Tag Archives: Guitar

An Alternative Way To Adjust Your Guitar Nut

Most new guitars arrive from the factory with the nut just barely playable. Older guitars may have the nut filed or worn down so much that fret buzz cannot be eliminated by neck or string height adjustment. If you have a new guitar, or you are replacing the nut with a new one, here is an alternative method to file and adjust the nut material to make your guitar play like the professional’s guitars play.

Before adjusting anything, make sure your guitar is strung up correctly and that your neck is straight and not bowed or warped. If your neck is bowed, you first need to adjust the truss rod. If your neck is warped, it will require a more extensive repair. For the lowest possible action or to avoid fret buzz all across your fingerboard, it may be necessary to have your frets leveled and crowned first.

You will need a set of nut files, and a good set of feeler gauges as well. Different grades of sandpaper are very useful too.

Fret each string individually, starting with the High E, between the second and third fret, use your feeler gauge to check the amount of space between the bottom of the string and the first fret. You should have approximately .005″ of space between each one, with the string barely touching the second fret. If this measurement is close or dead on then move on to the next string right up to the Low E string. You may want to record the gap on a scrap piece of paper as you move across the fretboard, to see the nut slot’s height about the fretboard as you do so.

For most players, a string height (also known in guitar slang as “action”) of 3/64″ of an inch is considered normal. Some players choose a higher string height such as 4/64″ of an inch while players which tend to have a light touch and want the fastest action possible strive to lower the action as close as possible to 2/64″ which in many cases’s is very hard to setup and maintain without fret buzzing somewhere on the fingerboard.

Of course, you can use the traditional method to set your string height about the nut, by using multiple feeler gauges below the nut and filing down to the factory depth and width. However, I have found this method to provide a better and more consistent feel while playing near the nut.

Do Musicians Really Need Record Labels Anymore?

By Andrew Catania

There was once a time when an artist and more specifically, the musicians were recognized on the parameter of the record label they were associated with. The talent and credibility of the artist too were judged based on the record label company for which they were associated and releasing their music.

The bigger the name of the record label, the higher would be the magnitude of the artist’s claim and repute. This was the prime factor that empowered the record labels with an overdose of power and authority that was beyond the extent of what was needed. The results were not surprising at all.

While these record label agencies did contribute a huge share in spreading the best works of the artists, across the global communities of artists, they also fuelled the talent of the musicians and brought them a fame that they deserved.

On a parallel note, it also produced an outrageous increase in the artist’s reliance on record label companies and started an undeclared rat race among the musicians to land for the biggest record label they could win, by any means.

The competition turned a bit ugly when the music community turned more inclined toward winning a record label rather than investing their efforts in making quality music. There were still some exceptions though.

The top-notch musicians and some genuinely talented artists were directly approached by the record label because after all, the record label too needed some high-priced names on their profile – the ultimate commercialization of the music industry.

The autocratic rule of the record labels in making or breaking artists could be associated with the fact the before the advent of the 21st century; there were no alternate means for the musicians to gain exposures, market their name and make money by selling their albums on their own.

Thankfully, this is not the case these days. The emergence of digital marketing and social networks has made it convenient for the musicians to publicize their work across the globe. Many prominent music names have gained their fame through YouTube and social media.

So, the point to ponder here is: With so many marketing and promotion channels in hand, do the musicians of today need a record label to succeed?

Why You Do Not Need a Record Label

If you are still a budding, underground talent, progressing through the learning phase and are seeking to strengthen and increase your experience, you do not need a record label. Similarly, if you do not have much to brag on your profile and have a small fan base, landing a record label is just not the right thing for you.

Why You Need a Record Label

If you have earned a considerable repute as one of the most promising musical talents of your age, have a decent and sizeable portfolio as well as a good count of fans and followers, landing a record label might just be the strategy you need to plunge headlong into the mainstream pool of music industry. A record label will help bring an exponential increase in your fame and fandom and earn you a significant amount of profit, regarding the royalty of record sales.

 

Interview: Guitarist Steve Conley from Flotsam and Jetsam

By Andrew Catania

I had a blast with the guys from FloJet.  Here’s my interview with guitarist Steve Conley.

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How long have you been with the band?

Four years now

What were you doing before FloJet?  I played in a group with Dave Ellefson called F5 for a couple of records, and after that was over, and he went back to Megadeth, I was teaching and getting a lot of musician gigs.

Tell me about growing up what your first interest in the guitar was?

Yes, I got a guitar when I was 15 or something like that, but I didn’t start getting serious to where I could play at all until I was like 17 and got an excellent guitar instructor and started studying and from there I had the bug.  When I jumped into it and started taking lessons that are when I dived into it and  cumbersome practice schedule and stuff

Were you playing metal music when you were younger?  How did that go?

I loved and played everything. I had a wide variety of music that I liked.  I had an uncle that was a musician, and he had an impressive record collection.  He’s probably eight years older than me or something like that.  He would leave stuff out for me if I’d go to my grandparent’s and things like that like check out this new Dio record or this new Halen record I was like wow or see this Jeff Beck record.  You know I got interested in a wide variety of stuff Iron Maiden metal stuff and old guitar stuff like Jeff Beck and things like that Van Halen records

Was there a band that you were in?  What was your first band like?

Oh that would be 1992 my first real band when I played in my guitar teacher actually hooked me up with is older brother who was a pretty famous singer in Phoenix and put me in this group with all these guys that were older than me and-and also it was a melodic rock kind of 80’s thing back then so that would be my first real band

Oh wow.  From there did you just do the Phoenix thing?

Oh yes I played with tons of bands in Phoenix

Did you ever make a break for LA?

