Tag Archives: Gibson Guitar

Guitar Manufacturers

By Andrew Catania

Trying tо fіnd оut who mаnufасturеd thе first guіtаrѕ іn Amеrіса іѕ no еаѕу task. Whаt іѕ еаѕу tо trеаѕurе trоvе out іѕ thаt there аrе dоzеnѕ оf guіtаr mаkеrѕ аnd thеу’vе аll bееn аrоund fоr ԛuіtе ѕоmе tіmе. Evеrуоnе hаѕ thеіr рrеfеrеnсеѕ, аnd аrtіѕtіс dіffеrеnсеѕ аrе whаt mаkе еасh соmраnу ѕuссеѕѕful.  Strаdіvаrіuѕ made Оnе оf thе еаrlіеѕt vеrѕіоnѕ оf thе guіtаr, but еvеn thаt vеrѕіоn was a fаr сrу frоm what wе knоw to bе thе guіtаr tоdау.

C.F. Mаrtіn and Cоmраnу іѕ bеlіеvеd tо bе thе оldеѕt guіtаr mаnufасturеr іn Amеrіса, ореnіng іtѕ dооrѕ аrоund 1833 іn Gеrmаnу. But bесаuѕе vіоlіn mаkеrѕ thought thаt his guіtаrѕ wоuld run thеm оut оf buѕіnеѕѕ, Mаrtіn lеft Germany for Amеrіса tо ореn whаt wоuld bесоmе Оnе of thе tор mаnufасturеrѕ оf аll tіmе. C. F. Mаrtіn аnd Cо mаnufасturеѕ оnlу асоuѕtіс guіtаrѕ еxсерt fоr thеіr acoustic-electric guіtаr. Thеіr Drеаdnоught ѕеrіеѕ is thеіr bеѕtѕеllіng ѕеrіеѕ аnd ѕоmе guіtаrіѕtѕ lіkе Erіс Clарtоn, Jоhnnу Cаѕh, Bесk аnd Jіmmу Buffеtt hаvе said thаt these аrе thе bеѕt guіtаrѕ оn thе mаrkеt. Cеrtаіn of thеіr mоdеlѕ rеtаіl fоr thоuѕаndѕ оf dоllаrѕ. In 2000, Mаrtіn wаѕ mаnufасturіng оvеr 24 thоuѕаnd guіtаrѕ a уеаr, a hugе іmрrоvеmеnt frоm thе 182 that hе mаnufасturеd in 1900. Thеу рut tоgеthеr thеіr оnе-mіllіоnth guіtаr іn 2004. Thе guіtаr boasts mоrе than 40 еnсruѕtеd rubies аnd dіаmоndѕ аnd іѕ еѕtіmаtеd tо bе wоrth оnе mіllіоn dollars.

Gіbѕоn is рrоbаblу thе nеxt оldеѕt Amеrісаn guіtаr mаnufасturеr. Gіbѕоn Guіtаr Cоrроrаtіоn іѕ lосаtеd іn Nаѕhvіllе, Tеnnеѕѕее аnd bеgаn mаnufасturіng muѕісаl іnѕtrumеntѕ іn 1902. Thеіr fіrѕt іnѕtrumеnt wаѕ thе mаndоlіn. Gіbѕоn was manufacturing flat tор асоuѕtіс guіtаrѕ and оnе оf thе fіrѕt hоllоw bоdу асоuѕtіс guіtаrѕ іn thе еаrlу 1930ѕ. Thеу іntrоduсеd thеіr fіrѕt ѕоlіd bоdу еlесtrіс guitar іn 1950’ѕ аnd ѕіgnеd аwаrd-wіnnіng guіtаrіѕt Lеѕ Pаul to еndоrѕе thе Gіbѕоn Les Pаul guіtаrѕ. Gіbѕоn Guіtаr Corporation hаѕ bесоmе thе numbеr оnе еlесtrіс guitar mаnufасturеr іn thе іnduѕtrу. All Gіbѕоn Guіtаrѕ аrе Mаdе іn thе United Stаtеѕ, аnd thеу are thе lаrgеѕt guіtаr manufacturer іn thе U.S. Gibson wаѕ thе fіrѕt guіtаr mаkеr tо build thе “grееn guіtаr.” Onе оf thеіr mоѕt recent guіtаrѕ uses rоbоtіс tесhnоlоgу dеѕіgnеd bу Gіbѕоn аnd саn tunе іtѕеlf іn lеѕѕ than 10 seconds.

