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Al Di Meola's Amazing Sixes

In the late Seventies and early Eighties, if there was one name from the jazz guitar world that rock and metal listeners were likely to know, it was Al Di Meola. Jazz players since Django Reinhardt and Tal Farlow had possessed devastating right-hand chops. But their virtuosity was delivered in a musical context of sharped fives and flatted nines that was challenging for rock and roll audiences. Di Meola too ...

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The Story Behind ZZ Top's Spinning Fur Guitars

Remember ZZ Top's iconic spinning fur guitars? I'm talking, of course, about those now-famous hirsute twirling axes—a guitar and a bass—that appear in the band's 1983 "Legs" music video. They were built by Dean Zelinsky, founder of Dean Guitars and the man behind Dean Zelinsky Private Label Guitars. Zelinsky recently opened up about the furry guit-fiddles on his website, deanzelinsky.com, and in one of his ...

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Chris Cornell Premieres New Song, "The Promise"

Soundgarden's Chris Cornell has premiered a new song, “The Promise.” You can check out the song—which happens to be the title track of a new film—below. The film, which stars Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, is set during last days of the Ottoman Empire and, more specifically, a horrible event known as the Armenian Genocide. "If it's something you or your family members went through, it's s ...

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John Petrucci: “My Favorite Chord Is ‘The Alex Lifeson Chord’”

John Petrucci went out for a drive with the folks from Cosmo Music. In the resulting Rockstars in Cars video, shown below, the Dream Theater guitarist talks about his favorite solo to play live, his mix of technical and emotional guitar playing, and more.Best question in the video: “Desert Island Chord: You got one chord you can play forever. What is it?”“It’s the opening chord from Hemispheres by Rush,” Pe ...

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Review: EVH 5150 IIIS EL34 Amp Head and 4×12 Cabinet

The 5150 amp designed by Eddie Van Halen is an indisputable modern classic. From the first 5150 amp introduced in 1992, through the 5150 III head that was the very first EVH brand product 10 years ago, to the EVH 5150 IIIS that was Ed’s main amp in the studio and on stage these last few years, the 5150 has become one of the most popular amps of all time for both pros and aspiring players alike. A big part o ...

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Watch the Beatles Dissect "Tomorrow Never Knows" in the Nineties

In the mid-Nineties, while Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were working on the Beatles' massive Anthology project, they got together with George Martin, their old producer, at Abbey Road Studios to discuss and dissect a few classic Beatles tracks. In the incredible clip below, you can watch as they go through the various parts of John Lennon's Revolver masterpiece, "Tomorrow Never Knows," a ...

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How AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and More Would Sound with Kirk Hammett on Guitar

Last summer, YouTube guitarist Steve Terreberry posted a (very popular) video that demonstrates—at least according to Terreberry—how it would sound if Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett were a member of several other incredibly popular bands. "[Hammett] is one of my all-time favorite guitarists," Terreberry says in the clip. "So I thought it would be cool to see what it sounded like taking certain groups and ...

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Upgrade Your Original Guitar or Buy a New Ax? What You Need to Know

You've learned your modes, mastered the four chords found in every pop song and can play the intro to “Crazy Train” with your eyes closed. Congratulations—you are no longer a novice guitar player! Welcome to the wide world of intermediate playing. As an intermediate player, everything changes. Rock is harder, blues are sadder and acoustic strumming attracts less eye rolls. The question now is: what do you d ...

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12-String King: Lead Belly’s Big-Bottom Blues

In 1925, folk/blues phenom Huddie William Ledbetter, a.k.a. “Lead Belly,” won his way out of jail (he’d been convicted of murder) by way of a “pardon”—swayed by Lead Belly’s undeniable musical talents—from Texas Governor Pat Neff. But it wasn’t long before Ledbetter found himself incarcerated again, this time (1930) for attempted murder. A second lucky strike led to famed musicologists John and Alan Lomax “ ...

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Let's Revisit Led Zeppelin's 1988 Reunion Show

On May 14, 1988, Led Zeppelin—Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham (the 2007 Celebration Day lineup, for you youngsters out there)—reunited for Atlantic Records' massive 40th-anniversary party at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Below, you'll find a video of Led Zeppelin's complete set from that night, starting with "Kashmir," moving into "Heartbreaker" (complete with a variation ...

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