No, but is it something looking back now that I wish I had done.  The one reason I didn’t is because the kind of guitar style I liked it died in the 90’s like if you made it up to ’92 right after that nobody really wanted you to play guitar anymore you know.  The whole Seattle thing started happening and it was such a downer and I hated that kind of music.   I wouldn’t even buy a record from that era I don’t own one.  So there was really no hope of having any career playing guitar at that point unless you wanted to try to do something you know like everybody else is doing and I really wasn’t that interested in it.  So I just kept playing doing typical work band stuff.  I played in a couple of original bands with heavier stuff and then I picked up a construction job that I made really good money at so I was miserable doing it.  It was one of those things like what are you going to do you know

When you’re talking up to ’92 are we talking about the shred era you’re talking Yngwie,  Vinnie Moore and all of those guys?

All my favorite guy’s yes

Yes because when the polyester phase came in that is when they all died 

Yes .  Those were my favorite you just named them all my favorite guitar players.  Yes, when that stuff kind of all got killed it was like, what are you going to do?

Which one that I mentioned influenced you the most?

When I discovered Yngwie it was by accident you I absolutely when I heard those first two Yngwie records I had never heard of him.  I bought them when I was back in high school.  It was back in the day when you would go to the record store and try something new it was one of those I’m going to try this and see what this is all about you know and when I got home my jaw just dropped I was like are you kidding me?  So those first couple Yngwie records were massive that playing, it was just unheard of at the time

That’s what happened to me.  I was in elementary school at the time.  I saw the Steeler tape and I couldn’t pronounce his name. I was like who is this Yngwie, Steeler album, I’m like who’s Ron Keel?  And I started playing guitar.

Yes well he’s putting them out himself now so you don’t get the big machine behind everybody but I think he has enough hardcore fans from all over that after all these years he’s probably going to keep all the money and do just fine

His records in Japan go big

Yes, they love that kind of stuff over there.  You know he’s arguably one of the most influential guitar players in the world you know and one of the last breed of guitar hero’s.  There’s not a lot of new guys coming up that are going to fit the guitar hero mold because most of it’s been pondered you know.  That guy, he broke the ground you know

Talk about how you first started coming into Flo-Jet.  How did that happen?  Did you seek them out, did they have auditions?

Well they called me I didn’t know any of the guys and I had met Mike Gilbert we played with a mutual friend in Phoenix and I had met him many many years before this one time my friend Marty Lucas was like hey Mike Gilbert this is me and we met at a bar and just when they were playing like while I was there we just had a quick introduction that was it.  Never talked to the guy or saw him again.  So I get a message on Facebook one night and it was Mike Gilbert he said hey man if you don’t mind give me a call I was like ok.  So I gave him a call and  we chatted for a minute and he was pretty polite in the way he went about it.  It was interesting it wasn’t like hey were auditioning, he was like hey would you want to be interested to just come down and jam one night?  I was kind of like huh that’s interesting it was an interesting way to go about it .  I was like yes, you know why don’t you send me over some songs.  And I have to admit I’m a little bit of a risk because I lived in Phoenix with all those guys that obviously know the band  but I hadn’t been following their career per say so I didn’t know what they had been doing recently.  You know I didn’t know much about the band but one of their older guitar player’s Mark Simpson was a friend of mine and over the years we’d see each other but I hadn’t seen him in a long time either so I knew he was playing in the band.  I didn’t really know what was going on with the band if they were still touring or what.  So you know and you know he sent me some songs over and I was like alright I’ll go down.  What do I have to loose you know I said I’ll go down and check it out and see what the deal was?  I guess Kelly told me Mike had asked a bunch of people they were asking about guitar players and they had been auditioning guys and my name kept coming  up through a bunch of people and then Kelly asked Dave Ellefson some names and then Dave referred me and a couple other guy’s and so then that’s what made him call me.  At first I didn’t think I was actually going to do the gig because I was a working musician playing gig’s and I was doing pretty good with teaching and everything and I didn’t know that those guy’s had been recently doing anything or going on tour in Europe or any of that stuff so my girlfriend asked me, “are you going to do that gig, what do you think?”  I’m like I don’t know I’m going to go check it out and we’ll see what happens you know you know Mike seems like a nice guy.  Then she calls me a few minutes later and says hey can you come down to my office I said yes sure and she pulls up a video on Youtube and it’s them playing in an arena in Poland and she says yes you might want to think a little harder about this and I was like wow when was this like 15 years ago and she goes no 3.  I was like oh ok well cool I had no clue.  I was completely removed from you know what was going on in the music world when I was teaching and playing gig’s in Vegas and doing stuff.  I was kind of somewhat if you want to say I was retired.  I did studio engineering stuff and I was a working musician.  I never had any aspirations of getting any phone calls from anybody or anything  I just figured I was kind of done with all that and so it was pretty interesting

When you got on board with them and you recorded the latest album how much did you contribute to it?  

6 songs

Did you provide 6 songs?  Music, lyrics both?

Yes.  Music and a couple of weird ideas as far as titles and concept ideas of you know one of the songs Seventh Seal I wrote the music for and A. K.’s like, I had working titles he’d be like hey if you have a title for something put it on the song.  Because I was at first like no, no that’s your thing you do whatever you want.  But you know we would have riff 15 riffs 18, and everybody was naming their stuff riff’s, and he goes, and that helps us keep track of things you know if you have an idea for a title put it on the song.  So I had some titles, and  that was one of them he goes what does it mean?  Then I sent him the history channel document on the apocalypse and he wrote a whole thing about it so

This album, and I was just telling Mike, I’m not saying anything about their predecessor albums or anything like that but this album is some of the greatest stuff they’ve done since the mid 80’s

Thank you, we appreciate that

It is.  I was listening to it, and you could hear the old Flo-Jet sound in there, and I know it has something to do with him coming back, and he had some of the songs when he left FloJet in ’87.

