Monday, 19 August 2013

Richie Kotzen: Exclusive Interview with Dangerous Guitar

Dangerous Guitar sat down with Richie Kotzen, in his Los Angeles home studio, to talk about his new band, The Winery Dogs. He discusses the music, the fans, and what it's like working with fellow music veterans Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy.

Richie Kotzen Exclusive Interview with Dangerous Guitar

Andy Gillion: Daemoness Cimmerian custom gets a right seeing to!

My new Daemoness Cimmerian custom - " Valkyrie's Curse".

The guitar has a 25" inch scale and a custom neck profile. The body is mahogany, with a flame maple top and American rock maple neck. Hardware is hipshot, with Bare Knuckle Pickups Blackhawks. Frets are Evo gold extra jumbo. The Valkyrie artwork (by Dylan Humphries) was achieved by spraying the guitar a trans black in the standard way and then scraping back the laquer with a stanley knife. Some of the darker shadows are touched in with black pigment.

Can't stress enough how awesome these guitars are, and they will make whatever you desire to the finest detail. Check them out on the links below!

There will be serious videos with the guitar to follow, but until then, let's just enjoy one of the finest musical ensembles ever to grace the airwaves - "Freak Me", Another Level.

My New Daemoness Guitar

Yeon Jung Nho: Alex Hutchings and Guthrie Govan - live - 13 years old

ITG In The Guitar Face Book

ITG guthrie govan wonderful slippery thing Nho Yeon Jung 13years old live in club

ITG guthrie govan emotive ballad 노연정 Nho Yeon Jung 13years old live in club

ITG 노연정 Nho Yeon Jung 13years old live in club

Brian Raine: Strandberg Boden 8 - guitar solo piece

**LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES** After seeing Lionel Loueke play with Herbie Hancock, I just had to check the guy out... I saw him playing with a piece of paper over the strings of a nylon string guitar to produce a really unique sound. He used it to emulate an African instrument, so I tried something similar on my Boden 8. If you look at the bridge you'll notice that I stuffed a tissue under the strings. This created a very unique sound, so I used it for this piece that I wrote recently. The piece itself got its original inspiration from the graphic novel "Y The Last Man". 355 was my favourite character from that series, so this is dedicated to her. In case anyone is wondering, the signal chain is: Boden 8 - some sort of Fender practice amp that is at the music studio where I teach.

Strandberg Boden 8 string - muted - guitar solo piece "355" Brian Raine Original

Fayeed Tan, Fidel de Jesus: Hanging out at Fayeed's place

Hanging out at Fayeed's place before our gig the following night. Gear talk, jams, lick sharing and the likes. At the second half of the video, there's also our jam before my band's set. :)

I know I've said this a gazillion times, it's really an honor jamming with one of the greatest guitar players I personally know, and he's also one of the nicest and kindest guys I've ever known too! Thanks for the warm accommodation Fayeed! I'm really looking forward in jamming with you again idol! :)

Many thanks also to JM Cruz of Stream Of Images Photography for the video, check out his shots at his Facebook page!

Subscribe or follow Fayeed at these pages!
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If you dig what I'm doing, you can follow me at these pages:

Don't forget to check out my band too!

Hanging out at Fayeed's place / Jam at Soundbee Music Lounge


Playthrough of my song "Unholy Retribution"

Trying out the Triple Wreck with the Ignite TPA-1 power amp (A virtual power amp) and a Marshall cab impulse. Compression and reverb was added to the guitars. Hope you enjoy! :)

Signal chain:
Schecter Blackjack ATX 8 - Wampler Triple Wreck - Line 6 Toneport GX - DAW (Ignite TPA-1 power amp + Marshall cab impulse)

Wampler Pedals:

Wampler Triple Wreck distortion + Ignite TPA-1 power amp VST demo

Courtney Cox, Nita Strauss: Iron Maidens HOB Anaheim 2013 series

Courtney Cox, Nita Strauss: Iron Maidens HOB Anaheim 2013

House Of Blues Anaheim CA 8/16/2013

Anouck André: 60 second Solo Contest Entry

Here is my entry for this nice contest.
Hope you 'll like :)

60 second Solo Contest Entry : Anouck André

60 Second Solo Contest - Ends Sept 30th

Jakub Żytecki: Disperse announce shows in Poland with Tides From Nebula!

