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alternate (Tunings) Universe


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENTS 5 A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER Keeping the fire alive

6 AUDIO CHRONICLES WITH STEVIE RAY

VAUGHAN

Exclusive audio interview with Andy Aledort

12 TOMMY EMMANUEL: HEARTSTRINGS

‘ROUND THE WORLD

Hear and feel Tommy’s perspective with unique insights and video interview

22 JAM PEDALS: ART FOR YOUR EARS

Adam Levy spins a yarn and paints a picture of JAM Pedals’ art and studio

36 LESSON: G MINOR BLUES, AN INTRO TO

DJANGO REINHARDT’S SOUND & STYLE

HEARTSTRINGS ‘ROUND THE WORLD Tommy Emmanuel’s music and spirit resonate in amazing ways

David Blacker makes gypsy jazz accessible for mortal man

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42 LESSON: I NEED TO LEARN SOMETHING

BESIDES PENTATONICS

You do and you don’t. Jeff Scheetz helps you spice things up

44 LESSON: RECONNECTING WITH THE

INNER MUSICIAN

Advice from David Wallimann on finding inspiration and true musical freedom

46 LESSON: SYNCOPATED, DOUBLE-STOP,

CHICKEN’ PICKIN’ FEEL-GOOD FLICK

PROFESSOR OF THE DEEP Q&A with Chris Buono

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Hiland shares in his inimitable way

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TRAVIS-PICKING PATTERNS

Some swanky fingerstyle patterns to give your right hand a workout from Brooks Robertson

50 LESSON: BEGINNING SOLOING

Joe Dalton sheds some light and creates a plan for just how to get started developing your solo craft

48 JOHNNY HILAND: CHICKIN’ PICKIN’

BEHIND THE GLASS

TrueFire’s Tommy Jamin gives a sneak peek on the studio process while shedding light on some of his memorable sessions. This issue he reflects on Carl Verheyen’s recent visit

FEEL-GOOD FLICK

A small town boy’s made-for-big screen story that will make you hoot and holler

TRAVIS PICKING PATTERNS 76

Some swanky fingerstyle patterns from Brooks Robertson

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60 A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: MURIEL’S ALL

STAR GUITAR NIGHT

Sharing highlights from many years of shows! Some of our favorite performances from top acoustic and electric players AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5


TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE VOICE OF SRV

Hear Andy Aledort’s interview with the legend

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CHRIS BUONO: PROFESSOR OF THE DEEP

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BEHIND THE GLASS

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JASON LOUGHLIN: BURN THE NET

JAM PEDALS

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As Adam Levy writes inspiring “art for your ears”

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Digging deep, DC and dream-states with pioneering educator Buono

A series of studio narratives featuring guest artist Carl Verheyen

Words of wisdom from sideman, singer, songwriter and quatro-gigging artist

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TRUEFIRE’S NEXT TOP GUITAR INSTRUCTOR: ERICH ANDREAS

ERICH ANDREAS

Season 2 winner of TrueFire’s NTGI

Season 2 Winner and what’s next for Season 3

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RIFF JOURNAL ARTIST DIRECTORY

Full listing and interactive links from the featured artists and educators

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RIFFAGE: FEATURED ALBUM COMPILATION

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CLOSING SNAPSHOTS

Get your FREE download of featured music from Riff artists

Photos from backstage, behind-the-scenes and on the road

ASGN

Sharing highlights from many years of shows! Some of our favorite performances from top acoustic and electric players

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CONTRIBUTORS “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” - Aldous Huxley

Meet the Riff Band. We can’t wait to present our edition to you and share our passion with readers each quarter. In the meantime, shout out to us anytime online with feedback, questions and tasty tidbits.

RIFF BAND

riffjournal@truefire.com

@riffjournal

ALISON HASBACH Editor-in-Chief

Ali (a.k.a. prioress of the ‘Fire) is a founding partner and chief shooting & branding officer who likewise holds a M.B.A. (master of brewing administration) in Coffee Imbibement. She is fanatical about all things artistic (especially TrueFire Artists).

BRAD WENDKOS Publisher

Born in a cross-fire hurricane to itinerant Appalachian mountain people and then sold for a barrel of gunpowder to a wandering clan of Eastern European gypsies, Brad (thankfully) found his way home at TrueFire.

TOMMY JAMIN

Studio Department Editor

Tommy Jamin is a graduate of the Recording Arts program at Full Sail University and has been crafting top-quality video and audio content as a professional digital media producer over the last 14 years. In addition to being Director of Production at TrueFire, he’s also a singer-songwriter, production gear & tech enthusiast and family man.

AMBER ROPELIS Creative Director

Amber is a easy going pixel crafter with a flair for all things typographical and music related. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design & Digital Media from the University of North Florida and has cozied into her niche as Creative Director here at TrueFire. AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5

facebook.com/riffjournal

JEFF SCHEETZ

Educational Department Editor

Jeff is the Director of Education at TrueFire, has released 8 music CDs, and 6 video instruction courses. He’s been a teacher for over 30 years and brings his own method and style to students from around the world. He has written guitar columns for many magazines and conducted workshops and clinics throughout the US, Europe and Mexico.

ZACH WENDKOS

Technology Department Editor

Zach holds a real M.B.A. and scavenges the planet for the latest and greatest in online marketing and technology applications. He leads the charge in honing the student online experience at TrueFire and dreaming up the new and cool.

KYLER THOMANN Music Editor

With Creative Utility Knife skills, Kyler bridges web and print, video, and digital images and has a passion for live events and all things musical. With his finger on the pulse of the live music scene, Kyler brings a keen editorial spirit to the magazine..


A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER Photo by: Alison Hasbach

B

ack in my day, you didn’t take up guitar to craft a profession for yourself. You did it because you loved the music, or because the lifestyle attracted you, or because you dreamed of becoming a rock star, or simply because it was just a cool thing to do. And you were perceived as being cool amongst your peers, especially if you were really good at it. It’s not “cool” to be a guitar player today. No one really cares how good you are (other than your fellow musicians) and your chances of becoming a rock star guitar player today are none to negative infinity. Today, you’d be very fortunate just getting steady work and the lifestyle is a half-notch above carving out your existence in a Russian gulag. And it’s sure no longer about selling millions of records and making truckloads of money. So then, why do people choose to become a professional musician today? They really don’t choose — the profession chooses them. I’ve been very fortunate to know and work with hundreds of professionals and almost without exception, it’s their unbridled passion for the music and fascination with their

chosen instrument that hooks them to the profession. It takes guts and perseverance to become a pro musician. Anyone getting into the business today knows that they’re signing up for decades of practice, thousands of painful gigs, fierce competition, and a lifetime of scrambling to make a living in an ever-changing business landscape. It’d be easier, quicker and lot more lucrative to become a doctor or a lawyer, but its not about that for today’s pros. I’m proud to be associated with the artists that we’re privileged to work with. They’ve all overcome the challenges, they’re all driven, and they’re all very successful in their own individual ways. Each edition of RIFF gives us an opportunity to share with you many of their individual stories, which we hope will inspire you to likewise let your passions lead your way. This RIFF’s for you.

Brad Wendkos || Head Smoke Jumper

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Photos Courtesy of

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With Herculean chops, a thunderous sound and Texas hurricane-sized soul, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan turned the world on its ear with his blistering blues guitar virtuosity. Back in 1983 -- a time when the charts were dominated by the lightweight pop sounds of Lionel Richie, Men At Work and Culture Club -- Stevie Ray blasted out of Austin, Texas for his momentous debut on David Bowie’s multi-platinum, Let’s Dance, lending smoldering guitar work to several tracks.

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From the very first notes of Stevie’s Albert Kinginspired solo on the title track, it was clear that this was no L.A. session rat. Brutally huge bends were punctuated by sharp stabs and heaven-sent vibrato -- on a disco track, no less. It was immediately clear: there would be no turning back. SRV’s playing on Let’s Dance set ablaze a firestorm of intrigue about this soon-to-be legendary guitarist. Released later that year was the essential Texas Flood, Stevie’s debut with Double Trouble (Tommy Shannon, bass, and Chris Layton, drums). Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passionately intense guitar playing quickly positioned him as the most vital blues guitar voice -- the spearhead -- of a new generation. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview Stevie Ray four times -- more times than I’ve interviewed any other guitarist. The first three times were with him alone; the fourth time was with his brother, Jimmie, at the time when their Family Style album was about to be released. During most of these interviews, Stevie would play my beat-up 1961 Strat -- a guitar very similar to his beloved “No. 1” Strat -- the entire time, punctuating his thoughts with little musical statements. He told me more than once that he loved the guitar, and I think the feeling was mutual. Essential to interviewing Stevie was to delve into his playing, and he was always more than happy to share his secrets and insights into the elusive art of blues guitar. The following interview took place on June 23, 1989, at the Epic Records offices in NYC at the time when Stevie’s smash hit In Step was just about to be released. The soon-to-be FM staples “Crossfire,” “Tightrope” and “Riviera Paradise” were yet to be played on the radio, so we were able to speak about these tunes without the influence of knowing just how successful these songs would soon be.

Full Exclusive Audio Interview RIFF 9

Photos courtesy of Ed Cavaseno

f rom a magical night at th e Mid-H u d s o n C iv ic Cen ter, Po u gh keep s ie N Y D ec 2, 19 8 6


DIALING IN STEVIE’S TECHNIQUE With Andy Aledort

Among the great many attributes that comprise Stevie Ray’s talent as a guitarist, it is his complete mastery of the blues idiom that resides at the core. Stevie’s instantly identifiable sound is built from an assimilation of T-Bone Walker, Albert, Freddie and B.B. King, along with elements of many others blues masters. In my Slow Blues Power DVD, I take an in-depth exploration of the SRV approach to slow blues in the chapter entitled, “Flood Blues in G.” LESSON: “Stevie Ray’s absolute dedication to pure blues did not dissuade him from exploring other sounds and, ultimately, pushing the boundaries of blues and blues/rock music into uncharted territories. IN my Progressive Blues Power DVD, it is my goal to illustrate a solid foundation of the blues and then build upon that foundation to the more “progressive” sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter, and Stevie Ray Vaughan as well.