Oh yes, Michael Spencer.  He had two songs that were old that were old No Place For Disgrace songs

He brought them in, and you could hear the old Flotsam and Jetsam sound in this new album 

Yes well it was interesting because we didn’t write the songs together they’re all written by each guy by themselves

Really?

Yes

I didn’t know that

Yes, we did not get in a room and we did not play them.  We tried it after everybody wrote their ideas, we all have ProTools and stuff, we would send it around and what ended up happening was right before the record we thought it would be a good idea to at least get into a room and see if we could play through the ideas the best we could.  You know we’d try to learn each other’s riff’s and stuff and just see what it felt like to go in and play the riff’s to see if it sounds like one thing on somebody’s demo let’s just see what it’s like to play it.  So we did spend one day where we had one or two day’s where Jason came in and we got together and played through the ideas and A. K. at that point he didn’t even have lyrics.  Some of them he had lyrics to that are not even on the record they were initial ideas.  Sometimes it was just melodies that he was humming a song idea  but other than that everybody wrote the tunes on their own you know

Wow!

And for me, I tried to copy like the album that I really gravitated towards when we were playing live was No Place For Disgrace I really loved that record.  And I didn’t own it but once I started playing the songs this is what I told Mike this is an incredible guitar album like it was my favorite Flotsam record.  It’s my favorite stuff to play that we play the old stuff and when we would go to Europe we would have the conversation about you know they’ve done Ugly Noise and things like that and I had an outside perspective because I wasn’t in the band.  You know at the time I was kind of like I got in the band and we were playing  but I wasn’t a part of any writing we weren’t doing any writing at first for the first three years.  When we go to Europe, all I hear from the fans is about these 2 records.  They want us to be the first two records.  That’s just my opinion.  If you have fans that still listen to your first two records after 30 years have gone by, you should feel honored.

 

I asked Mike this question that I’ll pose to you.  With the new FloJet record, were you trying to get the old sound of the band on this record?

These songs I wrote were mostly old metal sounding songs.  That’s what I wanted. Going through FloJet’s catalog, there’s a lot of diversity there.  That was the stuff that I like the most.  No Place for Disgrace is my favorite album.

How does it feel playing 30 years of FloJet songs?

I don’t mind playing them; They’re great songs.  It’s an honor for participating in the making of the new album.  I wanted to make sure the contribution  I made would be fantastic.

What is your rig?

I’m using the Kemper like Michael is. I use Tom Anderson Guitar cause you could tune up and down on the fly.  I have a Warmoth Guitars that I have for 22 years.  I built it myself.  There’s something about that guitar.

You’re using some old school luthier that you built.

Kemper pedal board too?

Yes.  I have different amps back home.  A couple of old Marshalls.  I watched some videos on the Kemper.  The sound guys love it.

Are you endorsed by anyone?

I used to work for Crank Amp company.  I guess I’m weird like that.  I don’t go out and look for endorsements.   I know how it is on the other side working for Crank Amp Company, guys calling for days looking for a free amp.

Do you have any side projects going on?

No, not that the moment.  I do some writing with different people.  I’ve written two songs for Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime

Reinventing the Future, I wrote with Dave Ellison and the other song I can’t remember.

How did this happen?

Dave Ellison asked if I wanted to write songs for Operation Mindcrime.

What do you think of the current music scene?  Lack of shredders?

The best guitarists have come out from 93 and earlier.   You’ll never see anyone else like that. Now, with YouTube, you can learn how to play any song where back in the day we had to learn the notes.  There’s a ton of YouTube shredders.  You can find a 12-year-old shredder anywhere.  As a teacher, I think this YouTube type of environment has sucked the soul out of the instrument.

This is the best lineup FloJet has had in a while.  I wish you guys the best of luck!

Thank you, Andrew!

 

You can follow Steve at http://www.steveconleyguitar.com/

 

 

Review: Jacky Vincent’s Cry Venom’s New Record Vanquish the Demon

By Andrew Catania

Jacky Vincent is the present-age music sensation that has literally exploded onto the musical horizon, jolting the contemporary trends through his expeditious, reverberating, and swift-sweeping playing techniques. His style stems from its own core, and this is precisely what accentuates his music’s originality.

His technique is an amalgam of nuances and extremity, with blistering effects and chiming sweeps. Besides that, his natural discontentment towards the ordinary trends and humdrum techniques compels him to experiment and play his magic.

Cry Venom employs Jacky’s superior playing with Aleksey Smirnov on vocals, Colton Majors on keyboards, Niko Gemini on bass, and Wyatt Cooper on drums.  Vanquish the Demon is a true power metal record.  It starts right out of the gate with the first single, “Prelude.” Aleksey’s vocals on “Wolfsbane” are incredible with the timing of the keyboards and drums.  “Stronger than Steel” is one of the more aggressive-sounding songs on Vanquish the Demon.

You have twelve songs to indulge yourself in musicianship that doesn’t come around often.  Cry Venom is a better outlet to showcase Jacky Vincent‘s superior guitar playing.  Welcome to the new age of Power Metal with Vanquish the Demon.  8/10 stars.

Follow Cry Venom

@Cryvenomofficial
Email : cryvenomcontact@gmail.com
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Nuno Bettencourt – Extreme’s Shredder

By Andrew Catania

 

Starting his career as the lead guitarist of the Boston funk metal band Extreme, Nuno Bettencourt is a Portuguese-born American guitarist, singer-songwriter, and record producer. His musical career rose to international prominence in 1985 after he joined the Extreme as a lead guitarist. From there he made a lot of mark on the music industry, from founding four different musical bands to designing The N-Series Guitars. Nuno Bettencourt is a Rockstar that actually rocks.

