Monday, 16 December 2013

Steve Morse,Dave LaRue: Flying Colors / Ernie Ball / Music Man Holiday 2013 Give-Away

Flying Colors / Ernie Ball / Music Man Holiday 2013 Give-Away
Win private Skype guitar lessons with Steve Morse and Dave LaRue, autographed MusicMan guitars and basses, and more! http://www.ernieball.com Get Live in Europe! • Amazon Blu-ray: • Amazon DVD: • Amazon CD: • iTunes:

Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller, Marco Minnemann: The Aristocrats U.S. West/Mexico January 2014 Leg of the "Culture Clash" tour is now just a month away

The Aristocrats U.S. West/Mexico January 2014 Leg of the "Culture Clash" tour is now just a month away, and we’ve made a couple of last-minute adjustments to the itinerary that we wanted to share with you right away.
First off, Tijuana is out (sorry Baja Californians, but you can come catch us in San Diego!), but LAS VEGAS is in, our first show ever in that very unique city. And we’ve added a second show at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro…but it’s up to you to make that one happen for sure. (Basically we need 50 tickets purchased to make it official; the venue only holds 80.) Details can be found at the link below to the calendar page, but right now the whole thing looks like this:
The Aristocrats “Culture Clash” Tour

U.S. West/Mexico Leg – January 2014

(for details on all dates, visit The Aristocrats calendar page)
* with special guest Travis Larson Band on (*) dates
1/13 – Denver, CO – Quixote’s True Blue (*)

1/15 – Albuquerque, NM – The Dirty Bourbon (*)

1/17 – Phoenix, AZ – Pub Rock Live
1/18 – Mexicali, Baja, MEXICO – Casa De La Cultura (*)

1/19 – Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas Country Saloon (*)

1/21 – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick (*)

1/25 – Whittier, CA – The Center Theater (CalProg) -
double bill with The Stickmen (Tony Levin, Pat Mastellotto and Markus Reuter)

1/26 – San Pedro, CA – Alvas Showroom (Two shows: 6:00pm and 8:00pm)

1/28 – Mexico City, MEXICO – Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral

1/30 – San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brew (*)

2/1 – San Francisco, CA – Biscuits & Blues
So, if you’re anywhere near these fine places, you know what to do. :-)
And be sure to visit and keep visiting the Aristocrats' gig calendar page for the latest on our 2014 overseas touring in Europe (February-April), South America (May), SE Asia (August), and more. 
Happy holidays everyone!

-The Aristocrats

Tomáš Raclavský: Travelers by Modern day babylon

Tomáš Raclavský: Travelers by Modern day babylon

1. Astral Storm 02:36
2. Lost in dreams 04:02
3. Travelers 04:28
4. Distant skyline 04:22
5. Differentiate 05:18
6. Currency 03:29
7. Time shift 04:38
8. Infinity 05:14
9. Element 04:28
10. Journey of living 04:09
11. Thaller than thall 02:02
12. Currency (vocal version feat. Maxi Curnow) 03:34
13. Differentiate (vocal version feat. Maxi Curnow) 05:22
14. Infinity (Matt Holland remix) 03:30

released 15 December 2013
tags: metal ambient djent groove math Czech Republic

Jennifer Batten: immersed myself into Steampunk glass art!

Just landed back in the U.S. after 7 weeks on the road. I had a blast playing with my ridiculously talented band featuring John Macaluso on drums (Yngwie, George Lynch), Simon Fitzpatrick (Carl Palmer) on 4 and 6 string bass, and the gifted Nazzareno Zacconi on electric and acoustic guitar. We all have solo CD's available from iTunes.

It was an amazing tour which began in Nagaland, India in early November. It was such a whirlwind of cool events that I'm writing an e book about it which should be available by spring with photos and videos. So, I won't try to highlight anything here.

I also wanted to alert you last minute Christmas shoppers to DEEP discounts on my steampunk and glass art work that I do between tours, available here: I can ship immediately.

Jennifer Batten: I took a year off from music and immersed myself into glass art, followed by film making.  As time allows, I get back into my glass studio with fresh visions. I have been unable to park my car in my garage since my glass obsession began, as it's filled to the brim with glass and tools which includes 3 different sized kilns for fusing glass.

Jennifer Batten Art Glass

Fuminiori Watanabe: exivious guitar solo contest

A very different take on the solo.

