Monday, 20 May 2013

Alex Lifeson: talks to Chad Smith

In this first edition of our new In Conversation podcast series, award winning Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith chats to legendary Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. In this instalment, the two musicians talk about everything from gear to family histories, meeting their heroes and more over dinner at the Sunset Marquis, Hollywood.

Carlos Arcay: Game of Thrones - Guitar Metal

I always really wanted to make a cover of the legendary epic opening theme of Game of Thrones, one of my favorite series. And finally here it is! For the occasion I arranged the song for a metal band: powerful drums, depth bass,wall of guitars and some cool synths playing the main melody which also doubles with a lead guitar.

Video recording by Marite Suite

The WInter Is Coming

Hope you like it.
Game of Thrones - Guitar Metal cover by Carlos Arcay

Shani Kimelman: Paul Gilbert - Down To Mexico - great cover

Paul Gilbert - Down To Mexico (Cover by Shani Kimelman)

More great playing from Shani Kimelman... one to watch for in the future for sure.

James Buckley: Waves Of Shred Entry

Here is my entry!

Thanks very much to Wampler Pedals, Tsakalis Pedals, Tom, Yiannis and Laurie for the competition, I hope you enjoy!

Also please come and like my page over on Facebook (there is a link on my website), follow me on twitter and subscribe!



Waves Of Shred Entry - James Buckley

Tom Quayle,Yiannis Papadopoulos: Waves Of Shred Competition closes 1st June 2013

Frank Steffen Mueller: GuitarOnSky Contest II: Guitar lesson

GuitarOnSky Contest II: Guitar lesson by Frank Steffen Mueller
GuitarOnSky Contest II: Guitar lesson by Frank Steffen Mueller
Free Sheet/Tabs:

Gear used: Knaggs Keya, Diezel VH4S, Sommer Cable, D'addario Strings, Gravity-Picks, Wampler, Megatone, Wolfton speakers, SM57 micro, Sennheiser E906 micro, Canon Eos 600D

Feel free to contact me at

Cheers, Frank

Marshall Harrison: Giant Steps - Take 271828 and 271829

This one was really fun. It took awhile to get any kind of decent take. Next I'll try Moment's Notice, Solar, Misty, one of those standards. I think I might add the next take as well.

An attempt at playing the classic tune in my more moto perpetuo rock style not in the traditional, straight ahead bebop style.

Plus check out the new lick of the week

Tom Hess: Use Your Favorite Singer's Voice To Write Guitar Solos

Use Your Favorite Singer's Voice To Write Guitar Solos

by Tom Hess
Would you like to have the ability to write guitar solos which are highly melodic, expressive, and passionate? If you are like the majority, then you have a hard time making your lead guitar playing sound exactly how you want it to. A great way to solve this problem is to start listening more closely to your favorite singers. Once you can truly incorporate a singer's vocal style with your own, you will be able to drastically improve your ability to play great guitar passages. Here is how I totally transformed the way I play:

During the 90's I was auditioning to play guitar for a band. In the end, I didn't make it in the band, but I still have a strong memory of that day. As I was packing up my equipment to leave, the last thing I was told was this: "Don't come back until you can make your guitar sing." In that moment, I felt bad for not making the band, but to tell the truth, this statement was some of best advice I have ever received in music. Unfortunately, at that time I didn't truly understand it, and had no clue how to "make my guitar sing."

As the next few months went by, I became interested in learning all about the singers I listened to. I started to examine the way in which they sang their vocal phrases, the rhythms they used, the techniques they applied, and other subtle distinctions of their styles. Once I began to understand the characteristics specific to a singer's style, I would learn to play their vocal lines on my guitar. I found that I could identify the specific notes of their phrases without much difficulty, but bringing out the subtle parts of the singer's style in my guitar playing was a much larger task.

