Why Do You Play Guitar?

By Jay Hale When I was a kid growing up in a small West Virginia town in the early/mid-80s, it was unusual – in some cases frowned upon – for a black kid to like rock music. Fortunately I grew up in a household where there were no musical genre restrictions, so in addition to…

8 "Easy-To-Play" Songs To Add To Your Guitar Repertoire

In our first segment of “Easy-To-Play” Songs I presented seven songs across several genres to get you on the fast track to campfire and family gathering greatness. You may have even been able to learn a few new tricks to use at your first open mic night, or followed some of the video links to…

Chatting With Carrie Underwood Guitarist Jimmy Herman

Those are just a few of the words that help define the man. You may know him best as Carrie Underwood’s guitarist, but he has also shared the stage with Keith Urban, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and Brad Paisley, just to name a few. I had the opportunity and honor of asking Jimmy about guitars and guitar playing, and one thing is certain: his passion for what he does is infectious.

My Favorite Archive Releases of 2014

People here at Seymour Duncan are not just obsessive about tone, but also about music itself. After all, you have to love music to be able to make tools to make it. But the good thing is that everyone’s tastes are different.

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…

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Aeolian Mode

Welcome to the next installment of my series on the modes of the major scale. This is probably the most popular mode, and the one most associated with music we have learned on guitar. The reason being is that the Aeolian mode goes by another, more common name: the minor scale.

How to Behave in Public: Etiquette on Multi-Band Gigs

Every band (especially original ones) has had to play shows with other bands. After all, we don’t all start our live debut with four hours of music for the whole night. Usually we bundle the band with friends’ bands, or the venue does that for us. At many shows, bands share the stage, equipment, and…

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!

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