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alternate (Tunings) Universe


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENTS 5 A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER We owe it all to Mel (Bay that is…)

6 ADRIAN LEGG: THE GENTLEMEN WIZARD Sic transit gloria mundi and other topics

14 LESSON: HOW TO PICK YOUR PICKING -

TIPS & EXERCISES

Jeff Scheetz helps answer the elusive question with a strategy on how to get their yourself.

18 LESSON: 5 AWESOME BLUES

TURNAROUNDS YOU MUST KNOW

Some borrowed and some plain out stolen all these babies (according to Jeff McErlain) must also be in your own bag or suffer the consequences.

24 LESSON: EFFORTLESS GUITAR PLAYING -

TONY MCMANUS

Connect with Your New Favorite Super Power - Ceol Man

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STEP BY STEP

All good guitar players have one thing in common – they make it look easy, in fact, they make it look effortless. Jamie shows us the way.

30 LESSON: SOMEBODY LOVES ME

5 AWESOME BLUES TURNAROUNDS YOU MUST KNOW

HOW TO PICK YOUR PICKINGTIPS AND EXERCISES

Tips and Approaches for How to Choose Your Picking Style

George Gershwin’s, Somebody Loves Me, is one of the greatest of all the Standards Frank Vignola shares the love and shows you how.

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You Can Never Have Too Many Quintessential Blues Turnarounds in Your Bag

34 LESSON: THE CAGED SYSTEM

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Dave Celentano creates order with the CAGED System illustrating with the “C form” scale pattern, barre chord shape, and arpeggio.

42 BILL KIRCHEN: THE TELE EXPRESS

Tele Master Kirchen shares his reminisces and music lore from early days hopping freight trains to playing shows with a medley of masters over the decades.

48 TOP TIPS FOR GOING ACOUSTIC AT A Practical Approach to How to Play with that Ease Illustrated by the Masters

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THE GIG

THE CAGED SYSTEM

EFFORTLESS GUITAR PLAYING

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Overview and Approach to Uncaging the Fretboard CAGED System

Get the inside scoop on how to prepare and approach a live gig from Matt Brandt, who’s got miles of acoustic gigs under his belt.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ARIANE CAP

Modern Bassist with Classical Roots

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ARIANE CAP: BEARING BASS FRUIT FROM BACH TO BEETHOVEN

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TONY MCMANUS: CEOL MAN

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STUDIOWIRE: ADAPT & PROGRESS (PART II)

BILL KIRCHEN

Tele Legend Shares Stories & Insights

From classical music to ZZ Top, Ariane shares what drives her bass passion and fuels her success today.

Connect with Your New Favorite Super Power - Ceol Man

TrueFire’s Tommy Jamin reflects on our production evolution and what the new challenges are in the next phase of construction.

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TOP TIPS FOR GOING ACOUSTIC AT THE GIG How to Make a Gameplan for Playing a Solo Acoustic Gig

RIFF JOURNAL ARTIST DIRECTORY

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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

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CLOSING SNAPSHOTS

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

LOOKING FOR MORE RIFF? FIND ONLINE VIDEOS, AUDIO, GALLERIES AND MORE AT RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V10

STUDIOWIRE: ADAPT & PROGRESS

TrueFire’s Studio is Taking Shape (At Least On Paper)

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CONTRIBUTORS “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end. - Ed Sheeran”

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. WINTER 2017 | ISSUE 10

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

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Guitar Player magazine called him “the George Washington of guitar” and his seminal guitar instruction book series, the Modern Guitar Method, sold in excess of 20 million copies. We’d be hard pressed to name any other individual person who has had as much influence on guitar players and guitar teachers as Mel Bay.

instructional products and tools including books, DVDs, guitar methods, tablature, streaming video, interactive sheet music, jamming products, mobile apps, 3D simulations, and pitch detection learning tools — it ALL roots back to Mel Bay, the guitarist, the teacher, the visionary, and the very first music education entrepreneur.

Born in 1913, Mel bought his first guitar at the age of thirteen and played his first gig just a few months later. He learned by watching other guitarists not unlike we baby boomers, although we at least had a copy of his book to reference.

Mel Bay, in your manual, you taught us how to hold the pick, you’ve got to hold it in this manner, to play them fancy licks.

Mel also played other instruments, including tenor banjo, mandolin, Hawaiian guitar and ukulele. He gigged at every opportunity including drawing a crowd for a snake oil salesman.

Now we’re happily strum min’ along and you ought to hear us play, and I guess we owe it all to you, thanks a lot Mel Bay.

The Mel Bay Trio (piano, bass, guitar) performed together for 25 years, but Mel would also teach as many as 100 students a week. His teaching experiences led to writing and then publishing his instructional books, the first of which was The Orchestral Chord System for Guitar in 1947 (still in print as the Rhythm Guitar Chord System) followed by Modern Guitar Method in 1948. Thanks to Elvis, everyone wanted to learn guitar and Mel’s books flew off the shelves. Mel sparked an entire music instruction industry with those two books, which today spans thousands of print and digital

- Ode To Mel Bay Hear Tommy Emmanuel & Chet Atkins perform the entire song: This RIFF’s for you!

Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel “Ode To Mel Bay”

Brad Wendkos || Head Smoke Jumper RIFF 5


The Gentlemen Wizard Adrian Legg WRITTEN BY BRAD WENDKOS

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was a fan of Adrian Legg’s music long before I had the opportunity to see him perform live, which finally happened at a crowded and absurdly noisy NAMM convention — not exactly the ideal environment to experience one of your guitar hero’s live performances for the very first time. This was back in the early days of TrueFire. Internet video was just emerging and we’d scour the show floor, keeping our eyes and ears opened for new and cool things to film and then stream on TrueFire TV. My ears perked up when I heard what I thought sounded like “Chicken Lickin’s Last Ride”, one of my fave Adrian Legg tunes. Could it be?! We were several rows away, but our ears beamed us directly to the source — Adrian Legg in the flesh performing live! Adrian had attracted a massive crowd, which surrounded the booth he was performing in. I could barely see him let alone film, so we just kicked back and soaked in the music along with everyone else. I remember noticing ear-to-ear grins on every single face in that crowd as this dapper gentleman played his brilliant music, on that extraordinary guitar of his. Readers of RIFF are likely already well aware of Legg’s distinguishing contributions to the world of guitar because he’s earned a massive number of accolades from so many of his peers and the press. My favorite comes from the Philadelphia Enquirer, “There are guitarists, there are axe-

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wielding maniacs, and then there are wizards. Adrian Legg is one of the wizards. He has enough technique to do just about anything he wants, but also the sensitivity to honor the contours of a melody.” Working and spending a little quality time with Adrian during each of his sessions at TrueFire always left me wanting more time with him. His intellect, wit, sense of humor, inventiveness, view of the world, and his love of life, are all as extraordinary as his music and guitar. A film released in 1993, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, drew on the works of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and other like brilliant minds of those times. I could just as easily see Adrian Legg starring alongside Sean Connery in that film, as I could see him sitting around a table, swapping tales with those literary giants. I wish he lived in my neighborhood. I’d find daily excuses for knocking on the door of this gentleman wizard.

I asked Adrian if he would kindly answer our Proust-like questionnaire so that Riff readers could get to know him a little better and he happily complied … What is it about the guitar that attracted you to it originally, and still fascinates you today? It was red, had a rich tone, was easy to play right from the get-go, and


“There are guitarists, there are axe-wielding maniacs, and then there are wizards. Adrian Legg is one of the wizards.�

Photos By Alison Hasbach

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I could just as easily see Adrian Legg starring alongside Sean Connery in that film, as I could see him sitting around a table, swapping tales with those literary giants.

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could be played successfully by a not very bright-looking guy with glasses whom a Strat made sexy, and above all, my parents and teachers hated it. The initial part of it anyway, I guess - Hank Marvin and The Shadows, cheesy though they may be in retrospect, had an enormous impact on my generation. Now the functionality and versatility impress me no end, and I think that is part and parcel of its role as a particularly American cultural tool. America is really where its development from simple acoustic parlor instrument to rock god shred machine and everything in between occurred. Your idea of happiness? Cycling downstream on the Thames Path, in sunshine, with a tailwind. I’m going to do it today right after I click “send”. Whether living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with? Paul Bigsby. Nerds have been and still are our enablers. Much of the guitar is about possibility, and while what musicians want drives its development, it’s the nerds who translate our needs from chaotically expressed “How about…?” to functioning practicality. Paul Bigsby’s development of a solid body electric guitar after prodding from his friend Merle Travis is a perfect example of this. I also think it’s funny that the modern solid body shred guitar developed from what a finger-picker wanted, and I hope he’d enjoy that. Name three things a player can do to improve their musicianship. 1. Practice s-l-o-w-l-y. 2. Practice privately with no one at all listening so you’re not tempted to show off. 3. Do it again until you _can’t_ make a mistake. I think it’s important to remember that when we learn something new, we’re building a kind of procedural code, the flow of which we will manipulate in a performance. Just like computer code, it will become corrupted, frequently by something new we learn that has a similar structure as an old piece in some parts. When an old piece falls apart for no obvious reason,

this is usually what has happened, so we have to find the parts that are similar and practice them side by side until we more clearly understand the difference and build that separation into the code. If not yourself, who would you be? I’ve never wanted to be someone else. 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 don’t think the positives are necessarily in the music business per se, but there are positives for us in the technology that undermined

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the old system. The principle good thing is instant communication - we can stay in touch with the people who like and support what we do. I think there are dangers for us individually in that same technology: It’s now very easy to make backing tracks and avoid the technical challenge of truly playing solo. Obviously, as a soloist, I would say this, but I even hear buskers working with backing tracks now, and I think their music is infertile and stodgy. I’d always rather hear a human being than a machine. Bite the bullet, face the struggle, if you want to make something solo then do it without artificial aids. Backing tracks and loopers are great tools for practicing something we will later perform in an ensemble. Of

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course, here we all are using online digital technology to teach and learn. I promise you it’s better than the books and chord dictionaries that I could never be bothered with - they were too much like my horrible, rigid, childhood schools. Your favorite motto? Sic transit gloria mundi - thus passes the glory of the world. We don’t get long, we must do our thing right now and not be afraid of dying; death will happen - at that point we are excused practice.


