I usually don’t post so many videos in one day, but I heard this version of Red House when I was listening to Pandora radio today, so I had to see if was on YouTube with video – and it was! This is an amazing version of Hendrix on Red House, it’s a reminder to all you young bucks what a clean guitar can do – the tone and the sound is largely derived from your fingers, vibrator, and pick. With some of the younger generation it’s a little bit of a lost art to learn to play this way, but not everything needs to be “distorted” to the max. Watch this video and learn from the master!
I have a select few guitarists that are my absolute all-time list of ‘favorites’ and Nuno is one of them. You may remember Nuno from the band “Extreme” in the 80’s, and if you’ve played guitar since that time you know as a player, that his songs are something you just don’t try to play. You just don’t. You only listen. Nuno is a player with his own style, a syncopated rhthym that’s harder to player than most guitarist’s lead. A style so unique, so fast, so clean – so incredibly “guitar god-like”. In my book it takes a very unique and talented guitarist to make my all-time best list, and that very, very short list includes greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, and yes – Nuno Bettencourt. Enjoy these videos!
This is classic Nuno acoustic prob from the early nineties, Nuno’s solo piece “Midnight Express”:
Here’s Nuno’s almost 8 minute long electric solo from The Beacon in 1993 – stunning performance:
Before I plugged into this amp for the first time – I’d never heard of the “B-52” brand. I almost didn’t try it out, figuring it was another Randall or Crate wannabe budget brand. But I overheard this other guy going on and on and on about this “triple rectifier”, and the curiosity got the best of me. The AT-100 I tried out was plugged into an AT-412 100W cabinet. This is by far the most versatile amp you’ll ever play. I own several Marshalls, and have played many Fender classic amps. I’ve often wished that you could get both types of amps in one box without doing and electronic “modeling”. This is the first amp I’ve ever seen that does that. It’s got 3 channels, screaming overdrive tones, creamy blues licks, and classic (I mean classic) clean “Fender” tone. This amp is tight, it’s the bomb, the best of breed for any style you can think of from funk, to blues, or metal, classic rock, country – you name it! The closest thing you can get to this is a Mesa Boogie “dual rectifier” and it’s like $2,800.00! I’m sorry, for under $700, no other amp brand can even come close to what this thing can do. The ONLY flaw I could find is that this things gets VERY hot. All you gotta do (and many guys in Harmony Central mentioned this) is put one of those small clip-on fans on the back as a little added protection. Other than that – you gotta plug in and get one of these B-52 amps soon, before word gets out and the price goes way up!
YouTube has so many great guitar videos – both performance and lessons. Sometimes you can find all kinds of weird stuff you didn’t even know existed. I think that Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top is one of the most underrated guitar players out there. He is an awesome blues guitar player. I often find that many people don’t know much about ZZ Top other than “Sharp Dressed Man” or “Legs”. Once the 80’s and music videos hit, they put out some songs with sequencer, synthesizer, or keyboard that made them more “commercial”. They had a whole decade of albums before that of incredible blues-rock songs like Tush, LaGrange, Waiting for the Bus, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Just Got Paid, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers, Tube Snake Boogie, Blue Jean Blues, and lots more. Whether you’ve been playing for a year or all your life – watch this 6 minute video lesson by Billy Gibbons, you just may learn a new lick!
Remember the 80’s? Those were the days – of hair metal, decadence, and debauchery. And the days when the Guitar Gods walked the earth. There were so many, and so many posers as well. One of my favorite bands was Dokken, and the lead guitar player George Lynch was one of the most technically brilliant guitar gods of that era. Sometimes I wonder with a lot of these bands and guitar players – where are they now? Well, since the 80’s George has toured the world many times, both by himself and with Dokken, and he’s done hundreds of guitar clinics and shows, and put out many guitar lesson videos, in addition to several solo projects. Let’s watch George in action and let his fingers do the talking!
George Lynch Warming Up Backstage Video – 1988
George Lynch in the Studio Video – late 80’s
George Lynch Breath and a Scream Video – 2007?
George Lynch Live in Japan Video – 1995
Got a favorite video of your guitar god? Like these videos? Leave a comment now!