Jakub Żytecki Guys, we're playing some shows in Poland with Tides From Nebula! Come and see us live if you'll be around!

Mario Camarena,Erick Hansel: Chon - Frosting and Bubble Dream playthroughs

From the album Newborn Sun by CHON released 11 June 2013 
Guitar : Erick Hansel 

Guitar : Mario Camarena 
Bass : Drew Pelisek 
Drums : Nathan Camarena 
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Daniel Castleman 
Artwork by Daniel McBride

Frosting (Playthrough)

CHON - Bubble Dream (Guitar Playthrough)

Mario Camarena,Erick Hansel: Newborn Sun

Allan Holdsworth: Double Neck - Sphere of Innocence 1992

I added this video with all my respect to the band who performed this tune rarely played live.

Allan Holdsworth - Sphere of Innocence Live 1992

Andy James: Snap Picking Technique - Speed Soloing

Snap Picking Technique - Speed Soloing - Andy James Licklibrary Andy James describes Snap picking technique.

Learn how to apply and master this guitar technique allowing you to play really fast on the guitar. This technique lesson is available along with many more techniques and licks on the Ultimate Techniques Speed Soloing DVD available to order here :
This DVD focuses on picking techniques to really bring your guitar playing up to speed!

Browse all Andy James DVDs and guitar lessons by heading here:

Larry Mitchell: learn how to play Funk Guitar rhythm and guitar practice and warm up exercises click NOW for a FREE Video guitar lesson that is not on YouTube & a FREE Ebook from Next Level
Guitar lesson learn how to play Funk Guitar rhythm lick and effect ideas with Larry Mitchell

Check out all our current JAM TRACKS, song DVDs, and other instructional DVDs at - just click on any title for detailed lesson descriptions and to watch video previews.
click NOW for a FREE Video guitar lesson that is not on YouTube & a FREE Ebook from Next Level
U2 inspired guitar lesson on delay effect tones Where The Streets Have No Name style

Check out all our current JAM TRACKS, song DVDs, and other instructional DVDs at - just click on any title for detailed lesson descriptions and to watch video previews.

Guitar lesson learn how to play Funk Guitar rhythm lick and effect ideas with Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell lead guitar lesson learn practice and warm up exercises and jam solos across the neck

Eric Calderone: Conan Meets Metal

Conan (The Barbarian/Destroyer) Meets Metal
Hey guys,

So another one I've been seeing a ton of ever since I started Youtube. Conan the Barbarian was the first Arnold movie I ever saw. What a classic!!! Mr. Poledouris is the man btw haha. This and Robocop were my favorites from him, beyond epic. Thank you guys so much for everything, it means the world. Big ups for all the suggestions, messages, comments, subs, fan art, donations, and support. You guys rock my Crom, I mean, Casbah! ALways!

Best to ya


Rick Graham: Killer Shred Techniques

Killer Shred Techniques - Rick Graham
Download Available now here:
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I hope you enjoy this lesson and please leave a comment in the comments section if you have any requests. Tons more to come!

Steve Hackett: announces North American tour dates

Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited US / North American tour dates:
20        St. Charles, IL             Arcada Theatre
21        St. Charles, IL             Arcada Theatre
22        Milwaukee, WI             The Pabst Theatre
23        Royal Oak, MI             Royal Oak Music Theatre
25        New York, NY             Best Buy Theater
26        Lakewood, NJ             The Strand Theater
27        Westbury, NY             NYCB Theatre At Westbury
28        Ridgefield, CT             The Ridgefield Playhouse
29        Albany, NY                  The Egg Center For The Performing Arts
 3         Montreal, QC              Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier Place Des Arts
 4         Quebec City, QC        Grand Theatre De Quebec
 5         Gatineau, QC              Le Casino Du Lac Leamy
 6         Belleville, ON              Empire Theater
 8         Oakville, ON               Oakville Centre For Performing Arts
 9         Oakville, ON               Oakville Centre For Performing Arts
10        Munhall, PA                Carnegie Music Hall Of Homestead
11        Glenside, PA               Keswick Theatre
12        Glenside, PA               Keswick Theatre
13        Collingswood, NJ        Scottish Rite Auditorium

News: coming soon UKTMF 2013 documentary

TECH THAT (the UK Tech Fest documentary) - Teaser
Here it is, the teaser for the amazing UKTMF 2013 documentary.