Later on I was exposed to the first albums from the band Rhapsody Of Fire. For me, this was a huge turning point in my guitar phrasing. At the time I was shocked by the awesome vocals of their lead singer, Fabio Lione. From the first moment I heard his voice, I knew I had to study his style as much as possible so that I could use his powerful ability as a tool in my guitar soloing. I spent many hours analyzing the subtle vocal techniques in all of Rhapsody Of Fire's music.

Here is the most valuable concept I learned:
It didn't really matter what notes (or words) the singer was singing. What made a certain singer stand out were the subtle nuances of 'how' each note was sung. For instance, why so many fantastic vocalists use different levels of volume in their voice for a certain phrase, why they ornament some notes within a melody in a particular way and why they sing with heavy vibrato at the ends of some phrases. At the moment when I truly began to see these subtleties, I started to make massive progress with my guitar soloing ability.

A lot of you know that I was contacted in 2011 by Rhapsody Of Fire and asked to play guitar in the band. Due to my unique ability to play guitar solos with "singing" guitar phrasing, the band took a great interest in adding my guitar playing style to their music.

What is the main thing you should get from this?
The ability to make your guitar solos have a "singing" style is a highly valuable concept to learn. Understanding how singer's think to create their melodies will help you to become much stronger in your own musical expression. Another great part of this is that when you combine the mindset of a guitarist and a singer, you create a totally new method of creating guitar solos. This will set you apart from the other players out there who all use the same ideas.

Try this out. Listen to your most favorite singer and try to really focus on and understand all the subtleties in the way he/she sings. After you've done this, write a guitar solo while emphasizing these ideas in your guitar phrasing.

Watch this video to see an example of a solo I quickly wrote using this exact process.

Amazing Guitar Soloing Lesson On How To Create Amazing Guitar Solos

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a successful professional guitar player, composer and the guitarist of the band Rhapsody Of Fire. He also trains musicians to reach their guitar playing goals in his rock guitar lessons online. Visit his website, to read more articles about guitar playing, get free guitar tips and guitar playing resources.

News: Rockschool Launches Grades 4 & 5 Hot Rock Guitar Books

Rockschool Launches Grades 4 & 5 Hot Rock Guitar Books featuring ACDC, Metallica,
Foo Fighters, Eric Clapton and more!

Rockschool’s best selling Hot Rock Guitar series has just been expanded with the launch of the new Grades 4 and 5 books. The acclaimed Hot Rock range brings you eight classic tracks in a variety of music genres giving you a choice of musical styles to play. The new books include songs from some of the most respected, best selling and famous bands on the planet and are an excellent tool for the ‘Free Choice Pieces’ in graded exams.

Each massive new book comes complete with edited exam versions of eight classic rock songs drawn from a range of musical styles. They include full transcriptions with vocal line, TAB and standard notation as well as facts about the track and further recommended listening. Also included are tips on the tricky parts of the songs, how to get authentic tone by getting the right amp settings and two CDs with full mixes and backing tracks. These books are perfect for the free choice element in Rockschool Grades Music Exams, GCSE music or simply playing for fun.

Hot Rock Guitar grade 4 features tracks from the critically acclaimed Razorlight, the highly respected Irish rockers, Thin Lizzy and multi award winning AC DC. Also included are tracks from two guitar giants, Eric Clapton and Joe Satriani, one of the UK’s most successful acts, Oasis and multi Grammy award winners, Metallica. Last but not least is a track from heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath.

The Grade 5 book contains an equally impressive varied track list. There is a song from the Grammy Award winning Foo Fighters, Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynryd, and super group Velvet Revolver. There is more from AC DCJoe Satriani and Metallica, plus an introduction to guitar god Steve Vai and a chance to play a track by the chart topping Kings of Leon.

Each track is packed with everything you need for a Rockschool graded guitar exam; written by guitarists for guitarists. They are designed to help you improve and develop as a musician, full of great songs from different musical styles and genres – all the assistance you need to play the music you love.

Pre-order NOW and get exclusive video walkthroughs delivered straight to your inbox. 

For further information please go to where you can see a new video on the books or

Rockschool - Hot Rock Series (Grades 1-5)