WANT MORE? VIEW ANDY’S COURSES ON TRUEFIRE

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INTERVIEW EXCERPTS AA: How did you develop your soloing style? SRV: It’s a real weird mixture. It’s kind of everything

from my generation to Muddy Waters at the same time. It goes back to my brother Jimmie, when he was bringing home all these different records. It might have been because I was a little kid, but it seemed like, all at the same time, he brought home The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and the Beatles. It was like, “Here comes Jimmie with the record world!” [laughs]

AA: The whole history of recorded music was under his arm!

of, and was considered the hottest guitar player in Texas at age 15. I think he started playing when he was 12. I mean, what do you do but get excited when all this is going on? If you want to know what made me go crazy with it, it was watching him, and, not trying to out-do Jimmie, but, shit, what do you do but pick up the ball and run? It’s not trying to pass him, and it’s not trying to keep up with him. It’s more like, “Wow! Look what big brother stumbled onto!” A lot of people seem to think that we’re trying to beat each other at something, but it’s not that at all. I saw him get real exciting -- not just excited, but exciting -- with something, and that excited me. I didn’t know what else to do!

SRV: Yeah! And he knew what he was doing. At

the same time, there were these friends of my parents whose son came over with his guitar, and he’d show us Jimmy Reed stuff, Ray Sharpe and the Razorblades. Here’s all this going on, and then somewhere real soon down the line, Jimmie brings home this Jimi Hendrix record, and we both went, “AHHHH! What’s this?!”

SRV: By the time I was 12 years old, Jimmie was

AA: What were some of the slow blues that you listened to that helped you in developing your style?

SRV: Albert King records, for one thing. B.B. King’s

Live At The Regal, Albert King’s Born Under A Bad Sign, it was called first, or King Of The Blues Guitar. Believe it or not, I remember seeing Albert King on TV, doing “Born Under A Bad Sign,” when I was a kid, and I was like, “YES!!!”

gone. Here he was, the hottest guitar player I knew

Written by Andy Aledort

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Written By Brad Wendkos

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“Imagine Frank Sinatra back in the day, surrounded by his rat pack of equally talented artists and bodyguards warding off the throngs of fans clawing their way to get close to the man. No bodyguards for Tommy though — I’ve never seen an artist so generous with his fans and so genuinely appreciative of their admiration for him.”

R

acing heart, shortness of breath, adrenalin rushing through every vessel in my body — I felt like a kid visiting Disneyland for the first time. Bright, shiny, wonderful-sounding things every way you turned — I had discovered a Shangri-La for guitarists. It was there that I experienced my first Tommy Emmanuel live performance. It was also there that I discovered the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society’s Convention (more commonly referred to as CAAS) in Nashville, Tennessee. Guitarists in the know have been celebrating Chet Atkins and the art of fingerstyle guitar since 1983, long before I caught wind of it. Go there and I promise you this — your appreciation for what is possible with a pair of hands and six strings will swell with wonder. I’ll never forget my very first day at CAAS. Stephen Bennett, Laurence Juber, Joscho Stephan, Richard Smith all gave memorable performances that day and then for the featured performance on the main stage that night — Tommy Emmanuel — a magical day to say the least. The TrueFire crew spent three days at CAAS, each day and night filled with performances and workshops from a veritable Who’s Who of the fingerstyle guitar world. We made many friends on that trip, many of whom are TrueFire educators today, but I didn’t get to meet Tommy until almost two years later. He was in his groove with fans, friends and fellow fingerstyle artists and the opportunity just never presented itself (OK, maybe I was a little star-struck myself). Imagine Frank Sinatra back in the day, surrounded by his rat pack of equally talented artists and bodyguards warding off the

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Photos by Alison Hasbach

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throngs of fans clawing their way to get close to the man. No bodyguards for Tommy though — I’ve never seen an artist so generous with his fans and so genuinely appreciative of their admiration for him. It took him an hour to get from one end of the lobby to the other. We finally got to meet Tommy at a future CAAS and get to know him a little bit better up close and personal. He was also kind enough to let us film a short interview in between his sets. Tommy talked about a fortuneteller, woodshedding, dealing with nerves, honesty, how he earns the respect of his audience and a variety of other topics that I’ve not seen or read in any of his other interviews. I hope you enjoy the segments that I share with you here in this article.

z It was a couple of years after that interview that we started working with Tommy on his TrueFire courses. The first two, Certified Gems and Little By Little were shot in the living room of his Nashville home. To our delight, Tommy’s soon-to-be-wife, Clara (an awesome player and videographer in her own right) operated one of

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TWO SESSIONS and four days, we filmed 21 performances and detailed breakdowns of Tommy’s songs. Musicologists and fingerstyle players a hundred years from now will thank their lucky stars that we captured these amazing tutorials.

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View these and more exclusive videos here >>

ASK ANYBOD that knows Tommy and they’ll tell you that he’s a beautiful, loving and generous human being. He plays pretty good guitar too.


DY

the cameras. They both were so welcoming and hospitable even as we tore their living room apart to make way for the lights, equipment and cameras.

for a producer or director on the set with Tommy in session — you just hit the record button and hold on for dear life. Tommy is the quintessential pro.

Over two sessions and four days, we filmed 21 performances and detailed breakdowns of Tommy’s songs. Musicologists and fingerstyle players a hundred years from now will thank their lucky stars that we captured these amazing tutorials. By the way, no need

Ask anybody that knows Tommy and they’ll tell you that he’s a beautiful, loving and generous human being. He plays pretty good guitar too.

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Tommy’s creative genius and otherworldly guitar prowess is well documented and celebrated the world over. So, what can I tell you about Tommy that hasn’t been said a hundred times over by more eloquent writers than myself? Well my friends, we have our sources (thanks Clara!) and share with you here a handful of little known facts about William Thomas Emmanuel… z Tommy was born with significant hearing impairment from yellow fever.

Tommy is a master power-napper who can fall asleep anywhere,

Between the ages of 12 and 15 years, Tommy had a lawn mowing business, taught guitar three nights a week, worked in corner grocery store on Sundays, and played for dancers in a band on Fridays and Saturdays.

When he first arrived in Sydney as a teenager to find work, Tommy slept under a desk in the office of a man who took pity on him. He managed to steal food until his first gig, which included a steak dinner. The “best steak dinner” he’s ever had.

His brothers’ and sister’s nickname for him is “Tomtit.” Tommy never had guitar lessons and can’t read music or tabs. Although the Emmanuels were quite poor themselves, Tommy’s mother used to house people in need all of the time and never discriminated who she helped. Like mother, like son. Tommy travels everywhere with his main guitar on his back.

Tommy loves reading autobiographies. Tommy has always been a huge Buddy Rich fan and once bought tickets to three rehearsal shows in NYC. Brazen as he is, Tommy knocked on the tour bus and was let in. Buddy made him a cup of coffee, they had a chat, Buddy showed him some drum riffs and gave him a pair of sticks. Tommy loves spicy food but it gives him the hiccups.

www.tommyemmanuel.com

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JAM PEDALS Written By Adam Levy

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Photos Courtesy of Jam Pedals

here’s a colorful tale—likely true— about the late, great Chet Atkins, which begins with him playing his guitar. As the story goes, a woman walked up to compliment Atkins, saying something like, “Your guitar sounds lovely.” The sly picker looked her in the eye, stopped playing, and asked, “How does it sound now? “ I couldn’t help but recall this story a couple years ago when I happened to stumble upon the JAM Pedals booth at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim. I’d been hearing about JAM’s analog effects pedals for awhile and was glad for the opportunity to try a few first hand. The first box I played through was their Rattler distortion. Though I’m not usually a fan of distortion pedals, I found myself enjoying the hell out of the Rattler. The pedal dirtied up my natural tone, yet I still could hear all the nuances of touch and dynamics. Next I stomped on the TubeDreamer overdrive. Once again, my tone was tweaked, but it still sounded like my guitar played by my hands. That’s when I started thinking about Chet. See, too many other effects pedals I’ve tried seem to do just one thing, seemingly independent


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of personal playing style. It’s almost as if you could put down your guitar and walk away, and the pedal would just keep cranking out the same noise. (“How does it sound now?”) I went on to try JAM’s Big Chill tremolo, Delay Llama analog delay, and Ripple phaser, and found them all remarkably responsive and transparent.

ALL OF US MUSICIANS ARE PEOPLE OF THE SOUL AT SOME LEVEL,” HE SAYS. “YOU GET A PEDAL BECAUSE YOU WANT TO MAKE MUSIC. YOU WANT SOME HELP FEELING INSPIRED.

Another thing I liked about the JAM pedals was their look. Most featured cool graphics and minimal block-letter text labeling the controls. There were a few pedals with singular designs and no text at all (except for the hand-painted JAM logo on the backside). I was curious to know the story behind these unusual pieces, so I introduced myself to the man running the NAMM booth, JAM’s founder and chief designer Jannis Anastasakis. It turns out that Anastasakis is as passionate about art as he is about music and effects design. He performs regularly as the musical half of the duo Elektronik Meditation. The project’s other half is Deniz Angelaki, who makes dreamlike paintings in real time while Anastasakis creates trippy guitar-driven soundscapes— using an arsenal of his own pedals, of course. You can see and hear their fantastic work at the elektronikmeditation channel on YouTube. (Angelaki also happens to be one of the artists who custom-paints pedals at JAM’s workshop in Athens, Greece.) I recently spoke with Anastasakis’ JAM business partner Emmanuel Vourakis to discuss the connection between tone craft and visual art. “All of us musicians are people of the soul at some level,” he says. “You get a pedal because you want to make music. You want some help feeling inspired. The visual aspect of our pedals—whether the standard line or the

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ones with custom artwork—is aiming at the same thing, which is to make that inspirational experience more complete. Before you even plug in a pedal, you hold in your hand and look at it. It may help you feel more connected to the music if the pedal looks the part as well.” True enough. I recently used my custom-painted JAM RetroVibe pedal on a recording session where I was going for a vibey, early-’70s guitar sound. Covered in misty patches of violet and indigo, with sparkly red and yellow flowers, my custom RetroVibe had a tangible effect on my mood as I played. The pedal’s rich, swirling sound totally makes sense with its sophisticatedhippy facade.

