuff. Speaking of which, be sure to check out Chris Gill and Paul Riario’s “Shifting Gear” feature starting on page 60. We considered — and asked our readers to consider — players who have chops, but there were several other factors, including their influence on the next generation of guitarists, their overall impact on our guitar scene, their level of success, if they pushed the guitar farther — either via stretching the instrument’s boundaries or spreading “the gospel of guitar” to the uninitiated — not to mention their cultural relevance, visibility and more. In the end, we wound up with a list — informed by your votes and ours — that’s bulging with avant-gardists, bluesheads, melodic pop-rockers, jammy improvisors, riff-lords, proggers and, of course, shredders. On that note, Guitar World presents our 20 Guitarists of the Decade.

By Richard

Bienstock


THE JOY OF TACKLING SOME NEW TECHNIQUE OR STYLE IS SOMETHING THAT NEVER GETS OLD. WHEN YOU FINALLY GET IT, IT’S LIKE A MAGIC TRICK’’

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S C OT T D I U S S A

PAG PAGE E

Mark Tremonti


1

THE

GUITARISTS DECADE OF THE

MARK TREMONTI

JEN ROSENSTEIN

MARK TREMONTI’S TRACK

record as a songwriter is close to unmatched in modern heavy music — the Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist, who we’ll call Captain Riff, has sold more than 50 million records over his career. But perhaps one of the worst-kept secrets in rock is that even while Tremonti, who wields a signature PRS SE guitar and MT15 amp, is known for writing an anthemic hard rock anthem or 10, this insanely prolific dude can seriously shred. And if this isn’t immediately evident from his song-oriented output, it’s clear in everything else he does, from his onstage performances to his recorded work with his thrashy side band, Tremonti, to his megapopular guitar clinics. “He’s a player who works at his craft tirelessly, and constantly listens and learns from others to enhance his own approach,” says Total Guitar’s Rob Laing. Indeed, as Tremonti himself tells us, “I always put songwriting before my actual guitar playing. But I love guitar playing. The joy of tackling some new technique or style is something that never gets old. When you finally get it, it’s like a magic trick.” And, as he mentioned 10 years ago, “It’s the only thing I ever cared about. I played soccer as a kid and really enjoyed it, but once I hit college I got sidetracked and just chased down music. I’ve always had odd jobs, and every time I’d have a bad day cooking or at the car wash, or wherever it was, I’d always say, ‘One day I’m going to get to play guitar for a living.’ ” Above, we — in passing — called Tremonti “insanely prolific,” but let’s actually take a minute here to consider his official studio releases of the past decade, starting with Alter Bridge’s AB III [2010], Fortress [2013], The Last Hero [2016] and Walk the Sky [2019] … and moving right along to Tremonti’s All I Was [2012], Cauterize [2015], Dust [2016] and A Dying Machine [2018]. And that’s not even counting compilation albums, live discs and concert films. That’s almost as intense as putting out 13 issues of GW every year!

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GU I TA R WOR L D • JA N UA RY 2020

THERE’S SO MUCH BEAUTY IN WHAT I WOULD CALL ‘FOUNDATIONAL’ PLAYING, LIKE BECOMING A BETTER BLUES GUITARIST. BUT THEN THERE’S ANOTHER PART OF ME THAT’S INTERESTED IN THAT UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION I CAN MAKE TO THE INSTRUMENT ’’ Tobin Abasi


[clockwise from top left] Fractal’s Axe-FX III, an eight-string Strandberg Boden, the Eventide H9 Harmonizer and an EverTune G model bridge