The music was created by Steeves Hostin

Mistheria: GEMINI album - Falling Stars

GEMINI album - Falling Stars (practicing session)
"Falling Stars" song practicing for the upcoming recording session of my album "Gemini". This song is the last written, just yesterday August 18, 2013. Today rehearsing, here a first-take ...

Thanks to: CME for the UF70 master keyboard (, Sonic Projects for OPX-PRO ME lead synth sound (, Topten Software for Cantabile Performer VST host (, IK Multimedia for Amplitube 3 effects rack (, Audjoo for Helix synthesizer (, Xhun-Audio for LittleOne synthesizer (, Sony for Vegas Pro (,

Greg Koch: Fender 1957 Stratocaster

Straight from the Fender Custom Shop and Wildwood Guitars come some of the finest Strats and Teles we have ever had the pleasure of offering: the Fender Dealer Select Wildwood "10s". These instruments feature "faded" thin nitrocellulose finishes, lightweight hand-selected tone woods, Custom Shop pickups and unique appointments like a 10" fingerboard radius and 6105 frets. The guitars ship with a Certificate of Authenticity and a Custom Shop Limited Edition black hardshell case. These guitars combine modern features with vintage vibe and tone, and they're available exclusively at Wildwood Guitars.

Greg Koch:

Serial Number: R69159
Brand: Fender Custom Shop
Model: Dealer Select Wildwood "10" 57 Stratocaster
Type: Stratocaster
Year: 1957
Finish Color: Faded Shell Pink
Aging: Relic
Finish Type: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Weight: 7.46 lbs.
Body Wood: Alder
Neck Wood: Quarter Sawn Maple
Neck Shape: '59 Large "C"
Neck Dimensions: .790 1st - .930 12th
Fingerboard: Maple
Fingerboard Radius: Exclusive Wildwood Custom "10" Radius
Inlays: Dot
Scale Length: 25.5"
Width at Nut: 1.650"
Nut Material: Bone
Frets: Dunlop 6105
Pickups: 3 John Cruz Limited Single-Coil
Controls: 1 Volume, 2 Tone, 5-way Switch
Hardware : Nickel
Bridge: Vintage Tremolo
Tuners: Vintage Style with Nickel Buttons
Pickguard: Single Ply Parchment
Case: Limited Edition Hardshell Case with Embroidered Custom Shop Logo
COA: Yes

Tommy Emmanuel, Martin Taylor: announces Asia tour dates and Tommyfest US 2014

Tommy Emmanuel
with special guest Martin Taylor
dates and cities below - more details to be announced!

This song was written in 1977 for Dixie, who is the daughter of a dear friend, Duncan Maguire - the bass player in a band that Tommy worked in. Tommy often used to babysit little Dixie. The song was recorded on The Day Fingerpickers Took Over The World with the great Chet Atkins.

You may notice that neither Tommy is wearing headphones. This is because our sound engineer, Brad, did a clever trick. He set up two speakers equidistant from the microphone and had two versions of the main recording playing out of phase. This makes the playback virtually soundless to the microphone but audible to Tommy.

Recorded on: Canon 7D, Rode K2, Audio Technica 8033
Sound by: Brad Benge
Video by: Clara Rolls

Buy on CD:
Available on iTunes:
Dixie McGuire by Tommy Emmanuel x 2!


12th annual Tommyfest US
dates and schedule announced!

Featuring Tommy and Martin Taylor!

Feb 14 - concert 7:30pm
Feb 15 - workshop 9am-12noon
Feb 15 - concert 7:30pm
Feb 16 - workshop 1pm-4pm

Dixie McGuire by Tommy Emmanuel x 2!

Morgan Pettersson: Human Cometh - Mayan Logic - the new album

Morgan Pettersson
In 2010 the first Human Cometh album, Evolution, was unearthed. A very promising release indeed. The second CD HCII is one solid sounding album with great hit feeling. This third CD has taken everything to the next level!

The production is damn tight thanks to Dan Swanö. The songs are very guitar oriented with lots of heavy melodic riffs. The songs are very interesting and some of the songs are quite heavy with 7 string guitars, the choruses are still very melodic with nice hooks.