What do you dream about? Literally. I used to dream I could fly and gradually learned to exclude the possibility of crashing. Otherwise, I go with the theory that dreams are the noticeable part of cleaning out shortterm memory so that it’s fresh for use the next day. I think that repetitive dreams are when a bit of short-term memory is so vivid during the discharge process it becomes reremembered and re-established, so I make no effort to remember them. I go to sleep with a piece of music in my mind and try to arrange it. What are your aspirations? To write a guitar piece that everyone wants to learn and listen to. What one event in music history would you have loved to have experienced in person? I’d like to have seen the first performance of Stravinsky’s “Rite Of Spring” in Paris in 1913 just to see for myself the audience reaction … the stories about it are wonderful. Your favorite heroes in fiction? I don’t think I have a favorite. I just like stories. What or who is the greatest love of your life? The woman who married me, and the astonishing tribe that resulted. Your favorite food and drink? My local, Khan’s on Westbourne Grove, it’s Indian and Pakistani cooking, they have no Muzak and no pretenses - just very good food. Also I admire the stoicism of the Muslim waiters during Ramadan when I tuck into the lunchtime buffet. In your next life, what or who would you like to come back as and why? I refer you to ‘sic transit gloria mundi’. The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)? I’m happy with what I found. In life or in music, what is the one central key learning that you’d like to pass on to others? We should practice slowly and privately. We shouldn’t show off until we have a whole story to tell, then we should tell it courteously and accurately, with feeling. We may be wrong, alas.

www.adrianlegg.com

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE THROUGH ADVANCED

ALTERNATE PICKING HYBRID PICKING

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SWEEP PICKING


HOW TO PICK YOUR PICKING: TIPS & EXERCISES Written by Jeff Scheetz

I often get asked about picking when teaching a student a lick. As in “what is the best way to pick that?” Many times the answer is, “it depends.” I know that sounds like side-stepping the question like any good politician facing a controversial subject! But it’s really true! It depends on a couple of things. Number one, what way are you the most comfortable with. Two, what is the most efficient or common sense way to look at it, and three, what else is going on around the lick. I will alternate pick (down, up, down, up) on most things. That is my “go-to” kind of picking when I learn something new or improvise. However, having the ability to play with hybrid picking (using the pick and right-hand fingers) or sweep/economy picking (using a series of consecutive down and/or up strokes) when it makes sense or feels right is an important skill to develop. Once you get all of these in your toolbox, you might find yourself giving the same elusive answer of, “it depends,” when someone asks you how you pick something, simply because you are not sure! For me, I don’t consciously think of which picking style I am using anymore, I just do what my brain determines in a split second is the best way to pick a part. So sometimes I have to go back and play it slowly in order to show it to someone, just so I can figure it out myself. That is actually one thing I think trips up newer players when they try to learn an exact lick from someone. They are trying to forcefully incorporate a particular picking sequence to a lick, but they may not have the actual foundational technique of that way of picking under their fingers yet. So it seems awkward and cumbersome – but it’s not the lick – it is the underlying technique that needs the work. Here are a couple of examples of playing a lick, first with alternate picking, and then with economy picking in the first example and alternate and then hybrid picking in the second example.

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Standard tuning

EXAMPLE 01

= 120 Example 1 1

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7

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7 7

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The first lick is simply playing through a Bm7 arpeggio. It is a pretty easy lick to alternate pick through, but it can really be sped up if you use economy picking. Economy and sweep picking are very similar. With sweep picking you are playing a series of down strokes, and then possibly a series of up strokes. Economy picking is a little more involved and has to do with playing alternate picking when you are on the same string, but then going down or up when you change strings, dependent on whatever is closest. For the way we are playing the second bar of the first example, we are using 3 consecutive down strokes, followed by 1 up stroke. So it is “economy” but that little 3-note down stroke “sweep” can make it work to be called a “sweep picking” lick as well. It is a fairly fine line between them.

Standard tuning

EXAMPLE 02

= 120 Example 2 1

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4 7

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For the second example, we start in the first bar with alternate picking again, but then in the second bar we use hybrid picking. Basically we are playing the first note with a down stroke of the pick, and then playing the second note with our middle finger of our right hand. This pattern continues; pick, middle finger, pick, middle finger. This can allow you to skip strings with minimum motion.

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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 JEFF’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - LATE INTERMEDIATE

BLUES HYBRID PICKING

TURNAROUNDS CONTRAPUNTAL MOTION

5 AWESOME BLUES TURNAROUNDS YOU MUST KNOW Written by Jeff McErlain

I love heady, high-concept lessons, but this isn’t one of them! I wanted to share some very cool and extremely useful turnarounds with you that I use quite a bit. A turnaround is usually the last 2 bars of a 12 bar blues, although it can also be the last 4 bars, so the terminology can be a little loose, but you know it when you hear it. I would make it a point to learn as many turnarounds as you can and try moving them to different keys. I put the first 4 in the key of E, because we are guitar players and we love E! Turnaround #1 is a staple in the key of E and has been used in so many songs it goes beyond the idea of it being a cliché. It is essential to the music. I think I first learned a variation on it in the beginning of Cream’s version of the Skip James tune I’m So Glad. There are a number of ways to sound the notes, but my favorite is by using hybrid picking. Hybrid picking is where we use the pick and fingers together. On this lick, I use my pick to play the notes on the low E and A strings, my middle finger and ring finger sound the rest.

TURNAROUND #1

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Turnaround #2 basically starts with the classic descending turnaround in E. You most likely already know this one, but if not, it is essential. Variation number two, we do away with the open E string in favor of a fully descending chord motion. Finally in variation #3, we mix the two together to spice it up a bit. Pretty cool isn’t it? Spend some time on these three and experiment with different tempos and feels. You’ll find that this one is one of the most common and important turnarounds in your bag.

TURNAROUND #2

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TURNAROUND #3

I’ll come clean on this one, I learned this one from Eric Clapton’s version on Rambling On My Mind from John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers record, often called the Beano record. If you don’t have this record, I cannot recommend it enough. This one is an example of a turnaround that is 4 bars long starting on the B7 chord in bar 9 of a 12 bar blues. I love this one as it is riff-based as opposed to chordal. I use this one all the time!

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TURNAROUND #4

Turnaround #4 is quite a bit more involved and is also 4 bars long. I learned this one from Magic Sam’s Sweet Home Chicago. I actually first heard it in the Blues Brothers movie to which I am eternally grateful for introducing me to some fantastic music, and also being one of my favorite movies. Pay close attention to the lick in bar 2 played on the A7 chord as you can use it as a stand-alone substitution for an A7 chord. It works especially well on a IV7 chord (it’s also a staple of Little Walter’s music).

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In this final turnaround, I wanted to give you one that is easily transposed into a different key. This one uses what is called contrapuntal motion, two melodic lines moving in opposite directions. The top line is descending and the bottom ascending. In the middle we have the common tone on the A note. Take your time and get used to it. It’s easy once you have it! A final thought on turnarounds, you can use them as introductions or endings to a tune as well. There are many variations out there that will spice up your playing, I suggest making it a goal to know as many turnarounds as you can.

TURNAROUND #5

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Jeff McErlain Jeff McErlain is a Brooklyn based musician and educator. As a performer Jeff has toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia with his own bands and as a side man. He has written for Guitar Player and Premier Guitar magazines. Jeff was the musical consultant and guitar instructor for the Warner Bros film August Rush. He has taught at the National Guitar Workshop, Bath International Guitar Festival, Crown of The Continent Guitar Festival, and The Ruby Mountain Guitar Workshop. He also has over ten instructional courses with TrueFire as well as his online classroom The Juke Joint.

VIEW JEFF’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - BEGINNER THROUGH INTERMEDIATE

PRACTICE

DEXTERITY

PICKING

TECHNIQUES

EFFORTLESS GUITAR PLAYING: STEP BY STEP Written by Jamie Andreas

All good guitar players have one thing in common – they make it look easy, in fact, they make it look effortless. That is because, for them, it is easy. But what is the secret of “effortless” playing? Our world is full of incredible guitar players, and also full of incredible guitar lessons, both of which are amply represented at TrueFire. You can learn the secrets of all the great players, learn their scales, licks and techniques, and see them demonstrated. The problem for many students comes when they try to do it themselves! So often, I get students who are struggling to actually play the wonderful music they find in the lessons they study. Whether it is rock, blues or fingerstyle, technique is what comes between so many guitar players and the music they want to make. That is why the focus of my teaching is not to teach people what to play, but rather, how to play whatever they want to play, and how to play it at the professional level. To do this, it is necessary to understand what guitar playing is all about, on a very fundamental level, and a very physical level. All good players have this understanding, consciously or intuitively, and the way they relate to playing and practicing is based on this understanding. Once we understand these fundamentals, we are able to travel this path to effortless playing ourselves. We become able to train our fingers to play whatever they wish. Then, all the wonderful lessons available become so much more useful and satisfying. The desire to convey this vital knowledge lead me to write “The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar”, and 20 years later, to carry that work to the next level with “The Yoga of Guitar”. This lesson is derived from both these works. I am going to give you a roadmap to effortless playing on guitar. If any of these parts of the journey are missing, mastery of the guitar on a technical level (and let’s not forget that our sound and the notes our fingers make ultimately depend on our technique) will be unattainable. If you are looking for that often talked about state of “effortless mastery” on the guitar, here is where to look.

THE PATH TO EFFORTLESS PLAYING

Effortless playing is a step by step process of development. Like any path, if the first step is in the wrong direction, you will never reach the goal. Unfortunately, for many players, the first step was in the wrong direction! The first step in effortless playing is the development of the musculature of the hands and arms in the very particular way required for playing guitar.