I'm Fuminiori Watanabe from Japan.
Here is my solo for exivious guitar solo contest.
Hope you enjoy it!
Arigato Gozaimasu!

Age /21
Guitar / ESP Snapper
Effect:Roland GR55

exivious guitar solo contest by Fuminori Watanabe

Tymon Kruidenier: Exivious and The Circle Pit guitar solo contest
Still time to get the new album

Chowy Fernandez

Chowy Fernandez with his solo for this competition which is really starting to add some interesting solos.

Exivious "entrust" solo competition by Chowy Fernandez

Tymon Kruidenier: Exivious and The Circle Pit guitar solo contest
Still time to get the new album

Sam Bell: Exivious 'Entrust' Guitar Solo Contest Entry

Here is my entry for the Exivious Entrust Guitar Solo contest. I really enjoyed improvising some ideas around on this track. I had done several takes early this morning, however this one felt the most natural and musical of the takes.

Please click LIKE and SUBSCRIBE if you dig. I have lots of free lessons, performances, and gear demos on my YouTube Channel!

Sam Bell - Exivious 'Entrust' Guitar Solo Contest Entry

Nevada Music asked me to demo these two very affordable 7 and 8 string Ibanez guitars. Straight out the box, facotry set up. I was blown away by the quality, playability, and sound that is possible with these instruments. (Info and specs in links below)

In this video I play over a modified version of one of my own songs. I change guitar between sections to show the kind of sounds available on these amazing instruments. I start of with a straight ahead bridge pickup rhythm tone, then I move to a split bridge tone, something most Ibanez guitars can do and is a signature sound of the Ibanez RG and S series guitars. Then I demo some clean sounds using some chords and some clean lead playing to show how open the guitars sound. Finally, it wouldn't be a Sam Bell or Ibanez demo without some overdriven lead playing to demo the playabilty of the instruments.

Be sure to head to and check them out!

Ibanez RG7421 (7 string)

Ibanez S8 (8 string)
Ibanez RG7421 & S8 Demo - Sam Bell @ Nevada Music UK

Michael Harris,Alfie Luckey: Far Beyond the Sun - duet in neo classical minor!

The Michael Harris Tranz-Fusion and Alfie Luckey play Yngwie Malmsteen's "Far Beyond the Sun" (Michael Harris - guitar; Alfie Luckey - guitar; Brian Harris - drums; Jake Koch - bass; Jeff Davis - keyboards & photography; Scott Capozzi & James Gilmore - videography; Steve Kunz - sound; Ed Jones - nothing)

Michael Harris and Alfie Luckey play "Far Beyond the Sun"

John Goodsall,Percy Jones, Phil Collins: Gonzo Multimedia To Release Rare CDs By UK Prog-Fusion Legends Brand X

Gonzo Multimedia To Release Rare CDs By UK Prog-Fusion Legends Brand X Feat. Phil Collins

London, UK - Although typically considered an off-shoot band for Genesis legend Phil Collins, UK prog-fusion group Brand X was much more than that. Featuring several virtuosic musicians (as well as Collins), Brand X took the genre of fusion to a whole new level of expertise. Along with Collins on drums, the band featured Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) Robin Lumley (keyboards), and Morris Pert (percussion), with sometimes Mike Clark, Kenward Dennard (drums), and John Giblin (bass). Active from 1975-1980, Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved by other musicians, and the more discerning critics, but despite everything never had the commercial success they deserved. The band released several critically acclaimed albums on the Charisma label in the UK and Passport label in the US, including 'Unorthodox Behaviour', 'Moroccan Roll', 'Livestock' and 'Product'. Now much to the excitement of Brand X fans and fusion music fans worldwide, Gonzo Multimedia is releasing 3 rare Brand X titles on CD (Missing Period, Live At The Roxy LA 1979, Is There Anything About?), as well as bassist Percy Jones' hard to find solo offering from 1989 'Cape Catastrophe'.

Says Percy Jones, “I'm really happy that Gonzo is releasing this stuff. It was recorded over 25 years ago, so it's great that it's still available to anyone who is interested.”

