Issuu on Google+

70+

Minutes of lesson audio!

how to Make your own guitar cables Start using tremolo pedals

Instant tricks to play, sound and perform better today!

riff of the month

6 • Rockabilly • Blues • folk • Bluegrass • Jazz • Classical


editor’s letter Future Publishing Quay House, THe ambury, baTH, ba1 1ua Tel 01225 442244 Fax: 01225 822763 Email totalguitar@futurenet.com Website: www.totalguitar.co.uk

ediTorial Editor Stuart Williams Content Editor Rob Laing Production Editor Josh Gardner Art Editor Leanne O’Hara Senior Music Editor Jason Sidwell Guitars Feature & Tuition Editor Chris Bird Content Editor, Musicradar.com Michael Brown Music Co-ordinator Polly Beauchamp

ConTribuTors Steve Allsworth, Richard Barrett, Dan Beesley, Jon Bishop, Phil Capone, Rich Chamberlain, Sarah Clark, Jack Ellis, Charlie Griffiths, Nick Guppy, Jonathan Horsley, Andy McGregor, Joel McIver, Matthew Parker, Adam Rees, Andrew Saphir, Amit Sharma, James Uings, Bill Weaving, Henry Yates Music Engraver Simon Troup Photography Joe Branston, Adam Gasson, Olly Curtis, Joby Sessions, Will Ireland

adverTising Phone: 01225 442244 Fax: 01225 732285 Senior Advertising Manager Lara Jaggon, lara.jaggon@futurenet.com Director of Agency Sales Matt Downs, matt.downs@futurenet.com Head of Strategic Partnerships Clare Jonik, clare.jonik@futurenet.com

markeTing Marketing Director Sascha Kimmel Marketing Executive Kristianne Stanton

ProduCTion & disTribuTion Production Controller Frances Twentyman Head of Production UK & US Mark Constance Printed in the UK by: William Gibbons & Sons Ltd on behalf of Future Distributed by: Marketforce, 2nd Floor, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf London, E14 5HU Overseas distribution by: Seymour International

CirCulaTion Trade Marketing Manager Michelle Brock 0207 429 3683

subsCriPTions UK reader order line & enquiries: 0844 848 2852 Overseas reader order line & enquiries: +44 (0)1604 251045 Online enquiries: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Email: totalguitar@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

liCensing Senior Licensing & Syndication Manager Matt Ellis, matt.ellis@futurenet.com Tel: + 44 (0)1225 442244

managemenT Publishing Director Aaron Asadi Editorial Director, Film Music & Technology Paul Newman Group Editor-In-Chief Daniel Griffiths Group Art Director Graham Dalzell

Welcome… Guitar playing can sometimes feel like the world’s best and biggest club. But along your journey, you may have noticed that it can also feel like the rest of the club are in on a wealth of secret knowledge. How did they learn it? Nobody knows. How can you get in on it? With this month’s issue of TG! We’ve pooled our collective minds to bring you the most useful and efficient tips and tricks to get over a world of guitar problems this month. From tuning up without a tuner to replacing your strings the easy way and unlocking those elusive cool chords you hear everyone else playing. This is the kind of inherited knowledge they don’t print in books – fast-track solutions handed down over years spent in sweatbox rehearsal rooms and dark corners of dingy stages. The Licktionary, if you will. We hope you enjoy it – the aim with these hacks is to bring you knowledge and inspiration that requires little to no practice. Read it, try it, and you should be able to do it in seconds! I’d also like to welcome a new TG contributor this month – Mr Jack Ellis. Jack is a professional guitar repairer based in Manchester, and will be bringing you monthly guides on fixing and modding your gear. Starting with this month’s brilliant how-to on making and repairing your own guitar cables. See you next issue!

Next issue on sale 10 March 2017

Future is an award-winning international media group and leading digital business. We reach more than 49 million international consumers a month and create world-class content and advertising solutions for passionate consumers online, on tablet & smartphone and in print. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). www.futureplc.com

Stuart Williams Editor

making this month’s mag

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Chairman Peter Allen Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)207 042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 (Bath)

All contents copyright © 2017 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

CHris bird

JosH gardner

rob laing

This month Chris and contributor Charlie Griffiths have turned their attention to helping you cheat your way through a few styles of music you may not be so well-versed in. Dip your toe in the inviting waters of gypsy jazz, bluegrass and more with our Guitar Shop Ammo feature on p56.

Notorious efficiency obsessive Josh was like a pig in the brown stuff when it came to putting our 50 Hacks feature together. From improvised capos to sorting out your pedalboard, he’s emptied his brain of every shortcut he knows – hopefully they’re as useful to you as they have been to him.

Rob has experienced his fair share of on-stage triumphs and disasters in his time, so this month he wrote our Playing Better Gigs feature. Check it out, and see how you can avoid falling out with your bandmates, and lead the way to a trouble-free live set instead. march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

03


#290 the gas Contents station Monitor

04

you need to know From maintainence tips to easy mods, playing shortcuts and killer gear tricks, this month’s cover feature will show you 50 easy ways you can get more from your guitar

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

subscribe! Subscribe to Total Guitar and save a whopping 30% on the regular cover price – turn to p112 for full details.

Cover photography: Joby Sessions Ian Dickson/Rex/Shutterstock x2 Photography: Joby Sessions Will Ireland Adam Gasson David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

048 50 guitar hacks


contents

030

Monitor

opeth

006 First Look 008 Scene 010 Five Minutes Alone: Wayne Hussey 012 On The Up 014 Me & My Guitar: Black Stone Cherry 016 Album Reviews 018 Back Track: Eric Clapton

How to 020 20 Minutes To… String Bends 022 Riff Of The Month: Free – All Right Now 024 Getting Started With… Pull-offs 026 The TG Guide To Effects: Tremolo 028 What The F? Basic Rhythms

Features 030 Rig Tour: Opeth 034 Black Peaks/Heck 040 Eric Gales 046 Playing Better Gigs 048 Cover Feature: 50 Guitar Hacks You Need To Know 05

Learn to PLay 060 Jam Track: Rhythm & Blues 062 Netlicks: Funk 064 Classic Track: BB King – The Thrill Is Gone 072 Open-mic Songbook: Radiohead – High And Dry 074 The Turnaround: John Mayer

unPLuGGed 098 tG 080 The Soundboard

mid-priced deadnoughts

082 Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker 084 Rockschool: Oasis – Wonderwall

tHe Gas station

064

bb king the thrill is gone

088 Start Me Up 090 Orange Rocker 15 094 Schecter Solo-II Special 096 Gretsch G5435TG-BLK-LTD16 Electromatic Pro Jet 098 The TG Test: Mid-priced cutaway electro-acoustics 104 Group Test: High-end distortion 106 Fix Your Guitar 114 The Playlist: Dropkick Murphys

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Monitor people ✪ newS ✪ noiSe

’Gold mine

Classic Brit brand Shergold Guitars returns ounded in 1968, Shergold Guitars found fame in the hands of Genesis, New Order and Joy Division during the 70s and 80s. It wasn’t to last, however, and the company ceased production in the early 90s following the death of founder, Jack Golder. But now, thanks to distributors Barnes & Mullins and famed UK luthier Patrick James Eggle, the brand is set to return for 2017 with the Masquerader, which comes in three Seymour Duncan pickup configurations and four finishes: Thru-Cherry, ThruBlack, Thru-Dirty Blonde, Solid Battleship Grey, all of which boast solid mahogany bodies, with solid rosewood neck and fingerboard. The guitars themselves are made in Indonesia, but set up by Patrick and his team back in the UK before they hit the shops, with prices ranging from £765 to £835. Here’s what they’re packing…

F

Photography: Joseph Branston

06

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

The new Shergold guitars reference the original 70s and 80s designs, but with modern appointments


FirSt LooK people ✪ newS ✪ noiSe

07

uP close 1 Pickups All Masqueraders feature Seymour Duncan pickups – choose from thep-90-equipped SM01SD (£765), the HSS SM02SD (£835), or the SSS SM03SD (£809)

2 Hardware The nifty ashtray-style bridge was designed by patrick James eggle, and the guitars also feature quality Graph Tech Black Tusq nuts and locking tuners

3 Heritage The Masqueraders are fairly faithful to the originals in terms of body shape, enamel headstock ‘shield’ logo and silver-capped black knobs

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise

scene gear

Your month in guitars

Suprosonic

08

The return of the iconic Supro band gained a new kind of momentum at last month’s NAMM show with the news it’s leaping back into the guitar building business. There’s three series; the Island and Americana replicas of the company’s old reso-glass models, and a Jet Airliner lap-steel. The Americanas start at £649 with single and two-pickup models (Belmont Vibrato pictured, £749) feature Vistatone pups replicating those found in vintage Supro, Airline and National guitars. When Now

gear

Go-gear-a

Good news for fans of Gojira guitarist Joel Duplantier’s signature Charvel; there’s now an affordable model. The Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH weighs in with a nato body, maple 22 jumbo fret neck with graphite reinforcement for added stability and ebony fretboard. The pickups are Duncan Designed humbuckers and it comes in a satin white finish because nothing stands out better next to black clothing, right? When Now

ToTal GuiTar MARCH 2017

gear

New diGiTech effecTS igitech has impressed us with its commitment to new ideas in recent years; and true to form, it did not disappoint at NAMM. First up is the FreqOut Natural Feedback Creator (£149). Yes, it positively encourages it and can actually offer more musical subtly than you might think as well as giving plug-in recording

D

users more of a roaring amp feel. Next is the CabDryVR (£129) boasting 14 cab emulation impulse responses for plugging straight into a PR or interface for recording. The DOD Rubberneck Analogue Delay (£209) offers modulation with a rate / depth control, as well as a gain / tone knob for grit and brightness. When March


scene

people ✪ news ✪ noise

doN’T miSS… The best guitar events this month

Bristol Jazz & Blues festival When 16-19 March Robben Ford, Kirk Fletcher, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, gypsy jazzers Remi Harris Pictured) and Robin Nolan and a special 50th anniversary of Hendrix’s debut makes this a great showcase of guitar talent.

gear

mooer oceaN machiNe here was a lot of new gear to get hands-on with at this year’s NAMM show. But one of the most intriguing examples we came across was Devin Townsend’s collaboration with Mooer on its first artist pedal; the Ocean Machine delay, reverb and looper. And we were impressed with what we found. There’s

T

16 delays, 9 reverbs and shimmer effect, with 24 programmable presets. You can change the delay and reverb models order in real time too so the sonic options here are huge. With an expected $250-$350 price this could be competition for Strymon. When Out Now

Duane eddy on stage at the Gretsch concert

live

GreTSch leGeNdS ne of the very best things TG witnessed at a packed NAMM show this year was a rockabilly riot hosted by Gretsch at The Observatory, Santa Ana for just 350 lucky people who got to see legends Duane Eddy and Jeff Beck perform with Brit rocker Darrel Higham. Eddy thrilled the crowd with his classics, including Peter Gunn before Beck put the new Gretsch Cliff Gallup Duo Jet through its paces for a blazing set of Gene Vincent songs from the Gallup era, with Higham on vocals, before an all-star jam to finish.

09

The Guitar Show When 25-26 February 23 New Bingley Hall in Birmingham will host a weekend of great gear, Q&As and expert advice with pickup, amp and guitar builders, plus the intriguing live spectacular The Story Of Guitar Heroes, covering 60 years of music.

O

deaf havana When 17-24 February The comeback of the Norfolk’s melodic rock collective continues under the astute songwriting of frontman James VeckGilodi. If new album All These Countless Nights is anything to go by, these gigs will be anthem-filled.

MARCH 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise

You spin me round “When I was in Dead Or Alive, with Pete Burns, I borrowed a Roland SH101 synthesiser and I thought, ‘I wonder what would happen if I put my guitar through this?’ All of a sudden it went ‘chukka chukka chukka’ and I thought, ‘That’s brilliant!’ We started messing around with that sound, which ended up evolving into the club/ disco direction. I ended up doing myself out of a job with that because Pete ended up buying a sequencer and programming all of my guitar in on the keyboard, so I suffered a bit for that one!

I think I can see how you’re pinned… “When I joined The Sisters Of Mercy, I was using an electric 12-string guitar, which became something of a signature sound for me. That became another eureka moment, but the reason I started using it was because if you break a string on the six-string you’re a bit buggered, but on the 12-string, if you break a string, you’ve still got 11! I know it sounds daft, but you could still play what you needed to without having to re-string it.”

In casino/out…

10 Wayne was known for using an electric 12-string in The Sisters Of Mercy

five minutes alone

Wayne Hussey The Mission’s fearless leader ponders punk, happy accidents and the benefits of creative dictatorships Punk in drublic

“[I remember] seeing Marc Bolan and T-Rex on television and thinking, ‘Hmm, that looks like a good job!’ I think, like millions of kids, I got the tennis racket out of the cupboard and stood in front of the mirror with that. Then at some point, I think my mum and dad probably felt sorry for me and bought me a Spanish acoustic classical guitar, with an action about a foot off the fretboard. But you know what? That was the start. They still have it apparently.”

“Punk really opened up the idea that you don’t need to be a virtuoso to play. That attitude is still prevalent today. I think that’s the greatest achievement of punk. The industry is getting to the point where we need another punk. Not necessarily a musical movement, but kids need to be creative and fearless again. So many of the new kids coming through are very conformist and very safe. They look great on YouTube but it sounds quite homogenous really, a lot of it.”

“I remember seeIng marc bolan on tv and thInkIng, ���hmm, that looks lIke a good job!’” ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Tower of strength… “I think amongst some people that I have a reputation for being hard to work with, but I don’t think that at all. I will always listen to an opinion from someone I’m working with and respect – I won’t always act on it, but I will listen. Bands can’t really work on a democratic basis, not in my experience. We’ve tried it, but basically it falls apart. You do definitely need someone who’s the ‘glorious leader’. No matter what you do there’s always people that are going to moan about it, people that are going to not like it, so you’ve got to be able to live with what you do yourself. You’ve got to be able to sleep at night with a clear conscience.”

The Mission’s latest album, Another Fall From Grace, is out now.

Words: matt Parker Photography: Paul Grace

Got my first real six-string…

“We played a show we did in Reno, Nevada about 10 years ago. We were playing in a casino and we literally were in the casino – you could see people playing on the slot machines! There must have been about 10 people who had actually come to see us. When we played Butterfly In A Wheel, which is kind of a slower song for us, all of these middleaged couples got up and danced together! You were looking out, singing Serpent’s Kiss and there was someone playing the one-armed bandit!”


Monitor people ✪ NewS peOple news ✪ NOiSe noise

12

willie and the bandits From busker to bus tour – meet the beefed-up-slide-slinging ’Bandits any myths exist around ‘natural talent’. Jimi’s ability wasn’t god-given, he practised so much he noodled on the toilet. Pull back the curtain and, time and again, it’s drive that leads to success. “It’s about how much you love the guitar,” says Wille Edwards, frontman of Cornwall’s Wille And The Bandits. “How much you want it and how much you’re willing to push yourself. You have to have the passion and that, in turn, creates an ability and your own character.” The fruits of Wille’s own labours are manifested in a

M

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

blend of warped slide guitar, acoustic chunk and blazing distortion. At its heart is Wille’s signature Anderwood Weissenborn, which together with a twin Fender amp set-up and some John Martyn-esque effects devilry, makes for a uniquely potent slide sound. “The character of the Weissenborn is that it’s hollow right through the neck,” explains Wille. “Mine has a chamber where the pickup sits and it’s got infinite sustain. It’s like Gary Moore times 10!”

Wille discovered slide guitar while spending two years busking Australia, performing six hours a day. An informal apprenticeship with a “stomp box and slide” player known only as ‘Smokey’ introduced him to classic rock riffs, the Weissenborn-style lap guitar and the basis of his innovative technique. “It really hit me that this is what I wanted to do and this was how I wanted to play my guitar,” he reflects.

“And I’ve just gone on a mad journey since then… that [busker’s] work ethic has never left us.” For those left in doubt, four albums (including the recent Steal), plus an average 200 to 250 live outings a year prove that point rather ably. “We didn’t have an agenda, we weren’t targeting a market, we just loved it,” summarises Wille. “And it meant that we didn’t have to get jobs!”

FOR FANS OF John Butler Trio, AC/DC HeAR 1970

“MY WEISSENBORN HAS INFINITE SUSTAIN. IT’S LIKE GARY MOORE TIMES 10!”


oOnN tHE THE UP

people ✪ NewS peOple news ✪ NOiSe noise

Josh Andrade

Power triP

idles

Conviction, craft and killer riffs mid the ‘kitchen sink’ technique so prevalent in metal, Texan thrashers Power Trip are innovating with simplicity. Their sound is an enthralling blend of menacing samples, classic thrash songcraft and Lamb Of God punch – not to mention a blasé attitude to the metal rulebook. Guitarists Nick Stewart and Blake Ibanez favour an ESP EX-401 and Jackson RR-1, respectively and rely on little tonal trickery. “We use Lace Drop & Gain pickups,”

A

Bristol punks’ righteously annoyed noise

explains Nick. “then I have an ENGL Ritchie Blackmore and I play through a Mesa cabinet. No effects pedals – I like stuff that kicks ass.” This conviction runs deep within Power Trip. “Sometimes we’re too simple for technical metal heads,” reflects Blake. “But we’re just trying to write good riffs and songs… We want to be the best – and we really don’t want to sound like anyone else right now.” FOR FANS OF lamb Of God, Slayer HeAR Firing Squad

ristol’s IDLES are a potent hash of outrage, bleak humour and avant-garde noise making. Given the lyric ‘the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich’ on Mother, it’s clear that there’s a political ire at the heart of IDLES – and guitarist Mark Bowen’s abrasive tone offers the perfect canvas for such mantras. “I have a ’72 Strat that is an old war horse,” he tells TG. “It’s awful but I love it. None of the knobs work and I can’t tune the

B

A-string without pliers – they always tell me to tune up and I have to mime it.” Unsurprisingly, the band’s debut album, Brutalism, demands your attention. “I’m interested in the way the sound is expressed,” concludes guitarist Mark Bowen. “And that expressiveness is a bit like those therapies where people dress as animals and defecate on floors.” FOR FANS OF Slaves, Fat white Family HeAR Divide And Conquer

all them witches Kairon; irse!

menace beach

wHO Nashville psych-rock four-piece SOuNDS like Sabbath taking Planet Caravan

wHO Finnish prog-rockers SOuNDS like Robert Fripp, Dylan Carlson, and

wHO Leeds alt-rock duo SOuNDS like Thoughtful and fuzzy - like

Kevin Shields’ pedalboard – all in a blender

J Mascis doing a Freaky Friday with Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle GeAR Liza Violet - Squire Super-Sonic; Ryan Needham - Fender Mustang 90

on a road trip of the Southern states spacious, heavy and heartfelt GeAR Ben McLeod - Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Fender Twin Reverb Reissue FOR FANS OF kyuss, Graveyard HeAR Bruce lee

GeAR Niko Lehdontie - PRS Satin Single Cut, Hiwatt DG 100; Lasse Luhta - Fender J Mascis Jazzmaster, Vox AC30HW2 FOR FANS OF earth, king Crimson HeAR Starik

FOR FANS OF Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk HeAR Maybe we’ll Drown

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

13


Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise

3

me and my guitar

chris robertson blacK STonE chERRy

3

The Kentuckian’s love of PRS has been rewarded with this SE signature model

“There was never a prototype done on this guitar. The models I’ve got are the exact same shipment as the ones that went to retailers. They pulled mine off the pallet and sent them to me. They’re exactly like you see them in stores, except the only thing that’s been changed on this one is I put strap locks on them and my buddy Scott had that truss rod cover made for me.”

4

1

14

4

“This guitar is a dream that became a reality. I started playing Paul Reed Smith guitars in 2011 and I loved the Singlecut stuff… the 245s, I’ve played a lot of Starlas… any Paul Reed Smith guitar you can think of, I’ve played it. This guitar to me was the combination of the best things I loved about its guitars.”

“I got this one on the first date of the tour in Cardiff and I’ve played it every night since. The only thing I do to them when I get them is I use the Dunlop Deep Conditioner and I put that on there pretty thick. Every so often I do that because I like the way the fretboard feels.”

2

2

“The thing that’s selling the guitar more than my name is the pickup combination. I love bluesy vintage kind of sounds, so we went with an SE Soapbar in the neck, but the bridge pickup is what makes the guitar so special. It’s PRS’s American-made 57/08 unit, which to me is the greatest pickup on the planet. It’s got a coil tap so you can split it so you’ve got five sounds on the guitar. It’s just a really unique design.”

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

1

5 5

“I use these guitars for almost the whole show. I’m also playing a fan’s guitar every night. Basically I had someone ask me if they bought the guitar if I would play it – I thought what a cool idea! Not to mention I wanted to see and play as many of them as possible! And most of those are red because these Kentucky Blue Burst ones just came out. People seem to like it, I wanted to have a signature that was affordable for a great guitar. And it’s about £850 or so and it’ll do anything you need it to.”


Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise

albums maRtin HaRley & daniel KimbRo static in the Wires

M

16

artin Harley has spent years touring far and wide with his Weissenborn and acoustic, becoming one the UK’s finest contemporary roots musicians. That might not translate to mainstream recognition, but he’s given us a sublime album regardless. Working with Jerry Douglas bassist Daniel Kimbro seems to have distilled Harley’s strengths into this intimately recorded set of songs that stretches beyond blues – My Lover’s Arms sounds like a lost soul gem through his weathered vocal chords and the hypnotic slide of Gold couldn’t be further from the 12-bar curmudgeons this pair prove to be a potent antidote to. Rob Laing download Feet Don’t Fail Me Now

Ryan adams Prisoner

I

n the era of troubadours, nobody turns heartbreak into sublime music quite like Ryan Adams. He even named his debut solo album Heartbreaker. His true gift is that’s just one facet of an unpredictable musician who has followed his muse into thrashy punk, indie and country as his creative instincts take him. Few saw 2015’s cover of Taylor Swift’s entire 1989 album coming, but in it lay some directions as to where he was heading with his guitar. Prisoner is an album concerned with the emotional journey around Adams’ divorce but it’s not the self-indulgent or alienating experience that may sound. True, the glacial guitars of the title track and flat snare paint from a

bleak sonic palette, but Adams’ knack for contrast comes in lively acoustic strumming high in the mix elsewhere and an insatiable knack for a singalong chorus. He’s in Springsteen territory for Outbound Train, Shiver And Shake and Haunted House, but his longtime love for Johnny Marr’s work with the Smiths era is never far away, aided by a distinctly 80s trip he’s taking with his single-coil chorus tone. And the perfectly pitched closing break in Broken Anyway takes the song up a level and serves as another reminder Adams can add underrated lead player to his consistently compelling songwriting resume. Rob Laing download prisoner

the last album i bought…

Portal, Vexovoid Mårten HagströM MesHuggaH

© Noah Abrams

“i listened to them on the flight to the us. i’m not a big black metal guy, there’s really cool black

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

metal but most of it doesn’t really appeal. But listening to portal was like, oh this is the reason

black metal should be cool. Because it’s so not on-point anywhere, it’s just about atmosphere.”

big WRecK grace street

T

hese Canadians remain unsung heroes outside their home country, and led by vocalist/guitarist Ian Thornley they’ve made every moment count since their reunion in 2011. He’s a superb player, balancing classic influences with inventive arrangement and layers, his dedication to progression translating to versatility. The funky bite of You Don’t Even Know, 21st Zeppelin rhythm of Digging In, moody slide in acoustic stunner Useless and fullblown instrumental Steve Morse-meets-Rush fusion of Skybunk Marché prove the point. Combined with the band’s musicianship and Thornley’s inventive vocal melodies, it continues to set Big Wreck apart in rock. Rob Laing download Skybunk Marché


exceptional

| excellent

| good

| for fans of

ALBUMS

| poor

people ✪ news ✪ noise

DVD

The Doors 50th Anniversary Deluxe Reissue the Doors

Vant

Dumb loVe

L

ondon four-piece VANT have been building hype ahead of their major label debut, and it’s not hard to see why. Their punky rock sound has the same singalong quality as Catfish & The Bottlemen, but with a streak of political and social activism at its core – Mattie Vant isn’t exactly Dylan, but it’s hard to argue with the directness of “We want peace and love, you motherfuckers”. Righteous anger alone doesn’t get feet tapping, however, and thankfully the twin-guitar attack of Vant and Henry Eastham mixes blues-rock solos with punky driving riffs and Foos-esque soaring leads to create a potent anthemic bedrock. 2017 needs bands who can be standard-bearers for sanity in these dark times, and VANT will be first to the barricades. Josh Gardner download Peace & Love

minus tHe beaR VoiDs

M

inus The Bear guitarist Dave Knudson is one of the most creative and effective effects-wranglers around, and so it’s no surprise that the band’s sixth full-length sees the him pulling out the stops from minute one. Multiple layered loops, stuttering delays, howling guitar synths… it’s hard not to be distracted by trying to unpack the smorgasbord of original, interesting guitar. It’s a shame the songs themselves don’t hit the same heights – ironically, Voids is a record that’s missing something. MTB have always had a languid, spacey element to their sound, but previous records have tempered this with energy and urgency – without it, many of the tracks here struggle to really make an impact. Josh Gardner download Tame Beasts

T

he Doors were no overnight success, having honed their craft playing in the clubs of Sunset Strip before this debut shot them to stardom. This three-CD reissue underlines their prowess as a live act, with the inclusion of a rediscovered live performance, along with remastered stereo and mono mixes of the album. As a debut, it really is deserving of its plaudits. Morrison’s defiant delivery is underpinned by a fusion of genres as diverse as blues, classical and even cabaret. Robbie Krieger’s varied, perfectly poised guitar is as amazing now as it undoubtedly was then, and listening to the sublime guitar lines woven throughout ambitious finale, The End, it’s hard to believe Krieger had only been playing electric guitar for two years. Bill Weaving

17

reissue

Ultramega OK sounDgarDen

L

suicide silence suiciDe silence

Y

ou Can’t Stop Me was not only a worthy tribute to Suicide Silence’s late frontman, Mitch Lucker, but a bold step beyond deathcore. This time however, enlisting Ross Robinson has sent them even further down an unexpected rabbit hole. Opener Doris leaves no doubt that this is a radical departure, with Deftones’ angular chords and vulnerable textures in place of the usual hulking riffs. Chris Garza’s familiar chug returns on Listen and the barrage of Don’t Be Careful You Might Hurt Yourself but it fails to escape the album’s troubling vibes. Maddeningly audacious, one has to commend a band for fighting against expectation. It’s a misstep, but a brave one. Adam Rees download Run

eRic gales

miDDle of the roaD

T

hough he’s never quite managed to capture the magic of his guitar playing through song – at least, until now – Eric Gales has always had something of a sixth sense on the instrument. As any YouTube clip will show you, his improvisational skills confirm a gift most rare indeed. Middle Of The Road celebrates much of this talent – but equally the magic is in the actual tracks themselves. Change In Me (The Rebirth) sounds like ZZ Top covering Stevie Wonder, while the modern revamp of Boogie Man with Gary Clark Jr proves to be just as thrilling as it reads. If you’re looking for the blues album of 2017, this is going to be very hard to beat. Amit Sharma download Change In Me (The Rebirth)

ong before Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden were an underground sensation that fused the raw energy of Ramones with the swagger of Sabbath, a sound the band sought to capture on 1988 debut, Ultramega OK. Unfortunately, a lacklustre production left Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil and co eager to remix the album right away, but after they were snapped up by a major label, the project fell by the wayside – until now. Lovingly reworked by the band and Seattle production legend Jack Endino, the remix strips away the reverb that overshadowed Cornell and Thayil’s explosive guitar playing, and transforms what was once a release for die-hard fans into an integral piece of the Soundgarden puzzle and the grunge movement in general. The addition of six furious, arguably superior, early takes highlights how brightly Soundgarden’s light shone, even when they were still finding their feet. Michael Astley-Brown

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise

back track

18

A guitArist’s guide to the Artists you need to know

Words: Henry Yates Photography: Laurens Van Houten / Frank White Photo Agency

Eric clapton

Anyone can play the notes. But nobody can make them sting, sigh and shiver quite like Eric Clapton. In the 1960s, the guitarist’s hallowed status was summed up by the infamous ‘Clapton is God’ graffiti splashed across London. Then in the 70s, Eric’s solo career established him as the most successful British bluesman of all time. Since then, with nothing left to prove, the man’s output has been patchier and cosier, but when he turns it on, he still leaves the pretenders for dust. Here we present the six greatest acts of God…

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Hear it!

