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Blondie Premiere New Song, "Fun"

Blondie will release their 11th studio album, Pollinator, May 5 via BMG. You can hear the album's first single—"Fun"—below. The tune, which features a symphony of synths, driving percussion and Debbie Harry's icy cool vocals, also features a tasty bit of guitar and something akin to a guitar solo. The album, which was recorded at  NYC's The Magic Shop, was penned by an eclectic group of songwriters. TV On T ...

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Watch Paul Reed Smith Tell Guitar-Player Jokes

Tyler Larson, whose informative and frequently humorous videos we often run here, sat down with PRS Guitars founder Paul Reed Smith at this year’s Winter NAMM show. What emerged from their huddle is nearly three minutes of jokes about guitarists, as well as a few about lead singers, bassists and drummers. To wit: “What’s the difference between a guitar player and an extra-large pizza?” “How do you know it’s ...

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Eddie Van Halen Shares His Favorite Guitar Riffs

For Billboard’s Greatest of All-Time interview series, Eddie Van Halen shared his favorite guitar riffs—but not before asking if he could mention some of his own. Watch the video below and then check out more videos from the series here. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYFcThNOFOw] ...

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Meet Fret Zeppelin, an LED-Based Learning System for Standard Guitars

Earlier this month, DC-based Edge Tech Labs launched a Kickstarter campaign for a little something called Fret Zeppelin. Right off the bat, the device—which was designed "to transform guitar learning methods"—has nothing to do with Led Zeppelin. It just as easily could've been called Fret Sabbath, Fret Purple, Fret Leppard or Frettie King. Although, we admit, "Fret Zeppelin" has a nice ring to it. In a mere ...

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Referencing the Chord Changes While Soloing

This month, I’d like to discus the art of improvising over a key change, using a modulation of chords that are a half step apart. My favorite example of this type of modulation can be found on one of the most influential instrumental jazz pieces of all time, Miles Davis’ “So What” (Kind of Blue), which is built around a two-chord progression (Dm7 and Ebm7) that was also later used by John Coltrane for his f ...

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Exploring Slide Guitar in Open E Tuning

One of the most distinctive sounds in blues and rock music is that of a slide guitar. “Slide playing” refers to the action of gently pressing a smooth object against the strings and gliding it up and down their length in order to produce varying pitches, without pressing the strings down against the fretboard. Many of the old blues players from the early twentieth century would saw the neck off a bottle and ...

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Mastering the Sliding Techniques in Haunted Shores' “Blast Inc.”

A song that many fans have asked me about is “Blast Inc.,” which I recorded with my side project, Haunted Shores (check it out below). We recorded this tune for the Viscera EP, and if you’re familiar with it, you know that it’s pretty intense! There are many fast, challenging licks in this song, all intended to be vapor-locked to its “blast beat” drum patterns. Occasionally, one of my warm-up routines will ...

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NAMM 2017: Gretsch Introduces Players Edition Center Block Models

Gretsch has introduced its Players Edition Broadkaster Center Block models, as well as an additional pair of new Center Block guitars based on its iconic Nashville and Falcon designs. From the company: Gretsch’s time-honored “Broadkaster” name now adorns the flagship guitars of its center block lineup, crafted for full-spectrum sound at high volume with powerful new U.S.-made Full’Tron pickups and a chamber ...

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Why the NAMM Show Kinda Sucks: One Guitarist's Opinion

The NAMM Show: The ultimate candy store for musicians of all types. While most people never get to physically attend a NAMM Show, they’ll certainly be assaulted by an array of dry, unimaginative gear reviews and explanations in a din of wailing instruments and overall noise. Sure, there’s the rare artist interview or performance, but even those guys seem like they don’t want to be in the madhouse that is th ...

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Les Paul or Strat: Which Guitar Is Right for You?

The Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster may be iconic electric guitars designed in the early Fifties, but that’s where the similarities end. From their tone woods and hardware to their pickups and method of neck attachment, each of these models is designed to achieve tones that are distinctly different from one another. So which guitar is better suited to you and your playing style? Or if you own bo ...

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