Friday, 26 March 2010

Chris Broderick: what he likes about Megadeth

Chris Broderick: what he likes about Megadeth

Gareth Lloyd: TRex String On Fire 2

Another great entry for Milan's competition!

Strings On Fire 2 with Milan Polak - Gareth Lloyd

Steve Thai: TRex strings on fire 2

What the hell do they put in the Thai water?!?!? Another smoking shredder!

"Strings On Fire 2" with Milan Polak - Guitar Solo Contest"steve thai

George Elmes: Andy James shredding competition

Solo To Andy James Track

Song Chitipat: Andy James shredding and just 14!

Another young guy gives a crack!

Hi! My name is Song Chitipat. I'm 14 years old.
This is my entry to this competition. Hope you enjoy!!!
Use Jackson DXMG with IBZ QM1&QM2 and Line 6 GX.
Thank you for watching.

Andy James Guitar Solo Contest - Song Chitipat Entry

Tom Quayle, Rick Graham: 3 day nu fusion workshop

An opportunity not to be missed, fusion licks by the gazillion, cups of tea... and you come out know more about guitar than you ever thought you would!!

Tom Quayle say
I teach in a purpose fitted, 3 room teaching studio with fantastic facilities in the lovely West Yorkshire village of Saltaire. This summer, in the first week of August, Rick and I will be running a 3 day workshop and masterclass session based from my studio delivering classes in improvisation, technique and theory for the intermediate to advanced guitarist looking to improve their playing and perhaps break into the areas of jazz and fusion.

The sessions will be structured over a 3 day period in group lessons with myself and with Rick covering various topics. With enough advanced notice these can be tailored to specific lesson requests as there will be limited places available on this course.

There are plenty of great places to stay around the area suited to all budgets and if interest is high enough I will try to make a deal with a local hotel or travelodge for the 3 day period.

We're looking for anyone interested to contact us via the forum either by PM, on this thread or our youtube pages. The workshop is open to anyone prepared to travel and stay over for the 3 days and is specifically geared towards players wanting to improve their improvisational abilities and break into or improve their fusion/rock playing.

If we have enough interest we'll run a second workshop in the summer using the same format.

Hope that's of interest to some of you guys. It should be a whole lot of fun!


wow let me know more

Nick Andrew: Andy James shredding competition

Core blimey... I was not expecting this, Nick throws the kitchen sink of cool licks and fusion style tweaking hybrids at the eponymous Andy James shredding uber metal track...

Nick Andrew says:
Thought I'd give this wee competition a go as I like a challenge. I'm not much of a metal player and, if I'm honest, I found it quite tricky. Hats off to Andy for making this style look so easy, my fingers were in tatters after doing a few takes. I composed the obvious melodies, but the rest is off the cuff.
For the anoraks amongst you, I recorded the guitar straight into logic via my Blackstar HT Dual and before you ask, my pickups are Lace Alumitone Deathbuckers. Ideal for Jazz believe it or not!
Cheers to Andy, Owen and James for putting this together. Be interesting to see what Andy plays over the top of this wee tune!

Andy James Guitar Solo Contest Nick Andrew entry

Kosta Vreto: Thessaloniki clinic jams

Kosta Vreto guitar clinic in Thessaloniki "Never Again"

Kosta Vreto guitar clinic in Thessaloniki "Drained"

Joe Robinson: acoustic elevation

Joe Robinson - It's Not Easy

Jad Diab: 8 finger tapping fusion

Fusion improvisation - 8 finger tapping

Andy James: double devastation

World-renowned Guitar phenomenon Andy James invites you to enter his Guitar Solo Contest. Showcase your guitar playing skills to the world by entering the online You Tube contest, with some great prizes up for grabs.

go to for more info, rules and to download exclusive backing track.

To Download Backing Track go to , right click on " Download the backing track here " and "Save Target as"

To enter competition, please fill in the entry form here: and post your video as a response to this video.
All videos will be checked first prior to making live, so please be patient if your entry does not appear straight away. Most of all, have fun with the backing track, and show the world what you can do!!

A select panel of judges including Andy James will decide upon the best entries after the closing date.

·The Andy James Guitar Solo Contest is open to anyone, from anywhere, and of any age, gender or musical tastes!!
·The video submitted should be of the contestant playing live over the backing track provided
·Our select panel of judges will choose an outright online winner, and their decision will be final, and no moaning or disagreement will be accepted!