Listen to the tg eric Clapton playlist on spotify

bit.ly/tg290clapton

start with

BluEs BrEakErs With Eric clapton (1966)

JoHn MAYALL & THe BLuesBreAkers

1

Drafted into London’s fiercest blues outfit at age 21, Clapton cranked up his Marshall JTM45, took aim with his Les Paul and tore through a guitar masterclass so savage and irreverent that it’s practically punk. Hideaway is the standout: a cock-of-the-walk instrumental played with justified arrogance. But you can equally get your kicks from the lazy bends of All Your Love, the gunshot lickage of Little Girl and the fruity showboating of Steppin’ Out (“When Eric felt the spirit,” recalls Mayall, “he was untouchable”). Next time the argument erupts over EC, this album is the watertight case for the defence. Download: Hideaway


back track people ✪ news ✪ noise

then try

DisraEli GEars

don’t miss out

(1967)

CreAM

2

After the false start of 1966’s Fresh Cream, the original supergroup fused their formidable talents on the sequel that broke America. In a lineup of big beasts, Clapton was the main event, whether puncturing Strange Brew’s woozy psychedelia with an Albert King-inspired solo, bringing the wah pedal to the masses on the stalking quack of Tales Of Brave Ulysses – or preventing warring bandmates Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker from literally murdering each other. Fifty years later, blues-rock benchmark Sunshine Of Your Love has arguably been played to death, but if you can revisit it with fresh ears, Slowhand’s solo remains an untouchable moment of languid soul, with the sweetest vibrato of the era. Download: Sunshine Of Your Love

worth a spin

461 ocEan BoulEvarD

(1977)

(1970)

Derek AnD THe DoMinos

3

Burnt by fame, derailed by heroin and pining for George Harrison’s wife, Eric cast a sorry figure as he entered Miami’s Criteria Studios in August 1970, but in the grand blues tradition, it drove some of his career-best performances. The title track is a roaring slice of classic-rock gold, while Bell Bottom Blues is a love-letter of elegaic beauty. Perhaps most poignant of all was Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, Clapton’s vocals hoarse, his solo groaning with loss. The album tanked – as Clapton intended, punters didn’t realise he was even involved – but it’s one of his best. Download: Layla

unpluGGED

eriC CLAPTon

5

layla anD othEr sloWhanD assortED lovE sonGs eriC CLAPTon

wild card (1974)

Clapton had spent three years in a heroin-addled fog before the Ocean… sessions saw him reborn. Armed with his ‘Blackie’ Strat – and frequently tracking with a dobro that gives the material a faint Southern tang – these songs found EC at his most blissful and reflective. Aside from spirited opener, Motherless Children, the controls were set to ‘mellow’, on acoustic vignette Please Be With Me, the slide-driven Give Me Strength and the slow-burn Let It Grow. A skanking cover of Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff/ was more divisive, but it reached No 1 on the Billboard and proved emphatically that Clapton was back. Download: Please Be With Me

also recommended

avoid! (1992)

eriC CLAPTon

6

4

Before Clapton’s solo work hit the skids, there was Slowhand: a cracking midperiod release with a fistful of moments that still make the setlist today. You’d need a heart of flint to resist the weeping bends of Wonderful Tonight, but if that’s too fingerdown-the-throat, try JJ Cale’s Cocaine, with EC working a rootsy fuzz riff, or Lay Down Sally, with its chicken-scratch lick evoking a backwoods jam. Elsewhere, Next Time You See Her was a sun-kissed country gem decorated with adroit slide guitar, while The Core offered a raging solo that confirmed the lead hadn’t entirely left God’s pencil. It should have been the springboard to a triumphant 80s – but he’s rarely revisited these heights since. Download: Lay Down Sally

Clapton’s MTV Unplugged set found the star “looking grief straight in the eye”; the wistful Tears In Heaven mourned the tragic death of his son, Conor, while on stripped back readings of Running On Faith and Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, the catharsis was palpable. Yet Unplugged was far from desolate: the bob-and-weave Signe was an effervescent opener, while humour came from his teased preamble to a reworked Layla (“See if you can spot this one”). With 26 million copies sold and three Grammys awarded, Unplugged was a near-unanimous triumph, yet there are those who feel it’s all a little cosy. “How could someone,” pondered J Mascis, “butcher their own song [Layla] so horribly…?” Download: Tears In Heaven

pilGrim

(1998)

eriC CLAPTon The 90s were going great guns for Clapton following his Unplugged revelation, that is until he dropped this AOR clanger. Bland, torpid songs were drained by bloodless production, and the wash of synths and drum machines represented a pointless grab at the zeitgeist when all we wanted to hear was fingers on frets. At times, God does cut loose (try She’s Gone) and these songs plainly mean a great deal to him (heartbreakingly, Circus recalls the final time the guitarist saw son Conor before his death), but you’d be certifiable to start your collection here. Download: She’s Gone

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

19


how to

what you will learn Basic one-fret and two-fret string bends How to use the ‘pre-bend’ technique How to develop strength for wider interval bends

20

20 minutes to…

better bends

Beef up those bending skills with these four exercises to help you master this essential lead guitar technique tring bending is one of the most potent and common techniques in a lead guitar player’s arsenal. It’s a way of articulating between two notes (or more!). You probably already know how it works: fret a note then bend the string as you pick it so that the pitch rises. It’s a fluid and

expressive sound, perfect for those more emotive moments in your solos. Bending can be simple – as in the case of a basic one-fret or two-fret bend – or it can be tremendously demanding, as with country ace Jerry Donahue’s mind-bendingly complex triple-string bends and prog legend David Gilmour’s huge four- and five-fret bends. That

S

means whatever level you’re at, there’s always room for improvement. Presented in a heavy rock style, this month’s exercises focus on commonly used types of bends, which we will play on the second and third strings. Accurate pitch is your main goal, so listen carefully as you play and do your best to hit the right notes.

Easy onE-frEt bEnd

#4 œ & 4

q = 80 -120 1

T A B

TRACK 08

2

1

œ

œ

2

œ

3

2

BU 10

11

10

(11)

14

15

œ

œ 14

BU

(15 )

This exercise is suitable for novice players, as well as being a decent warm-up for old hands. Attune your ear as you play the first two notes with standard fretting, before playing the notes again, this time using a bend from the A to the B b . Bends require strength, so use your first, second and third fingers for maximum power.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


20 minutes to better bends MorE basics – thE two-frEt bEnd

TRACK 09

As with the first exercise, move your whole hand from the wrist in order to move the string, and lock the side of your first finger knuckle under the neck for a stable grip. You ll be playing bass strings here so pull the string down towards the floor to adjust your vibrato.

#4 œ & 4 3

T A B

1

œ

3

œ

1

œ

3

10

(12)

12

14

œ

œ

BU

7

10

œ

œ

3

14

BU

(16 )

This is the same exercise as before but covering two frets this time. If you find the bend tough, stick to bar 2; although the notes are the same, the string tension is lighter on the third string and the frets are closer together higher up the neck. Use a turning wrist motion to push your fingers into the bend rather than relying on finger strength.

dEvEloping your fEEl with ‘prE-bEnds’

#4 œ & 4 1

œ

4

œ

3

œ

1

œ

4

œ

1

œ

3

PB 10

7

T A B

1

TRACK 10

7

12

œ

PB 14

(12)

12

12

16

(16 )

As the name suggests, here the string is bent to pitch prior to being picked, ie, you ‘pre-bend’ the string. You don’t have the benefit of hearing the bend-up so you’ll need to develop a feel for the purely physical side of the technique. Use pre-bends when you only want to hear the bend down.

biggEr bEnds

#4 œ & 4 3

T A B

17

TRACK 11

1

œ

15

3

œ

œ

17

BU

(20)

2

œ

21

1

œ

20

2

œ

œ

21

BU

(24)

This is a harder exercise thanks to its three-fret bend, which requires both strength and a bit of care – it’s easy to snap a string if you over-bend! Four- and potentially even five-fret bends are possible, but you may need to set your guitar up with lighter gauge strings or consider tuning down by one or two frets to give your strings more slack.

Practice Plan 1. One minute on exercise 1 2. One minute on exercise 2 3. One minute on exercise 3 4. One minute on exercise 4 5. repeat all four exercises five times Remember, accurate string bending is a combination of a few things. First, you should know in advance which note you want to land on before you bend the string. Second, you need ‘muscle memory’ so your fretting hand knows how far to bend – this comes from lots and lots of playing. Finally, you need to listen to make sure that bent notes are the same pitch as their fretted counterparts. Accurate pitch is probably the most important element of string bending. Have fun!

neXt MOntH 20 minutes to faster solos march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

21


how to

whAT you will leArn a selection of chord ‘inversions’ 16th note strummed rock rhythms how two guitars can be arranged as one part

riff of the month

Get the tone

channeL OveRdRive

All Right Now

22

he opening few seconds of Free’s 1970 mega-hit All Right Now is one of the most recognisable intros of all time. The track shot the band into the big time, hitting No 2 on the UK singles chart and their third album Fire And Water, which featured the track, would remain Free’s most successful in their brief five-year career. The recording features doubletracked guitar parts – similar enough that you can play the riff on one guitar, but different enough for a two-guitar band to be creative with. Paul Kossoff mixes things up as the riff repeats, constantly changing the rhythm. This

T

## & # 44 œœ œ 0:00

T A B

2 2 0

Œ

D/A

‰ œj œœ ‰ œ J 4 0

3 2

⇥ ⇥

baSS

Mid

TRebLe

ReveRb

Kossoff’s original live rig consisted of a ’59 Les Paul guitar plugged into Marshall amps, and as Paul Rodgers recalls, he used Marshalls in the studio as well for their simple, crunchy overdriven sound. The tone on the original 1970 recording was as dry as a bone, with no effects or reverb. Simply add a touch of reverb to get closer to the sound of the 1991 remix.

Les Paul (Humbucker)

Cheat sheet…

Appears at: 0:00-0:16 Tempo: 120bpm Key/scale: A Mixolydian Main techniques: Slash chords/partial chords/strumming

Intro q = 120 A 5

gain

can make it hard to hear exactly what’s being played. Learn the part tabbed below, which represents the riff in its quintessential form, and experiment with your own rhythm ideas, too. It’s worthy of note that there are several commercially available mixes of All Right Now, some featuring different edits of the guitar parts. We’re looking at the 1991 version here.

œœ œœ

A5

5 5 2 2

Œ

Œ

œ œ œ j n œœœ œœœ œ œœœ œ ⇥ 0

(Lyrics & Chords with chord boxes, 192pp, £10.95 ref. AM985831) The Little Black Book Of Rock Hits boasts a huge number of songs, all presented with full lyrics and a comprehensive chord guide, including a handy reference sheet. This little book is packed with all your favourites, including songs by Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Blondie, Metallica, Van Halen, Oasis, The Police, Free and many more! Available from: www.musicroom.com

Music and lyrics by Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser © 1970 Blue Mountain Music Limited. Worldwide reproduced by kind permission of Music Sales Limited All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

Dmaj 11/F #

0 3 0 4

the little BlAck Book of Rock hits

All Right Now

0 3 0 4

⇥ ≤

0

0 3 0 4

≤ ⇥

TRacKS 12-13

D/F #

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

3 2 4

3 2 4

3 2 4

⇥ ≤

3 2 4

≤ ⇥

œ

œœ œœ œ

A5

0

Œ

Ó

5 5 2 2 0

This is the most prominent guitar line in the mix – hopefully you can hear that the 16th note rhythms in bar 3 stand out. Strum downstrokes in bars 1, 2 and 4, but use downstrokes and upstrokes for those 16th notes in bar 3. We’ve added pick strokes under the tab for your assistance.

ToTal GuiTar MaRCh 2017

Words: Chris Bird Photography: Ian Dickson/Rex/Shutterstock

Free


how to What you WIll lEarn How to use pull-offs in lead lines Mix hammer-ons with pull-offs One short lead line

GettinG Started With…

pull-offs Try out this beginner technique and you’ll bring new life to your lead guitar solos

24

“I see we’ve got more techno-babble again this month then! I’ll take a guess that a ‘pull-off’ is something to do with the way you fret notes on the guitar…”

note ring out. Once you’ve got the knack you’ll probably find it really easy – perhaps one of the easiest techniques on the guitar.

You’re right! The guitar is a highly expressive instrument and every finger movement can influence your sound quite dramatically. Pull-offs are one of those techniques, used mainly to give a slick, smooth sound to lead guitar licks, but you can use them in chords and fingerpicking too – they’re sort of a universal technique. Every guitarist uses them sometimes.

“I see. I think I’ve got it now. I’m not sure I see the benefit, though. It’s not sounding especially smooth.”

Stop. hammer time! Now try learning hammer-ons!

A hammer-on is basically a pull-off in reverse. In fact, you can include hammer-ons in bar 3 of our example if you like. Just pick the first note of the bar, then play pull-offs and hammer-ons until you reach bar 4. We’ve played it twice; once with just pull-offs, then a second time using both.

Like everything guitar-related, you’ll get better with practice so spend a bit of time on the basic technique, sticking to notes that are near each other on the fretboard to minimise any stretching. Aim to make both notes ring out clearly, then, when you can do that, try repeating the pull-off with a steady, even rhythm. When you’re ready, take a look at our tabbed lick below. This includes some simple pull-offs, and, as you get the hang of it, you can try piecing the whole lick together.

“Well my solos don’t really sound slick or smooth, so you’d better tell me more!” Okay, start by holding down a note on the fretboard with your third or fourth finger. Pick the string then sound a second note by quickly pulling your finger away from the fretboard.

Pull-offs Start on a higher note, then flick your finger away, re-picking the string to sound a lower note.

Hammerons Start by playing a lower note, then hammer down firmly on the same string to produce a higher note.

“Wow! the music notation is pretty complicated. Where do I start?'

“Er, ‘second note’, you say? If I pull my finger away from the string there isn’t really a second note.”

Even simple tab can be tough to understand at first so don’t let it put you off. Just try to glean the information you need. Focus mainly on the tab, where, reading from left to right, the numbers tell you which frets to play at. Where you see two notes joined by a curved line (known as a ‘slur’) play a pull-off.

Well, the idea is that you fret a lower note on the same string with another finger. You essentially re-pluck the string with your fretting finger as you pull off, making the lower

easy lead guitar line

TRACKs 14-16

q =125 C5

Bb5

œ œ œ ˙~~~~~~~~~ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ b œ ‰ Jœ ˙~~~~~~~~~ ‰ J & b b 44 T A B

11

G5

8

11

8

~~~~~~~~~

10

8

10

~~~~~~~~~

8

11

8

11

8

11

8

11

8

œ.

~~~~~ œ ˙ J

13

13

C5

~~~~~

[13 ]

There’s a lot of information here, but if you look carefully you’ll see there are only two pull-offs to play: 11th and 8th frets on the second string, then 10th and 8th frets on the third string. It’s just a matter of repeating them at the right time. Listen to the audio track to pin down the timing.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


how to

The TG Guide To effecTs Get the most out of your pedals 1

2

rate This sets the speed that your volume will increase/ decrease

Depth Sometimes refered to as ‘intensity’, this controls how extreme the volume change is. Low settings will give a gentle flutter, while higher settings are similar to turning your volume all the way from off to max and back again.

2

1

26

3

tremolo Add texture and movement to your sound with this simple volume-based effect remolo started out life as a built-in part of amps such as Fender’s Vibrolux - Leo once again swapping the definitions of vibrato and tremolo as he had with the Strat’s whammy - and became a big hit with rock ’n’ rollers and surf twangers. But it’s not just for retro pulses – tremolo has bobbed up and down on everything from The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now to REM’s What’s The Frequency Kenneth? to D’You Know What I Mean? by Oasis and Green Day’s Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. It’s a clever yet deceptively simple effect. Boiled down to its most basic, you can think of tremolo as an automated volume control, pulsing in time to your playing. It falls into the

T

category of ‘modulation’ effects: that is, an effect that changes the pitch or volume of your guitar sound over time, using an onboard circuit to modulate your signal. In the case of tremolo, this is something called an LFO (low frequency oscillator). The LFO itself is inaudible, but cycles through a waveform shape to control the volume of the signal being fed through the pedal. When you change the speed, intensity and shape of the LFO, the result is the unmistakeable choppy on/ off effect of tremolo. what you’ll learn How tremolo effects are controlled What each control does to your signal How to recreate recognisable tremolo sounds

you can think of tremolo as an automated volume control, pulsing in time to your playing

3

wave/Shape Some pedals include a control for different ‘shapes’. Using these will change the motion of your modulation sound

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


effects guide

must try…

27

Boss TR-2 TRemolo £89

mooG minifooGeR TRem £179

mooeR TRelicopTeR £58

The venerable Boss TR-2 is about as simple as a tremolo pedal can possibly be. Tucked into the pedal giant’s timeless compact pedal chassis we have controls for rate and depth, plus a third knob to take you between the triangle and square waveform shapes.

With speed, depth, tone and shape controls, plus the ability to plug in and control it with an expression pedal, this little MF packs a lot in. It’s a versatile and great-sounding tremolo from the kings of synth engineering. It’s not cheap, but you get lots of band for your buck.

If tremolo is something that you only want to use for a couple of tunes, a mini pedal such as the Mooer Trelicopter fits the bill perfectly. But space isn’t the only benefit to this little box, it sound brilliant, and is really affordable. It’s a real hidden gem.

Recommended settings 5

4 7

3

7

7

7

8 10

raTe

depTH

Wave

The BoulevaRd of y’Know whaT i means This rhythm sound is in the more modern arena of deep tremolo sounds. Set the rate control to give you semi-quaver pulses, then turn your depth control up high. This will turn your guitar volume up and down intensely so that you get the full stuttering on/off effect.

raTe

depTH

Wave

raTe

depTH

Wave

TRemolo-inG foR you

RoBo-chopped

If you’re after a more vintage kind of flavour for your sound, try using your tremolo with a reduced depth setting. Reducing the depth will make the effect a bit more subtle, as your sound never actually switches off totally. Instead, you’ll get some smooth, retro-sounding flutters that work great with sparse, bluesy guitar playing

Combining tremolo with other effects can result in some cool non-traditional guitar sounds. Set your pedal similarly to our first setting (you can experiment with the rate control for different speeds), but with maximum depth. Next, place a wah pedal or phaser before or after the tremolo to give some frequency movement to your sound.

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


how to what you will learn How lots of music follows a four-count How to play a rhythm using quarter notes A creative eighth-note and quarter-note rhythm idea

What the F?

basic rhythm Understand how rhythm works with TG’s explanation of the basics of musical timing

or any guitarist, developing timing and groove is an ongoing process. It’s not something you ever really master – every new song is a new challenge, after all. Still, feel factor aside, there are some fundamentals of rhythm that underpin all music; rules that help you understand how music is written in tab and notation and how it is played on the guitar. Get these basics under your belt and an awful lot of music makes a bit more sense. We’ll take you through some first steps this month with a look at the basic ‘units’ of rhythm: the quarter note and the eighth note.

F

1. Counting to four to stay in time If you’ve ever counted to four in time with a song then you’ve already got a basic musical rhythm down. The four-count is the most common rhythm in music, regardless of genre. The simplest way a four-count is shown in music notation is with the symbols shown here, known both as ‘quarter notes’ and ‘crotchets’.

28

q q q q quarter notes / crotchets

TRACK 17 q =120

# 4 œœ & # 4 .. œœ œ . .

œœ œœ œ

Bm

count: 1

T A B

œœœ œ œ

2

2 3 4 4 2

œœœ œ œ

3

2 3 4 4 2

..

Play 4 times

. .

4

2 3 4 4 2

2 3 4 4 2

It’s fairly easy to see the four strums on this Bm chord and that you count to four to stay in time (represented by four quarter notes). Listen to the drums in our audio track. They go: kick-snare-kick-snare in time with the four-count.

2. Double up your strumming Although a lot of music follows a four-count, you’ll hear limitless variations on the theme. You don’t want to stick to four chords per bar for everything you play, after all! The simplest variation is to double up and play twice as fast. Keep counting to four – but play two notes or chords for every count. These are known as ‘eighth notes’ or ‘quavers’.

eeeeeeee eighth notes / quavers

TRACKs 18-19 Bm

# 4 œœ & # 4 .. œœ œ . .

count: 1

T A B

2 3 4 4 2

œœœ œ œ

œœœ œ œ

œœœ œ œ

œœœ œ œ

œœœ œ œ

œœœ œ œ

&

2

2 3 4 4 2

&

2 3 4 4 2

2 3 4 4 2

3

&

2 3 4 4 2

œœœ œ œ

Play 4 times

4

2 3 4 4 2

&

2 3 4 4 2

2 3 4 4 2

TRACKs 20-21

If this all seems a bit unmusical take a look at our final tab exercise where we’re mixing up eighth notes and quarter notes for a more creative sound, crucially, still based around our four-count. We’re also using ‘rests’ – pauses where you don’t make any sound. We’ve only rested on eighth notes in our tab but quarter notes also have a corresponding rest.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Œ ‰

. .

The backing track stays the same here but the guitar plays at twice the pace (using down-up strumming). Count ‘1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &’ to keep time, or just stick to the basic four-count and ‘feel’ the ‘&’s. In music notation, consecutive eighth notes are often joined together with 'beams'.

3. making musiC

quarter note rest

..

eighth note rest

j # # 4 . œœ & 4 . œœ ‰ œ Bm

T A B

. .

count: 1 2 3 4 4 2

j j œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œ 2 2 3 4 4 2

2 3 4 4 2

⇥ ≤

œœ œœ œ 3

j œœ œœ ‰ œ 4 2 3 4 4 2

A

œœœ œ œ 1 0 2 2 2 0

j œœœ ‰ œœ œ # œœ œ œœ E

2 0 2 2 2 0

⇥ ⇥

3 0 0 1 2 2 0

j œœ ‰ . œ . œœ œ 4 0 0 1 2 2 0

⇥ ⇥

. .

This Dire Straits-style rhythm follows a four count, so, although the pattern of quarter notes, eighth notes and rests is more musical, you can still count to four to keep time.


30

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


rig tour 1

1

pRS MccaRty II

2

2

“This is the Sorceress guitar, because it’s in dropped A tuning – where the two lowest strings are tuned an octave apart. The tone control works more like a sweep filter, so I’ve dialled in more of an earthier sound to create something that’s a bit stonery. As the song is tuned down low, I thought it would be better to use a fixed bridge. I kept the same 0.010 to 0.046 string gauge because I wanted it go ‘Boiinng’ whenever you hit the string too hard, almost out of pitch! I tend not to go for the heavier gauges.”

FRactal axe-Fx II xl

3

opeth

Opeth guitarists Mikael Åkerfeldt and Fredrik Åkesson walk us through the various weapons in their sonic arsenal… lone, Mikael Åkerfeldt and Fredrik Åkesson are easily two of the best guitarists around today. But together, they stand as a force most spectacular indeed: Mikael, as the prolific songwriter and creative visionary behind Opeth’s 28 breathtaking years, and Fredrik continually raising the bar – in taste as much as technique – through his lead work in the band he joined a decade ago. You could even go as far as saying when it comes to gunslingers, there simply isn’t another band on the face of this planet with such boundless and consummate musicianship at their beck and call. TG joins the pair on the Sorceress World Tour to find out the tonal secrets behind that lysergic vortex of heavy jazz-rock…

A

MIkael ÅkeRFeldt pRS p24

1

Words: Amit Sharma Photography: Will Ireland

“These are my main live guitars, one of the white models is in standard and the other is in open tuning for Ghost Of Perdition. The red one sounds a little different for some reason, I use it on Demon Of The Fall for some dropped D. The piezo is louder on that one and it goes through batteries quicker… but I love it! It’s my newest P24 and I think it sounds a bit more fat than the white ones, which I got because they look

good against black clothes! I spent a long time looking for a guitar with the right piezo system so that we could get the acoustic vibe going. Before that, it had always been an ugly clean with a Small Stone to make it sound more glittery, though nowadays it pretty much sounds like a real acoustic. Honestly, the P24 has become my ultimate guitar.”

“I actually only use this for timed echoes and wah, as I prefer having my pedals out on stage with me, and right now I’m using a Marshall Satch JVM for my amp sounds. I like the flaws of having a real amp, things differ just a little bit from day to day, and yet it’s still sturdy and works… most of the time! For the song Death Whispered A Lullaby, there’s a guitar solo that’s just noise, so I have the Fractal set on a Tom Morello Whammy kinda thing. Other than that, I don’t really use it that much – not that I have anything against it. Meshuggah have 10 of them in their airport trollies [laughs}!”

electRo-haRMonIx SMall Stone

4

“The Small Stone is my favourite phaser, I use it a lot on my clean sounds. I originally bought one of the Russian ones in military green and it looked like a landmine! I got that for My Arms, Your Hearse [1998] – which was a long time ago, and I’ve used it all over the place ever since.

3

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

31


rig tour 12

7

6 5 4

The footswitch fell off so I had to buy this new one.”

MxR caRbon copy

5

32

“The Carbon Copy I’ll kick in whenever I feel, usually for leads or solos. I might change it soon because I got a new delay from Dunlop that I forgot back home. The only reason being the Carbon Copy might be a little too mild for my needs, almost a bit subdued. I want more juice! Nothing too digital, but something just a bit clearer.”

eaRthQuakeR GRand oRbIteR

6

“I got this in Akron, Ohio, and it’s actually made by a company based there called Earthquaker Devices. It’s a phaser, but with a shitload of sounds within it. At the moment, I only use it for isolated chords to get this underwater effect that makes you sick to your stomach!”

StRyMon blueSky

7

“I love the Strymon reverb, I have it set on spring and it’s pretty much on all the time. You could say I am very generous when it comes to reverb! I want lots, unlike Fredrik, who wants more of the dry tone so every note pops out. I’m the opposite – I want the notes to disappear into the reverb. I absolutely love this one. It was very expensive… for a pedal!”