Van Halen is on tour with David Lee Roth – something that we as fans never thought we’d see. We also didn’t think that we’d see Eddie’s son Wolfgang on the bass in place of Michael Anthony! In my area the tickets for the new Van Halen shows sold out in record time – I didn’t even have a chance. All I can hope for now is either some free tickets in a radio contest – or getting some at a VERY high price on eBay. But until then (and in case you didn’t get your tickets) – I want you to watch this last Van Halen rehearsal video of 2007 on YouTube – even after all these years Ed is one of the most incredible guitar players on the planet!
As a guitar player, one of the things you’ll spend most on over a lifetime (and nearly every month or two) are strings. I’ve known a lot of guitar players, and most have a favorite brand and gauge string – and getting someone to switch is much akin to getting a smoker to switch brands of cigarettes. Most players have found what they like, and they want to stick to it. But given a compelling reason to try something new, many will give another brand a chance. I think for some players the deciding factor is also money. When strapped for cash, if you see a deal on string you think might work – you’ll probably pick ’em up.
I read a few short articles a few years back that talked about nickel strings, and how much better the tone was. At the time I was into finding the right tone, so I set out to find and try some nickel strings. I was using regular Gibson stainless steel strings, and switched to Fender 150’s ball end nickel plated strings. I saw a noticeable difference right away. The strings were easier to bend, the high’s were clearer, the sustain was better, and the overall sound was noticeably better. In my opinion, when you put on a fresh set of nickel plated strings the sound is very, very bright. I’ve been buying the Fender 150’s nickel plated (10’s) for about 2-3 years now. I always bought the original ball end kind. When they were out of stock I switched to the “bullet” style. For my style of playing (classic rock, blues) the bullet ends always ended up breaking 2-3 weeks in. The ball ends seldom did that.
Recently I need to buy some more strings and my local guitar shop and Guitar Center were both out of the ball and bullet ended Fender 150’s. I was just going to buy a dozen sets online from someone, but I needed to have at least one set that day. I had a gig coming up and I knew that they needed to be changed before the others would arrive in the mail. Now, when I first read about nickel strings I could only find nickel plated. I never could find ALL nickel strings. That day I was at Guitar Center and pressed for time, and the guy behind the counter showed me a pack of “DR Strings”, the “Pure Blues” kind. He told me that they were 100% nickel strings (not nickel wound), and that they had a “round” core instead of “hex”. Supposedly the round core strings bend easier and resist breaking better.
I am pretty pessimistic and hesitate to listen to most salemans BS. But I tried this brand nonetheless. I have to say after putting them on and playing them the last several weeks – these strings are brighter, more toneful, bend easier, and for some reason (so far) they don’t get as dirty either (after a gig). I like this brand so much, I went back to GC and bought 4 more sets yesterday.
Now before I let you go listening to only more sole opinion, I’m going to leave you with some factual information about nickel guitar strings. In April 2007, Guitar Player wrote an article about the historical background of nickel plated strings that you should read…here is just a brief excerpt:
By the 1950s, widespread implementation of magnetic pickups in electric guitars had led string manufacturers to experiment with Monel steel, stainless steel 430, chrome, nickel, and other materials with more desirable magnetic properties than previously used materials such as bronze and brass. Nickel was found to not only possess a balanced and pleasing tone, it was also easier on frets, and, perhaps most importantly, it produced less distortion.
You can make up your own mind by buying and trying a set of DR Pure Blues guitar strings right now:
Gauges 10-13-17-26-36-46. Pure Blues electric guitar strings from DR Strings are designed with pure nickel wrap wire, roundwound upon round cores. While this is a slow, expensive method of string making, it does produce a guitar string acclaimed for increased sustain, vintage tone, and great low tones for playing music from rhythm to lead. The extra step of winding pure nickel around a round core give Pure Blues strings a punch that players say they are surprised to get in a vintage electric guitar string. Sounds great on any guitar!
Agile guitars are a perfect alternative to Gibson Les Paul and Epiphone Les Paul electric guitars. They are much cheaper – and the quality is much better!