Morgan Pettersson: Human Cometh - Mayan Logic
1. Deus Ex Machina 6:45
2. Grendles Modor (Goddess of the Mere)4:55
3. Left Behind 5:32
4. Wolves At the Door 3:37
5. Coup De Grace 5:23
6. Mayan Logic 4:55
7. The Darkening Sky 4:27
8. Stay in Line (Single File) 5:37
9. Egle the Queen of Serpents 4:21
10. Gates of Babylon 6:34

Deus Ex alternative solo

Tony Grey,John McLaughlin, Mike Stern,Reb Beach,David Fiuczynski: Bass star to release Elevation - new album featuring a host of guitar stars

Dynamic Bassist Tony Grey's new album Elevation features John McLaughlin, Mike Stern, Whitesnake's Reb Beach, Tomoyasu Hotei, David Fiuczynski
and others

New album hits the street October 15 via Abstract Logix Records

(Los Angeles) -  Besides being some of the greatest musicians ever known, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Hiromi, John McLaughlin, Branford Marsalis, Zakir Hussain, Mike Stern and Steve Lukather all have something else in common. At one time or another, these legendary artists have counted on the supportive, melodic and propulsive bass playing of the amazing Tony Grey.  Artists of such stature and virtuosity do not trust just anybody to hold down the foundations of their music. They seek out the best for live performances and recordings. Time and time again they have turned toward the expertise and artistry of Tony Grey.

Now, Tony Grey is set to release his fourth solo album, Elevation, on October 15 2013 through Abstract Logix Records.  Elevation is a beautiful, multi-track showcase of collaboration with a who’s who of guitar and musical greats; featuring the amazing Mike Stern, fretless guitar legend David Fiuczynski, Whitesnake's Reb Beach, Japanese star Hotei Tomoyasu, and finally, Tony’s illustrious uncle and guitar legend John McLaughlin, who contributes a new and never-before-released composition that he penned for Chick Corea.

Tony wrote all the music for Elevation, also arranging his own version of “Some Day My Prince Will Come” featuring Fabrizio Sotti, along with the funky “Chick’s Chums” from Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. Nir Felder, Romain Collin, and Mino Cinelu all lend their musical mastery to Tony’s tracks.

Tony stands out as not only an immensely talented bassist, but one of most formidable writers of the next generation, whose music transcends genres, appealing not only to the attentive, longtime fan, but also creating a musical bridge for those new listeners about to enter the rhythmically-addictive world of Tony Grey.

Víctor Santiago: Odio al Prejuicio - excellent rock fusion original composition

An exciting rock fusion original "Hate to Prejudice" from the talented Víctor Santiago. Great job!

Víctor Santiago is on Facebook:

Odio al Prejuicio - Víctor Santiago [ORIGINAL] [HD]

Steve Vai: Guitar Workshop Announced for Northern Ireland

Get Tickets

In his only appearance of this kind in Northern Ireland this year, American guitar legend Steve Vai will host an intimate workshop at the Nerve Centre this month, as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations.

For a limited audience on Wednesday 28 August the solo six-string master will deliver an evening of demonstration and discussion, as well as giving insight into his own extraordinary playing techniques.

Marty McGill, Nerve Centre music programme manager, said: “We're delighted to be welcoming a real life music legend to the Nerve Centre. A lot of musicians from Derry~Londonderry would hold up Steve Vai and Joe Satriani as key influences, including many of the people who set up the Nerve Centre in the first place! In a way, Steve's music has been one of the drivers behind our programmes for music education and talent development.”

Once an understudy of both Frank Zappa and Joe Satriani, Vai has made a career out of exploring and broadening the possibilities of the six-stringed instrument.

Since the 1980s he, along with his virtuoso contemporaries, have continually redefined the capabilities of the guitar and taken the instrument to previously uncharted regions of artistry, selling over 15 million copies of his solo albums along the way.

Vai is famed for the sheer scope of sounds he's achieved in making such memorable music, ranging from emotive soloing to effects-heavy pedal work. The ability he has at his disposal is remarkable and is the reason why Vai has long been a regular name on the annual G3 concert tour alongside the likes of Satriani and Racer X whiz Paul Gilbert.

Tickets for this unmissable evening, presented by the Nerve Centre in association with Rockers Reunion and Amped Promotions, are priced at £20 plus booking fee and are available now from the Nerve Centre Box Office, Ticketmaster and WeGotTickets.