ANDY JAMES Guitar solo contest. OFFICIAL VIDEO

Fabiano Rodriguo: Trex Strings On Fire 2

I've been away a few days so need to catch up with the competitions!

Fabiano Rodriguo says:
This is my first participation in competitions youtube
my idea for solo strings on fire 2 - Milan polak, hope you like.Thank's!!!

Strings on Fire 2 - Milan Polak (By Fabiano Rodriguo)

Russ Parrish: steel panther Death to All but Metal. Sheffield O2

Steel Panther Rocks! Death to All but Metal. Sheffield O2 Academy 20th March 2010
Steel panther at their best, go and see them if you're a metal head..!!
I was 3-4 rows from the front, brilliant show.
Taken using a Vado HD.

Steel Panther Rocks! Death to All but Metal. Sheffield O2 Academy 20th March 2010

Jan Laurenz: silent alto stick brilliance

new jan laurenz song on silent alto stick

News: Shred Mediums some cool players I met Musikmesse 2010

Alex Hutchings

Christophe Godin

Mattias IA Eklundh

Robert Marcello

Alex Hutchings... again... yep so good we saw him twice!

News: Shred Mediums pointy guitar selection Musikmesse 2010

News: Shredaholic has a new forum!

Shredaholic has a brand new phpbb forum, where anyone is welcome to join in the discussion!

News: Fernandes Ravelle & Monterey Elite Tremolo

The Ravelle Elite Tremolo and Monterey Elite Tremolo are here! You asked for them, these are the first Elite versions with Locking Tremolo of the bestselling guitar shapes, now you can widen even more the possibilities of infinite sustain with manual pitch-shifting while you play -courtesy of the floating trem-. Same acclaimed craftsmanship, specs and finishes as the stock Elite models. Try one today!

Mika Tyyskä: KaKalMas Mr Slowfinger

Mika Tyyskä aka Mr Fastfinger, gets a puncture and becomes Mr Slowfinger... I'll leave the ninja one to explain:

Mika Tyyskä:
Our humble trio KaKalMas on stage at our local Soho bar, Porvoo Finland. Soho Jazz Club 21.3.2010. Guitar - Mika Tyyskä / Keyboards - Kalle Katz / Drums - Thomas Törnroos.

Hope you enjoy this improvisation as much as I do. Must be the company of Kalle and Thomas making me play like this. Hope i'm not disappointing any speed freaks with this calm down melodic playing. Sometimes speed is not everything :-) Ugh!

No worries. I'll get back to the speed licks soon again,

KaKalMas - Depussy's 29th - Mika Tyyskä aka Mr. Fastfinger guitar solo

Tom Hess: In pursuit of a record deal

The Pursuit of A Record Deal

By Tom Hess
  Do  you want a successful, stable and rewarding music career?  Would you like to know exactly what record  companies, producers, and management companies are looking for when seeking out  new artists?  There are many great  musicians who are not able to build a successful music career because they do  not know what it is these companies want from them.  As a result, many struggle and wonder why  they are unable to “make it” even though they may be incredible musicians with  great songs.  What usually happens is  that people start to believe the common myth about luck. They believe that you  need to “get lucky” in order to “make it”. The result is that most musicians  give up on their dreams and get a normal (non music related) day job.

Because  you are reading this article, I can imagine that you have probably faced  similar challenges. I know how you feel, because I went through the same depressing struggle for years and have seen  hundreds of great musicians travel along the same path.  But over time, I have discovered that in many  cases the lack of success is caused by the musicians (including myself in the  past) simply not knowing what it is the music business companies want from new  artists.

You  probably already know that record labels, producers, entertainment lawyers, and  managers seek artists who have a lot more to offer than talent alone.  What they want from you is a “total package”  which includes many things, but the two main factors are: adding more value (in  terms of money and/or opportunity), and reducing potential downside risks to  the music company. I  am going to tell you more about these two elements of value and risk in this  article.

Prior  to signing my first record deal and doing my first real tour, I read dozens of  books about the music industry.  Although  some of these books were helpful, I quickly discovered that the reality of the  music industry was very different from what the books described. In most cases  these books weren’t necessarily ‘wrong’, just very incomplete.

