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Top 10 Gibson ES-335 Heroes: Clapton, Grohl, Berry and More

The Gibson ES-335 made its debut in 1958 and immediately began making history. As the first thin-line, semi-hollowbody guitar in production, it gave players interested in exploring the warmer tones of hollow-body guitars andthe joy and power of loud amplification a license to kill on stage and in the studio. And they took it. Almost immediately Chuck Berry, B.B. King and a host of other hard-working musicians began brandishing the ES-335, and, later, its sisters, the ES-345, which one-upped...

Ten Great Clean Intros

Recently we had a look at ways to increase the power of your distorted sound via various boosting methods. And with good reason: distortion is one of the cornerstones of rock, alongside such other crucial staples as big hair, pointy guitars and more pointy guitars. But guitar cannot exist on distortion alone: some of the most powerful, most crushing, most monumental rock and metal riffs have been preceded by clean intros. It's a great way to create drama and impact: lull the listener into a false...

The Power of Rest

Rest in Voice: If you are a singer, you know the value of resting your voice between shows. Rest not only allows your voice time to physically recuperate from a performance, but it also strengthens your voice. Just like the other muscles in your body benefit from training that involves series of exercises with rests in between, the voice (and all of the muscles associated with singing) builds better strength and stamina with a cycle of exertion and rest. This is why a good vocal warm up regimen is so...

Streaming’s Dirty Dozen

Atoms for Peace’s Thom Yorke and Nigel Goodrich’s much publicized decision to withdraw their music from Spotify added to a small but growing band of streaming hold-outs. Rather than add to the surplus of Atoms commentary, instead here are a dozen of the most pressing issues surrounding streaming. They are presented in no particular order and are a mix of both positive and negative trends and implications: Technology has made access models ready for prime time. Downloads...
Breelan Angel

New Artist Spotlight: Breelan Angel

You’re a strong young woman who loves going out with friends. Yet you know that even this simple plan can be like weaving between roadblocks, many of them strangers asking for your phone number. Breelan Angel’s It’s My Turn offers a map through this obstacle course. Produced by Dwight Baker for MisBhavin’ Records, it suggests that empowerment is a major draw to the “girls’ night out” experience, whether as a declaration of well-earned independence on the title cut (written by ...

Remembering Duane Allman

Few musicians affected those close to him as profoundly as Duane Allman did. Time and again, surviving friends and musician-peers remember him not just for his prowess on guitar, but also for his personal charisma, his leadership skills and his devotion to those who comprised his inner circle. Below we’ve collected some of the more incisive remembrances about Allman and his lasting impact. Please chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section.

4 Ways to Make Your Songs More Original

A career in songwriting is a long road where the actual big “payoff” moments - if you’re fortunate enough to have some - are few and far between for even the most successful writers. This is all the more reason to take the time and challenge yourself to find what’s unique about your own songwriting. The more original your songs are the greater the likelihood that you'll get the right attention, but, more importantly, the more personally satisfying your creative process will be. I’ve expanded ...

Fuzed Worship - By Your Blood

In every Christ-follower’s journey of faith, there comes a point when he/she makes the important discovery about God’s sense of timing, namely that our heavenly Father’s wristwatch definitely has a tick-tock all its own. But what often feels like lateness to oh-so-impatient mankind, however, is always right on schedule with God, a theme that runs particularly deep in the story of Fuzed Worship. Co-founded by Daniel Meyer, CEO of U.S. Operations for Joyce Meyer Ministries, and Nate Edmonds...
JJ Lawhorn by Bill Konway

New Artist Spotlight - JJ Lawhorn

Many artists draw from their background, but the music of 19-year-old JJ Lawhorn goes deeper, to embody the sights and sounds, aromas and soul, of rural America. Raised on his family’s Virginia farm, he never dreamed of knocking on doors up and down Music Row. His plan was to study agriculture at Virginia Tech and devote his life to farming. Then, in the spring of 2010, producer Jeremy Stover came across a Lawhorn performance on YouTube. He tracked the young artist down; within ...

10 Great Female Rock Bass Players

When it comes to bass players, there’s no denying the presence of fantastic female musicians in rock ‘n’ roll over the years. These women brought new philosophies and styles of playing to rock, alternative and metal, offering their own way to make the bass guitar sing and scream. In this feature, we pay tribute to 10 Great Female Rock Bass Players. As a bass player, I know there are countless others to honor. Who’s your favorite female bass slinger? Give us your picks in the comments...

The Band In A Box: How To Be (Or Hire) A Great Accompanist

The ability to accompany yourself is a great skill for a singer to have. It allows you to be self-sufficient and perform alone, without the need for another player or a backing track. It makes you a stronger and more expressive artist by becoming a better musician, even when you're not playing. It provides a fantastic tool for songwriting. And it's also just plain fun...playing and singing FEELS good, once you've learned to make friends with that box hanging around your neck. If you don't play or are just learning ...

10 All-Time Great Finger-Pickers

Especially for acoustic players, few things inspire greater awe than watching and hearing a great finger-stylist at work. Oftentimes the best finger-pickers seem to incorporate music from a multitude of genres--country, jazz, blues … you name it. Below we’ve profiled ten of the very best. Please let us know, in the comments section, which great finger stylists we missed. Merle Travis. The man for whom “Travis picking” was named inspired legions of players, most notably Chet Atkins, but also ...

Left-Handed Guitarists: the Famous and the Facts

Around 10-15% of the world’s people are left-handed. Why so few? No-one knows. Yet studies show that mathematicians, musicians, architects, and artists are more commonly left-handers than would be expected. When it comes to guitarists, that certainly seems to be true. Let’s look at guitar’s left-handers… some obvious, but others you’d never even know. The obvious biggies first – Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney and many more play left-handed. But it wasn’t always...

How To Beatbox To Start A New Track

If you’re at all musically inclined, odds are you’ve had a great song idea stuck in your head that never made it out of your brain and into your DAW. Next time you get hit by the fever, record yourself beatboxing the track, and follow this Mad Zach tutorial on moving from an off-the-cuff recording to a first draft of a track. You don’t have to be an expert beatboxer either – click through to watch today’s tutorial! We know that barely anyone has their beatboxing skill at the level of Dub FX or Beardyman, so we...

10 Tips for Performing on Stage with a Gibson Les Paul

The Gibson Company’s flagship guitar is the Les Paul. In all of its variations — Standard, Studio, Custom, etc. — the model is a venerable and versatile classic that evokes the past with its elegant lines and recording pedigree, while also packing the goods to lead the cutting edge of modern music. All guitar models have particular qualities that should be factored intro performing with them, especially for hard-core, road dog three-, four- or five-sets-a-night touring...
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