JA N UA RY

2 02 0

GEAR OF THE DECADE

DURING MOST PREVIOUS decades, significant shifts took place in the guitar manufacturing industry that both defined an era and established new directions for the future. For example, the Thirties are remembered as a “Golden Era” for acoustic guitars (particularly Martins and Gibsons) as well as for the introduction of the first electric guitars. The Fifties are known for the commercial birth of the solidbody electric, and the Seventies are known for the decline of major players like Fender and Gibson and the rise of Japanese imports like Ibanez and Takamine. The Eighties are remembered for the dominance of Super Strats and hot-rodded high-gain amps, while the Nineties saw a retro-inspired resurgence of quirky Sixties designs like Jazzmasters and imported “pawn shop prizes” along with the rise of boutique guitars, amps and pedals. However, the last decade’s biggest gear trend may be that there were no dominant overall trends, but rather numerous smaller ones. This is most likely a reflection of the popular music industry’s movement away from guitar-based music. Although the guitar may not play as prominent of a role in pop music as it did in the past, any dedicated music fan or reader of this magazine can attest that there’s a hell of a lot of great guitar music out there. It’s just splintered into numerous different factions — metal, blues, indie, progressive, classic rock and so on — that all have large and robust followings. This, in turn, has inspired companies to concentrate more on what they do best and find their own individual niche, instead of trying to chase the next big thing in an effort to keep up. The end result of this is that guitarists now probably have more variety to choose from than ever. Traditional guitar designs are still plentiful for players who prefer those, but if you’re more adventurous you can easily find guitars, amps and pedals from numerous innovative companies that are thriving instead of just surviving on the outskirts of larger movements. Perhaps the biggest surprise to us was the increased popularity of electric instruments with features like headless necks, fanned frets and extended tuning ranges that previously were considered too unorthodox and unusual by the masses. Even acoustic guitarists seemed to be more accepting of change, as acoustics with smaller body sizes and rounder shapes challenged the dreadnought’s dominance for possibly the first time since the Fifties.

By

Chris Gill

and

Paul Riario

PAG PAGE E

FROM AVANT-GARDE ELECTRICS TO AFFORDABLE ACOUSTICS, MINI AMPS TO MIGHTY APPS, COATED STRINGS TO BRILLIANT BRACINGS AND BEYOND, GUITAR WORLD REVISITS A DECADE OF UNBRIDLED INNOVATION

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In the wake of drummer Janet Weiss’ surprise departure, guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein discuss gear, songwriting and their latest album, the St. Vincentproduced The Center Won’t Hold By Joe Bosso page 68

Sleater Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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GU I TA R WOR L D • JA N UA RY 2020

KINNEY


guitar world january 2020

FIVE YEARS AGO, alternative rock

[from left] Carrie Brownstein, Janet Weiss and Corin Tucker perform in 2015

fans were ecstatic when the pioneering feminist punk trio Sleater-Kinney called off their nine-year hiatus and released their most raucous and diverse album to date, No Cities to Love. Fast-forward to 2019, and the group has made even greater stylistic leaps on a brandnew disc, The Center Won’t Hold. Days before the album’s release, however, co-founding guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein were stung by the surprise news that longtime drummer Janet Weiss was packing it in. Both women are loath to discuss the reasons behind Weiss’ departure; but when pressed, Tucker says, “We asked Janet to stay, but she said, ‘I’m definitely leaving.’ We feel like her

drumming on this record is great. We’re really proud of the work we’ve done, and we’re just kind of moving ahead in terms of how we’re going to play this album for people so they can hear it. As for anything more on that, I think it’s for Janet to say.” The famously political group doesn’t shy away from current events on the new album. Indeed, the harrowing title track explores what Brownstein calls “the fractious and tumultuous period we’re in leading up to the next election.” But she’s also quick to point out that many of the tracks carry multiple meanings. “Some of them could be seen through a political lens,” she says, “but at the same time they spread out and deal with deeply personal issues, through various iterations of fragility. You can react to them how you want.”


LD WOR

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L E A H C I S ’ M NKER E H C S GUI

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E R H T R O AS EVE M U B AL ANDID W E N C RAL S S I CAB A H E I S , N HA UFO EGEND I , STEP S Y N B I O I TA R L HY P R RAP G O O T U SC AN G PHO E H A T E M T cS UT HE GER O B RK M A A M T BY K I N GM A G E ,” IEW L V A R T E INT ’S F HIS I E H R HE TION O T E H W ISTOR “D IT’S BEEN ALMOST 50 YEARS SINCE MICHAEL SCHENKER MADE HIS

recording debut at age 16 on the Scorpions’ debut album, 1972’s Lonesome Crow. From the start it was obvious he was at playing a level that was well beyond many of his contemporaries.

