Thursday, 5 March 2009

Steve Vai: 25th anniversary of flexable

Steve Vai Featured In Latest Guitar World Magazine:
The May 2009 issue of Guitar World (on newstands March 10) features Steve on the cover and an in-depth article celebrating the 25th anniversary of Steve's first solo album, Flex-Able. Steve recounts the production of the album, and the article includes many rare photographs of Steve's self-built studio - Stucco Blue Studios - as well as photos from the sessions.

The issue also includes a Steve Vai Master Class lesson, along with transcriptions of "The Attitude Song" and "Yankee Rose."

Caserta, Italy Master Class Venue Change

The venue for the Steve Vai Alien Guitar Secrets Master Class in Caserta, Italy has changed. The new venue is Oddly Shed. Please contact the venue for tickets and other inquiries.

Marshall Harrison: the fiscal stimulous of quantitative easing

Marshall Harrison with one of the sweets looking guitars I've seen recently and in the right hands! In this case quantitative easing refers to the creation of new music out of 'thin air' with the injection of free notes, easing the current lack of liquidity.

Marshall Harrison says:
Just showing some of the things I figured the first day with this monster guitar. It will take a lot more time to unlock all of it's secrets... 8 strings is like a lot... My palm's not big enough to cover and mute all of those strings --> It's necessary for muting of course.... Yeah it came with the low F# and it felt like I was playing my friend's fender jazz bass. So because I don't like the sound of Whale farts, I retuned it higher with the octave4plus strings. Now it is B E A D G C E A This tuning is the best way I found to keep track of all of those strings. I maintain the major 3rd between 2 and 3 strings as in standard tuning. The scale and arp patterns remain the same... [about the instructional DVD]... give me a couple months to edit...May/June?

Marshall Harrison plays a Schecter 8 String - Hellraiser

News: shredding the iphone

Kudos to Mark McGuigan for spotting this cool software... just need it to be ported to google adroid...
Cranking through a bunch of songs and sounds with the new iShred electric guitar for iPhone. Be sure to watch in high quality to see details of the effects. Visit our website for a complete overview of the features and demos of each effect.

iShred Rocks the iPhone!

Dave Bozenhard: groove jazz

The Daily Ripper is a video series featuring the playing of Dave Bozenhard, a Philadelphia based guitarist. I call this 'Groove Jazz' for lack of a better term. Let's call this, 'WaterCooler Man'.

All music written, produced, and performed by Dave Bozenhard.

DailyRipper 3 04 09 Groove Jazz

Steve Morse: the guitar show

Steve Morse Taped May 12, 1989 at The Ritz NYC


Richie Kotzen: more info about upcoming tour options

Richie Kotzen says:
I am finally back in my home after completing a very satisfying tour of Europe as well as 3 inspired (California) shows with George Lynch and Paul Gilbert.Although I have been spending a lot of time overseas (the last 3 years) this time I was invited to some countries I have never been before. I was very impressed with the people I met on this trip as well as the stunning European architecture.

Verona Coliseum

Now that I'm home I am listening to all the ideas I've documented in my travels with the intent to record what will become my next solo record. Although I have no clue how it will end I am anxious to begin the recording process once more. I'm also flattered by the positive responses I have been receiving as it relates to the Wilson Hawk collection of material (which is now available on itunes). I performed 'Everything Good' (from Wilson Hawk) a few times on the tour as well as the song 'The Road' at the show in Koln(Germany). The performance of 'The Road' at that show was something I decided to do at the last minute. When we arrived at the venue there was a piano there. During soundcheck I showed the song to my band (who never heard of it) and we played it that night. I have not played a piano in public in at least 5 years so I felt like I was really going out on a limb. We ended up pulling it off and I was thrilled to step outside of what I normally do during my live show.

In addition to recording my new songs I am looking forward to returning to South America with my NEW band (David Filice-bass, Demian Arriaga-drums) for another tour of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. We will arrive in South America mid April and remain there for approximately 3 weeks. As well as touring South America again I am also exploring options as it relates to finally touring North America. It is crazy for me to think that the only time I ever really toured North America on MY music (and not a part of a band) was in 1994. And then of course there is Japan. The last tour I did in Japan was as the opening act for the Rolling Stones in 2006. I think it's about time for another Japan run as well!