News: Truth In Shredding reiterates it's policy on creativity with a change in video posting

I'm often asked to review and listen to excellent videos on YouTube that are cover versions* of classic rock, metal, tunes. The players soloing are for the most part excellent. However, have been looking at reducing the number of video posts on Truth In Shredding that don't further an individual's creativity, merely highlight a level of capability. To that end I thought I would let you know how I am going to be looking to pick videos for Truth In Shredding:

1 Newsworthy - live performance / interview / music jam sessions / performance playthrough
2 Original Composition
3 Improvisation
4 Good quality guitar tuition
5 Promotion videos for new albums / gear
6 Videos that I have a personal attachment too.
There are good reasons why I would like to avoid cover videos, these include issues related copyright and how YouTube handles that (where sound gets disabled somewhere in the world). Also I know that music companies are looking for players with original qualities, composition skills, technical skill, and good communication skills.  
I will also only be posting videos that are hosted on YouTube or Vimeo, but not Facebook.

Guthrie Govan,Marco Minnemann,Bryan Beller: Culture Clash - highly recommended for fusion and jazz fans from anywhere on Planet Earth!

The Web Store
Resident reviewer J Mercer takes the Aristocrats for a spin to see if there is a culture clash!

The Aristocrats is a multi-national band with diverse influences. Marco Minnemann (Necrophagist, Kreator) hails from Germany, Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia) calls the UK his home, and American Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Dethlok) rounds out this power trio. A young band, The Aristocrats released its eponymous debut in 2011. The band's sophomore album, Culture Clash, was released in 2013. Culture Clash is 'proggy', but it also rocks, and is jazzy, mellow, bluesy, and just plain fun.

The band updated fans early with good news: "...Culture Clash cracked the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart Top 10 this week! The album hit #8 on that chart, and also debuted at #16 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart." This clean, crisply-produced, instrumental album is a crazy journey into and through the world of rock fusion. It easily meets and exceeds the challenge of holding a listener's attention without a vocalist, by presenting listeners with nearly an hour of fluid tempo shifts, a variety of genre influences, and of course, elite musicianship or 'near perfect' technique. It is a 'muso's inspiration', an album that ought to motivate modern rock, jazz, and fusion musicians to greater heights on their instrument(s) of choice. It's not really what would be called an accessible album, but it's much more listenable (to a rock fan) then some free jazz. Very little time is spent in traditional rock song territory, but the band manages to retain some of that allure. Of course, to a fusion or jazz fan, this kinetic record is truly sublime. It's avant-garde, very well-done fusion: a melding or blurring of the genres of rock, jazz, and blues with hints of even more.

The Aristocrats - "Culture Clash" Full Album Preview Montage

Of the nine, two songs on Culture Clash stand out a bit. "Louisville Stomp" boasts a guitar intro that's very surf-rock influenced, with a prominent quavering vibrato. There's note doubling on the bass, a complex guitar lead, an interesting drum part: what's not to like? Here, we begin to hear the band's humor. That the tune shifts from a super fast surf-rock type lick to some sort of mellow bluesy 'clean electric' rock lick, then to almost a jazz trio sound, all in the same 30 second timespan, holds one's attention fast. The entire tune ends up a syncopation of ideas, not just licks. If you're looking for a 'fast guitar' song, without it also being 'hard rock/metal', this number ought to meet the bill. "Living The Dream" is very fast tempo, very rockin', high gain monster stuff. It flips to some offbeat rock and then right back to metal. That wackiness harkens back strongly to bands who perfected this 'near-crazy for crazy's sake' style 'back in the day': ZappaFaith No MoreScatterbrain, and others. This tune is incredibly heavy, but it vacillates to so many other tempos and moods that listeners simply have to check it out. The song boasts a false ending, where the mood fades into what seems to be a sonic dreamscape. After about 4 more teaser near-endings, the song does conclude on a screaming guitar note. The other seven tunes are just as good - elastic, fluid, experimental, expansive, well-crafted.