This little detail was noticed by U.K. rockers UFO, who poached Schenker from the Scorpions in 1974 after witnessing his chops first-hand. Their first album together, Phenomenon, was a game-changer for UFO in terms of their commercial appeal. Schenker had everything — the guitarhero image, the chops and the iconic Gibson Flying V. Fame didn’t sit well with him, however, and he developed a reputation for unreliability and unpredictability. He left UFO in 1978 ahead of the release of 1979’s Strangers in the Night, an oftcited contender for the title of greatest live album of all time. After a brief return to the Scorpions for Lovedrive in 1978, Schenker filled guitar hot seats with Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Hunter.  He calls this period — the era leading up to forming The Michael Schenker Group with vocalist Gary Barden — his “first phase.” 

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JAN UARY 2020

GUITAR WORLD

GOLD AWARD P

ER

FORMANC

E

the gear in review

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DREAM STUDIO GUITARS Baccara Alain Johannes Signature

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KEELEY DDR and Fuzz Bender pedals

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SENNHEISER XSW-D Wireless Digital Pedalboard Set

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IBANEZ Marco Sfogli Signature MSM100

Instrumental Values FISHMAN TRIPLEPLAY CONNECT By Chris Gill EVER SINCE THE first commercial guitar

synthesizers were introduced back in the mid Seventies, I’ve been fascinated by the possibilities of controlling non-guitar sounds with a guitar. However, over the years numerous idiosyncrasies of guitar synth design made that prospect not entirely ideal for me. From specialized guitar controllers and invasive pickup installations to bulky proprietary cables and rack- or floor-mounted sound modules, a guitar synth seemed more like a separate instrument unto itself rather than

something I could easily and painlessly integrate into my existing gear rig. Recently, Fishman introduced a few products that may finally convince even the most skeptical guitarists to explore the vast world of sounds that exist beyond our beloved six strings. The Fishman TriplePlay Wireless MIDI Guitar Controller came first, which offers a hexaphonic pickup and controller that communicates with software on a desktop or laptop computer. Fishman’s new TriplePlay Connect system goes even fur-

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SOUNDCHECK

Mean Green

GUITAR WORLD

GOLD AWARD P

ER

FORMANC

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IBANEZ MARCO SFOGLI SIGNATURE MSM100 By Chris Gill

BACK IN THE late Seventies, the

control covers of Ibanez’s flagship models featured the inscription, “Built by the proud craftsmen of Ibanez Japan.” The statement was as bold as it was true, but that attitude has always remained strong with the builders at Ibanez Japan, even though that message no longer appears on their guitars. Some of the finest examples of this are the company’s Prestige line instruments. The new MSM100 model is a direct descendent of Ibanez’s AZ Prestige models, developed in collaboration with Italian guitarist Marco Sfogli and featuring several custom enhancements. FEATURES With its asymmetric double

cutaway alder body, dual humbuckers and a tremolo bridge, the Ibanez MSM100 falls neatly into the popular “Super Strat” category, but it has so many outstanding upgrades that it should be called a “Superb Strat.” That alder body is topped with a 4mm-thick slab of gorgeous AAA flame maple featuring a dazzling Fabula Green Burst finish. It’s complemented by an S-Tech Wood single-piece roasted maple 25½-inch scale neck, with 24 stainless steel frets, abalone dot inlays and luminescent Luminlay side dots. Playing comfort is enhanced by the neck’s AZ Oval C shape and Prestige fret edge treatment. Pickups consist of a DiMarzio Air Norton humbucker at the neck and a DiMarzio The

CHEAT SHEET

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STREET PRICE: $2,499.99 MANUFACTURER: Ibanez, Ibanez.com

