Music has been a fundamental aspect of human existence since the dawn of time. From the beating of tribal drums to the symphonies of Beethoven, music has been used to express the entire range of human emotions and experiences. Music has been so important throughout history, from the earliest known musical notation on a bone flute dated over 40,000 years ago to the modern-day digital age.
So, what do Keith Richards, Charlie Starr, Robert Johnson, Joni Mitchell, Rich Robinson and Lowell George all have in common? They all play differently, work in different genres, and are even generations apart... The common element is that they’ve tuned their guitars to Open G. This is one of the more common open tunings there are and provides a great starting point for those who want to experiment with something beyond standard tuning. It’s also fun for those who want to try and play slide guitar.
The Motown Sound. Everybody knows what it is. Even if you don’t know what it is, you’ve certainly heard it. You’ve heard it with Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Little Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, and The Jackson 5, among many, many others.
Part of the allure of Peter Green was his 1959 Les Paul, affectionately dubbed by all as “Greeny”. This has become one of the great instruments forever associated with its player, much like Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein” and Zakk Wylde’s “Grail” Les Paul. Green acquired the instrument in 1967 when he joined the Blues Breakers and used it extensively during his time with Fleetwood Mac. If you heard Peter Green during this time, you also heard Greeny. Read More
Listening to Dirty Work (and its predecessor, 1983’s Undercover) is a bit of a challenge, with many conflicting styles going on from track to track. If Mick was modern, and Keith was classic, you know which person won the argument on which song. Read More
While mostly absent in the Beatles’ music, much of George’s solo and guest work features him playing slide guitar, having originally picked it up while on a short tour with Delaney and Bonnie in 1969. He also eschewed many slide clichés, avoiding typical blues and pentatonic licks and opting for a more melodic style of playing. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of George’s slide playing. Read More
Then there are those artists that I can still see live today, but wish I had witnessed in their imperial phase. To have seen the Stones in ’69 or ’72, supporting the releases of landmark albums like Let it Bleed and Exile on Main Street would be nothing short of exhilarating. Or to catch Dylan in the turbulent mid-1960s, on the cusp of electrifying his sound and completely changing the game. Read More
“When I saw two kids who worked there in London wearing T-shirts of a local San Francisco band, I knew I was onto something. When I heard their record, I knew they were the one band that could sell to both mainstream and underground metal audiences.” Read More
In the early days of his career, Willie Nelson went through a variety of guitars. Nelson was signed to RCA records, and that meant that plenty of guitar manufacturers were lining up to gift him instruments to test. Willie started out on Fenders, experimenting with Telecasters, Jaguars and Jazzmasters, before switching to Gibsons. Then, in 1969, the Baldwin Company offered Nelson one of their 800C Classical Acoustic-Electrics, complete with a Prismatone pickup and amp. Read More
And all of those eras have standout albums. Barrett’s first, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, remains much cherished to this day. Atom Heart Mother and Meddle, with their bold, side-filling progressive suites, are rightly regarded as prog rock landmarks. And I don’t need to extol the virtues of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the Wall to you. The countless column inches already devoted to those landmark albums in the annuls of rock journalism tells you everything you need to know. Read More
As the story goes, the Allmans’ version of the track came about after Gregg Allman gifted the self-titled Taj Mahal album to Duane for his birthday, along with a bottle of Coricidin pills (Duane had a cold that day). Inspired by the rendition of Statesboro Blues on the album, Duane, who had never played slide guitar before, washed the label from the Coricidin bottle, fashioned a makeshift slide from it, and taught himself how to play the track. Read More
“When you're young, you don't have any experience - you're charged up, but you're out of control. And if you're old and you're not charged up, then all you have is memories. But if you're charged and stimulated by what's going on around you, and you also have experience, you know what to appreciate and what to pass by.” Read More
Being a great songwriter comes from understanding great songs. And, as Mayer’s impressive covers repertoire shows, he has that knowledge in spades. Not just a great player and a great writer, Mayer knows how to interpret other peoples’ material to maintain the character of the original while injecting his own unique flavour. Read More
“When I started playing in a three-piece, I realized that you have to do the song, not your personal performance, so you have to be tasty with it and enjoy the playing. Writing the song helps a lot; if I’m involved in the writing process, it comes to me. I think one of the best bass players in the world for that is Paul McCartney; he played the perfect part for everything, in every song. Sometimes you don’t even notice the bass — I hate that in a way, but I love that in a way. That’s a compliment. That means you’ve filled in everything and it’s right for the song, and you’re not standing out where you don’t need to be.” Read More
“One good thing about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Read More
The version of the band that Coverdale formed in the late 1970s is pretty far removed from the iteration that cracked the American market in the subsequent decade. For many years, Whitesnake only really found success in their native UK. And the BritSnake was more like a down-and-dirty blues-rock extension of Deep Purple than the hair-rock flock that Coverdale established later down the line. Read More
The weird thing about “We Will Rock You” is that, in spite of being one of the most iconic guitar based rock songs of all time, there’s no actual guitar in it for the first few minutes. Read More
In the footage, Emmanuel kicks off with his original Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute, “Stevie’s Blues,” before launching into an absolutely mind-bending take on Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Before clicking play, I’d consider disconnecting the phone and sending the dog/kids outside. For the next eight and a half minutes, you do not want to be disturbed.
"I was around nine when a babysitter snuck Who's Next onto the turntable. The parents were gone. The windows shook. The shelves were rattling. Rock & roll. That began an exploration into music that had soul, rebellion, aggression, affection. Destruction. And this was all Who music." Read More
While the Ripper and the Grabber were short-lived, they didn’t disappear from the limelight entirely. In the 1990s, a new generation of bass players including Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Weezer’s Matt Sharp brought the forgotten instrument back into the public eye. For those musicians, the Ripper and the Grabber were dream pawnshop finds – solid, good-sounding instruments that wouldn’t break the bank. Read More
Sandinista! found critical acclaim upon release; Rolling Stone’s John Piccarella gave it a five-star review and called it the Clash’s White Album while Village Voice voted it number one in their 1981 Pazz and Jop critic’s poll. But, in the aftermath of the initial hype, people started to question whether the record really was the Clash’s bona fide masterpiece. Read More
“There's a melody in everything. And once you find the melody, then you connect immediately with the heart. Because sometimes English or Spanish, Swahili or any language gets in the way. But nothing penetrates the heart faster than the melody.” Read More
“On 17 November 2013 one of the biggest recorded tornadoes tore through Washington, Illinois killing and destroying everything in its path. This guitar was found in the front yard of a home in the rubble. It has not been touched since, there is still mud on it!” Read More
As for Dylan, he was magnanimous, scarcely believing what has come from his raw materials. “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.” Read More