Take a break. Let’s rock!

 

Lessons
Getting Stuff Done

Over the past few years I've accumulated a giant pile of original material that exists only in my mind and as little musical snippets scattered throughout my digital life. I kept thinking someday, I'm really going to sit down and record some stuff. But then life gets in the way and that thought becomes when am I ever going to get enough time to record?

The Sound of One Hand Playing

When I realized that my fretting-hand was lagging behind my picking-hand I resolved to fix the imbalance. After a few months of work my overall technique and touch improved immensely and I had a few surprising discoveries along the way.

Stuck In The Middle With Me

Fresh on the heels of returning from the transformative experience that was Vai Academy, I had the opportunity to record an episode of the Vibrato.fm podcast. These two seemingly disconnected events got me thinking about what it means to be a "good" guitarist and our insatiable desire to compare ourselves to others.

Gear
Review: Guthrie Govan Signature Model

The Guthrie Govan signature model from Charvel is the newest addition to the stable. After much carefully-considered research I took the plunge and the result has been beyond what I could have imagined.

Apple's Music Memos

Musicians on iOS got a very unexpected treat today when Apple released a free new app to help capture musical inspiration. Called Music Memos, it's a music-specific spinoff of the built-in Voice Memos app, but it's more than just a simple recording tool. Apple brought a lot of special features to Music Memos that make it a very powerful and unique app to add to your toolbox.

Not the Chorus Pedal You're Looking For

Ah, the 80's. Was there ever a more glorious era of over-processed, over-wrought guitar sounds?  If the 60's had the wah-pedal and the 70's had the phaser, surely the 80's was the decade of the chorus pedal. It was like the Sriracha of guitar effects—there were almost no tones that couldn't be improved with a little dose of chorus.

Music

News
Farewell, Allan Holdsworth

We lost one of the true innovative musical geniuses of our era. I don't throw that word "genius" around lightly, but to me, Allan Holdsworth operated musically at a level beyond anyone else.

Reflections on Vai Academy 2015

This summer I've had the tremendous fortune of attending the 2015 incarnation of the Vai Academy in Vail CO. When I saw the names Steve Vai and Eric Johnson as headliners, I knew that I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get close-up to two of my all-time favorites. As it turned out, meeting a couple of my "heroes" wasn't all that I got in my time in Vail.

A Fly on the Wall at 5150

Eddie Van Halen fans got a real treat recently when the man himself mounted several GoPros and gave us a tantalizing close-up look of his playing and setup while demonstrating the new EVH 5150 IIIs amp head.