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How Lindsey Buckingham Took Fleetwood Mac To The Top

In the annals of Fleetwood Mac’s guitar history, Peter Green gets nearly all the black — in part because of his key role in making the Gibson Les Paul Sunburst an integral part of rock and blues history. But the Mac also featured another great Les Paul player who took lead of the band and helped the group reach its zenith of popularity: Lindsey Buckingham. Buckingham cut six albums with Fleetwood Mac, including 1977’s Rumours, which, like Steely Dan’s Aja from the same year, remains a template for...

10 Tips For Choosing Speakers for Amps and Cabinets

Tone is the Holy Grail for most dedicated guitarists. It’s something we’re willing to seek and tweak our entire playing lives. And each of us has a different perspective on tone, which explains the proliferation of guitars, pickups and, of course, amplifiers available. There’s much talk about amps’ power ratings, circuitry, pre- and post-gain stages and tubes when tone is on the table, but relatively little about speaker selection. That’s odd, considering how big a difference a speaker can make to the...

David Gilmour’s 10 Weirdest Recordings

Pink Floyd guitar genius David Gilmour has composed some of the most epic, soaring solos in rock history. Look — or listen — no further than his essay in vintage Gibson Les Paul Gold Top glory on “Comfortably Numb,” arguably the greatest recorded guitar solo of the ’80s for its compositional breadth, emotional arc and tonal grace. But there’s more to Gilmour’s playing than shimmer and beauty. He’s also one of the six-string’s finest space cadets — a player who can get interstellar at the flick of a pick...

Gibson Guitars - The Wood Behind The Music

Gibson guitars are known for their clear powerful sound and exotic wood grain designs. The guitars have been graced by the legends of country and rock music and produced a one of a kind sound that will excite and ignite an audience. While Gibson guitars thrills audiences and musicians around the world, I wanted to know who gives Gibson the wood they use. The short answer is Joe. Not sexy, I know, but he is where it starts. Joe Frantz, 40, and the Frantz family run Whale Bay Woods...

Are You Boxed In?

One of the biggest obstacles to real improvement on the guitar is actually tied to the way most of us first learned to play. Since the guitar is, after all, a rhythm instrument, we learn chords and strum patterns as soon as our hands are able to coordinate the movements. We memorize the chords by looking at pictures: a box or grid formed by the intersection of the strings and the frets. This is likely to be familiar to any of you that play guitar; odds are it's how you learned your first chords. We learn strums...

Taking Control of Your Music Online

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend watched her laptop’s screen in horror, as a complete stranger began uploading her entire concert from the night before onto YouTube. She hadn’t seen this unknown cameraman, filming from the middle of the audience with a shaky, low-res cell-phone camera and capturing every moment: The mistakes, the tuning breaks between songs, the fleeting moments of awkward banter, and even a new unreleased song that the band was workshopping for the first time in...
Carrie Zaruba

New Artist Spotlight - Carrie Zaruba

What made Carrie Zaruba so tough, so able to express her feelings in song? Maybe it comes from always being the last kid when your class had to line up in alphabetical order? Whatever it was, she is rising into the Country Music sky, bright, fast and impossible to ignore. Her debut album, Woman on a Mission, announces her arrival with crunchy power guitar, sizzling Country fiddle and lyrics that bounce between heartbreak and fist-pumping pride. Released on Go Time Records, produced by Kent Wells, who also...

6 Things You Can Do With $100 That Will Change Your Music Career

Money. Let’s face it: most artists aren’t very good with it. Most of us don’t have much to invest into our music career (relatively speaking), and when we do, we tend to throw it at some random opportunities without a larger strategy in mind. Take, for instance, submission fees to music festivals. Each year, thousands of artists spend over $100 in application fees or subscription costs to EPK sites, in hopes of getting a show at SXSW, CMJ, Bumbershoot, or other large festivals. Personally, I think festivals are...

30 Pieces of Advice From Music Industry Entrepreneurs

Over the past few weeks I’ve asked 30 extraordinary people in the music industry for their most valuable words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Without further ado, here are 30 pieces of advice from 30 music industry entrepreneurs. Focus on what works now. “We are no longer subject to what was, only to what works. We can honor what came before us, but at the same time we have to be constantly aware of how fast this new generation moves. The new does not have to be scary and it’s allot less risky ...

Seven Strategies for Local Music Promotion

You’ve spent countless hours writing, revising, and rehearsing, and now it’s time to take your material to the stage and wow some audiences. While a tour bus, road crew, and booking manager are helpful when it comes to worldwide — or at least nationwide — musical domination, gigging locally and building a live following, honing your chops, and refining your performances is the recommended first step. Here are a few music promotion strategies to help you get attention for your music on a local level.
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von Grey Performs In Atlanta On Record Store Day

Record store day on 4/20 arrived in the southeast with a bang as sibling band von Grey took the stage at Criminal Records in the Little 5 Points district of downtown Atlanta. Comprised of sisters Kathryn (18), Annika (16), Fiona (15) and Petra (12), von Grey have been garnering a significant amount of attention recently from the likes of David Letterman, Conan O'Brien and Billboard magazine. After releasing their self-titled EP last year, the sisters have been on the road, building their fan base as they...

10 Best Eric Clapton’s Sideman Recordings

The most famous gig Clapton held before Cream was as guitar foil to John Mayall in the supremely influential British band the Bluesbreakers. It was there that Clapton was tagged “god” and played his role in the canonization of the Gibson Les Paul Standard. But everybody knows about the Bluesbreakers and their famous eponymous “Beano” album, right? After all, Clapton’s interpretations of “Steppin’ Out” and Freddie King’s “Hideaway” became litmus tests for the era’s up-and-coming blues pickers.

Three Good Reasons To Love Your Songs

In order to suffer the slings and arrows which are an inevitable part of trying to generate income from your songs, it’s a good idea to love them first. I’m talking about a very specific kind of love here. What I’m not talking about is the kind of desperate, dysfunctional love where your song is so dear to you that you’re crushed if someone doesn’t love the song as much as you do. The love I’m talking about is where, like a good parent, you’ve put all of your experience and effort into creating a solid, well-adjusted song-child and ...

BandPage Helps Artists Sell ‘Experiences’ to Earn Money On The Side

BandPage began as an insanely popular tool that bands could use to connect with fans (and vice versa) on Facebook, but now, it’s also a standalone Thing Of Its Own. The latest version lets fans do something new: buy BandPage Experiences, which are one-of-a-kind experiences with their favorite musicians [ed. note: the kind you might see on Kickstarter) — online guitar and drum lessons, personal hangouts, VIP access, and more. The web and apps offer great promise for letting fans and artists talk to each other ...

Songwriting Tip: Striking the Right Chord

One kind of "creative rut" that songwriters can easily fall into is when the chorus section of all their songs starts to sound the same. Some songwriters get into the habit of using the same chord to begin the chorus of every song they write. In one of my courses, we look at some of the many chords you can use to start your chorus as well as some of the successful songs that have used them in the past. Contrary to popular belief, there's nothing wrong with starting the chorus to your song (or bridge in...
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