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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE Reading offline? Be sure to visit: www.riffjournal.com/links-v2 for an easy link directory to all online assets Blues-Rock Artist of the Year + Student/Fan Fave

MIKE ZITO: FIRST CLASS LIFE

QUILTER OVERDRIVE 200 Mike Zito’s de rigueur Road Rig

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CONTENTS 5 A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

LIGHTNIN’-JIMI-SRV

Yes, Andy Aledort, we are with you on this tasty influence!

Reflecting on what it takes to both reference the “old” masters and raise the barre with the new

4 SIMPLE PRACTICE SUGGESTIONS “SO YOU WIN ALL THE TIME”

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Andrew Leonard helps shape how to think about practicing

6 MIKE ZITO: FIRST CLASS LIFE

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Blues-Rock Artist of the Year + Student/Fan Fave

12 QUILTER OVERDRIVE 200

Mike Zito’s de rigueur Road Rig

20 LESSON: 4 SIMPLE PRACTICE

SUGGESTIONS “SO YOU WIN ALL THE TIME”

ON HISTORY, HEROES AND HONING THE CRAFT Brad and James talk about baseball (oh and a bunch of guitar influences too)

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Andrew Leonard helps shape how to think about practicing

DOUBLE DOWN ON DOUBLE STOPS

Matthew Lee gets ‘countrified’ with his take on double stops

26 LESSON: LIGHTNIN’-JIMI-SRV

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Yes, Andy Aledort, we are with you on this tasty influence!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ANDY WOOD:QUILTER SHAPE SHIFTER

Modern master Andy WoodLorem (and new TrueFire is a ipsum dolor educator) sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus lobortis sweet cat with mean technical prowess & versatility

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LESSON: CH-CH-CHANGES PLAYING CHORDS EFFICIENTLY

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LESSON: DOUBLE DOWN ON DOUBLE STOPS

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LESSON: 4 IN 1 OPEN TUNINGS: OPEN G, D, A, E

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Juli Morgan shows exercises to get the changes under your fingers

Matthew Lee gets ‘countrified’ with his take on double stops

Susan Mazer demystifies the power of open tunings with an easy lesson

CH-CH-CHANGES PLAYING CHORDS EFFICIENTLY

Juli Morgan shows exercises to get the changes under your fingers

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JAMES HOGAN: ON HISTORY, HEROES AND HONING THE CRAFT Brad and James talk about baseball (oh and a bunch of guitar influences too)

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ANDY WOOD: SHAPE SHIFTER

Modern master Andy Wood (and new TrueFire educator) is a sweet cat with mean technical prowess & versatility

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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

Get your FREE download of featured music from Riff artists

4 IN 1 OPEN TUNINGS: OPEN G, D, A, E

Susan Mazer demystifies the power of open tunings with an easy lesson

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RIFF BAND

P HOTO BY ALI S O N HAS BAC H

ALISON HASBACH Editor-in-Chief

BRAD WENDKOS Publisher

JEFF SCHEETZ Educational Department Editor

AMBER NICOLINI Creative Director

TOMMY JAMIN Studio Department Editor

ZACH WENDKOS Technology Department Editor

KYLER THOMANN Music Editor

@riffjournal

riffjournal@truefire.com

facebook.com/riffjournal

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St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall. An island off the Cornish coast that was inhabited as early as the 12th century. It can be reached on foot via the causeway, which is only accessible at low tide. As the tide comes in, the causeway is impenetrable making approach by boat a necessity. The constant ebb and flow of water makes access and daily life on the island one of master planning. The beauty and care of the art and structures on the island is that much more poignant with the time and care it takes to achieve.


A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

RAISING THE BARRE D

iscovered in 1974, and named after “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Lucy’s 3.2-million-year-old skeletal remains were widely regarded as our earliest human ancestor until “Lucy’s baby” was discovered in 2006.

Lucy was also the title and theme of sorts for a recent sci-fi thriller, which propagated the urban myth that we only use 10% of our brain. The movie explored what might be possible if we were able to use 20%, 50% or even 100% of our brain’s potential. Great flick! In the movie, Professor Norman (played by Morgan Freeman) hypothesizes how human cells pass knowledge on to the next generation of cells, thus extending our mental prowess over time and expanding the percentage of the brain that we’re able to tap into. He proposes that when cells die they, “hand down essential information and knowledge to the next cell, which hands it down to the next cell and so on. Thus, knowledge and learning are handed down, through time.” I couldn’t help relating that notion to the many generations of guitar players that we’ve admired (and learned from) over the past many decades. Each generation of players inherit knowledge from the preceding one, they advance that knowledge, and then pass it forward to the next generation, where the cycle repeats. Small wonder that today’s generation of young guitarists can do things on the fretboard that we couldn’t even have imagined 50 years ago. This edition of Riff features three such guitarists: Mike Zito, James Hogan and Andy Wood. All three have otherworldly command of their instrument, brilliant musicality, and impeccable technique across a broad range of styles (I urge you to go beyond the Riff articles and explore their music. You will be blown away). And the best thing? Although it may appear that they’re using 100% of their brain, it's the very same 10% that we have access to and we get to learn from them! This Riff’s for you…

Brad Wendkos || Head Smoke Jumper

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“ He’s got that rare kinda voice that resonates in your soul.” IT’S NOT NEWS THAT the music biz is a tough business for musicians, even more so today than ever before. You can only imagine how many mega doses of conviction, passion, and tenacity it must take to muster the energy required to pack your bags, leave your family, and head out for the next series of gigs, most of which won’t even cover expenses. Small wonder why so many of the actively touring musicians that come in for a TrueFire session are bone-tired and deflated. But every now and then, some of these road warriors come through the door and lights up the place with their smiles and positivity — Mike Zito in the house! Shake his hand and the first thing you notice is the word “blues” tattooed across his right hand. How could you not love that?! Then it’s his smile and laid-back, genuine personality that wins you over right from the get-go. And it all gets better from there.

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P H OTO S BY A LIS O N H AS BAC H

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“ His guitar playing dances delicately

between a contemporary blues virtuoso and an old fashioned soul man. “

Mike is everything you want your guitar hero to be. Anders Osborne sums it up perfectly, “I love Mike Zito! He’s got that rare kinda voice that resonates in your soul. All his hardship, life experiences and kind heart oozes out of every note his sings. His guitar playing dances delicately between a contemporary blues virtuoso and an old fashioned soul man. Mike continues to impress me with his straightforward and honest songwriting. His joy and grace shine through every record he makes.” If you dig blues or blues-rock, then you’ve likely already checked out Mike’s courses here at TrueFire (all of them top ranked!). You might have even checked out some of Mike’s records (12 of them to date I believe). You might even have heard that Mike won BluesRock Artist of the Year at the 2018 Blues Music Awards in Memphis (considered the Grammys of the genre), or perhaps heard Mike’s cover of “Little Red Corvette” on Sirius radio, or had the pleasure of attending one of his incredibly emotive performances, or picked up his most recent and highly acclaimed album, First Class Life (very fitting title for a Mike Zito record!). Whatever your familiarity happens to be, I urge you to dig deeper into Mike Zito. I feel pretty confident guaranteeing that you will find another spot on your mantle of guitar heroes for this remarkable artist and human being who describes himself as a, “traveling blues man, door-to-door selling my songs, trying to follow the path of the righteous and still light my fire along the way.”