GU I TA R WOR L D • JA N UA RY 2020

Tone Zone humbucker at the bridge, wired to a three-way pickup selector that provides neck/inner single coils/bridge settings and master volume/tone controls. The hardware is top-notch as well: a Gotoh T1802 tremolo bridge with machined titanium saddles, Gotoh Magnum Lock tuners with heightadjustable posts and an oil-impregnated bone nut that all ensure rock-solid tuning comparable to a double-locking system. PERFORMANCE The MSM100 is a

stunning example of Ibanez’s experience and commitment to guitar craftsmanship. The neck feels incredibly luxurious, with smoothly rounded surfaces and a silky satin finish that make it feel like your fingers are gliding on air. The generously scooped-out treble bout cutaway provides unrestricted access all the way up to the 24th fret. The entire instrument exudes an alluring combination of precision and soul that gives off an overall vibe of quality. The sound quality is stellar, with a lively brightness, full body, exquisite definition and dynamic expressiveness that makes the MSM100 a true player’s instrument. In addition to big and beefy neck and bridge humbucker tones, the middle setting delivers brilliant single-coil snap and twang. Experienced guitarists will love how reactive the MSM100 is to finer nuances, even when playing with high-gain distortion.

The S-Tech Wood single-piece roasted maple neck features 24 stainless steel frets and luminescent Luminlay side dots.

DiMarzio Air Norton (neck) and The Tone Zone (bridge) humbucking pickups deliver stellar tones, with full body and detailed nuances.

THE BOTTOM LINE The Ibanez MSM100 is ideal both for pro guitarists looking for an exceptionally expressive instrument and for players who want an instrument that brings out the best of their capabilities.


For video of this lesson, go to GuitarWorld.com/January2020

by Dweezil Zappa



COLUMNS

DWEEZIL RIPPED MY FLESH

PLAY PHONE

FIG. FIG. 11

Crafting musical phrases based on number sequences IN THIS LESSON, I’d like to continue

talking about numbers and sequencing approaches in regard to creating improvised lines. It’s not “math rock” per se, but rather “normal” guitar playing with an approach that allows one to explore phrases that can move decisively away from scalar-type lines, wherein you can utilize more interesting and unexpected rhythms that will surprise you, your friends and anyone who listens to your music. A very easy way to dive into this concept is to select a series of numbers, and each collection of notes will be made up of those sequential numbers. For example, you can use a phone number as the basis for structuring a series of melodic phrases. If the first number is 5, the first phrase will be five notes long; if the second number is 8, the next phrase will be eight notes, and so forth. Let’s use a phone number everyone is familiar with: “867-5309,” which comes from the title of Tommy Tutone's huge hit song from the Eighties, “867-5309/Jenny.” So the first musical phrase is eight notes, followed by a six-note phrase, then a sevennote phrase. Obviously, the note choices and melodic possibilities are endless. FIGURE 1 illustrates a simple eight-note phrase built from the notes of the A minor pentatonic scale (A, C, D, E, G), played in descending order (G, E, D, C, A), with two notes per string. FIGURE 2 is a six-note phrase, wherein we have two three-note groups, played three notes per string. If we combine these two sequences and play them as straight 16th notes, we get the melody shown in FIGURE 3. Next is a seven-note sequence, as shown in FIGURE 4. Note that in the middle of this phrase, I barre my ring finger across the B, G and D strings at the 7th fret and use an upstroke to pick those three notes. FIGURE 5 combines our eight-, six- and seven-note phrases into one longer one. Okay, now we need a five-note sequence. To shake things up, let’s play all five notes on one string. In this way, we are creating a variety in the manner by which the notes are executed. In FIGURE 6, I use a pair of hammer-on phrases to create the five-note pattern. In bar 2, I combine the previous

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T A B

4 4

8

FIG. 33 FIG.

T A B

4 4

4 4

4 4

5 4

2

7

5

7

FIG. FIG. 22

T2 A4 B

5

Six

8 5

7 5

7 9 5

7 5

7 9 5

7 5

Five

5

5

7

9

7 5

7

9

T4 A4 B

.