Nuno Bettencourt was born on the 20th of September, 1966 in Praia da Vitoria, Terceira, Azores, Portugal but grew up on the Main Street in Hudson, Massachusetts. As a boy growing up, Bettencourt was more into sports than music, he spent most of his leisure time playing soccer and hockey. His interest in music started growing when he started playing drums, which is his first musical instrument. Noticing his dedication and passion for sounds, his brother, Luís started teaching him the guitar. According to him, he didn’t realize how much he loves guitar till he started playing with his brother.

Nuno Bettencourt joined Extreme as a guitar player in 1985.  Extreme is a Boston-area musical band, made up of four members including Bettencourt as the lead guitarist, Gary Cherone, lead vocals, Pat Badger as the bass player and has Paul Geary for drums. Shortly after Bettencourt joined the group, Extreme got signed by A&M Records and they released their debut record in 1989. Some of Extreme’s major hits include the acoustic ballad “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted” from the album Pornograffitti. The two songs made #1 and #4, respectively, on the 1991 Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Pornograffitti album also contains one of the most impressive guitar solo of all time, the “Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee” inspired by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Extreme released another two albums and broke up in 1996 when Bettencourt left to follow a solo career. The band reformed in 2007 with exception of Paul Geary and releases another album “Saudades de Rock” in 2008.

Nuno Bettencourt entered an endorsement contract with Washburn Guitars in 1990 that lead to the design of Nuno Bettencourt very own signature guitar line The N-Series Guitars. Models from the N-Series Guitar line include The N5 and N6 and the famous N4 which is still used by the artist.

Nuno Bettencourt continues to be active in the music industry. One of his most recent collaborations was with Rihanna on her new album “Anti” in 2016. He has earlier worked with Rihanna on two of her albums; “Loud” in 2010 and “Talk that talk” in 2011. Along the way, after Extreme band broke up, Bettencourt form and founded four different bands including The Mourning Widows, Population 1, DramaGods, and The Satellite Party. He has writing and recording engagements with a lot of artists including Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton, Joe Jonas, Steel Panther, Rihanna and numerous others.  Nuno Bettencourt also joined Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde and others for the Generation Axe Tour which toured in the spring of 2016.  Nuno continues to be one of the top guitarists in rock today.

 

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Interview with Guitarist Fulvio Carlini from Sixty Miles Ahead

By Andrew Catania

Fulvio Carlini has a bright future.  A guitarist for the hard rock band Sixty Miles Ahead out of Italy.  An endorsement from Dean Guitars, and a band that seems to have a bright future with their upcoming record release on October 21, 2016 via Eclipse Records.  Fulvio has a condition called Dystonia.  After reading about his condition, I was wondering how he was playing the guitar with such resilience.  Fulvio gave me a more in depth look at Dystonia:

It’s a life-changing neurological movement disorder. Basically you’re not in control of your muscles anymore, in my case especially when I try to do precise movements with my right hand/arm and sometimes my right leg/foot. It results in having painful cramps and my limbs twisted to abnormal positions. It has no cure at the moment…hopefully it will be found soon, and I’m looking forward for that day to come 🙂

When I was diagnosed with this condition I was scared. Obviously fear is the first thing that comes to my mind thinking about those days, but I was also angry. It took almost a year to get the diagnosis (which is less than what it usually takes) and by that time it was almost impossible for me to play for more than 5 minutes. I thought that my career as a guitar player was over, and worst of all I felt different. I felt like I was not worth being near other people and not good enough for anything. It’s very hard to explain, but not being able to do normal things like writing or cooking or having a shower is something that can make you feel worthless. I lost my self-esteem and fell into a sort of depression.  Luckily I had and still have amazing band mates, great friends and the most wonderful girlfriend I could ever think of. I don’t know how I got through that period, but thanks to them I made it. Now I’m slowly learning how to deal with it, both physically and mentally. It’s not easy, but I know I can do it. I can give my best and be who I am in my own way. Michael J. Fox said something amazing about this: “acceptance doesn’t mean resignation. It means understanding that something is what it is and there’s got to be a way through it”

Right now I’m trying different therapies with my doctor: sometimes they work better than other times. But no matter which pill I take or which result has the therapy, I have to stay positive and think positive even when it’s hard to do.”

Fulvio’s amazing recovery in dealing with this condition has made him shred guitar with ease.  I asked Fulvio what his current rig consists of:

“My rig: well, my rig is very very simple. When I play live I use my twins Dean guitar (Cadillac Jekyll&Hide – I customized them, but there’s no J&H signature model in stores) Marshall JCM2000 100 watts and Marshall/Laney 4×12 cabinet. I have a tuner, Mar micro amp and Boss digital delay DD3. I’m one of those who don’t really like to carry more than the necessary on the road. My guitar tech Moreno keeps testing new products for me but every time I try to add something new it doesn’t feel the same. I don’t know if it’s good or bad but right now I don’t need anything else in my rig.

I use 0.11/0.54 Ernie ball string on both my guitars. The black one has a drop c tuning, the white one is tuned a half step down. I really like my two twins, they’re probably the best guitars I’ve ever had. 
I also use tortex triangle 1.14 picks.

For the “Insanity tour” I will probably use a line6 g30 wireless system.”

