Friday, 13 August 2010

Fran Alonso: My Summer Guitar Solo Contest 2010

Super sick soloing from Fran Alonso

Fran Alonso - My Summer Guitar Solo Contest 2010.mpg

JP Stratoblogster: Pedal Juice eneloop From Sanyo

Pedal Juice eneloop From Sanyo

Ismail Uyar: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III -Turkey style!

SHRED THIS THREE: Brett Garsed and Di Marzio Entry by Ismail Uyar

Brian Larkin: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III - part three!! Fretless!

Part Three of the trinity from Brian Larkin:

Brian Larkin:
This is the fretless entry, roughly half composed, half improvised... The composed stuff (the first half) is compiled from different improv takes (not actually written out, like my composed entry)...

Brian Larkin: Shred This III with Brett Garsed - Entry 3 of 3 - Fretless

Nils Hilhorst: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III Belgium style!

Some cool ideas from Nils Hilhorst.

Shred This III Entry

Kraunch Montozin: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III

kraunchmontozin - Shred This III

Prashant Aswani: live at the cat club

Time 19 August · 22:00 - 23:00
Location The Cat Club
8911 West Sunset Boulevard
Created by:
Prashant Aswani
More info Intrumental Guitar Rock Band featuring
Prashant - guitars
Jeff Marshall - guitars
Daniel Pearson - Bass
Kellii Scott - Drums


Allan Holdsworth: soft machine Bundles available!

Roy Babbington (bass); Allan Holdsworth (acoustic & electric guitars); Karl Jenkins (oboe, soprano sax, acoustic & electric pianos); John Marshall (drums, percussion); Mike Ratledge (electric piano, organ, synthesizer); Ray Warleigh (alto & bass flutes (12))

Digitally remastered edition of this 1975 album from the celebrated Jazz/Rock/Prog outfit. The album was the band's first for EMI's Harvest label and featured a line-up of Mike Ratledge, Karl Jenkins, John Marshall, Roy Babbington and new member Allan Holdsworth. An accessible collection, Bundles featured Holdsworth's considerable guitar playing talents and opened a new chapter for the band, and attracted much praise upon release. Unavailable on CD for nearly 15 years, this reissue fully restores the original artwork. Esoteric. 2010 Buy