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

FRedRIk ÅkeSSon pRS MccaRty 594

8

“It’s the newest PRS model with a different kind of neck shape. The upper side, where your thumb sits, is a bit thicker than the bottom… it’s easier to go anywhere you like, but still really ballsy. They changed the scale length and I find it intonates better, plus bends are easier when it’s a bit longer. It has the new 58/15 pickups PRS has made, which, despite not being hugely high-output are really warm sounding, and you can also split the coils. The wiring is more like a Les Paul; you can roll off both knobs at the same time. As this one doesn’t have the piezo system, I use it on Sorceress in drop A.”

pRS p245

pRS p24

“This is the original shortscale Singlecut with the PRS metal pickups. It’s great for palm-muted riffing because of that tight low-end and still sounds pretty snappy. I love how it looks… so much that I have three guitars in this finish! I only use it for Deliverance, but it’s also become my backup too.”

“This is probably the guitar I’m using the most right now. I need to keep track of where the selector is otherwise it could be total silence when I go into a riff… I’ve been there! [laughs] I use the whammy bar on solos like The Wilde Flowers. You can go pretty mad on it without going out. The bridge doesn’t suck any tone, either. Plus, you have to remember guys like Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch sounded great with a Floyd. I seem to be using the whammy bar more and more, before it was more Les Pauls and squeals. I love the sound of scooping into your notes – Jeff Beck is the god of that!”

9

pRS p22

10

“This P22 was actually my first piezo guitar and I’ve done a lot shows with it. I put a classic Seymour Duncan JB pickup in there and I’ve been using it for alternate tunings on Ghost Of Perdition, The Grand Conjuration and Demon Of The Fall. We don’t want to bring out too many guitars… some people take something like 40 guitars on the road with them… it’s pointless!”

17

11

MaRShall JVM410hJS Joe SatRIanI

12

“I’ve using these since they first came out, and now


opeth 8

Mikael is using them, too. I liked the original JVM, but this Satriani works even better for us. You can roll the volume down on your guitar a lot, plus it has MIDI and a noise gate. The second channel has that classic twin-channel JCM800 crunch sound, while the two OD channels are almost identical. I appreciate that, because it doesn’t change the characteristic of the amp’s tone – I dial the last one in with a bit more volume and slightly more treble and gain. And bass, while we’re at it!”

9

10

11

“SOMe PeOPle take SOMething like 40 guitarS Out On the rOad With theM… it’S POintleSS!” 33

13

MxR phaSe 95

13

“I just picked this up from the MXR guys in San Francisco. It’s a brand new model which has the old Phase 45 as well as the 90, then you have the script mode, too. I’ll kick it in for some leads whenever I want that flavour… and especially if I want to sound like Van Halen! [laughs]”

14

MxR cuStoM coMp

xotIc ep booSteR

“I don’t actually use this compressor much – it’s mainly for the song Atonement, where I play a freaky solo at the end using a cleaner tone with loads of boost and echo, kicking in the Cry Baby rack. It creates some unusual sounds… it actually helped me to come up with the solo I play on the live version of that song.”

“It’s based on the Echoplex booster and I pretty much have it on for all solos – but nearly set to zero. It makes the notes pop out a little more and gives things an extra push over the cliff edge!”

14

15

MxR echoplex delay

16

“This pedal is really interesting. It’s a new delay with a tap-out which I will start

16

15

using soon, I used to use a Carbon Copy but I’ve switched to this now. It has a longer delay time, it’s a bit clearer but still with a vintage touch – you can dial in the flutter and oldness of the tape, which I like. There’s a lot it can do and it’s perfect for adding into solos.”

box oF dooM allxS

17

“All my cabinets are live so I can get enough feedback

whenever I want, but the actual guitar tone that gets sent out to the PA comes purely from this isolation cabinet, which has a single Celestion Creamback speaker inside. I tried out three different speakers in the box and the Creamback was the one that sounded best out front. I’d say there’s been a major difference in my live tone since I started using this.” march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


34

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


35

New Noise Words Rob Laing Photography Joby Sessions

black peaks and heck are two of the best new live bands around. they sat down to tell us how the battle to win crowds over can shape a guitarist

S

ome things have changed for us music lovers – from vinyl to the cassette, compact disc to mp3, streaming and back again, the way we consume evolves. But for guitarists stepping onto the stage, the best connection we can make with a potential fanbase remains as primitive as ever; all the way from the days of Django to Jimi and Kurt to Biffy. Because if you can’t bring it live, how can you expect anyone to believe in your music? But learning that craft is an apprenticeship that can take time and toil, so we wanted to do a little field work and pick up some tips. Black Peaks and Heck are two of the best young live

acts in rock right now; the former a Brighton four-piece whose guitarist, Joe Gosney, is channeling dark progressive influences to create a monolithic sound, the latter a Nottingham outfit (formerly known as Baby Godzilla) are the kind of sonic deviants your mother warned you about; a whirlwind of orchestrated chaos conducted by Matt Reynolds and Jonny Hall that spins on and off the stage, and nearly through the walls of every venue they play. With both putting out their debut albums last year and amalgamating their ever-expanding fanbases with a joint tour, we thought it was the ideal time to find out what it really takes to survive and thrive on the live stage these days.


Power trio (l-r): Heck’s guitar twosome – Jonny Hall and Matt Reynolds – plus Black Peaks’ Joe Gosney

36 You’ve all been gigging from an early age, how much did playing live impact on your development as players? Jonny: “I play guitar because I enjoy playing songs with my friends in a band. I could sit playing at home for hours and I’d never enjoy it anywhere near as much as on a stage. I think that’s why I never developed as a technical guitarist in the ways that other people do. I never took much interest learning to do something I wouldn’t be able to do live. If I’m playing live, and I’m jumping over someone, I’m not going to be able to do sweeping at the same time.” Matt: “I think the way we perform live really affects the way we write. With a mind to how it’s going to come across in a live environment and how it’s going to be possible. That does effect how you master techniques. Our songs have quite a bit of legato and tapping, and you kind of find a new way of doing that where you can have the guitar and be swinging it around, which wouldn’t be the same if you were sat in your room.” Joe: “There’s a massive divide between the bedroom guitarist and people who just want to play live. There’s a lot of people who take a lot ToTal GuiTar march 2017

of pride out of getting shit hot at playing sweep picking and stuff like that. But it’s about being able to express that live. I couldn’t write a song unless I knew there was going to be three other people I could play that to in a rehearsal room and feed off.

“I’ve learned 75 per cent of how I play guItar from gIggIng” There’s no inspiration to do that without having the goal to play live.”

So would you say getting out there and gigging really develops a guitarist in a way that they couldn’t otherwise? Matt: “I think it teaches you so much more than you’d ever learn usually. Watching videos and stuff is great but I think I’ve learned 75 per cent of how I play guitar from gigging extensively for the last seven or eight years.” Joe: “It’s not just playing either. It’s the old troubleshooting because if something can go wrong at some point it will do. And it’s being able to think on your feet and figure out ways to not break shit.”

Jonny: “I’ve got a friend who’s band had to pull a song from their encore because the guitarist’s intonation went out. And he said, ‘I couldn’t play it because all my solos would be out of tune’ and I said, ‘Well my intonation is always out!’ [everyone laughs] and everything I play is in tune because you’ll learn. You develop your ear and if something goes wrong you’ll fix it on the fly, you bend everything in [pitch] and it’s fine.” Matt: “I think that’s why playing live is so exciting, because everything and anything will go wrong but it’s so instant and transient. It happens in a flash and you haven’t got time to think, ‘If this lead is in the wrong place or my intonation is out…’ No, you bodge it – you get the duct tape, wrap it around and finish the set.”

Heck are pretty animated onstage to say the least. What things tend to need fixing on the road most often? Jonny: “Gluing necks back on, I’ve shattered volume pots a few times where you have to rewire them. My spare guitar hasn’t got any knobs on anymore, it’s just pickup to output.” Matt: “We learned early on to take everything off the guitar that would


black peaks | heck fall off. We don’t have pickup selectors, we don’t have volume knobs – it’s one more thing to not go wrong if it’s not there. Take it out of the system completely.” Jonny: “And machine heads. We need lots of spare machine heads.” Matt: “And every time you break a guitar in two, take the machine heads off and put them in a bag. You will use them again. Salvage everything.” Joe: “We’re so tame compared to you guys, ‘Oh my pedalboard’s dirty!’” Jonny: Your pedalboard is amazing though – it’s so organized.” Joe: “But I don’t know how it works so when it breaks, I break out in this really bad cold sweat.”

Have you ever had to deal with any negativity or hostility at small gigs? Matt: “Quite a bit early on. We were playing pubs and you’d always hear the alarm bells in your head when you see the stage is next to the bar and it’s full of old men drinking pints of stout. So you knew it was going to be a hard one, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you then shrugged away and were very apologetic about it. Even when we can sense the hostility it’s always been important for us to black it out, and I think that’s how we’ve got to the level of show that we do now. We tend not to consider what anyone’s thinking about what we’re doing because if we did we’d be fucking terrified every night. I definitely stood on pool tables and things when people were playing in the early years and had so much stick from old guys.” Jonny: “Remember that time in that place in Worksop?” Matt: “That place in Worksop being a case in point. And there was a place in Trowbridge down near Bath called Pee Wees [Real Ale Bar] and it was the weirdest place to play.” Jonny: “There were loads of old men at the bar and by the end of it they were shouting along.” Matt: “It’s about grabbing on to the one thing you can sense they like and knowing that’s the thing you have to play on to win them over otherwise you’re going to fall.”

What bands inspired you with their energy and commitment live? Joe: “That’s a good question because one of my favourite bands is Mastodon and I’d go and watch them

and they hardly move onstage, but their music is so encapsulating. Tool are a similar one too, especially with Maynard stood at the back. Everyone’s got their thing and it obviously works for those bands. Occasionally you’ll go and watch a band and it’s just… we watched a band the other night that could have moved a bit more, didn’t we?” Matt: “Yes. But movement is not the be all and end all. It’s finding a way to convey energy in the music that you’re playing that makes it look like you’re excited about it. Which may be standing and making an enormous wall of noise without moving a muscle. But the way we’ve honed doing it is very much in our movements as well.” Jonny: “I don’t think anyone would ever accuse Sunn O))) of being boring and they’re not exactly running about the place. It’s just about putting out the energy you have pent up inside you, in any way. Translating that somehow.” Joe: “You guys give the audience a reason to come back and watch you again because every time it feels like they weren’t just watching four guys onstage, they were part of that. They had pretty much everyone in the venue on the stage the other night!” Joe is Black Peaks’ sole guitar-slinger

Matt: “I wasn’t too happy about that actually… it was just when all the cabs started to lean backwards and fall backwards to the back of the stage on top of Tom [Marsh, drums]…” Jonny: “If I go to a gig I want to feel part of what’s going on. Whether it’s physically, emotionally or sonically; something taking you in and absorbing you. If I go to see Sigur Rós, I get absorbed into the soundscape. And our way of drawing people in is to physically drag them into it. Same principal, different method.”

It’s harder than ever to make a living from being in a band. But there must be positives that keeps bands sticking at it for the right reasons… Joe: “We’re all loaded aren’t we? We have pedals made out of solid gold.” Matt: “It’s kind of reassuring, because there’s zero money in it, it means everyone that is playing is in it for the absolute passion for playing music. No ones taking home a paycheck by the end of it. That kind of re-instills faith, to know that even at times when it can be soul crushing… Joe: “You’re doing it for the right reasons. That’s so important.” Jonny: “And integrity keeps you warm at night.” [everyone laughs]

What mistakes did you make when you first started gigging that you can look back on now? Jonny: “I think my biggest mistake when I was younger was caring too much about precision because I used to want everything to be perfect. I joined what is now known as Heck quite early on and it was almost a bit of a rebellion against everything I’d ever done before, because I wanted the songs to be good live and I knew my limitations as a guitarist, but if anyone else messed up I used to get really frustrated. I cared too much about things being right but when you’re out there, no one’s going to notice these things. “What I’d say to people is, make sure what you put out is true to yourself and resonates with people. If you don’t nail the solo, no one’s going to care. Four seconds later it’s gone. It’s more about the energy and personality you put out onstage that’s going to win people over. As long as what you’re doing is coming from inside you and your brain, it’s going to be real.” march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

37


“If you don’t naIl the solo, don’t worry about It”

Video

watch heck take you through their guitars bit.ly/tg290heck

38

Matt: “It does feel good when you nail the solo though doesn’t it? [laughter]” Jonny: “It does. But if you don’t nail the solo, don’t worry about it. There will be other times.”

Is there something to be said for just gigging as much as you can? Joe: “There’s a lot of bands that I see at the moment who are trying to pick the right gigs and do the right things at the right time, but yes, I think there’s a lot to be said for just playing as much as you can. Because you’re only ever going to learn if you’re going out and playing a lot. And you will learn it live, and you will mess up, but that’s fine. Like Jonny was saying, it’s all about making those mistakes and just conveying the passion while you’re playing. People will see that and have a good time.” Matt: “At the end of the day, mistakes are what makes your band your band. With pristine rock by numbers that has no mistakes and no soul there’s nothing to hang on to there, nothing unique about that.” Joe: “You may as well listen to a CD.” Jonny: “Also, if you want to get anywhere you need to go out and earn it. Picking up on what Joe just said, there’s a lot of bands that think there’s an easy route but there isn’t.” ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Matt: “Well if your parents have loads of money you can buy on to things.” Jonny: “There is that. But you go and play the gigs, you earn your fanbase, you earn the respect and appreciation of the people that watch you. Then you’ll get to do more cool stuff. If you just expect people to like you and throw a wobbly if no one turns up at a gig, you haven’t worked hard enough. Go and change it.” Matt: “We’ve all played gigs to two people. We played an all-dayer once where every band left and there were no people watching the bands anyway so we were playing to the sound man. Even though there were 10 bands that day, there was no one in that room. I just remember jumping around that room thinking, ‘Yay we came to London to play a band practice and this cost us loads of money!” Jonny: “If you can play the best show the soundman has ever seen then you’re doing something right. Just go out and earn it. Eventually it will happen for you.” Joe: “That’s so true, and it’s like a filter as well. We’re a new band and we’re still getting used to all of this but you’ve got to work as hard as you can for it and it will filter out the people that don’t really want it or think they can get it easily. They just

Surviving guitarmageddon How Heck’s unusual Hofner guitars handle their live onslaught Matt and Jonny’s Hofners go through a lot through a tour. And we mean a lot – their necks and bodies frequently have open relationships. There’s a good reason why they pack a gas-powered soldering iron on tour, but keeping in tune while their guitars are flying in and out of the crowd is another matter. That’s when they discovered a revelation; Evertune’s mechanical bridges that use a spring and a lever for each string to keep them in tune. “We used to be dire onstage,” Matt says of their wobbly tuning days. Not now. “I’ve snapped my guitar in two before, screwed the neck back on and still been in tune. They’re insane.” Jonny concurs. “They’ve bailed us out so many times,” he explains. “The Evertune basically gives you a large tolerance in which you can stay in tune. You can knock your machine head and it stays in tune. The amount of times we���ve knocked our headstocks and not realised everything’s moved and we’re two tones flat. We were having to retune twice a song because of how much movement there was. And any break you’d have to go and tune. It allows us not to care. It’s one less thing not to care about. And it means you can concentrate on simply playing a gig. I’m even going to go as far to say it’s the single greatest invention in the universe. The automobile has absolutely fuck all on the Evertune.”

won’t last eating dry cheese sandwiches every night. It’s not always amazing but if you keep doing it, it’s always going to be fun.” Jonny: “The amazing bits make it worth it. Also, we brought a toastie maker on tour with us this time so we can eat hot cheese sandwiches!” Matt: “Jonny said, ‘Oh we can use this in the van.’ There’s nothing that goes hand in hand more than driving at pace down a motorway and molten cheese!” Black Peaks’ debut, Statues, and Heck’s first album, Instructions are both available now


interview

40

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


interview / eric gales Words Amit Sharma Photography Nicole Weingart

Redemption SongS Armed with quite possibly the best blues Album you’ll heAr in 2017, eric GAles reveAls the AmAzinG story behind his powerful music…

T

here’s a track on the new Eric Gales album that opens with a confessional: “I’ve been through some difficult things, I’ve seen the best and worst of humankind, I’ve done some things I shouldn’t have, trying to free the limits of my mind.” It’s a brutally honest and poignantly heartfelt confession from the Memphis blues virtuoso ,who shot to fame in the mid-90s, only to spiral into a cocaine addiction that landed him behind bars on several occasions. In 2009, some footage surfaced of the guitarist being interviewed and performing as a prisoner of the Shelby County Correction Center – a man incarcerated, battling his demons, yet still able to play better than any of us in our wildest dreams. He was once a child prodigy – just like Joe Bonamassa – but instead of headlining the world’s most revered venues, the cruel twists of fate would have him become inmate 199070. Now having turned his life around, Gales has inked a new deal with Mascot and recorded Middle Of The Road – the album that should define his career – the first to truly capture the magic at the tips of his fingers. Here the guitarist talks TG through his incredible life story, tools of the trade and the most unlikely of comebacks…

41

What was going through your mind as you wrote these new songs? “Man… my head was where it’s still at right now. I’m clean, I’m married, it feels like things are finally going well for me. I’m glad this all sounds like a comeback because it definitely is. I’m no longer in the dark haze of a dark world. I spent a lot of years feeding a bad habit and fortunately it didn’t take me out. Looking back, I feel like it gave me more material to write about and more passion to come from. This album is easily the best representation of me yet. The lyrics are the experiences of my past, everything that inspired me. Hearing my story inspires me... and that’s amazing! [laughs] If I can share my story and tell someone else they can get past things too, then that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Was there ever a point where you felt your addiction was impacting your playing? “You have some weird experiences when you’re fucked up. A lot of ideas come into your head, but most of them wind up unfinished. Some people have said me on a fucked up day is better than anyone else on their best day. That’s up to them to say, I don’t get involved in that… but regardless, life took a terrible turn for me there.”

If things went differently it almost feels like you could have been one of the biggest names in blues, like a Joe Bonamassa… march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


interview

42

How much did the sounds of Memphis soak into the bones as you grew up? “Memphis offers so many styles and genres to pick and choose from, I was lucky. From the moment I was born, I was exposed to a lot of it. There was blues, funk, rock… all of it made its way into our home. My childhood was great, my mom had me in church a lot, so gospel was a big part of my background. I went to school and graduated just like everyone else did. I had a wonderful childhood. It wasn’t screwed up or anything like that, life took a turn much later on.”

You’re a left-handed player that plays right-handed instruments strung ToTal GuiTar march 2017

upside-down. What are the main challenges and tonal differences in this approach? “I really can’t explain it – it’s just something that comes with the way that I play. I had to figure things out for myself because most of the guys I learned from were or are righthanded players. That in itself gave me a different feel, I guess.”

The guitar sounds on the new album are almost like a mix between Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson and Prince… what gear did you use to achieve that? “I’m playing the same rig through the whole album. It’s a Magneto guitar – I went with a different company just to give someone else a chance and now I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are others I like, but not like the Magneto – I used a Strat-style PRS guitar to enhance some of the rhythms. I like thin-medium sized necks with 0.010 to 0.046 gauge Dunlop strings. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s gauge was ridiculous, it’s like the guy was playing a baseball bat with barbed wire! But then he always had the most fantastic tone,

possibly the best we’ve ever heard. I feed my guitars through my DV Mark amps. I played bass on the record, too, so I guess I’m an endorsee of DV Mark bass amps, too! [laughs] There’s some major stuff happening man, they’re making a new Eric Gales model.”

And there’s a healthy amount of delay, wah and even whammy on there… “You don’t think of a blues player using a whammy, right?! Creatively, I gave it everything I had: whatever made me feel good, I went with. I used my Mojo Hand Colossus Fuzz pedal for the solos, plus my Tech 21 delay and that was it! I’m not really a fan of reverb, though I came round and used a bit… I’m much more of a delay guy. The wah is a Bob Bradshaw one that Dunlop made for me. I tried to use it uniquely and subtly. I wanted small differences, nothing overused, just little parts here and there for colour.”

Change In Me sounds a bit like Eric Johnson noodling over a Stevie Wonder-like reggae boogie… “It’s a new version of a song I had put out before. There’s that Eric Johnson

Photography: rick Kern/WireImage

“I know that I would have been, though everyone’s life takes its own course. I’m just thankful that I’m still going, I can play guitar and I’ve got a story to tell. It’s all good now, there are no worries and I’m coming up to five months sober. My life is the best it has ever has been. I just have to watch out for myself. I don’t know if the world is ready, but this is the return of Eric Gales, so y’all better be ready.”


feel to the solo, while the song has more of a pop vibe. I put random things together like that… so then I threw this groovy vocal over it, plus a harmonizer, that fuzzy tone – I think it’s a combination of some badass styles. I just really enjoyed myself, man. I call it the new sound – I don’t know what you call it, but either way it’s some new shit! They’re going to have to come up with a new category for this.”

I Don’t Know – on the other hand – sounds more like Michael Jackson meets King’s X… “King’s X are old friends of mine. They were the first band I opened up for when I was starting out, so we go way back. The song’s about not being afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ when you don’t know something, you know what I mean? I think it’s very relatable, people will understand the everyday situations. There’s a groove and funkiness to that one. The samples and beatboxing, that’s all me, too!”

You roped in Gary Clark Jr for a soulful rendition of the Freddie King classic, Boogie Man. It’s almost like you’re having a conversation through your guitars at the end… “We absolutely were doing that on Boogie Man. You have to throw in the spices to make it an interesting conversation. When you have two musicians that can talk to each other like that, one complimenting the other, you have something really special. That song became an amazing piece for me, I actually came up with the riff during a live performance. I remember thinking it was a badass groove right there, so I threw in the harmonised vocal melodies, dissonant chords… all these different styles I’ve played all my life. Why not incorporate all of it? It sounds great, man! I wanted to put my own stamp on it. The vibe was so heavy in the studio where we were cutting it, almost feeling more like a live show. We’re talking about going on the road later this year, so watch this space!”

Repetition – which features your brother Eugene – came out with more of a Prince feel to it… “It has a Sign O’ The Times vibe, for sure. Prince was an amazing guitar player, but especially on that album. That tone he had is something I’m hugely inspired by… almost like it’s an aspect of me. I’m glad I did it, because this new

43

“I’m just thankful that I’m still going, I can play guitar and I’ve got a story to tell” representation of me will seriously shock the world, man.”

Your lead guitar style feels very spontaneous and improvised. How did you become so in-tune with your instrument? “That just happened over the years, it kinda came on its own. Studying a lot of material… it’s really easy to get information these days. If you have a lot of that information in the toolbox, it’s like picking and choosing whatever you want to use. That concept applies to the album, it’s a journey of all the intel I had at that moment in time. If you carry on gaining that intel, you’ll always have more stuff to pick and choose from. People always ask me how I manage to go through all these different styles of guitar playing and the answer is always

I sat down and studied all those styles. I don’t think I’ve perfected it, but I feel like I’m in a comfortable seat to go to any style at random, whenever I feel like going there. If you want to get out of playing in those boxes, you need to deviate and acquire new ideas. That’s how you learn. I think trial and error is one of the best ways to improve at anything. Trust your brain to weave it all together. With more of that trial and error, it’ll get easier and easier to come out.”

Does it ever feel like the Jimi Hendrix comparisons are lazy when there are so many other guitar players who have influenced your sound that much more? “There you go! Don’t get me wrong, that ingredient is in there, too, but a lot of march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


interview

You seem to use mini-sweeps and economy picking, as well as hybrid, to rip through pentatonics in dizzying bursts. How can we get closer to those speeds?

It depends on how I’m feeling, it just comes out exactly how I want it to. The more material you learn and practice, the more your brain can take you in new directions. I have fun with it. There are no limitations with playing guitar, the moment you do that you are shutting yourself off. There are a lot of things that can inspire you, even if you don’t particularly like it, you can use it to your advantage. I tend to draw a little more from the minor scales, but I am familiar with major, too. I don’t know why, but minor feels like the go-to for me.”

“It’s almost like you can’t control how things are going to inspire you”

44

“Continuously work on scales and riffs at a normal pace and, through time, it becomes more fluid and faster… although speed isn’t always the answer. As for my hybrid picking, it came as a made-up way that felt more comfortable. It’s more like second nature to me, but I’ll do whatever works to get the job done. Everything I do is off the top of my head – there isn’t a scientific explanation for it, other than I’ve learned a lot of stuff.”

You’ve also played alongside Lauryn Hill, who co-wrote Been So Long. What have you learned from working with such an acclaimed artist? “Playing with Lauryn Hill over the last five years has been mindblowing. She’s a genius and we hit it off right away. To have her co-write on this was an amazing feat, she heard the track and thought it was hot. So she put some lyrics down, I had a melody ready to go and there you have it! I think that song will go a long way when the label drops it as a single. It’s got heavy crossover potential. I cherish it whenever Miss Hill calls me up saying there’s a track she wants me to play on… because she does that all the time. And it’s always great.”

You also utilise different styles of bending and vibrato. It’s easy to forget how many ways there are to play one note… “My bending will depend on the feel and mood of the song. It’s such a sporadic, instantaneous thing that happens when I pick up a guitar. ToTal GuiTar march 2017

There are some exotic seventh chords in a lot of your songs too. What made you gravitate towards more embellished tonalities? “I learned a lot of those chords from playing other people’s songs. I’ve always been a fan of the dominant seventh, since hearing it in Purple Haze. That chord was also used in Foxy Lady and Voodoo Chile… When you add the high E string on top of it, I don’t even know the name of the chord, I just like the sound of it. I just developed it into something.

Hail Gales

Three players tell us why Eric is their guitar hero Tosin AbAsi AnIMALS AS LEADERS “To me, Eric Gales is a mind-blowing guitarist. He isn’t necessarily a shred guy, but trust me, he has some serious chops. I think it’s an approach comes from the tradition of backing up the voice with little licks, his kind of phrasing really shows that. That’s where I’m at as a player these days… that more vocal style of phrasing. I’m getting into more bends and listening to guys like Eric brings new influences to what I play.” Tony Rombolo GoDSMACK “I’ve been hot on Eric Gales for years. He’s just such a massive musician to me, that’s where I’d want to go someday, especially with the blues thing. I have a blues band back home [The Apocalypse Blues Revue ] and we invited him up to jam with us. He’s one of my heroes for sure. I was into him when he first came out in the early 90s and now he’s blossoming into a monster player.” mARk TRemonTi ALTER BRIDGE “I discovered Eric Gales about eight years ago when our touring drum tech at the time gave me his first CD. He has all the taste, feel, attitude, phrasing, and technique you could ever hope for in a guitar player. I’ve watched countless live clips of Eric improvising with some of the world’s best players and his performance is always jaw dropping. This is a player that should be a household name, he is one of the best the world has to offer.” It’s almost like you can’t control how things can inspire you.”