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Vourakis tells me that it’s sometimes challenging to apply durable finishes over the original artwork. “For these one-of-a-kind pedals,” he says, “you can’t prioritize making them roadworthy. If a little bit of paint chips off, so be it. That just shows that the pedal is really out there, being used, being loved.” (JAM’s standard pedals feature hardwearing finishes.) Most of the folks who work in assembly—soldering and so forth—are creative types as well, attending the local art university in Athens. “Our whole crowd is like that,” says Vourakis. “It’s sort of a band of gypsies here.” Vourakis is more than just the company spokesman, he’s a fiery blues-rock


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COVERED IN MISTY PATCHES OF VIOLET AND INDIGO, WITH SPARKLY RED AND YELLOW FLOWERS, MY CUSTOM RETROVIBE HAD A TANGIBLE EFFECT ON MY MOOD AS I PLAYED guitarist who works regularly in Greece and Cyprus. He’s in a unique position, in that he has unfettered access to the complete JAM Pedals line. But, unlike the kid who works in an ice-cream shop and eventually loses his appetite for frozen treats, Vourakis remains excited about these stompboxes and finds himself continually finding new favorites, as well as new uses for old standbys—the Fuzz Phrase, for example, which is loosely based on Roger Mayer’s original Fuzz Face. Vourakis says, “I used to think of the Fuzz Phrase as being strictly for single-coil guitars. Then I saw this guy play through it with an ES-335—setting the knobs totally differently than a Strat player would. It sounded glorious, so it tried it with my own 335 and now I use that pedal all the time.” The boundless creativity embodied by Anastasakis and Vourakis is reflected in the roster of JAM endorsees as well, which includes Nels Cline (Wilco), David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Adrian Legg, and Andy Timmons. These are musicians on the edge, not guys who covet cookie-cutter tones. JAM makes great tone tools for such vanguard players. If there’s any downside to JAM, it’s precisely this. Their boxes aren’t for weekend warriors who hope that kicking in the right effect will make them sound exactly like Texas Flood-era Stevie Ray Vaughan. They’re for guitarists who want to inspire and be inspired—to play for art’s sake.

Written by Adam Levy

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Visit www.jampedals.com >>


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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - ADVANCED

GYPSY JAZZ MINOR BLUES

S E U L B R O N I GM E L Y T S & D T’S SOUN

R A H N I E R GO N A J D O T TRO

AN IN

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CHORDS


G MINOR BLUES, AN INTRO TO DJANGO REINHARDT’S SOUND & STYLE Written by David Blacker

Throughout the evolution of popular music, there have been select artists whose contribution has represented a musical quantum leap. Django Reinhardt was definitely one such figure. Born in Belgium in 1910 to a French family of Manouche Romani descent, Reinhardt spent his youth in Romani encampments playing violin, banjo and guitar. By the age of 13, he was already working full time as a musician playing a blend of French folk songs, tangos, polkas, waltzes and early American Jazz. Django would later fuse these influences into a unique and exciting new style and sound known as “Gypsy Jazz.” Django’s dazzling virtuosity makes approaching the Gypsy Jazz style a daunting proposition for beginning or intermediate students of lead guitar. However, unlike more complicated harmonic jazz forms, many popular Gypsy Jazz numbers involve pretty straight-forward, traditional chord changes. From a lead perspective, many of the phrases and melodic elements are built off of simple arpeggios and popular chord shapes. So when you slow the music down, and take a look under the hood at what’s happening, you can walk away with some valuable new ideas to inspire your lead approach. This 3 chorus exercise was inspired by the song Minor Blues by Django Reinhardt. Minor Blues is a great doorway into this style because it’s based off of a simple I-iv-V (Gm6, Cm6, D7) structure. The lead lines in this exercise play off of minor 6th arpeggios with an added 9th for the I and iv chords, and a D7b9 arpeggio for the V chord. We’re using the D7b9 (as opposed to a normal D7) because it’s characteristic of the style, and creates the appropriate tension to resolve back to the minor I chord. Before beginning the exercise, I would recommend skipping to the end of the tablature and practicing the 3 arpeggios provided. It may take a second to get your fingerings together so that you can play them fluidly, but it’s important to get these under your fingers first. Django has influenced iconic guitarists from Les Paul to B.B. King to Carlos Santana, and it’s my sincere hope that this exercise will open the door to new melodic ideas, fingerings and possibilities for your lead playing.

EXAMPLE 2 Example = 120 Gm6 1

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Gm6 1

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EXAMPLE (Continued)

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EXAMPLE (Continued)

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ABOUT THE EDUCATOR David Blacker David Blacker is a singer / songwriter, music producer and guitar instructor. His playing and compositions have been featured on numerous original albums, national television commercials, TV series theme songs, and radio spots. As a guitarist, David has accompanied award winning vocalists and top session musicians on recordings distributed independently and through Rounder Records. He is also co-founder of www.AirGigs.com, a global marketplace for hiring session musicians and recording engineers.

VIEW DAVIDS’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - LATE INTERMEDIATE

PENTATONICS PATTERNS

BLUES

I NEED TO LEARN SOMETHING BESIDES PENTATONICS... Written by Jeff Scheetz

I hear that from students often. It usually goes something like this, “I already know my pentatonics and am tired of just bluesy licks, so I need to learn other scales.” Now, it’s true we all need to learn other scales besides just pentatonics. However, when students are “bored” with their pentatonic licks it’s usually because they have not exhausted all the cool things they could do with the pentatonic scale. Within our old friend the minor pentatonic scale there are all sorts of treasures waiting to be found. You just have to dig through the blues licks to find them. Most players just stop at the blues licks since that is usually the first “soloing” experience they have. But you can find lots of arpeggios, interesting double stops, and of course stringskipping shapes and larger intervals there for the taking.

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One way to open up your minorpentatonic thinking is to work on some things where you are not just playing straight up and down the scale. It’s easy to fall into that trap. For starters that is usually the first scale you learn and you spend a good amount of time just playing up and down it. Then you start learning many of the “standard” blues licks, which are often just a series of notes up the scale…then back down the scale.

Example 1 EXAMPLE 1 1

2

5 7 5 7

So let’s look at a couple of licks from the A minor pentatonic scale, which are really nice patterns where you are not playing up the notes in sequential order. Once you get this kind of playing down, it can really spice up the sounds you get from any scale, and especially give you some more depth with your “same old” pentatonic scales.

5 7

8 5 5

7

5 7

5

EXAMPLE 2Example 2

While you could play these with economy picking or even hybrid picking, I want you to do them with alternate picking (down, up, down, up). This will also help build up your picking. Start out working them slowly, but gradually putting some speed into these lines will make them sound pretty cool.

1

2

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5 7

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7 5 7

5 5

7 5 7

5 8 5

Try using similar ideas to build your own licks within the minor pentatonic scale. It will help you sound like you have learned a whole bunch of new scales!

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Jeff Scheetz Jeff is the Director of Education at TrueFire. He has released 8 CDs of original music. His name has been on the Ernie Ball Super Slinky string package. He has toured the US, Europe and Mexico, and performed over 300 guitar clinics worldwide for Yamaha guitars. He has been featured in Guitar, Guitar Player, Guitar School, and Guitar World magazines, as well as numerous magazines in Japan and Europe

VIEW JEFFS’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE

THEORY

INNER MUSICIAN MELODIC

G G OINOLOIN L O S G SING ING ING N I O O O O OL SOL SOLG SOLG S G G G INGLOIN LOIN LOIN LOINOLOIN O L SO G SO G SO G SO G SONG S NG ING N I N OIN LOINOLOI OLOI OLOISOLO SOLO L O O S S S S G S G G G G IN OINGLOIN LOIN LOIN LOIN O L L SO SO G SO G SO G SONG SO N I IN IN I LO OLO SOLO SOLO O S G S G OIN LOIN L SO SO

RECONNECTING WITH THE INNER MUSICIAN Written by David Walliman

There was a time when I thought that achieving true musical freedom required an in-depth knowledge of every single scale, arpeggio shape, chord inversion and any other musical concept you can think of. I spent hours memorizing positions all over the fretboard in hopes that someday, somehow, I would be able to magically play the perfect solo over any given chord progression and become the musician I’ve always dreamed to be. After years of hard dedicated work memorizing everything I could on the fretboard, I got really good at playing dozens of different modes in any imaginable positions. However, my phrasing remained unmusical

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and uninteresting. I had to face the truth: the secret to better musical lines was not going to be found in an in-depth knowledge of the fretboard. This realization was both comforting and terrifying. It was comforting because I did not have to spend countless hours repeating mindless scale drills over and over. It was also terrifying because besides spending thousands of hours on the instrument, I did not know what to do. I believe most guitar players wrestle with that question at some point or another. The answer to better musical phrasing is much simpler than what you might think. The secret lies within. The problem with most guitar players is that what they play is mostly generated by


the instrument itself. How many times have you heard a guitar solo start with a bended second string going from the minor 7th to the root? What about the classic Chuck Berry lick that comes up in 99% of all guitar solos? These are perfect examples of guitar solos directly generated by the instrument and the players comfort with certain patterns and scale positions. I would like to suggest a different approach. What if the musical idea came from within? What if the guitar was just the tool you used to convey the musical idea? The guitar is your instrument after all - the tool that enables you to express yourself. The story comes from the author’s mind, not from the pencil. This healthier approach to creating music is so simple that it is often overlooked. So, how do we reconnect with the inner musician? The first step is to listen. Whether you are playing with a band, playing over a backing track, or even playing alone, you should always take the time to listen. Steve Vai calls this listening with the “inner” ear. This is a mental form of listening that involves your imagination. If you actively set your mind to listening, you will start hearing something. Most of the times you will hear something very simple - that’s a good thing. If you are new to this form of listening, use a backing track as a musical canvas to ignite your imagination. Listen to the track and mentally sing over it until you have a short recognizable melodic idea. Once you have a clear mental thought of the musical line, we need to study it. All of this is done without the guitar at hands. The goal of this exercise is to get an in-depth knowledge of the musical idea you came up with. You need to know where notes are in relation to each other.