Rick Graham: Suhr - Cornford MKII 50 2010

Rick Graham Improv - Suhr - Cornford MKII 50

Tom Quayle: Suhr guitars and Cornford amps at 2010 workshop

Tom Quayle Demoing Suhr guitars and Cornford amps at 2010 workshop

Tom Hess: Songwriting - Part 1

Songwriting - Part 1

by Tom Hess

Most musicians (especially guitar players) approach songwriting in the same general way. For many songwriters, especially those who write music versus writing lyrics only, that process consists of relying on their instrument to improvise or "jam" until they stumble upon something that sounds cool. They choose to focus only on the "goal of having a completed song" instead of focusing on the wide range of available "processes" to compose music. In other words, these people focus on the "what" (the song they want to write) instead of the "how" (which processes and methods can be used). Once the decision is made to write a new song, the musicians begin with the one process that is easiest and comes most naturally to them - improvising at their instrument.
For the purpose of illustrating the examples below, let us assume your main instrument is electric guitar. Natural pros and cons inherently exist with every songwriting process and method. Here is the obvious set of pros and cons for the process of improvising with your instrument:
This Method's Advantages
  • This is the easiest songwriting process for most songwriters.
  • You can begin immediately (without little or no pre-compositional planning or thought).
  • You can take advantage of the guitar's natural possibilities of tone, playability, pitch range, the number of pitches that can be played simultaneously, dynamic range, articulation, etc.
  • If you are a competent guitar player, you can easily create music that is natural for the guitar. You probably have at least a basic command of general guitar, so playing your guitaristic ideas won't be a major problem in most cases.
  • Because most songwriters (even many pros) write in this way, your "musical" results may be similar to some of those that have gone before you and written successful hit songs.
This Method's Disadvantages
  • You are limited by the instruments limitations of tone, playability, pitch range, the number of pitches that can be played simultaneously, dynamic range, articulation, etc.
  • You are likely to repeat similar ideas that you have used before in other songwriting sessions.
  • It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking like a guitar player only versus thinking like a composer or songwriter.
  • You may discover your hands are doing most of the creating, not your true creative mind.
  • The range of possible musical results is limited when using this single process exclusively. Not necessarily because there is anything wrong with the guitar or you.
Any single songwriting process will be limiting. You must really work hard to squeeze as much out of a single process as possible. Of course having multiple processes is better than having only one (I will discuss other methods of writing songs in future articles).
Go to your instrument and begin improvising, notice what types of things you do naturally. What is the process that you usually start with? Do you begin by trying to write a melody? Or do you begin with chords? Here is a list of ideas you can use to begin.
Begin With Melody First
  • In this case, decide if the melody you are trying to write will be a vocal or instrumental melody. This is very important because vocal melodies need to have room for a singer to breathe and you must also consider the pitch range - a singer's pitch range is more narrow than most instruments. Keep this all in mind when writing melodies.
  • Consider the melodic contour (shape and direction) of your melodies.
  • Is there a clear climax (high point)? Where should it be in the melody?
Begin With Chords First
  • Choose a tonal center (key) to begin with. You don't have to stay in that key for the entire song, but it is wise to at least begin in a single key. You can deviate from the key later if you wish.
  • Think about the progression of chords, where are there moments of tension and resolution? Are these moments placed in the best order?
Begin With Chords And Melody at The Same Time
I like this one a lot. Begin with a single chord and a melody note or phrase, as you add on the next chord and more melodic notes, write them together. Experiment by changing the chord but not the melodic phrase. Experiment by changing the melodic phrase but not the chord.
Begin With Rhythm First
  • Consider the types of rhythmic patterns that you normally use. Perhaps one of them is exactly what you need to get into the groove of a new song.
  • Experiment with variations on your favorite rhythmic patterns. Take a common pattern and play it backwards.
  • Create something totally new. Force yourself to disallow any of your favorite rhythmic patterns to creep into your new song idea.
Dynamics, Texture and Form are the most often overlooked musical elements among songwriters. Record companies hire producers to improve the quality of the songwriting done by the writers. Most producers have to spend a lot of their time (and the artist's advance money!) shaping the songs in these three areas because songwriters often neglect to spend enough time and effort on them. Most people can write a melody and put chords together, but struggle with dynamics, texture and form.
Begin With Dynamics First
  • If you are thinking about dynamics while composing each part of the song, you are already ahead of the game.
  • Plan out what the dynamic range of each section of your new song will be. Which parts will be louder and which will be softer? How can you create smooth transitions between them? Do you want "smooth" transitions?
Begin With Timbre First
The variety of instruments you use, and the sounds you get out of those instruments brings color to your music. Once you have written a melody, experiment with how many different types of tone qualities you can use to play it. Even if you are only writing a song for a solo instrument, how can you "color" the sound with that instrument? For example, on a guitar, playing down by the bridge produces a totally different sound quality than picking over the center of the string (12th fret).
Begin With Texture First
The density of sound and timbre may influence the types of melodies you compose. Consider how the density of texture may change from section to section. What type of musical effect will result? A single guitar line might lead you to write guitaristic lines, but if you use a guitar to compose a keyboard part, your approach will often be (and probably should be) quite different.
Begin With Form First
Starting here can do wonders to keep you out of trouble (musically speaking). When you don't think about the form (arrangement of the parts of a song) early on in the writing process, it is easy to paint yourself in a corner later. When you have written various parts for a song but can't seem to piece the individual parts together in a cohesive manner this usually happens because there was little or no thought about form early on in the writing process.
Tom Hess is a professional touring guitarist and recording artist. He teaches guitar players around the world via online guitar lessons, Visit to get free guitar playing tips, assessments, surveys, mini courses and more. 

Rune Berre: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III - Norway style

Rune Berre is yet another new player soloing for Shred This! We thank you players from all around the globe! This time from Norway!

Rune Berre

Puttikorn Witayara: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III - Thai Style

More great playing from Thailand, this time from, a new to me player, Puttikorn Witayara

Shred This III: Brett Garsed and DiMarzio competition entry by Game Puttikorn Witayarat

Ekachai Ratanavilaiwan: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III - Thailand more fusion juice!

Wow, Poland, Australia, Thailand... so many new players from so many countries... great job from Ekachai Ratanavilaiwan

Shred This III Brett Garsed and DiMarzio competition by AKE

Quintin Louw: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III: South Africa!

The local feel is getting global... South Africa over in the USA... well done!

Quintin Louw:
Found out about competition just in time. I am a South African now residing in the USA. Love music and playing guitar, thanks for the chance. My Favorite players are first and foremost Andy Timmons, Jeff beck, Allen Hinds, Scott Henderson, Jimi Hendrix, Brett Garsed, Tom Quayle.

Quintin Louw - Shred This 3 Entry

Jacob Wood:Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III shagfish ripping style!

Jacob Wood aka Shagfish delivers, some lightning fast rippage and soloing over that challenging backing track... cool!

Shred This Three Brett Garsed- Jacob Wood

Brendan Wright: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III Barbados Belam Hornet style!

Brendan Wright is in Barbados to do the Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III jam!

Shred This III - Brendan Wright

Hara Lemes: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III Hara style!

Hara Lemes, has a great ear for tone. I seen a bunch of great solos from the guy in the youtube pantheon of guitar players... Hara is making waves!

Shred This III contest - Hara Lemes

Kacha Polsri: Brett Garsed DiMarzio shred this III - Thai style!

Kacha Polsri is from Thailand!

shred this III Kacha Polsri

t-cophony:home demo 2001

T-cophony "Home demo" (in November, 2001)

News: Shred This... overwhelmed by taste and skills! We thank you!!!

Laurie Monk:
Hi Guys... we're coming to the closing stages. Because we're getting so many entries, I'm getting to them as fast as I can. I will comment on all the videos. The close date 23:59 15th Sunday 23:59 BST. I will change the title of the post to CLOSED when the competition is closed. Then it will be judging. I know this will take some time so please be patient. I'm hoping with in two weeks, but will keep you informed. Again I am overwhelmed by your desire to jam regardless of age and skill level.