We asked Mike if he would answer our Proust-like questionnaire so that Riff readers could get to know him a little better and of course, he happily complied…

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What is it about the guitar that attracted you to it originally, and still fascinates you today? I had never really heard the guitar before I heard “Eruption” by Eddie Van Halen. I was 8 years old, it was 1978 and a friend’s older brother was listening to the record in his room. I was visiting and heard this sound...it sounded like Spaceships or Star Wars. It was crazy and colorful and mesmerizing. I became overwhelmed with the sound of the guitar from the moment forward. It is capable of so many approaches and sonic sounds and feelings and has the most “vocal” quality. I still feel the same way today, nothing has changed and “Eruption” is more mesmerizing today than it was when I was 8 years old. Your idea of happiness? Drinking coffee, listening to Johnny Winter, PJ’s ALL DAY! Whether living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with? Well, I think I would choose living..... :) The dead might stink up the meal. Probably Muddy Waters. I would want to hear from the man himself what that was like to be so inspired to leave Mississippi and everything he knew and head to Chicago. Name three things a player can do to improve their musicianship. Listen to other types of music, other soloists, not just guitar - saxophone, trumpet, piano, etc. Practice, learn songs and things you always wanted to learn. Take the time to learn, even when you’re not into it. Try to play another instrument. Try to learn some piano or drums, it really helps me play


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“Well, it may not be as easy to sell lots of records at once, but if you get out and tour and make fans the old fashioned way: one at a time you can make fans for life that will buy your music.� WINTER 2019 | ISSUE 17


guitar better when I think about where the other players are coming from.

What one event in music history would you have loved to have experienced in person?

If not yourself, who would you be?

Woodstock - absolutely.

A doorman at an elegant apartment building in New York City.

Your favorite heroes in fiction?

Given 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?

I think maybe James Bond. He’s always gonna do the right thing, but he’s a bit smug about it, isn’t he? What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Well, it may not be as easy to sell lots of records at once, but if you get out and tour and make fans the old fashioned way: one at a time - you can make fans for life that will buy your music. You don’t need a big record deal or a big label to work as a musician these days, that is a huge plus to me.

My wife, Laura. I had no idea this love was possible, only in the movies.

Your favorite motto?

In your next life, what or who would you like to come back as and why?

“Leave your Ego, Play the Music, Love the People” - Luther Allison

Your favorite food and drink? Italian food of course, specifically Eggplant Parmesan.

I think I would like to come back as a dog, I like the idea of laying around all day.

What do you dream about? Literally. I had a dream last night that there wasn’t enough room on the stage for me to set up... very upsetting. What are your aspirations? To continue to learn to play this guitar. To make better music and be more open and true. To make sure my kids have a good start in life.

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)? High Jumping...REALLY high jumping. In life or in music, what is the one central key learning that you’d like to pass on to others? You cannot hear if you continue to talk.

mikezito.com

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e’re always looking forward to the next Mike Zito session for all of the reason mentioned in the article featured elsewhere in this issue of Riff. But there’s one more reason — he always has a great gear tip for us that we take advantage of immediately. We’d like to share one of them with you here…namely the Quilter Overdrive 200. Mike had just returned from a European tour prior to coming in for his most recent session here at TrueFire’s studios. As he’s setting up his gear for the shoot, Mike pulls out his Quilter Overdrive 200, a small almost pedalsized amp, and sets it on top of our Fender Super and prepares to bypass the amp and plug it directly into the speaker cabinet. Mike told us that the Quilter was his go-to amp when touring because he could reliably dial in his tone using virtually any decent speaker cab available in the backline. This is particularly a life-saver when touring Europe. We wound up plugging the Quilter into our Ox and recording direct to the board, but eventually ran the Quilter through its paces on a variety of cabs that we have on hand in the studio. In short, we were very impressed, we shouted out to the company to learn more, bought a few for ourselves, and even featured the amp in one of our promotions last year. There are so many qualities about this amp that appeal to us, and as you would expect, we show it off to other artists that come through the door. They are likewise impressed and usually add one to their own arsenal. We asked Peter Melton of Quilter Performance Amplification to write up a description for us to share here in Riff and we’ve also included several links to online demos. We think you’ll dig it!

MIKE TOLD US THAT THE QUILTER WAS HIS GO-TO AMP WHEN TOURING BECAUSE HE COULD RELIABLY DIAL IN HIS TONE USING VIRTUALLY ANY DECENT SPEAKER CAB AVAILABLE IN THE BACKLINE.

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THE QUILTER OVERDRIVE 200 BY PETER MELTON The Overdrive 200 was inspired by legendary and often unobtainable amplifiers — Blackface-era amplifiers and their early boutique modified copies — with a goal of bringing these iconic tones within reach of the average musician. In addition to looking at classic Fender amplifiers, we also got our hands on an original Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ that belonged to our sales manager and a highly regarded Dumble Overdrive Special copy. We are pleased to report that not only did we nail the Mark IIC+ sound so well that our sales manager sold his collectable original, but after the Overdrive 200 was done we got a chance to sit in a studio with a real Dumble Overdrive Special and were able to dial them in so we could hardly tell the difference! Packed inside this little four pound amp are 200 watts of real-world power and four different modes with distinct overdrive characterizes and voicings for versatility on the go. The Overdrive 200 accepts a standard “Marshall style” two position foot-switch with or without LED’s. You can also access all of the modes without a foot-switch by using the onboard switches in the Drive Channel section. The amp powers up with the Clean Channel. This channel has a Gain control, passive Bass and Treble controls, and an active cut/boost Mid control. Decreasing the mid control below halfway gives you the famous “Blackface” scoop. Increasing the mid control beyond halfway brings out the elusive Dumble inspired vocal quality. Although it is called the Clean Channel, this channel is capable of some wonderful bluesy low gain tones. Just increase the Gain control. Like all Quilter amplifiers, the Overdrive 200 reacts extremely well to your guitar’s pickups and volume control. Players can go from “mean to clean” on the Clean Channel with just the twist of their volume knob. Using the foot-switch or the onboard mode switches, you can switch over to the Crunch mode for the next level of gain. This mode defeats the EQ controls and inserts a factory dialed-in preset midrange scoop for a tight low to medium gain sound. You can conveniently dial in how much dirt you want and balance it with the Clean Channel with the Drive Channel’s Gain and Level controls.