Brand X - “Missing Period': This album represents the earliest known recordings of Brand X circa 1975-76. Recorded shortly before the group's debut album 'Unorthodox Behaviour', the source tapes for this material were recently recovered by John Goodsall from family members in England, who presented John with a box containing all sorts of Brand X memorabilia. At the bottom of the box were some old reels of tape of unknown origin. Upon review John and Percy realized that they had uncovered a long lost treasure – excellent quality recordings of Brand X's classic lineup performing previously unreleased material. This documents a period of the band's history which has been missing for over 20 years.

Tracks: 1. Dead Pretty, 2. Kugelblitz, 3. Ancient Mysteries, 4. Why Won't You Lend Me Yours?. 5. Miserable Virgin, 6. Tito's Leg

To purchase Brand X – 'Missing Period' CD:

Brand X – 'Live At The Roxy LA 1979': Recorded at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, September 23, 1979 shortly after the release of 'Product'. This is a previously unreleased soundboard recording of Brand X captured live at the peak of the band's career.

Tracks: 1. Disco Suicide (intro) Algon, 2. Dance Of The Illegal Aliens, 3. Don't Make Waves, 4. Malaga Vergen, 5. ...And So To F..., 6. Nuclear Burn

To purchase Brand X 'Live At The Roxy LA 1979' CD:,_LA_1979.html

Brand X – 'Is There Anything About?': Not long after Brand X released their 1980 album 'Do They Hurt?', the band members went their separate ways (until their comeback in 1992 which only featured Goodsall and Jones). However, they still owed their record label one more album. The solution? Release a rarities album! The problem was that there was very little unreleased material in the vaults – about three or four tracks at the most. But with a little doctoring and remixing of tapes, keyboardist Robin Lumley extended that number to six tracks and the label released Brand X's appropriately-titled collection 'Is There Anything About?' in 1982.

Says Gonzo Magazine's Jon Downes, “It is the last album to feature Phil Collins on drums and includes some absolutely gorgeous slices of Brand X at their very best. This is a peculiar album; at the time many critics panned it, often because it didn't sound anything like the anodyne pop music that Phil Collins was making elsewhere in his career. However, in my opinion and that of thousands of fans worldwide it acts as a satisfying coda to a body of work which has very few parallels in the world of jazz fusion.”

Tracks: 1. Ipanaemia, 2. A Longer April, 3. Modern, Noisy and Effective, 4. Swan Song, 5. Is There Anything About?, 6. Tmiu-Atga

To purchase Brand X 'Is There Anything About' CD:

Percy Jones – 'Cape Catastrophe': Several years after the release of Brand X's final album 'Is There Anything About?', bassist Percy Jones moved to New York City and began infiltrating the music scene there. He recorded 'Cape Catastrophe' in 1988/89 at a studio in East Harlem. Using an array of hardware and instruments available at the time, including a Casio synthesizer, Roland sequencer. Yamaha drum machine and Korg digital delay, Percy recorded a several tracks ranging in length from 2-and-a half minute to 23minutes.

Says music writer Dave Lynch, “There is certainly a lot here for electric bass-aholics to enjoy: Jones' burbles, pops, and plonks are all here, and his tone on sustained notes is rich with harmonic overtones as expected. But the music through which the bass slips and slides is often more like twisted instrumental techno-funk than fusion, along with ominous electronic textures that sometimes sound like an ethereal chorus or gruff, agitated shouts distorted beyond recognition.” Gonzo Magazine's Jon Downes adds, “Jones composed everything on the album himself, except for the closing number. The album is a peculiar, though satisfying mix of jazz fusion and electronica, and is another one of those classic albums that slipped through the cracks at the time, which is just unfair.”

Tracks: 1. The Lie, 2. Cape Catastrophe, 3. Slick, 4. Hex, 5. Barrio, 6. Tunnels, 7. Thin Line, 8. Symphony In F Major

To purchase Percy Jones 'Cape Catastrophe' CD:

Mattias IA Eklundh,Jonas Hellborg: The Jazz Raj - new CD

Mattias IA Eklundh,Jonas Hellborg: The Jazz Raj

Jonas Hellborg/Mattias IA Eklundh/Ranjit Barot: The Jazz Raj (Shipping Now)

Jonas Hellborg (Bass); Mattias Eklundh (Guitar); Ranjit Barot (Drums)

The Jazz Raj is a Jonas Hellborg trio recording continuing his collaboration with guitarist Mattias "IA" Eklundh and introducing drummer Ranjit Barot. The music is seamlessly bonding Western and Indian improvised music while avoiding the stylistic clichés that are so often the pitfalls of this type of music. The Jazz Raj continues the tradition of the bass/drums/guitar trios that Hellborg has been fronting for more than 2 decades featuring wonderful musicians such as Shawn Lane, Buckethead, Michael Shrieve and Jeff Sipe. The tracks on the record are two half hour extended compositions with sections interrelated thematically using western interpretation of Indian Ragas.