Can you offer any tips for more syncopated rhythm playing, staying in the pocket of an off-beat? “I think studying a lot of reggae will put you right in that mode. It wouldn’t be a specific album, but Bob Marley was genius. Put on any Bob Marley record and by the end you’ll be that much better with the upstrokes on the two and four. I used to listen to a lot of reggae guys earlier on in my career. And Lauryn Hill turned me onto a lot of that. Through her I learned these other spices that I slowly started incorporating into my playing, but always making sure it sounded like me.” Eric Gales’ new album, Middle Of The Road, is out 24 February on Mascot

Photography: rick Kern/WireImage adam Gasson Olly curtis

people seem to think I’m more influenced by Jimi Hendrix than I actually am in reality. I’m listening more to guys like Eric Johnson, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, jazz cats, church cats, fusion cats, the whole of it.”


Always leave ’em wanting more…

46

Playing Better gigs Learning the songs is onLy haLf the battLe – but we can heLp you with some of the rest…

T

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

PreParation What happens before you play a gig is vital to success. We’re going to assume you’re well rehearsed before you set foot on the stage, and if you’re making last minute changes to your set make sure all the band is comfortable with them - you don’t want the bassist blanking out before the middle eight that they never quite remembered in practice. Firstly, think about the gig you’re playing; how much time do you have? Time your set a few times in rehearsal (a band that wilfully goes over their allowed slot and cuts into the next act will not win friends on the local scene) and allow realistic gaps between songs for tuning and gear tweaks. You also need to get together backups of all the gear that you absolutely cannot get through

the gig without. We don’t want to be all doom and gloom here, but the old adage ‘If it can go wrong, it will go wrong’ has been proven true for every gigging guitarist eventually. Strings, picks, guitar leads, patch cables, XLR leads, power adaptors… bring spares and never assume the venue will have any of it. That goes for multi-plug adaptors with decent length leads, too. There’s nothing worse than frantically trying to make your amp plug stretch to some far off distant power outlet.

Making friends Timing is everything. Make sure you’re in contact with the venue, and any other bands that are on the bill, beforehand; at the very least you can help each other promote the gig on

Photography: Adam Gasson iStock

here are so many variables and unpredictable factors involved in playing a gig that it would be easy to assume rehearsing, turning up and plugging in are about the only things you can be sure about. But that’s really not the case. There’s so many things you can do to help your gigs go well before you even step onstage, and many of them will be learned with experience. But that’s where cheating comes in. Because the TG team have combined their years of hard-earned gigging experience – all the good, bad and the downright ugly shows we’ve played as guitarists – to help you avoid the mistakes we made starting out and gain the small victories in every gig you play that will add up to a lot. Let’s take it step by step.


playing better gigs Solos are great, but don’t get too carried away with them…

EntEring no Man’s Land The do’s and don’ts of using the gaps between songs in your set don’t audibly noodle pointlessly between tunes, or before your first song. it just smacks of unprofessionalism. Planned intros and outros can bridge the silences for a seamless flow, as can pre-recorded ambient parts on a looper pedal. do use the output mute on your tuner pedal. the audience don’t want to hear your g string, let alone see it.

social media, but also discuss if you need to share any equipment (most commonly this is’ll be backline). Logistics aren’t very rock ’n’ roll but they are crucial to band life. Find out what time you need to arrive at the venue ahead of soundcheck and try to arrive there together and on time, because the other acts can’t wait for you. Think about where the venue is and where you can park for load-in; a speedy drop off with the band’s gear is often the case. Shortly after arriving at the venue and loading in your gear we’d advise finding the sound engineer. They are your new friend; and it doesn’t matter what your first impression of them is, treat them with respect, listen to them and communicate. Buying them a drink won’t hurt either because they are the biggest ally you have at a gig. They will be the ultimate controller of how you sound. They’ve seen many of your kind come through that door, and there will be many more after. And if the sound engineer says you were good at the end of the show, you know you’ve done something right.

soundcheck This is where your relationship with that sound engineer reaches a critical point. Don’t just plug in and start noodling away. Tune up, check your EQ and look to the engineer for instruction. They will likely ask each of you to play to set the levels; no matter how tempting don’t soundcheck with your guitar below the volume you’re really going to play at, then turn up or boost when you start. It will destroy the balance out front. When you soundcheck together as a band after doing it individually, select a song that’s as typical as possible in terms of dynamics and reflective of your sound –an ideal snapshot. And if you’re soundchecking in front of the audience, avoid choosing the opening song and playing it twice. Now is the time to speak up and let the soundman know about how clearly you can hear yourself and any other musicians; if you need more vocal or guitar in the monitor

speakers that provide the onstage sound mix for you (this is not the same mix as the audience hear), let them know. And of course you can do also once the show starts by signalling with hand gestures (not those ones!) and communicating between songs.

the set Make sure all the band can see the setlist by having a copy for each of them (rather than someone annoyingly asking ‘what’s next?’ after every song). A well-paced dynamic setlist can make the night; adding excitement, slowing things down then building up to a crescendo where an encore might be up for grabs – so make sure you have a song in your back pocket for that, too, playing something twice isn’t going to leave the best impression. Now it’s time to start; the soundman gives the nod, the drummer counts in and you’re off… adrenaline picks up, so does the tempo and your nerves. It will take time to settle into a set, we’ve all been there. Just go easy on yourself; choose an opening song that makes a good impression and gets the crowd going, but also consider one you can nail with ease. A strong start can really create momentum that a crowd will respond to as you continue. And if you do make a mistake, don’t let it ruin your night, because, in perspective, the odds are the vast majority of the audience didn’t notice. They’d rather see someone play with enthusiasm and the odd slip-up than go into their shell, static so they can nail every note.

“there’s a balance between being in the moment and outstaying your welcome”

don’t tell jokes to just fill space. and your ‘freeform jazz’ jam to kill time isn’t funny anymore. neither are in-jokes only the band members get. do switch over to clean or use a noise suppressor between songs if you’re using high-gain overdrive. this isn’t a dronecore sound installation and no-one wants to hear all that awkward hiss and static. don’t just stand there in awkward silence if there’s a gear meltdown. Make sure the singer can launch into a solo song or demo Cd sales pitch to save the day while you fix things. do check you’ve got the right effects/ pickup/amp channel lined up for the intro of the next song – it’s very easy to forget when you’re tuning up and absorbing praise from- your adoring fanbase.

And for the lead guitar maestros out there; think about your solo breaks if you’re extending them live. There’s a balance to be struck between being in the moment and outstaying your welcome in the spotlight, to the detriment of the song’s impact.

the afterMath Everyone wants to end with a bang, rather than a whimper. But try to dissuade your drummer from the comedy cliched ‘never-ending ending’ to the set. Go out on the same hit, and leave the audience begging for more, rather than praying for your song to be finally over. When the set’s over and you’ve obviously played a blinder it’s time to jump down off the front of the stage and head to the bar for a well-earned pint! Well no, not quite. The band who plays together, packs away together. We’re presuming you don’t have roadies and if there’s another band on next you need to get the gear offstage fast to avoid cutting into their set. Work as a team to help your bandmates lift anything heavy to a safe spot offstage. Okay, good work, you’ve earned that pint now. march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

47


50

guitar

hacks you need to know

W

48

e live in a world where we’re always looking for shortcuts to help us make the most of the limited time we have. It’s no different with the guitar – we all want to take the time to do things the right way, but sometimes you just want to get on and play. Over the following pages, you’ll find 50 essential hacks to doing just that – easy, quick shortcuts to help you play better, sound better, gig better and get more from your gear…

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Words Chris Bird, Josh Gardner, Rob Laing, Stuart Williams Photography Joby Sessions


50 guitar hacks you need to know

Maintenance Hacks Get your guitar in the finest fettle them into the vibrato, simply feed the strings backwards so that the ball-end is up at the tuners. This may look ugly, but it saves time and hassle!

5 Intonate yourself

1

Reduce Nut FRictioN

If you’re finding that a string suffers from erratic or unstable tuning, it might well be because the string is catching in your guitar’s nut. Sometimes this can necessitate the nut being filed, or even replaced, but before you get extreme, try lubricating your nut slots. You can buy bespoke nut lubricants to do this of course, but a quicker, easier method is to use a pencil in the nut slot of the problem string – the graphite in the pencil lead should smooth up the travel of the strings on the nut and improve your tuning stability.

2 Change Strings Faster

It’s a myth that removing all the strings at once damages neck, but unless you’re oiling the fretboard or cleaning frets, loosening and snipping off all the strings at once is not the best for speed. The more time the strings are off the guitar, the more chances there are for the neck to lose tension through movement, taking longer for it to stabilise again. Instead, restring one by one – it’s quicker, and you’ll need less time to retune.

3

Improve Tuning Stability

Did you know that having too much string on your tuners can cause tuning stability issues, and so can having too little? To reduce the risk of the string slipping when brought up to pitch, aim to have between two to four turns of string on each tuner post, with fewer on the wound strings.

Up Floyd Rose 4 Speed Restringing

Restringing a Floyd Rose vibrato is one of the most fiddly jobs a guitarist can do, and while some faffing is unavoidable, there is one annoying job you can spare yourself if you’re in a rush. Instead of cutting the ball-ends off your strings to feed

Having your intonation right is vital – without it chords and riffs at the dusty end will just sound bad! Thankfully, it’s a simple enough to do yourself, provided your electric has adjustable saddles. Get your guitar and a tuner, then play a harmonic at the 12th fret. Compare the harmonic’s pitch to the note produced when you fret it normally – if it’s sharper, move the saddle backwards slightly, if it’s flatter, move it forwards (remember FFF: fret, flat, forward). Repeat for the other strings and you’ll be intonated perfectly!

Your Strings 6 Snip Without Clippers

Okay, you’ve restrung your guitar but there are no clippers to be found. All is not lost - you can clip your strings with nothing more than your hand and some elbow grease. Firstly, take your loose bit of string and bend it against the machinehead so that it bends sharply against the string hole. Then bend the it back and do the same the opposite way. Repeat this a few times until the string snaps, and repeat. This is much easier with the higher strings, wound ones can take some elbow grease, but it will work – it also clips them right at the tuner, meaning no more sharp ends to potentially stab you!

7 Make Strings Last Longer

To a greater or lesser degree, we all sweat from our hands when we play guitar, and over time if left untouched, this will corrode your strings into a dull, lifeless mess. So, whenever you finish playing, take a dry cloth and rub down your strings to get rid of any moisture, and notice how your strings now stay bright and zingy for longer. If you

8

Get New Strings In Tune Quicker

How often have you restrung a guitar only to find that the damn thing won’t stay in tune properly? Well, grasshopper, that’s because strings need to stretch and settle for a bit. Annoying, but good news – you can speed the process up yourself easily! Starting with the low E string, simply grip the string about half way along its length, and pull it up off the fretboard – not too much, it’s not a bow and arrow, just until you feel it get taught – release, and repeat! Do this a few times on all your strings, and you’ll find your tuning much more stable.

9

set PickuP HeigHts

To get the best out of your guitar, the pickups need to be set at the right height – the closer they are to the strings, the louder they’ll be, but that’s not what it’s all about. Humbuckers are the simplest – fret the top and bottom E strings at the final fret and using a ruler, adjust the humbucker’s side screws until treble and bass sides both sit evenly 2.5mm beneath the fretted strings. Single coils are more complicated – Strats should be adjusted to sit with the treble side slightly higher than the bass for a good tonal balance. Fret the two outer strings at the final fret, then adjust the pickups so the polepiece tops sit 2.5mm and 3.5mm from the treble and bass E strings respectively. One thing to watch out for with single coils is wolf notes – these occur when the pickup’s magnetic field is too close to the string’s field of movement, preventing it from vibrating naturally. If you hear these, back off!

want to be extra conscientious, try washing your hands before you play, too!

10 Trim Strings Perfectly

Knowing how many winds you need is all well and good, but how do you do it right? Well, if you have a Fender-style six-in-a-line headstock you trim your strings to the right length before you even start winding and still get the right number of turns. It simple really – as you fit each string on the headstock, simply measure your excess to the length of the next string’s tuning post and then clip the rest off before winding it on. Of course, this trick won’t work with a three-a-side ’stocks…

49


Cover feature Modding Hacks Become the MacGyver of gear theory making the guitar more resonant. However, doing this creates a steep break angle between the bridge and the tailpiece, making bending harder. The solution, as popularised by Joe himself, is to string the tailpiece ‘backwards’ as if it’s a wraparound bridge – this decreases the break angle, leading to easier bends and (allegedly) increased resonance with minimal hassle. Simple!

Home Made Strap-Locks 13 Cheap

Even if your strap isn’t crying for help by repeatedly falling off your guitar’s button, it could easily still happen in the heat of the moment onstage. You make a functional strap lock by fitting an old washer over the strap button to stop it popping off. The red rubber washers from big Grolsch bottles are an old favourite (especially as they come with lager!) but you can use rubber plumbing washers as an alternative. If you want an even firmer option, unscrew the pins and using metal washers with the right sized holes.

Stop Your Controls Easily 14 Turning 50

11 imPRovise a quick caPo

There’s nothing more frustrating than being caught short of a capo, but if you’ve forgotten yours, all you need to create an improvised substitute is a pencil and a rubber band! Simply lay the pencil over your strings in the allotted place, and then wrap the rubber band around each end a few times until its tight and the strings sound cleanly. If you’re without a pencil, you could try a pen, a fork… anything that’s flat, straight and sturdy!

Your Les Paul More Resonant 12 Make

Joe Bonamassa is the king of the modern Les Paul, but he also does something unconventional with his bridges. JoBo, like many other LP users, thinks that they sound better with the tune-o-matic tailpiece screwed all the way down, improving the connection between wood and strings, and in ToTal GuiTar march 2017

There’s nothing more frustrating than accidentally knocking your control knob mid-song and mucking up your tone – or worse, cutting it altogether! If your knobs are so easily turned that this is a regular problem, there’s an easy fix. Simply remove your control knob and slot a rubber washer or O-ring (available from any DIY shop) over the post. Pop your knob back on and the washer will cause the friction between your guitar’s body and the knob, making it much harder to turn. A word of caution – if your guitar has a nitrocellulose finish, the rubber washer could potentially mark or even damage the finish, so do this at your peril!

A DIY String Mute 15 Make

String mutes are used by shredders to tame noise, overtones and sympathetic harmonies while they blaze up and down the neck. If you find yourself needing one in a jam, an old hair tie will do the job instead – fluffy ‘scrunchies’ are best, but any one will do in a pinch. And if you’re really desperate, loosely tying a (clean!) sock around your neck will do a passable impression, too!

16

give YouR stRat a BRidge toNe coNtRol The Stratocaster bridge pickup is an immensely versatile beast, but one that’s caged thanks to the lack of a tone control in Leo Fender’s original configuration. Thankfully, changing this is a very simple fix that guitarists have been doing for decades. First, locate the wire connecting the Strat’s second tone pot to the pickup selector switch (it’ll be connected to the middle pickup at this point). Unsolder this, and move it one tag towards the middle of the switch and solder it back up. Done! Want to test it out? Crank up your gain and knock the tone down to about halfway, and you’ll find that polite single coil sounds suspiciously like a humbucker!

17

Create An Emergency Plectrum If you’re a pick player, getting caught without one can be a nightmare, but don’t fret - you already have the solution at hand. Look in your purse or wallet we’ll bet there’s more than one loyalty or membership card in there you’re never going to use again, so let’s put it to good use. Simply take a scissors, cut out a shape that suits your pick presence… and voila! One emergency pick.


50 guitar hacks you need to know

Playing Hacks Play better with less perspiration Up More Accurately 19 Tune

Do you struggle to get your guitar as perfectly in tune as you’d like? Flip your guitar onto the neck pickup and roll the tone all the way down – this will reduce the overtones that can confuse electronic tuners, and give you a clearer signal with which to get yourself in perfect pitch.

With Different Picks 20 Experiment

Your volume and tone controls have huge expressive potential

They say tone is in your hands but it’s also in your plectrum, too, and a change in habits can have a real impact. Lighter gauges can be great for strumming feel, but they also encourage you to approach notes and vibrato in a more considered way. And if you’re not cutting through rhythmically, a heaver pick can help. Try a few different textures and gauges of pick and you’ll see what we mean.

Your Controls As 18 Use An Instrument There’s massive potential to change your tone at your fingertips. Here’s four ways to use your guitar’s controls to get useful sounds without touching your amp or pedals:

1. Violining for expressive licks CD TRACKS 22-23 For Jeff Beck-style volume swells, turn your guitar’s volume down then gradually raise it as you play a note for a smooth, violin-like crescendo. It’s easiest on long notes where there’s time to coordinate all the movements. Generally, guitarists stretch out their fourth finger to reach the volume control as they pick. Alternatively, use a volume pedal if you have one.

2. Volume controlled gain boost CD TRACKS 24-25 Welcome to the handiest boost around. Turn your guitar up to max and then set your amp to the point where you’re happy with its medium to high gain tone. Now dial back your volume and it will start to clean up as well as becoming quieter, leaving you a boost to call on mid-song when you turn up. We’ve gone from light drive to dirty in our hard rock audio example.

3. Two pickups. Two gain settings CD TRACKS 22-23 If your guitar has a volume control for each pickup (such as on a Les Paul) you can set a medium drive tone on one pickup by lowering its volume to halfway, and a high gain sound on the other by keeping the volume maxed. Just flick your selector switch to change gain. We set up a cleaner neck pickup and a higher gain bridge pickup on our funk-rock audio example.

4. Woman tone Get in the smooth ballpark of Clapton’s fabled Cream tone by choosing the middle position on a two-humbucker guitar, turn the bridge pickup’s tone to zero, add some overdrive and crank your amp’s treble.

22

Create Instant Dynamics With Your Picking Hand Placement It’s very easy to fall into default comfortable positions with our guitars, especially where we hit the strings. But where you pick in relation to the pickup can directly effect the sound and utilising it can give you new dynamics. Try playing over the pickup you’re not using for a more acoustic-natured sound, now switch to the pickup you have selected – instant boost that cuts. The same dynamic principal applies to playing away from an acoustic’s piezo or soundhole pickup, or indeed soundhole if you’re unplugged.

21

quicklY FiNd HaRmoNics aBove tHe last FRet

To master Van Halen and Dimebag Darrell style pinched harmonics (aka ‘squealies’), you’ll need to target your pick at a specific point on a string. Get started the easy way. If you’re playing below the 12th fret, target your pick 24 frets higher than the fretted note. If you’re playing above the 12th fret, aim 12 frets higher. Work out the exact spot in relation to your guitar – the harmonic might be in line with a pickup, a scratchplate screw, top horn, and so on.

Target your pick 24 frets above low notes…

…But 12 frets higher than notes past the 12th fret

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

51


10 Tuning hacks Get your guitar in tune then get creative with a handful of alternative tunings using TG’s sim hacks in tune. 23 Get Use a tuner!

tuner? 24 No No worries!

EADGBE EADGBE

52

The electronic tuner is an essential bit of gear designed to help you adjust your guitar strings to the right pitch. Hardware tuners are affordable and there are loads of free tuner apps for smartphones. You just need to know the name of the strings (EADGBE from low to high); the gauge tells you when the string reaches the right note as you adjust your guitar’s tuners. Tighten the string to go up in pitch or loosen it to go down.

28

D A D F# A D down two semitones

down one down two down two semitone semitones semitones

Change your tuning from standard to open D (D A D F# A D) and your guitar’s open strings produce the bright sound of a D major chord – that’s because the notes of a D chord are D, F# and A. It also means you can play major chords simply by barring across all six strings with your first finger. Easy! Retune the first, second, third and sixth strings. The fourth and fifth strings are the same as standard. 1

D

1

A

1

D

1

F#

1 1

A

D

D chord in open D tuning ToTal GuiTar march 2017

B

Drop D: The 26 one-finger powerchord trick

Due to some very complicated physics at play, no guitar is ever 100 per cent in tune at every note on the fretboard – and when using the 5th fret tuning method mentioned in the last hack you may find the higher notes on your instrument sound less ‘in tune’. If a song you play is based higher up the neck, try tuning with notes in that range of the fretboard for more accurate intonation. Your tuner picks up the notes whichever fret you’re on.

DADGBE down two semitones

Make powerchords easier by tuning to drop D. All you do is lower your sixth string by two semitones (the same as two frets) from E to D. You’ll be able to play one-finger powerchords by barring across the three bass strings at the same fret. Soundgarden’s Outshined is a great drop D riff. X

30

Fix minor problems with open D minor tuning

E

Use Open D for one-finger major chords

12

Take a look at the picture above and you’ll see that open strings are tuned to the 5th fret on the adjacent lower string. The only exception is the second string, which is tuned to the 4th fret of the third string. To tune up, simply choose the string you think is already most in tune, then adjust the strings on either side – and keep going till you’ve tuned every string. Needless to say you’ll also develop your ear doing it this way.

Tuning trick 25 for more accurate intonation

X

X

X

X

X

G

B

E

1

E

3

4

A

D

1

1

1

D

A

D

B

G D

G

A

D A

DADFAD down two semitones

into 29 Slide open G tuning

Open D tuning has one key drawback: if you’re playing one-finger major chords it can be difficult to adapt the shape when a minor chord crops up. The solution? Tune to open D minor instead – this allows you to play one-finger minor chords that are much easier to adapt when you want to play a major chord. If you’re in open D, simply lower the third string a further semitone to get to D minor.

DGDGBD down two down two semitones semitones

down two semitones

Just like open D, the idea here is to tune to the notes of a major chord, G this time, to give you a brighter sound and easy one-finger major barre chords. Open G (D G D G B D) was a favourite of slide player Duane Allman, and Keith Richards uses his own five-string version of the tuning, removing the lowest string from his guitar all together – a vital part of the Rolling Stones’ sound. Retune only your first, fifth and sixth strings.

down two down two down two semitones semitones semitones

12

1

1

1

1

1

1

12

1

1

1

1

1

A

D

2

D

A

D

F

A

D

Dm chord in open D minor tuning

D

A

D

F

D chord in open D minor tuning

E

G

B

E

F5 chord in standard tuning

F5 chord in drop D tuning

Cut through 31 a mix with Nashville tuning

EADGBE up 12 up 12 up 12 up 12 semitones semitones semitones semitones

If you need a tighter, brighter sound to make strummed chords cut through a mix, Nashville tuning might just do the trick. Simply replace the four bass strings on your guitar with their ‘octave-up’ counterparts from a 12-string set. This removes some of the muddy-sounding bass frequencies, helping your sound to cut through. Take a similar, simpler approach if you prefer and replace only the third string.


50 guitar hacks you need to know

Gigging Hacks Simple steps to better live playing Out Your Strap Height 33 Sort

The low-slung guitar might be universal sign language for being a badass mofo, but there’s a sweet spot. We’re not saying you have to have your top bout tickling your armpit like Albert Hammond Jr, but bashing it around your ankles isn’t conducive to comfortable, accurate playing either. If you’re struggling to play things live that you manage with ease at home just humour us and lift that strap a little– you’ll be surprised how much easier it will feel.

Drop C# 27 and lower dropped tunings

Playing your guitar too high can look a bit rubbish…

Okay this might be obvious to many of you already but if you don’t know it, you’ll thank us! Keep pulling your cable out of your jack socket as you wander around the stage or practice space? Simply loop your cable through your guitar strap and then plug in – et voila! No more pulling your cable out with every innocuous tug or twist of the guitar!

C# G# C# F# A# D# down three down one down one down one down one down one semitones semitone semitone semitone semitone semitone

Drop C# is exactly the same tuning as our old friend drop D but in this case with all six strings tuned one semitone lower than drop D. Remember the drop C# pattern and you can also work out drop C (CGCFAD), drop B (B F# B E G# C#), drop B b (B b F B b E b G C) and drop A (A E A D F# B) by lowering all six strings by a further semitone each time. If your strings buzz try using heavier strings to counter the lower string tension.

Set Your Amp Tone Up For The Stage, 35 Not The Bedroom But have it too low and you’ll struggle to play cleanly…

Retune to make difficult 32 chords easier

5

X

X

1

5

But there’s a sweet spot! Experiment until you find it X

1

2

2

3

3

4

A

E

4 E

A

D

G

B

Aadd9 in standard tuning

E

E

G

B

We hate to say it, but all those hours you spent painstakingly tweaking your amp so it sounds perfect when you’re rocking out at home were fun, but they’re not going to help you much in a live environment. To make your amp sing in a gig or practice, you have to think about your place in the mix. So, for simplicity’s sake let’s say that the bass and drums take up most of the low frequency space, while the cymbals and vocalist occupy the highs – where does that leave you? The middle! SO, when you’re setting your amp at a gig, give the mid control a twist to the right and notice how all of a sudden you can hear yourself cutting through!

Your Small 36 Make Amp Sound Bigger

Andy Summers’s ‘add9’ chord in Every Breath You Take is an infamous finger-twister. Simply raise the fourth string by two semitones (two frets) so the D note becomes an E and the riff is instantly playable with simpler ‘E-shape’ barre chords. Of course, this approach can throw up problems…

X

34

stoP PulliNg YouR lead out

E

Aadd9 with compensated tuning

If you have a small valve amp but are struggling to cut through in a live environment, try kicking in a clean boost pedal into the front end of it. It’ll never make your 1x10 sound like a stack, but a good boost will push the amp harder, bring out more rich harmonics, and increase the amp’s natural compression, which can make small amps sound ‘bigger’ in live environments.

Your Pedals Going In Emergencies 37 Keep

The failsafe way to make sure your pedals keep going is to use a power supply. However, if you find yourself with a dead battery-powered pedal and no time to replace it mid-set, this one’s for you. Keep a standard nine-volt battery in your gig bag, along with a nifty battery clip with the right sized power jack on the end (Maplin and other electronic stores sell them). It’s an instant power supply, and you can buy them for a couple of quid! march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

53


Cover feature Recording Hacks

Gear Hacks

Shortcuts to better cuts

Get more out of what you have

38

use a steReo Pedal to sPlit YouR sigNal

43

use YouR Pedal as a RecoRdiNg iNteRFace

54

You can spend a lot of money on an audio interface to record your guitar, but before you drop your hard earned, check out your multi-effects pedal! Multi-effects have included USB audio outputs for many years now, and it’s the simplest way of getting your guitar signal into your computer. Same goes for modeling amps – just hook it up to your computer, and you’re recording for free!

There are loads of dedicated signal splitters on the market, and they have their merits. But if you want to experiment with splitting your guitar’s signal, or save real estate, scour your ’board for a tuner, modulation or delay pedal with dual outputs. Treat this as your splitter, and it’s your low-cost gateway to the guitar signal dual carriageway!

42 Get Consistent Mic Placement

A Dry Signal 39 Record For Reamping

Get two tracks for the price of one by capturing a dry ‘direct’ version of your playing, as well as your mic’d amps sound when you record. That way, you have a backup if you want to reamp your sound later (if you’re not happy with the recorded sound, for example), or double up your part with an alternate tone. How do you split your signal? Head on over to hack number 43…

The Same Parts 40 InPlayDifferent Tunings

Layering multiple takes of the same part and placing them within your mix can make you sound huge, but why not take it a step further? Play the same part using different inversions of the chords, either with different shapes, tunings or a capo will increase the depth of your multitracked parts without just creating a wall of the same noise. For added variation, be sure to change your amp settings, too.