Fеndеr wаѕn’t thе first соmраnу tо mаnufасturе thе еlесtrіс guіtаr; Fеndеrѕ wеrе thе mоѕt successful еlесtrіс guіtаrѕ tо bе mаѕѕ рrоduсеd. Fеndеr wаѕ аlѕо ѕuссеѕѕful іn mаnufасturіng аnd ѕеllіng аmрlіfіеrѕ. Fеndеr’ѕ аmрѕ аrе ѕоmе оf thе most sought аftеr аmрѕ оn thе mаrkеt tоdау. In 1965 Fеndеr ѕоld оut аll thеіr companies tо CBS fоr 13 mіllіоn dоllаrѕ. Bесаuѕе CBS mаdе mаnу mоnеу-ѕаvіng сhаngеѕ tо thеіr рrоduсtѕ, ѕаlеѕ tооk a drastic turn аnd dеmаnd fоr Fеndеr guіtаrѕ drорреd. Fіnаllу, іn 1985 thе еmрlоуееѕ оf Fеndеr purchased CBS’ѕ ѕtаkе іn thе соmраnу аnd rеnаmеd thе соmраnу Fеndеr Muѕісаl Instruments Cоrроrаtіоn. Tоdау thеу are mаnufасturіng Fеndеr’ѕ оld ѕсhооl аnd mоѕt bеlоvеd guitars wіth ѕоmе mоdеrn uрdаtеѕ аnd ѕtуlеѕ.

In соnсluѕіоn, thеѕе thrее соmраnіеѕ are аt thе fоrеfrоnt оf guіtаr mаnufасturіng іn Amеrіса tоdау. Thеу аll have mоdеrnіzеd thе guіtаr іn thеіr unіԛuе ways. Thеіr сhаngеѕ tо thе іnѕtrumеntѕ that thеу mаnufасturе hаvе rеvоlutіоnіzеd thе way guіtаrіѕtѕ рlау аnd thе wау we hеаr muѕіс fоrеvеr.

Quаlіtу of wood uѕеd guіtаr mаkіng

Aѕ аnу luthіеr or wооd іnѕtrumеnt mаkеr wіll tеll you, thе mоѕt іmроrtаnt fасtоr іn thе ԛuаlіtу оf any іnѕtrumеnt іѕ thе quality оf wооd used tо сrеаtе іt. Yоu соuld ѕреnd years hаnd-сrаftіng аn іnѕtrumеnt wіth раіnѕtаkіng саrе, but if уоu uѕе bаd wood, уоu’d ѕtіll hаvе a рооr-ԛuаlіtу іnѕtrumеnt nо mаttеr how much wоrk you рut іntо іt. The bеѕt guіtаrѕ mаdе frоm fіnе еxоtіс hаrdwооdѕ, lіkе rоѕеwооd, wаlnut, аnd kоа.