Which note is the highest note of the theme? Which note is the lowest? Is the third note lower than the last? Are there any notes that have the same pitch? All those questions will help you come up with a clear mental image of the theme you came up with. Once you feel that you have a very clear image of the musical idea, grab your guitar and find those notes on the fretboard. There most likely will be different options as to where to place the notes on the guitar. Figure all of those options out. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the fretboard while keeping your ears actively involved in the process. If you do this exercise on a regular basis, you will find your musical ideas to be much more interesting and most of the times different than what you would have come up with by just playing. The first time doing this might be tedious and you might feel that you are taking quite a few steps back in terms of your current ability to play the instrument. Do not give up! The more you do this, the easier it will come. After a few months you will find that you are able to almost instantly reproduce what you hear within using your guitar. Taking the time to reconnect with the inner musician is a wonderful path of self discovery. It takes off the pressure to compete with others and will bring you a lot of joy. I hope you find this simple, yet effective exercises useful. Simple truths are often the most profound. I have never felt more free musically until after applying these previous steps into my daily musical experiences. This is an exciting path full of wonderful discoveries. Will you take it?

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR David Wallimann Born in the south of France, David Wallimann moved to the USA to pursue a musical career. He was quickly noticed by the Christian progressive rock community after the release of his first album, “Deep Inside the Mind”. In 2006, David joined progressive rock band Glass Hammer. David teaches yearly at Dweezil Zappa’s Dweezilla. He is known for his distinctive sense of humor and his ability to capture his audience.

VIEW DAVID’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE

DYNAMICS

TRAVIS PICKING

THUMB CONTROL

Syncopated Double Stop Travis Picking Patterns by Brooks Robertson Having a collection of versatile right hand (picking hand) techniques is important for any well rounded Fingerstyle player. When it comes to Travis Picking style there are a great deal of patterns to study and get under your hands. Patterns are nice because they are ordinarily short passages that with enough repetition and practice are easy to Written by Brooks Robertson memorize. Each pattern has a different rhythm, harmonic personality, feel and character. The skills used to play these patterns often show up when playing a Having a collection song of versatile right-hand (picking-hand) importantfor for any well-rounded fingerstyle Fingerstyle or arrangement and cantechniques also be isvaluable accompaniment or player. When it comes to the Travis-Picking style there are a great deal of patterns to study and get under your warming up. Picking patterns are great for improving your technique, motor skills, hands. Patterns are nice because they are ordinarily short passages that, with enough repetition and practice, dexterity, gaining independence, finger independence, good tone, are easy to memorize. Eachthumb pattern has a different rhythm, harmonic personality, feel developing and character. The skills usedvolume to play these patterns show up when playing a fingerstyle song or arrangement and can also be control andoften dynamics.

SYNCOPATED, DOUBLE-STOP, TRAVIS-PICKING PATTERNS

valuable for accompaniment or warming up. Picking patterns are great for improving your technique, motor skills,When dexterity, gaining thumb independence, independence, good tone, and it comes to learning thesefinger picking patternsdeveloping the concept thatvolume is the control most integral dynamics.

which should be learned first is thumb independence (aka alternating bass), followed byit comes gaining comfort and control using fingers. Below an example of what When to learning these picking patterns, theyour concept that is the mostis integral (to be learned first) isthe thumb independence (a.k.a. pattern alternatinglooks bass),like followed by gaining comfort and control using your fingers.with Below alternating thumb when the fretting hand is playing a chord the is an example of what the alternating thumb pattern looks like when the fretting hand is playing a chord with the root located on either the 6th string or root on the 5th string. This alternating thumb root located on either the 6th string or root on the 5th string. This alternating thumb concept is the basis for all concept is the basis forplaying all Travis Picking. The thumbalternating will be playing on every beat of Travis Picking. The thumb will be on every beat of the measure, strings (never consecutively picking the same string) and always starting by striking the string in which the root of the chord is located, on the measure, alternating strings (never consecutively picking the same string) and beat one. always starting by striking the string in which the root of the chord is located, on beat one. (Example 1) (T=thumb)

EXAMPLE 1 (T Thumb)

There are some fantastic techniques you can start progressing into once you have a grasp on thumb independence. (Disclaimer; if you have never used your fingers in combination with the thumb playing at the same time this will likely take much repetition

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types of patterns utilize the pairing of the middle and ring finger, playing in unison and the index finger playing independently. If you listen to Jerry Reed play tunes with a One my favorite groove techniques is syncopated picking patterns with Cannonball” double stops.orThese funky,ofsyncopated like “The Claw”, “Guitar Man”, “Wabash types utilize the pairingEnergy”, of the middle and ring finger, playing in unison BusterofB.patterns Jones play “Misdirected “Jus D’ Orange”, “Live @ Five”, “Funkyand the indexyou’ll fingerhear playing independently. If you listen to Reed play tunes with a Fingers” numerous patterns that employ theJerry double stop technique. funky, syncopated groove like “The Claw”, “Guitar Man”, “Wabash Cannonball” or There are some fantastic techniques you can start progressing into once you have a grasp on thumb The patterns become more complex as you “Jus incorporate the index, middle and ring Buster B. Jones play if“Misdirected Energy”, D’ Orange”, @ Five”, “Funky independence. (Disclaimer; you have never used your fingers in combination with “Live the thumb playing at the same fingers, which will benumerous placed the 3rdtothat (G) string, string 1st (E) string time this will likely take much repetition on and practice become fluent2nd with, be patient andand work slowly). Fingers” you’ll hear patterns employ the (B) double stop technique. respectively. The fingers will play both on the beat and in between the been (on the up One ofpatterns my favorite techniques is syncopated picking patterns with doublethe stops. Thesemiddle types ofand patterns The more complex as of you incorporate index, ringutilize beat). What’s become unique about these types patterns is not only having all the fingers and the pairing of the middle and ring finger, playing in unison and the index finger playing independently. If you listen fingers, which will be placed the 3rdgroove (G) string, 2nd (B) string and 1st (E) thumb playing simultaneously but also having the fingers play independent ofstring the or to Jerry Reed play tunes with a funky, on syncopated like “The Claw”, “Guitar Man”, “Wabash Cannonball” respectively. Thesyncopation. fingers will play “Jus bothD’ on the beat and in“Funky between theyou’ll been the up Buster Jones play “Misdirected Energy”, Orange”, “Live @ Five”, Fingers” hear(on numerous thumbB.creating patterns that employ the double-stop technique. beat). What’s unique about these types of patterns is not only having all the fingers and The below pattern is essentially built upon the the alternating thumb pattern fromofabove thumb playing simultaneously also having fingers play independent theplaced The patterns become more complex asbut you incorporate the index, middle and ring fingers, which will be (ex. 1). Notes to pay some extra attention to and make sure you’re accurately on the 3rd (G) string,syncopation. 2nd (B) string and 1st (E) string respectively. The fingers will play both on the beat and thumb creating implementing are thumb, index,unique middle and ring fingers playing in between the beat (onthe the up beat). What’s about these types of patterns is not simultaneously only having all the on The pattern is essentially built upon thethe alternating pattern fingers and thumb playing but also having fingers play thumb independent of thefrom thumb creating beatbelow two, followed bysimultaneously, the index finger playing independently on the upbeat ofabove beat syncopation. (ex. Notes to pay some extra attention and make sure playing you’re accurately three1). and the middle and ring finger beingtopaired together, in unison on the implementing are the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers playing on upbeat beatisfour. It is often helpful to countthumb the pattern outabove loud (ex. tosimultaneously yourself, two, The belowof pattern essentially built upon the alternating pattern from 1). Notes toone, pay some extra to and make sure you’re accurately implementing are the thumb,on index, andof ring fingers beat two, byetc. the index finger playing independently themiddle upbeat beat threeattention and followed four and.. playing simultaneously on beat two, followed by the index finger playing independently on the upbeat of beat three and the middle and ring finger being paired together, playing in unison on the three and the middle and ring finger being paired together, playing in unison on the upbeat of beat four. It is often (Example 2) upbeat of beat four. It is often helpful to count the pattern out loud to yourself, one, two, helpful to count the pattern out loud to yourself, one, two, three and four and…etc. three and four and.. etc. 2=middle, 3=ring) (T=thumb, 1=index, (Example 2)

EXAMPLE 2

(T=thumb, 1=index, 2=middle, 3=ring) (T=Thumb, 1=Index, 2=Middle, 3=Ring)

Adding a pinch on Beat 2 and syncopation on upbeat of Beat 3 & 4

Here is another example with more syncopation with the index finger between beats one two.example (Example 3a) syncopation with the index finger between beats one and two. Here and is another with more Here is another example with more syncopation with the index finger between beats one and two. (Example 3a)

EXAMPLE 3A

(T=Thumb, 1=Index, 2=Middle, 3=Ring)

Isolating Finger 1 on upbeats of Beats 1 & 3 with additional syncopation RIFF

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Another variation that can be used with these type of patterns is pairing the index and middle fingers to play in unison and having the ring finger play independently. If you Another variation that can be used these type of patterns is pairing the index andcan middle have trouble pairing any two with particular fingers to play in unison you tryfingers usingtoaplay in unison and having the ring finger play independently. If you have trouble pairing any two particular fingers to piece of tape or a rubber band to gently keep your fingers braced together. Remember play in unison you can try using a piece of tape or a rubber band to gently keep your fingers braced together. repetition help will internalize this technique. slight variation of “Example 3a”, Rememberwill repetition help internalize this technique.Here Here isisa a slight variation of “Example 3a”, this time with the index and middle finger paired together and the ring finger playing independently. this time with the index and middle finger paired together and the ring finger playing independently. (Example 3b)