A Fake Acoustic Sound 41 Create

A great way to add depth and texture to your electric guitar recordings is to capture the acoustic sound of your strings. This is less of an ‘acoustic’ guitar sound than it is percussive, but you’ll be able to layer it amongst your tracks to give some extra character to your recordings. Place a condenser mic near the fingerboard or bridge, but be mindful not to breathe too heavily as you play! ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Getting your mic in the right place to record a guitar amp can be a frustrating process of trail and error, but once you’ve found that sweet spot, save yourself the hassle of having to go through it all again by marking the spot where you’ve found your slice of sonic perfection with a square or X of masking/gaffa tape – some people even mark it with chalk. This also comes in very handy should some clumsy oaf knock the mic out of place on his way out of the room to get a coffee…

Your ’Board From A Tuner 44 Power

Many tuner pedals include a power output socket as well as an input. So, by powering up your tuner with one power supply, you can buy a ‘daisy chain’ of power cables for a few pounds to drive the rest. Just add up the current draw of each of your pedals (the mA rating) and make sure it doesn’t exceed your supply’s maximum, then check they use the correct polarity and you’re done!


50 guitar hacks you need to know

Your Valves (And Make ’Em Last) 48 Change

Your Effects Loop 45 Use

Those sockets you’ve been ignoring on the back of your amp marked ‘send’ and ‘return’? Well, this might be hard to believe, but they do something – and it’s good! Your effects loop allows you to diverting your signal between the pre and power amp stages of your amp. Why? Well, some effects (modulation, reverb, delay, etc) are designed to be placed after your gain has been applied. So, for example, by placing them at this point in the chain, you’ll get a delayed distortion, rather than a distorted delay. You can also choose to place just a couple of pedals in the loop and use it as a way of bringing in multiple effects at once. Not everyone prefers this set-up, and there are no rules, so experiment!

46

Get More Out Of Your Amp & MultiEffects Unit

Are you running your multi-effects unit straight into the front end of your amp? There’s nothing wrong with that, but the mythical four-cable method could help give you extra versatility and make your effects sound better than ever. All you need is an amp with an effects loop, a multi-effects with send and return sockets, and four cables. Plug your guitar into the your effects unit, then run a cable from your effects’ output to the amp’s effects in/return socket on the back. Then, you need to run a cable from the amp effects send into the pedal’s effects return, and finally from the pedal’s effects send into the amp’s main input. This not only will enable you to place effects in the amp’s loop as you would with physical pedals (most modern multi-effects units allow you to choose where the loop occurs in the signal chain), but it can also totally change the character of your amp. If your pedal has built in amp simulations, and you’re prepared to spend a bit of time learning how your multi-effects’ signal chain works, you could bypass your amp’s preamp (the bit that gives it much of its tonal character), and run your amp sim sounds (without cab modelling of course) straight into the power stage for added realism and responsiveness. It might take you an afternoon of fiddling, but the results can be spectacular!

47

Find The Sweet Spot On Any Amp

The sweet spot is the point where you feel your amp sounds best. Yes, it’s subjective and how responsive you judge it can vary according to context, but it’s there. To find it, set your amp at the level you’d usually play at without any pedals or reverb engaged and turn all the EQ settings to 12 o’clock. Now dial down the treble and roll it up until you first notice an audible difference in tone. Do the same for middle and bass. If you have a master volume turn the normal volume setting down and gradually turn it up for the same test. Then use the master to control your level.

Valve amps are great, but tubes don’t last forever. Power valves (NOT preamp valves!) will start to wear out after about a year, depending on how much you use them, and will need to be changed. Telltale signs of wear include weird microphonic whistles, dull, lifeless tone and a noticeable drop in output. Want to extend your valve life? Turn your amp off straight after a gig and let it sit for a few minutes before moving it. Vice versa: when setting up, as soon as you’ve got a power cable to your amp turn it on and let it warm up for as long as you can before you start playing.

Your Effects Loop As A DI 49 Use

If you need to run a DI onstage for monitoring, or in the studio to capture a track fro reamping, you can hack your amp’s effects loop! Simply use the ‘send’ half of it to run a signal out to another device and you’re there. This will only work on some amps (our Blackstar HT Stage 60 does it), depending on how the effects loop is wired. Always make sure you have your speaker connected when trying this, too.

50

get YouR PedalBoaRd iN tHe RigHt oRdeR

Did you know that the order in which you place your pedals in your signal chain has a significant impact on your tone? It does, and while there are no ultimate right or wrong answers, there is a generally accepted order that will get the best out of all the effects on your ’board. The start point is generally wah, followed by any EQ or compression pedals. After that it’s distortion/ overdrive effects, then boosts, then modulation effects (chorus, flangers, phasers, etc). Delay and echo should come next, and this is important. A delay pedal basically takes a snapshot of whatever sound is played into it, so if you want your echoes to reflect your full tone, it needs come at the back of the chain. Lastly, we have reverb, which works well in conjunction with delay repeats, and indeed everything else, so stick it right at the back. Finally, don’t forget this is just ‘default’ stuff, and a good start point – experimentation with effects is half the fun, so don’t be afraid to mix up your pedal order and see what happens! march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

55


feature

Guitar shop ammo Texas Blues

Gypsy Jazz

WhaT Is IT? 56

position really well and try using some hammer-ons and pulloffs as an alternative to picking every note.

Generally a high-energy style delivered with overdriven guitar tones, Texas blues grew out of the Lone Star State but is played all over the world today.

key players

WhaT you need To knoW

Stevie Ray Vaughan / Johnny Winter / Dan Patlansky

n Texas-style blues is often played in the key of E so that open strings can easily be mixed in with riffs you play. Check out Stevie Ray Vaughan Pride And Joy. n Use a medium overdrive tone on your amp and select an ‘in-between’ single-coil pickup position on a Fender Stratocaster for a dirty but clear SRV type tone. n Get to know the E minor pentatonic scale in the open

0 o o o o 0

2 2

2

3 3

3

E minor pentatonic scale

texas blues

TRACK 28 q q

# ## 4 œ & # 4 .. œ q =120

T A B

. .

œ

0 0

j q q

œœ

œ nœ #œ œ œ 0 0

2

4

2

3

4

j œ

œnœ œ œ

3 let ring 2 4

3

4 2

E

.. ˙˙˙˙ nœ œ œ œ nœ œ œ nœ ˙ ˙ 3

0

3

2

2

2

Play 4 times 3

0

2 0

3

. .

Ó

0 0 1 2 2 0

This style of riff is played in a shuffle groove, so the downbeats sound twice as long as the upbeats. Keep your picking hand moving down and up constantly and keep your wrist loose and relaxed. The descending lick is based on the E minor pentatonic scale (E G A B D) and makes extensive use of the open strings.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

WhaT Is IT? Pioneered by Django Reinhardt, this jazz style grew out of Paris in the 1930s. Listen out for chromatic licks, swing feel and unusual sounding diminished and dominant chords.

WhaT you need To knoW

n Try playing the notes of a major chord, adding a semitone above each note as you go. This trick spells out an authentic gypsy-style melody.

key players Django Reinhardt / Biréli Lagrène / Remi Harris

n Gitane Guitars make affordable modern versions much like the 1930s Selmer-Maccaferri instruments (popularised by Django Reinhardt) which became synonymous with gypsy jazz. n Get closer to the traditional tone by using silver plated copper or steel strings on an acoustic guitar. If your guitar has a graphic eq, raise the midrange slightly.

x x

1 1 1

1

2 2

2

2

G chord with extra ‘semitone up’ notes

gypsy jazz

3

=

⇥≤ ⇥ ≤⇥≤⇥≤ 0

Every guitarist has their comfort zone – styles of music or certain techniques we default to when we jam. However, if you really want to see improvements in your playing you’re better off trying music that challenges you. With that in mind, here we’re looking at some basics in a handful of styles that you may be less well-versed in. Follow our tips, try our tab exercises and you’ll soon be sounding authentic…

q = 92

q q

b œœœ 4 . &4 . œ T A B

. .

TRACK 29 3

=

œ œœ œ

Bdim7

10 9 10 9

q q

10 9 10 9

¿¿ ¿ ¿

¿¿¿ ¿

A b dim7

bœ œ b œœ

œ œœœ

7 6 7 6

7 6 7 6

¿ œ œ¿ œ ¿¿ œ œ ¿ œ ¿ œœ œœ ¿¿ œ œ Fdim7

¿¿ ¿¿

4 3 4 3

4 3 4 3

¿ 4 ¿¿¿ 3 4 3

j œ

let ring

3

bœ œ bœ

N.C.

4 3

4

œ œ œ bœ 3

5 4

6

C

œ œœ Œ .. œ 5 5 7 8

The Gypsy Jazz rhythm style is very percussive, based on a swung 16th note groove known as ‘la pompe’. Here, play downstrokes on the chords, then a quick upstroke on the muted notes (marked ‘X’ in the tab). Our descending lick in bar 2 pays tribute to Django’s amazing injury-induced two-finger melodic technique.

. .


Bluegrass WhaT Is IT?

Folk WhaT Is IT?

n Think of folk fingerstyle in terms of a bassline and a melody. Generally, the thumb takes care of the lower strings and the fingers play the treble strings. n A basic steel-string acoustic guitar is all you need – there aren’t really any sonic requirements. For strumming, a soft, flexible pick will allow you to attack the strings without getting too loud.

Generally an acoustic guitar style, contemporary folk was huge in the late 60s and 70s and has broadened out ever since, with modern players such as Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg channeling the pioneers.

WhaT you need To knoW n Folk guitar is often based on open major and minor chord shapes played fingerstyle or with strumming. Singersongwriters make use of capos for easy pitch shifting.

key players Bob Dylan / Nick Drake / Paul Simon

folk

TRACKs 30

Photography: Everett Collection Historical / Alamy Stock Photo Ric Carter / Alamy Stock Photo

q =100

Cadd 9

C

. . & 44 .. œœ . œ œ œœ œ .œ œœ œ œ œœ œ œ T A B

. .

1 3 m p

2

1

0

p i

3

3 2

p mp

3 m p

2

3

0

p i

3

Gsus 4

G

œ . œ œ œ . œ . œ œ œ . .. œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 0

2 mp

G

0 3

m p

0

0

p i

1 0

3

p mp

0 3

m p

0

0

p i

0 3

mp

These chords are quite simple, based on open C and G major shapes, but you can use any spare finger to add more melody notes. The other hand fingerpicks the strings so use your thumb to pluck the notes on lowest three strings, your first finger on the third string and your second finger on the second string.

. .

One trick is to use pull-offs from fretted notes to open strings to help you play more quickly.

Crossing over with country, bluegrass is a style of American roots music. Alongside acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo and fiddle are commonly used.

57

key players Clarence White / Del McCoury / Ricky Skaggs

WhaT you need To knoW n Up-tempo bluegrass rhythms follow 16th note strum patterns. Count ‘1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a’ to keep time while strumming along with down- and upstrokes. n Guitar solos are often based in minor pentatonic scales. Add a b5 for tension and a major 3rd for brightness. Play our scale over a G chord to get used to the sound. n Bluegrass guitar often has constant streams of fast notes.

o 0 o 1

1

2

2

3

3

1

3 3 3 3

4

G minor pentatonic scale with b 5th and major 3rd

bluegrass

TRACKs 31

q =125

#4 & 4 .. T A B

. .

N.C. G 5

œ œœ œ œ œ 2 3

œ œœ œ

œ œœ œ

Em7

G 5/D N.C.

G5

œ œ œ œ œ œ .. œ n œ œ œ œ # œ n œ # œ œ œ nœ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ . œ œ

3 3 0 0 0 0

3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0

3 3

3 3

œ .. œœ >

Play 4 times

2

3 3 0 0 2 2

3

0

1

3

1

let ring

3

2

1

3 4 0

3 0 0

3 0 3

. .

Bluegrass is an energetic and driving style, often based on 16th notes. For the opening chords keep your strumming loose so the pick glides across the strings. Our descending lick uses the blues scale with an added major 3rd. Use picked notes, pull-offs and open strings for a smooth, continuous stream of notes.

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


feature Classical WhaT Is IT? Classical guitar is one of our instrument’s oldest styles, dating back to the late 18th Century. Strung with nylon strings and played fingerstyle, classical guitars have a warmer sound than a steel string.

WhaT you need To knoW n Classical guitar is usually played sat down. Right-handed players rest the guitar on their left leg and use a footstool to raise this limb. The posture feels unusual but provides better hand position.

n Fingerstyle instructions are written in music using the PIMA system. The p means thumb and i, m and a refer to the first, second and third fingers. The fourth finger is rarely used. n Try to keep your picking hand quite still, moving your thumb and fingers only for the most economic and relaxed technique. Your thumb should pick to one side of your fingers.

key players Julian Bream / John Williams / Jason Vieaux

classical

TRACKs 32

# 12 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ & 8 .. ‰œ œ.œ œ .œ œ .œ œ.œ œ .œ œ.œ œ .œ .. q.=140

58

T A B

. .

Play 4 times

œ.

let ring throughout

0 0

0

p i m

4

0

0

p i m

5

0

0

p i m

0

0

7 p i m

4

0

0

p i m

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

7

4

p i m

p i m

p i m

. .

w. 0

p

Start by practising the melody on the middle two strings. Fret with your first, second and fourth fingers and pick all the notes with your thumb. You can add the low E string with your thumb too. In between each note pick the open strings with your first and second fingers while allowing all the notes to ring together.

rockabilly WhaT Is IT?

n Dial in a mid-rich, warm valve amp tone and opt for a Gretsch or Gibson big-bodied hollow electric guitar, ideally equipped with a Bigsby vibrato. n Rockabilly soloing often uses doublestops, which means barring across two strings at a time with your fingers. Try a few blues scale ideas, too.

An upbeat country or ‘hillbilly’ tinged form of rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly often follows 12-bar blues patterns with the guitar mirroring basslines with arpeggios on the low strings.

WhaT you need To knoW n Use ‘slapback’-style delay for a rockabilly sound. Set your delay to repeat almost immediately and with just one or two repeats. Delay time is around 50-100 ms.

key players

rockabilly q =140

q q

TRACKs 33 j q q 3

=

w/bar œœ n n œœ œœ œœ œ œ œ #### 4 . œœ n œœ # œœ~~~˙˙Play twice n œ n œ . n œ œ œ n œ ˙ 4 . & œ nœ . œ œ œ œ nœ #œ

T A B

. .

A7

4

4

5

6

7

5

⇥ ≤ ⇥ ≤ ⇥ ≤ ⇥ ≤ 5

5

A7

N.C.

. .

~~~

w/bar

5 5

8 8

7 7

5 5 8 8

7 7

5 5

7

7 7

7

5 5

5 6 5

Rockabilly riffing has an upbeat and bouncy vibe, so keep your picking light and lively. Bring out a twangy tone by picking the strings nearer to the bridge than usual. Maintain momentum by keeping your picking hand moving down and up constantly for both the riff and the doublestop lick.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Photography: Lebrecht Music and Arts Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Brian Setzer / Eddie Cochran / James Burton


ja m T r ac k jam track play guitar with a band!

punk rock Try out your rhythm chops and lead licks as you get jamming over TG’s Sex Pistols-style backing track

T

he verse in TG’s punk track has four powerchords – these are all the same shape and, with a signature solid, chugging sound, they are used extensively in all rock-based styles. You can take a punky ‘play loose’ vibe if you like, but we recommend aiming for fluent changes and tight, steady timing. The chorus moves from the A5 root chord to D5 (for theory buffs, that’s a I-IV change in A) – a popular trick in blues and rock ’n’ roll. Again, for our purposes, these are just basic

powerchords so the same rules as the verse apply. There are few rules with guitar solos in punk, but if you want to aim for a technically accomplished and authentic sound, try out our tabbed lick. Once again, some of these ideas appear in blues and rock ’n’ roll – just ramp up the tempo and dial in some distortion for a punk vibe. Check out songs such as God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols for inspiration and remember to use TG’s scale boxes as a framework for your solos.

Steve Jones was a godfather of powerchord punk

60

scales

T

he major pentatonic scale is a good option for a major key track such as ours – it generally has a melodic vibe, but without the sickly sweet sound of the more complex major scale. Using the minor pentatonic scale over a major key backing is a great trick when you want a contrasting edgier sound.

chords

A

ll of the powerchords (A5, E5 and so on) are the same shape, just played in different fretboard positions. It’s not much of a challenge so focus your efforts on playing crisp, clean changes. A/C# is the only variation on this theme but it’s a simple enough shape to mix in with the powerchords.

x

1

4

1

1

2

9

1

1

4

4

2

1

2 2

5

1

3

3 3 4 4

4

4

4

3

4

A major pentatonic scale (shape 3) 1

1

3

3 3

1

1

A5

C#5

1

3

4

7

x

1

x x

x

x 4

1

x

4

F#5 x

x 5

1

3 4

3 4 4

4 4

A minor pentatonic scale

ToTal GuiTar maRch 2017

x

1

4 4

x

1

2

x

E5

A/C#

D5

Guitars and backing: Jon Bishop Photography: Ray Stevenson/Rex/Shutterstock

A major pentatonic scale (shape 1)

5

1

4

x

2

3 4

1

x

x x

x

x x


backing track (track 59)

jam track / punk rock

This song comes with a backing track on your CD. Simply insert the disc in your player, press play and jam along, guitaraoke style!

jam traCk punk rock Lead lick q = 160

## & # 44 .. 0:17

T A B

. .

C#5

œœ œœ œj œœ œœ œj œœ œœ œj œœ œœ

A5

j4 3œ

12 12 (14 ) BU

RP

RP

RP

RP

12 12 14 12 (14 ) BU

12 12 14 12 (14 ) BU

12 12 14 12 (14 ) BU

12 14

⇥⇥

⇥⇥

⇥⇥

j œ

F#5

E œ œ œ œ~~~~˙

5

1

BU BD

12 (14 ) (12 ) 10

12

⇥ ⇥

~~~~

C#5

A5 1 1

œœ œœ œj œ œœ œœ œj œ œœ œœ 3

5 5

5 5

BU

7 (9)

⇥ ⇥⇥

5 5

5 BU 5 7(9)

⇥ ⇥⇥

5 5

5 5

⇥ ⇥

F#5

~~~~

E5

nœ #œ œ œ ˙ ~~~~ 1

5

2

6

3

2

7

⇥ ≤ ⇥ ≤ 7

[7 ]

.. . .

This Steve Jones-inspired lick is essentially a traditional rock ’n’ roll line, sped up and given a bit more drive. In bar 1 use your third finger for the string bend and use your fourth finger on the first string. In bar 3 you’ll need to change position and play the 5th fret notes with a first finger barre.

jam track

Never Mind The Anar ch y

61

Cheat sheet

Tempo: 160bpm Time signature: 4/4 key/scale: a major / a major pentatonic

Verse

||: A5 / C#5 / | F#5 / E5 / | A5 / C#5 / | F#5 / E5 / | | A5 / C#5 / | F#5 / E5 / | A5 / E5 / | A5 A/C# A5 / || chorus

||: D5 / / / | F#5 / E5 / | A5 / D5 / | A5 A/C# A5 / :|| Breakdown

||: E5 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / D5 A/C# E5 || It always helps to take a little time to look through the chord chart and think about the track as a whole. Each section is repeated a few times so don’t blow your best licks on the first pass – try instead to play simple ideas early on then develop those lines as the track progresses.

maRch 2017 ToTal GuiTar


n et l ic k s

62

Photography: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


video

Three delay riffs

www.bit.ly/ tg290video

tg’s online Video lessons

Three delay riffs As U2 plan a summer tour celebrating the Joshua tree’s 30-year anniversary we thought we’d look at the effect that defines the genius of the edge…

Y

es, to celebrate Dave Evans’ favourite effect this month we’re looking at three riffs that use delay. But not just a generic, textural sound, where the delay’s primary job is simply to fatten the tone – instead, all three of this month’s riffs use timed delays. The idea is that if you know a

song’s tempo you can set a delay effect to repeat with a specific timing (measured in milliseconds) altering your rhythms with quantised accuracy. All you need to know is the song tempo and the delay time in milliseconds. Broadly speaking, you’ll either time the repeats to fall on the other notes you play or in

between them (these ideas do overlap, of course). In the first scenario you can effectively harmonise with yourself (such as in Foo Fighters’ Aurora); the second option is a more rhythmic approach - The Edge transforms eighth note riffs into 16th note rhythms by timing notes to fall in between.

63

U2 – Where The STreeTS have No Name

PiNk Floyd – rUN like hell

Foo FighTerS – aUrora

WTSHNN showcases The Edge’s trademark ‘dotted eighth note’ delay. The U2 man’s trick is playing eighth notes in the riff but setting his delay to repeat on every dotted eighth note (one and a half eighth notes), resulting in repeated notes falling between the notes he plays. Tempo and delay times must be accurate or your repeats will be in the wrong spot! The riff is a six-note phrase played 15 times. Get the feel of the recording by letting the first and second string notes ring out together but give third string notes more of a abrupt sound just - lay your first finger over the strings for the ringing notes and lift off the third string promptly after each note for a staccato feel.

David Gilmour’s classic riff is a tricky little number, both to play and to set up with a delay pedal. Essentially it’s the same dotted eighth note as our U2 riff - just a little slower. If you only have a basic delay pedal, set up a dotted eighth delay and stick with that. For a more authentic sound you’ll need a stereo amp and a dual delay with the dotted rhythm panned to one side and a straight quarter note delay panned to the other side. You’ll be descending the neck with a run of chords. The changes can be tricky at first but the shapes aren’t too challenging. The main challenge comes as Gilmour plays a down-down-up single note line between each pair of chords. Practise slowly with your delay switched off at first.

Although perhaps not a better known Foos riff, this opening line is a great way to get started with delay. Unlike the complicated setups of our U2 and Pink Floyd riffs this is a basic eighth note delay. The notes you actually play are also eighth notes, meaning the delay repeats fall bang in time with every note you fret - no broken rhythms here. However, this is still a timed effect so that delay time of 244ms only works if you play at the song tempo. Hit the wrong speed and your repeats won’t be in time. We’re looking at the first eight bars of the track. The band mix things up live, but these eight bars form the core of the riff. Try to remember it as the four three-note phrases and one four-note phrase shown in TG’s video.

CheaT SheeT…

CheaT SheeT…

CheaT SheeT…

appears at: 0:42-1:17 Tempo: 125bpm Key/scale: D major delay time: 360ms repeats: 7-8

appears at: 0:22-0:55 Tempo: 117bpm Key/scale: D major / D minor delay time: 384ms / 512ms repeats: 6-7

appears at: 0:00-0:16 Tempo: 123bpm Key/scale: A major delay time: 244ms repeats: 1-2

Tg TiP The first repeats your delay produces need

Tg TiP All of the chords are three-string shapes

Tg TiP Use downpicking for the vibe of the original

to be as loud as the notes your play ‘directly’

played over the open fourth string

or down-up for the Foos’ live feel

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


bb king the thrill is gone Practise your picking dynamics and take your solos to the next level with this classic blues ballad from the King Of The Blues

64

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


cl assIc T r ac K

N

ever underestimate the importance of picking dynamics. Many of BB King’s licks in The Thrill Is Gone switch between loud and soft, and he is one of the most expressive soloists of all time. Dynamic markings are often shown in sheet music, but with BB these aren’t really appropriate – switching from loud to soft is part and parcel of his playing. To emulate the King it really is a matter of ‘feeling’ his style. A simple exercise can help you develop your playing dynamics: take one note and pick from your loudest to your very softest levels. It’s surprisingly tricky to make this sound smooth but it will help you control your playing. With the exercise under your belt, have a go at some of BB’s licks and think about how the level of each note affects the overall feel.

soUnd adVice Everything you need to know before playing ‘The Thrill Is Gone’

Get the tone

he used in his later years is a semi-

gain

bass

mid

1

es-335 without f-holes and with gibson’s for using a lab series l5 amp – long since discontinued. so, although the tone is fairly simple, it’s hard to reproduce accurately. We’d opt for a middle position humbucker setting and, assuming you are using a modelling amp, opt for a Fender twin reverb or similar. lower your midrange to approximate the effect of the varitone or experiment with a graphic eQ for more accuracy.

scales

B

7

1

3 4

Bm

1

1

1

1

1

2 3

4 4

4 4

4

4 4

B minor pentatonic scale (shape 2)

x

1

1

1

2

2 2

4 4

4 4 4 4

2

2

1 3 4

F#7

2 2

Guitars and backing: Phil capone Photography: David redfern/redferns/Getty Images

1

1

3

4

1

1

3 3

B minor pentatonic scale (shape 1)

Em x

1

1

9

2

3 4

4

65

B’s lead lines are based in the B minor pentatonic scale and he uses mainly shapes 1, 2 and 5 (there are five commonly used shapes). As ever, if you practise the scales then the music makes a bit more sense. Perhaps also take a look at some of BB’s string bend licks (marked BU and BD in the tab) to see how he mixes in non-scale notes for a more expressive feel.

1

1

7

2 3

acoustic design based on a gibson

reverb

‘varitone’ tonal circuitry. He’s best known

x

1

treble

select the middle position on an es-335 or les Paul type guitar so that both pickups are engaged.

T

1

signature guitars of them all – lucille. there were several

the years, but the signature model that

here aren’t really any guitar chords in this track but it is useful to have a few shapes under your belt so that you can outline the harmony of the strings and keyboard should you wish to. These four shapes should get you through the whole tune.

1

b has one of the most famous

guitars that bb christened lucille over

chords

7

b

cHannel overdrive

Gmaj7

B minor pentatonic scale (shape 5)

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


cl assIc T r ac K

bb king

the thrill is gone full tab

Play Guitar With... B.B. KinG (guitar tab, with backing track, 40pp, £14.95 ref. am951874) six of his greatest hits’ backing tracks specially recorded on cd alongside the matching music book, which features both standard and guitar tab notation of each song, plus chord symbols and complete lyrics for vocalists. includes ‘every day i Have the blues’, ‘the thrill is gone’ and ‘Woke Up this morning’. available from: www.musicroom.com

the thrill is Gone music and lyrics by roy Hawkins and rick darnell © 1951 Universal music limited. UK/eU reproduced by kind permission of music sales ltd Us/canada reproduced by kind permission of Hal leonard corporation all rights reserved. international copyright secured.

bb king the thrill is gone intro

˙~~~~~~~~~ œ. .

q = 90

# 4 drum fill & #4 66

œ œ. œ j œ œ 1/4

Bm

7

T A B

~~~~~~~~~

1/4

~~~~~

1/4

7

10

7

10 BU 9 (11 )

1/4

7

7

9

7

9

9

. œ œ

~~~~~~ œ œj œ œ

œ œ œ œ~~~~~œ

œ œ œ.

7

9

~~~~~~

BU 9 (11 )

7

Ó

7

1

& T A B

##

j œ

. œ~~~~~~ œ œ~~~~~~ J Œ

œ œ #œ œ #œ nœ

Em

~~~~~~ 10 7~~~~~~

Œ

PB10

BU 10 (12)

7

10

RP

BD BU BU (11) (12) (13) (12)

œ œ~~~~ Œ

œ~~~~~~ œ~~~~~~ œ œj œ

œ

Bm

j œ

~~~~~~ 7~~~~~~ 7

BU

10 (12)

10

~~~~

BU

10 (12)

10

œ.