5

7

9

3

FIG. FIG. 44

Six

8 5

U

Six

3

8 5 7

7

8 5

7 9 5

7

Seven

Ó

8

7

Ó

9 5

7

Five

5

7

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5

4

5

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9 5

7

Seven

7 9 5

5

5

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9

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5

4 4

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Six

8 5

FIG. FIG. 88

T A B

5

Eight

4

FIG. FIG. 77

T A B

8

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Eight

8 5

FIG. 66 FIG.

T A B

5

8 5

FIG. FIG. 55

T A B

Eight

4 4

8 5

7 5

7 5

Nine

9 5 7

7

7

7 5

8

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Five

7

7

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9 5 4 5 5 7 9

7 9 5

Seven

7 9 5

ŒÓ Three

5 8 10

FIG. FIG. 99

T4 A4 B

1

Zero

Œ

seven-note phrase with our new five-note one. FIGURE 7 combines all of the melodies into one long phrase. For the 3 (not shown), I play E - G - A on the B string. The next number is the hardest one of all — 0. That means you have to stop playing, which for many of us is, um, difficult. The zero can last as long as you like. We’ll use a quarter-note rest. The zero is followed by a nine-note

Five

8 5

7

7

7

9 5 4 5 5 7 9

Eight

8 5

4 4

. Œ

Six

8 5

7 5

7 5

Seven

7 9 5

7 9 5

Nine

9 5 7

7

7

7 5

8 5

8 5

5 4

Œ

phrase, as shown in FIGURE 8. Now we have our entire phone number represented as a series of melodic phrases, presented in FIGURE 9. Now that you have the idea, try using things like your license plate number (convert a letter to the appropriate number), your date of birth, or the serial number of your favorite guitar. This approach is sure to yield totally unexpected results.

Dweezil Zappa is a brilliant guitarist and son of the legendary Frank Zappa. For the last 12 years he has toured the world performing his father’s music with Zappa Plays Zappa and other ensembles. His latest album is Confessions of a Deprived Youth (Deep Fried Youth).


For video of this lesson, go to GuitarWorld.com/January2020

by Stéphane Wrembel



COLUMNS

WREMBEL ON

Gypsy jazz-style rest-stroke picking

IN THIS LESSON, I’d like to focus on

the picking techniques used in the Django Reinhardt style of guitar playing, also often referred to as gypsy jazz. There’s a relationship between this picking style and instruments that pre-date the guitar by many years, such as the oud. My musical cohort, Josh Kaye, plays the oud as well as guitar in our duet and ensemble performances. The oud is an 11-string unfretted instrument, similar to the lute, with five double courses (pairs of strings, like those on a 12-string guitar) and one single course (string) on the bottom. The traditional tuning of the oud is, low to high, D, G, A, D, G, C. The similarity in picking technique to that of gypsy jazz is that most notes are picked with a downstroke, especially when moving from a lower string to a higher one. If consecutive notes are played on the same string, conventional alternate (down-up) picking is used. This technique is often referred to as rest-stroke picking because, after a string is picked with a downstroke, the pick comes to a rest on the adjacent higher string. One can use the inverse process as well, wherein an upstroke is followed by another upstroke on an adjacent lower string. These two techniques are also widely known as economy picking. FIGURE 1 represents a line played on the oud and arranged for six-string guitar. Notice that downstrokes are employed exclusively through bars 1 and 2. In bar 3, I incorporate alternate picking when playing consecutive notes on the same string. FIGURE 2 is played on guitar, and in this example I pick every note with a downstroke because the phrase is not too fast, that's fairly easy to do, and it sounds better. The downstroke also provides more power and will make the note sound louder and more prominent. In FIGURE 3, I move across all of the strings with downstrokes to play an A minor triad arpeggio (A, C, E). In FIGURE 4, you can see that I will use two consecutive downstrokes when crossing to the next adjacent higher string but will alternate pick when playing consecutive notes on the same string. FIGURE 5 offers a longer nine-bar example of the pick-

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≥ ≥ ≥~~ ≥

FIG. 1 1

5

T A B

4 4

2

1

3

≥~~≥ ≤ ≥ ≥ ≤ ≥

3

131

FIG. FIG. 2

T A B

4 4

FIG. FIG. 33

T A B 2

0

4 4

3 2 020

3

3

7

5

5

6

5 8 787 5 4 7 4

~~~~ . 5 6

J

2 4

3

7 5 4

7

~~~ .