CAN GO FROM “MEAN TO CLEAN” ON THE “ PLAYERS CLEAN CHANNEL WITH JUST THE TWIST OF THEIR VOLUME KNOB. “ WINTER 2019 | ISSUE 17


CONTROL HAS AN EXTREMELY WIDE RANGE “ THEON THISGAINMODE AND IS CAPABLE OF EVERYTHING FROM EDGE-OF-BREAK-UP TO RIP-YOUR-FACE OFF TONES. “ Turn off Crunch Mode and engage Lead mode to generate tones from Talk to your Daughter to Awake. The Clean Channel’s EQ controls are shared with the Lead mode and are inserted after the gain section of the amplifier like a real Dumble and Mark IIC+ for dynamic overdrive tone shaping. The Gain control has an extremely wide range on this mode and is capable of everything from edge-of-break-up to rip-your-face-off tones. Lastly, engage both the Crunch and Lead modes for an unrefined and aggressive high gain tone. The Overdrive 200 runs on a switching power supply so not only can you plug it in anywhere in the world, but it is also totally unfazed by power dips and surges at your local bar gigs or generator-powered stages. The switching power supply self-adjusts

PHOTOS COURTESY O F Q U ILTE R

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200 RUNS ON A SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY SO NOT ONLY “ THECANOVERDRIVE YOU PLUG IT IN ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, BUT IT IS ALSO TOTALLY UNFAZED BY POWER DIPS AND SURGES AT YOUR LOCAL BAR GIGS OR GENERATOR-POWERED STAGES.

so that you don’t hear any tonal changes and nothing in the amp gets damaged. On the back of the Overdrive 200 is our highly regarded Direct Out, which will reproduce the sound of putting a microphone in front of the cabinet. Our Direct Out actually copies the frequency response curve of whatever cabinet you plug into and sends that sound to the house. Gigging on a silent stage? Fear not, no speaker load required. Go direct and use your own outside cabinet simulation for great tone without blasting away the front row. The Overdrive 200 responds to being pushed

by drive or boost pedals like the best tube amps. It also has an effects loop so you can easily insert your modulation, delays, and reverbs after the overdrive section of the amplifier. The bottom of the Overdrive 200 is also perfectly flat for easy pedalboard mounting. Just remove the feet and Velcro it down as you would do with any of your favorite effects pedals. All in all, the Overdrive 200 might just be the most versatile and powerful compact amplifier on the market today. TrueFire artists Mike Zito and Tim Miller rely on their Overdrive 200 for all of these reasons.

QUILTER WEBSITE Overdrive 200 on Quilterlabs.com

ONLINE DEMOS Quilter Overdrive 200

Quilter Overdrive 200 Demo

Quilter OVERDRIVE 200 multi channel toneblock head

Quilter Overdrive 200 And Frontliner 2x8W

Written by Peter Melton

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - ADVANCED

PRACTICE

INCREMENTS

METRONOME

4 SIMPLE PRACTICING SUGGESTIONS “SO YOU WIN - ALL THE TIME” Written by Andrew Leonard

When teaching my students how to properly practice or giving a workshop on practicing, the first thing I discuss is a concept I call “Set Up Your Practicing So You Win All The Time.” This is achieved by planning in advance and while practicing, using realistic and unrealistic expectations to your advantage. Below are two ideas and four concepts to consider applying when you practice.

IDEA 1:

My approach to practicing is based on making Incremental Progress. Just get a little better every practice session. Frustration often occurs when we attempt to accomplish more than is possible during a practice session. When we look back on unsuccessful time spent practicing, often it becomes very clear our expectation was far too unrealistic to accomplish.

IDEA 2:

Before you start practicing, take a moment to plan your practicing by answering the questions below. Quick, simple answers will do. You can do this in your head, on paper or digitally. If you don’t have an answer just keep the question(s) in mind during your next practice session. Before practicing do you have a plan and a positive expectation? While practicing are you enjoying the process? When you are finished, have you improved? Are you looking forward to your next practice session? Compare your answers with the following four concepts. Hopefully, your practicing approach aligns with these concepts. If so, you may consider this a troubleshooting guide to use when practicing is not going well. If your answers to the questions above leave you feeling a bit uncertain, you may find these concepts quite helpful to improve your practicing.

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CONCEPT 1:

A successful practice session makes good use of the time available. If you only have 30 minutes to practice, do you know what you can cover? Are you attempting to cram 60 minutes or more of practicing into 30 minutes? Imagine how this feels at the end of this practice session - not so good! When I practice, I use a timer to track how much time each aspect of my practicing requires. This enables me to know in advance, what I can and cannot practice during each session.

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CONCEPT 2:

Start with a realistic goal that you can easily achieve, then be unrealistic. Figure out a way to measure where you currently are and how to slightly improve. Small victories every day can lead to great improvement. Can you use a metronome to track improving a couple of beats per minute daily? Can you easily learn just a bit more of a song or piece you are learning? Once you make a little progress, be unrealistic. Attempt to go beyond what is comfortable - just make sure you view this as a test with no expectation. Be honest! If you cannot increase yet, no big deal. You are where you are and you can test again tomorrow.

CONCEPT 3:

Choose a small amount of material that you can easily play well. I always tell my students to simplify, anytime they experience the slightest bit of confusion. Break down the passage, piece or exercise to what is easy to play and then add to it. Instead of playing ten notes from a passage, can you easily play three? Should you use a slower tempo? Or both? Once easy, add a few more notes and/or slightly increase the tempo.

CONCEPT 4:

Expect mistakes during the learning process. If your practice session involves learning something new, keep in mind there are many more ways to play something wrong then right. For you to play well, your brain has to figure out how to process all the tasks required - in the correct order. A natural part of learning is experiencing the wrong ways to play something. When you make a mistake, learn from it by asking yourself “what one thing can I improve during the next repetition?” Don’t allow yourself to get emotionally involved or frustrated, this is just part of the process of learning something new. You can’t avoid mistakes, embrace them and learn from them. They will help you improve – if you allow them to.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Andrew Leonard Classical Guitarist Andrew Leonard has been called a “guitar phenomenon” by The Portland Phoenix of Maine and his playing has been referred to as “spirited and convincing” in Soundboard Magazine and “inspiring...effortless style” in Northeast Performer. Andrew has given solo recitals throughout the country, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and to Europe. As a young artist, at age 26, Andrew’s 1995 DC area debut performance at Strathmore Hall sold out, months in advance. He spent the Millennium performing in Geneva, Switzerland.