Track 1 The Swami on Park Street (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 2 Bacchic Frenzy (LISTEN TO AUDIO)

Larry Carlton,Robben Ford: Unplugged - new CD available

Larry Carlton,Robben Ford: Unplugged 
Larry Carlton and Robben Ford: Unplugged
Larry Carlton, Robben Ford (guitar)

Unplugged album by Larry Carlton / Robben Ford is scheduled to be released Feb 19, 2013 on the 335 label. Larry Carlton and special guest Robben Ford sharing the same stage, unplugged. This DVD is a guitar lovers dream Unplugged music CDs. This unique pairing of great guitar legends delivers and unforgettable evening of dueling guitar solos and an uncompromising evening of The Blues the way it was meant to be. Unplugged CD music contains a single disc.


SKU SKU25712
Track 1 NM Blues (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 2 That Road (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 3 Monty (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 4 Cold Gold (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 5 Hand in Hand with the Blues (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 7 I Put a Spell On You (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 8 Rio Samba (LISTEN TO AUDIO)

Andreas Schaberer: The Bellerophon Project - Hydra and Crystal Lattice

Nerdy instrumental music from Europe. New single "Hydra" coming on 12-15-13
- Founded summer 2013
- Constists of two members: 8string (Andreas Schaberer) + drums (Manu Lotter [Ex-Farewell To Arms]).
- Making progressive and educational metal music for live shows and workshops
- Released 1st single "Crystal Lattice" in september -> over 10k views in 2 months
- Second single "Hydra" coming in december
- Open for booking NOW!

The Band 
Andreas Schaberer - Guitar
Manuel Lotter - Drums
Studio/Live Bass: "Uz"

Endorsement partners:

Ibanez Guitars
Zildjian Cymbals
Vic Firth Sticks
Tama Drums
Evans Drumheads
Gosu Gear Clothing

Manuel Lotter #HYDRA out now! Watch, spread and share, so that 2014 will be an intense year for us! If you want to book as for a show or workshop, just drop us a message to:
Special thanks to our buddies Roley and Johnny from Riverside Studios for making this tune sounding so huge! For sure, thanks to our man Marcel for doing such an awesome camera job for this video and to UZ, our studio and live bassist! Glad to have you all on board!
Remember: January 10th will be our first live appearance at drummer's focus Schlagzeugschule 30yrs show in Munich. DVD recording included. Gonna be fun!

The Bellerophon Project - Hydra (Official Video)

The Bellerophon Project - "Crystal Lattice" | Playthrough Video

Pedro Santos: Virtual Experience Band - Burning your Soul

Project arising upon the resources of new technologies and enables non-musical separation.

Pedro Santos Guitars /
Sergio Ramos: Drums /
Alberto Arm: Voices

This project arises using the resources of the new technologies has been the way to record all virtually and makes possible the separation unmusical. Pedro Santos in the wake of ideas that had recorded contact with the other 2 components and decide to start the project and get to work ONLINE. Soon you hear the EP VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE.

Virtual Experience Band - Burning your Soul

Shane Gibson: guitar shredding and talking StOrk's IndieGoGo campaign

Shane Gibson guitar shredding and talking StOrk's IndieGoGo campaign
StOrk guitarist Shane Gibson playing sections of StOrk's "Chainsaw Serenade" and talking about StOrk's IndieGoGo campaign. Support the band and help bring StOrk to you!

Shane Gibson guitar shredding and talking StOrk's IndieGoGo campaign

News: Rock Licks For Absolute Beginners – New From LickLibrary

Rock Licks For Absolute Beginners – New From LickLibrary

Rock Licks For Absolute Beginners (RRP £19.99) is the latest DVD from LickLibrary featuring a selection of easy to understand and access guitar lessons. It does exactly what it says in the title with top guitar teacher Danny Gill showing how to play some of the essential basics of rock guitar playing. Included are professionally recorded backing tracks to play along to and full tablature.