4 5

J

6

4

5

≥ ≥.

~~~ 7

1

≥ 5

FIG.55 FIG.

Ó

4 5

5

FIG. 44 FIG.

T4 A4 B

Ó

5

J ~~~~~~~~

≥≥

5 4 5 6 5653 5 3

3

4 4

7 8 6 7

ing technique and its practical usage. The primary objective with rest-stroke picking is to produce a more percussive and projecting tone on the acoustic instrument, because, back in the days before amplified instruments, the acoustic guitar would be in an ensemble with piano, drums, trumpets, saxophones, violin and bass, all instruments with the capacity to be much louder than

1

5

7

T4 A4 B 5

7 6 7

J

3 2

0

3

1

0 2 3

1 0 1 3

≥≥≥≥ ≥ ≥ 3

≥≥≥≥≥

Ó

≥ ≥ ≥5

5

3

5

020

3

≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ 5≥ ≥ 5 8

3 1 0 1

3 1 3101 0

(Am)

5

2 020

1 0 1 3101 3

3

7

3

≥ ≤≥

6 5 4 5 6 565

7

4 3 1

≥ ≤ ≥ ≤≥ ≥≥ ≥

≤ ≥ ≥ ≥5 ≥7 ≥8 7≥ 5≥ 7 5

5

2

4

≥~~ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥

8

≥ ≤ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≤ ≥~~ ≥ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥

≥ ≥~~ ≥ ≥ ≥ ≥

. Ó ~~

1 0 1 0

2

Œ

≥ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≥

.

J

7

7 6 7

4

(Am) 7 6 7

7

4 5 7

5

5 7 5

Eadd b 9

0 0 1 3 7 2 7 5 4 1 0 0

4 5 7

5

5

5

5

~~~~~~~

(Am)

0

.

5 5

.

the acoustic guitar. The added benefit to harnessing the gypsy jazz rest-stroke picking style is that it facilitates playing very fast lines, as exemplified by the playing of the great Django Reinhardt. I suggest listening to his recordings with the Hot Club of France to become familiar with his brilliant and groundbreaking playing abilities.

Stéphane Wrembel is a world-renowned U.S.-based French guitarist whose work has appeared in several soundtracks, including Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. He hosts the annual Django A Gogo festival and releases a new Django Experiment album every January. Django Experiment V is up next!

IRENE YPENBURG

REST UP (AND DOWN)


PERFORMANCE NOTES

•••

HOW TO PLAY THIS MONTH ’S SONGS • • •

“HEAD CUTTIN’ DUEL” Steve Vai & Ry Cooder THIS MUSICALTHEATRICAL STREETFIGHT that served as the climax to the 1986 movie Crossroads is an entertaining showcase of flashy electric guitar shred virtuosity. Steve Vai, who in the film plays the character Jack Butler, performed all the parts labeled Gtr. 1 in our transcription, which you’ll notice alternate between drop-D and standard tuning throughout the “battle,” so in order to play along you’ll need to retune accordingly, or conveniently use an EVH D-Tuna or Ibanez Downshifter D Tuner, if your instrument is equipped with either device. Vai’s phrases offer an excellent study in essential rock and metal lead playing techniques and stylistic elements, such as string bending and raking, finger vibrato, legato phrasing, alternate picking and gut-wrenching whammybar portamentos. The Gtr. 2 part, pantomimed in the movie by actor Ralph Macchio, was performed, leading up to section M (bar 168), by Ry Cooder with a slide, fingerstyle and in open D tuning and offers a tasteful and highly informative lesson in electric blues slide playing. Particularly cool is the series of short, onebar phrases that Vai and Cooder trade at section C, where the latter mimics the former’s screaming bends with slide licks. Both guitarists are playing in the key of D during this section and up through bar 121 and are basing their licks primarily on the D blues scale (D, F, G, Ab, A, C) with Cooder additionally incorporating D major arpeggios (D, F#, A) into many of his phrases, as facilitated by the open tuning. The gloves come off section N, where Gtr. 2, now performed in standard tuning by Vai, proceeds to channel legendary classical violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini with a dazzling cadenza that’s based on the violinist’s Caprice No. 5, resourcefully arranged for guitar, using a deft combination of alternate picking, some sweeping, legato finger slides and quickly shifting triad arpeggio shapes on the top two strings that “bounce” off the open high E note. —JIMMY BROWN

