Cage Match: Playing It Just Like the CD or…Not

Simply, do you like bands that play everything exactly like the CD or do you like when bands (and their guitarists) take chances and deviate from the recorded version? With songs you might right and record, is there a conscious effort to replicate everything note-for-note live? Or is the recorded (or written) version simply a…

Win A Mayones Regius 7!

Seymour Duncan and Mayones have again teamed up to give away a very special one-of-a-kind guitar to one lucky player! This time it’s a Regius 7 with a Wenge top, flamed Alder back (yes, flamed Alder) custom Black Pearl binding, and a Schaller Hannes bridge. The neck is an 11-ply Wenge-Mahogany-Padouk-Maple ‘Exotic I’ neck with an Ebony fingerboard and Sperzel locking tuners, while electronics consist of our SH4-7 JB and SH2-7 Jazz passive humbuckers.

Less Than Or Equal To: The Diminished Chord

As modern guitarists, we are constantly trying to come up with new sounds. We all have heard how Yngwie plays diminished arpeggios at the speed of light and how practicing our diminished scale runs adds some Bach to our rock. Instead of focusing on scales or arpeggios here, I’ve reached back into to time of frilly shirts and harpsichords to check out the harmony which goes hand-in-hand with those shredilicious melodies. If we tire of djentrific root-5th power chords, folky granola-scented open major and minor triads, or murky jazz voicings, we can start by looking at those triads again. This article focuses on the diminished triad, what it sounds like, and how we can use it to break out of patterns where we seem to play the same thing, the same way, all the time.

Dissecting the Augmented Chord

With all of the emphasis on fast soloing online and in guitar magazines, it is easy to forget that working players spend most of their time playing chords. Even the heaviest of metals use more chords and rhythm than anything else, and increasing our chord literacy will help us become better players. This article will focus on one of my favorite types of chords and show us how we might use it to add some unexpected color no matter what genre of music we play. Guitar is generally considered a rhythm instrument, after all.

The 1962 Fender Jazz Control

The Fender Jazz Bass is one of the three most iconic bass types known in the musical world (with the other two being the mighty Precision Bass, and the Music Man Stingray). With that, there are a number of truly excellent replacement pickups to install in order to get your desired sound (with many of…

Cage Match Bass Edition: Precision vs. Jazz

Probably the biggest thing that I hear when someone brings up the very polarizing question, “If you had just one bass for all kinds of styles, what would it be?” you will usually read the answer “Leo Fender got it right with the P Bass” or “Leo Fender got it right with the J Bass”…

Choosing Neck Pickups For A Les Paul

Les Pauls are famous for the tone the neck pickup produces. I feel that a Strat and Tele (in my opinion the two other ‘big ones’) also have an amazing neck pickup tone, but the Les Paul really shines and sings when you add some gain to it.

The Economy of Hybrid Picking

Years ago, after about four years of classical lessons (I was about 12), I got into my older brother’s record collection, which was full of what we would call classic rock today, but of course then, it was just called rock. I decided to learn Led Zep’s ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ which hadn’t yet become as annoying to hear people play it as it is today. I heard the acoustic intro and the strummed rhythm and the cool rock riff at the end. Yeah! I could finally put that classical training to work – I can play with my fingers! Well, at least until the strummy part. Then I could put the pick down! And pick it up when needed again- all in one song!

How Do They Make Those Quilt Tops So 3D-Looking?

When you walk around in a nice guitar shop it’s hard to not drool over the lovely finishes some manufacturers seem to produce. Incredibly glossy with a flame or quilt top that almost looks 3D. The first time I stepped in a guitar shop that carried Paul Reed Smith guitars I could hardly believe that these figures were Mother Nature’s handywork!

Voices of Metal – Alex Skolnick

Several weeks ago we asked you who you wanted to see on Vocies of Metal and we got several responses asking for us to talk with Alex Skolnick. We tracked him down among his busy schedule of touring, recording and writing to talk metal, tone, jazz and Testament. You can listen to the full interview below.

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