Check out Sixty Miles Ahead new record from Eclipse Records on October 21, 2016 via streaming services, Amazon, and other online outlets.

sixty-miles-ahead-insanity-album-cover-1600x1600

Sixty Miles Ahead are a hard rock band hailing from the suburbs of Milan, Italy. Formed in 2011, the quartet has proven to be one of the most interesting outfits in their country, thanks to their impactful, captivating sound and their ability to hybridize hard rock canons with fresh solutions stemming from melodic heavy metal and a hint of contemporary rock. So far Sixty Miles Ahead have released two studio recordings, harvesting highly favorable reviews from all around the globe. The band’s intense live activity has seen them perform alongside the cream of the Italian hard rock scene, as well as international giants such as Richie Kotzen and Tygers of Pan Tang.

After a summer of composing and experimenting, the band released their 2011 debut EP “Blank Slate”, which exemplified how 21st century hard’n’heavy music should be done. Throughout the year, they performed many shows, and build a loyal following locally and internationally. The opening track “Polite Conversations” (also the band’s first video clip) piqued the interest of Italian music channel Rock TV, which invited them to perform a live-in-studio broadcast television performance in Italy. In 2012, the band released their debut full-length album “Millions of Burning Flames” via German label, Antstreet Records. This twelve-song album marked another step forward in terms of songwriting and boldness. The album received much critical acclaim from both old-school hard rock fans and modern metal heads with an open mind. Powerful catchy vocal melodies delivered by vocalist Sandro Casali, are paired with first-class riffing and exquisite solos by axeman Fulvio Carlini, both of which are sustained by the valuable rhythmic work of Luca Caserini. Even the most careless listen to the four singles selected from the record testifies to the extent of the band’s musical spectrum.

At some point in 2015 the band parted ways with Antstreet Records, and former bass player David Bosio made way for long-time fan and friend Francesco Li Donni. The band began recording new material, and started searching for a new label to call home. Shortly after the album was finished, Sixty Miles Ahead was signed to Eclipse Records (Mushroomhead, Bobaflex, A Breach of Silence). At this point the four-piece seems unstoppable and the band is ready to meet and shake the global rock scene with their new full-length album entitled “Insanity”. Sixty Miles Ahead are set to show the world (once again), that they mean business… Stand up and get ready to rock, because your ears are in for a treat!

‘Insanity’ is scheduled for release worldwide October 21, 2016.

 

 

www.Facebook.com/sixtymilesahead

www.Twitter.com/sixtymilesahead

www.eclipserecords.com/sixty-miles-ahead

Are Bands Exploiting Their Fan Base Through Meet and Greets?

By Andrew Catania

This does not date back to decades but only a couple of years when crazy fans and music enthusiasts would try sneaking in behind the stage to catch a glimpse of their favorite music idol. And if they got lucky, click a photograph with them, brag about it in the circle of friends and family, and preserve it to show it to their grandchildren.
Later, as the music and showbiz industry took a creative-cum-commercial turn, many musicians, celebrities, and bands adopted it as a strategy to offer a lucky one, a chance to meet and click a picture with them after the concert.
This was something that the entire music world, including the artists and the crazy fans, went gaga over. It started as a mere advertising and promotional tactic, for musicians and bands wanted to lure more people into buying their concert tickets, and for fans, who would excitedly hope to be the chosen one. However, the stunt soon took a commercial turn. The celebrity management and music and showbiz marketing agencies soon detected the additional potential profit that could be slipped out of their fan’s pockets. And hence, started the concept of VIP tickets and the ‘sweet sounding’ meets and greets, a mere piece of paper costing a fortune that made you eligible for front rows or a spot closest to your favorite idol.
For those who don’t know, a meet and greet isn’t anything like a warm and friendly chit chat with your favorite singer, telling him how much you have adored him since your childhood, over a cup of cappuccino, and clicking a picture, in the end, to commemorate and cherish for a lifetime.
It is a long queue of hundreds of enthusiasts like you, who have dusted their pockets off to pay, only to shake hands and click a selfie or a picture of your favorite icon, that shows him/her flaunting a perfectly cosmetic smile or a pose in which he’s not even looking at you.
Today, music bands charge as much as $800 to $1500 and more for a mere click, in the name of meets and greets. Most of the time, the idea and activity are planned and managed by a PR or record label agency or the concert organizers. The exuberant price of these meet and greets cumulates to turn into millions that are shared in preset proportions by the singer or the band, the PR or adverting agency and the record label company. Hence, there’s barely any logic left to explain selling a brand on such preposterous prices and to advocate that it is okay to charge a blatantly high amount from those who can afford. What else could it be called other than an obnoxious business stunt and pure exploitation?
Technology, personal music gadgets, privacy breaches and illegal distribution of records have altogether cast a great cut down in the records sales. An individual is more likely to listen to the song on Sound Cloud or watch the video on YouTube, than dropping into a music store to buy the DVD. This is the prime reason that artists, bands, musicians, and singers are always on tours and they have the whole year’s concerts planned in advanced since this is the only way to make some profit and to make up for the high amount invested in the production of a music record. From this perspective, keeping the ethics aside, it sounds just business-like, as just another money making strategy. However, for this, a musician or band must have a sound and extensive fan base willing to pay.
The fans’ perspective varies in this context. It is mostly acceptable to the ‘diehard fans with massive pockets’ to spend for a picture with the idol. Even those who cannot afford to purchase these pricey meet and greets often wish to ‘buy’ the chance when their pockets are loaded. However, many others state it as pure exploitation and an immoral manipulation of the fandom.

The truth of the matter is that it is a mere money making stunt, and no matter how hard it is for you to swallow, your favorite icon and your idol too gets a share of the amount you have paid. However, the question that arises here is not if it is okay for those who can afford to spend on these meet and greets. The point to ponder here is:

“If someone charges you to meet them, do they deserve to be met?”