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“BLACK SMOKE RISING”

“ALBATROSS” Fleetwood Mac

Greta Van Fleet THE KEY TO mastering the main riff to “Black Smoke Rising” (see Rhy. Fig. 1, bars 5 and 6) lies in emulating guitarist Jake Kiszka’s nimble chord fingerings and pick-hand strumming patterns. You can study the specific fingerings Kiszka employs for each chord by matching up its name, shown above the tablature, with its corresponding chord frame at the beginning of the transcription. For example, when performing the D/A chord on beat two of bar 2, it’s important to know that Kiszka uses his 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers to fret the chord, rather than a standard 3rd-finger barré that many guitarists might instinctively employ here. While this specific fingering does require a little more preparation than barring, it creates a common fingering between the D/A and Dsus2/A chords, which allows Kiszka to easily transition back and forth between the two chords by simply lifting his pinky off the B string then reapplying it. Kiszka’s fast, yet relaxed-sounding rhythms are the result of his using a stock rhythm playing technique commonly referred to as “16th-note pendulum strumming.” Pendulum strumming gets its name from the continuous, unbroken down-up down-up strumming motion that occurs, regardless of whether or not the pick makes contact with the strings on every single pass over them. To better understand pendulum strumming, check out the picking/strumming prompts shown above the tablature in bars 1 and 2. Here you can see how any chord or note falling on the first or third 16th note of any given beat receives a downstroke while anything landing on the second or fourth 16th note is played with an upstroke. Whenever a chord’s rhythmic duration is longer than a 16th-note, you simply let your pick hand pass silently over the strings, producing a “phantom, “ or “ghost” strum while the chord continues to ring.

ON THIS CLASSIC early Fleetwood Mac instrumental, guitarist Peter Green employs a slide to help create the soaring, dreamy, laid-back melodies featured throughout the song, as well as later on during his guitar solo (see section D). For those new to playing with a slide, be aware that you need to position it directly over the metal fret indicated in the tab, not behind it, where you would normally press the string down with your finger when fretting a note. Use only enough pressure on the string with the slide to sound the note clearly, as making contact with the metal fret will cause the string to “fret out,” buzz and lose sustain. To achieve accurate intonation (pitch centering), try and position the slide so that it is parallel with the fret, rather than at an angle. This is especially important when playing chords with the slide or transitioning between notes on adjacent strings, such as with the B and F# notes at the 19th fret at the end of bar 25 in the guitar solo (see beat four, bars 25 and 27). It’s also crucial that you mute any unplayed strings, to suppress an mitigate unwanted noise and overtones caused by sympathetic string vibrations. This muting action can be achieved by simply resting your pick-hand’s palm on the lower strings as you play. And you can also use any fret-hand fingers that are behind the slide. Many players wear the slide on their ring finger, which leaves the index and middle fingers available for muting, by lightly resting them on the strings. Midway through the guitar solo (see bars 28-32), Gtrs. 1 and 4 utilize string pre-bends to mimic the sound of the lead guitar’s slide. Indicated in the tablature with a vertical bend arrow, a pre-bend is a technique whereby you bend the string before picking it. Since there is no sound occurring as you bend the string in preparation for the note attack, you’ll need to rely solely on your ears and fret-hand muscle memory to bend the string the proper distance.