EXAMPLE 3B (T=Thumb, 1=Index, 2=Middle, 3=Ring)

Isolating Finger 3

As you begin to grasp these new patterns take a step back and consider these tips. First strive thenpatterns speed. Experiment byconsider applying the patterns tofora accuracy variety of As you beginfor to accuracy grasp these new take a step back and these tips. First strive then speed. Experiment by applying the patterns to a variety of different progressions and chord qualities. As you different progressions and chord qualities. As you gain comfort compare and observe gain comfort compare and observe the difference in sound and feel from playing a particular pattern at 60 BPM the difference in sound and feel from playing a particular pattern at 60 BPM vs.100 vs.100 BPM. Initially strive to play the patterns very rigid with every note exactly on the beat or off-beat. Once BPM. Initially strive to play enough the patterns rigid every note exactly beat or the patterns seem comfortable see if youvery can be morewith lenient and relaxed with your on feel.the Experiment with playing notesthe slightly ahead or behind the beat. For more in-depth instruction of these techniques off-beat. Once patterns seem comfortable enough see if you can be types moreoflenient and concepts you can find my Ultimate Fingerstyle Toolbox workshop and Fingerstyle Survival Guide course on and relaxed with your feel. Experiment with playing notes slightly ahead or behind the TrueFire.com. beat. For more in-depth instruction of these types of techniques and concepts you can find my “Ultimate Fingerstyle Toolbox” workshop and “Fingerstyle Survival Guide” course on TrueFire.com.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Brooks Robertson The protege of Buster B. Jones, Brooks Robertson wowed guitar fans even as a child. At age 14 he appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, where he won first place in a talent competition for 12-20 year olds. In 2012 Brooks received the Horizon Award for young, up and coming guitarists by The National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, and after being a finalist in the 2014 ‘Six String Theory Guitar Competition’ he was awarded a full tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music. At 25 years old Brooks continues perfecting his craft learning new tunes, styles and techniques, as well as composing his own groovy and soulful original music.

VIEW BROOKS’ COURSE LIBRARY AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5


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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - BEGINNER

SOLO GUITAR TOOLS

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BEGINNER


BEGINNING SOLOING Written by Joe Dalton

Starting to develop the craft of single note soloing can seem like trying to stroll through the rainforest or climbing a mountain without a map, GPS, or guide. Some students (we are all students) may set out with a pentatonic blues scale, but don’t know where to begin. Interestingly enough, each one of us has our own unique voice when it comes to creativity and the craft of improvised solos. Let’s get started. Along with your adventurous spirit (you must have one to even think about your stroll through the rainforest or climb up the mountain), we will need these basic tools:

Scales - Yes, we will need a collection of notes. To

begin our journey, we will use a pentatonic blues scale.

Phrases - This is where most of us get lost. We try to

play the scale from end to end. This sounds like we are taking a shot in the dark or don’t have a compass.

Dynamics - We need to give some emotion to our

phrases. By changing volume and using different articulations, we can put some feeling into those notes we are playing. I think this is a good start for one session. There is a lot more to learn, but of course, we need to start.

Use your first finger for all of the notes on the fifth fret, your third finger for the seventh fret, and your pinky for the eighth fret.

Phrases - The most common error in creating your

first improvised solo is trying to play the scale from A to A, trying to play all of the notes. Some of the most famous soloists use simple phrases to say much. (B.B King and Eric Clapton are the first two that come to mind.) We really need to center on the A and play fewer notes. Our first level of phrases for our journey, will be to center on the tonic. The tonic is the key name. We are in the key of A. We will use an A blues progression as our background and therefore, use the A blues scale to create our solos. We will be centering on the A.

1) The first exercise is getting used to the sound of Scale - We will begin with the A Pentatonic Blues

scale. Check the tab for this form of the scale. There are different positions and some that facilitate smoother scale sounds, but this is easy to memorize.

our tonic and centering our phrases around the tonic. What I would like you to do is play your first chorus with just the A on the fourth string, seventh fret. This will enable you to be creative with your rhythms and articulations. This is just an exercise.

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Beginning Soloing BEGINNING SOLOING (Guitar)

Joe Dalton

(Written for Guitar by Joe Dalton)

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2) Now we need to add one note. Let’s add the G (the note below the A in pitch).

The G is on the fourth string, fifth fret. Always lead into the A. We want to land on the A so that it sounds like our home base. Don’t use too many notes. Try a phrase that is G-A-G-A, and hold out the last A. Play through the entire chorus with just this phrase.

above the A. D-C-A-A can be our next phrase. The D is on the third string, seventh fret. Play a chorus with this phrase

6) Try mixing things up a bit and you have completed the first steps in soloing around a tonal center. There are three different grooves for you to play along with as you develop and practice your new phrases.

3) Let’s add a note above the A. The C is on the third

Dynamics - Volume changes are self-explanatory.

string, fifth fret. Play a phrase that uses just the C and the A, for instance C-A-C-A. After you play a chorus with just the C and the A, try alternating phrases of C and A with phrases of G and A. Always make A your “home base.” Land there and try to create space. Don’t try to fill all of the time noodling around with the notes. Keep it simple.

Try starting soft and getting louder and vice versa for each phrase. Try getting louder at the end of a chorus to lead you into the next one. As far as articulations go, try picking one note harder than the next to create and accented note. Play some long and some short. Listen to some Eric Clapton and try to imitate some of his shorter phrases.

4) Well I’m certain you saw this coming. Now we will

This is your jump-off point for improvised solos. There are some other elements we can add at another time like adding some cliché licks, flashy licks, bends, etc. For now get comfortable and confident with these ideas.

do the same thing with two notes below the A. E-G-A-A can be our next phrase. The E is on the fifth string, seventh fret. Play a chorus with this phrase.

5) Now we will do the same thing with two notes

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Joe Dalton When country guitar master Joe Dalton picks up a six-string; everyone listens. A phenomenon that has followed Joe since he was a snot nosed kid in the 5th grade. Having picked up his first instrument at age 5, Dalton should have been considered a musical prodigy if it weren’t for the plain fact that he was only one of the latest branches to sprout from a very musical family tree with a legacy that spans decades. His great-grandfather conducted the City of Rome Orchestra in Italy; his grandfather was the leader of the New York Philharmonic; his father is solely responsible for bringing mallets into the U.S. Army Band Corps; his brother teaches at the Boston Conservatory...we could go on, but you get the point, right? Musical prowess runs through his veins; it’s the nucleus of his existence.

VIEW JOE’S COURSE LIBRARY

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AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5 Photos By Alison Hasbach


WRITTEN BY JEFF SCHEETZ

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W We all love a feelgood movie where our hero seems to have no chance, but against all odds comes out on top.

We all love a feel-good movie where our hero seems to have no chance, but against all odds comes out on top. Rocky comes from rough circumstances, but overcomes it all to be the champ. With the help of an unlikely little Hobbit, the ring makes it back into Mordor. Even Lassie eventually finds her way home. So as guitar players, we would love a movie that maybe went something like this… A boy is born in a small town, and he is legally blind from birth with an eye disease called nystagmus. But he gets his first guitar at age 2, and by age 4 he is playing gigs and getting paid! He starts a band with his brother and sister and they go on to win the “Talent America Contest.” This young guitarist practices like crazy and eventually gets so good he plays on records for all of the superstars of country music, plays at the Grand Ole Opry, records critically acclaimed solo records and has endorsements and accolades rolling in. Oh yeah, and he meets and marries the girl of his dreams as well. Man! That would be an awesome story! But who would believe all of that? Johnny Hiland would. Because that…is Johnny’s story. Not a script written for the big screen, but a life lived to the full in spite of having to start with a handicap. As Johnny tells it, “As a handicapped person, I really feel that God gave me the gift of music. I received my first guitar at age 2. It was a toy guitar, but then my Aunt brought

“ Not a script written for the big screen, but a life lived to the full in spite of having to start with a handicap” my Dad their father’s 1939 Gibson J-45. I dragged that poor old guitar everywhere. I still have that old guitar and there would never be enough money in the world to take her from me.” But the real transformation kicked in at age 12 when Johnny got his first electric

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guitar, a charcoal gray Fender Strat. Up until then, he had been playing shows with his brother Jerry and sister Jodi. “Around age 4, I started playing little shows and bringing home some pretty good money and they wanted in on that action. So they started singing harmonies with me and clogging. We became known as ‘The 3 J’s’ and played mostly bluegrass where I also played banjo, mandolin and fiddle.” Are those the only instruments Johnny plays? Not by a long shot. “I play around 22 instruments.” What? Wait a minute. That sounds even crazy for our Hollywood movie! But Johnny plays them all. “I play guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, percussion, lap steel, dobro, some piano, and I learned to play every instrument in my school band. You know, baritone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, saxophone, and so on. Currently, I have my own studio in Nashville, where I sometimes get to play some of these other instruments along with guitar. I’m living the dream folks!” Yeah, that is one thing about Johnny, even though he is an amazing guitarist and certainly a

bonafide overall musician, he will always greet you with a “howdy folks!” He acknowledges his talent with real humility and says; “I am thankful, each and every day, to be able to carry that gift of music forth in my career that I have now! Music is a true blessing!” What if Johnny had to pick just one other instrument to play besides guitar? “I would definitely want to be a

“ Yeah, that is one thing about Johnny, even though he is an amazing guitarist and certainly a bonafide overall musician, he will always greet you with a “ howdy folks! ” drummer. I have always loved playing drums, and my dad was a drummer back in the 60’s. He was in a little band, back home in Maine, called, “The Villagers.” He was definitely one of my heroes.”