Thеrе аrе several tуреѕ оf rоѕеwооd uѕеd tо mаkе thе bасkѕ аnd ѕіdеѕ оf fіnе асоuѕtіс guіtаrѕ, but thе tуре оf wооd thаt mоѕt ѕоught аftеr іѕ Brаzіlіаn rоѕеwооd, whісh саn bе nearly іmроѕѕіblе tо fіnd. Because of thе restrictions оn еxроrtіng Brаzіlіаn rоѕеwооd аrе ѕо ѕtrісt, іtѕ vаluе hаѕ іnсrеаѕеd drаmаtісаllу over thе past ѕеvеrаl years, but еvеn bеfоrе thе rеѕtrісtіоnѕ, Brаzіlіаn rоѕеwооd wаѕ a hіghlу desired wооd fоr асоuѕtіс guіtаrѕ bесаuѕе оf іtѕ rісh асоuѕtісаl whаt іt tаkеѕ. Whеn Brаzіlіаn rоѕеwооd іѕ unаvаіlаblе, Indіаn rоѕеwооd mаkеѕ a fіnе substitute. Anоthеr соmmоn еxоtіс wооd uѕеd tо buіld guіtаrѕ іѕ walnut. Wаlnut hаѕ a rісh brоwn соlоrіng аnd a unique grain раttеrn. It оftеn uѕеd оn guіtаrѕ dеѕіgnеd fоr fіngеr-рісkіng because of іtѕ еvеn tоnеѕ іn аll rаngеѕ. Kоа is аnоthеr grеаt еxоtіс wооd fоr асоuѕtіс guіtаr bасk аnd ѕіdеѕ. Koa is a Hawaiian wood wіth a gоldеn brown соlоr аnd dаrk ѕtrеаkѕ. It hаѕ аn even bаѕѕ аnd trеblе rеѕроnѕе, whісh makes іt іdеаl fоr a tоnаllу bаlаnсеd іnѕtrumеnt. Wіthоut a bеаutіful ріесе of fіnе wооd, a іnѕtrumеnt іѕ juѕt оrdіnаrу.

ReverbNation Featured Artist Melia

Melia has quite a resume!  Melia has been awarded numerous awards.  When I listen to Melia, I hear talent that Lizzy Hale would die for!-Andrew

Melia has become known as one of the top female indie rock artists on the music scene today. The winner of 3 awards, including “Best Female Rock Artist“, as well as “Best Rock Song” and “Song of the Year” (“Just A Bride”) at the 2012 Indie Music Channel Awards held at the House of Blues in Hollywood, again in 2013 “Best Female Rock Artist” and once again “Best Female Rock Artist” and “Best Rock Song” (“Charge Like A Bull”) in 2016. Melia’s first EP “Soundproof Walls” as well as her most recent ep “Skeletal Remains” has received rave reviews.

Skeletal Remains” was released in December of 2015. The ep was recorded in NYC at The Magic Shop and was engineered and produced by Grammy-winning Kevin Killen (Peter Gabriel, Shakira).

Melia began her music career as a guitarist at the age of 16. She had been trying to get her parents to let her take guitar lessons after going to her first Green Day show during its “American Idiot” tour two years earlier. They made her wait two years before taking up lessons, which she feels propelled her motivation. She excelled at guitar very quickly, practicing 6-8 hours a day and within eight months of taking up the instrument had formed her first band with a couple of high school friends.

During that summer after graduation, she had the experience of a lifetime when she attended another Green Day concert and was chosen by lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, to play guitar for the song “Jesus of Suburbia.”

She is now playing with some excellent backing musicians for her live shows. The music is a guitar-driven alternative rock style with message-laden lyrics that come from her personal experiences or of those close to her.

Melia has played with The Offspring, Eve 6, Gaslight Anthem, Our Lady Peace, Walk The Moon, Oberhofer, The Tea Party, Thousand Foot Krutch, Love and Death, Big Wreck, Steve Vai, Twenty One Pilots, New Politics, Fuel, Sick Puppies, Black Star Riders, Asia, Chevelle, Lacuna Coil, The Misfits, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool, Saliva, Otep, Adam Gontier, Chris Daughtry and Halestorm.

Melia uses:

2008 Epiphany Black Les Paul Standard

2010 Gibson Custom Les Paul Silverburst

2014 Gibson Custom Les Paul Purple Widow

2017 Gibson White Flying V T

Follow Melia @ http://www.meliarocks.com/

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http://www.twitter.com/meliaMaccarone

http://www.instagram.com/meliarocks

Interview: Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi

By Andrew Catania

An ace lyricist, a virtuosic composer, and a master producer – Tony Iommi is one of those few legendary names in the rock and the heavy metal world that have contributed their optimum effort to innovate the genre and elevate it to a stature where it stands today.

Born on 19th February 1948 in Birmingham, Tony Iommi was bitten by the music bug early in his life. His primary influences were Hank Marin and the Shadows who inspired him to test his mettle in the music sphere. Iommi picked up the guitar in his early teens. By the time he turned 18, he had established meaningful partnerships with some bands, the most notable of which was with Polka Tulk, a band which was later renamed as Earth.