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For the left hand this means the fingers must develop: 1) Strength 2) Stretch 3) Independence�- the action of one finger must not cause tension in the other fingers 4) Curvature - the fingers themselves must be able to curl fully, especially the last joint of the finger, on any string, in any position. This does not mean they always play with curvature, but they must be able to curl fully when needed. For the right hand this means: 1) The ability to place maximum force on the strings at any speed without tensing the entire arm, whether playing pickstyle or fingerstyle. A great many players do not achieve these things in their first years as players, and because of this, playing is a struggle. When I want to gauge a students’ overall technique, I ask them to play a scale. I almost always see fingers flying all over the place, and diminishing volume and missed notes on the right hand as the speed goes up, due to static tension in the arm and shoulder that is unfelt by the player. Invariably, I will see the 2 great diseases of the left hand: finger squeeze and finger rise. As one finger plays, the finger next to it will squeeze tightly against the playing finger, or rise into the air. Trying to play smoothly while this is happening is like running a race with a bad knee. It is instructive to observe that all good players have the ability to play fast and loud when desired, all improperly developed players are not able to play fast and loud, because body tension rises to such a high level that contact with pick or fingers becomes difficult and then impossible, so notes get softer, and then disappear. If you are a player who wishes to play with the ease of a professional, you must first make sure that your fingers have achieved the things listed above.

Image Example

| ONLINE LINK DIRECTORY | RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V10

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THE SECOND STEP TO EFFORTLESS PLAYING

The second step toward effortless playing must develop alongside the first, right from the beginning, and that is the ability to use fingers and pick with a high degree of relaxation at all times. You have probably heard this many times. I was often told “Relax, you have to play relaxed. All the great players are very relaxed when they play.” And I think we all know how completely useless that advice is. It’s like telling the drowning person “Just swim!”. Yeah, if they could do that, they probably would!

relaxation, speed, power and control in our playing. To understand this is to have a deeper understanding of the meaning of “relaxed” playing. This interaction between our muscles and the strings they play on should be understood and consciously observed by every guitar player right from the beginning of playing. If it is, the player will avoid the tension problems that keep so many players from reaching the state of effortless playing.

Relaxation is not the answer, but it is part of the answer to the question “What is effortless guitar playing about”. When we say “You must be relaxed when you play”, we are speaking as if there were a state called “relaxation” that we must maintain. But in its truest sense, the word “relax” is not indicating a state, it is indicating an action: the action of “returning to laxity”. This means that relaxation is the releasing of the tension created by the necessary effort of muscle contraction that creates movement and brings force to the strings. There is another source of tension that must be controlled as well, and that is the tension created in muscles as the flexible medium of the strings places force back on the body. This fundamental dynamic of guitar playing is generally unappreciated, and needs a little explanation.

RELAX INTO THE EFFORT

Every time your pick or fingers place force on a string to create a note, the string places force back through the pick and fingers, and so into your entire upper body. In order to maintain pick or finger position, you must subtly (or not so subtly!) tense various muscles throughout the upper body, especially the shoulders, with every note you play. Many guitar players greatly over tense in reaction to

It is especially important to control overall body tension while doing guitar exercises. The strenuous nature of most exercises creates a great amount of excess tension as muscles attempt new levels of stretch and strength, and if it not consciously felt and released, it will build an insurmountable obstacle to professional development on the guitar. I have laid out the path to proper development of all the basic skills needed in guitar playing of any style in my various works, beginning with “The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar”, and furthered by study of the supporting products I have created, including “How to Master A Scale”, “The 6 Essential Scales”, “Hammers &

this force the string places back to the body, and even worse, they do not relax this tension after a note is played, and carry that tension into the next note. Failure to feel and control this cycle of tension and release will prevent

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How do we resolve the conflict between the necessary effort playing the guitar requires, and the need for continuous relaxation? First of all, we must make sure that all efforts are made with the minimum amount of muscle tension possible, as when we use minimum pressure with a finger when it presses a string to a fret, or allow arm weight to do much of the work. Secondly, we should always think of “relaxing into the effort”. This is best done by keeping whole body awareness, focusing on relaxing the whole body as much as possible while making efforts with the fingers. Students who begin to do this usually find they are tensing many parts of their body every time they try that hard chord change or fast scale. They will usually find they are constantly holding their breath as well.


Pulls”, and “Bar Chord Mastery”, and my “Rock & Blues Foundation Course”. These courses will give any student the ability to play without crippling, chronic tension.

chance of playing with ease and flow, which all music demands. In this case, the player will experience chronic tension during playing.

THE THIRD STEP: THE DYNAMIC RELATIONSHIP TO THE STRING

When these 3 developments are in place, the physical development of the fingers, the ability to have fingers work independently of each other, and the ability to relate dynamically to the strings, we are in a position to do what is really required in all our playing. We will be able to play in a way that gives the appearance of, and the sensation of “relaxed playing” we always hear about, often called “effortless mastery”. And that requirement is this: the application of balanced forces to the strings and body of the guitar from the fingers and all points of contact with the guitar as each note is created. In moments during playing where the forces placed on the instrument are out of balance, harmful tension is inevitable. In many cases, this imbalance will place stress on body parts such as the neck or back, and pain will develop.

As a student receives this training, the third step toward effortless playing is able to emerge - a dynamic relationship to the string. Like a diving board, the string is a flexible medium that possesses its own energy, referred to as potential or elastic energy. A great diver knows how to interact with the diving board in such a way to as connect with and use that energy. A great guitar player knows how to contact the energy of the string and use that energy to propel movement. A good guitar player is literally bouncing on the strings with the right hand, whether pick or fingers, in the same way a great gymnast bounces on a trampoline, absorbs its energy into their body, and directs and uses that energy to propel movements. The opposite of this is as static relationship to the strings, where the muscles are in a state of tension that remains set, regardless of the changing condition of the string. Then, the strings are dead and unresponsive, and feel hard and unyielding. The more we develop the necessary dynamic relationship to the strings, the more the strings feel like rubber bands as we play. It is a wonderful feeling! A dynamic relationship means that just as the string is alive, and changes in response to every touch and force placed upon it, so is the player alive, responding to every force applied to their body, and to every change in balance created by the movement of fingers, hands, arms and body while they play. Without maintaining a constant state of balance of forces as we interact with the string, we have no

THE FINAL STEP: THE CONNECTION

When a player has achieved the necessary developments outlined above, a strong connection between our body and the guitar is maintained during playing. This union of body and guitar is the doorway through which the music we feel emotionally is able to enter. Complex and difficult music requires a highly developed and highly refined connection, simpler music requires a connection more easily achieved but necessary nonetheless. The fingers must be able to perform certain actions in order to create this connection. I like to watch great players and observe them doing various things to create this connection as they play. I was recently watching Tommy Emmanuel, and noticing how at

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various times he will curl the joints and slant a finger to the right as they fret a note. I call this placing side force on the string, a necessary action of the fingers in many cases. But many students are literally unable to slant their fingers in this way when asked to do so, because they have not developed the necessary joint flexibility.

Image Example

This connection is the true source of power, control, and security in our playing. Those who are able to create this connection know how to use the fingers of the left hand, the pick and/or the fingers of the right hand, as well as all points of bodily contact with the guitar to create this connection in every playing moment. The particulars of this balance of forces change at every moment of playing, and the player must instantly adapt and respond in every moment, in the same way a tightrope walker must respond to the changing condition of the tightrope with every step in order to maintain the connection.

Image Example

Many players who can do this may not know they are doing it because this is often an intuitive or acquired knowledge of the body itself. Guitar prodigies intuitively relate to the guitar this way, from the beginning or soon after starting, so they make very fast progress. That is why I define talent as “The tendency to do the right thing�. However, this

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THE YOGA OF GUITAR

knowledge can be taught and understood consciously, which makes it possible for anyone to gain these abilities for themselves. To reach the state of effortless playing requires great effort. Do not think you can travel the path in a week, a month or a year. It takes many years of sincere effort to bring all these factors into being, and bring them to maturity. In fact, it is an endless road. Pablo Casals was asked why he still practiced in his nineties. He said “I find I am getting better”. To see an illustration of how creating the necessary connection between body and guitar helps us make our music, watch this video. A student was learning “Dear Prudence” and kept stumbling on a chord change. I showed him how placing force on the body of the guitar with the right arm, while placing an opposing force on the neck with the left arm enabled the fingers to easily make the change accurately while keeping the fingerpicking pattern going.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Jamie Andreas Jamie Andreas is the author of the world acclaimed method for guitar “The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar”. Called “The Holy Grail” of guitar books, and “The International Bible Of Guitar”, the Principles has enabled thousands of students worldwide to become real guitar players. “The Principles” is a two-time winner of Acoustic Guitar’s “Players Choice Award” in the “Guitar Instructional” category.

VIEW JAMIE’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE THROUGH LATE INTERMEDIATE

JAZZ STANDARD REPERTOIRE

CHORD MELODY MELODY

SOMEBODY LOVES ME Written by Frank Vignola

George Gershwin’s, “Somebody Loves Me”, written in 1924 is one of the greatest of all the Standards. In this chord melody arrangement you will notice diatonic movement of chords and the use of the flat 9 (diminished fingering) while moving between I minor and V dominant. Using the bass end of the guitar to play some fills in between chord melody statements is a technique used in this arrangement. I’ve included a full transcription with tab and notation for you, as well as some handy videos with two tempos (a practice tempo and a performance tempo) to aid your work on this wonderful tune. Enjoy!

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SOMEBODY SomebodyLOVES Loves ME Me

George Gershwin

Chord Melody Arrangement

b

Chord Melody Arrangement

b

F maj7 G min7 A min7 B maj7 B min6

Guitar

&b

Guitar

T A B

4‰ 4

œœ œ œ

œœ œ œ

1 2 2

3 3 3

5 5 5

6 7 7

1

3

5

6

F maj7 F maj7

Gtr. 5

œœ .. & b ‰ œœ ..

Gtr.

b9

œœ œ œœ

b b b ˙˙˙ ˙

1

4 4 4 3

5 5 5 3

5 5 5 3

8 6 8 8

D

b

7

8

G min7

8

Gtr.

1 2 2

3 3 3

5 5 5

6 7 7

1

3

5

6

˙˙ ˙ &b ˙

A min7

Gtr.

13

Gtr.

8 8 9 7

œœ œ œ œ

œ b œœ œ

5

8 8 8 7

8 8 9 7

F9

b

G min7

j œœ œ œ

œœ .. œ. œ.