Other than the top-shelf musicianship, one consistent element on Culture Clash is the endings. Seven of nine tunes have sudden endings; eight if the send-off note in "Living The Dream" as counted as 'sudden'. The enigmatic genres of fusion and jazz seem to emphasize quirkiness and unpredictability, so it's ironic to find 'rock and roll level' consistency in the endings. As part of the album's elite avant-fusion bent, it's unknown if there are actually any major chords present. If you're interested in finding out this, and other musical mysteries, check out the Culture Clash Backings Package offered by JamTrackCentral, which contains backing tracks and full, Guthrie-checked and authorized tablature.
Culture Clash Backings Package 

Culture Clash is a fantastic, experiential journey through what is possible if various musical genres are fused with best in class musicianship. The album has plenty of syncopation, chordal bass work, 'adult chords', odd tempos, lightning speed, mellow funkiness, and whatever else a sophisticated listener seeks here. It's exciting in it's chops-buster virtuosity, it's relative restraint, and the sheer number of exploratory ideas it presents to receptive ears. The album didn't hit #8 on the US Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart because it's being promoted heavily, or the guys are clean-shaven and 22 years old: it got there because it's amazing. Music fans are taking notice of this exemplary trio. This is a highly recommended album for fusion and jazz fans from anywhere on Planet Earth.

- J. Mercer

Band Lineup:
Guthrie Govan -- Guitar
Bryan Beller -- Bass
Marco Minnemann -- Drums

Track Listing: 
1. Dance Of The Aristocrats
2. Culture Clash
3. Louisville Stomp
4. Ohhhh Noooo
5. Gaping Head Wound
6. Desert Tornado
7. Cocktail Umbrellas
8. Living The Dream
9. And Finally

Rating: 9.5/10

The Aristocrats - "Culture Clash" Complete Song Preview

Tom Hess: The Five Main Keys To Becoming A Truly Great Guitar Player

The Five Main Keys To Becoming A Truly Great Guitar Player
by Tom Hess
After investing over two decades into helping guitarists to reach their musical goals, I have identified the five keys required for becoming a truly great guitar player. In this article I will address all five and explain how you can achieve greatness for yourself. The five main keys are:

The 1st key: Out of all five keys, the first one is the easiest to attain. In fact, to get it you do not need to make any effort at all. This is because you already have it. The first key is having the ‘potential’ to achieve greatness. In fact, everyone possesses this key. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a guitar player who cannot become great because he/she was not born with ‘natural talent’. I've
 seen this misconception proven wrong every single time I've trained guitarists with average/little talent to transform themselves into incredible players.

The main idea is you and everyone else already has endless potential to become great. However, you will ‘not’ become great unless you believe in this fact (and take action on your beliefs). Until you believe that you have the potential for greatness, you will simply make excuses and settle for being ‘average’ at best.

Whether you think you CAN or CAN’T become great, you are right! After continually accepting certain thoughts and ideas, they become your reality. With this in mind, I have never come across a guitar player who truly aspires to be ‘merely average’ at best. Additionally, I know that YOU want to achieve much more than mediocrity... you want to achieve greatness. I know this because you are reading this article right now about becoming a great guitar player.

These are the things we understand up until this point:
1. All guitar players have the potential to achieve greatness.
2. Everyone wants to achieve great things. No one wants to settle for mediocrity.
3. You become what you believe.

So with all this in mind... why do the majority of guitarists never become great? This problem can be resolved by reading about the remaining four keys. In almost every case, guitar players who don’t become great ‘fail’ because they do not utilize all of the remaining keys to their fullest extent. Fortunately, no matter where you are in the process of attaining these keys, you CAN become great.

You CAN overcome any obstacles in your way. If you have a tendency to make excuses for why you can’t do things because you feel like your situation is ‘a special case’... drop this habit immediately! Regardless of your specific situation or challenge (even if you feel it really is legitimately different from others’ situations/challenges), you can and will overcome it to reach your goal.

The 2nd key: The initial problem that will keep you from becoming great as a guitarist is the fact that you’ve never actually been presented with a clear definition of what greatness really is. Truth is, being great has nothing to do with the speed at which you can play guitar solos, knowing how to play like your favorite players or developing better musical skills. It’s likely that you've heard others describe greatness in this way many times before... but in reality most of these people are not really qualified to tell you these things. You must understand exactly what it means to be great from a core and fundamental level while forgetting about the other superficial things people say.