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“Even when things get tough in our industry, we always have to remember that music is a gift. T hat gift is to bring happiness to people’s lives. T hat ’s what we do as entertainers.” Johnny has continued to grow as a player and he can not only play many instruments, but he can play in any style as well. He can go from soulful blues to mean Van Halenesque licks and of course completely leave you slack-jawed with his country chops. Besides playing, Johnny also really enjoys teaching. “When I moved to Nashville back in 1996, I found that teaching was another way to help bring in money for bills. However, as I established myself in the industry, I found that I really loved showing people how to play in the style of chicken pickin. I have never held anything back from anybody. As I learned something new, I was never afraid to turn right around and show it to someone else. TrueFire has really been a blessing to me, and I love everybody there as family. They have provided me a way to keep my teaching available to the world and I can’t wait to do more courses with them.” Johnny also loves his gear. He can go on for days talking about pedals and amps and getting great tone. He really has a knack for getting the right sound for the situation. For the full list, you can check out his gear list on his website. There you can also check his touring schedule, which is something he is really excited about. “I have had a lot of wonderful and exciting things happening in my career. New management, new record, and I will definitely be on a bus, with my band, and we will be performing in a town near you real soon!” So while not everyone can get a guitar at age 2 and rocket to stardom, Johnny says that everyone can still pursue music. “If someone asked me for advice on getting into the music industry today, I would have to tell them to follow their dreams, no matter what. This business is not easy, especially today. It seems as though our music is being pirated on the Internet more and more. Artists have to be on the road in order to show any true record sales these days. But, my advice would also be that they find proper representation and management to help build their career. Always stay true to yourself, and your music, and never stop having fun. Even when things get tough in our industry, we always have to remember that music is a gift. That gift is to bring happiness to people’s lives. That’s what we do as entertainers. Enjoy life, cherish the gift of music, and keep on pickin’!” So there is the wrap-up to the feel good story that should inspire guitarists and musicians everywhere. It is possible to overcome obstacles, live the dream and enjoy the ride along the way! Fade to black, roll credits. Go Johnny go. www.johnnyhiland.com

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View this and more Johnny Hiland videos here >>


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One of the highlights of every summer and winter NAMM convention is Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night benefit concert. Each event features a variety of 12+ world-class guitarists who treat standing-roomonly audiences to an eclectic range of acoustic and electric guitar music. While the evening celebrates the guitar and entertains audiences, it also raises money and awareness for a very important cause – music education for children. The artists donate their time and talent and the sponsors generously fund this event so that disadvantaged children can have access to instruments and music instruction in their schools.

Widely respected as one of the world’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists and harp guitarists, Muriel Anderson founded the Music for Life Alliance, which is the beneficiary of the event and works with non-profits disseminating instruments, funds and research nationwide. We’ve worked with Muriel for many years collaborating on fingerstyle lessons and courses for TrueFire. She is a passionate educator and her facility across the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and

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View this and more exclusive ASGN videos here >>


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international music is revered by guitarists worldwide. We’ve also become very close with Muriel and cherish that friendship. About ten years ago, Muriel asked if we’d be willing to help produce the show, and while we had zero experience in this area, we immediately raised our hands and dived in head first. We’ve produced almost 25 shows with Muriel and managed pretty much everything from soup to nuts.

Along the way, we’ve staged and experienced so much amazing guitar music that it would be impossible to pick out our favorite performances. The artists and performances that we’re sharing with you here were selected just to give you a taste of the variety and range of talent that has taken the All Star Guitar Night stage. You can learn more about the show and view hundreds of performances (we filmed every show!) on the All Star Guitar Night website (allstarguitarnight.com). We’d like to thank all of the sponsors and all of the artists for supporting the cause and putting big smiles on the faces of the kids who benefit from everybody’s efforts!


“ALONG THE WAY, WE’VE STAGED AND EXPERIENCED SO MUCH AMAZING GUITAR MUSIC THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO PICK OUT OUR FAVORITE PERFORMANCES“

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“THE EVENING CELEBRATES GUITAR AND ALSO RAISES MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR A VERY IMPORTANT CAUSE “

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View this and more exclusive ASGN videos here >>


Visit www.allstarguitarnight.com >>

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Photos By Alison Hasbach

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Written By Brad Wendkos


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I’VE HAD THE PLEASURE OF COLLABORATING ON SO MANY PROJECTS AND “FIRSTS” WITH CHRIS OVER THE PAST MANY YEARS. Once upon a time, way back in the early years of TrueFire, the phone rang on my desk late in the afternoon. I remember being buried with work and up against a dozen looming deadlines and so almost let the phone ring on to voicemail. Ring. Ring. Ring. One more ring would have let it go to voicemail, but something told me to pick it up. Good fortune smiled upon TrueFire that day. The voice on the other end of the line had that distinctive New York/New Jersey dialect, which I was able to relate to immediately having lived in those parts for more than 25 years myself. The caller told me he was an instructor up at Berklee in Boston, but that he, his wife and kids wanted to move back to New Jersey and he’d have to give up the Berklee gig to do that and so, wanted to know if we had any freelance work or opportunities for him. Long story short, he sent links to his videos and articles and I was very impressed with his work. And I really liked his moxie, so we spoke again and agreed to do a trial project together, which he knocked out of the park. That led to an ongoing freelance relationship. He took on anything that we threw at him, never said no, busted his chops to prepare the curriculum and aced the sessions every single time. He was one of the pioneers of our 50 Licks series and the first TrueFire educator to do three of them (50 Rock, 50 Metal and 50 Funk). He was the first educator

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to do TrueFire’s companion courses with Blues Progressions and Blues Soloing. He was part of our experiment to shoot with split-screen, two guitar part composites with Guitar Cubed. He was one of the first “Sherpas” with his highly successful Guitar Gym online classroom. And he will be one of the first educators involved with our brand new IN THE JAM platform. There’s more… He was the first educator to lead a moderated blog on our forum and the first to include Line 6 POD files with his courses. He was the first to use an Axe-Fx on a course (all Guitar Gym titles). He produced an entire and quite massive video course all by himself at home (40 Day Rhythm Guitar SWAT Camp). He did all of the charts for all 200 of the free Jam Tracks on TrueFire. He’s got 26 TrueFire courses to his credit. We call him Professor of the Deep. You know him as Chris Buono.

I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on so many projects and “firsts” with Chris over the past many years. I respect him immensely, got to know him quite well and am very proud to call him on good friend. To help you get to know Chris a little bit better, I asked


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him a few revealing questions and his answers follow, in his own words…

What single event or person inspired you to become a musician? My big brother Louis. One thing he always drove into my head, like only an Italian big brother can is “smart” or “logical fingering.” It’s something I swear by today and have said those words countless times teaching. Name the three most important things you learned — and now practice — about earning a living as a guitar player? Learn how to play jazz to some degree and the theory behind it. Learn how to read music. Never say “no.”

Running. I’m always running to something. That, or my childhood or something related to where and how I grew up. I’m always looking for my dad who passed in May 2001. Your favorite motto? Maybe our time has come and gone, or maybe it’s gone, but not yet come. (Stacy Lordi, AKA Stacy Buono) Your idea of happiness? When my family is happy & healthy, my work is done and I’m in a premium guitar store where I know a guy and I’m left to my own devices for a few hours. Your favorite heroes in fiction? In addition to my boyhood fascination with Marvel and DC characters, as well as all things Star Wars, I’m a big fan and staunch supporter of the underdog.

HE TOOK ON ANYTHING THAT WE THREW AT HIM, NEVER SAID NO, BUSTED HIS CHOPS TO PREPARE THE CURRICULUM AND ACED THE SESSIONS EVERY SINGLE TIME. Given all the negatives about the changing business landscape of the music business and how tough it is to sell records etc. What are the positives about the current evolution of the music business? The fact I can connect with anyone anywhere in the world has totally changed the game for me. From Skype lessons with students as far out as Europe and Asia to having people buy my TrueFire courses and my books who live in places I can’t even spell right on the first try.

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)? Both sides of my family are artisans. Some of that rubbed off on me such as drawing and building things, but I wish I had the chops to build a house or any structure for that matter from scratch. In life or in music, what one thing have you learned that you’d like to pass on to our readers? Be fair to people for no other reason than it’s right. And, keep a low profile doing it. Your actions will speak to those who matter most. www.chrisbuono.com

What do you dream about? Literally.

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BEHIND THE GLASS FEATURING: CARL VERHEYEN WRITTE N : BY TO MMY JAMIN

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C

arl Verheyen is one of the cats that I’ve worked with over the years that made a lasting impression on me. I equate his personality in a lot of ways with what it takes to make it in the music business where perseverance is key. He doesn’t rest.

The first time we worked together was in August 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. At that particular time we had just introduced a new process of “blueprinting” courses and for whatever reason we had none for Carl’s course. Carl and I had a laugh over it this last trip because we almost cancelled that first shoot, and to clarify, he was totally prepared. Not having a course blueprint just meant we lacked a layout for what the course was going to be: It maps all of the elements that make up the course structure, and with some guys when you’re under a time crunch and don’t have structure - that could spell disaster. It felt more critical at that time because we were out of our comfort zone. We were only in town for the week for a Chet Atkins Appreciation Society event and another event that we produce at the Summer NAMM show, so we had rented a room at Studio Instrument Rentals just east of Music Row. We’d shoot courses during our downtime with some of the artists that happened to be in town. But because it was going to be our first course with Carl and we didn’t have a blueprint, we almost called it off! Sounds silly now, and of course it went on to become one of TrueFire’s most highly regarded courses of all time, S.W.A.T. Blues. Good thing we didn’t. My first impression of Carl at that first shoot in 2011: This guy has a KILLER work ethic. Let’s talk a little bit about that for a minute because in my opinion, it’s one of the understated aspects of “making it in the music biz”, a notion commonly compared to some fairy tale where artists play a damsel in distress. The big record exec plays a valiant knight and “finds” our artist to chariot them off to the world of rock stardom, right? No way. These guys put blood sweat and tears to the grindstone, develop a rock solid work ethic and vision, and persevere just like starting any other successful business. It’s often forgotten how hard these entrepreneurs have to work to find ANY amount of success. You make a small gain, you repeat. I’m just

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scratching the surface, but it sounds a lot like starting any other business right? Except this “fairy tale” has a twist in that all too often, that night in shining armor is actually the bloodthirsty villain in disguise. That’s another topic. This time around Carl shot two new courses set to launch in early 2016. There’s S.W.A.T. Sessions: Country, where he takes you through his approach to ten burning, chickin’ pickin’ solos over a variety of country style backing tracks. S.W.A.T. Sessions: Jazz Rock is its counterpart in fusion. Carl’s unique twist of hyperspace-like intervallic leaps and wicked sense of melody make him a blast to study, and his personality and wealth of stories from the road make him a blast to hang with in the studio. The thing I always come back to is how hard he works when he’s with us. Every time I work with Carl, it’s made more clear that he is no stranger to the “hard work = success” model. The guy keeps a daily creative journal of every lick he plays. He notates them in standard notation so that he stays sharp on his composing and note-reading chops. What a concept: He works out his creative muscle every day, captures the ideas he comes up with and who knows, maybe when he needs it, he actually digs in and finds inspiration from some of those forgotten licks of genius in an otherwise roadblocked session. That’s triple duty for his effort right there. Who does that? Carl does and it’s a proven system. The man has clearly played with some of the greatest both in the studio and on the stage. During one of our breaks I witnessed him writing a tune for an upcoming record he’s cutting, and that was to fill the time it took me to make technical adjustments in the control room. He didn’t ask for one break. He just doesn’t rest. In the studio, I have to push people. If we need to push on, I’ll be the guy who introduces you to your new caffeine addiction. I might have to cut your pleasant conversation over lunch short so we can get back to work. Carl? No, this is one artist who pushes me to keep moving.