œ~~~~

7

7

~~~~

6

Gmaj 7

œ œ œ œ œ~~~~~ œ. ## & 1/4

1/4

1/4

T A B

10

1/4

12

12

10

~~~~~ 7

7

F#7

Œ

œ

j œ

œ œ

BU BD 12 12 (14) (12)

Œ

j . œ œ

Bm

10 12

10

œ œ 1/4

œ œ~~~~ œ J ‰

1/4

1/4

7

10

~~~~

7

œ.

Œ

Œ

. œœ

1/4

10

7

7 7

10

the lick in bar 7 is created by continually bending the first string up in semitone steps, without releasing the bend between each note. Practise one-, two- and three-fret bends, then try fretting the notes without any bends so that you can hear how the bent notes should sound.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


Full tracK + BacKinG (tracKs 60-61)

bb king / the thrill is gone

this song comes with a full demo track and a backing track (minus guitar) on your cd. simply insert the disc in your player, press play and jam along, guitaraoke style!

bb king the thrill is gone Verse 1

# 4 & #4 Œ

1/4

0:31

T A B 1

&

~~~~~~ œ œ . ˙.

~~~~ ~~~~ œ œ œ œ. œ œ. ~~~~ ~~~~

Bm

~~~~~~

1/4

5

##

Œ

7

T A B

7

7

9

7

9

œœ œœ œœ

œœ œœ œœ

7 7

9 9

‰ œœ œœ œ Œ J

Œ

7 7

9

Em

j œ

1/4

Œ

‰ œ

œ œ.

œœ # œœ ..

˙˙

7 7

7 7

9 9

9

Bm

1/4

Œ

œ

‰ œœœ œ

1/4

9 9

11 11

5

1/4

7

7

9

5

&

Œ

1 1

##

Œ

œ œ œ

T A B

5

9

# # Bm & œ. T A B

5

œ œ œ

5

7

5

7

œ œ œ œ œ

œ

7

7

5

7

5

7

let ring

F#7

˙˙

j œ

œ.

Œ.

œ J

3 4

4

5

j œ

9

Gmaj 7

7

j œ

4

9

7

9

˙

4 2

3

12

œ.

œ

œ

7

2

2

œ

œ

œ

w

5

5

6

6

7

67

Fret the doublestops (two notes played at the same time) by barring your first finger across both strings here in this accompaniment part. make sure you only fret the strings indicated because this makes the slides easier to play. it’s a sparse line, so remember to keep all the idle strings silent.

bb king the thrill is gone solo 1

# & # 44 Œ

œ.

Bm

œ

œ œ œ ‰ J 1/4

Œ

1:38

1/4

T A B

7

7

10

12

~~~~~~~~~~

œ œ

œ œ œ ‰ J

12

12

10

PB 12

12

10

12

10

œ

œ~~~~~ œ

Em

1/4

~~~~~ 10

1/4

10

12

œ~~~~~ œ

1/4

Ó

~~~~~ 10

œ. œ. ‰ J

1/4

12

19

19

œ.

œ

12

10

1/4

œ

Bm

j œ

BU

10 (12)

œ

œ

j œ

12

12 (14)

1/4

BD (14) (12)

12

1

œ. œ œ œ ## & ‰ J T A B

10

˙~~~~~~~~~~

BU

œ~~~~~ œ~~~~~ œ œ œ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

10

12

10

7

9

4

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


cl assIc T r ac K bb king the thrill is gone solo 1 (continued)

# œ & #

œ œ œ

œ œ œ.

1/4

œ.

Gmaj 7

1/4

T A B

7

1/4

7

9

9

7

9

7

9

. œ~~~~~~ œ

1/4

1/4 1/4

F#7

œ œ œ œ œ œ 1/4

10

1/4

7

7

7

7

10

7

~~~~~

j œ

œ

œ~~~~

œ

~~~~

BU BD 10 10 (12) (10)

Bm

w~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

œ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

7

9

7

8

Fret bb’s characteristic high staccato note stabs (found here in bar 6, played as 19th fret b notes) with your third finger. Keep the notes short and detached, as indicated by the dots over the note heads. this gives you a fraction of a second to quickly move back down to the 10th fret.

bb king the thrill is gone solo 2

# 4 & #4 Œ

~~~~~ œ œ œ œ

œ.

œ œ

Bm

~~~~~ 7

3:13

T A B

68

7

7

œ œ

1/4

1/4

7

7

Œ

Œ

1/4

1/4

10

10

12

œ œj œ. œ

œ

1/4

BU 12 12 (14)

œ~~~~~ œ ~~~~~

1/4

10

12

12

œ J

œ œ

‰ Œ

BU BD

10

12 (14) (12)

1

# & # ‰ T A B

œ

œ J

j œ

~~~~~ œ œ

œ œ œ

1/4

~~~~~

RP

BU 10 12 (14)

12

j œ

12

12 (14)

1/4

BD (14) (12) 10

œ.

œ

Em

BU

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ œ. œ

œ. J

œ 10

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12

12

œ

œ

1/4

1/4

12

10

œ

œ œ

j œ

œ.

BU BD 12 12 (14) (12)

12

4

& T A B

##

œ

Bm

12

œ 10

œ~~~~~

œ~~~~~~~~ .

~~~~~ 10

~~~~~~~~ 7

œ

œ J

7

7

œ 10

œ 9

œ 7

œ 7

œ

œ

7

9

œ 7

œ~~~~ œ~~~~ œ

Gmaj 7

~~~~ 7~~~~10 7

œ

œ.

œ œ œ œ. 3

10

9

œ

œ

9 10 9 7

7

& T A B

F#7

~~~~~~ œ 3 œ. ## œ J ~~~~~~ 7

1/4

œ J

œ œ œ 3

1/4

10

7

7

10

7

10

œ~~~~~~~

Bm

~~~~~~~

7

Œ

œ. 10

j œ

œ.

œ J

1/4

1/4

BU

9 (11)

œ

9

7

9

7

œ 7

œ 7

œ 7

10

bb King would achieve his signature shimmering vibrato (indicated with wavy lines over the relevant notes) using a fast, rotating wrist action. Fret a note with your finger, then move your whole hand to wobble the string. sometimes bb would release his thumb off the back of the neck to intensify the effect.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


bb king / the thrill is gone bb king the thrill is gone solo 3

j œ

Bm

# & # 44 Œ

nœ œ œ

œ

1/4

3:45

˙~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

œ

1/4

Œ

Œ

1/4

BU BD

12

10

12

~~~~ j #œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ 1/4

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1/4

12 (13) (12) 10

T A B

œ

~~~~

1/4

12

10

12

BU BD BU 12 (13) (12) 10 12 12 (14)

12

1

&

##

T A B

~~~ œ

œ~~~~~~ œ

œ J

1/4

~~~

~~~~~~

1/4

10

10

œ

10

12

œ

œ.

œ.

œ.

œ.

œ.

œ.

œ.

œ

œ œ œ.

7

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

9

œ

œ

j œ

10

j œ

œ~~~~~~~

BU

9

~~~~~~~

œ J

10 (12 )

7

4

&

##

j œ

œ.

BU 10 (12)

T A B

~~~~~~ œ ˙

œ

~~~~~~ 7

7

œ

œ

œ

œ

Œ

1/4

1/4

~~~ œ~~~~~ œ œ ~~~~~ ~~~BD

œ

œ

œ

10

10

1/4

œ

RP

1/4

7

1/4

7

7

9

10

10

BU

10 (12)

(12)

1/4

(10)

7

12

7

# & # T A B

j œ

œ

BU

10 (12)

œ BD

(10)

j œ

œ~~~~~~~~

BU

~~~~~~~~

Ó

Ó

Œ

œ

œ

10 (12)

7

9

œ

j œ

œ

œ

BU 9 (11 )

9

7

œ

œ

j œ

7

10 (12)

BU

œ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

10

10

& T A B

~~~~~~~ œ ## œ ~~~~~~~

7

10

j œ

œ œ

BU 9 (11 )

Œ

œ

œ œ.

œ

œ

1/4

œ

1/4

7

9

7

9

9

7

œ

1/4

1/4

9

7

j œ

œ

BU 9 (11)

œ 7

œ 7

j œ

~~~~~ œ œ

BU

~~~~~

Œ

10 (12)

13

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

69


cl assIc T r ac K bb king the thrill is gone solo 3 (continued)

~~~~~~~~ # œ & # œ œ. π ~~~~~~~~

T A B

7

~~~~~~~ œ œ ~~~~~~~

9

9

j œ

œ

œ

œ

œ.

⇥. œ

œ

7

7

19

10

1/4

œ~~~~~ œ ~~~~~

1/4

BU 9 (11 )

7

7

7

œ

10

œ

7

œ œj n œ œ œ

10

BU BD

7

9 (10) ( 9 )

7

16

&

##

œ

œ

1/4

œ

œ

9

7

1/4

T A B

9

7

œ

œ

Œ

œ

œ

œ

7

9

7

œ

œ

j œ

œ

1/4

9

9

j œ

œ

œ

BU

9

9

7 (9)

œ

œ

9

9

œ

œ

~~~~~~~ œ

9

7

9

7

7 5

19

70

&

##

Œ

T A B

œ n œ œ œ œ~~~~~~ œ π ~~~~~~

1/4

BU BD 9 (10) ( 9 )

Œ

1/4

7

~~~~~~

BU 9 (11 )

7

9

œ ~~~~~~ œ

j œ

Œ

Œ

œ

œ

1/4

1/4

1/4

7

~~~~~~~

1/4

7

7

22

&

##

Œ

T A B

j œ

~~~~~~~~~~ œ œ

Œ

~~~~~~~~~~

Œ

j œ

œ

π

BU 7 (9)

BU 9 (11 )

œ~~~~~~~~ Œ BD

~~~~~~~~

Œ

j œ

~~~~~~~~~~~ œ ˙

BU

~~~~~~~~~~~

10 (12)

(7)

25

# & # ΠT A B

œ. 7

œ œ ˙~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Œ 9

7

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9

j œ

˙~~~~~~~~~~~~~

œ

BU 7 (9)

BD

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(7)

Œ

j œ

œ

œ

BU BD (7) 7 (9)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ˙

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9

28

the opening phrase in bar 1 involves bending the first string, releasing it, pulling off and then adding a quarter-tone bend – and all without re-picking. to make sure the last note rings clearly, use a sideways flicking motion when you play the pull-off, so you effectively re-pick the string.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


learn to pl ay open-mic songbook

Thom Yorke’s simple but effective acoustic playing is the bedrock of ‘High And Dry’

radiohead high and dry learn this classic 90s alt-rocker and you’ll soon be creating your own big, jangly riffs – guaranteed to sound cool on acoustic or electric

H 72

igh And Dry was Radiohead’s sixth single and the first to be released from their critically acclaimed, multi-platinum selling, second album, The Bends (1995). The song is typical of the band’s signature alt-rock sound during this period: a clever mix of strummed acoustic work, grungy powerchords and a quirky, biting guitar solo. In our lesson we’re looking at Thom Yorke’s strummed intro acoustic part which comprises a handful of twostring octave shapes with open first and second strings over the top. You’ll need to hold the octaves firmly as you change

position and take care to angle your fingers so that the fourth string is muted. This particular note will clash if you accidentally hit it. This ‘octave and open strings’ technique can be used to create cool and unusual sounds exclusive to the guitar. You could easily move the octave shape farther up or down the fretboard to embellish the basic melody line or even create your own new musical ideas. HigH and dry Music and lyrics by Thom Yorke, Jonathan Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Edward O’Brien and Philip Selway © 1994 WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC LTD. WB MUSIC CORP. U.S/Canada Reproduced by kind permission of Alfred Music Publishing. UK/EU reproduced by kind permission of Faber Music Limited All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured

radiohead high and dry Intro q = 86

E/G #

# # # 4 œœ & # 4 ⇤ œœ 0:05

F # m11

. 1300 . 11 11 11 11 ≤ ⇥ ≤ ⇥ 1

T A B 3

E5

œ 0

œœ œœ

œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ

œœœ œ

œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ

œœœ œ

0 0 13

0 0 13

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

≤ ⇥ ≤

11

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

0 0 11

0 0 11

0 0 11

0 0 11

0 0 11

0 0 11

0 0 13

9

⇥ ≤

11

9

9

9

9

œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ 0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

9

1.

œ 0

0 0 13 11

Asus 2/E

11

E/G #

œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ

œœ œœ

œœ . œœ .

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 0 0 0 0 13 13 13

7

7

7

7

7

11 11 11

. .

œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ

2.

œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœœ .. œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ n œœœ œ .. œ > 0

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

0 0 9

7

7

7

7

7

7

For a solid groove keep your strumming hand moving in a constant down-up motion. The picking directions shown below bar 1 apply to all five bars of music – just remember that you have to fit in the extra ‘slide’ chord in bars 1 and 2 without picking it. Practise just one bar of music until you start to get a feel for the rhythm.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Guitars and backing: Phil Capone Photography: Diana Scrimgeour/Redferns/Getty

####

E/G #

œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ .. œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ

0 0 0 0 0 0 13 13 13

T A B

&

œœ œœ


backing Track (Track 37)

radiohead / high and dry

This song comes with a backing track (minus guitar) on your CD. Simply insert the disc in your player, press play and jam along, guitaraoke style!

song sheet

High And Dry

intro

Verse 2

E/G# F#m11 / / E/G# Asus2/E / / / E5 / / / / / / x2

F#m11 Drying up in conversation

Verse 1

Asus2 E You will be the one who cannot talk

F#m11 Two jumps in a week

F#m11 All your insides fall to pieces

Asus2 E I bet you think that’s pretty clever don’t you boy?

Asus2 E You just sit there wishing you could still make love

F#m11 Flying on your motorcycle

F#m11 They’re the ones who’ll hate you

Asus2 E Watching all the ground beneath you drop

Asus2 E When you think you’ve got the world all sussed out

F#m11 You’d kill yourself for recognition

F#m11 They’re the ones who’ll spit at you

Asus2 E Kill yourself to never ever stop

Asus2 E You will be the one screaming out

F#m11 You broke another mirror

repeat chorus

Asus2 E You’re turning into something you are not

73

Guitar solo

Chorus

F#m11 / / / Asus2 / / / E / / / / / / / x2

F#m11 Don’t leave me high

Middle 8

Asus2 E Don’t leave me dry

F#m11 It’s the best thing that you ever had

F#m11 Don’t leave me high

Asus2 E The best thing that you ever, ever had

Asus2 E Don’t leave me dry

F#m11 It’s the best thing that you ever had

interlude

Asus2 E The best thing you have had has gone away

E/G# F#m11 / / E/G# Asus2/E / / / E5 / / / / / /

Repeat chorus to end

Chords x 11

x

o o

x

1

Four of these chords are octave shapes played against the open first and second strings. They’re the same shape, just moved to different positions on the fretboard and, thanks to the open strings, they have a characteristically exotic sound. Angle your first finger so that the fourth and sixth strings are muted throughout – the fourth string in particular sounds pretty naff if you hit it.

7

x

o o

o o

o

1

1 2

3

9

o o

x

x

1

7

3

3

E5

o o

E

F#m11

x

o

o

o

1 2 3

1

3

3 3

E/G#

x

x

o o

x

4

F#m11

Asus2/E

Asus2

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Turn A rou n D the turnaround licks of the blues legends

john mayer As he drip-feeds his latest album month by month to the world, TG looks at the blues style of the masterful John Mayer

F

rom pop and rock to folk and country, John Mayer has experimented with a range of styles during his career. However, since his 2006 breakthrough album Continuum he has become renowned among guitarists for his blues playing. You can hear - among others - a synthesis of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King and Eric Clapton in his phrasing, topped off with good timing and precise vibrato and bends. He possesses that subtle ability to push and pull against the tempo of the song. To explain this more fully, try playing as far behind or ahead of the beat as you can without crossing

74

the line into ‘out of time’ and you’ll see what we mean. The rhythm stays the same; it’s the urgency of each note that changes. Play ahead of the beat for an upbeat urgent sound or after the beat for a laid back vibe. Go for a smooth, mid-rich overdrive tone that sounds clean with a soft touch (Mayer often plays fingerstyle) or breaks up under heavy pick attack. Many of John’s best known recordings feature a Fender Strat, but this is not essential – he plays a humbucker-equipped PRS live and on much of his newer material so you should be able to dial in a suitable sound with your own guitar.

1 Weighty blues

TRACK 38 j ~~~~~~~~ œ œ œ œ nœ œ œ. œ Œ J ~~~~~~~~

# # # 12 & # 8

q.= 70

E

T A B

11

BU 9 11 11 (12 ) 11

9

‰ œ œ

j œ

œ

BU

11

11

9

12 (14 )

œ [14 ]

A j œ œ œ œ œ œ œj n œ ~~~ œ œ œ œ~~~œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œŒ 1/4

BD

3

(12 ) 10

12

BU 11 (12) 9

11

~~~

3

BU

1/4

10 (12 )

9

11 9

10 8

~~~

9 9

11

This slow 12/8 blues gives you freedom to pull or push phrases against the beat – that means subtly adjusting your timing by barely noticeable amounts. Use the tab here as a guide, then see how far ‘out there’ you can get without it sounding out of time. You’ll be surprised how far that is – this is almost as important as note choice!

2 top Jimi

TRACK 39

œœ œœ œ œ œ j œ œ œ. œ œ

E

# # # 12 & # 8

j œ

T A B

12 12 14

3

12 12

13 11 9

j œ

œœ œœ œ nœ œ œ j œ œ œ 3

9

9 11

9

11

7 7 9

7 7

9

7

9

7

9 9 11

~~~~~~~~~~ œ œj n œ œ œ œ œ~~~~œ œ. œ. œ œ œ Œ.

A

j œ

~~~~~~~~~~

9 11

3

10 11

BU BD 11 (12) (11 ) 9

11

9

~~~~

9

11

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Photography: Frank White

John is massively influenced by Hendrix so here we’re taking a Jimi-style doublestop approach, with a phrase that features slides to move between various pentatonic scale shapes. If you would rather look at the doublestops as chord fragments, that’s fine, too, though you may find the notes change too quickly to think chordally.


Full tracks + backings (tracks 38-44)

the turnaround / john mayer

These tab examples come with audio tracks on your CD. Simply insert the disc in your player, press play and jam along, guitaraoke style!

3 clapton-esque

TRACK 40

~~~~ œ œ √E œ œ j œ œ J ⇥

## & # # 12 8 Œ.

~~~~

T A B

12

14

12

j œ

œ

œ œœœ. œ 3 BD [16 ] (14 ) 12

BUBD BU 14 (16)( 14 )(16 )

j nœ

. œ~~~~~~~~

BU

14

~~~~~~~~

œ œ œ œ ‰

j œ

j œ

BU BD

15 (17)

14 (15 ) (14 ) 12 14

œ.

œ œ œ j n œ ~~~~~ œ œ œ œ Œ. J ~~~~~ 9

A

BU 12 (14)

BU

12

11 (12) 11 9

11

Taking a more lyrical Clapton-influenced approach, this example – like 1 and 2 – is played on the middle pickup of a Strat, though could work on any guitar. Watch for details like vibrato – there is none on the first string bend in bar 2, for example, giving a pure, unspoiled sound that contrasts with the vibrato bend in bar 1. It’s all in the details!

4 blue funk

TRACK 41

~~~~~ œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ . 3 ~~~~~

F # m7 j œ ~~~~ # # # 4 œ~~~~ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ & 4 q =94

~~~~

T A B

11

~~~~

BU 10

11

12 (14 )

10

11 9

11

9 10 9

12

9 10 9

12

9

7

9

7

9

~~~~ œ œ. ~~~~

~~~~ ‰ œœœœœœ œ œ ~~~~

1/4

1/4

7

7

9

7

7 9

9 7

7

9

Ó

9

75 Shifting to a funkier 4/4 groove, this example is played fingerstyle, giving a more varied dynamic feel. Bar 2 showcases some piano style riffing using the b 5 or ‘blue’ note, before getting a little more staccato and rhythmic heading into bars 3 and 4. As with any funky style, the spaces are as important as the notes themselves.

5 feel it in your neck

TRACK 42

# C#7 9

. ### 4 œ œ œ œ & 4 ‰ J T A B

10

11

11

œ

œ

let ring BU

12

12

BU

12

(14 )

# # œ~~~~~~~~ œ n œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ & # ~~~~~~~~ 3

9

12 (14)

BU

12

12 (14 )

12

BU

~~~~~~~~~~

j œ

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

BU BD

12 (14)

12 (14 ) (12 ) 10

12

11

11

10

11

9

11

10

9

1

F # m7

T A B

~~~~~~~~~~B œ œ j œ œ œ œ œ œ œ J

œ

11

3

9

10

11

9

11 9

7

9

œ œ œ œ 9

7

9

7

# C#7 9

œ 9

œ 7

nœ 8

œ œœœ #œ

œ œœœ œ

œ œœœ œ

œ œœœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ

9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

9 9 9 8 9

Moving to the neck pickup and attacking harder with the fingers, this final example picks up the pace with some ‘messy’ Hendrix-style bends and pentatonic runs. It’s actually far easier to play than the transcription makes it look. The C#7#9 chord in the final bar is a typical blues chord but played here in its less common shape.

marcha 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Tab Guide Get more from TG by understanding our easy-to-follow musical terms and signs What is tab? Tab is short for tablature, a notational system used to give detailed information as to where notes should be played on the fretboard. Tab appears underneath conventional music notation as six horizontal lines that represent the strings of the

guitar, from the sixth (thick) string at the bottom to the first (thin) string at the top. On these lines, numbers represent which frets you place your fingers. For example, an A note on the 2nd fret, third string, will be shown as a number ‘2’ on the third line

down on the tab. Unfretted strings are shown with a ‘0’. The key and time signatures are shown in the notation. TG also includes a timestamp to tell you where in the original track you’ll find each example and tempo expressed in beats per minute.

Fret BOXes: chOrds, scales and caPO nOtatiOn Hand labelling 2

3

nut and Fretboard i

1

m

cHord example

o o o o o o

a

o o o

c

4 T

1

p

2

76

3

G Here are the abbreviations used for each finger. Fretting hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, (T) Picking hand: p (thumb), i (index), m (middle), a (annular), c (little finger)

This fretbox diagram represents the guitar’s fretboard exactly, as seen in the photo. This design is used for ease of visualising a fretboard scale or chord quickly.

This diagram represents a G chord. The ‘o’s are open strings, and a circled number is a fretting hand finger. A black ‘o’ or circled number is the root note (here, G).

capo example

capo notation

scale example

o o o

CAPO 2nd FRET >

CAPO 2nd FRET >

o

x

o

4

1

1

2

2

3

4 4 4 4 4

A major scale

d (C)

The blue line in the diagram represents a capo – for this A chord, place it at the 2nd fret. Capos change the fret number ordering. Here, the original 5th fret now becomes the 3rd fret, 7th fret now 5th fret, etc.

1 2 2

3 3

3

A (G)

1 1 1 2 2

Here the chord looks like a C in the tab, but the capo on the 2nd fret raises the pitch to make it a D. The 2nd fret capo’d notes are shown with a ‘0’ in the tab as if they were open strings.

The fret box diagram illustrates the fret hand fingering for the A major scale using black dots for root notes and red dots for other scale tones. The photo shows part of the scale being played on the fourth string with the first, third and fourth fingers.

Guitar techniques: PickinG down and up-picking

tremolo picking

palm muting

pick rake

appreggiated cHord

The symbols under the tab tell you the first note is to be down-picked and the second note is to be up-picked.

Each of the four notes are to be alternate-picked (down and up-picked) very rapidly and continuously.

Palm-mute by resting the edge of your picking hand palm on the strings near the bridge saddles.

Drag the pick across the strings shown with a single sweep. This is often used to augment a rake’s last note.

Play the notes of the chord by strumming across the relevant strings in the direction of the arrow head.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


tab guide FrettinG hand Hammer-on & pull-oFF

note trills

slides (glissando)

Fret-Hand tapping

Fret-Hand muting

Pick the first note then hammer down on the string for the second note. Pick the third note and pull-off for the fourth note.

After picking the first note, rapidly alternate between the two notes shown in brackets using hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Pick the first note and then slide to the next. For the last two notes pick the first, slide to the next and then re-pick it (RP).

Sound the notes marked with a square by hammering-on/tapping with your fret hand fingers, instead of picking.

X markings represent notes and strings that are muted by your fret hand when struck by your picking hand.

bend and release

re-picked bend

pre-bend

quarter-tone bend

Vibrato

Fret the first note (here, the 5th fret) and bend up to the pitch of the bracketed note, before releasing again.

Bend up to the pitch shown in the brackets, then re-pick the note while holding the bent note at the pitch shown.

Silently bend the string up from the 5th fret (PB5) to the pitch of the 7th fret note, pick it and release to the 5th fret note.

Pick the note then bend up a quartertone (a very small amount). This is sometimes referred to as a ‘blues curl’.

Your fretting hand vibrates the string by small bend-ups and releases. Exaggerate this effect to create a ‘wide’ vibrato.

pincHed Harmonics

tapped Harmonics

toucHed Harmonics

BendinG and ViBratO

harmOnics natural Harmonics

artiFicial Harmonics

77

Pick the note while lightly touching the string directly over the fret indicated. A chiming harmonic results.

Fret the note as shown, then lightly place your index finger directly over ‘x’ fret (AH‘x’) and pick (with a pick, p or a).

After fretting the note in the triangle, dig into the string with the side of your thumb as you sound it with the pick.

Place your finger on the note as shown, but sound it with a quick pick hand tap at the fret shown (TH17) for a harmonic.

A previously sounded note is touched above the fret marked TCH (eg, TCH 9) for it to sound a harmonic.

sustained note and diVebomb

gargle

wHammy bar Vibrato

ViBratO Bar / whammy Bar wHammy bar bends

The note is picked as shown, then the vibrato bar is raised and lowered to the pitches shown in brackets.

scoop and doop

Scoop: depress the bar just before striking the note and release. Doop: lower the bar slightly after picking note.

A Note is sustained then the vibrato bar is depressed to slack. The square bracket indicates a further articulation.

Sound the note and ‘flick’ the vibrato bar with your picking hand so it ‘quivers’. This results in a ‘gargling’ sound!

Gently rock the whammy bar to repeatedly bend the pitch up and down. This sounds similar to fret hand vibrato.

Violining

Finger numbering

pima directions

pick Hand tapping

Turn the volume control down, sound the note(s) and then turn the volume up for a smooth fade in.

The numbers in the traditional notation refer to the fingers required to play each note.

Any kind of fingerpicking requirements are shown at the bottom of the tab notation.

Tap (hammer-on) with a finger of your picking hand onto the fret marked with a circle. Usually with ‘i’ or ‘m’.

Others pick scrape

The edge of the pick is dragged either down or up along the lower strings to produce a scraped sound.