6 7 7

4 5 4 5

3 3 4

3 3 3

3

3

œ œœ œœ .. b ˙ œ œ . # ˙˙ ˙

6 7 8

8

8 6 8 8

8

b

7

F maj7

œœ œœ

œ n œœœ œ

5 5 5 3

5 5 5 3

6

8

œœ n œ œ œ œœ œœ œœ n œœ #œ œ n œ J J E 7( 9)

10 8 8 7

7 7 7 6

A min7

8 7 7 6

5 5 5 9

˙˙ ˙˙

b

C 7( 9)

j b œœ œœ

B min7

˙˙ ˙˙

4

1

b

E 7( 9)

n ˙˙ # ˙˙ 7 6 7 6

œœ .. b œ b œ œ # œ ‰ # œœ .. 5

2

˙˙ ˙˙

5 3 4 3

b

6

bœ œ

2 3 2 3

D 7( 9)

7

bœ 4

D 7( 9)

œœœ

4 4 4 3

6

œœ .. œœ .. b œœ œ . œœ ‰ œ œ ‰ œœ .. œ. J œ

œœ œ œ

& b ‰ œœœ ... 9 œ.

5 5 5 3

˙˙ ˙˙

F6

b

œœ œ œ

b9

œœ œ b b œœ œœ b œœ

5 5 5 3

F maj7 G min7 A min7 B maj7 B min6

Gtr.

D

œœ .. b œœœ ‰ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ œ .. J

œœ .. œ. œ.

œœ .. œ. œ.

F maj7

George Gershwin

5 4 5 4

œ # œœœ œ 6

8 7 8 7

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SOMEBODY LOVES ME Chord Melody SomebodyArrangement Loves Me

2 Gtr.

b

G min7

D 7( 9)

œœ .. œœœ œœ .. œ J

D 7( 9)

G min7

œœ œ œ œ œœœ œ b œœœ œ b œ œ œ ‰ J ‰ b œ #œ & œ #œ J 17 3

6 6 7 5

Gtr.

3

5 4 5 4

6 6 7 5

G 13

Gtr.

b

G min7

œœ œ œœ œ œœ & b n œœ

Gtr.

8 9 9 8

10

3

5 4 5 4

œœ œ œœ œ n œœ œœ

21

10 9 9 8

3

10 9 9 8

10

b

8 9 9 8

10

10

b

F maj7 G min7A min7 B maj7 B min6

Gtr.

Gtr.

œœ œ œ

1 2 2

3 3 3

5 5 5

6 7 7

1

3

5

6

œ .. œ & b ‰ œœ ..

29

Gtr.

8 6 5 7

8 6 5 5

D

b9

6

9 8 9 8

10 8 10 8

G min7

œœœ ...

œœœ œ J

˙˙˙ ˙

8 10 8

8 8 10 8

8 8 10 8

F maj7

8

7

5 5 5 3

8

˙˙ ˙˙

6 6 7 5

œœ .. b œœœ ‰ œ œ œ œ ‰ œœ .. J 8 6 8 8

œ œœ œ b b b ˙˙˙ ˙ œ

F maj7 D min7

Gtr.

œœ .. œ. œ.

œœ œ œ

& b ‰ œœœ ... 25 œ.

George Gershwin

œœ b b œœ œ œœœ œœ n œœ b b œœ œ ‰

G min7 F 6

˙˙ ˙˙

œ #œ œ œ 5

b9

œœ œ œ

œ b b b œœœ œ

5 5 5 3

6

œœ b n œœ œœ ‰ b b œœ

7

8

bœ bœ

œ

# œœ .. œ.

œœ œœ J

˙˙ ˙˙

9 9 8

8 9 9 8

8 9 9 8

C 7(#5)

D

6

˙˙ ˙ ˙

4 4 4 3

4

b œœ n œ b œ œ œœ b n n œœœ ‰ b œœ ‰ œœ œ œ

F maj9 (13)

Chromatically Descending Chord in Fourths

6 7 8

8 6 7 7

10 10 9 9

9 9 8 8

8 8 7 7

7 7 6 6

2

6 6 5 5

5 5 4 4

4 4 3 3

3 3 2 2

˙˙ ˙˙

1


SOMEBODY LOVES ME

Practice Tempo Video

Performance Tempo Video

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Frank Vignola Frank Vignola is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List: for the Wall Street Journal.

VIEW FRANK’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE

CAGED CHORD TONES

SOLOING

SCALES PRACTICE

THE “CAGED” SYSTEM Written by Dave Celentano

Hello TrueFire students and guitar fanatics! It’s been a while since my last Riff Journal lesson from the inaugural issue where we explored neo-classical style playing with a face-melting rendition of Mozart’s Turkish dance “Rondo”. For this current lesson, I want to get back to basics with a necessary (and often overlooked) exploration of the CAGED Scale System. Mention CAGED Scale System to a guitarist and most will think it’s a cryptic musical term or acronym for something. The word “CAGED” is actually a pneumonic device representing the C, A, G, E, and D barre chord forms, each existing in one of five unique scale patterns and used as the framework for melodic soloing. With the CAGED system, you’ll learn five scale, chord, and arpeggio “territories” on the fretboard that connect like

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jigsaw puzzle pieces AND where the important chord tones are in each. Here’s the lowdown – for each barre chord shape, C, A, G, E, and D, there’s a corresponding major scale overlaying the same fingerboard territory that includes the notes of the chord shape. You can play scales up and down, forwards and backwards, and even execute some entertaining licks, but more importantly you must know where the best and strongest notes are to end phrases or otherwise you’re dead in the water. These sturdy notes are “chord tones” and in most music genres melodies follow the chord changes by strategically using them. This concept will always sound more musical and make your ideas melodically and harmonically interesting. The Root, 3rd, and 5th (and 7th if playing over jazz chords) degrees of the scale make up the chord, but we’ll stick to the triad notes here to keep it simple. In this lesson, we’ll check out the “C form” scale pattern, barre chord shape, and arpeggio. The scale pattern is a comfortable fingering for playing major scale notes surrounding the C chord shape at the 12th fret. On the neck diagrams, the root note, C, is represented by “R” on the neck diagram and all subsequent scale notes are described numerically by their respective distance from the root note. Example - the note after C is D (major 2nd from the root), followed by E (major 3rd), F (perfect 4th), G (perfect 5th), A (major 6th), and B (major 7th). Seeing and hearing the scale tones numerically goes a long way towards helping your ear understand their unique qualities against the chord (in this case C).

EXAMPLE ONE “C FORM” - C MAJOR SCALE Standard Tuning

“C FORM” - SCALE

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Example 2 illustrates the C form barre chord grip at the 12th fret. Notice how this chord shape exists in the C form scale pattern.

“C FORM” - C MAJOR BARRE CHORD

EXAMPLE TWO

A great way to see and hear chord tones in a scale pattern is to play the chord as an arpeggio. Check out the C form arpeggio that doubles as a killer sweep-picking exercise in Example 3.

EXAMPLE THREE “C FORM” - C MAJOR TRIAD ARPEGGIO Standard Tuning

“C FORM” ARPEGGIO

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I like to exhaust each pattern by developing melodic exercises that highlight chord tones, strengthen the ear, and increase muscle memory. One particularly great routine involves chord tones as well as the note directly above and below, in a circling manner like Example 4.

EXAMPLE 4: “C FORM� CHORD TONE AND SCALE EXERCISE Standard Tuning

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Listen how each chord tone sounds while played over a C chord. The Root, 3rd, and 5th sound very good, because they are the chord tones making up a C major chord (C, E, and G), while non-chord tones like the 4th and 7th (F and B) don’t sound as stable. Chord tones are always solid and resolved, while non-chord tones may have a nice color, but are not necessarily the best choice to end a phrase with. Understanding and having command over these chord and scale tones is crucial to being a solid improviser and soloist. Once you’ve got the scale and arpeggio bolted down, you’re ready for the final and most fun step…soloing! This is where you put everything you learned on the line and show what you can do. And it’s not about speed and shredding, but rather taking your time to develop tasty melodic ideas. Below is a short solo spotlighting chord tones embellished with neighboring scale tones. Notice the employment of chord tones ending each phrase and how it has a definite “Hendrix” flavor in spots à la “Little Wing” and “Wind Cries Mary.” Ahhh, Jimi knew all about majestic chord tones!

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EXAMPLE FIVE: “C FORM” SOLO

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The heart of the CAGED System is recognizing chord shapes and surrounding scale tones as one unit in any given fingerboard territory, not to mention providing a complete knowledge of the fingerboard that’s empowering and freeing. The CAGED System definitely will get you there. If you enjoyed this lesson and want to dig deeper, check out my CAGED Commander course on TrueFire for a complete lowdown on the CAGED System. The course includes all five scale patterns, chords, arpeggios, concepts, and soloing using the CAGED System.

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ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Dave Celentano Dave Celentano is a graduate of Musician’s Institute (G.I.T.) and has been teaching guitar in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years. Between private lessons and group classes, he’s taught thousands of students of all ages in a variety of acoustic and electric guitar styles including blues, rock, metal, folk, jazz, and classical. In addition, he’s authored over fifty guitar instruction books, dvds, videos, and internet tutorials for many international music publishers and released several music cds.

VIEW DAVE’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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Bill Kirchen

WRITTEN BY JEFF SCHEETZ

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BILL IS A STANDOUT AT ANY TIME. HIS UNIQUE LICKS ON THE TELE HAVE BEEN CALLED A “TRIUMPH OF THE TELECASTER”

It’s 1972 and you’re driving across the United States in your Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible with the top down. FM radio stations come and go, but you can pick up some AM stations and keep them on for hours. However, listening to top 40 radio doesn’t exactly give you an abundance of memorable riffs to sink your guitar aficionado teeth into. Then one song comes on whose opening guitar riff grabs you by the ear and won’t let go. All it does is make you want to drive faster (sorry officer)! That song is “Hot Rod Lincoln” from Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Bill Kirchen is the guitarist behind that legendary riff. While that riff may have been a catalyst for Bill, it is certainly not his only badge in the music biz. He has played on countless recordings and with many artists. But Commander Cody was his first leap into the spotlight. Bill helped start the band a few years earlier. He tells us, “I was out in San Francisco in 1966 with a couple buddies, and we hopped freight trains back to Ann Arbor, Michigan to start my first band, The Seventh Seal. We formed Commander Cody in Michigan a year or so later, then I moved back to San Francisco and convinced the band to join me out west. From that point on, I became a full-time working musician.” The late 60’s and early 70’s were a groundbreaking time in music history. How does Bill describe it? “Wild and wooly! That era was a sweet spot in the music industry for creativity and opportunity, and we were lucky enough to be right there in the thick of it at home in San Francisco and on the road. There was tremendous variety and great co-bills back then. We shared the bill with Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, Credence, Jefferson Airplane, Willie, Waylon, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Allman Brothers, and oodles more. We also functioned as the band for Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Doug Kershaw, Link Wray and Gene Vincent at various shows. I know I had way more fun than I deserved!” Of course it is one thing to be in the mix of that kind of amazing happenings, but Bill was more than just another guitar player onstage. His style set him apart from others who were maybe just in the right place at the right time. Bill is a standout at ANY time. His unique licks on the Tele have been called a “Triumph of the Telecaster,” and Vintage Guitar magazine has labeled Bill “An American Treasure.” You don’t get that kind of respect with just one cool lick.