Polka Tulk’s lineup comprised of Bill Ward (drum), Terry ‘Geezer’ Butler (bass), Ozzy Osbourne (singer), and Tony Iommi (guitar). The band was still going through its incubation phase when Tony had to face a major setback that temporarily snatched the guitar from his hands. The tips of the two fingers on his right hand were chopped in a machine at the factory where he used to work.

The accident had a profound impact on his morale. He was on the verge of permanently giving up on his career when he came across Django Reinhardt, who too had lost two fingers in an accident yet still pursued guitar playing. This instilled a new ray of hope in Tony and compelled him to test his musical fate. Slowly resuming his techniques with plastic tips attached to his damaged hand, Tony embarked on his passion.

As he regained momentum, Tony Iommi was invited to join Jethro Tull in 1968. Since he had already bid farewell to Black Sabbath’s precursor Earth, he hesitantly joined Jethro Tull. The association helped him regain his lost confidence and just after a year, he rejoined Earth’s lineup and the group renamed themselves as Black Sabbath, which they are still known as till date.

The band released its debut album titled ‘Black Sabbath’ in 1970. The feat kick-started Tony’s career not only at Black Sabbath’s platform, but also brought along more opportunities, partnerships, and achievements to his claim. Tony also focused on building his solo debut album titled ‘Iommi’ in 2000.

The notable highlights of Tony’s career include cofounding Black Sabbath, his great solo profile featuring Fused and ‘The 1996 DEP Sessions’, and his major associations with Jethro Tull, Heaven and Hell, Velvet Frog and Mythology. Tony Iommi continues to play for Black Sabbath, and the combined efforts of Tony and his associates have bagged immense success for the band. Tony Iommi’s signature style has evolved to gain a branded stature over time. His deep riffs, fine detuning, improvised parameters and unrivaled mastery over chords has made a name that rhymes along and is synonymous with the rock and heavy metal genre of today.

Tony Iommi has been ranked 25th among the ‘Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Times’. Celebrating his undisputed axemanship over the genre, Tony Iommi has cast a major influence on the proceeding generations of guitarists worldwide.

Tony, It’s a pleasure speaking with you!  You’ve been an inspiration to many guitarists with your playing.  I’ve always wanted to ask you, how did you get your particular tone at the early beginning of Sabbath?

We played bluesy and jazzy stuff when we first got together with this line-up, and I’d played that stuff with Bill (Ward) before in a band before we got together as Sabbath, and it was one day we just turned it up loud really, and we liked the sound we had. We developed this sound with Geezer and the way he played and the way I played, and it just created that sound with the two guitars. We just worked on the sound that we heard in our heads. I knew I wanted to hear this really big sound in my head and I wanted to make it work from the amplifier, but of course, in them days, the speakers were essential. There was no preamps or anything.

How many guitars do you have on this tour?

I take about 8 – 10 because I have the main ones I use onstage and then I have a backup for each of those you know in case I break a string. But each night there are three main guitars that I use, each with different tunings.

I wanted to ask you about the Epiphone P94 Iommi model, and the humbucker sized P-90 single coil pickups. I’m curious as to why you chose the P-90’s over humbuckers?

You mean my latest Epiphone? Yes, they are the Iommi pickups that I have on the Gibsons, and I came up with those pickups many years ago when I went over to Gibson in Nashville, and we worked for a few weeks on designing these pickups. They’d wire one I’d try it, they’d wire another one, and I’d try it until they found one that I liked, and I’d test them onstage, and you know, I still use them to this day.

Your signature model Tony – the Epiphone Tony Iommi G-400 – with the USA Gibson humbuckers, is that your key guitar and the main one used on stage now?

Well, my main tour guitars are from a company that I’ve used for many years, Jaydee, which until recently came on the road with me. I enjoy the Gibsons and the Epiphones too.  I want to incorporate the Epiphones into the show more, but I only received the new model just before I left England, so I haven’t had the time to work on it, to get it just right.

iommi

Who are your favorite artists these days? Metal or other styles of music?