Written by Tommy Jamin TrueFire

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Photo By Alison Hasbach


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Written By Jeff Scheetz

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JASON IS REALLY POPULAR WITH STUDENTS AT TRUEFIRE BECAUSE OF HIS UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO GET A STUDENT FROM POINT A TO POINT B. AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5


You’re watching a popular singer onstage in front of a crowded room. They get out of the second chorus and look to their side to watch the guitarist lay down a sweet solo. So who is the singer? Well, that varies, but there is a really good chance that the guitarist is Jason Loughlin. He is often seen onstage with a variety of bands these days. But isn’t that hard to keep track of all those notes floating around in one’s head? “It’s just a game of time management,” says Jason. “When I take a gig I make sure I have the proper time to learn or review the material. Playing in a bunch of bands is super rewarding for someone like me who gets bored very fast.”

Certainly no time for boredom when your schedule looks like this. “Right now I lead two of my own bands, The String Gliders and Osceola. I’m a band member of North of Amarillo, a band that plays all the Emmylou Harris Hotband arrangements mixed with other 60’s and 70’s country. Recently, I’ve been a sideman for Sam Outlaw who’s been getting a lot of great press from Rolling Stone and NPR.” How does a gig like the Sam Outlaw one come about? “Sam was a fan of my record Peach Crate and would come to see me when I would be playing in LA. Next thing I know he made this great country record with the legendary Ry Cooder. I got a text one day from his bass player Daniel Rhine, who I knew from a tour I did with Rachael Yamagata and Sara Bareilles. It said ‘Can you sub for Ry Cooder in June?’ Um…. YES. So, I’ve doing it since. It is fun just being a sideman and opening for great artists. I would never be able to do that with my instrumental music.”

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“IF YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A MUSICIAN, BURN YOUR SAFETY NET. Of course just like in the real world, once you get a good job, you need to figure out how to keep it. Jason says, “Take every gig when you’re starting out and take them all seriously, they all have something to teach you whether it’s on the guitar itself, on stage or off. Learn parts that give you new insight on how to arrange; learn new styles; solo in a way that serves each song appropriately; learn how to prep for a rehearsal and even how to be comfortable when the artist wants to change everything you worked on at rehearsal or sometimes even on stage. Even little things like how to use a crappy house amp with a smile, help carrying gear, driving the van or buying a round all contribute towards making yourself irreplaceable.”

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When Jason plays you can tell there is more going on than just a casual guitarist banging out some chords. His understanding of “parts” and “layering” is evident on his solo record, and certainly understandable from his sideman work. But there has to be more to this depth of musical understanding than just that right? There is. “Some people might be surprised to know that the trumpet was first priority to me up to about age 23. I went to school for classical trumpet and theory/composition. I studied for four years with trumpet virtuoso Lee Soper. I made my living in and around New York as a classical trumpet player for a few years. I was always studying guitar and playing in bands on the side though. I got a job at Starbucks, worked the minimum amount of hours to pay rent and eat and


started studying jazz guitar with Vic Juris. I practiced ten hours a day for a year or two. Frank Vignola was also a big help to the way I view the guitar neck.” What would steer someone from the trumpet to country and swing on guitar? Jason says, “I grew up listening to a lot of swing. My grandfather was a huge Les Paul, Errol Gardner and Django Reinhardt fan. This meant every Monday night my grandparents would take me to see Les Paul at Fat Tuesdays. Then, when I was 24, I read an article in Vintage Guitar Magazine about Danny Gatton and I was like ‘Man, I gotta check this guy out. He combines all the things I love about guitar.’ I got his record 88 Elmira St. and traded in my archtop for a tele that week!” Jason is really popular with students at TrueFire because of his understanding of how to get a student from point A to point B. “The toughest thing for a lot of students is to make that connection between just knowing some licks and knowing how to go play a gig and not get a cymbal thrown at them!”

Jason is hard at work about to release the String Gliders album, an all-star band with twin teles and steel guitar. He has several other projects in the works, but it is hard to finish them all when you have such a touring schedule. He still finds time to share his knowledge and art whenever he can. Jason has some great advice. “If you really want to be a musician, burn your safety net. Yup, remember how your parents were like ‘Get a business degree and you can always play on the side’…they don’t know what they’re talking about. Set the safety net on fire. Set goals, make lists and run yourself like a business. Manage your time and goals. Get a good teacher, make a practice schedule, start playing out no matter how bad you are or how many times you get fired from a gig. Take every gig until you get a feel about what it is you want to do.” Great advice! It certainly has worked for this classical trumpet playing barista! But now instead of serving lattes he’s serving up tasty licks, and just the right part for the song.

www.jasonloughlin.com

EVEN LITTLE THINGS LIKE HOW TO USE A CRAPPY HOUSE AMP WITH A SMILE, HELP CARRYING GEAR, DRIVING THE VAN OR BUYING A ROUND ALL CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS MAKING YOURSELF IRREPLACEABLE.”

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NTGI INTERVIEW HOUSE NEWS

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ERICH ANDREAS

TRUEFIRE’S NEXT TOP GUITAR INSTRUCTOR WRITTEN BY JEFF SCHEETZ

I grew up in the country in the middle of Iowa. Not a real music mecca. I decided I wanted to learn how to play guitar, and set out to look for an instructor. You might not think you could find a good instructor in the middle of nowhere, but I saw a small ad in the classified section of the local newspaper. Found my instructor who was teaching on the 4th floor of a dilapidated office building in a small town about 20 miles away. But he was a real guitar player, who could play most anything, and knew how to teach! These days it is a little easier to find and research guitar teachers in your area. Heck you don’t even have to stick to your area because the world is much smaller. With TrueFire’s online classrooms you can study privately with world class players regardless of where you live. But we still like to look for undiscovered guitar teaching talent. That is what led us to create “TrueFire’s Next Top Guitar Instructor”. Now in its 3rd year, this world wide search for the best guitar teachers on the planet has been an amazing success! Each year this contest has resulted in hundreds of entries from guitar teachers from around the world. They are competing to win the grand prize of being flown to the TrueFire studios to have their own video course produced, along with lots of cool prizes like new guitars, amps, pedals and more. Out of the myriad of entries, finalists are picked by a

panel of experts, and then those finalists are tasked with producing a series of video lessons that our panel along with all TrueFire students vote on. The finalists all receive awesome prizes as well, and are selected to participate in TrueFire’s Online Classroom and Workshop program. Instructors fill out the form and submit an audition video. Students can also “nominate” their favorite instructor, and then we contact them and ask if they would like to submit a video for the contest. Every year we continue to be impressed by the talent pool of guitar instructors out there! It’s not easy picking the Next Top Instructor. What are we looking for? It’s not just about being a great player. That certainly helps, but is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s about being able to put together lessons that students “connect” with; present the lesson material in an organized, easy to understand way, regardless of how complex it is; come up with unique ways to present practical information that students need to learn; tackle subjects that may seem fuzzy and help bring them into focus for the student. These are the key elements that make a great instructor! Last year’s winner Erich Andreas has his new course coming out soon! 2013’s winner Robert Renman released his very successful Blues Booster course to great accolades. You can also take an Online Workshop from these past finalists Mark Wein, Jim Bruce, and David Walliman. Who will be the “NEXT” Top Guitar Instructor?

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NTGI INTERVIEW

REINING 2015 WINNER: ERICH ANDREAS AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5


2014 WINNER: ROBERT RENMAN

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OLD AND NEW

Q & A with Season 2 Winner Erich Andreas What made you decide to enter the contest? I have always respected and loved TrueFire’s teaching methods, dedication to quality and their fantastic attitude. When I became a nominee by many of my online students, I jumped at the opportunity!

Besides winning and getting to do a course – how else did you benefit from it?

How was the experience of shooting your course at TrueFire? My experience shooting my course with TrueFire was way better than I could have ever imagined. From the very first communication with them to the completion of the course, everything was totally professional. If you are not a member of TrueFire’s great system, you would do yourself a solid by joining!

Not only did TrueFire set me up with a bunch of great musical swag, I also got to make some great new friends and start a professional relationship that I hope will last for many years. RIFF

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HOUSE NEWS

ARTIST DIRECTORY Artists Featured in this Edition of Riff

ANDY ALEDORT Andy Aledort has performed all across the globe with legendary musicians like Buddy Guy, Dickey Betts, the Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble, Edgar Winter, Paul Rodgers, and Jimi Hendrix’s original band mates Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. Additionally, for over 30 years Aledort has served as editor for the top guitar magazines such as GUITAR WORLD and GUITAR FOR THE PRACTICING MUSICIAN. His work as a journalist, instructional columnist and music transcriber is unsurpassed.