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Unplugged

80

YOUR MONTH IN THE ACOUSTIC WORLD

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


Acoustic TRACKS 45-49

The new Academy series is squarely aimed at the budget end of the market

Five ‘SuS’ chord ShapeS

Essential chords to fuel your creativity x

o

o

3 4

2

Csus2 x

o

o

2 3

academy award

4

Taylor releases new range of entry-level guitars

T

aylor Guitars has long courted the budgetconcious acoustic player with its Baby and GS Mini models, but the Californian firm’s new Academy Series – revealed at NAMM 2017 back in January – is its clearest attempt yet at capturing the lower end of the market. Taylor claims that these new

guitars offer the, “best playing experience a customer could ask for in this price range” – thanks to a narrower-than-normal 1.69-inch nut width, lighter gauge strings, and even a mahogany arm rest on the body’s upper bout to improve playing comfort for those not used to the harsh angles of a traditional acoustic guitar shape.

Build-wise we get a matt finish, layered sapele back and sides, solid Sitka spruce tops and electro models use the new ES-B system. The first Academy models are the 10 (£563 or £659 with ES-B), the Grand Concert 12 (£563 and £659) and the nylon-string Grand Concert 12-N (£611 and £707). www.taylorguitars.com

Asus4

81

x

1

5

1

1

1

3

D7sus2

Stage Set IK goes acoustic again

x

I

The Stage promises studio quality sound in a live environment

K Multimedia has launched the iRig Acoustic Stage – a compact digital preamp and digital processor that claims to offer studio-quality live sound for acoustic players. Using the clip-on iRig Acoustic Mic, the Stage clips to your belt, and uses advanced digital wizardry to analyse your sound and builds the ‘optimal tone profile’ for your instrument. This tone can then be tweaked with six selectable presets (three each for steel- and nylon- string) and then outputted via jack lead or USB, and there’s even a giant red ‘Cancel Feedback’ button should squeals rear their head mid-song… www.ikmultimedia.com

1

1

1

7

3 4

E7sus4 x 8

x

1

1

2

4

Fsus2

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Acoustic

Words Matt Parker Photography Jenna Foxton

Ben Walker & Josienne Clarke A Force For reinvention in A Folk duo thAt prizes the clAssicAl And contemporAry in equAl meAsure, we meet the lAtter hAlF oF Josienne clArke And Ben wAlker

F 82

olk is, by definition, music by the like that idea, so I pulled a finger out and playing electric guitar if you can do that sort of people for the people, yet despite started to practise.” stuff?’ recalls Ben. “At the time [around 2008] this, it still suffers from its share It’s easy for rock guitarists to brag about I didn’t know anyone doing folk music, so he of elitist enthusiasts. ‘escaping restrictions’ but it is typically introduced me to Josienne. We hit it off straight “You get it in every genre, ” classical players that unlock far more of the away. She started me off with Nick Drake and acknowledges Ben Walker, who – as a fretboard. Ben’s playing emphasises this: Fairport Convention, then I would spend a long classically-trained guitarist turned folkie – has dextrously exploiting classical technique time listening to Nick Jones, Martin Simpson, more experience with scene police than most. without being snobbish. Instead he’s using it Pierre Bensusan and I tried to bring some of “Jazz musicians get the same cork-sniffing in to expand folk’s vocabulary. what I was doing into that.” certain parts of the audience. You just have to “I’m just trying to do something different, ” It was ultimately the discovery of alternate make the music you want to make and the he explains. “[That said] I’m not a fan of tunings – predominantly DADGAD – that audience will follow you, based on you as a percussive guitar – if you’re going to use two spurred Ben’s biggest breakthroughs. “You’re person and what you’re doing musically.” hands, put a phaser on it through a Marshall forced to play by ear a lot more, ” he explains. As the guitar half of British duo Josienne stack and play Eruption – I often see people in “And you do a lot more fingerstyle, because you Clarke and Ben Walker, Ben certainly has an the folk world play acoustic guitar like electric learn that there are strings you can’t play. So audience – they picked up the BBC Folk award guitar and I wanted to avoid that. I thought, you’ve got this right-hand classical style, along for Best Duo in 2015, count Robert Plant among ‘What can I bring to make it more interesting?’” with a left-hand that you’re trying to use to their fans, and pricked-up the ears of indieIt helps that Ben’s a relatively new arrival on create chordal melodies. It’s a wonderful way of bastion Rough Trade, who released last year’s the folk scene. Following the completion of his playing. You have to start thinking a lot more.” striking fourth album, Overnight. classical grades, he was schlepping around the You can hear Ben’s innovations all over “I’ve never liked to adhere to that sort of London indie circuit for years before a producer Overnight, from the clever double-harmonic on structure, ” continues Ben. “I’d rather go and see friend heard him picking out some Bert Jansch Sweet The Sorrow, through to wrist-aching something and not know what I’m going to get. on a Martin. “He was like, ‘What are you doing piano transcription on Sleep – the required [Classical music, for example], is like a stretches made possible by a Flyde formal dinner, whereas I’d rather turn Falstaff fan-fret acoustic. It’s complex, up somewhere where they go, ‘Right, innovative stuff, but distinctly without we’re going to turn the lights off. What affectation and Ben’s enthusiasm for The folkies’ favourite luthier you get in front of you is what you eat the values of the genre is infectious. Aside from an Alhambra Linea Professional (“The best and you’re going to have to trust us.’” “We did a John Renbourn tribute classical guitar I have ever played”), Ben’s acoustic As such, Overnight plates-up classical concert quite recently with Jacqui stalwarts are built by Roger Bucknall of Flyde guitars, and guitar, a Gillian Welch cover, scatting McShee and it was surreal, ” concludes he’s become part of a younger generation of British folk and 1970s Laurel Canyon influences, yet Ben. “Graham Coxon was making cups artists, alongside Megan Henwood and the recentlystill somehow sounds like the logical of tea for everyone. Wizz Jones was featured John Smith, who are being backed by Bucknall. next step for British folk music – at there and Ralph McTell. These guys “You grow into the instrument and, on a good one, you’ll once pastoral, expansive and crisp. who started the movement are still out keep finding new things about it,” says Ben. “The Much of Ben’s musical dexterity can be there, still perfectly approachable and Alchemist was something I’d been after for a long time attributed to his classical training, an you can still go, ‘Oi! What tunings are so I was completely sold on it. Then [with the fan-fret Falstaff] I was doing a lot of C-based tunings and experience many players tell TG is a you using?’ It’s brilliant, ” y’know?” I wanted something that would drop down but still have process of abject misery. “It was abject that depth, so we settled on 25.5 inches on the short side misery to begin with!” laughs Ben. “But Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker tour the UK and 26.5 inches on the top side – and it works beautifully.” at one point my parents threatened to in April. See www.josienneandben.com sell my £60 Argos guitar and I didn’t for more information

Fylde music

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


interview / Ben walker & Josienne Clarke

“DADGAD is a wonderful way of playing. You have to start thinking a lot more”

83

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


Acoustic Rockschool

oasis

wonderwall Learn the song Noel Gallagher said Oasis never played right, as TG looks at Rockschool’s Grade Two arrangement

T

Technically, Wonderwall is a fairly simple composition, requiring relatively easy strumming skills and some cool extensions to the basic chords that give your ear something to latch on to. By holding down the first and second strings at the 3rd fret guitarist Noel Gallagher produces some interesting sounds. Compare his opening shapes (Em7, G, Dsus4, A7sus4) to the more basic open chords they’re based on (Em, G, D, A) and you can hear how elegant these very simple changes are.

he first thing to note about Rockschool’s arrangement of Wonderwall is that it’s written in E minor to allow you to play in open position without a capo. Oasis’ original is recorded two semitones higher, requiring the use of a capo at the 2nd fret in order to be played accurately. Many players prefer a softer pick for strumming – it’s definitely worth trying, as it enables you to play with a lighter touch and can give the notes a gently percussive timbre.

84

The Rockschool Acoustic Guitar Grade Two book contains everything you need to pass your Grade Two exam in one essential book. For more info, visit: www.rslawards.com

wonderwall Words & Music by Noel Gallagher © Copyright 1995 Oasis Music (GB) sony/ATV Music Publishing All Rights Reserved. International Copyright secured

oasis wonderwall q = 87

E m7

TRACKs 50-51 G

D sus 4

œœ œ œœ œ

œœ .. œ. œœ .. œ.

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œœ

œœ .. œ. œœœ ...

œœ œœ œœ

œœ œœ œœ

≤ ⇥ ≤ ⇥

⇥ ≤ ⇥

3 3 0 2 2 0

T A B 1

E m7

& T A B 3

# œœ œ œœœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ .. œœ .. œœ . . 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 0 2 3

G

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ .. œ. œœœ ... 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œ œœœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

D sus 4

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

⇥ ≤

œœ œ œ

œœœ œ

œœœ œ

œœ œ œ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

A 7sus 4

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

≤ ⇥ ≤ ⇥ ≤

3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

Guitar: James Betteridge Photography: Alex Maguire/Rex/Shutterstock

# 4 œœ & 4 œœ œ œ

A 7sus 4


Full track + backing (tracks 50-51)

oasis / wonderwall

This song comes with a full demo track and a backing track (minus guitar) on your CD. simply insert the disc in your player, press play and jam along, guitaraoke style!

E m7

& T A B 5

# œœ œ œœœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

& T A B 7

# œœ œ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

& T A B 9

# œœ œ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

C add 9

& T A B

11

& T A B

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œ .. œœœ .. œœ . .

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œ .. œœœ .. œ. œ.

G

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ .. œ. œœ .. œ.

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

G

3 3 0 0 2 3

G

œ œœœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 0 2 3

# œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

œ œœœœ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

C add 9

# œœ œ œœ

œœ œœ œ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

œœ .. œ. œœœ ...

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ .. œœ . œœ ...

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ .. œ. œœœ ...

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œ œœœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

D sus 4

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œ œœœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ

œœ .. œœ . .

œœ œœ

œœœ œ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

D sus 4

œœ œœ

œœ .. œœ . .

œœ œœ

œœœ œ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

13

C add 9

& T A B

# œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

A 7sus 4

œœ œœ œ

œœ .. œœ .. œ.

D sus 4

œœ œœ

œœ .. œ. œ.

œœ œœ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

T A B

# œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œ

œœ œœ

œœœ œ

œœœ œ

œœ œœ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

D sus 4

œœœ œ

œœœ œ

œœ œœ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

D sus 4

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

œœœ œ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

E m7

œœ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

A 7sus 4

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

A 7sus 4

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ

œ œœœ œ œ

œœ œ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œ œœœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œ œœœ œ œ

œœ œ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

3 3 0 0

3 3 0 0

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

3 3 0 0

3 3 0 0

D sus 4/F #

œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ

œœœ œ

3 3 2 0

3 3 2 0

œœ œœ œ

œœ .. œœ .. œ. 3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

œ

2

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

œ œœœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

A 7sus 4

3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ

3

15

&

G

D sus 4

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ

œœ œœ

3 3 0 0

3 3 0 0

3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

G

œ

0

œœœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

œœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

3 3 0 2 0

17

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

85


Acoustic oasis wonderwall (continued) C add 9

& T A B

TRACKs 50-51

# œœ œ œœ

œœ œœ œ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œ œœ

œœ œœ œ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

E m7

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

19

C add 9

& T A B

# œœ œ œœ

œœ œœ œ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

E m7

œœ œœœ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

21

C add 9

& 86

T A B

# œœ œœ œ

œ œœœ œ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

E m7

œ œœœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

23

C add 9

& T A B

25

# œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

œœ .. œ. œœ ..

œœ œœœ

œœ œœœ

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 3

E m7

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœœ œœ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œ .. œœœ .. œ. œ. 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ .. œ. œœœ .. .

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

G

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œ œœœ

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œ œœœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

3 3 0 0 2 3

œ œœœ œœ 3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œ œœœ

œ œœœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

E m7

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ

œœ œ œœœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œ œœœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

G

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œ œœœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

G

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œ œœ œ

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œ .. œœœ .. œ. œ.

œœ œœœ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œ œœœ œ œ

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ .. œ. œœ .. œ.

œœ œ œœ œ

œœ œ œœ œ

œœ œœ œœ

G

œ œœœ œœ

3 3 0 0 2 3

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

œœ œœ œœ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œœ œœ

œœ œœ œœ

œœ œ œœœ

œœ œœœ œ

œœ œ œœ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œ œ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

œœ œœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œœ œ œœœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

E m7

œœ œœ œ œ

œœ œœ œœ

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

œ œœœ œ œ 3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

3 3 0 2 2 0

w www w w 3 3 0 2 2 0

Look below the first two bars of tab and you’ll see strumming directions. The ‘ ≥ ’ symbol denotes downstrokes and the ‘ ≤ ’ is for upstrokes. Try not to stop picking in the spaces between the chords; aim instead for a steady, constant ‘down-up’ strumming motion.

Dare to dream. Focus on where you want to be with Allianz Musical Insurance by your side.

Get comprehensive cover for your instruments and equipment from £3 a month.

Get a quote: allianzmusic.co.uk 0330 100 9626


90

the gas station

96

real world revIews of the Best new gear

88

Welcome to the GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome*) Station! Every issue, the TG scours the market for the hottest new gear and brings you transparent reviews that you can trust. From the smallest of accessories that make your life easier, to big investments such as brand new guitars, amps and effects pedals – if it’s worth your attention, you’ll find it here!

how we test

Best Buy AwArd

CurAtion

no snAke oil

Our product selection is driven by our love of gear. We select the most exciting products on the market every month to bring you opinions you can trust.

You won’t find us getting hung up on hokey mythology or nonsense marketing speak: we aim to bring you bullshitfree opinions on the gear you’re interested in.

fACe-vAlue reviews

we CAn’t Be Bought

We’re not gear snobs here at Total Guitar. We judge on it on whether it looks good, sounds good and plays well – not by the name on the headstock.

TG review scores are a true reflection of our experts’ opinion on the product they’ve been testing. You’ll never find a rating in our mag that has been bought and paid for.

*WHAT IS GAS? Gear Acquisition Syndrome is the guitar-player’s never-ending urge to acquire new gear, irrespective of whether they actually need it. Don’t pretend you don’t have it – we all do!

SuperB, A BeST Buy

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

excellenT

TG Best Buy Awards are reserved for stand-out products that earn a five-star rating. This is the best, most exciting new gear that you need to check out

Best Buy award Best for…

reAl world reviews

Different guitarists have different needs. This badge highlights a particular strength that a product has in a TG Test or Group Test, so you can choose what’s best for you

We test every product under the conditions that they were designed for. For example, if an amp is designed to be played loud, rest assured that we’ll have tested it at rehearsal/gig volumes!

ABove AverAGe kIT

Some ISSueS

98

089 start Me up

Five new products to get you started

090 orange rocker 15

Lightweight all-valve combo that’s primed for pedals

094 schecter solo-II specIal

Stripped-down single-cut with amazing playability

096 gretsch g5435tg-Blkltd16 electroMatIc pro Jet Classic Gretsch looks and tone at a reasonable price

098 the tg test: cutaway acoustIcs

Four mid-priced dreadnoughts with dusty end access

Best for…

104 group test: aMp-style dIstortIon pedals Four dirtboxes that give you amp-style filth

poor

108 fIx your guItar! Build your own guitar leads


gas station

02

05

03

01

04

89

start Me up!

Five awesome new products to get your gear engine revving this month… linE 6 rElay G10

1

If you’ve ever worried about using wireless systems, let Line 6 set your mind to rest: its Relay G10 is one of the easiest to use yet. Plug in, and the G10 will automatically select the optimum channel, and you can output via 1/4-inch and XLR. An onboard rechargeable battery provides up to eight hours life, while 24-bit wireless sound quality and DCL (Digital Channel Lock) tech means there’s no risk it will get mixed up with other signals. It even integrates with the wireless receiver in Line 6’s new Spider V amps! (£144, www.line6.com)

ErniE Ball TonE Pack

2

With so many types of strings available these days, it’s hard to stay on the ball (end). So to help you find what works for you, Ernie Ball is packaging three of its variants together. So, alongside a Regular Slinky set, you’ll find some Slinky Cobalts – which promise an extended dynamic range – and also the Slinky M-Steel strings, which feature a Super Cobalt alloy for increased output and low-end. Electric Tone Packs come in 0.010 to 0.046 and 0.009 to 0.042 gauges, acoustic options are also available. (£29.95, www.ernieball.com)

DunloP DVP4 VolumE X mini

3

This ultimate space-saver, combines volume and expression in one pedal. Its aux jack can be used as a tuner out or an expression out, and once you’ve plugged into your exp-ready stomper, you can tweak the internal switches to adjust the minimum level of the parameter you’re treadling, plus reverse the position functions. Besides the aluminium chassis, you get fully adjustable rocker tension, while Dunlop’s snappily named Low Friction Band-Drive keeps motion smooth. (£119.99, www.jimdunlop.com)

PEaVEy rEValVEr 4 acT moDulEs

4

Peavey’s ReValver 4 guitar software has been updated with clever Audio Cloning Technology. There are two modules: Combo combines ReValver modelling with ACT tone shaping to match the gain and tone of a target amp. Meanwhile, Rack is an EQ that analyses the frequency spectrum of an audio file or DAW track, allowing your track to match the sound of the source. You’ll need to own ReValver 4 ($99.99) already for these to work, of course, but they’re handy, powerful tools. ($19.99 & $39.99, peavey.com)

D’aDDario EcliPsE

5

Lord knows there are enough clip-on tuners out there, but that hasn’t stopped D’Addario’s adding this budget offering to the mix. The Eclipse is a chromatic tuner with full-colour display, auto-off and 430-450Hz pitch calibration in a compact design. The display can be swivelled so you can use it in front or behind your headstock, and best of all, it comes in six colours: purple, red, green, yellow, black and blue. If you’re after a clip-on tuner and you’re on a tight budget, this might just Eclipse the competition. (£12.10, www.daddario.com)

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


t h e ga s station

90

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


review 2

1

1

Dual pOWer

at a glance

The Rocker 15 has full and half-power levels on the standby switch, meanwhile the headroom/ bedroom switch drops the output to 1 or 0.5 watts

2

One anD DOne

3

Big punCher

type: All-valve

3

The Rocker 15’s Natural channel only has one control – volume. Don’t let it put you off though, it’s a great sound

The 10” custom design loudspeaker has plenty of punch and volume to spare, making the Rocker 15 one seriously loud little combo

1x10 combo Output: 15 watts switchable to 7 watts, 1 watt and 0.5 watts Speaker: 1 x 10” Orange custom design. ValVeS: 3x 12AX7, 1x 12AT7, 2x EL84 COntrOlS: Clean channel: volume. Drive channel: gain, bass, mid, treble, master volume. Half/full power switch, headroom/bedroom attenuator switch SOCketS: Guitar in, channel footswitch, effects loop send/ return, 3x speaker outlets Weight: 14kg. DimenSiOnS:

400mm (h) x 460mm (w) x 250mm (d) COntaCt: Orange Music Electronic Company Ltd, 020 8905 2828, orangeamps.com

Orange rOcker 15 1x10 cOmbO

£599

Highly portable Brit combo that takes no prisoners

Photography: Olly curtis

T

he Orange amps recipe traditionally mixed a big heavy head and 4x12 cab – the former powered by that British staple, the EL34 valve (which was also widely used by Marshall and Hiwatt) – but these days there’s a slightly lighter side to the Orange catalogue. Back in the late 90s came the AD30R – a combo that used EL84s (a valve synonymous with Vox and other classic British combos), and soon came to be regarded as the reborn Orange’s first modern classic. Ever since then, the EL84 has become part of the Orange sound – especially since the coming of the world-beating Tiny Terror head – so we’re expecting great things from Orange’s latest, the dual EL84-powered Rocker 15 combo. A re-work of the 2006 Rocker 30, the Rocker 15 is a nicely-proportioned 1x10 combo

sporting classic Orange styling, right down to the wooden skids that Orange uses instead of rubber feet. These actually couple better to wooden stages and enhance projection and bottom end. The electronics are also typical Orange; out-sized transformers on a powder-coated steel chassis enclosing two heavy-duty printed

The Rocker 15 is a two-channel design, with a drive channel including gain, master and three band EQ controls. The clean channel, which Orange calls ‘Natural’, just has a single volume control. Other features include a full/half-power mode incorporated in the standby switch, a rear panel attenuator labelled bedroom/

The rocker 15’s naTural channel is a revelaTion circuit boards. The larger main board holds almost everything including the valve bases and front panel controls, with a smaller board for the rear panel sockets. Externally, the control panel has the classic ‘pics only’ layout, which looks as cool today as it did back in the 1970s.

headroom, which drops the output down to around one watt, and a series effects loop. In use, the it powers up nice and smooth, with very little hum and hiss. The Dirty channel has a wide gain range that covers classic and modern Orange tones with ease, going from a square, mildly driven sound that’s

perfect for authentic early 70s pop and rock, up to the ‘blanket of filth’ distortion that’s a staple for many heavier bands, with nice passive EQ controls that let you precisely dial in the right midrange to suit any guitar. The Rocker 15’s Natural channel is a real revelation, with sparkling clarity at lower volume levels moving to a thicker more ‘pushed’ tone that’s ideal for rhythm. It seems to suit any guitar equally well; we tried the Rocker 15 out with a variety of different instruments and whatever we plugged in, the Natural channel seemed to find a balance that let the guitar breathe and respond despite the lack of tone controls, with the ideal volume level around the halfway mark. The half power and attenuator switches work together to get the amp cooking at volume levels from bedroom to march 2017 ToTal GuiTar

91


t h e ga s station The Rocker uses Orange’s super cool ‘pics only’ control panel design

84 On the Floor The little valve that powers some of the world’s greatest amps

T

small gigs; and combined with the Rocker 15’s low noise levels, this makes Orange’s latest a perfect recording partner. The other studio asset is the Rocker 15’s 10-inch custom design loudspeaker. A 10-inch speaker tends to ‘pre-EQ’ a guitar’s overall sound, removing some of the lows that are often dialled out in the studio to give the guitar its place in a finished mix. The same thing applies for live use, and the Rocker 15 could be a great weekend warrior tool, portable and compact enough to fit on pub stages, where space is ToTal GuiTar march 2017

alsO try...

The Rocker’s two channels are named Natural and Dirty

Fender Blues Junior iii

£589

One of the Rocker 15’s closest competitors, Fender’s very popular Mk III Blues Junior is another EL84powered amp, which includes reverb and a 12-inch speaker

Peavey ClassiC 20 MH usually hard to come by, without sacrificing too much in overall volume and clarity. At full power, the Rocker 15 is loud - 15 valve watts is enough to see off many 50-watt solid state amps, so don’t let the numbers fool you, this compact combo is easily powerful enough to handle most small gigs. Brit brands have great pedigree with small combos, and Orange’s new Rocker 15 ticks all the right boxes to continue this trend; it’s built to a very high standard, looks great (as long as you don’t hate orange!) and has a strong, if not

overly versatile range of tones that will handle a variety of classic genres. It’s also very keenly priced, thanks to offshore manufacturing in Orange’s own facility. If Brit-rock, blues and classic 70s rock is your musical thing, you won’t be disappointed. Nick Guppy

SuMMarY

92

he EL84 pentode was introduced by Philips/ Mullard in 1953 and was one of the last great hurrahs of the valve era. It’s often thought of as a small EL34 in the same way that the American 6V6 is considered to be a small 6L6. However the EL84 came nearly 20 years after the 6V6, and benefited from technological advances, which contributed to its small size and high gain performance. Back then, valve manufacturers often provided circuits for their products, and the EL84 was first used in a legendary hi-fi amplifier design called the Mullard 5-10. The EL84 was also used in guitar amps – most famously by Vox, whose success owes a lot to the EL84’s distinctive overdrive. It might be approaching 65 years old, but for guitarists looking for that classic British combo tone, it’s still the benchmark.