I listen to a lot of different stuff, and I go through different phases, for example, I might play as silly as it sounds, a Doris Day album for a couple of weeks or Frank Sinatra I play a lot. I like a different amount of things it’s not just all rock or metal stuff. It’s something more relaxing. When you play Sabbath on stage it’s important to have that difference, it’s the spice of life you know.

It’s important to listen to all kinds of music.  With my website, I try and keep “shredding” alive and well.  A lot of the new music tends to forget this sort of music.

You know Andy, I haven’t had much time to listen to current guitarists. I looked at your site, and I like what you’re doing for the instrument. You need that torch to carry on to the next generation.  I mean there’s plenty of great players, but there’s nothing better to me than to hear someone play with great feel. And I think with some of the newer guitar players that are where they’ve missed it a bit, they’ve gone for all this fancy stuff. It comes out more emotionally in the music if you play what you feel. It’s good to have various forms of guitarists showcasing their talent for all to see.

The End tour is not just a goodbye to the fans but also in support of the latest album 13.  Are there any surprises to the setlist that might have Sabbath fans in shock?

Well the setlist is going to be classic Sabbath songs, we’ve brought in a couple of songs that we hadn’t played for many years but it’s mainly the songs that people want to hear, and if you don’t play them people say “well you never played this, you never played that” so you know, the show we put together I think is working really well. I mean we have tried some different things out, but people want to hear the real classics because we can play some tracks off the new album which people like but because it’s the final tour they want the classics that they know, the nostalgia of it all.

Tony thank you for your time!  Thank you for 40 plus years of great music, and I wish you the best for the rest of the Sabbath tour and afterward!

 

Check Tony out @ http://www.iommi.com/

The Scorching Riffs of John Sykes

By Andrew Catania

John Sykes is a clear-cut reflection of the closest thing to a living legend. In his extraordinary existence of 57 years, he has already played with Streetfighter, Tygers of Pan Tang, John Sloman’s Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder. Apart from playing with such a multitude of artists, he has also created his own legacy by undertaking a career as a solo artist. As of 2013, he had produced 4 solo albums and is currently working on the 5th, which is said to consist of over 30 new recordings.

Sykes had his first taste in heavy metal at the age of 21 when he joined the Tygers of Pan Tang in 1980 as the second guitarist for two of their albums: Spellbound and Crazy Nights. Spellbound was rated as one of the best albums released that year by AllMusic and given a sturdy 8/10 by the Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal.

However, the success was short-lived as Crazy Nights barely made the half mark cut from reviewers. After the failure of Crazy Nights with Tygers of Pan Tang, John Sykes decided to move on to Badlands – a new band started by John Sloman.

Since then, it was clear that Sykes would go places since he continued to progress his career by moving on to the next big project. Whenever there was a drop in the reviews for his current work or when he felt that his career was no longer growing, he would decide to pursue the next chapter.

According to Eddie Trunk, John really took his time on all his new pieces and was conservative in his approach. It is nothing but this dedication to the deliberate pursuit of his art that led the esteemed critic Mick Wall to write that the album Coverdale wrote with Sykes wasn’t just the best Whitesnake album – but was also the best rock album of the era. It was the fact that Sykes was a part of Whitesnake that even led the critic Mick Wall to enjoy Whitesnake in the first place. Whitesnake, the self-titled album released by the band and co-written with Sykes reached #2 on the billboard 200 chart and sold over eight million albums.
Although Sykes is a guitarist, he has been proven an excellent lyricist and has even recorded rare vocals. His multi-dimensional talent scope has left even the most hardened critic in awe of his capability as a musician.  Hopefully, we’ll see more of John Sykes in 2017.

 

The Wolf Marshall Legacy

By Andrew Catania

Wolf Marshall, one of the best guitar players, educators and note-by-note transcribers that exist! With more than 30 years of experience as a pedagogue, Wolf has been establishing himself as a teacher that puts in their students’ hands unlimited resources to learn different musical styles from different eras. From jazz to early rock and roll, from psychedelic to pop, from country music to heavy metal shred guitar.  Wolf just covered all the subjects!