Jacky Vincent – Cry Venom’s Master Shredder of the New Generation

By Andrew Catania

Jacky Vincent is an English performer who was the lead guitarist and support vocalist of the American post-hardcore band Falling in Reverse from its arrangement until his takeoff in 2015 is and the present guitarist of the rock band Cry Venom. Vincent has one solo collection album titled “Star X Speed Story“, discharged in 2013 through Shrapnel Records.

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Falling In Reverse’s previous bass player, Nason Schoeffler, found Vincent through MySpace in mid-2008, Jacky was then requested to join. Vincent is a unique individual from the band. Other than his work with Falling in Reverse he has likewise discharged a performance collection called “Star X Speed Story” under Shrapnel Records. The 13 tracks in length collection are created without anyone else and highlight a couple of different guitarists and also a couple of his band individuals. Vincent was roused by guitarists, for example, Paul Gilbert, Michael Angelo Batio, Jason Becker, Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai.

Vincent joined Falling in Reverse in 2008 as an establishing individual from the band. They discharged their presentation collection, ‘The Drug in Me Is You’, on July 26, 2011, which peaked at number 19 on the Billboard 200, offering 18,000 copies in its first week of offers. Falling in Reverse’s second studio collection, ‘Fashionably Late‘, was discharged on June 18, 2013, which topped at number 17 on the Billboard 200. The band discharged their third studio collection, ‘Just Like You’ on February 24, 2015. On  October 30, 2015, Vincent left the band on great terms to concentrate on his solo profession.

In 2016, Vincent framed Cry Venom with bassist Niki Gemini, keyboardist Colton Majors, lead vocalist Aleksey Smirnov and drummer Wyatt Cooper.  It is Vincent’s first band since his takeoff from Falling in Reverse in 2015.

Jacky Vincent has already utilized Jackson guitars as his fundamental instruments and claims 1 Dinky and 2 Soloists. Be that as it may, he is presently supported by Dean Guitars. Jacky Vincent now has 2 signature Dean Guitars.  One in which is the principle guitar he employments. It comes in purple, has 24 worries, has EMG pickups, and has a Floyd Rose special. The particulars of his mark guitar are recorded on the Dean Guitars site.

Jacky Vincent’s performances are regularly quick. He fundamentally utilizes clear picking blended with tapping in his performances.

He likewise utilizes quick legato keeps running as a part of melodies like “Farewell Graceful” and “Get The Phone” and “Destined to Lead“. Jacky additionally expresses that his greatest impacts were his father, sibling and hair metal groups. Jacky’s sibling made sense of how to tap on the guitar, as clarified in his Alternative Press Interview.

To conclude, Jacky Vincent is the true meaning of a modern day epic musician and guitarist. His playing style, skills, and energy are indeed second to none and always possess the capability to enchant and amaze listeners all around the world.

 

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Simona Soddu – Italy’s Young Shredder

By Andrew Catania

It’s exceptional that there’s many up and coming female guitarists.  Meet Simona Soddu.  Simona caught my eye when I was watching her YouTube videos.  Her acoustic version of Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls is phenomenal.  Influenced by John Petrucci, John 5, and Nuno Bettencourt, Simona showcases her talent through the passion you can hear in her playing.  Here’s some more information on Simona.

Simona Soddu was born in Cagliari (Italy), where she currently lives. She started playing guitar at the age of 13, learning from her brother first and then by taking private lessons from Brian Maillard (Solid Vision, Dominici).
In her teens, her main band was Grim Drowsiness (death melodic/prog metal), with whom she played live intensively and recorded a demo in 2009. During the summer of the same year she toured with Brian Maillard’s trio (progressive metal) to promote his first instrumental album called Melody in Captivity. Her role was to play the rhythm guitar parts. Between 2009 and 2011 she collaborated with Magic Salad (folk-rock) recording some guitar
parts in their first album “Every Forest has its Shadows” and playing with them in several live shows. Afterwards, she appeared as guest musician in the rock-opera ‘Checkmate‘ by D.G.I., performing the guitar solo on track 7. Between 2013 and 2014 she recorded her first instrumental solo album ‘Leftovers’ and started to actively run her YouTube channel with over 300 thousand views.
 ‘Leftovers’ is a collection of 11 instrumental tracks entirely composed by Simona Soddu during her whole music growth. All of these compositions were never been released for different reasons: some of them were supposed to be in the first album of her death melodic metal band Grim Drowsiness that eventually split up; others were rejected at the time; and some others were not suitable for the genre of the band she had at the moment of their conception. Thus after a while Simona decided to recover all of these ideas, literally “leftovers”, re-arrange them and put them together in this album. This is the reason why metal tones are often alternated to clean sounds or relaxed rhythms and the genre of Leftovers is overall highly diversified.
Simona recorded all the guitar and bass parts. The drums, as well as the keyboards, were written by Simona and emulated with a sample software, except for track 2, 4, 8 and 10 where drums were played by Davide Sgualdini who also co-produced, engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered the album. ‘Leftovers’ was released on November 14th 2015.

Simona is a talented player, who exuberates sounds of Satriani, and her influences of John 5 and Petrucci.

‘Leftovers’ is available on Spotify, ITunes, and Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0brtvs9gOj7J4Sx-y5iqHg

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George Lynch – Mr Scary of the Axe

By Andrew Catania

 
georgelynch-1 Gеоrgе Lуnсh iѕ оnе оf thе mоѕt recognizable nаmеѕ in thе world of hеаvу mеtаl guitar. With a саrееr spanning mоrе than thirtу years, George has rесоrdеd mоrе thаn twеntу albums, toured thе еntirе glоbе mаnу timеѕ, аnd iѕ thе оnе оf thе most rесоgnizаblе еndоrѕееѕ of thе wоrld’ѕ finеѕt guitars аnd еԛuiрmеnt.