VIEW ANDREW’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - LATE INTERMEDIATE

BLUES-ROCK MUDDY WATERS

BLUES

LIGHTNIN’-JIMI-SRV Written by Andy Aledort

A rite of passage for all aspiring blues guitar players occurs when they first move beyond their primary influences and discover the guitarists that influenced their heroes. Like many in my generation, I discovered blues through the recordings of the electric blues and rock guitarists of the mid-late 60s: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, along with B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King. I soon learned that all of these guys had studied the pioneers of acoustic blues guitar--Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson—as well as the progenitors of electric blues guitar—T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and many others. Another towering figure of blues guitar mastery is the great Lightnin’ Hopkins, who influenced all of these players and continued to make vital, essential recordings till his death in 1982 at the age of 69. There are dozens of incredible Lightnin’ Hopkins recordings; for the uninitiated, a great place to start would be, “T-Model Blues,” “Mojo Hand” “Katie Mae Blues” and “Got a Letter This Morning,” all blues shuffles (essentially) in the key of E. When listening to these songs, it is clear that Jimi, Johnny, and Stevie all studied and learned Lightnin’s musical vocabulary and incorporated his approach and phrasing in their own licks and solos. The accompanying musical examples bridge the gap between Lightnin’, Jimi and Stevie. As you play through them, think about how these licks might sound different when played with the sound and articulation of each of these very distinctive players.

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Lightnin'-Jimi-SRV LIGHTNIN’-JIMI-SRV Fig. 1 E7 1

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Riff #1 is based on the E blues scale (E G A Bb B D) played in “open” position (using open strings): I begin by sliding up to B, the fifth, on the G string, followed by D, the dominant seventh on the B string and then the open high E string. This stock blues phrase is also found at the start of Riffs # 2, 3 and 5. On beat two, I substitute G#, the major third, for G, the minor third; the phrase then moves back down through the scale and, in bar 2, wraps up with lines that move between the bottom three strings. In Riff #2, I begin by sliding up to the full E7 triad, after which the top two notes of the triad are played against the open high e and B strings; this two-note shape then descends chromatically through bar 2. Riff #3 offers a twist on this idea by ascending chromatically instead of descending: bar 1 of the riff is the same as Riff #2, but in bar 2 I ascend one fret at a time, wrapping up with a fifth-position E7 voicing followed by a shift up to 12th position. Riff #4 is akin to blues phrases used frequently by Jimi and Stevie in many of their solos: bar 1 of this phrase is rooted in the third position of the E blues scale, and ends with a slide down to first position. Riff #5 is built from a repetition of the initial three-note lick through bar 1, followed by brief reference to the four chord, A, on beat one of bar 2, via the use of the notes of an A major triad, C# E A. This phrase then wraps up with E blues scale licks played in fifth position. Be sure to check out my expansive blues soloing instructional courses: Slow Blues Power, Progressive Blues Power and Slide Guitar Power for a thorough examination of how to learn and then build on the essentials of blues guitar soloing.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR 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.

VIEW ANDY’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE

CHORD PROGRESSION CHORDS

CHANGES

CH-CH-CHANGES PLAYING CHORDS EFFICIENTLY Written by Juli Morgan

PLAYING ONE CHORD:

If you think about it, this skill is one of the most fundamental and basic of all we do on the guitar, and one of the most important to master. Too often, we learn our chords, start playing tunes, and go, without ever revisiting how they actually sound and if we’re nailing the changes. Too often we think, because we are holding the correct shape, we are playing the chord correctly. If we don’t master this basic skill, we will miss so much in our playing. Try this exercise: Play your favorite chord. Listen to it. How does it sound? It’s useful for even the most advanced among us to check in on how clearly we are playing our chords. Strum the chord, then arpeggiate. Play each note one at a time. Can you hear all the notes in the chord? Are you playing all the notes that should be in the chord? Those little “X”s on the chord diagrams are really important because they show what notes should be muted. Is the chord in tune? Your guitar can be in tune, but too much pressure or not enough pressure can cause the chord to be out of tune. Strumming the chord with too much strength can cause the strings to ring sharp. If you’re a beginner, it won’t take long to realize changing chords is one of the great challenges we face as guitar players. Playing the chords correctly is only half the battle. Staying in time while moving to a new chord is a challenge too.

PLAYING A CHORD PROGRESSION:

Now that you can play one chord perfectly, it’s time to work on our ch-ch-changes. Think about all that happens when we play a chord progression. Sometimes one finger plays the same note in all the chords of a progression, but most of the time each finger plays a different note in each chord. Each string needs a different amount of pressure, each chord requires a different placement in each fret. Breaking these movements down to the smallest possible increment makes a huge difference and if you can master changing from A to D to E, going from Aadd9 on the 5th fret to D2 to E will become a breeze.

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ILLUSTRATIONS:

Try these examples. For each chord, take time to place each finger in the “sweet spot” of the fret, play the chord and check in with all the strings. Think about the next chord. Before even moving one finger, check out which fingers are moving and which ones are staying put. Which finger needs to move the farthest? How many have to cross the strings? As you’re holding the first chord, before playing anything with your right hand, move one of your fingers to the next chord, move it back. Then move two fingers, move them back, then move all the fingers, move them back. Once you’ve memorized the chord progressions and they sound great as a whole note, you can apply new rhythms and strum patterns.

In example 1, notice how I’ve indicated with a white circle the only note that changes between the two chords.

In example 2, you will need to move all the fingers to get from C to G7. But you won’t have to change frets, just strings.

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In example three, the third finger must cross two strings. Practice just moving that one finger, while holding the C Chord, from third fret, 5th string, to third fret, 2nd string.

Notice the white dots in example 4. The 1st and 2nd fingers move down one set of strings. Be careful to check in with the chords. Play each string individually to ensure none of the strings are muted by your fingers.

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Example 5 is going to take more strength than playing open chords. Don’t forget to leave off the low E string when playing the Dm.

Make sure to check in with the 3rd string on example 6. That one tends to get muted, especially on the Dm7.

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More Barre chords. For example 7, check in on the 4th string for A7 and the 3rd string for D7.

Example 8 is a little tricky, but a great sound with the descending bass note. Take your time to feel the correct placement of the fingers in the frets and watch out for those “X�s! These are some great chords! Example 9 might challenge you with your tuning.

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E7b9b13 requires a barre with the first finger. Don’t press too hard on the b7 or the b13, or you’ll pull the notes sharp.

Are you ready for a challenge? Try example 10. Beautiful voicings with lots of stretching!

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Don’t hurt yourself playing example 11! Consult your physician before trying this at home. Let me know how it goes. Juli Morgan and TrueFire are not responsible for any injuries incurred while attempting to play these chords. Side effects may include headache, nausea, blindness, and confusion. Stop playing immediately if you feel short of breath.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Juli Morgan Juli Morgan is a Songwriter, Recording Artist, Guitarist, Recording Session Guitarist, and a Guitar Instructor. Originally from Capetown South Africa, she grew up in Colorado, then moved to Tacoma, Washington where she founded an instrumental trio known as “Destiny.” She’s played live nationally, opening for artists such as Joe Satriani, Robin Trower, Ronnie James Dio, and Blue Oyster Cult. She has released a full-length CD with Destiny and two solo recordings, an EP in 2011 and a Full Length CD in 2012. She has won numerous guitar competitions including “Joe Satriani’s Whooznxt”, hosted by Guitar Center in 2012, and Lincoln Brewster’s “Show Me What You Got” in 2010. She currently teaches voice and guitar at the South Shore Conservatory and hosts “Juli Morgan’s Guitar Spotlight Channel” right here on truefire.

