5 Vibratos Every Guitarist Wants

The vibrato is one of the most used and sought-after techniques in music. From a theoretical standpoint, vibrato is “a rapid, slight variation in pitch producing a stronger or richer tone”. As many guitar-toting tone-seekers will agree, the right vibrato can make the difference between a good guitarist and a legendary one. Many of us can play the right notes, in the right order, and at […] Continue Reading

Talking Tone With Yngwie Malmsteen

There aren’t many players who can say they’ve spearheaded an entire genre, but Yngwie J Malmsteen is among this esteemed few. Yngwie synthesised the worlds of classical melodicism and heavy rock energy in ways that had only been hinted at before, and in doing so he ignited a guitar revolution. With Yngwie currently on the road for his Guitar Gods tour with fellow virtuosi Bumblefoot and Gary Hoey, we caught up with the maestro to talk tone. Continue Reading

Unleashing The Mysteries Of A Scalloped Fingerboard

Over the years there have been many modifications to the electric and acoustic guitar. One of the more radical ones is the use of a scalloped fingerboard. This is an irreversible modification that ‘scoops out’ the wood between the frets (see pictures). This article will explain exactly why someone might do this, the benefits and drawbacks of scalloping and why this became popular in electric guitar playing. Continue Reading

Cage Match: Big Strings vs. Small Strings

In the wonderful guitar universe, it’s important not to criticize what size strings a man or woman uses. However, any guitarist that has spent just a small amount of time on internet forum and message boards has navigated the minefield of these types of threads. This article will explain the reasons why someone might choose a particular string size, and unraveling the myths and truths about […] Continue Reading

Blues and the Harmonic Minor Scale

The blues has been slowly disappearing as an element of modern rock and metal for over two decades. This doesn’t mean we can’t learn from 'old guys' and the simplicity of playing fewer notes with feeling and the right tone. Now the harmonic minor scale has been associated with guitarists like Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen, who no doubt possess some great bluesy phrasing, but are pretty different from the blues guitarists that influenced them. Continue Reading

Digging Out of the Hole You’re In: Breaking Out of Playing Ruts

We’ve all been there before: when we’re uninspired and everything we play sounds, well, the same. Playing ruts, or more accurately named plateaus, are problems every instrumentalist faces and has to work through. In this article, let’s look at some ideas on how to break through the imaginary wall holding your playing back. I’ve been behind some pretty big walls in my playing life, seemingly more […] Continue Reading

The YJM High-Speed Volume Pot

You may wonder what the big deal is about a re-engineered volume pot. It is one of those things many guitarists leave up on 10 all the time, right? Some don’t even ever adjust it, getting dynamics solely from pedals, amp or fingers. For those who had grown up playing Strats, we know the volume pot is in the perfect place to wrap your pink around. We can pick the note with the volume down, then turn the volume up with the pinky. Now, part of the reason we recognize the sound as an electric guitar has to do with the initial attack of a pick hitting the strings. The hard-surface (pick) to hard-surface (string) sound tells us what we are listening to. Continue Reading

To Scallop Or Not To Scallop?

There are plenty of myths out there about scalloped fretboards. They help you play fast. They can make you play out of tune. They weaken the neck. What's the truth? And what on earth are they for? Continue Reading