ADAM LEVY Adam Levy is an accomplished guitarist, composer, and singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. Levy recorded and toured extensively with Norah Jones as a member of her Handsome Band (2001-2007) and has also worked with Ani DiFranco, Lisa Loeb, Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee, Rosanne Cash, and Sara Watkins. Levy has released several recordings of his own. Town & Country is his latest. Levy is the Chair of the Guitar Performance Dept. at the Los Angeles College of Music.

BROOKS ROBERTSON The protégé of Buster B. Jones, Brooks Robertson wowed guitar fans even as a child. At age 14, he appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” where he won first place in a talent competition. In 2014 he was awarded a full tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music. At 25 years old, Brooks continues perfecting his craft, as well as composing his own groovy and soulful original music.

CHRIS BUONO Heralded as a “multi-media guitar madman”, Chris infiltrates the modern guitar world from myriad directions. Be it on CD, in video, in the minds of gear aficionados or in book form. Through 20+ years of teaching in just about every forum a guitarist can including five years as a professor in the esteemed Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music and currently as a prolific TrueFire artist.

DAVID BLACKER David Blacker is a singer/songwriter, music producer and guitar instructor. His music has been featured on numerous original albums, national television commercials, TV series theme songs, and radio spots. As a guitarist, David has accompanied award winning vocalists and top session. He is also co-founder of AirGigs.com, a global marketplace for hiring session musicians and recording engineers.

DAVID WALLIMANN Born in the south of France, David Wallimann moved to the USA to pursue a musical career. He was quickly noticed by the Christian progressive rock community after the release of his first album, “Deep Inside the Mind”. In 2006, David joined progressive rock band Glass Hammer. David teaches yearly at Dweezil Zappa’s Dweezilla. He is known for his distinctive sense of humor and his ability to capture his audience. AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5

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ERICH ANDREAS Erich Andreas is also known as YourGuitarSage. He has been playing/teaching guitar professionally for over 3 decades. On his most popular YouTube channel he has gained over 40,000,000 views with his on point teaching style. He is also an author of several books on music, featured in the WSJ for his cutting edge approach to teaching, and creator of the Unstoppable Guitar System.

JASON LOUGHLIN Jason Loughlin’s creative guitar playing has been a staple of New York’s music scene for over a decade. As a sideman he has played with Amos Lee, Rachael Yamagata, Sam Outlaw, Lesley Gore, The Sweetback Sisters and James Burton to name a few. In 2011, Jason put out his debut record Peach Crate. Jason’s new band, The String Gliders is releasing their new record in 2016.

JOHNNY HILAND Johnny Hiland, legally blind, Nashville-based, artist is world renowned as a guitar artist, clinician, guitar instructor, and session musician. Johnny has played on records for such artists as Toby Keith, Ricky Skaggs, Hank 3, Randy Travis, Lynn Anderson, Janie Fricke, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Nokie Edwards, and many others. He has performed on stage with Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, George Clinton and P-Funk, Joe Bonamassa, Ricky Skaggs, Toby Keith, and others.

MURIEL ANDERSON Currently named by Guitar World as one of the top 8 women guitarists, Muriel Anderson is one of the few international touring harp-guitarists and is also the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. Her recent CD “Nightlight Daylight” has already won 11 national awards. She has performed/recorded with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Victor Wooten and many others

JEFF SCHEETZ Jeff is the Director of Education at TrueFire. He has released 8 CDs of original music. His name has been on the Ernie Ball Super Slinky string package. He has toured the US, Europe and Mexico, and performed over 300 guitar clinics worldwide for Yamaha guitars. He has been featured in Guitar, Guitar Player, Guitar School, and Guitar World magazines, as well as numerous magazines in Japan and Europe

JOE DALTON When country guitar master Joe Dalton picks up a six-string; everyone listens. His great-grandfather conducted the City of Rome Orchestra in Italy; his grandfather was the leader of the New York Philharmonic; his father is solely responsible for bringing mallets into the U.S. Army Band Corps; his brother teaches at the Boston Conservatory...we could go on, but you get the point, right? Musical prowess runs through his veins; it’s the nucleus of his existence.

TOMMY EMMANUEL Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel (with fans the world over) is one of Australia’s most respected musicians. Rather than using a whole band for melody, rhythm, bass, and drum parts, Tommy plays all that - and more - on one guitar. Guitar legend Chet Atkins was one of the first to inspire Emmanuel to try this “fingerpicker” style as a child. Decades later, Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel’s biggest fans.

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Lessons COMPILATION ALBUM

RIFFAGE: VOLUME 5 Here ye, here ye! Audiophiles, guitar aficionados and enlightened children of the ‘Fire — prepare thy ears and hearts for magical music from the artists and educators featured in this edition of RIFF. Click the download button below for your personal copy of RIFFAGE Volume 5…

Blood Brother - Tommy Emmanuel Memphis, Tennessee - Adam Levy Out For A Ride - Andy Aledort Close To You - Muriel Anderson Barnyard Breakdown - Johnny Hiland Platform Shoes - Jeff Scheetz Into The Trees - Brooks Robertson Shoka - Chris Buono Minor Blues - David Blacker Tango and Cash - Jason Loughlin Dark Fuse - David Walliman Maniac - Erich Andreas

Download the FREE Album AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5

| ONLINE LINK DIRECTORY | RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V5


BEHIND THE MIX We can’t say it enough — the not-so-secret ingredients of TrueFire are the artists and educators that we are privileged to collaborate with. Not just amazingly talented educators, they are also brilliant composers, arrangers and recording artists in their own right. Enjoy their music and please visit their websites and social media networks. Memphis, Tennessee - Adam Levy ““This is my cover of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee” from my Town & Country album, recorded with organist Larry Goldings and drummer Matt Chamberlain. I played my 1964 Gibson ES-335 with flatwound strings, straight into my brown 1963 Fender Deluxe amp. No overdrive pedals—that’s just the amp doing its thing.” Out For A Ride - Andy Aledort ““This is a track that I’ve recorded for my next CD, which I really hope I will be able to release early next year. Fingers are crossed! It’s got some double-tracked acoustics, harmonized guitar solos, and fitting for this issue of Riff, a solo very much influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan.” Into The Trees - Brooks Robertson “Into The Trees” is the title track from my solo album. Inspired from living in the Pacific Northwest. I had a musical idea and ran with it. This one is taught on my TrueFire Fingerstyle Survival Guide course. I’m playing a six-stringed banjo to accompany the guitar part in this recording.

Shoka - Chris Buono “Shoka” is from Chris’ 2005 solo recording debut called Solitaire. The album is a culmination of solo performances recorded live to Mini-Disc at the now defunct Goga Cafe in Brooklyn. “Shoka” shows off Chris’ unique loop-less looping technique as well as deft use of a Digitech Whammy pedal. Minor Blues - David Blacker ““Check out this tune by singer-songwriter David Blacker. He plays with Peter Farrell. It’s his nifty rendition of “Minor Blues” by Django Reinhardt, who served as a deep source of influence for him.”

Dark Fuse - David Wallimann ““I wrote the song “Dark Fuse” back in 2008. The song was later revisited with my band Public Alchemy and made it on our first EP released in 2003. The song is a good representation of where I was at musically. I particularly like the middle slower section!”

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Maniac - Erich Andreas “Maniac” is a cover of the classic Michael Sembello tune from Flashdance; however, instead of 80’s synth, it’s ALL guitar. Think “Satch” for this feel! As a bit of trivia, Sembello’s version was originally submitted for and Oscar, but then later disqualified due to some lyric changes made for the movie. Tango and Cash - Jason Loughlin “This tune is actually a loose Rhumba but I’m a sucker for craptacular movies. So Tango and Cash it is. It features Stephen Chopek on drums and Jason Hogue on bass. I used Danelectro baritone for the melody and a Gretsch champagne sparkle jet for the fills and solo. I was pretty inspired by the music of Manuel Galban.” Platform Shoes - Jeff Scheetz “Jeff Scheetz is bringing you some funky bass and a nice groove help paint the picture of a big old gold platform shoe just tapping and keeping time. You’ll hear lots of guitar and a basketball game in the background for vibe! Barnyard Breakdown - Johnny Hiland “Barnyard Breakdown” is a song off my Shrapnel Records 2011 album, All Fired Up. I am very proud of it, and I feel it’s the best record I’ve ever done/written. It was written when my fans wanted me to give them my best chicken pickin,’ tune ever! Stu Hamm played bass on it, and Jeremy Colson played drums. I played all the rhythm tracks, and leads.”

Close To You - Muriel Anderson One of my most requested arrangements from my CD, Nightlight, Daylight is “Close To You.” The thing that fascinated me about Karen Carpenter’s recording is the slightly detached feel of the piano chords. I capture that feel with a diagonal movement of the fingers, coming to rest on the strings slightly before playing the next chord. Then the melody flows freely over it. Blood Brother - Tommy Emmanuel “Blood Brothers is the first single off of Tommy Emmanuel’s release ‘It’s Never Too Late’. This release marks Tommy’s first all solo, all acoustic album in 10 years!”

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SNAPSHOTs

Chris B uono in the schnauze studio with ho r, Cosmo use

Brooks Robertson playing the Artisan Guitar Show, Franklin, T N

AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5

ail ASGN tr the n o ge el backsta i r u M Ali and

Tommy E’s super sox in the TrueFire Studio


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A grand Soave mom Frank Vignola, ent - Julian Labro, Tommy Emm Vinny Raniolo, Gary Mazzarop anuel, pi

Studio rock stars, Jonathan Mover, Carl Verheyen, Stu Hamm

Muriel

Anderson back Anaheim stage at ASG , CA N, RIFF

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www.riffjournal.com AUTUMN 2015 | ISSUE 5

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Riff Journal | Autumn 2015 | Issue 5  

This fall issue mirrors nature’s pop of color with a book jammed with lots to engage all your senses…hear the voice and words of Stevie Ray...

Riff Journal | Autumn 2015 | Issue 5  

This fall issue mirrors nature’s pop of color with a book jammed with lots to engage all your senses…hear the voice and words of Stevie Ray...