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SINCE I HAD NOT GROWN UP WITH COUNTRY MUSIC, OR EVEN MUCH ROCK ’N’ ROLL AS A KID, I WASN’T STUCK IN ANY PARTICULAR TRADITION. AND I NEVER PLAYED IN A STRICTLY COVER BAND, SO I WAS FREE TO TAKE WHAT I LIKED FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF SOURCES AND MAKE STUFF UP”

I often wonder if someone who has a pioneering and brilliant way of doing something is aware of it at the time they are doing it. Like did Poe know while he was penning the “Raven” that 170 years later it would be a classic and there would be a pro football team named after it? Did Bill realize that his voice on the guitar was so singular that it would help define the style? Bill says, “No, it really just evolved as I got exposed to different styles that caught my interest. By 1965, going to concerts in

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Ann Arbor and at the ’64 and ’65 Newport Folk Festivals, I had seen live: Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, Pop Staples, Bob Dylan, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Cash, Flatt and Scruggs, Rev Gary Davis, Clarence White - whole lifetimes of guitar music. In my first band, I played a Fender Jazzmaster with plastic fingerpicks through an Echoplex and a tweed Twin (not a bad rig, wish I had that today!) and just did whatever I could to make it work like Piedmont Blues, Old Time and Bluegrass ideas. Then I switched to a flatpick and started absorbing

stuff from Don Rich, Roy Nichols, Eldon Shamblin, James Burton, Scotty Moore, Phil Baugh, Gene Moles, as well as a lot of 60’s Bakersfield country, some Western Swing and Rockabilly. Since I had not grown up with Country music, or even much Rock ’n’ Roll as a kid, I wasn’t stuck in any particular tradition. And I never played in a strictly cover band, so I was free to take what I liked from a wide variety of sources and make stuff up.” That worked well. And it keeps


WHAT IS THE SECRET THAT MAKES A GIG A SUCCESS? BILL SUMS IT UP IN THIS SIMPLE CREDO: “IF I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT I KEPT THE VOW I MAKE AT EVERY GIG: I PROMISE TO TRY NOT TO SUCK.”

on working. Bill is still very active as a musician doing 200 shows a year. That is not bad considering he is going on 6 decades of making music! Bill’s latest project with Austin De Lone is called “Transatlanticana” and has him touring more than ever. “The new CD is on Red House Records, made the Americana Radio Charts Top 10 earlier this year, and that has kept us even busier than usual. It’s coming out early March in the UK on Proper Records. I start touring there March 17.”

With all that history to live up to, and all the current success in music, does Bill ever have time for anything else? “Well, my wife and I have a couple wonderful granddaughters, a daughter and son-in-law nearby, so there’s a lot of big fun right there. We live in Austin, Texas which has a wonderful and varied musical community, so there’s a lot of camaraderie here. Thankfully I still love to travel and have a far-flung bunch of friends so I’m a lucky guy. No time for golf, besides it looks way too hard, whacking that ball into a tiny cup hundreds of yard away.”

After all these years of touring and playing countless gigs, what is the secret that makes a gig a success? Bill sums it up in this simple credo: “If I can honestly say that I kept the vow I make at every gig: I promise to try not to suck.” Good advice for all of us.

www.billkirchen.com

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TOP TIPS FOR GOING ACOUSTIC AT THE GIG WRITTEN BY MATT BRANDT


C

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After the first one or two songs you will just have to accept the sound you have and go with it.

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D

oing an acoustic gig should be as much fun as a band gig and could potentially be better money.

It also comes with its own set of challenges that can severely affect the fun and success you may have. In the last three decades, I’ve done many acoustic gigs, ranging from living room venues to halls that seat a thousand. I’ve also talked to many of my colleagues about their experiences and what it takes to get the job done. One of the most challenging issues for an acoustic guitar player in an amplified situation is feedback. And I don’t mean comments by the audience about your performance (although that can become an issue too - wink). There are 2 types of feedback you can get: low and high. My experience is that the low feedback is the hardest to deal with. As a rule it’s always best to keep the level of sound on stage as low as possible to avoid feedback. But this, of course, also limits the sound that reaches your ear. Crowd noise can add to the problem (if your beautiful finger picking and insightful lyrics don’t keep them quiet). Playing with a mic’d guitar and a monitor on stage is asking for trouble as your vocals will run through the monitors and add to the problem. This is especially true if you are on a hollow wooden stage, if the ceiling is low and/ or the walls are not dampened (all of which are well beyond your control). Amplifying a guitar with a mic through a PA is generally only possible if you have a good sound engineer, use in-ear monitors (or very low monitoring) and are not close to Front Of House (FOH) speakers. The sound engineer will have to EQ the guitar quite a bit; cut everything below 120 Hz, tweak the highs and try to find feedback frequencies. They could also use an automated feedback suppressor. They won’t be able to walk away from the board after the first few songs (some of them do, really!), but ride the faders and tweak the knobs throughout the gig. If you don’t have a sound engineer, forget about a feedback suppressor (pedal). They just don’t work in a practical live situation. Every room is different and tweaking the sound to suppress feedback in different frequency ranges takes a lot of time and a lot of experience. Plus these parameters can change during the gig due to changes in the acoustics in the room (more or Jimi-forbid less audience), use of capo, open tunings or distance to the mic. During the sound check - if you have that luxury - the hall is often empty. Which will give you different audio characteristics once the gig starts. And the only thing these suppressors will do during the gig is distract you. There are sound hole covers for acoustic guitars that can help a bit in the

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During the sound check - if you have that luxury - the hall is often empty. Which will give you different audio characteristics once the gig starts.

reducing feedback risk. They are generally only used when you’re playing big stages, in a band and the FOH speakers are set to 11. In those situations, you will have to play with in-ears anyway and the difference a sound hole cover makes is quite small. It can reduce feedback problems in the higher ranges, but also affects the overall quality of the sound. Your expensive pre-war Martin will start to sound like a cardboard rip-off. Playing through a dedicated amp can work, if you are careful in placing it. Mine usually sits behind me (raised), so that my body forms a barrier between the guitar and/or mic and the amp. Sometimes it works to place the amp in front of you, facing you in an angle upward; especially in a situation where any form of amplification of the guitar is too much for the audience, but still necessary for you (like a living room concert with concrete harsh sounding walls). Only use a dedicated acoustic amp like an AER, Fishman, Roland AC or similar. Your Marshall stack or Twin Reverb is not designed to amplify the wide spectrum an acoustic guitar exhales. Some of these amps have dual inputs, which gives you the option to run your vocal mic through it also. It’s useful to source a flexible, lightweight solution for living room type situations, where you only need a tiny boost. When I don’t trust the setup the venue has, I bring my own. Meaning a small PA with monitoring. In that case, I know for sure MY sound will

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be at least acceptable. I can use it just for monitoring or if the PA they have really is a joke then it can also take care of the FOH sound. In most acoustic situations, you’ll be relying on a guitar pickup for amplification. The best of acoustic guitar pickups often use a two-way system, with a piëzo pickup under the bridge and a small mic inside the guitar. In most situations, you can add a trifle of the internal mic to the mix - which definitely adds to the quality of the sound. But in loud situations, you’ll be depending on the piëzo and will have to nix the sound out of the internal mic. To tweak your sound a bit you can buy a dedicated pre-amp/DI-box if you are running the guitar through the PA. After the first one or two songs you will just have to accept the sound you have and go with it. Seven out of ten times that sound will be okay at best. Two out of ten times the sound will be horrible and one out of every ten gigs you’ll be in audio heaven. And this goes for any level of solo acoustic player who sings in any situation. Trust me on this: I’ve talked to many of the big guys and gals and it’s never been different. Go with the flow. Continued tweaking of high, low, less or more reverb/ delay will keep you and the audience out of the zone. So stay away from the knobs while you’re performing as much as you can. Bring your own vocal mic and/or guitar mic. The ones they have at the venue contain the bacteria of all those who spit in it before you, and almost always sound crappy. Also bring your own mic stand. No seriously! Don’t trust the owner who says they have top-notch gear. It’ll fall down, will have been fixed with sticky


duck tape or will not stay in position. Bring two sets of cables if you are using a dynamic mic: one with XLR and one with Jack. When you are using a condenser vocal mic, ask ahead if they have phantom power on the PA. Don’t trust the club owner or barman to give you this info: ask the sound engineer. If you can’t get a hold of him, ask which PA they have and Google its specs.

CONTINUED TWEAKING OF HIGH, LOW, LESS OR MORE REVERB/DELAY WILL KEEP YOU AND THE AUDIENCE OUT OF THE ZONE. Bring workman’s gloves and haul your stuff around wearing them. Your hand will get dirty and sticky and you’ll be glued to your guitar if you don’t. So forget about that fast fingerstyle run in the first song. Sure, you can wash your hands right before the gig. But that removes the natural layer of skin grease you need to slide across the strings comfortably. Bring a small flashlight! Tweaking the knobs of your DI box in low light is a surefire road to feedback and a crappy sound. A volume pedal or bypass/kill switch is not a luxury when you are tuning, switching guitars or balancing the vocal mic with the guitar. Most foot pedal tuners automatically kill the sound, so that’s a double whammy.