You must have someone fully demonstrate to you, “This is how you achieve greatness in your guitar practice in order to reach your musical goals.” “Here is precisely what true greatness looks like in the way you consciously focus your mental energy during the training process and how this is not the same as merely practicing.” “This is what greatness looks like while applying the things you are learning to your guitar playing, performance, improvisation and music writing.” “This is what greatness looks like in the form of learning, the methods you use to learn and the order in which you learn everything you want (and need) to master.” “Here is how greatness looks as you express yourself musically while accurately conveying specific ideas and emotions in the manner of a true virtuoso.” “This is what it looks like when you are quickly achieving greatness in all of these areas at once.” The point is: ‘every’ element of the process of learning guitar can be performed with varying degrees of ‘greatness’. You need to learn to be great in all of these pieces so that these pieces add up to make the complete picture of your total musical greatness.

The 3rd key: You must totally understand (with 100% clarity) the things you want to achieve as a guitar player and musician. If you do not understand these things in ‘great detail’, how will you ever accomplish them? It would be like thinking to yourself, “I want to get my mom a present for her birthday, but I have no idea what she wants or what to get for her. I’m not sure if she wants candles, pictures, a card, a nice blouse, a fishing pole or... a power drill.” So the day before her birthday you go up to the mall and walk around for hours until finally you settle for some lame present. Then her birthday arrives and the whole family is there at the dinner table when your mom opens your present... a 15 dollar gift card to a fast food restaurant (that she doesn't even like).
Ok, back to music: When you don’t have a clear picture of what it is that you want from guitar, there is no way for you to know which path to take, what material to study or which strategies need to be employed. You MUST understand the exact things you want to accomplish because this is what will help you identify the choices you need to make and the actions that are required to accomplish your stated goals.

The 4th key: For the small percentage of guitarists who truly understand what greatness looks like as described above, and have determined what they seek to accomplish as well as the road that will get them there, there exists another challenge to overcome.

The truth is, the overwhelming majority of guitar players out there do not believe in themselves, lack confidence, and don’t think they have the capacity to dedicate themselves to truly achieving greatness.
So instead of achieving greatness, they give up and return to the habit of always taking the path of least resistance. As a result, they only are able to achieve mediocre results and end up feeling disappointed in themselves because they know deep down that they are not reaching their fullest potential. This makes it even harder for them to do what it takes to become a great guitarist.

The 5th key: If you...
1. Understand the strategies you must to implement in order to achieve it...
2. Understand what greatness looks like in all areas...
3. Have total faith in yourself that you can fulfill your potential and advance forward...

... then you will take action to become the great guitar player you desire to be, can be and ‘ought’ to be.

However, be aware that you can still lose your way, become confused, upset, impatient, or distracted... leaving you back where you started in a mindset of mediocrity. Fact is, it is way easier to give up and accept a life of ‘being average’ than it is to stay on course and do anything it takes to become great. So why does this happen exactly? Why do so many people give up in their pursuit of greatness and return to their comfort zone (never to accomplish anything truly great)? It is my belief that this occurs when you are lacking someone who is there to inspire you, believe in your capacity to succeed, support you, hold you accountable and help you up in times when you fall flat on your face. You don't have someone there who can empathize with your situation because that person has experienced it many times as well. You must have all five keys to become a great guitarist. You must have someone on your side with tons of experience, who will support you, train you and give you massive amounts of inspiration... a person who will guide you along the correct path and make sure that you remain on that path until achieve the greatness you were destined to achieve.

This article is not a sales message or anything like that. There is nothing being sold here. I simply want to give you insight to help you understand why you have not yet reached the level you want to be at as a guitarist, and what you must do to finally accomplish what you have been destined to achieve since birth – Unstoppable Greatness!

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, recording artist and virtuoso guitar player. He teaches guitar players from all over the world in his online guitar lessons. Visit his website to get free guitar playing resources and to read more guitar playing articles.

Jason Becker,Scott Ian,Joey Vera: will perform at a benefit for Jason Becker and ALS research

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian and his wife, Pearl Aday, along with ARMORED SAINT/FATES WARNING bassist Joey Vera, will perform at a benefit for Jason Becker and ALS research on Thursday, September 19 at Bimbo's in San Francisco, California.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit


News: Progressive Nations at sea 2014 details


Los Angeles, CA - Progressive Nation is hitting the high seas in 2014! Join us in this inaugural sailing from February 18th – 22nd 2014 on the luxurious Norwegian Pearl heading from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay and Freeport, Bahamas. This music festival at sea gives you an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean and all the amenities of a cruise ship; you will enjoy music from morning ‘til night with over 40 shows on multiple stages, along with activities, Q&A’s, panels and workshops from your favorite artists.