Wolf’s labor as a teacher is appreciated through his books, audio and video footage that has been around since the 1980s, when he worked with many renowned guitar companies such as Star Licks, Cherry Lane, Music Sales, with whom he released many memorable guitar lessons:  analyzing different styles of playing and teaching licks that set the foundations for new lead guitar players out there. The way in which he introduced all this information through accessible home media was a significant innovation by that time, creating the basis for business and education model that remains relevant to this date.

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He is also an avid collaborator with the best guitar magazines on the market, such as Guitar World, for which he wrote great articles and columns. He also worked with Guitar Edge, Jazz Improv, and Vintage Guitar, for which he has been writing a regular column titled “Fretprints” for the past eleven years. Wolf Marshall’s approach to guitar teaching has maintained relevant to this day because of the particular emphasis he does on creating a smooth learning curve in all of his tutorials; This is especially important because of the wide variety of guitar players that become interested in Wolf’s material, filling their needs with each new release, regardless of the subject or the player’s level.

Wolf Marshall has been releasing an excellent quality material in various categories. He is widely known for his Guitar Signature Licks series, which contains more than 40 titles and covers more than 40 years of guitar playing! He goes deep into the style of great artists like George Benson, Pat Martino, Charlie Christian, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Albert King, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Queen, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and many other relevant artists and bands of rock and roll history! Wolf shows his mastery over such diverse guitar styles and eras, proving himself an accomplished player, and he is also able to present this information in a way you can use.

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The purpose of this long ongoing series is to introduce you to the particularities of each performer regarding technique, expression, musical sense and theoretical background. He intends you to learn your favorite songs from your favorite artists at the same time you can incorporate this information into your guitar playing – because as an aspiring guitar player you will develop your voice thanks to a combination of influences and creativity. This series has been released in a book + cd format, so you can read the transcription and use the record as a reference to the music you are listening; this will also help you to understand how music notation works and to easily spot the notes on the fretboard. This format was replicated and revised through the years by many other publishers who wished to emulate Wolf’s educational success and influence.

Through Hal Leonard, he published The Wolf Marshall Guitar Method in the early 1990’s, which summarizes his experiences as a guitar teacher and takes his approach to a whole new level. He takes you through the basic, intermediate and advanced levels of technique, providing you a step-by-step learning experience. The impact this method has can be seen today as many guitar teachers out there use it with their students, because it centers on learning rock guitar in an accessible way: open position power chords, basic riffs and rock rhythms, chord progressions and lead guitar playing are the components of this series, carefully crafted to meet the expectations and needs of performers and teachers.

Wolf Marshall method of teaching and performance is still relevant today. His approach to guitar instruction has cleared the path for many other instructors that successfully emulated this process. When he gets to explain his material, you can see a concerned artist that is speaking to another artist, and he puts all of himself to present the information in the clearest way possible. This effort has not gone unnoticed, as you can imagine! Wolf has been working in the Jazz Department of the UCLA since 2007, where he teaches jazz improvisation and guitar master classes in the ethnomusicology section of the university.

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But Wolf goes beyond the teaching field! As you can expect from such a great guitar instructor, he is also a high-level performer. During the last years he has been a very busy jazz guitar player: in his YouTube channel, you will find any number of great jazz standards and improvisations with his Wolf Marshall Trio and Wolf Marshall Quartet, classic jazz combos with which he tours many venues to delight people with his engaging performances. Stella By Starlight, Sleepwalk, Wave, Misty, Girl From Ipanema and many other jazz classics performed by the talented Wolf Marshall, all available for us to watch and learn from, and you can see the passion going through his phrasing!

Wolf Marshall legacy to all guitar players is undeniable; you just have to check out the Amazon reviews his books, audio, and video catalogue are receiving; the comments that he receives in each of his YouTube performances…all from happy guitarists grateful to the man who taught them a lot. We are talking about more than two generations of great lessons and useful tips and advice! All of them making us better guitar players! For this reason, we say a big thank you and wish all the best to Wolf Marshall!