Bring a small towel to wipe the sweat from your hands during the gig. Stage lighting can be very hot. Don’t change your strings right before the gig. They will go out of tune in the first songs. Also bring your social skills. If you are lucky enough to have a sound engineer, buy them a beer (one!) and engage with some light small talk. It’s not a solo gig when you have a sound engineer. They can make you look good or ruin your chances of a fun and successful night. Preparation is key when doing any gig. And that goes for solo and duo acoustic gigs a thousand times over. There is no place to hide; it’s all you. Be on time, come prepared, have spares (a second guitar for when strings break and an extra battery for your pickup, tuner, effects) and keep smiling! There’s nothing like singing a song and strumming a six string in front of a captivated audience.

Written by Matthieu Brandt

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WRITTEN BY JEFF SCHEETZ

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“I knew bass was my gig when I learned the bass line to ‘Cheap Sunglasses’ by ZZ Top.”

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Austrian-born bassist Ariane Cap is a busy musician! And that is just the way she likes it. From gigging with multiple bands and teaching, to sitting on the board of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy (the Grammys). She’s been going non-stop for a long time.

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I talked with Ariane about her career, her ideas about teaching, and the steps she’s taken to get where she is today.

“I started playing music when I was five, but I did not pick up a bass until I was 21. The music I grew up with was all classical - Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart were my thing, and I played piano, flute, recorder and took lessons at the conservatory.” But eventually she discovered a world of music outside of the conservatory. “When I was 18, I spent a year in the U.S. and discovered rock, pop, jazz, blues and my mind was blown. Someone handed me a guitar, and because I had a strong theory background, I picked it up very quickly. When I returned to Austria I knew I wanted to play in a band and I joined a few of them as keyboardist, vocalist and guitarist. To make a long story short one of my bands needed a bassist on short notice and since we couldn’t find anyone, I went ahead and bought a bass. A few weeks later I played my first gig and never looked back. I later attended a private bass institute and then the University of Music in Vienna, where I was awarded a scholarship that brought me to the U.S. (University of Miami). I knew bass was my gig when I learned the bass line to “Cheap

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JKLZ qwer “Students often need to be shown the value of a systematic approach,sdf a consistent practice routine, and zc following a solid course. “ QWER JKLZ qwer sdf zc QWER JKLZ qwer sdf zc QWER Sunglasses” by ZZ Top. It was the second or third song I ever learned and something just clicked. I loved the feeling of the bass on my body and holding down a fat groove. The low end felt powerful and the rhythmic quality came natural. I also loved the versatility of the relatively new instrument and started experimenting with solo bass, tapping, loopers and six string, heavily dipping into my classical background.” While that sounds like smooth sailing, Ariane says that there are still struggles, especially as a working bassist. “The big struggle of being a working bass player is finding work. Traditional gigs have become fewer in the 21st century. Of course, there is also opportunity in this and so I diversified…creating my own band (OoN) for one, and writing a book on bass. I love teaching and am into learning psychology and learning methods and habit optimizing, so creating courses and teaching is a natural fit for me.” This diversification means she can embrace the whole process. “There are of course work parts to the whole gig - the gear schlepp (yep, personal roadies are still the very rare exception), long drives, traffic, dealing with all sorts of ‘fires’ - but I don’t fight these aspects of the gig. I work on being in the ‘here and now’ and let the flow

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of the music take over.”

Ariane says that being versatile was a big goal. “I studied most styles, was shooting for live and studio work in all walks of music. I also studied upright bass. Over the years I allowed my own voice to emerge more and more, especially that eclectic part of me, tapping my six string, exploring looping, chord playing and composing/arranging on the bass.” As an educator Ariane has done a very successful course with TrueFire, written a bass book, and runs a popular bass blog. She loves working with students of all levels and offers this advice for beginning bass players.

“Many beginners are very worried about factors such as talent, or maybe their age or background. Or they may have trepidation or scars from things teachers or parents told them about their abilities. Students often need to be shown the value of a systematic approach, a consistent practice routine, and following a solid course. In my experience, and from discussing this with other teachers, consistent practice with a good program makes up for ‘talent’ and lost years easily. And of course, it is easy to say ‘just go for it’ - but so many times I want to grab students


ZXVCBNMN,A JKLZXVCBNMN,A rtyuiop[a qwertyuiop fghjkl sdfghjkl cxvbnm, zcxvbnm, RTYUIOPASDFGH QWERTYUIOPASDFG ZXVCBNMN,A JKLZXVCBNMN,A rtyuiop[a qwertyuiop fghjkl sdfghjkl cxvbnm, zcxvbnm, “but so many times I want RTYUIOPASDFGH QWERTYUIOPASDFG to grab students by the shoulders and tell them to ZXVCBNMN,A JKLZXVCBNMN,A stop worrying, stop searching whether it is possible for you rtyuiop[a qwertyuiop to achieve your goals, stop looking for a magic wand to fghjkl sdfghjkl change the past, but instead, do the work.” cxvbnm, zcxvbnm, RTYUIOPASDFGH QWERTYUIOPASDFG RIFF

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“Over the years I allowed my own voice to emerge more and more, especially that eclectic part of me, tapping my six string, exploring looping, chord playing and composing/arranging on the bass.” by the shoulders and tell them to stop worrying, stop searching whether it is possible for you to achieve your goals, stop looking for a magic wand to change the past, but instead, do the work. Practice. Slow and steady wins the race along with cultivating a positive attitude towards the learning process. The results one generates by doing that makes it easier and easier to keep going. Also, I think a lot of beginners are focused on learning songs without giving much thought as to how music works (i.e. music theory) and how to best position the fingers, arms, body (i.e. good technique). In my mind those two - theory and technique - go together well because theory can be understood as shapes (scales, triads, pentatonics). As the body executes these shapes, why not incorporate good fingering and good technique practices while learning the principles of how music works, how songs are put together and how the fretboard works? It all goes together, needs a bit of focus and a bit of effort, but pays off majorly.” Keeping busy is still the key, and 2017 has more in store of all aspects of what Ariane does best. “My duo OoN is recording a new album. We are currently writing and arranging for it. I am working on a second book that builds on my first, Music Theory for the Bass Player. This next one will be about the Pattern System for the Bass Player and a Reading System. I’d also love to do another TrueFire Course, maybe Pentatonic Playground 2, I have gotten a requests for it.” With no slowing down in sight for the future, if she could go back in time is there anything that Ariane would tell that 5 year old girl who first started playing music in Austria? “I’d tell her to give it her all. Also to explore all sorts of instruments, not just the piano because there happened to be one in the house. And more styles! A classical background is great, but explore as many styles as possible!”

www.arianecap.com

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Photos By Alison Hasbach

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I SMILE EVERY TIME I H EAR H IS MUSIC. H ECK, I SMILE ANYTIME I H EAR OR SEE H IS NAME. TONY MCMANUS HAS THAT EFFECT ON H IS AUDIENCE, PEERS, FRIENDS, AND EVEN TOTAL STRANGERS. IT’S ONE OF H IS SUPER POWERS. smile every time I hear his music. Heck, I smile anytime I hear or see his name. Tony McManus has that effect on his audience, peers, friends, and even total strangers. His soulfulness is infectious. It’s one of his super powers. A group of us were sitting in the massive lobby and adjoining bar of Nashville’s Sheraton Music City during one of the Chet Atkins Association Conventions. In walks Tony, stopping every few feet to shake hands, crack a joke, or share a few words with practically everybody in the lobby. Everybody wanted a moment of his time and I couldn’t help but notice the smiles and laughter that followed him as he made his way through the room. Eventually making it to our table, Muriel Anderson introduced us and I’ve been smiling ever since. We were filming many of the performances at the convention and made a point to catch Tony’s performance the next day. He was playing in the big ballroom, which was filled to capacity well before the scheduled time of his concert. At the time, I wasn’t very familiar with Celtic music, let alone Celtic guitar. Made not a bit of difference…Tony mesmerized me and everybody else in the room. Smiles all around of course. Jaw-dropping technique? Sure. But it’s more about Tony’s musicality, passion, and otherworldly mastery of melody, which is best described by Tommy Emmanuel, “this music is beyond beautiful, it’s…PERFECT!” Guitar is not ordinarily associated with traditional Celtic music and yet there are several notable master guitarists associated with the genre, Tony certainly being amongst them. There’s also nothing ordinary about Tony whose prowess, musicality, and curiosity pulls him into a colorful variety of soundscapes that I would find impossible to accurately label. I deadhead up to Nashville in my truck a few times a year and that 11-hour drive gives me the rare opportunity to just sit and really listen to music without the phone ringing, the Internet beckoning, or other like distractions. In anticipation of writing this article, I created a Tony McManus playlist containing everything I could get my hands on.

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The playlist was set to shuffle and it was all I listened to the entire trip with one exception. Tony’s impassioned arrangement of Charlie Mingus’ “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” inspired a quick listening session to the ’59 original recording of the tune on Mingus Ah Um.

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

There’s nothing Celtic about Tony’s Mysterious Boundaries album, which I set to repeat all of the way through Georgia. Tony performs his steel-string arrangements of ten classical tunes from the likes of Bach, Couperin, Satie and others. “The playing is phenomenal. It’s a masterpiece, I’m reeling,” says John Renbourn. Steve Howe agrees, “World class! Masterful playing as always.” Rob Weir chimes in as well, “McManus is technically flawless – his precise fingering of crisp melody notes in perfect resonance with resonating bass. I’d rank Mysterious Boundaries among the year’s top classical releases.” Mysterious Boundaries

We waited years for Tony’s schedule to open up for session here to shoot his first TrueFire course, The Celtic Journeyman. The Celtic gods must have been frowning down upon me, because I had to be out of town that week and I missed the whole thing. Meanwhile, the gang is still smiling from those sessions and now he’s just gotta come back and exercise those super “ceol” powers on another one!

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P.S. Musicians have been known to tell a joke or two that they’ve picked up from the road. Tony McManus is the indisputable King of Kings when it comes to joke cutting contests.