A popular LickLibrary guitar teacher, Danny has a measured, methodical style well suited to breaking down the essentials of rock guitar playing into small manageable ideas, making them easy to understand and follow. Danny looks at rudimentary techniques such as how to hold a pick, how to get pinched and natural harmonics and the best way to bend strings. Other essential lead guitar techniques such as hammer-ons and pull-offs, vibrato and the importance of phrasing are covered, plus he explores the pentatonic, blues and natural minor scales. The guitar lesson moves on to show beginners how to take three or four notes from a scale, repeat them at ever progressing speeds and make them sound like a lick.

In total there are fifteen short solos with almost forty licks, each of which can be played along to the backing track at slow, medium and up-tempo speeds so they can be heard in a musical context. One of the main emphases of the DVD guitar lesson is the development of a musical ‘ear’. Anyone can play a few licks, but a musician can hear. So to help the beginner rock guitarists learn and develop their ear there is a call and response section on the DVD. Danny plays a lick and the watcher copies by listening and watching what Danny does – a great way to develop playing and overall musicianship.

Rock Licks For Absolute Beginners has all the techniques needed for rock guitar novices to play rock licks successfully. Check it out at where lots of other Absolute Beginners DVDs can also be found.

Tom Hess: How To Become A Great Guitarist By Studying John Petrucci’s Playing

Tom Hess
How To Become A Great Guitarist By Studying John Petrucci’s Playing
By Tom Hess
You’re probably already familiar with John Petrucci’s shred guitar solos and advanced songwriting abilities. However, did you know that there is A LOT more to his playing that makes him such a guitarist? Fact is, most people only pay attention to the ‘obvious’ aspects of Petrucci’s guitar playing while completely overlooking other more subtle (but very important) skills he possesses. By discovering these skills for yourself, you will be able to study his playing and take your guitar skills to a much higher level than those who never looked below surface level.
These are the five most frequently overlooked elements in John Petrucci’s style that will benefit you most as a guitar player:

1. Excellent Performing Skills In Live Situations
Most fans of John Petrucci overlook the fact that he plays with great consistency during live shows. In addition to playing ‘highly complex’ music, Petrucci is also taking advantage of a highly developed skill set that gives him the ability to play excellent live shows. Fact is, playing live is totally different than playing at home or in the studio. Most musicians who are not used to the pressure of playing in live settings will struggle to perform well even if they are great at recording in the studio (or playing while alone in their room). Playing live presents challenges such as low lighting levels, playing when you can’t hear yourself, playing without much sleep, playing while being tired and covered in sweat plus a wide variety of other issues. It takes a real master guitarist to consistently perform his music as accurately as possible under these circumstances.

How Will This Make You A Better Guitar Player?
Know that ‘playing’ and ‘performing’ are two completely separate things and treat them as such when it comes time to practice. To play at the highest level, you must invest a great deal of time into practicing ‘performing’ while trying your best to recreate the challenges of playing in a live setting (like the ones mentioned above). Only then can you become perfectly consistent while playing live on stage.
That said, even if you aren’t interested in touring with a band as a pro musician, it is still highly important that you learn how to perform in live settings so you can be confident while playing in front of others. Study the information in this instructional column with guitar player stage fright solutions.

2. Very Precise Rhythm Guitar Playing
In addition to being an excellent lead guitar player, Petrucci has an uncanny ability to play tight, intricate rhythm guitar parts. In spite of this, most guitarists do not pay much attention to his rhythm playing because they do not perceive it to be as skillful as his lead guitar phrasing.
The truth is, it is often just as challenging to play and record tight rhythm guitar riffs as it is to play fast shred guitar solos. In fact, there are countless subtle aspects of rhythm guitar playing that most lead guitarists never pay attention to. Petrucci is well aware of these things and in fact has already mastered each and every one. Here is a short list containing some of these things:

  • Maintaining perfect silence (no noise) during rests between chords or notes

  • Keeping the intonation of each string 100% perfect (it’s very challenging to do while playing any chord larger than a basic two note power chord)

  • Keeping all pinch harmonics ‘in key’ while playing them with vibrato that matches the rhythm in the music

  • Getting rid of all the noise that can be created from vibrations in strings that aren’t being played

  • Using consistent muting technique at all times

  • Doing all these things with perfect timing

  • Doing all of these things MANY times over while recording multiple tracks for a part in a song
Additionally, the majority of Petrucci’s music is written for odd meter while using complex songwriting techniques, playing in between beats and making tons of unexpected changes to note values. This makes it difficult to play even the easiest of Petrucci’s rhythm guitar licks with perfect timing.

