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Guitar Pioneer Scotty Moore Honored in Memphis

The bikers had taken over Beale Street that night of August 3rd, but the real action was one block south, on the corner of 2nd Street and Lieutenant George W. Lee Avenue, where Gibson Memphis was hosting a tribute to Scotty Moore. Scotty, in case you don’t know, is the lone survivor of a trio that included Elvis Presley and Bill Black who were in the Sun Records Studio birthing room the day that country music hooked up with rhythm and blues and launched Elvis to superstardom.

Rival Sons Brings Back True Rock and Roll

Many rock bands try to be like the legends of rock and roll. However, few have become part of the legend. In the many recent years, many musicians have been trying to bring back the gritty, bluesy, funky portion of rock. This type of sound falls under the category of 1970’s rock and roll, and Rival Sons are among of those bands. In a sea full of bands that has a new wave sound, it is refreshing to hear a band that falls under the 70’s rock and roll. However, guitarist from the band Rival Sons, Scott Holiday ...

10 All-Time Greatest Covers Albums

For major artists, such discs have sometimes served as stopgap measures dashed off to fulfill a record contract or to satisfy the cravings of fans between releases of more serious fare. What’s remarkable, however, is that the nonchalance with which these albums are often approached sometimes yields spectacular results. Even the best songwriters, after all, are fans of other great songwriters. Below are 10 such albums that rank among rock and roll’s best.

How to Save Your Guitar from Summer Heat Damage

High temperatures can cause cracking, make glued joints and tops lift up and buckle, trigger neck warping, and a host of other problems. The least severe of these issues can be corrected by a good luthier via a set-up, neck adjustment or the careful re-application of glue. But summer has been the killer of many, many fine guitars. Two basic cautionary points - • Never leave a guitar in your car’s trunk: Temperatures in the trunk can be up to 60 degrees hotter than outside, which means...

How to Build Your Reputation as a Songwriter

As in any business, your reputation and the impression that you make is a big part of a successful career in songwriting. Being well-respected and taken seriously as a songwriter will, in time, open doors and lead to work that will get your songs to a wider audience and generate income. However, as with almost everything in music, building this reputation takes time and conscious effort. Below are a few things you can do to begin building your all-important reputation as a songwriter.

10 More Ways to Play Guitar Better

If you enjoyed 20 Ways To Play Guitar Better, here are 10 more tips. Take whatever benefits your own playing and if it doesn’t work, don’t worry. Bottom line is: there is no “correct” way of playing guitar. If you enjoy playing and want to try and improve your numerous skills, what’s not to like? 1. Use Oblique Strategies. Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas) is a deck of printed cards, created by music producer Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975. Some are ...

Productive Co-writing

I love to co-write. I still write by myself often because I enjoy that process too. But sometimes writing in a vacuum can be frustrating, even painful, whereas co-writing is usually fun because you have someone to bounce ideas off of, say stupid things until the profound ones pop out, share the frustration and celebrate the victories with. Co-writing is very popular in Nashville. There are a few great reasons to co-write songs. One is that it typically builds catalog faster...
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Three Keys to a Compelling Music Performance

What does the audience really pay attention to when you’re standing onstage? Is it how great your music, your playing, your singing is? No, it’s not those things… it’s who you are. Let me explain: Most of the people in your audience are not musicians, so when it comes to musical things, they’re ignorant. That doesn’t mean they’re stupid – they just don’t understand musical things. That’s not an excuse to be bad musically! In fact, I want you to be as good as you can possibly be. But what...

How Musicians Make Money from YouTube

According to Brian Botkiller, YouTube has turned into “the world’s jukebox.” It’s the most popular music-discovery tool online. Over 6 billion hours of video is streamed every single month by more than 1 billion unique users — and a huge amount of those folks are looking for music. All this music activity on YouTube is generating new money for independent musicians. Is your music on YouTube? If so, great! But are you getting paid for that music on YouTube? If not, you should be...

Pete Huttlinger - McGuire's Landing

Pete Huttlinger is one of Nashville's best-known acoustic guitar players, having spent several years touring with the late John Denver before becoming a session player for such artists as Faith Hill and Jimmy Buffett. But he's also known as a man who has cheated death in recent years, overcoming a stroke and a cardiac event to somehow return with his playing abilities intact. So since he's got his chops back, he did what any red-blooded guitar player would do: He recorded an album based around...

The Importance of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Nearly 23 years ago — on August 27, 1990 — blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash after a show at East Troy, Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley Music Theater. Vaughan won millions of fans and almost singled-handedly put blues back on the commercial map during his seven years as a major-label recording artist, even while transcending many of the genre’s customary limitations. He also captivated the imagination and earned the respect of a list of ruling six-string virtuosos...

Top Tips For Left-Handed Guitar Players

The world may not be “right” on a lot of days, but it’s certainly a right-handed world. Left-handers – estimated at 10-15% of all people – get a raw deal. Scissors, golf clubs, special non-smudging pens (think about writing on paper with your left, right-handers!), jar openers, gardening tools and more… All are specialized products you may need if you are left-handed. And then there are guitars. Many years ago, left-handers simply adapted as best they could. Albert King simply flipped his guitar and ...
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Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson in Burgettstown, PA

The Maroon 5 / Kelly Clarkson tour has been jokingly billed as a show by the two prettiest people in pop music. But as they showcased at Burgettstown, PA’s sold out First Niagara Pavilion, their talents proved they are more than skin deep. Idol winner and America’s sweetheart Clarkson displayed impressive versatility, blending blues, country and a little Motown with her pop catalog. After leading off with the megahit Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), she got the crowd of 23,000 moving with the dance...

Arlen Roth: “The Twang’s the Thang”

There’s no doubt that for a very long time now, adding a little bit, or a LOT of “twang” to your playing can be a great sound! It has long been associated with a kind of “western” sound that is used on guitar, mostly utilizing the lower strings, and with a combination of bending, whammy bar and even sometimes some amp tremelo and /or reverb. I got to play and also record with the original “King of Twang”, the one and only Duane Eddy! I feel as if he basically mainly coined the “twang” phrase with his...

Spotify Payouts Revisited – How Much Does it Pay Now and How Much Should Artists Demand?

Spotify made big news again in mid-July when producer Nigel Godrich and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke pulled their music from the streaming service. Their move was not without precedent. Just a few months earlier, Jeremy DeVine, head of the indie record label Temporary Residence Ltd, came on to our InputOutput podcast to discuss his plans to withhold new releases from Spotify. Earlier this week, The Huffington Post confirmed that several other independent artists planned to follow suit. Ever since ...