Features sOund quality value FOr mOney build quality usability Overall rating

£540

Yes it’s is a head, but this means you can hook it up to any cab you want. It includes reverb and has a USB recording out, too

MarsHall 2525C Mini JuBilee CoMBo Marshall’s British-made Mini Jubilee has a similar output to the Rocker 15 but uses a pair of EL34s and has a 12” Celestion Greenback loudspeaker

£939


t h e ga s station

94

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


review

Schecter Solo-II SpecIal

1

MacHiNeHeadS

£659

A player-friendly single-cut that rocks

S

ometimes, playing the guitar can feel almost adversarial, so it’s rather nice when you pick up an instrument that’s as accommodating as Schecter’s Solo-II Special. It’s almost as if the guitar is self aware - patiently coaxing your silly sausage fingers to find the right notes and make them sing. In reality, it’s just good design, well executed – but it’s typical of Schecter’s ability to update a classic to fit the modern player’s needs. The Solo series draws its inspiration from the greatest single-cut of them all, the Gibson Les Paul, with the Solo-II Special loosely analogous to the Les Paul Special – as favoured by

A mahogany body and neck is a guarantee of warm, authoritative tone, but, partnered with the USA V-90s, there’s a single-coil exuberance to the Solo-II Special – a trebly brilliance with some heft behind it. No matter where you set the gain, it displays a great elasticity in its tone, a spanky dynamism that expresses itself in the cleanest of cleans with a chewy twang in the bridge pickup and funky zeal in the neck. As you dial in more gain, the Solo-II Special bares its teeth, with 70s classic rock tones like mother’s milk to the bridge pickup, with the neck excelling for powerful blues work. With the gain pushed to antisocial levels, you can squeeze all sorts of

This snot-green set of vintage Grovers is one reason why the Solo-II Special holds its tune as though its life depended on it

2

at a Glance Body: Mahogany Neck: Mahogany, set Scale: 24.75” FiNgerBoard:

1

Rosewood FretS: 22 extra-jumbo PickuPS: 2x Schecter USA V-90 single coil

Bridge

A tidy, nononsense design, the TonePros Wraparound AVT-II is typical of Schecter’s commitment to good construction. It’s as solid as they come

3

coNtrolS:

2x volume, 1x master tone, 1x three-way pickup selector Hardware: Nickel, TonePros Wraparound AVT-II bridge, Grover Vintage Deluxe machineheads leFt-HaNded: No FiNiSH: Vintage White Pearl (pictured), Walnut Pearl

coNtrolS

A rubber strip encircles the volume and tone controls; the evocatively titled Grip Tip Speed Knobs are designed to help even the sweatiest fingers turn them with ease

coNtact:

Westside Distribution 0141 248 4812 schecterguitars.com

95

the likes of Bob Marley and Jonny Thunders. And it is a lot of fun to play, putting fewer roadblocks between the sound that’s in your head and the notes you play. To that end, the thoughtfully spec’d Solo-II Special is a facilitator. It deploys a couple of spunky P-90-style Schecter USA V-90s in a contoured mahogany body. The three-piece mahogany neck has a super-comfortable C profile, a Goldilocks option, neither too clubby nor too svelte. The satin paint job might look a little untidy up close, but it comes as welcome relief to players whose perspiration sees them gum up on the neck; while a set of extrajumbo frets and a sculpted heel gives it a contemporary feel, making for a gratifyingly transgressive experience when wrenching vintage tones from such a pliant instrument.

harmonics out of it, while just about staying just on the right side of unruly. At this price, Schecter’s Solo-II Special is a strong option for those looking for a single-cut with a vintage voice and a modern feel. Plus, it comes in at less than the Gibson Les Paul Junior, and by dint of an extra pickup is more expansive in tonal options, and offers an understated alternative to the similarly priced PRS SE 245 Soapbar. All are excellent options, but there’s something about the Schecter; it’s easy to pick up, but impossible to put down. Jonathan Horsley

SuMMarY

photography: Olly curtis

It’s easy to pIck up, but ImpossIble to put down

beSt buy award

2

3

FeatureS Sound qualIty value For money buIld qualIty playabIlIty overall ratInG march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


t h e ga s station

96

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


review

Gretsch G5435tG-BLKLtD16 eLectromatic £579 Pro Jet Limited edition stunner with tone to match

S

ince partnering with Fender in 2002, Gretsch has enjoyed a second golden era, and its current range balances tributes to classic models with some new twists on the form, such as this limited edition Pro Jet from the mid-priced Electromatic range. Right from the off, this Pro Jet pushes all the right visual buttons; the jet-black paint job is finished to a standard that embarrasses some premium American-built guitars, and combined with gold hardware, the end result is pure eye-candy that invokes the

tight bass that can sound like a P-90 but with all the benefits of a humbucker - edgy and aggressive in the bridge, warm and jazzy in the neck. The Blacktop Filter’Trons are a newer design with ceramic magnets – similar to those found on some 70s guitars – with all the dynamic punch Gretsch is known for, but with a hotter output. The Pro Jet’s build emphasises this punch - the chambered basswood body is topped with an arched maple cap, and a slim ‘D’ profile maple neck with medium jumbo frets. It all adds up to lots of acoustic resonance mixed with

1

BigSBy

at a GLance

The Bigsbylicensed B50 tailpiece is a key part of the Pro Jet’s sound, and works great for mild vibrato effects

2

Body: Chambered

basswood body with arched laminated maple top Neck: Maple Scale: 24.6” (625 mm)

PickuPS

The Blacktop Filter’Tron pickups have a slightly edgier tone and higher output than regular Filter’Trons, with 12 pole pieces and a three-point mounting for precise positioning

3

FiNgerBoard:

Rosewood FretS: 22 Medium jumbo PickuPS: 2x Blacktop Filter’Tron coNtrolS: Neck pickup volume, bridge pickup volume, master volume, master tone Hardware: Gold Adjusto-Matic bridge with gold Bigsby B50 vibrato tailpiece leFt-HaNded: N/A FiNiSH: Black coNtact: Fender Musical Instruments GBI, 01342 331700, gretschguitars.com

Neck

Nicely finished medium jumbo frets, a slim ‘D’-shaped neck profile and 24.6” scale length make the Pro Jet a player’s delight that’s difficult to put down

97

The Pro JeT’s Tone is solidly anchored in 50s americana slick playability. Using both pickups together and varying the separate volumes adds subtle nuance, which is easy to control with the master volume. The B50 is quite stable as long as you don’t go crazy - adding shimmer to big reverb’d chords is its jam. Overall, this limited edition Pro Jet is a real player’s guitar – its distinctive tone is solidly anchored in 1950s Americana, giving an authentic performance for country, rockabilly, jazz and more. For the money, it’s a definite keeper, and one that could easily become your trademark guitar. Nick Guppy

SuMMarY

character of the ultra-rare Penguin – a single-cut custom limited to just a few dozen examples made back in the late 1950s. The Pro Jet sports a pair of Blacktop Filter’Tron humbuckers with a simple control layout, consisting of a three-way selector switch with separate volume knobs and master tone below the bridge, with a master volume knob on the cutaway bout. The other hard-to-miss hardware is the licensed Bigsby B50 vibrato, which is beautifully made and adds plenty of vintage mojo. The Pro Jet’s ‘out of the box’ fit and finish are excellent, with no sharp fret ends, and truss rod and intonation set correctly for the standard issue 0.09 to 0.046 strings. Plugged in, the Pro Jet definitely has that ‘Gretsch sound’, more focused and forward in the upper mids, with a balanced treble and

Features sounD quaLity vaLue For money BuiLD quaLity PLayaBiLity overaLL ratinG

Best Buy awarD

3

2

1

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


t h e ga s station

Mid-priced cutaway electro-acoustics Words Rob Laing Photography Adam Gasson

The electro-acoustic market is a battleground, and these four dreads are fighting for your hard-earned

8

ToTal GuiTar march 2017


the tg test

I

t’s easy for self-appointed traditionalists to be sniffy about cutaway acoustics. They serve a very practical purpose in bringing improved access to the upper frets that can prove essential for some players moving from electric but… they just don’t have the same history and vintage visual cool of their iconic non-cut siblings. However, let’s set the record straight on one thing first, acoustic cutaways do have a proper history. The Mario Maccaferri-designed Selmer guitars played by gypsy jazz hero Django Reinhardt were some of the earliest production-issue cutaway models dating as far back as the late 20s. And later, following Gibson’s production of archtops, its first flattop acoustic guitar model with a cutaway was the striking CF-100 in 1950. So, fast forward through guitar evolution and another 67 years and where are we? Well, it’s good to see we’re all still loving our wood and steel friends. And for cutaway customers, the choice and value on offer now is extensive. Which brings us to this quartet of not-so-catchily named guitars - all around or under the mid-priced £500 mark. All electro. All much of a muchness, right? Hell no! Because the more us guitarists play, unplugged and electrified, the more differences we find…

9

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


t h e ga s station

Yamaha FGX820C

£470

Cutaway kings can still deliver

Fender F-1030SCe

£425

Time to consider a Fender?

Yamaha… now there’s a name I associate with electro-acoustics

I tend to think of Fender more as an electric brand… why?

And you’re right to. The company was a trailblazer in the cutaway electro field back in 1987, when it introduced us to the small-bodied charms of its APX series. It’s a big part of why Yamaha has had the reputation as a go-to brand for stage acoustics ever since.

Fair question. Fender has made some fine acoustics over the years, but until fairly recent the focus had been on making entry-level instruments instead. However, with a cedar top, understated satin finish and Fishman preamp – coupled with 70s F series headstock and ‘Viking’ bridge… this F-1030SCE could change preconceptions.

So what does this one bring to the table? It ticks a trio of traditional dreadnought (Yamaha calls it a ‘Western’) boxes; natural gloss finish (admittedly with yellower cream binding than we’re used to seeing), solid Sitka Spruce top,

And does it?

mahogany back and sides… but a few tweaks too. Yamaha claims the scalloped bracing aids the output volume in the low to mid ranges. And when you get onstage, Yamaha’s under-saddle piezo pickup and System66 analog preamp will get you even louder.

vintage appointments are a winner too… with the exception of the aged chrome tuners that look good and offer a different aesthetic, but don’t have the smoothness or precision of the competition here.

Well, that C-shape neck makes a very good first impression. The action is low and fast, encouraging us to utilise the cutaway. The

100

That top looks different, too… So does it that deliver projection in its performance? Yes, and it’s notable. The low mids are richer than the typical spruce top fare and bass notes offer a satisfying dark tonality that balances well. It’s a particularly resonant acoustic on initial unplugged impressions.

at a glance Type: Cutaway ‘western’style electro-acoustic Key feaTures: Solid Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, nato neck, Yamaha System66 preamp and SRT Pickup ConTaCT: Yamaha 01908 366700 uk.yamaha.com

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

It’s cedar. The effect of tonewoods is subjective, and two guitars are never the same, but on the whole a cedar soundboard should help provide clarity for fingerpickers and respond well to softer dynamics with less bright projection than spruce. To our ears, it helps bring a folkier midrange to the Fender.

at a glance Type: Cutaway dreadnought

electro-acoustic Key feaTures: Solid cedar top,

rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, Fishman Presys preamp ConTaCT: Fender GBI 01342331700 www.fender.com


the tg test

TakamIne Gd20Ce-nS The electro-acoustic daddy embraces cedar

£462

SIGma dmC-4e

£525

Can Sigma’s impressive comeback continue?

Another satin finished electro?

Sigma-come-lately – the new kid in town?

Yes indeedy, because not everyone wants the gloss. It’s another cedar top, but this time with laminated mahogany back and sides. It’s a clean build, but the top grain doesn’t look as impressive as the Fender – it’s a little artificial and cheap-looking, and it doesn’t do first impressions of the GD20CE-NS many favours if we’re honest.

More like the comeback kid. Sigma used to be Martin’s budget marque until it was bought by German company AMI Musical Instruments GmbH and was revived as an independent band in 2011. Now made in China, the Sigma is the only model here to offer a real bone saddle and nut .

Looks aren’t everything, though – how does it sound?

It certainly looks like a classic dread…

With the highest action here, going up town in fretboardville is a bit of a stretch, which is a shame. But the Takamine has a clear voice

Given Sigma’s heritage, it should be no surprise it uses the classic Martin body shapes, but this one sounds just as good as it looks. The

101

from its cedar/hog combination that lends itself well to strong defined fingerpicking.

DMC has that classic spruce brightness, coupled with a piano-esque presence and clarity to notes that really shines in DADGAD.

Is the preamp made by Takamine, too?

It uses Fishman electronics like a Martin, too…

Yes, the company has long relied on its own innovation to amplify its guitars. This features the TP-4TD Preamp with traditional three-band EQ controls, gain and, like the others here, an onboard tuner – watch out for that because unlike the examples built into the preamp controls of those guitars you need to hold it down for a couple of seconds after tunings to disengage the mode.

Yup, it’s a different model than the one found on the Fender, and easily the most feature-packed preamp here for shaping your tone. There’s EQ with sliders for bass and treble, with contour controls to boost or cut certain frequencies. You can also fight feedback with the notch filter and phase switch, and there’s even an additional brilliance control as a quick fix to cut through on stage.

at a glance Type: Cutaway dreadnought

electro-acoustic Key feaTures: Solid cedar top, mahogany back , sides and neck, Takamine TP-4TD preamp ConTaCT: Korg UK 01908 304600 www.takamine.com

at a glance Type: Cutaway dreadnought electro-acoustic Key feaTures: Solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back, sides and neck, Indian rosewood fingerboard, Fishman Prefix Plus-T preamp ConTaCT: Westside Distribution 0844 326 2000 www.sigma-guitars.com

march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


the tg test

head To head Putting our four electro dreads to the test…

T 102

here’s two things we need to know here; how we connect with the guitar unplugged, and how it performs plugged in. TG is old enough to remember a time not so long ago when buying a mid-priced electro was a trade-off, you often sacrificed the unplugged experience for the option of a preamp and being able to play live with it. We called it a ’stage’ guitar. Thankfully, times have moved on and the Sigma proves just how far. There’s a lot of control at your disposal with the Prefix Plus-T. Its electro tone is pretty zingy at flat levels, but it’s lively rather than quacky. Experimenting with the treble and brilliance controls with the contour editing proves to be responsive and underlines the versatility here. Talking of Fishmans, the Fender’s less comprehensive Presys leaves us wanting more to partner that lovely neck. Sadly, the dreaded piezo quack rears its beak, perhaps accentuated

The Sigma is the priciest guitar here, and it looks it, too

Yamaha’s electro pedigree shines through on the FGX

the sigMa’s electro tone is pretty zingy, but it’s lively rather than quacky by the mid-focused nature of the F-1030SCE, and while turning the EQ’s treble right down goes some way towards addressing it, fowl play is still lurking somewhere at the back. While we’re on the subject of plastic, both Yamaha’s and Fender’s rather fiddly controls are not the most accessible for those of us with digits of a more sausagey lilt. Takamine’s sliders are better, but the GD20CE-NS has us thinking about those old ‘stage guitars’ again. Compared to the resonant Sigma and Yamaha here, it sounds comparatively uninspiring unplugged, and its electro offering is solid, but less detailed, electro experience compared with the others. It cuts through well, but we soon wanted to dial a notch down from midnight on the treble dial to mellow abrasive highs. In comparison, the Yamaha’s heartier mids are reflected through our test acoustic combo, balancing well with the brightness, through the Adjustable Midrange Frequency control doesn’t seem to have much effect to our ears. ToTal GuiTar march 2017

The Takamine sports a back and sides of laminated mahogany

The Fender’s chrome hardware has a nice aged effect


t h e ga s station

FInal verdICT

Which cutaway is a cut above for your needs?

T

he two parts of our test revealed some interesting traits in how we choose the guitars we play. Because there’s different factors of appeal here; preference and needs. You should try out and choose a guitar you’ll want to pick up, and fundamentally enjoy on a one-to-one level. But according to your needs as a player you’ll also consider how that guitar represents your playing and its own character in a live environment.

Yamaha FGX820C

The good news is that there’s plenty of affordable preamp pedals and modelling gear that can shape a piezo sound further towards the way you want it. But out of the box, the Sigma impressed across the fretboard, closely followed by Yamaha. Both prove that you no longer need to compromise for your cutaway. And yet it’s the Fender’s looks and unplugged playing experience we enjoyed the most. That cedar-fuelled voice offering a different spin. But of course, then we plugged it in…

Fender F-1030SCe

Takamine Gd20Ce-nS

SiGma dmC-4e

best For plugging in

best For Fingerpicking

best For lead players

best For value

The differences between piezos and preamps come into play – but they’re also reflecting the character of the guitars they’re fitted to. And sometimes that won’t perform through an acoustic amp or PA in the way you might have assumed. If you can feel a ‘moral of this story’ moment coming from this conclusion then let it be this; try before you buy should mean trying a guitar in the ways you think you’ll need it. And that’s especially true for cutaway acoustics.

103

Features sound quality value For Money build quality playability overall rating

SummarY

Features sound quality value For Money build quality playability overall rating

SummarY

Features sound quality value For Money build quality playability overall rating

SummarY

SummarY

best buy award

Features sound quality value For Money build quality playability overall rating march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


t h e ga s station

best buy award

HigH-end distortion pedals

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Bogner Burnley

£149

Burn BaBy, Burn!

R

einhold Bogner was on the frontline of the high-gain amp revolution, and here he’s teamed up with studio desk pioneer Rupert Neve. The Burnley is a 100 per cent analogue distortion, equipped with Nevedesigned transformers, and the promise of “fire-breathing pandemonium” – a promise slightly at odds with its clean, modern looks. The standard controls are joined by a fat/tight switch and it can be powered from a battery or power supply. Tonally, it’s less molten metal and more aggro rock monster, but it cleans up nicely for overdrive and semi-clean sounds. Meanwhile, flipping to Fat and upping the gain screams for chunky power chord riffs. Dynamic, versatile… what else do you want?

Features sound quality value For money build quality usability overall rating

Mesa/Boogie throttlebox

£185

Put your foot down

T

he Throttlebox offers a step onto the rung of the Mesa/Boogie gain ladder at a snip of the price of buying a Boogie amp. There’s a whole pile of gain on tap here, giving you the flavour of the classic Dual Rectifier ‘red channel’, plus a mid-cut control to help keep things tight. It’s not all superhairy distortion, though – the lo/hi switch sets a different gain range, so you can coax out more ‘classic’ sounds. The output is a tad lower than the other pedals here, but it hardly matters in practice. You’re essentially getting one-and-a-half channel options, so it’s a great fit for single-channel amp users.

sUMMarY

T

he last few years have seen a complete explosion in boutique fuzz, overdrive and distortion pedals from smaller makers in every corner of the world. When TG were a lad, you’d be hard-pressed to find a distortion pedal that set you back more than three figures. But these days even a humble filthbox can cost as much as a cheap guitar, and with so many different distortion pedals available at hugely different price points, the sheer choice available can be overwhelming. So, this month we’re looking at four distortion pedals from top line manufacturers. Cheap they are not, but these pedals should be thought of as investments – they’re high-spec and serve almost as an additional channel to your amp – offering medium to heavy amp-style gain. Strap in, we’re drivin’ dirty…

sUMMarY

104

Features sound quality value For money build quality usability overall rating


pedal round-up

best buy award 105

Upgrade your gain to premium with these amp-in-a-box distortions

Friedman Be-od

£199

diezel VH4

your Plexi’s on fire!

Give me fuel…

T

T

Features sound quality value For money build quality usability overall rating

he Diezel VH4 is the amp that’s fuelled James Hetfield, Matt Bellamy and Billy Corgan with some of their angriest tones and this VH4 pedal brings you those same tones at just over 10 percent of the head’s ticket. The VH4 has the most original sonic character on test. It sounds like itself, with a gravelly edge of ‘air’ present across its entire sweep. At first it feels like there isn’t as much gain as you might expect, because it never veers into ‘fizzy pedal’ territory, and with such a defined character comes a lack of versatility – there’s no escaping the throaty aggression. It’s ruddy huge though – both in tone and physical stature. It does it’s thing, and does it impeccably and unapologetically.

sUMMarY

sUMMarY

he BE-OD pairs down Friedman’s Marshall-inspired BE-100 amp to pedal form. Control-wise, it’s the most preamp-like here and there’s an internal gain trim pot, too. Maxing out the gain, you’d think it was already turned up full, but a quick look inside reveals that it’s factory-set to halfway! In truth, cranking it past three-quarters is too much, but it’s a nice addition. Pinning our colours to the mast, the Friedman is the best all-round distortion here. It’s defined bite and increased output is very noticeable and the tight control does exactly that – removing flab – and the BE impressively retains its character across the gain spectrum. For £199, this will let you in on one of rock’s best-kept secrets.

£279

at a glance Type: Distortion pedals Bypass: All true bypass power requiremenTs:

Bogner – Battery/PSU, Mesa/Boogie – Battery/PSU; Friedman – PSU only; Diezel – PSU only ConTaCT:

Guitar Guitar (Bogner, Diezel, Friedman) 0800 456 1959 www.guitarguitar.co.uk Westside Distribution (Mesa/Boogie) 0844 326 2000 westsidedistribution.com

Features sound quality value For money build quality usability overall rating march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


On sale 10 march

The ultimate blues WorkouT Fine-tune your blues playing – from acoustic to blues-rock – with Tg’s massive guide!

Learn To PLay

All content subject to change

Alice In Chains Them Bones Hozier Someone New The Beatles Let It Be The Clash Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Overseas subscriptiOns

ordering is easy! subscribe frOm €37/$37! Order Online AT

myfavm.ag/TGoverseas


t h e ga s station

Making your own leads lets you customise them to fit your ’board

Fix Your GuiTAr 108

Making your own guitar leads

Tipmo!no Tor cp le ab s use

Guita als two termin jacks with plug a if ll te n a c inside. You stereo by is mono or e black ring th looking at re’s plug – if the around the ! o n o m ’s one, it

With a few simple tools you can mend and make your own custom guitar and pedalboard cables, learn how below! Words: Jack Ellis

M

aking your own cables can save you money and also offer up some new options to you, What if you need a 45cm right-angle patch lead that’s straight on the other end? Got a suspicious crackly lead? Give it a new lease of life without having to throw it away or even take your friends’ dud leads and repurpose them… sneaky you! There are basically two types of quarter-inch jack plug (6.35mm if you’re metrically inclined): the sealed unit and

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

the type you can take apart. The sealed type usually found on cheapo cables are unfortunately non-serviceable - that doesn’t mean you can’t liberate the wire though. Brands such as Neutrik or Rean make decent quality jack plugs and you can get quality screened cable at Maplin. If you’re making a fresh lead, a good screen will cut down on cable noise and hum in your signal chain, which cheap cables really do not help... Get your goggles on, and fire up your soldering iron: it’s time to lead the way!

Meet Your expert

what you need 40-watt soldering iron 60/40 solder Safety glasses Heat shrink tubing

Multimeter Helping Hands Scissors Lighter Pliers Wire cutters Wire strippers

New mono jack plugs Screened instrument cable

Skill level Intermediate

Jack ellis runs Jack’s Instrument Services from his workshop in Manchester. In his career he has worked on thousands of instruments, from simple fixes and upgrades, to complete rebuilds. For more info, see: www.jacksinstrument services.co.uk


fix your guitar

1

Screened cable is a type of audio cable that has an outer wire (screen) that surrounds and shields the inner wire from electromagnetic hum. We need two wires within this cable – one for the tip of the plug (this carries your signal) and one for the sleeve (to earth). Grab some wire cutters and snip off the length of wire you need.

2

The screened cable needs stripping back and we have to do this in two stages. Let’s take off the outer jacket first; this is a delicate scissors job. Slowly roll the cable in the scissors to cut it. Try to cut it 80 per cent through then pull the rest off. It’s important not to slice through the copper screen with the blades!

109

3

With the outer jacket of the cable gone, all those tiny copper strands of the screen need a good twist. Leave no man behind, if any of those stray they could give you grief later. Now get your wire stripper tool and strip back the inner wire – this is the wire we will attach to the tip of the lead. Give those little copper strands a twist, too.

4

5

6

Time to tin. Tinning is the ancient art of adding a little solder to the two parts that are bound by fate for each other. Pop the jack plugs into your helping hands and put a decent blob of solder on each terminal. Don’t over do it and try not to heat it up too much. Tin the ends of the cable while you’re at it, too.

Before we get any further into our DIY cable build, slide on the socket’s outer screw-on case followed by your shrink tubing that’s been cut to length. The tubing will cover over the solder joints and also will hang out the back, acting as a strain relief for the jack plug, too, so it’s doubly useful!

With the jack plug still in the helping hands, solder the inner wire to the middle solder tab of the jack lead. If your stripped centre wire is too long trim it down first. We’ve purposely stripped a little too much outer jacket, and you will see why we’ve done that just over the page… march 2017 ToTal GuiTar


ga s station

7

Now we’ll solder the screen cable onto the plug. On some plugs it’s not instantly obvious where to attach it. As we have a little excess cable here, the screen will bunch up the centre wire a little. This is actually a good thing as it means if the lead gets yanked it’s less likely to pull off the delicate solder joint.

8

9

Next up in the testing phase, we’re going to connect one end of the multimeter to the tip and the other to the sleeve. The reading we’re looking for here is 1 kohms – that’s your multimeter’s way of saying infinite resistance, or in other words, “You’re golden, mate – there’s no way those two wires are making a short circuit.”

10

11

12

The testing phase. Set your multimeter to stun (in this case, that’s 20 kohms) and place one probe at the different places of each end of the jack socket. Tip-to-tip should read 0 ohms (no resistance), sleeve-to-sleeve should read as 0 ohms too. If you get no reading or a “1” that means you have a break in the wire or a dodgy solder joint.

110

Nearly there, but it’s time to get your flame on. Slide the shrink tubing in place and heat it with a lighter on a medium flame. Too much loving attention from the lighter will begin to melt the shrink tubing (and burn your thumb) so go easy. You can re-soften the heat shrink tubing later if needed to re-shape it’s profile.

ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Finally, you can try plugging the cable in and testing it. Check it’s not humming or cracking when you wiggle the lead around, too. If all it well, it’s time to gently squish the jacket clamp down with your pliers so it grips it tightly. Don’t over cook it, however, as you may puncture the jacket and cause a short circuit.

Lastly, slide the outer tube up and screw it into place to protect your wiring. Give it some welly to make sure they don’t unscrew by accident. If you have a second larger gauge of heat shrink tubing, you can encase the screw on cover with this to make it even sturdier. There you have it, one fine home-made lead!


SUBSCRIBE TO TG!

HURRY!

OffER EndS 10/03/2017

SUBSCRIpTIOnS Choose your paCkage... PRINT

PRINT + DIGITAL

Every issue delivered to your door with a Guitar Skills CD packed with audio content and backing tracks From just £13 every 3 months

Get the complete package! Get the Guitar Skills CD packed with audio content and backing tracks 112

Every new issue in print, and on your iPad, iPhone and Android device Huge savings, the best value for money Instant digital access when you subscribe to TG today From just £18 every 3 months

DIGITAL

SavE

30%

Instant digital access on your iPad, iPhone and Android device From just £7 every 3 months

SUBSCRIBE TODAY…

www.mYfAvOURITEmAgAzInES.CO.Uk/TgRSUB or CALL 0344 848 2852

TERMS & CONDITIONS Prices and savings quoted are compared to buying full priced UK print and digital issues. You will receive 13 issues in a year. If you are dissatisfied in any way you can write to us to cancel your subscription at any time, and we will refund you for all unmailed issues. Prices correct at point of print and subject to change. For full terms and conditions please visit: http://myfavm.ag/magterms. Offer ends 10/03/2017

TOTAl gUITAR march 2017


the playlist

The Playlist The Dropkick Murphys’ Tim Brennan on stupid lyrics, punk classics and the power of Angus

T

he song that inspired me to play… Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen

“My parents weren’t big music listeners but my dad had the Bruce Springsteen Live/1975-85 record and he used to listen to that all the time. So, Springsteen songs like Badlands and Born To Run were the first songs I remember hearing.”

The first song I learned to play… Come As You Are – Nirvana “Springsteen was one of the first guys I got into, but I remember the first thing I learned to play on guitar was Come As You Are by Nirvana. I started out playing the drums, so my early music playing was all based on drumming. I was more of a fan of drummers than guitar players. Then I started playing guitar a little bit and heard a lot of guys that I liked.”

114

The riff that I wish I’d written… Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh “I love of a lot of those amazing Joe Walsh riffs. I wish I had written something like Funk 49 or Rocky Mountain Way. They are simple riffs that just sound awesome.”

Words: Rich Chamberlain

The first song I covered… Waiting Room – Fugazi “The first bands I played in were hardcore bands. The first cover I played was Waiting Room by Fugazi. We’d play Minor Threat songs as well… stuff like that. The first Green Day boom came when I was 13 or something and from then we and my friends just wanted to cover Green Day songs.” ToTal GuiTar march 2017

Hear it!

Listen to Tim’s playlist on Spotify bit.ly/tg290 murphys

To introduce someone to our band I’d play them… State of Massachusetts – Dropkick Murphys “Something like State of Massachusetts is a good guide to what we do. It’s a melding of the heavy guitars and traditional instruments. Before that we might have an Irish song and then a punk song and then a rock song. Between 2005 and 2008 we honed in on putting all of those things together.”

The song I play when trying out new gear… Beating Around The Bush – AC/DC “I’m a giant Ryan Adams fan. A lot of the riffs that automatically get played when a guitar is in my hand are Ryan Adams’ riffs. Cold Roses has a good intro that I use to test out what the higher strings sound like. But then if someone puts a Strat in my hand then the first thing I will do is play a Hendrix thing. Beating Around The Bush by AC/DC though is usually the first riff that comes flying out when I pick up a guitar.”

My favourite solo is… Highway To Hell – AC/DC “The solo on Highway To Hell is one of those things that sounds so cool but at the same time it is a fairly simple thing. I would hear things like that and want to play guitar like

that. I don’t have the dexterity of a metal guy. My appreciation for guitar solos is more in the ream of the simple but powerful stuff.”

The song that I’d like to rerecord… Rude Awakenings – Dropkick Murphys “Musically this song is this heavy Irish song but the lyrics are sort of jokey and at this point Ken and Al (DM vocalists) don’t like singing them anymore. It’s a great song but we can’t do it because the guys feel stupid singing it. I’d go back and change the lyrics to that one so we could do it live.” Dropkick Murphys’ new album, ‘11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory’ is out now on Born & Bred


9000

9012


Total Guitar - March 2017