How Will This Make You A Better Guitar Player?
Understand that rhythm guitar playing is much more than simply playing along to the beat of the music or matching the ticks of a metronome. Then do these two things to become a better rhythm guitarist:
1. Study this free guide to recording guitar in the studio to become a tight rhythm guitarist.
2. Take the time to listen to any of Petrucci’s music from his band Dream Theater while focusing ‘only’ on his rhythm guitar playing and how it matches up perfectly with the drum parts in the song. Once you do this, you will gain a totally different perspective on what it means to be a great rhythm guitar player.

3. Guitar Solo Phrasing Ability
Guitar players who attempt to emulate Petrucci’s soloing style often focus on his ‘speed’ when they should be focusing on his ability to smoothly connect melodies together with excellent phrasing. This is what makes his guitar solos seamlessly transition from one melodic idea to the next with clear ‘beginning’ and ‘ending’ points. By listening to his work with Dream Theater you can hear tons of examples displaying this quality. Here are just a few:

  • “Voices” (from “Awake”)

  • “The Spirit Carries On” (from “Scenes From A Memory”)

  • “Forsaken” (from “Systematic Chaos”)

  • “Ministry Of Lost Souls” (from “Systematic Chaos”)

  • “The Best Of Times” (from “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”)
After listening closely to the solos above, you will clearly hear both a start and end to each phrase. Additionally, you will notice how each time a phrase is played, it sounds like a natural progression from the one that was played prior. This has the powerful effect of moving the music forward and taking the listener on a journey.
Petrucci creates his phrases in a way that is similar to the approach used by Yngwie Malmsteen. Although both players do not have a similar ‘style’, they both create guitar solos that smoothly connect from one phrase to the next. This helps them be much more creative in their respective genres/styles. If you would like to know more about Malmsteen's guitar playing, read this Yngwie guitar lesson.
The soloing method used by Petrucci and Malmsteen is nothing like the one used by most guitarists. Truth is, most guitar players simply memorize several scales and ‘randomly’ play through each one while hoping that something cool will come out of their efforts. Unlike the methods described above, soloing in this manner leads to very erratic phrasing that does not give the listener a sense of forward movement.

How Will This Make You A Better Guitar Player?
Starting right now, don’t think of guitar solos as just your chance to play through whatever scales you know in the right time over the right chords. Instead, think about:
1. Create a solo based on a specific melodic theme that will be ornamented using different guitar techniques. This will be much less difficult once you can think about soloing similar to how a singer writes his/her vocal melodies. For an example of this, watch this video to learn how to create better guitar solos with the vocal line of your favorite singers.
2. Putting together articulate phrases that sound like clear musical statements. Find out more on this topic and learn how to play great guitar solos.

4. Mastery Of Various Songwriting Approaches
In Petrucci’s band Dream Theater, he writes music using a wide variety of different styles. This is made possible by Petrucci’s ability to write not just for guitar, but also for all other instruments used in the band’s songs. Being able to do this (while writing very complex music) requires complete mastery of different songwriting approaches instead of simply writing using the same approach every time.
Although Petrucci is a guitarist, his songs are not written ‘only’ from a guitar player’s perspective. In many cases, his music is written based on the specific playing styles of percussion, keyboards and bass with guitar playing a minor role in the composition as a whole.
On the other hand, most guitarists will write music by simply improvising on guitar until something sounds good and then try to find some makeshift way of connecting their ideas together to produce a complete song. If this is your main approach, your songs will generally sound very similar to the music everyone else writes. Certainly writing in this kind of improvised manner ‘can’ be a useful way to approach songwriting, however, it is very limiting for your creativity when it is your only option.

How Will This Make You A Better Guitar Player?
To become a creative songwriter like Petrucci (while also improving in general as a guitarist) you must complete the following steps:
1. Understand how to use a wide collections of songwriting techniques so you always have creative options. Read this article to learn how to become a better songwriter for help in this area.
2. Learn how to increase your creativity as a musician by reading this article about musical expression.