VIEW JULI’S LESSON LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - LATE BEGINNER

COUNTRY DOUBLE-STOPS

DOUBLE DOWN ON DOUBLE STOPS Written by Matthew Lee

As country music and country guitar playing become increasingly more popular, there are several techniques that are crucial to capturing that true country sound. This article will focus on a key component to getting that snap, crackle and pop kind of sound on guitar with an emphasis on double stops. Double stops are defined as simply playing two notes at once. The notes selected and played are typically thirds, fourths, fifths, and sixths, but not exclusive. The style of Jerry Reed, Les Paul and the more modern sounds of Brent Mason are a cornerstone and great examples of double stop playing.

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TECHNIQUE


Matt Lee Licks Fig. 1 D

G

A

1

7 7

5 5

5 5

7

12 12

3

10 10

12

14 14

14

12 12

3

Fig. 3

A

E

4

3 4

12 12

3

Fig. 2 2 2

10 10

4 5

5 6

5 5

4 5

D 6 4

4 5 6

6 4

4 5 6

6 4

4 5 6

6 4

2 3 6

4 2

2 3 4

4 2

2 3 4

4 2

2 3 4

4 2

4

Fig. 4 C

C

7

13 12

(13) (12)

13 11

13 10

10

8 8

9

10

10 10

(10) (10)

10 9

10 8

8

10 6

7

8

In this article, we will focus on four licks to get you up and running in the double stop style. Figure 1 uses a very basic technique pulling off with your ring finger and barring with both your ring and index finger on the B and G string. The ring finger will also grab the note on the D string. For maximum snap, you should use the pick only on the D string and use the middle and ring finger on your right hand to snap the highest two strings. This is called a hybrid technique and will give you a more country sound. Nails on the right hand are optimal to give you that snappy staccato sound. If you memorize the pattern in the lick it is easily moved around up the neck so you can play the lick over any chord. Being able to play this over a 1/4/5 or in this case the chords D, G and A allow you to play thru a progression using the same sequence of notes. Easy but effective. Figure 2 is an easy way to chromatically approach an A chord. Left-hand fingerings are notated and crucial to executing all these licks. Think of it as a delicate dance. If you don’t have the proper technique you will stumble and not be able to play any of these licks at breakneck train-beat tempos. The passing tones in this example add color and taste and as in example 1, you should work on playing them all around the neck over a simple 1/4/5 progression. In this example A, D, and E.

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Before I go any further, your right-hand should have the following thinking to really getting a hybrid picking sound. Play six string chord and pick the lowest string and use your middle and ring finger on your right hand to achieve a triplet type of rhythm. Then use your pick and combine the middle and ring finger at the same time. In a nutshell, this is hybrid picking. Figure 3 outlines a moveable shape that works well and gets some cool colors for an E chord. The important thing to remember with this lick is that the ring finger on your left-hand needs to pull off and cover the note on the D string as well. With all these examples master it slowly then work your way up in tempo. The hybrid right-hand technique should follow the guidelines mentioned above. Figure 4 is a mirror image kind of lick where your essentially playing the lick once and then doing it again in a lower register. By far the most complex of the four licks, the important thing to remember on this one is to use your pinky on the left

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hand to hold the note down on the pedal tone on the 13th fret of the B string on the first part and the 10th fret of the D string. This is the note that all others are working to a tension point and then resolving to release at the end of each phrase. Left-hand fingerings are notated and should be followed to get the lick correct. For much more in-depth analysis and video lessons, be sure to check out my channel Matthew Lee’s Nashville Hot Pick’en on TrueFire, and happy picking!

Matthew Lee’s Nashville Hot Pick’en Channel

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Matthew Lee Matthew Lee has been involved in the Nashville music scene for over a decade. In his time in Nashville he’s played thousands (yes thousands ) of gigs at the various clubs down on the lower broadway scene and has developed his own style and approach to the art of country guitar playing. In addition to his many live performances, Matthew has been featured on many recording sessions with several artists, been a band leader for a National Touring act, played on the Grand Ole Opry, and has been featured on both radio and television.

VIEW MATTHEW’S LESSON LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - BEGINNER

CHORDS

OPEN TUNINGS

TUNING MASTERY

4 IN 1 OPEN TUNINGS: OPEN G, D, A, AND E ARE ALL RELATED! Written by Susan Mazer

I used to wonder how people who played in various open tunings could remember the chords, fingerings, and notes when going from one tuning to another. It seemed impossible to learn several tunings and keep them all straight. The truth is, that four of the open tunings are very closely related. Once you learn one, you’ve actually learned four! To spark your interest, here is a list of songs in open tunings.

LIST OF SONGS IN OPEN TUNINGS The Black Crowes - Hard to Handle, Twice as Hard Coldplay - High Speed Robert Johnson - Walkin’ Blues (also covered by Eric Clapton) Mumford and Sons - Awake My Soul Led Zeppelin - Black Country Women, In My Time of Dyin, Going to California, Bron-Yr-Aur Pearl Jam - Daughter Pink Floyd - Fearless The Rolling Stones - Can’t You Hear Me Knockin, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, Jumping Jack Flash, Start Me Up Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi White Stripes - Seven Nation Army Alice in Chains - Over Now George Thorogood - Bad to the Bone, Move it on Over

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First, what is an open tuning? An open tuning changes the pitches of the strings so that when you strum all the strings open, it forms a chord. For instance, a G chord is made up of G, B, and D notes. If you play these three pitches in any order or any combination, you have a G chord. Open G tuning is, however, played with the strings tuned down in this order. 6 5 4 3 2 1

↓ ↓ ↓ D G D G B D Tune the 6th string down so it is an octave (sounds like Somewhere Over The Rainbow) below the open 4th string D. Tune the 5th string down so it is an octave below the open 3rd string G. Tune the 1st string down so it is an octave above the open 4th string D. When you strum the strings open, you get a G chord which is the tonic (I chord of the key of G).

G SCALE G

A

B

C

D

E

F#

G

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1

The next two most common chords when playing in the key of G (for music in general) are the IV and V chords. C, which is the IV chord in the key, is played as a barre on the 5th fret. D, which is the V chord, is a barre at the 7th fret. So, hundreds of open tuning songs can be played open, V and VII fret. This is one of the reasons why slide guitar is often played in open tunings. Your major chords are all a single barre. Open A tuning uses the same fingerings, except it sounds a whole step higher. Also, instead of tuning down, you tune up. Again, notice how the notes in open A are all just a whole step (two frets) higher than the strings in open G tuning. Technically, someone could play in open G capoed at the second fret and someone could play in open A, and you could finger the exact same chords/notes to play together. 6 5 4 3 2 1

↑ ↑ ↑ E A E A C# E Tune 4th string up so it sounds an octave higher than the 6th string open E. Tune the 3rd string up so it sounds an octave higher than the 5th string open A. Tune the 2nd string to C# which will now be the same pitch as the 3rd string 4th fret. Here is a 12 bar blues tune that can be played in open G or A tuning. Now let’s look at open D and E tuning. These tunings are also a whole step apart from each other. You tune down for open D and up for open E.