PROGRESSIVE NATION founder Mike Portnoy elaborates: ""In 2008 & 2009, I created a touring package called 'Progressive Nation' and with Dream Theater headlining, we did three full tours (two in North America and one in Europe) that showcased a variety of bands that embraced the spirit and musicality of progressive music.

Well after a 5 year hiatus, I have decided to resurrect Progressive Nation and this time we are taking it to the seas! But rather than a 4 band bill like previous Progressive Nation tours, we have expanded the bill to OVER A DOZEN of today's greatest progressive bands, musicians and artists! (and there may be one or two more still to be confirmed)

Myself and my former DT bandmate Derek Sherinian have teamed up with Sixthman (who have done incredibly successful cruises with Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the annual Kiss Cruise to name a few) as well as our friends at Inside Out Music and look forward to a very successful inaugural launch of PROGRESSIVE NATION AT SEA Feb 18th thru 22nd 2014

We are so excited to take part in this historic maiden voyage and look forward to sharing this one of a kind event with fans from all around the world!""

Visit to register for the pre-sale today!
This music festival at sea gives music fans an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean, guest will have the opportunity to see their favorite musical heroes perform numerous sets around the many stages set around Norwegian Pearl. And when guests are not attending a performance, a variety of activities hosted by the artists will fill the day.
Progressive Nation at Sea begins at $700 per person plus taxes and fees. Prices include entertainment, meals, and access to Norwegian Pearl’s outstanding amenities, including outdoor pool, hot tubs, rock climbing wall, and fitness center. Fans can read more and sign up for the Progressive Nation pre-sale at:

With 15 decks of fun, Norwegian Pearl offers guests access to 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, four hot tubs, and spa treatments to help forget about the world left behind. Onboard concerts aren’t the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl - passengers looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the onboard lanes, or tempt lady luck at The Pearl Club Casino. Progressive Nation cruisers will also have the opportunity to explore the sandy beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities and games, the gigantic “Hippo” water slide, and access to food and beverage service will make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience.

Forthcoming announcements are scheduled to follow detailing artist-hosted activities, theme night information, contest additions, and activities! For full details and to sign up for the pre-sale, fans should visit

Brennan Dylan: The hat man shreds a little Jay-Z

I've been looking for a manager since damn near the beginning of time. Sure, I've been down the aisle a few times before but didn't ever make it to the altar because there was always a catch that showed up just as the preacher took off his hood. Yeah, you got was the Devil himself standing there wanting to marry me to a mannequin decked out in a burning paper mache dress. But hey.......every artist looking for an agent, manager and/or label experiences the same thing at one time or another until the real McCoy shows up. Oh yeah the real deal shows up eventually. In my case a killer manager showed up just out of the blue when I wasn't really looking or expecting much. In other words I'd become totally cynical and less trusting than a starving wolf of humans standing 10 miles from town in the dead of winter's icy chill. There is so much deception in the music business aimed at artists that when an honest face finally did show up holding a bag of integrity all I saw was the Devil carrying a burning mannequin.

I live in NYC and the manager I speak of is from Kent, Ohio. Before I was going to sign on the dotted line I wanted to be more than certain that this time it was real. So I jumped into my beaten up Ford Explorer and headed towards Cleveland. Now as the crow flies it looked to be about 4-5 hours away. But taking into account the 90 minute ride it took to escape the city's grasp, the number of trucks on the road and the onslaught of hills I had to handle just to reach my destination, it took me at least 10 hours to get there. But hey...........I'm not really a driver.

We met the following day at a restaurant. He was all he said he was and more......even picking up the bill. In LA I met a number of these dudes and all stuck me with the bill even though they did the inviting. So him picking up the tab was cool. He took me to his recording studio, introduced me around, was as real as the real McCoy gets but still I was skeptical. My intuition said sign on the dotted mind was saying ask to see his passport because people from Hell don't have one. Anyway, I followed my intuition and signed with him for a year. And I'm really glad I did because the idea we came up with for my next video which is this video is really working out. Its all about guitar and always will be.

Jay-Z feat: Rick Ross "F*ck With Me You Know I Got It" AMAZING Guitar Solo!