Well, before I get into the whole 'rambling on' gag I'm going to wrap it up and in closing express how grateful I am for having the chance to perform my music for you!

Lars Eric Mattsson: new live track


Lars Eric Mattsson says:
I have added an unreleased live track "Eternity" (Instrumental) which will become a bonus track of a future re-issue. I have finished a new far better version of my "No Surrender" album which will include many live bonus tracks. Also in the making are the follow up to last years "Dream Child" and an acoustic album. best wishes to you all! Lars

Jeff Loomis: switchblade outing spotted

Jeff Loomis will contribute a guest guitar solo to the forthcoming album from Sydney, Australia's SWITCHBLADE entitled "Invictus Infinitum". Loomis will appear on the track "Reflective Curse".

"Invictus Infinitum" is currently being mixed in Chicago by producer/engineer Neil Kernon (QUEENSRĊ¸CHE, NILE, NEVERMORE, DEICIDE) and is scheduled for release in April.

Commented SWITCHBLADE drummer Mat: "I don't think it's really sunk in yet that it's happened... We started off talking about this years ago with Jeff and after so long you think everyone would be too busy to make it happen, but Neil was into the idea and once we asked Jeff again he was still keen to do it. So we're really thankful that Neil and Jeff both took the time to make it happen. The solo is just incredible... Jeff's playing with NEVERMORE has been one of our major influences since day 1 so to work on this track together is just crazy. I can't wait for people to hear it!"

Kernon added: "I was up in Seattle working with Jeff Loomis on [his solo album] 'Zero Order Phase' when I first received an email from Mat from SWITCHBLADE about possibly mixing their album. Jeff knew the guys from working together in Australia and spoke highly of them, so I started planing on doing the mix for them. Just before I was sent the album to mix, I had a chat with the guys about the possibility of Jeff doing a solo on it, and I told them I'd talk to Jeff to see if we could make our schedules line up to make it work. As luck would have it, I was going to be in Seattle in mid-January to track drums for another album (with Mark Arrington, in fact) so Jeff and I planned on getting together during that visit to work on the solo together. I had previously sent Jeff a copy of the song so that he could start working out some ideas for it if he had the chance, and we ended up spending an afternoon building it out. It's a long section — over a minute in fact — so we had to figure out different ways to structure it so that it continued to hold the listener's interest, with harmonies, call and answer sections etc. It's a fantastic solo, and I think the fans are certainly going to love it."

The follow-up to 2005's "The End Of All Once Known", "Invictus Infinitum" features "nine tracks of blistering guitar solos, relentless down-tuned riffs and a vicious vocal attack, all while introducing a maturity and melodic sensibility not yet heard from this Sydney quintet," according to the band's official bio. The CD was produced by Darren "jENK" Jenkins (CRYOGENIC, MORTALITY).

"Invictus Infinitum" track listing:

01. II
02. Revelation
03. Coil Of The Serpent
04. The Cancer Benign
05. Solitary Existence
06. Reflective Curse
07. This Impure Design
08. Lacerate
09. As The Sun Dies...

For more information, visit

Atanas Shishkov: urban fusion for spiraless 2

Atanas plays his last tune "Urban Fusion".It will be included in the second album of Spiraless.

Atanas Shishkov - Urban Fusion

Thorsten Praest: late night jam

Thorsten Praest improvises over some older Guthrie Govan backing track

Late Night Jam by Thorsten Praest

Greg Howe: dinosaur rock interview

Another good interview.... another taster...

I don’t think it’s something you can deliberately try to get. It’s something you have to be open to, and to be willing to not sound like anyone else. I think there are a lot of great players who will never necessarily go down in history because they don’t have their own thing. They’ve been good at mimicking. But I think what is important is that you hear something, acknowledge it for how great it is, and at the same time acknowledge that copying it directly will not benefit you in any way.