Gеоrgе Lуnсh began learning to рlау guitar at thе аgе оf 10. A nаturаllу giftеd muѕiсiаn, his guitаr рlауing ԛuiсklу рrоgrеѕѕеd аnd became a сrеаtivе outlet for him during hiѕ tееnаgе years реrfоrming with several bаndѕ, mоѕt nоtаblу Sеrgеаnt Rосkѕ.

In thе late 1970ѕ, George mоvеd to Lоѕ Angеlеѕ, California where he formed twо bаndѕ, The Bоуz and Xсitеr. With Xсitеr, Gеоrgе’ѕ tесhniсаl аbilitiеѕ and uniԛuе style wаѕ a vеrу important drаw tо the bаnd’ѕ fаn bаѕе. Plауing the L.A. сlub сirсuit, it wаѕ сlеаr thаt hе wаѕ аlrеаdу taking the nесеѕѕаrу ѕtерѕ thаt would lеаd him tо ѕuссеѕѕ in thе 1980ѕ аnd hiѕ partnership with legendary bаnd Dоkkеn.

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Whеn Gеоrgе Lynch jоinеd Dokken in the early 1980’ѕ, success саmе very quickly. As hiѕtоrу proves, muсh of thе bаnd’ѕ аlbum ѕаlеѕ аnd credibility iѕ the rеѕult оf Gеоrgе Lynch’s guitаr аbilitiеѕ аnd ѕоngwriting. With Dоkkеn, Lуnсh recorded fivе albums frоm 1983 to 1988, аll of whiсh did remarkably wеll in thе Unitеd Stаtеѕ, Eurоре and Asia. This wоrldwidе ѕuссеѕѕ mаdе George Lynch one оf the mоѕt influential rock guitаriѕtѕ in mоdеrn muѕiс, еvеn еаrning thе bаnd a Grammy nоminаtiоn in 1989 fоr Best Rock Inѕtrumеntаl. 1989 was also thе уеаr thе Gеоrgе раrtеd ways with Dokken аnd bеgаn the new dесаdе with a diffеrеnt аррrоасh…еntеr Lynch Mоb.

Bу thе early 1990ѕ Gеоrgе hаd bесоmе a mаrԛuее guitаr hеrо throughout thе world. Aѕ a rеѕult, wоrking with  Lynch Mоb wаѕ a highlу scrutinized аnd аntiсiраtеd project. In juѕt three уеаrѕ, Lуnсh Mоb rеlеаѕеd two rесоrdѕ and hit the rоаd on two wоrldwidе tоurѕ. Aftеr the ѕесоnd tоur’ѕ completion, Lуnсh tооk hiаtuѕ and retreated tо thе ѕtudiо tо сrаft hiѕ firѕt ѕоlо recordings.

Sасrеd Grооvе,” Lуnсh’ѕ firѕt ѕоlо еndеаvоr was rеlеаѕеd in 1993. Fоr thе firѕt timе in his саrееr, he wаѕ аblе tо display a broader аѕѕоrtmеnt оf musical and guitаr ѕtуlеѕ. The “Sасrеd Groove” аlbum clearly еѕtаbliѕhеd Lуnсh аѕ аn есlесtiс muѕiсiаn with a volume оf eccentric work. Hаving ѕаtiѕfiеd thiѕ еndеаvоr, Gеоrgе Lуnсh tооk ѕеvеrаl уеаrѕ оff tо ѕреnd timе with hiѕ children аnd еnjоу life in Arizоnа. That wаѕ until a call frоm an old friend саmе in 1994.

Fоllоwing his dераrturе, Dоkkеn hаd reformed without the use of Gеоrgе Lуnсh, but whеn thе rесоrd соmраnу rеfuѕеd to rеlеаѕе a nеw Dokken rесоrd without Lynch, рhоnе calls wеrе made in lаtе 1994. Lynch came in tо fulfill thе rеԛuеѕtѕ оf thе record соmраnу and rоund twо with the bаnd bеgаn. Sооn to follow were twо mоrе Dоkkеn records and thrее more уеаrѕ оf touring thе globe.

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By 1998, Lуnсh finiѕhеd hiѕ соmmitmеnt with Dokken аnd ѕеt оut to wоrk with Lуnсh Mob. Thiѕ rеѕultеd in “Smoke This,” аn аlbum thаt featured a сulminаtiоn оf hiѕ playing styles, but with a nеw аррrоасh. Thе 1999 tоur thаt fоllоwеd brought Gеоrgе’ѕ playing tо a nеw audience аnd rеѕultеd in a rеnеwеd interest in thе bаnd аnd Gеоrgе Lуnсh’ѕ influеnсе. With nеw соnfidеnсе, George began working with fоrmеr Dоkkеn bаnd mаtе bassist Jеff Pilson оn what wаѕ tо become a lеngthу album titlеd “Wicked Undеrgrоund.” Which wаѕ соmрlеtеd undеr thе nаmе LP (Lynch/Pilson) аnd dеlivеrеd tо ѕtоrеѕ in Aрril 2003.