—JEFF PERRIN

—JEFF PERRIN


9000

TONAL RECALL THE SECRETS BEHIND FAMOUS GUITAR SOUNDS

“JET AIRLINER”

STEVE MILLER BAND ● BOOK OF DREAMS, 1977 ● GUITARIST: STEVE MILLER ● BY CHRIS GILL

simple isn’t as simple as it seems. A good example is the guitar tracks on Steve Miller’s “Jet Airliner,” which sound like an electric guitar plugged straight into an amp playing a progression of three open chords, some octave overdubs on a melodic “Crossroads”-style line, and a handful of overdriven rhythm guitar accents. But anyone who has paid close attention to the recording while trying to learn the song or duplicate the tones has likely found those tasks more elusive than they initially imagined. Miller recorded “Jet Airliner” at CBS Studios in San Francisco. His main rig was a circa-1975-76 Ibanez Artist 2663TC (later renamed the Iceman IC210) plugged into the studio’s Fender Super Reverb amp (most likely a mid-Sixties blackface version). For overdubs he used the same Ibanez guitar but with a Fender Champ to accen-

TONE TIP: Although nothing available today can perfectly match the unique tones of the Ibanez IC210 and its TripleCoil pickup, the Brian May Signature comes close to Miller’s favored #3 setting on his Iceman/Artist, thanks to its uncommon series pickup wiring, narrow pickup placement and mahogany body. Use the bridge and middle pickups together in phase to mimic the distinctive hollow midrange honk of that setting.

tuate the midrange. This model features an unusual “Triple Coil” pickup, which is actually three single-coil pickups placed adjacent to each other in a single housing, and mounted near the bridge. A four-way rotary switch provides four different settings: 1 is the pickup closest to the neck and the middle pickup; 2 is the middle and bridge pickups; 3 is all three pickups in series; and 4 is all three pickups in parallel. This provides an impressive variety of tones with overall personality similar to a Strat’s “in between” (i.e. second and fourth) settings, but with more sparkling treble and a distinctive midrange with hollow honk and more body. While the gear Miller used is important, he also employed a few tricks that truly made the song stand out from the norm. One hint is that the song’s chords are C, F and Bb, but the voicings are those of open

GET THE SOUND, CHEAP! Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature guitar Fender Super Champ X2

A, D and G chords employing chiming open strings. The most reasonable and likely explanation is that Miller placed a capo on the guitar’s third fret to facilitate those voicings. But closer examination reveals that those chords are quite a few cents flat of standard pitch. The tape was sped up during mastering using the tape machine’s varispeed control, which in addition to shifting pitch also shifts up the vocal formants and instruments’ harmonic overtones to provide a brighter, livelier sound. This gave the rhythm guitar track distinctively crisp treble with unusually bright jangle. Considering that the chords for the recently released alternate version of “Jet Airliner” on Welcome to the Vault are B, E and A, Miller most likely used a capo at the second fret when recording the tune, and later employed the varispeed to raise the song’s pitch almost a full semitone. Miller with his Ibanez in the Seventies

ORIGINAL GEAR GUITAR: 1975-76 Ibanez Artist 2663TC with Triple-Coil pickup (setting 3 for main rhythm part, settings 1 and 3 for overdubs), Master Volume: 10, Master Tone: 10. AMP: (main rhythm track) c. 1964-67 Fender Super Reverb (Vibrato channel, Input 1, Bright: On, Volume: 4, Treble: 8, Middle: 3, Bass: 3, Reverb: 0, Speed: 0, Intensity: 0) with four Jensen C10R 10-inch speakers; (overdubs) c. 196467 Fender Champ (Input 1, Volume: 9, Treble: 10, Bass: 10) with 8-inch CTS speaker EFFECTS : none STRINGS/TUNING: Fender F-150 Rock ’N Roll Light .010, .013, .015, .026, .032, .038/ Standard, capo at third fret (or possibly second fret and pitch raised with tape recorder’s varispeed)

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N E I L Z LO Z O W E R /AT L A S I C O N S

SOMETIMES SOMETHING THAT seems

Profile for Future PLC

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