What is it about the guitar that attracted you to it originally, and still fascinates you today? I started on violin at age 8 and, pitiful as my playing was, there was enough happening to see that there was something musical going on with me. When kids in my class started bringing guitars to school I was immediately hooked. I KNEW that this was the vehicle for me. I loved the shape, the feel, the sound… all of it. I guess one major attraction of the guitar is how democratic it is. A decent guitar was relatively cheap, totally portable and after lesson one and three chords you have the goods for thousands of songs. Today, I’m still amazed that a lifetime studying and playing this instrument will barely scratch the surface.   Your idea of happiness?   Figuring out a path over a musical hurdle brings immense happiness…even if the revelation brings endless repetition to get it under the fingers. Outside of music, I love travel and exploring a new city or neighborhood early in the morning is blissful. Whether living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with?   Living - Noam Chomsky Dead - Johann Sebastian Bach 


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Name three things a player can do to improve their musicianship. Try to play every day without falling back on what’s already in the bag. In other words don’t avoid difficulties. Play hard things at a glacial pace till they are easy…and then equally glacially, increase the tempo. You’ll surprise yourself. Realize that music is all related. Learn something outside your box and see if and how it can be applied within.   If not yourself, who would you be?   JS Bach. An epic amount of life-changing music, 13 kids (many of them significant composers), a steady gig at the cathedral in Leipzig and the knowledge that 150 years after dying, great fame awaits.   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 seems that the income to musicians from streaming is actually starting to increase which would be wonderful. The same technology that sends digital music around the world also allows collaborations worldwide. I’ve done session work on projects from home that previously would need a trip to Scotland or California or… And, of course, we now have teaching platforms that allow for meaningful interactions across the planet.   Your favorite motto?   I’m very fond of “E Pluribus Unum”…says it all really. For the US and the UK (where I was born and grew up) and also Canada where I now live.   What do you dream about? Literally.  

Being stranded miles from the gig with no way of getting there. What are your aspirations? To continue making music of significance to myself and hopefully others and to share what I’ve learned so that more music can be made!   What one event in music history would you have loved to have experienced in person? The premiere of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony.   Your favorite heroes in fiction? Atticus Finch   What or who is the greatest love of your life? My son Finn. An amazing wild journey of 11 years.   Your favorite food and drink? Food: Haggis Pakora at Mr Singh’s Indian restaurant in Glasgow. Drink: German Weiss bier   In your next life, what or who would you like to come back as and why? A guitar player! Again.   The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)? I love travel and yet have no aptitude for languages. I’d love to snap my fingers and change that.   In life or in music, what is the one central key learning that you’d like to pass on to others? That we don’t know our limitations. The one way to be sure of failure is to decide that X is not possible.

www.tonymcmanus.com

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STUDIOWIRE

Adapt & Progress (Part II) WRITTEN BY TOMMY JAMIN

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METAL IMPALING CLIPS SHALL BE SCREWED TO THE STAND-OFF LUMBER, USING (6) IMPALING CLIPS PER TYPICAL PANEL (6-8 FT. HIGH). IF EXACT LATERAL AND VERTICAL LOCATIONS OF ALL WALL PANELS ARE SHOWN ON THE DRAWINGS, THEY SHALL BE ADHERED TO STRICTLY. ALL WALL PANELS SHALL BE MOUNTED TO THE WALL IN A FASHION THAT IS PERFECTLY LEVEL AND PLUMB. WALL PANELS MAY NOT BE REPEATEDLY MOUNTED AND REMOVED FROM THE WALLS, AS THIS CAUSES DAMAGE TO THE FIBERGLASS ON THE REAR OF THE PANELS. ADJOINING PANELS SHOULD BE MOUNTED WITHOUT A NOTICEABLE GAP BETWEEN THEM. WALL PANELS SHOULD BE KEPT CLEAN HANDLED CAREFULLY TO AVOID DAMAGE TO THE SURFACES AND EDGES.

ANGLED WALLS WITH STRETCH FABRIC SHALL DIE INTO ADJACE PANELS SHOWING; FABRIC WALLS SHOULD APPEAR AS SEAMLE

LOCATIONS OF SEAMS, AND VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL ORIENT LACHOT DESIGN.

AN APPROVED PLASTIC TRACK SYSTEM SHALL BE USED FOR AL NO LOOSE OR RUMPLED FABRIC, FABRIC TEARS, OR LOOSE THR

ALL STRETCH FABRIC WALLS SHALL BE CONSTRUCTED OF 6 LB FACE FORWARD AND MINIMAL SEAMS.

AS HOME STUDIO OWNERS, WE LEARN THAT ACOUSTIC TREATMENTS ARE ONE OF THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENTS WE CAN MAKE, BUT IT’S AMAZING TO SEE HOW MUCH THOUGHT AND DETAIL IS INVOLVED IN REAL, GROUND-UP STUDIO CONSTRUCTION 6-UNIT ADJUSTABLE ACOUSTIC BIFFUSOR PANELS

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In this second installment of StudioWire, I’ll share a few updates about the new studio construction and some of the surprises we’ve encountered since we’ve been underway. First off, we’re making great progress on the buildout. We’ve got a new roof, the offices are framed, TRACKING ROOM drywalled and wired, and you can really see the space taking shape. It’s in three dimensions and it’s looking killer! The new control room needed a completely new concrete floor, so we cut out the old slab and poured the new, burying the conduit for the studio cabling in the process. We’re just about to begin framing the tracking and control rooms. This will no doubt be one of the most critical and demanding parts of the entire build, so we wanted to make sure we had the right team together to make it happen. We now have that team, and we’re all very stoked!

Whether or not you’ve ever toured or worked in a professional studio, you’d probably be surprised to find out how much of a role the walls, ceilings, and floors play in professional audio environments. As home studio owners, we learn that acoustic treatments are one of the biggest improvements we can make, but it’s amazing to see how much thought and detail is involved in real, ground-up studio construction. Every wall, every door, and every air cavity works in harmony to foster accurate acoustics and prevent sound from transmitting from room to room. When you touch the walls, you feel them give beneath your fingers. The wall you see and touch is actually a facade of stretched fabric with its own set of acoustic properties. Furthermore, that fabric is hiding several other layers of materials with varying densities designed to prevent unwanted frequencies from building up or bouncing back into the engineer’s ears. It’s not all about absorption; there’s an important balance of reflective and diffusive surfaces that go into these designs as well. When you do see a flat, solid surface, what you don’t see is what it’s mounted on: a system of steel tracks that “float” in special rubber clips mounted to the wall studs. Building a single ACOUSTIC wall using this approach actually gives it a better STC (Sound Transmission Class) than building a double CLOUD ABOVE wall. The electrical outlets are wrapped in a sealed envelope of acoustical putty so that no sound (or air) leaks through the cracks. Going into this personally, I expected a good portion of acoustic science to be involved, but until we dug in, I never imagined how critical things like the heat load of our gear or having proper air conditioning velocities would be. We’re going big with this build, and it feels really good to be collaborating efforts with engineering talent of this magnitude throughout.

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ACOUSTICAL WALL PANEL MOUNTING INSTRUCTIONS

USE FIRE RETARDANT 2 X 4 LUMBER FOR STANDING WALL PANELS OFF OF WALLS, IF SO REQUIRED BY LOCAL BUI CODES. IF MOUNTING ON A MASONRY SURFACE, USE TREATED LUMBER.

Our main tracking room will be about 600 square is about the same working size STAND-OFF LUMBERfeet; SHALLwhich BE FASTENED TO MASONRY USING MASONRY EXPANSION ANCHORS, SPACED AS SHO ON WES LACHOT DESIGN DRAWINGS. STAND-OFF LUMBER ATTACHES TO GYPSUM WALLS USING LAG-SCREWS O as the old bread factory studio, except that we’re orienting it width-wise for better sight lines. EASY-ANCHORS. Instead of a single cyc wall, we’re going with a three-wall, three-axis cyclorama; which means METAL IMPALING CLIPS SHALL BE SCREWED TO THE STAND-OFF LUMBER, USING (6) IMPALING CLIPS PER TYPICAL (6-8way FT. HIGH). our cameras will have clean anglesPANEL all the around. Couple that with proper sound locks, IF EXACT LATERAL AND VERTICAL LOCATIONS OF ALL WALL PANELS ARE SHOWN ON THE DRAWINGS, THEY SHALL ADHERED TO STRICTLY. proper speaker cabinet isolation, a dedicated machine room for our equipment, and world-class acoustic design; we’re building a spectacular facility stillINa Alot to do,THAT but ISwe’re ALL WALL PANELS SHALLall BEaround. MOUNTEDThere’s TO THE WALL FASHION PERFECTLY LEVEL AND PLUMB. getting closer everyday to our firstWALL round of shoots. PANELS MAY NOT BE REPEATEDLY MOUNTED AND REMOVED FROM THE WALLS, AS THIS CAUSES DAMAGE T THE FIBERGLASS ON THE REAR OF THE PANELS.

ADJOINING SHOULD BE MOUNTED WITHOUT A NOTICEABLE GAP BETWEEN THEM. In the meantime, being without a studio hasPANELS forced a momentary halt to many of the most WALL PANELS KEPT CLEAN HANDLED CAREFULLY TO AVOID DAMAGE TO THE SURFACES AND EDGES. beloved parts of our operation. Personally, I’veSHOULD neverBE felt more eager to produce new content and get back to work under the same roof as my colleagues. We miss the hang time with the artists and each other, all of the little technical challenges and creative solutions we find during productions, and the excitement of taking a new course project from initial concept to completion. We miss it bad.

But, there’s a silver lining in the lull of daily studio production too. It’s forced new perspective. My heart grows fonder for that glorious TrueFire Tri-View everyday! And yet, its absence has given me the time to direct more of my energy into collaborations on upcoming TrueFire visions, strategy sessions, and brainstorms. Earlier this year, we started developing the Learning Paths program and by the summer we had completed production; that program launched last September. It’s nothing short of a monumental achievement for us and it’s been received

6-UNIT ADJUST

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STRETCH FABRIC INSTALLATION

DIFFUSOR MOUNTING INSTRUCTIONS

ALL STRETCH FABRIC WORK SHALL BE PERFORMED BY EXPERIENCED CREW SELECTED AND APPROVED BY WES LACHOT DESIGN.

RPG DIFFUSORS SHALL BE INSTALLED BY A WLD-APPROVED INSTALLATION TECHNIQUES.

