The Player’s Room

In Guitar, Context is Everything

What was such a big deal about the Beatles? Didn’t Les Paul play music my grandmother described as ‘old’? Isn’t Jimi Hendrix famous for playing ‘Silent Night’ at some festival in the 40’s or something? In music and guitar history, context means something. Continue Reading

Top 10 Musical Resolutions for the New Year

Astronomically speaking, the beginning of a new year is pretty arbitrary. I mean, humans decided that January 1st would be the start of a new year (when we started counting 2016 years ago), instead of July 1st or March 30th. However, we tend to put a big significance on the end of one year and the beginning of another, that we don’t put on the end […] Continue Reading

My Top 10 Tips for Effective Rehearsal

Performing live is harder than it seems. Sure, the band makes it look easy, and everyone has the perfect parts at just the right time. Bigger acts know just where to stand for certain lighting effects, and the guitarist is always under the spotlight for The Big Solo. However, what you might not know is that for every minute of stage time, there could be dozens […] Continue Reading

Expectation is a Prison

  I define expectation as wanting history to repeat itself exactly. When you go see a tribute band, you are comparing the band onstage to a memory of the original band. When you buy a Les Paul or a Strat, there is a certain level of expectation that goes into just seeing the shapes. We figure an LP is always meaty while a Strat is always […] Continue Reading

Friends of Seymour Duncan: Hamer Guitars

Let me begin by saying that I have absolutely no qualms about admitting my love for all things rock and metal, including the various bands that rose from the streets of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in the 197s and 1980s. Along with that love, comes my admiration for some of the most beautiful and well-built instruments ever made in the United States: Hamer Guitars. Continue Reading

Theory Basics: Intervals of the Major Scale

  To many guitarists, the major scale is something they simply don’t use. However, in Western music (that is, music that originates from the Western Hemisphere), it is the scale that is the basis of all others. If you learn the notes of the major scale, you can find all sorts of scales lurking beneath just by altering the notes. Continue Reading

How to Play Like Clutch’s Tim Sult

As a founding member of the bands Clutch and The Bakerton Group, Tim Sult has been making righteous noise for rock-minded listeners since 1991. His riffs are catchy, potent, and they resonate with a certain pragmatic personality that is both approachable and immediately identifiable. Over the last 25 years, Sult has refined and honed his style from the more raw aesthetic of the early days, but certain elements […] Continue Reading

Seymour Duncan’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again. The annual Black Friday stampedes, er, “sales” have officially kicked off the holiday shopping season. Last year it seemed as though some people in my household may have read my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, because Santa was very kind. And I did not receive any hot pink acoustic guitar-shaped earrings. Win-win situation I’d say. Continue Reading

5 Mental Shortcuts to Learn Songs Faster

Every musician is drawn to different genres and songs throughout their life. These tunes ultimately shape our very being as players through our desire to learn them and try to absorb the magic that caught our attention . . . okay, so some of us just wanted to impress chicks but I digress. Continue Reading

The Art of the Barre

Let’s face it: for the beginning guitarist, barre chords are hard. The idea that one finger has to hold down multiple strings when it has a hard enough time trying to hold down one seems like an impossible task. Continue Reading