Entering  the industry as a professional opened my eyes to many things I had never heard  of or thought about before.  Eventually I  came to know and understand many important details about the companies I worked  with: their needs, challenges, problems and mindsets.  I paid very close attention to things that  others around me often overlooked.  I did  this for two reasons:

  1. I  wanted to advance my own career to the maximum extent possible while remaining  in control of the ways in which that growth occurred.
  3. I  was already mentoring other musicians, so going deeper into my understanding of  the music business was something I needed to do for their benefit as well.

The  central theme, which kept coming up in my earliest conversations with the  record company executives I worked with, was “partnership”.  Today, it seems perfectly normal for me to  think that record companies might see their artists as “business partners”, but  at the time, I didn’t think that the term had a genuine meaning. Over the years  that followed, the concept of ‘partnerships’ began to show up everywhere, but I  probably would not have paid much attention to it if my first meetings with the  record company and management hadn’t been so focused on this fundamental  idea.

Record  labels, managers, and successful bands, are looking for artists who think in  terms of mutual benefit.  You must think  in this way before any company in the music business will want to work with you  and invest their money and resources into your career.  Imagine you are in a band, trying to get a  record contract.  Obviously you know what  YOU want from this deal (access to the record company’s resources that will be  used to propel your career forward, attract new fans, sell more records, make  more money, go on tours, etc.) But have you thought about what THE COMPANY  wants (besides the obvious)?

Now  imagine for a moment that you are the president of a record label.  Would you take $250,000 of your money and invest it into a band  that is good and has marketable songs???   I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t do this, UNTIL AND  UNLESS it was clear to me that my investment into the band will not be a waste of money, and will bring back substantial  returns.  It’s highly unlikely that a  $250,000 record company budget will be enough to take a band anywhere  significant if that band is ‘only’ a good band with marketable songs. It’s  going to take a lot more than good talent and good marketable songs to get the  type of serious commitment and investment from a label which is needed to  advance your band’s future over the long term. It takes a partnership (not  merely a contract and a budget) to make this happen.

What about  you?

Do you  have what the music industry is looking for in professional musicians?  Take  this survey and find out if you can become a successful business partner of any  music business company.

Here are  a few things you need to think about when approaching any company in the music  business:

Key mindsets you need to acquire:

  • Don’t seek to be merely an “employee” of a  company, instead, think in terms of a win/win partnership.
  • Do  not feel like you are entitled to receive money or opportunities simply because  you are talented.  It is not the  company’s job to reward you for your music.   It’s their job to reward you for the value you bring to them (beyond the  music).
  • You must become a partner in what they want to  achieve. And you want them to be a partner in what you want to achieve.  Note that I am not talking about “selling  out”.  Selling out would involve giving  up your musical integrity for money (or other benefits).  What I am describing is simply one of the  most basic and universal practices of business.   You must give the other side what they want in order to receive what you  want from them.  If you follow this  principle, success in business (and life) becomes so much easier!    Too often artists and companies are at odds with each other  because each is out to reach its own objectives even if those objectives are in  direct conflict with the other side’s goals.   When either side feels “entitled” to something without a win-win  strategy, everything breaks down between them. And sooner or later both sides  lose (and so do the fans!).
  • Until  you begin to think and work with the win-win partnership concept, the people  and companies with the greatest power to help you will typically not be  interested in you…. And the bad people (“sharks”) in the industry might seek to  take advantage of you, if you are talented but ignorant to how the music  business world works.  

Here  Is How These Mindsets Help You:

The  good music business people expect you to know how the music industry functions  BEFORE they begin to work with you.  They  get tired of answering basic questions about how things work.  While the companies could teach you these  fundamentals, they would prefer for you to learn them yourself.  The reason they want this is because it saves  THEM time (and resources).

Remember,  when it comes to getting other people to associate with you, think in terms of  what they stand to gain or lose by signing you to a record deal or putting your  band on tour (or anything else).

These  music companies prefer not to waste their time teaching you about the music  industry, general business, mental attitudes, image, stage presence, logistics,  etc.  At first glance, this may seem like  an inconvenience for you, but it isn’t.   It is in YOUR interest to see these resources spent on promoting your  career, helping you sell records, tour the world, attract more fans, make more  money etc.  If instead, a big chunk of  money and time was spent on teaching you what you should already know, who do  you think loses the most?  YOU do!  This is because the company’s resources  SHOULD be spent on helping you achieve what you could not do on your own (and  learning the fundamentals of the business is not one of them).