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12 Bar Blues Open G =D =G =D

12 BAR BLUES = 120 2

3

4

S-Gt

1

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

5

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

5 5 5 5 5 5

5 5 5 5 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

6

5 5 5 5 5 5

5 5 5 5 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

9

5 5 5 7 5 5

7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 9 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 9 10 10 7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 9 7 7

7 7 7 9 7 7

0 0 0 0 0 0

5 5 5 7 5 5

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

5 5 5 5 5 5

0 1 0 2 0 0

5 5 5 5 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 5 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 8 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

5 5 5 7 5 5

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

8

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

5 5 5 7 5 5

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

11

5 5 5 5 5 5

0 3 0 3 0 0

7

10

7 7 7 7 7 7

5 5 5 7 5 5

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

12

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 3 0 3 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

0 1 0 2 0 0

7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7

6 5 4 3 2 1

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ D A D F# A D Tune the 6th string down to sound an octave lower the 4th string open D. Tune the 3rd string down to an F# note which will be the same as the 4th string 4th fret. Tune the 2nd string down to sound an octave higher than the 5th string open A. Tune the 1st string down to sound an octave higher than the 4th string open D.

1/1


6 5 4 3 2 1

↑ ↑ ↑ E B E G# B E Tune the 5th string up to sound an octave lower than the 2nd string open B. Tune the 4th string up to sound an octave higher than the 6th string open E. Tune the 3rd string up to sound like the 4th string 4th fret. Here’s the best part. Any fingering in open G and A will be one string group away from fingerings in open D and open E. Take a look at the 12 bar blues in D and E tuning. This means that if you learn a song in open G, you can also play it in three other tunings. Of course, there will be times when adjustments and songs don’t always make a smooth transition. Still, knowing the relationship between these four tunings will put you well on your way to open tuning mastery.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Susan Mazer Susan is a well-respected educator, author, and performer known especially for her intricate fingerstyle guitar playing. She studied with Benji Aronoff, a protégé of Doc Watson, and received her Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt School of Music and Masters in Music at Boston University. Susan taught for seventeen years at The Hartford Conservatory and is currently an instructor at Sacred Heart University.

VIEW SUSAN’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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P H OTOS BY A L IS ON H AS BAC H

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PLAY ALONG WITH RECORDINGS, SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MUSICIANS WHO HAVE GOOD TIME, USE A METRONOME/ DRUM MACHINE AND WORK ON A VARIETY OF RHYTHMIC FEELS & GROOVES AT VARIOUS TEMPOS.

W

e average over a hundred sessions a year here at TrueFire. We’re either working on a new project with an artist that we’ve worked with in the past, or we’re producing someone’s first project. It never gets old.

The collaboration, creative energy, and production process is always something we look forward to and of course, the music lights us up. Thanks to the players we’re privileged to work with, the guitar playing is always top notch and very often truly amazing.

“Amazing” is always the case with James Hogan, who can play any style, anytime, anywhere. James’ impeccable technique and soulful, evocative musicality is clearly evident whether he’s playing classical, pop, jazz, rock or a fused combination of the above. His reputation as “the quintessential studio musician and touring sideman” is well deserved and is also evident just by scanning the artists he’s recorded and/or performed onstage with: David Sanborn, Dave Brubeck, Brent Mason, David Grissom, Frank Gambale, Chaka Khan, Enrique Iglesias, Patti LaBelle, The Manhattans, The Drifters, The Coasters, Buddy Miles, Left For Dead, The Jacksonville Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, and Broadway productions of Little Shop Of Horrors, The Best Little Whore House In Texas, Grease, Godspell, and many, many others. James’ self-produced, and widely acclaimed instrumental album, True Diversity, not only hit #1 on the charts, it is without question one of those musthaves for the guitar record collection. Tune it in and you will hear for yourself how appropriate a title that is for a James Hogan album. Fortunately for all of us, James is also a passionate educator and getting to work with him in our studios, and getting to know him personally, is a joy in every aspect. He’s buttoned-up and prepared for every

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WHEN I FIRST STARTED OUT ON GUITAR, I WORKED REALLY HARD TO EMULATE MY HEROES AND WONDERED WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO BE THEM.

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session, nails every performance, conveys very sophisticated information in a very accessible way, and is just an all-around cool hang. We always look forward to our next session with James (as does our student community!) and we asked James if he would answer our Proust-like questionnaire so that Riff readers could get to know him a little better and we share that with you here along with some video links to a few live performances (check out his TrueFire courses too!). James Hogan - Hammerhead

Your idea of happiness? In the grand scheme, it’s living a comfortable and fulfilling life with faith, love, family, friends and good health. If I’m being selfish though, I can see how traveling the world and melting thousands of faces nightly with a vast collection of vintage boutique guitars and amps would make me very happy. Only if I travel by private jet though! I’m over the bus/van thing. Whether living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with? I’d skip dinner and go for drinks with Bon Scott.

James Hogan - “Live in Florida”

Favorite motto?

Hot Wired - Brent Mason & Friends

I’m not a person who typically adheres to mottos, but I do like Joe Madden’s: “Do simple better.” I’ve used that with my students on a few occasions.

Jerry Douglas - Lookout For Hope

What is it about the guitar that attracted you to it originally, and still fascinates you today? Duane Allman’s legendary slide guitar intro on “Statesboro Blues” from Live At Fillmore East is what initially attracted me to the sound of guitar. My dad played that record a lot at the house when I was really young and Duane’s guitar tone and slide playing, in particular, really commanded my attention. Also, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was fortunate to grow up in a house with a lot of great guitar records. Freddie King, BB King, Al DiMeola, Kenny Burrell, Steve Cropper and Eric Clapton were all in rotation at our house. There were also a lot of great guitarists on the radio when I was a kid and it seems I was always drawn to them. You could turn to virtually any station or genre and hear great guitar playing. Later on, when I heard Van Halen it was all over! That was the turning point for me. Eddie blew my mind. I had to have a guitar! It’s been quite a journey since. To this day there are many things that still fascinate me about the guitar and music in general. The one constant that inspires me the most is the feeling I get when playing guitar.