**UPDATED* April 2008
I’ve just updated this post and republished it with new info based on the fact that I purchased an Agile 3100 a few months back. The details are at the end of this post…
I don’t know if you’ve heard of Agile Guitars or not, but if you haven’t you’re missing out. I love American made Gibson guitars (don’t we all?), but not everyone can afford the $2-3,000 price tag that comes with it. Everyone wants the features that come along with it…quality, reliability, tone, looks, playability, etc. Of course there’s an entire industry built around copying these famous guitars – the most notable being the Epiphone brand (which Gibson owns). I’ve already written a post about why I hate Epiphone guitars. Mainly it’s because of the shoddy workmanship and quality. I would gladly pay $500-$600 for an Epiphone Les Paul provided it was wired right and I could gig it out without worrying about something going bad on it. Correct me if I’m wrong – but I think Epiphone’s are made in either China or Taiwan.
I’ve read a great deal about import guitars online and hundreds of reviews. The concensus seems to be that in the area of import (non American made) guitars, the highest quality seems to be coming from Korea. This is where I believe the ESP imports are made that seem to be getting rave reviews. Anyway, Agile guitars are an import ‘copy’ brand made in Korea. It seems at the current time the only retailer in the U.S. for them is Rondo Music on the East Coast. If you read some of the Harmony Central Reviews for Agile Guitars, you’ll find that they seem to score unusually high – primarily between 9 and 10 (out of 10). Reading the reviews you’ll see many comments that talk about the AL-2500, AL-2800, AL-3000, and AL-3100 models all being significantly better than Epiphone Les Paul’s in fit, finish, sound, and overall quality.
They have so many models you have lots of choices, and the upper end models even have Grover Tunes, solid mahogany bodies, and alnico pickups. I have talked to several people in other bands who own an Agile LP and they wouldn’t give it up for the world. Some say that the AL LP copy series are even better than the real thing. These guitars go for $300-$400 (which is a steal for their quality), and Rondo Music sells them on their web site, but also on eBay as well. So when you look on eBay you find both new ones through Rondo, as well as used ones sold by individuals. I should mention that they also sell many other copy models, like telecasters, stats, brian may copies, PRS copies, and more! I missed an auction of an AL-2800 with aluminum flight case AND a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah that went for only $300 with FREE shipping!! I could have kicked myself (in fact – I still am!). I will be getting one before the end of this year for sure – and I’ll post some pics and review it (again) here when I do. In the meantime – here’s some eBay auctions for agile guitars ending soon, see if you can find yourself a new axe!
April 2008: The picture on the left is of me and my white Agile 3100 with creme binding, solid mahogany body, grover 16×1 tuners and solid mahogany body! It has incredible sound and sustain. I paid $369 for it and I believe shipping was only $15. I’ve been very, very happy with this guitar so far! Comparable Epiphone’s are $750+ and it’s not only 10 times better, it’s every bit as good as an authentic Gibson Les Paul retailing for $3,000+! I had no problem getting this axe to scream metal, sing classic rock, or squeal the blues! You will nt be disappointed with this guitar.
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You may or may not have seen this one before, but if you perform on the stage I think it’s a very handy thing to have. I’m the lead guitar player for my cover band and even though I’m technically not the main lead vocal – I do stand in the middle of the stage. That kind of makes me the center of attention, and I tend to try and introduce the show and say a little something before we break. I’m not that good at it – but I’m getting better. What you need are some ice breakers, some jokes, stories, funny sayings, and this book will help you with just that! It’s for musicians, and it could help you the next time the bass player has to tune up!
Here’s the description:
This book is the perfect resource for program notes, concert spiels, to kill time while the bass player tunes up, or just for fun! This most complete collection of humor about and for musicians includes one-liners and jokes ranging from Chopin to Lennon, Gillespie to Presley. A must-have for every band director, music teacher, classical musician, jazz performer, cover band leader, accordion player, and person who knows an accordion player but doesn’t like to admit it.
I hope you like the book – it’s well worth $10!
I’ve owned many tuners, but this is the best. With a standalone tuner you have to plug your axe into that, and once you’re tuned up then you have to unplug and plug back into your amp or rig. Rack mounted tuners are nice, but not everyone has a guitar rig that is rack mounted. And even if ya do – you may not use it at home or band practice. The Boss TU-2 is a pedal that’s sole purpose is to be a tuner. Stomp on it, and all output to your amp or rig ceases while you tune. Stomp again and you’re playing like nothing ever happened. The LED’s to tell you if you’re in tune or not are big and bright – easy to use on any dark stage. This is the last tuner you will ever buy, and it’s WELL WORTH the money. The only regret I have about buying one is that I didn’t but it sooner!