Also,  remember that since music companies are directly investing money into your  career, they will expect their investment back, with interest.  Therefore, it is (again) to your advantage to  minimize any waste in that investment.   Here is an example.

Let’s  say that your band was put on tour by a record company, but the management  believes that your band does not know how to conduct yourselves on and off  stage. They will require you to be coached in these areas (and believe me, they  WILL).  If rehearsals take an additional  week (at the rate of thousands of dollars per day), then money will be spent on  this new expense instead of being invested into other aspects of your tour,  record and career.  Remember, this extra  money will need to be paid back to the company FIRST before your band sees any  profits from the tour OR your record (yes your label will require to be  recouped for all expenses).

Many  new bands feel a sense of ‘entitlement’ and think it is the tour manager’s job  to coach the band how to conduct themselves on and off stage. This, as already  discussed, costs the band and the label a lot of money. However, when you see  yourself in a win-win partnership with the label, then you know that it is in  everyone’s best interest to take the initiative to prepare yourself in all  possible ways before money is spent. If you are not prepared beforehand, you  are creating a higher investment risk for the company you work with!
  Here are  the most important things to remember from this article:

  1. Find out as much as you can about the companies       you want to work with before approaching them.  This will help you in many ways.  First, you will familiarize yourself       with their goals, business desires and challenges.  This will help you to anticipate and       come up with win/win solutions to business negotiations.  Also, the people in these organizations       will be impressed that you took the time to learn about their needs before       approaching them.  They will       remember you.

  1. Always try to see all business situations and       proposals from the point of view of the other side.  This will allow you to better anticipate       their needs, challenges and possible objections toward working with you.       Then you need to demonstrate this understanding in both words and actions.

  1. Think in terms of win/win partnerships.  If you develop a reputation for coming       up with business ideas that meet your needs as well as the needs of the       other side, you will find many more attractive opportunities coming your way.

  1. Seek ways you can add value while reducing       risk.  In all of business, (music       industry or otherwise), your success will be greatly affected by your       ability to deliver high value with low risk.  Before approaching any company with a       business proposal, consider all of the ways you are planning to add value       to the project.  Can you expand this       list?  Do the same analysis of all       of the potential risks of a particular business partnership (whether it       comes from you or other people in the project).  What can you do to minimize or eliminate       these risks?  If you do this, you       will definitely have a great advantage over most musicians who are more       concerned about how much their paycheck is going to be, rather than trying       to enhance the value for all parties involved.  

  1. After you have done all that you can to add       value and reduce risk, you again need to demonstrate this in both words       and actions.  Think of how most       bands try to get signed, they play local shows, try to increase their       following, send their promo kits to labels, management, entertainment       lawyers, etc. In this way, you compete with all the other unknown       bands.  Here is a huge tip, why not       focus directly on showing and proving to these companies/people how your       value is higher and your risk is lower than the thousands of other bands       who are sending their press kits every year.  Although there is much more to the       story, this is the basis for how I landed my own first record deal J. This approach helped to       further separate myself from literally thousands of other excellent guitar       players who pursued the same opportunities I received. And I’ve used this       strategy to land several other fulfilling and lucrative music business       related deals.

  1. Lose the feeling of entitlement.  As I alluded to in the article, no music       company in the world will want you, unless you have something to offer       them which they find valuable.        Nobody is “entitled” to a record deal or more money simply because       they may be a great musician.        Feeling this way is a mistake that a lot of musicians make and one       that I hope you will avoid, now that you are aware of it after reading       this article.  What you need to do       instead is prove to the other party how they would be passing up a great       opportunity if they didn’t work with you.        When you can do this, you will find that the other things will fall       into place much easier.  

You  should think deeply about the issues that I brought up and consider the ways  some or all of them can apply to your current (or future) music career.  I have given you some good starting points to  begin thinking and planning for success.   Use them to take the actions you know you must take to reach your goals!

If you  missed the survey mentioned at the beginning of this article, I encourage you  to test yourself here:

About the author: Tom Hess is a professional  touring guitarist, recording artist and music career mentor. He coaches and  mentors musicians around the world to build a successful music career.  Visit to get free music career resources.

News: truth in shredding day one musikmesse... we made it!

We've just got back from day one of the Musikmesse... I'll try an post some highlights a little later... now off to get something to eat.