Take a break. Let’s rock!

 

Lessons
Picking Patterns: Threes Gone Wild!

This week I have a new picking challenge for you. In our last picking lesson we looked at playing groups of three over rhythmic groups of four. That is, taking what would normally be a triplet pattern and playing within the “grid” of sixteenth notes. This time we’re going expand the groups of threes to three separate rhythms: sixteenths, sixteenth-note triplets and eighth-note triplets. Note only with your hands get a great workout, but this will help you groove some interesting rhythms into your playing.

Things To Be Thankful For

As this time rolls around every year it's a great reminder to reflect on the blessings in your life. In a lot of ways family, health and the like seem like much better candidates for gratitude than a musical instrument. But it would be disingenuous if I didn’t acknowledge the role the guitar plays in my life. No matter how bad of a day I have, I can always pickup the guitar and, along the way, my spirits too.

Picking Patterns: 3s in 4

Playing small patterns within scale shapes up and down the fretboard is a great way to improve your ear, chops and fretboard knowledge. It also gives you some good building-blocks for scalar licks. You can make these as face-melting or mild as you like depending on style. In this lesson we’re going to play with rhythm and timing to come up with something more interesting than the typical music conservatory exercises.

Gear
Ode to Steve Vai

A twenty-five year chase finally results in landing one of the guitars of my boyhood dreams. Steve Vai’s JEM is one of the iconic guitars of the 80’s and I’ve had my eye one since they first appeared. When I finally got a chance to get, did it deliver? You bet your ass it did…

Original Fuzz

Our lives are filled with mundane, everyday objects. Like office supplies, things like straps and cables are things most guitarists don’t give a tremendous amount of consideration. When I buy a guitar strap, I’m usually just trying to get out of the store with the one I hate the least (seriously, so many of them are just awful). Which is why it’s such a delight when somebody decides to tread the road less traveled and try to make something as ordinary as a guitar strap into something special. 

BIAS Desktop

This week has seen the arrival of something I’ve been eagerly anticipating for awhile: Positive Grid’s BIAS Desktop. Put simply, BIAS Desktop is the most powerful amp and cabinet simulator I’ve seen or heard. It’s more than just a deep, powerful simulation, it actually sounds great too!

News
Class Dismissed! Is Here

It’s been a long toil this summer, but the final touches have been put on Class Dismissed! and it’s now available for sale! If you’re a Van Halen fan looking for ways to grok more of Eddie’s playing, this is the lesson for you!

Coming Soon: Class Dismissed!

Oh man, I am beyond excited about this new project I’m working on. Coming later this summer is a new premium lessonClass Dismissed! which focuses on the Van Halen “power shuffle” style in the vein of songs like Hot For Teacher, I’m the One and Ice Cream Man. There is so much good stuff in here that I almost don’t even know where to begin…

Strange Beautiful Music

I don’t write a lot of book reviews here, but after finishing Joe Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music, I felt like I had a few words to say about about a guitarist who has been a huge influence for me.