Name three things a player can do to improve their musicianship. 1 - Learn where all of the notes are on your instrument. If you don’t know where all of the notes are on your instrument with instant recall how can you truly master it? This is a must! 2 - Learn to play “in the pocket.” Play along with recordings, surround yourself with musicians who have good time, use a metronome/drum machine and work on a variety of rhythmic feels and grooves at various tempos. Learn to play behind the beat, on the beat, in front, etc. This is hugely important! 3 - Don’t overlook music fundamentals. Master the basics! Learn to play and hear fundamental intervals, scales, chords and arpeggios. Learn to (at minimum) read simple chord charts. People tend to gloss over this stuff and do themselves a great disservice. The greatest musicians are masters of music fundamentals.

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I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE BEEN THERE TO WITNESS THE MOMENT THAT SPARKED MY INTEREST IN GUITAR IN THE FIRST PLACE, FRONT ROW FOR THE LIVE ALLMAN BROTHERS RECORDING OF “STATESBORO BLUES” AT FILLMORE EAST.

If not yourself, who would you be? As a kid, I used to imagine myself as Dale Murphy hitting in game 7 of the World Series with a tie score and bases loaded on a 3-2 count, or as Larry Bird shooting the game-winning “3” vs the Lakers at Boston Garden in the Finals. When I first started out on guitar, I worked really hard to emulate my heroes and wondered what it would be like to be them. Nowadays, I’m completely content with just being myself. Given 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? It’s really subjective I guess. With streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, along with web platforms like YouTube, there are a lot more opportunities for young and unknown artists to get heard in today’s music business landscape. That is a positive. The current model is also especially great for consumers. With little, or no investment people have access to 1000’s of albums worth of music at their fingertips in an instant. In a perfect world, the exposure gained through streaming would lead to increased concert attendance, merch sales and revenue for artists as well. The other positive I see is that vinyl sales seem to be on the rise, which is nice. What are your aspirations? Generally speaking, I aspire to be a better husband, father and son. Regarding career goals, I’d love to perform and record with more of my heroes, increase my visibility globally and expand my legacy as a musician and educator.

What one event in music history would you have loved to have experienced in person? This is a tough one! There are so many historic moments that come to mind it’s almost overwhelming to choose one. Imagine being at the debut of one of Beethoven or Mozart’s Symphonies, or at Robert Johnson’s recording session? How about attending Miles’ recording of Kind of Blue or Hendrix’s set at Woodstock? Man!!! I have to say that out of curiosity I would love to have been there to witness the moment that sparked my interest in guitar in the first place - front row for the live Allman Brothers recording of “Statesboro Blues” at Fillmore East. I’d be curious to know if the actual moment eclipses the way I always envisioned it in my mind. Your favorite heroes in fiction? I mostly read non-fiction, though Sherlock Holmes, Santiago and Philip Marlowe immediately come to mind. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Without a doubt, my wife and family are the greatest loves of my life. Guitar is a close 2nd though! Your favorite food and drink? Food = Spiced & steamed Florida Gulf Shrimp. Drink = Château Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux, 1996 The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)? As a kid, I dreamed of pitching in the Big Leagues, so I wish I was gifted a 100 mph fastball and a filthy changeup.

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“ YEAH, I REMEMBER THE ‘IT’ MOMENT FOR ME WAS HEARING BRENT MASON’S SOLO ON ‘PICK IT APART’ ON THE ‘NASHVILLE CATS’ RECORD.” Some players you can just passively “enjoy” as you watch them. Then there are others that you can’t help but very actively say “HOLY SMOKES” when you watch! Andy Wood falls into the latter category. Whether he’s playing tasty blues licks, chickin’ pickin’ country tunes or outright shredding on heavy rock — Andy’s technical prowess and musical awareness is undeniable. And oh yeah…he did all that BEFORE he even discovered guitar! Andy says he started out on mandolin when he was just 5 or 6 years old. He played in a “family band” with his grandfather and cousin “hitting all of the bluegrass festivals,” he says. This early gigging and playing the mandolin paid off as he finished second in the Winfield, Kansas championships when he was 16.

Andy credits the mandolin with helping shape his guitar playing. “I think it is absolutely where my right-hand technique comes from, and for improvising and writing, I think it influences those really linear type lines. I guess I just hear stuff that way in my head due to coming from fiddle tunes and bluegrass.” He also believes that all guitar players could benefit from taking up another instrument. “We can take for granted where we are on our main instrument, it’s a good thing to pick up a new instrument and let it humble you. HA!”

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P H OTOS BY A LIS O N H AS BAC H

But the guitar…what about the guitar? Was there a moment when the six string grabbed his attention? “Yeah, I remember the ‘it’ moment for me was hearing Brent Mason’s solo on ‘Pick it Apart’ on the ‘Nashville Cats’ record.”


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” LISTEN TO MUSIC, LISTEN TO LOTS OF DIFFERENT STYLES, HEARING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS AND HAVING A VARIED MUSICAL DIET IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HANDS ON THE INSTRUMENT! ” From his beginnings in the family bluegrass band, to his own band’s gigs featuring instrumental rock, and even playing as a sideman with mega country band Rascal Flatts, Andy has shown his versatility. He says the common element in all those gigs is “seeing an audience member that is truly happy and having a great time. That’s worth it all.” But when asked if he has a favorite style of music to play he says: “Nah, no favorites, I just really enjoy so many different styles of music and so many different genres. I can’t pick one!” As a teacher, Andy has a very friendly teaching style. It seems like you are just sitting there having a conversation with him. He says about his teaching philosophy, “I think I just teach from the concepts and ideas that were instilled in me when I was young, I also just try to convey ways to make the most out of things you already know.” His TrueFire course, ShapeShifter, showcases his ability to take something simple and then by slight adjustments, make it fit into different styles. This is no stretch for Andy, because a look through his playing history will show you that this is what he’s been doing since he was 5! He offers some great advice for anyone who wants to improve. He suggests students spend

their time “focusing on note quality, tone, precision and ‘intent’ instead of just picking up the guitar and noodling through things. Also, listen to music, listen to lots of different styles, hearing completely different things and having a varied musical diet is just as important as hands on the instrument!” As is to be expected, anyone with the chops, versatility, and experience that Andy has, will have a lot of opportunities. He stays busy with a variety of projects, including a new record. “It’s called JUNKTOWN and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it! It’s 10 songs, all instrumental, it’s my 3rd studio album and my 4th album (I did a live album last time). It has got some really fun music on it, and the tunes are melody focused. That’s not to say there isn’t any crazy technique stuff, cause I suppose as long as I can do some of those circus trick things I guess I will. Ha! But honestly, I wanted songs that were memorable that people get stuck in their heads. Who knows, maybe a focus on it could be a TrueFire course in the future!?” While the big gigs and accolades as a top guitarist may seem like a long way from the humble beginnings of playing mandolin with your cousin as a little kid, when you have the genuine love for music that Andy does, maybe it isn’t so far after all.

andywoodmusic.com

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HOUSE NEWS

ARTIST DIRECTORY Artists Featured in this Edition of Riff

ANDREW LEONARD Classical Guitarist Andrew Leonard has been called a “guitar phenomenon” by The Portland Phoenix of Maine and his playing has been referred to as “spirited and convincing” in Soundboard Magazine and “inspiring...effortless style” in Northeast Performer. Andrew has given solo recitals throughout the country, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and to Europe. As a young artist, at age 26, Andrew’s 1995 DC area debut performance at Strathmore Hall sold out, months in advance. He spent the Millennium performing in Geneva, Switzerland.