When I was young I could mimic Eddie Van Halen. When I say mimic I don’t mean just play the notes, but the same exact vibrato, tone and nuances. Even if I played an improvised solo I would have all those nuances and it would sound like him playing, so I really decided I had to stop listening to him and be open a lot of things. I had to be open to incorporating a lot of different things and really it was a process of a lot of different influences that lead to a unique thing. It’s like taking a lot of different flavours and putting them into one soup bowl and eventually you come up with a unique flavour that doesn’t taste like any specific thing, but has its own flavour because of all these different things, he explains.

full interview

John Petrucci: three practice tips

Music Radar post John Petrucci's thoughts on guitar:
MusicRadar checked in with John Petrucci in Long Island, New York, where the guitarist was knee-deep in the final mixing stages of the next Dream Theater album, due this summer.

We asked him the question on every guitar player's mind: "Hey John, being that you're awesome and stuff, if you could name your top 3 practice tips, what would they be?" With only a moment's thought, these were his answers:

Jason Becker: metal sludge interview

Check this amazing interview with Jason Becker by Metal Sludge... Jason is a real inspiration, here's just a small appetizer!

It means a lot to me that you feel that way about “Perpetual Burn.” Unfortunately, there was no video taken during the recording. After Marty Friedman and I finished recording “Speed Metal Symphony,” I was very happy with it, but I had so many ideas that I wanted to get out. I spent tons of time writing at my four-track. I would play stuff for Mike Varney and Marty. It became obvious that this had to become a solo album. There wasn’t any room for vocals. Varney suggested that Marty put together a solo album too. I wasn’t thinking about my age. Playing with and learning from Friedman added years of experience, creativity and confidence to my whole outlook. He was the catapult for everything for me. I recorded at the same studio that we did “Speed Metal Symphony” in, and with the same engineer, Steve Fontano, so I was comfortable in that way, but this time I had to run the show. Marty wasn’t there when we recorded Atma’s drums. That made me a little nervous, but Fontano complimented me on how I was bobbing my head to keep Atma in time. That felt really good.

I remember when I had Fontano lay the click track down for “Air,” he didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Six minutes of click track is pretty funny to hear in a professional studio. When recording the first licks in “Perpetual Burn,” I had to use a bar in between them, instead of stopping like I wanted, because there was too much feedback when I stopped, and the gate wouldn’t respond quick enough. This was a drag. I also played them sloppy. I hadn’t quite mastered the technique yet. I did my first take of the blues solo in “Eleven Blue Egyptians” late at night. It sounded stiff but I couldn’t figure out why. Fontano suggested I get sleep and try again tomorrow. I usually hate to leave something hanging, but I took his advice. The next day it just flowed out of me easily. Marty, of course, was recording “Dragon’s Kiss” at the same time. He was working extra long hours. He was giving Fontano a break from hitting record during “Air.” During re-cording, Marty and I both nodded off in the middle of a lick. We woke up and cracked up. One day Marty called me to do my part on “Jewel.” His dad was visiting in the stu-dio. I have no idea why, but I was being argumentative. As always, Marty was calm and understanding. I still feel bad about that. I was a butt hole to my mentor in front of his dad. I love his parents. On another day, Marty called me in to play a part for him be-cause the drummer, Deen, had played it too fast. He knew I could play the part fast enough. That felt so nice, being able to help the person who had constantly helped me.

I met Greg Howe at this time. We got along great. He had me play a harmony to a lick that he had always wanted to play with another guitarist. We had a blast hanging and jamming. Greg was working with Billy Sheehan, so I got to spend a little time with him. I was a little star struck. I was stoked when he compared “Air” to Van Halen’s “Eruption” for its uniqueness and innovation.
full interview

Filippo De Vecchi: agent orange

Apologies to Filippo De Vecchi... I missed these. A nice bit of fusion jamming from Filippo De Vecchi.

Improvising on orange jam

Impro Funky Fusion

Impro on Santana backing tracks

Improvising on a Johnny Winter jam track

Gustavo Guerra: a new york minute

Gustavo and Bubby Guerra visit New York!

GGuerra New York City