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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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Real Amp vs. Fake Amp: Can You Tell the Difference?

The Kemper Profiling Amp has become the “amp” of choice for many touring and studio guitarists. The Kemper takes a digital snapshot of an amp and stores it, allowing you to replicate the tone of your entire amp collection with one lightweight, portable device. How accurate is it? Paul Davids decided to find out by using the Kemper to profile his Tone King Imperial. In this video, Paul plays a selection of r ...

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Good Little Thing: Joshua Jacobson Talks Bonding—and Recording—with Dickey Betts

Acoustic fingerpicker Joshua Jacobson scored quite a coup on his wonderful debut album, Good Little Thing, getting Dickey Betts to play on a cut. The Allman Brothers Band founding member has been laying low in semi-retirement at his Florida home for a few years. Jacobson, who lives in rural Georgia, explains how a mutual love of Blind Willie McTell helped him bond with Betts—and how he came to own of the gu ...

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Improvising on a I-IV Chord Vamp

An element of endless fascination and discovery in developing one’s improvisational skills on the guitar is the many ways in which to negotiate chordal resolutions. Regardless of the style of music you’re playing, the task of moving through chord progressions and harmonic resolutions is always at the fore. As a soloist, one always has the option of referencing, or “highlighting,” those resolutions within a ...

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April 2017 Guitar World Gear and Lesson Videos

These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 2017 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store. Gear Reviews:• Fender Duo-Sonic Guitar• MXR Double-Double Overdrive Pedal Lessons: • Alex Skolnick: Building Chords and Melodies from Fourth Intervals   ...

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Building Chords and Melodies from Fourth Intervals

This month, I’d like to talk about using fourth intervals as a building block for both chords and solos. Although this lesson leans more on the jazz side of things, this topic can be quite useful for better fretboard understanding even if jazz guitar isn’t your main thing. Quartal harmony—chords voiced in stacked fourth intervals, are a familiar sound in jazz accompaniment, popularized by pianists (perhaps ...

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Review: Fender Duo-Sonic Guitar

GOLD AWARDAccording to a famous saying, you will be known by the company you keep. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the wonderful Fender Duo-Sonic, which most guitarists have considered a “beginner’s,” “student” or “entry-level” instrument ever since its debut way back in 1956. Over the years the humble Duo-Sonic has been a favorite “secret weapon” of numerous legendary guitarists, including Rory Ga ...

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Review: MXR Double-Double Overdrive Pedal

GOLD AWARDOverdrive is the one effect that guitarists feel very passionate about—pick any one and read the multitude of forums dedicated to just that overdrive—mostly because its sonic stamp is what ultimately determines the shape of your tone, especially if you’re looking for more gritty crunch or creamy, smooth sustain. MXR is aware of this, which is why they offer nearly eight pedals, all with varying de ...

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