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.

ANDY WOOD Andy Wood is recognized as part of the forefront of this generation’s top influential guitarists. Currently touring as a solo guitarist and mandolinist along with working on a host of additional musical projects, Andy is also performing live with his own band promoting Caught Between the Truth and a Lie, the double album which showcases his vast musical influences and abilities

JAMES HOGAN James Hogan is an artist who is regarded highly by his peers and is in constant demand as a touring sideman, studio musician and producer. Hogan is admired world wide for his musicality, his soulfulness and his rare ability to play authentically in virtually any style of music. James is a senior instructor at The National Guitar Workshop’s Mc Clean, VA and SUNY Purchase, NY campuses. James Hogan is also the guitar instructor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, FL where he has been on staff since 200—James Hogan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance (Summa Cum Laud-from the highly acclaimed University Of North Florida jazz program, where he was a collegiate Downbeat Award winner, and student of jazz guitar virtuoso Barry Greene.

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| ONLINE LINK DIRECTORY | RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V17


JULI MORGAN Juli Morgan is a Songwriter, Recording Artist, Guitarist, Recording Session Guitarist, and a Guitar Instructor. Originally from Capetown South Africa, she grew up in Colorado, then moved to Tacoma, Washington where she founded an instrumental trio known as “Destiny.” She’s played live nationally, opening for artists such as Joe Satriani, Robin Trower, Ronnie James Dio, and Blue Oyster Cult. She has released a full-length CD with Destiny and two solo recordings, an EP in 2011 and a Full Length CD in 2012. She has won numerous guitar competitions including “Joe Satriani’s Whooznxt”, hosted by Guitar Center in 2012, and Lincoln Brewster’s “Show Me What You Got” in 2010.

MATTHEW LEE Matthew Lee has been a Nashville resident and musician for over a decade now. In music city Matthew has been splitting time between working for artists like Shooter Jennings, Jessi Colter, Doug Stone and Ray Scott and recording many songs by himself and others. He has been featured on the TV show “Nashville” and the Grand Ole Opry as well. Matthew can be found playing gigs all over the city including the famed “lower broadway” with a variety of bands. Be sure to check out his truefire.com channel “Nashville Hot Picken” for lessons on all styles of country music.

MIKE ZITO 2009 Blues Music award winner Mike Zito is one of those rare artist that can sing like nobody’s business, can write songs that instantly grip you, play one hell of a mean Gulf Coast style guitar and has the stage presence to draw in any audience. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO he grew up listening to Van Halen and Led Zepplin and it wasn’t until later he became interested in the great blues men who were from in and around St. Louis. In 2009 Zito and Neville won the Blues Music award for “Song of the Year” for “Pearl River” the title track to Zito’s 2009 release. Zito comes armed with raw tone and pure grit that he can turn on a dime into silky smooth guitar melodies but it is the aged depth to his vocal that make Mike Zito stand out amongst the other cats claiming to have “the stuff”.

SUSAN MAZER Susan is a well-respected educator, author, and performer known especially for her intricate fingerstyle guitar playing. She studied with Benji Aronoff, a protégé of Doc Watson, and received her Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt School of Music and Masters in Music at Boston University. Susan taught for seventeen years at The Hartford Conservatory and is currently an instructor at Sacred Heart University.

RIFF

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Lessons COMPILATION ALBUM

RIFFAGE: VOLUME 15 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 15…

Windy and Warm - Susan Mazer Comfortably Numb - Juli Morgan Full Steam Ahead - Matthew Lee Hunnerdolla ‘o’ Lovin’ - Andy Aledort Marlborough Variations, Op. 28 (Fernando Sor) - Andrew Leonard The Road to Hana - James Hogan

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WINTER 2019 | ISSUE 17

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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.

Windy and Warm - Susan Mazer ““The blues is a melting pot of several styles of music (African, classical, spirituals) and cultural influences (African and American) that was born out of the the African slave experience in America. It’s so ingrained in our culture today, that we all immediately recognize the sound. In fact, popular music as we know it would not exist without its blues roots. This tune is a 12-bar blues meaning there are 12 measures in the song. Like all blues tunes, the foundation is the I - IV - V chords within the key. The order of chords may vary slightly between tunes, but this is the most common form.”

Full Steam Ahead - Matthew Lee ““Full Steam Ahead is an original instrumental piece designed to showcase Matthew’s guitar chops and arrangement skills. You’ll find lots of chicken picken, pedal steel bends, double stops and open string licks in this piece. Accompanied be grammy winning talent this ripping country piece has it all.”

Marlborough Variations, Op. 28 - Andrew Leonard ““The Marborough Variations, Op. 28 were written by Fernando Sor (1778-1839). Sor was one of the great guitar virtuosos of the classical era (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven) and wrote many important guitar studies and concert pieces. Like many theme variations pieces from the classical period that have a lighthearted theme, this piece begins with a serious introduction in minor and is slow. This allows for great drama to set up the arrival of the theme: “Marlborough Has Left for the War” - an immensely popular song in Europe during the late the 1700’s. You may recognize this melody as “for he’s a jolly good fellow” or “the bear went over the mountain.” If this idea sounds funny to you, it is!

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Comfortably Numb - Juli Morgan ““I wanted to do my own version of Comfortably Numb, but I also wanted to honor the original. I chose it because of that great guitar solo and because of the the feelings the song evokes. Using loops and e-bow guitars, I was able to create an atmosphere that was decidedly different than the original, but hopefully honors the intent. I played part of David Gilmour’s solo, then segued in to my own. www.julimorgan.com”

Hunnerdolla ‘o’ Lovin’ - Andy Aledort ““Here’s the track, “Hunnerdollas ‘o’ Lovin.’” the song was recorded for a project called the “$100 Guitar Project”--http://www.100dollarguitar.com/-and I was invited to contribute by a very old and dear friend from SVA 1973, Chuck O’Meara. It was recorded on a guitar he bought on eBay for $100 and then sent to dozens of players to contribute unique tracks. I wrote, recorded and mixed the song in the course of about two hours one afternoon back in 2012. Very sadly, Chuck passed away suddenly this past October. He was a great guy and I am glad he invited me to contribute to the project.”

The Road to Hana - James Hogan ““The Road To Hana is a composition written and performed by James Hogan on the new Crane & Fabian Project release Run For Cover. (Spice Rack Records 2019) The tune features James Hogan, Eric Marienthal, Alex Acuna, Steve Hunt, Lance Crane & Christian Fabian.”

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