The Wallflowers – Bleeders (No Track)

The Wallflowers - BleedersThe Wallflowers are hardly what their name suggests. This energetic group has caught everyone’s attention by playing tight, no-nonsense American rock for a new generation – in the tradition of The Band, Tom Petty, The Traveling Wilburys, and mid-60s Bob Dylan. If pedigree accounts for anything, you can factor in the fact that Jakob Dylan. Bob’s son, is at the helm, and you can also point to the success of their 1996 album, Bringing Down the Horse. Bleeders is a leading cut from the record, loaded with plenty of crashing, jangling electric guitars, soulful organ touches, and a cooking rhythm section groove. (more…)

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15 Jun 2013

Marking Twain. The Sounds of Shania (Country Lesson)

Shania Twain country lessonBenson, Brent and Beck: what’s the connection and who among them is Shania’s ‘show-off’? There are some slippery, speedy moves which may be familiar, but if you’re not used to playing without a pick then the repetitive plucking might put a strain on your muscles – take it easy at first! I’ll explain the connection between the above named players in a moment, but first I’ll answer the question concerning which of them plays guitar on Shania Twain’s album, Come On Over which, incidentally, has become the biggest-selling country album ever! Shania (Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year) can boast to having Nashville’s number one country picker (CMA Musician of the Year winner once again), Brent Mason, who plays ‘licks and solos’ according to the album’s credits. (more…)

Comping Study. Rhythm Guitar Lesson Part 2

Rhythm Guitar LessonContinuing with our rhythm guitar extravaganza, here are a couple of tasty examples – one strummy, the other thumby! Rhythm playing comes very easily to some people while others find it awkward… The stuff on offer here is technically quite straightforward, though. This lesson’s music, like previous Part One, is essentially a fairly slow blues shuffle, though the chord progression is fairly sophisticated – the sort of thing you might associate with Robben Ford, for example. Okay, I know he’s not Country but the objective here is to conjure up some groovy rhythm parts – and who cares where we find our inspiration, eh? (more…)

Comping Study. Rhythm Guitar Lesson

Rhythm Guitar LessonPlaying good rhythm guitar is about supporting, propelling and generally adding feel. Let’s comp. Despite the intimidating notation, the physical moves really aren’t that difficult. Rhythm guitar, often referred to as “comping” in the jazz or blues fraternity, is something of an enigma in that many people find it so natural yet others don’t. Remember: a well-played rhythm part can be indispensable, so aim to make your contribution in this department indispensable, too. Always try to make the part fit and, more specifically, sit. If a producer says the rhythm guitar, or anything else for that matter, isn’t sitting right then they mean that it’s going against the grain in some way (it may simply be too loud or have the wrong eq). (more…)

Albert Lee Lesson. Why Not?

Albert Lee Lesson. Why NotCountry Boy Albert Lee gives us the full monty in this masterclass – the whole circus act, in fact… AIbert Lee and Hogan’s Heroes (Gerry Hogan on pedal-steel guitar, Pete Baron on drums, Brian Hodgson on bass and Pete Wingfield on keyboards) recorded a special masterclass including a backing track. It took ages to figure out positions for certain licks (Albert shifts fretting hand position at a frightening rate, and even if you see him live it’s still difficult to follow by eye) so figuring out how the sounds heard match up with where his hands are generally involves a reasonable amount of speculation. (more…)

Pick’n’Mix. Hybrid Picking Exercises

Pick’n’Mix. Hybrid Picking ExercisesHybrid picking is always great fun and often challenging. Let’s think of the great Chet Atkins and do it some more… Making an entrance: the solo’s entrance is surely reminiscent of Albert Lee, although Albert once told that Chet Atkins was certainly one of his early influences, especially concerning that kind of playing which involves hybrid picking and multiple string grabs or fingerpicking patterns. To play this effectively and efficiently, think forward or ahead (don’t rush the timing at all, though); it’s about setting up the correct fretting fingering fractionally in advance of when it’s actually required – this is vital information, you know. (more…)

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