Also in 2003, Lуnсh bеgаn rеwоrking thе sound оf earlier Lynch Mоb аnd Dоkkеn material. Tо соmрlеtе thiѕ tаѕk, Gеоrgе rе-аѕѕеmblеd Mоb bаnd members, Robert Mаѕоn аnd Anthony Esposito, аlоng with Michael Frоwеin оn drumѕ. Tоgеthеr, they rеinvеntеd the ѕрirit аnd firе of early Lуnсh соmроѕitiоnѕ onto аn аlbum titlеd, “REVоlutiоn,” which was аlѕо rеlеаѕеd in 2003. Thе guitаr wоrk on both “Wicked Undеrgrоund” аnd “REVolution” demonstrated Lуnсh’ѕ соnѕiѕtеnсу with his ѕignаturе sound while bаlаnсing a mоrе еxреrimеntаl ѕidе.

In 2012 Gеоrgе released 3 ѕuссеѕѕful аlbumѕ via Rаt Pak Records, “Legacy” an аll instrumental EP, Lynch MobSound Mоuntаin Sessions” and T&NSlаvе Tо Thе Emрirе” that featured оriginаl Dokken mеmbеrѕ Jeff Pilѕоn аnd Miсk Brown along with a hоѕt of оthеr guest singers including Sеbаѕtiаn Bach, Tim “Ripper” Owens, dUg Pinnick аnd Wаrrаnt ѕingеr Rоbеrt Mаѕоn)  & the album  fеаturеѕ remakes оf 5 classic Dоkkеn ѕоngѕ and 7 new оriginаl ѕоngѕ.

In 2014 George rеlеаѕеd Lynch MоbUnрluggеd – Livе Frоm Sugаr Hill Studiоѕ(Rat Pаk Rесоrdѕ) аn аll-асоuѕtiс performance оf thеir сlаѕѕiс hitѕ. In 2013 Gеоrgе fоrmеd KXM a super-group trio that fеаturеd King’ѕ X frоnt man dUg Pinniсk аnd Kоrn drummеr Rау Luziеr. Thеir debut album rеlеаѕеd in Mаrсh оn Rat Pаk Records аnd lаndеd #31 оn thе Billboard tор 200. Lаtеr thаt year in December, George hit #6 оn thе Billbоаrd Hаrd Rосk Albumѕ сhаrt with thе сritiсаllу ассlаimеd Lynch MоbSun Rеd Sun” (аlѕо оn Rаt Pаk Rесоrdѕ) that fеаturеd Oni Lоgаn, Robbie Crаnе and Scot Coogan.

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January of 2015 Gеоrgе Lуnсh rеlеаѕеd album Sweet Lynch, “Onlу tо Rise” fеаturing Miсhaеl Sweet оf “Strуреr”.   In July Gеоrgе rеlеаѕеd the аlbum “Shadow Train” the movie ѕоund trасk оf his forth соming dосumеntаrу film “Shаdоw Nаtiоn”.

Dokken is reuniting in Japan for six shows titled “Unleashed in the East.” starting October 5th, 2016.

George Lynch iѕ аlwауѕ еvоlving аѕ a musician. And with the Gеоrgе Lynch guitаr legacy соmеѕ rеmаrkаblе business орроrtunitiеѕ. Many musical instrument mаnufасturеrѕ consult with Gеоrgе сrеаtivеlу tо produce еԛuiрmеnt. As a rеѕult, mаnу quality products bеаr his nаmе.

The mоѕt nоtаblе iѕ his еndоrѕеmеnt with ESP Guitаrѕ. ESP hаѕ hеld George аѕ their highest рrоfilеd еndоrѕеr for сlоѕе tо 20 years. Electric guitаr pickup guru Seymour Duncan has also hоnоrеd Gеоrgе with hiѕ оwn signature ѕеriеѕ рiсkuр called thе “Screamin’ Dеmоn.” Now a highlу rеgаrdеd ѕtаndаrd in thе guitar world, thе “Screamin’ Dеmоn” rеignѕ as оnе of Sеуmоur Dunсаn’ѕ mоѕt popular itеmѕ to date. Gеоrgе аlѕо соnсеivеd thе design fоr a triрlе amp selector switching system called thе “Tripler” which iѕ mаnufасturеd bу Morley. Amеriсаn Rесоrding Tесhnоlоgу mаnufасturеѕ аnd distributes the Gеоrgе Lynch Signаturе guitаr, раtсh and ѕреаkеr cables. In 2005, Rаndаll Amрlifiеrѕ revealed a nеw George Lуnсh modular amp called the “Lуnсh Bоx.” Alѕо оf note, Gеоrgе Lynch and Robert Kееlеу hаvе developed thе Lуnсh Time Machine, a uniԛuе аnd powerful еffесt unit that iѕ gаining a lоt of intеrеѕt аnd momentum within thе guitаr industry.

SOME OTHER EQUIPMENT USED BY GEORGE LYNCH

  • The Kamikaze mоdеl, bаѕеd оn hiѕ first ESP guitar
  • Thе Tiger mоdеl, a hоmеmаdе Strat constructed frоm a ѕtосk of parts George bоught frоm Chаrvеl in the 1980ѕ
  • The Skull & Snаkеѕ, a design later used fоr the Lynch Mob “Wicked Sensation” аlbum artwork
  • The Flame Bоу, bаѕеd on аn ESP Forest dеѕign
  • The Nеw Suреr V, whiсh inсludеѕ diѕtrеѕѕеd hardware and fеаturеѕ аnd a nеw “Suреr V” рiсkuр
  • Thе Ultrа Tоnе, the firѕt ESP guitаr thаt Gеоrgе designed himѕеlf
  • Thе Sеrреnt, an ESP model released аnd uѕеd in thе 1990ѕ
  • Chаrvеl Dinky Tiger (mаin guitar until аbоut 1986)
  • Krаmеr Baretta (аlѕо used реriоdiсаllу in Dоkkеn’ѕ еаrlу dауѕ)
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