ALL SEAMS SHALL MATCH PERFECTLY WITH NO PLANES JUTTING OUT IN ANY DIMENSIONS, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED.

CUSTOM BUILT AND SITE-ASSEMBLED DIFFUSOR SYSTEMS S SHALL USE THE IDENTICAL WOOD FINISHES.

ANGLED WALLS WITH STRETCH FABRIC SHALL DIE INTO ADJACENT WALLS WITHOUT BUTT ENDS OF FABRIC PANELS SHOWING; FABRIC WALLS SHOULD APPEAR AS SEAMLESS AS IF THEY WERE GYPSUM WALLS. LOCATIONS OF SEAMS, AND VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION OF SEAMS, SHALL BE APPROVED BY WES LACHOT DESIGN. AN APPROVED PLASTIC TRACK SYSTEM SHALL BE USED FOR ALL STRETCH FABRIC WALLS, AND THERE SHALL BE NO LOOSE OR RUMPLED FABRIC, FABRIC TEARS, OR LOOSE THREADS. ALL STRETCH FABRIC WALLS SHALL BE CONSTRUCTED OF 6 LB./S.F. DENSITY FIBERGLASS PANELS WITH SMOOTH FACE FORWARD AND MINIMAL SEAMS.

RPG DESIGNS REMAIN THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF RP OR COPIED.

AUDIO EQUIPMENT AND LOW-VOLTAGE WIRING INSTALLATIO

WIRING PLANS ARE COORDINATED BETWEEN WES LACHOT D

WIRE TROUGHS AND CONDUITS SHOWN ON THE TECHNICAL PLANS. THOROUGH OF WATERPROOFING OF TROUGH IS OW

SOME LOW VOLTAGE WIRING IS INSTALLED IN WALL AND CEI WITH LOW-VOLTAGE WIRING TEAM PRIOR TO DRYWALL PHA

PATCHBAY LAYOUTS SHOULD BE APPROVED BY WIRING TEA

TABLE ACOUSTIC BIFFUSOR PANELS

OM

ACOUSTIC CLOUD ABOVE

DIGITAL MEDIA

SOUNDLOCK 1

3-BAY CREDENZA AND WORK STATION

ROOM extremely well by TrueFire students. We alsoCONTROL launched the new TrueFire Workshops format along with Private Lessons. That’s huge. We’ve rolled out SoundSlice tabs across nearly our entire library; there’s been hundreds of hours involved in getting that happening too. We’re currently working on new technologies and toolsets for authoring independent courses as part of our new Foundry program. I can’t wait to get shooting again, but man, it’s a surprisingly exciting time and there’s A TON happening ‘round the ‘Fire right now: both on and off the build site. Stay tuned to the StudioWire for more soon. To be continued...

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HOUSE NEWS

ARTIST DIRECTORY Artists Featured in this Edition of Riff

ADRIAN LEGG Adrian Legg is a much lauded and joyfully emotional collision between classic melodic simplicity and the American guitar, swinging happily between the cathedral and the bar room on uniquely developed musicality and compositional gifts, with technique to die for. Impossible to categorise, Legg has toured and collaborated with rock’s guitar gods, charted in the US New Age section, taught in colleges, camps and workshops, is forever deeply involved in the instrument industry’s geekier R&D, and remains an internationally active and pioneering solo fingerstylist committed to musical intimacy.

ARIANE CAP Bassist/composer/educator Ariane Cap has recorded and/or toured with Generation Esmeralda, producer Keith Olsen, Muriel Anderson, The Sippy Cups, Raj Ramayya, Girls Got the Blues, The David Haskell Fusion Group, Jean Fineberg’s Partymonsters, Tempest... She co-leads the innovative and melodic Chamber Jazz duo OoN - The Bass-Bassoon Duo of Ariane Cap and Paul Hanson.

BILL KIRCHEN Grammy nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen first gained national recognition as a founding member of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. His trademark guitar licks drove their Hot Rod Lincoln cut into the Top Ten in 1972. He has released ten CDs on his own, and recorded and/or played guitar live with a who’s who of Americana and Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, among them Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Hazel Dickens, Doug Sahm, Hoyt Axton, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello. His latest recording “Transatlanticana” stayed on the Americana Top 40 chart for 5 months, and cracked the Top 10 in 2016.

DAVE CELENTANO Dave Celentano is a graduate of Musician’s Institute (G.I.T.) and has been teaching guitar in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years. Between private lessons and group classes, he’s taught thousands of students of all ages in a variety of acoustic and electric guitar styles including blues, rock, metal, folk, jazz, and classical. In addition, he’s authored over fifty guitar instruction books, dvds, videos, and internet tutorials for many international music publishers and released several music cds.

FRANK VIGNOLA Frank Vignola is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List: for the Wall Street Journal.

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| ONLINE LINK DIRECTORY | RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V10


JAMIE ANDREAS Jamie Andreas is the author of the world acclaimed method for guitar “The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar”. Called “The Holy Grail” of guitar books, and “The International Bible Of Guitar”, the Principles has enabled thousands of students worldwide to become real guitar players. “The Principles” is a two-time winner of Acoustic Guitar’s “Players Choice Award” in the “Guitar Instructional” category.

JEFF MCERLAIN Jeff McErlain is a Brooklyn based musician and educator. As a performer Jeff has toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia with his own bands and as a side man. He has written for Guitar Player and Premier Guitar magazines. Jeff was the musical consultant and guitar instructor for the Warner Bros film August Rush. He has taught at the National Guitar Workshop, Bath International Guitar Festival, Crown of The Continent Guitar Festival, and The Ruby Mountain Guitar Workshop. He also has over ten instructional courses with TrueFire as well as his online classroom The Juke Joint.

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.

MATT BRANDT Matthieu Brandt is a guitarist, songwriter, recording artist, Appalachian-style banjo player and educator based in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He started out as a fingerstyle blues guitar player and later played in a string of electric blues bands. In the last 15 years he’s ventured into ‘Americana’ and is about to release his fourth solo album, featuring the open back 5 string banjo.

TONY MCMANUS Tony McManus was born in Scotland into a family steeped in its Irish heritage. So when, like so many of his peers, he gravitated to guitar it was not rock but traditional Celtic music that emerged from the instrument. In the years since he’s come to be recognised as a leading voice in that music and one who has forged a new, engaging style on guitar. Chosen by PRS Guitars to be the launch artists for their acoustic line, he can be found performing, teaching or recording most days somewhere on planet earth.

RIFF

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Lessons COMPILATION ALBUM

RIFFAGE: VOLUME 10 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 10…

Dying Embers - Adrian Legg Waiting for the Sun - Ariane Cap Hounds of Bakersfield - Bill Kirchen Pachelbel’s Canon - Dave Celentano Joseph, Joseph - Frank Vignola Highlands - Jeff McErlain Crazy Horse - Jeff Scheetz Open Seas - Matt Brandt Spanish - Tony McManus

Download the FREE Album

WINTER 2017 | ISSUE 10

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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.

Dying Embers - Adrian Legg “Dying Embers” was first recorded on Guitars And Other Cathedrals, released by Relativity Records in the USA in 1990. I used this style a lot playing in bands; it’s made of a series of bend shapes, all of which are fully explained in the TrueFire project The Fingerstyle Revisionist – Origins.

Waiting for the Sun - Ariane Cap “Waiting for the Sun”, composed by Ariane Cap and performed and arranged by OoN - the Bassoon-Bass Duo of Ariane Cap and Paul Hanson, is a tune about the winter vibe in Alaska. From the CD Polaris.

Hounds of Bakersfield - Bill Kirchen From my latest Red House disc, Transatlanticana, it’s my and co-writer Blackie Farrell’s tounge-incheek, but heartfelt tribute, to the late great Merle Haggard and his band, the Strangers. I recorded the twin Tele parts separately for expediency, do ‘em live now as bent double stops. Added the baritone ‘cuz I love me some low twang.

Pachabel’s Canon - Dave Celentano A love for traditional classical and rock music brought me to a place where I enjoy blending the two styles - taking a popular classical theme and developing it with rock concepts and attitudes. I’ve been toying with several ideas over the years and my recent CD Desert Storm features two of my favorites, one of them being Pachelbel’s Canon. Like the original, I perform it in D major and use the CAGED system throughout, sometimes staying in one pattern, but more often connecting several adjacently.

Highlands - Jeff McErlain This song is called “Highlands” and I wrote it for my father who passed away when I was a child. My family is from Scotland and I still have relatives there. My Uncle Angus (yes Angus) is a sheep farmer and I spent time on the farms he managed as a boy. One of them was in the northern most point of Scotland called, appropriately, Cape Wrath and Durness. The landscape and music left a deep imprint on me and it always feels very much like home for a kid born in Queens. Some of my favorite music has always created a mood or feeling, that was my hope for this tune. Crazy Horse - Jeff Scheetz “Crazy Horse” is from the album Behind the Mask. One of the instrumentals on that album, it features some fun riffs and several changes and then all out mayhem at the end, which was a live jamming part that just felt right!

Open Seas - Matt Brandt This composition is inspired by the playing of two of my heroes: Kelly Joe Phelps and Martin Simpson. It’s written in an open C tuning CGCGCD, which makes your chords sound extra large. This also gives you the possibility to use the whole neck of the guitar for melodies and create an anthem-like atmosphere.

Spanish Dance - Tony McManus “Spanish Dance” is one of a series of pieces written for piano by Enrique Granados. It has been transcribed for guitar duet, but here I play Julian Bream’s solo arrangement of Dance #4 “Villanesca”. A fine example of the use of altered tunings in classical music, the guitar here being tuned DGDGBE.

Joseph, Joseph - Frank Vignola Title is “Joseph, Joseph” and features myself with Finish guitar sensation, Olli Soikkeli and Vinny Raniolo. From Swing Zing CD.

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RIFF

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www.riffjournal.com WINTER 2017 | ISSUE 10

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Riff Journal | Winter 2017 | Issue 10  

This issue we explore what inspires and drives us to take musical initiative in the New Year and beyond. Starting with Adrian Legg and his w...

Riff Journal | Winter 2017 | Issue 10  

This issue we explore what inspires and drives us to take musical initiative in the New Year and beyond. Starting with Adrian Legg and his w...