5. Innovative 7 String Guitar Playing
In a previous article, I wrote about how to become a better 7 string guitar player and discussed a crucial error made by the majority of 7 string guitarists: focusing too much on the lowest string, making their playing boring and repetitive. John Petrucci does not make this same mental error. Instead he uses the expanded range of the instrument much like how a piano player takes advantage of the wide range of the piano. A great pianist will not remain in just one octave range throughout an entire song. He will utilize the entire range of his instrument to give himself the potential to achieve the highest degree of creativity possible.

How Will This Make You A Better Guitar Player?
Whether you play lead or rhythm guitar, you must avoid this habit of continually focusing on the extreme higher or lower pitch ranges. If you play 7 string guitar, this is even more important (because this problem is more obvious). Learn how to become a more balanced and creative guitarist using these free resources:
1. Free 7 string guitar playing resource
2. Free article about writing creative rhythm guitar riffs

What Is The Next Step To Take?
Now that you know what makes John Petrucci’s guitar playing style more amazing than what most give him credit for, begin consistently doing these three things:
1. Take the time to listen to Petrucci’s music in Dream Theater (even if you don’t usually listen to them). Focus on all the different areas I have discussed in this article so you can identify them clearly. Even if you don’t end up enjoying the music after listening to it at a deeper level, it is still important that you do this. Listening to music in this way will help you understand what makes some guitarists truly great.
2. Look deeply at your own guitar playing skills and identify what areas in your playing need the most improvement (within the context of the topics in this article). Understand that all the concepts I’ve talked about here are universally applicable to all guitarists. You will become a much better guitarist and musician once you have fully mastered them.
3. Look through and study the resources mentioned in this article to greatly improve in the areas where your playing is weak. This will prevent your weaknesses from holding you back from achieving your musical and guitar playing goals.
Once you do these three things on a consistent basis, you will make progress on guitar at an accelerated rate (much faster than any casual Petrucci fan who is unaware of the topics in this article).

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a professional recording artist, composer, and guitarist. He teaches and trains guitarists how to become great musicians in his online rock guitar lessons. Visit to receive additional free guitar playing resources and to read more guitar articles.

Stéphan Forté: participate in a great cause, help kids with liver disease?

Les Guitares Du Coeur

Stéphan Forté
Hey guys, wanna participate to a great cause ? Well actually, it's not a question you just need to do it, period I've been participating to this great compilation of french guitar players and all the funds will go to help kids with liver disease, check it out and order a copy ! ZILLION THANKS and have a great Xmas time

Guitars of the heart, French guitarists solidarity with sick children
With Cyril Achard , Yann Armellino , Thomas Bressel Jean Fontanille , Stéphan Forté , Christophe Godin & Ivan Rougny Yvan Guillevic , Franck Hermanny , Franck Karmattitude Victor Lafuente Manu Livertout , Norbert " Nono " Krief , Olivier Roman Garcia , Charly Sahona , Kenny Serane Pascal Vigne.
The benefits of this compilation will be donated to Children Liver Diseases Association and Ce Ke Du Bonheur Association. It is composed of many new instrumental made by great French guitarists from diverse musical worlds .

1. NNK (Norbert Nono Krief) “Galipette”  
2. Olivier Roman Garcia “Livie”  
3. Pascal Vigné “Aquablue”  
4. Kenny Serane “Songes”   
5. Christophe Godin / Ivan Rougny “Da Loop”  
6. Manu Livertout “Blue Game”  
7. Jean Fontanille “Time”  
8. Cyril Achard “L’Ange Est Là”  
9. Franck Hermanny “Caribbean Sundance”  
10. Yann Armellino “Isle Of Jura”  
11. Franck Karmattitude “Porté Par Le Vent”  
12. Yvan Guillevic “The Secret Way Of Stars”  
13. Victor Lafuente “The Riff Zone”  
14. Charly Sahona “Prelude To An Awakening”  
15. Thomas Bressel “Psychometal”  
16. Stéphan Forté “Eien No Kizuna”  

Greg Howe: Maragold - Paradigm Tsunami - great new single video

Download at iTunes -
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Official music video by Maragold performing "Paradigm Tsunami"
(c) Maragold
Maragold - Paradigm Tsunami (Official)