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Slide Guitar: Players, Tips and Tricks

Michael Leonard
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07.02.2012

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If you enjoyed Gibson.com’s recent primer on slide guitar, here’s more. Slide guitar is almost an instrument in itself. Even many great players can’t master slide but, if you can, it remains one of the most rewarding and unique ways of getting new sounds from your guitar.
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Start Me Up: From Beginner to Rocker in Just One Lesson?

Peter Hodgson
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06.23.2012

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I’ve taught a lot of people to play guitar over the years – at one point I had more than 50 students per week – and the following lesson is the result of hundreds of hours of teaching, as well as thousands of hours of riffing. This is really for the beginners, but it never hurts to brush up on the basics, even if you’ve been playing for a while.
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Top 10 Songs for Six-String Beginners

Ted Drozdowski
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06.18.2012

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Beginning to play guitar is like fishing in the ocean for the first time. Where does one cast a line?
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Tricks of the Trade: Getting the Most Out of Your Les Paul

Peter Hodgson
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06.04.2012

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There are a lot of little things, fine details, which come together to make the Gibson Les Paul such a popular and influential guitar. Some of it’s down to style: whether in the hands of a tuxedoed Les Paul himself or a shirtless, slouched Slash, there’s an undeniable sense of cool that comes over a player when they strap a Les Paul on. More if it is down to the tone: the mixture of mahogany and maple which personifies the classic vintage Les Paul sound played a crucial role in defining the sound of rock, and more than 40 years later we still use that sound as a benchmark for what crunchy rock tone means.
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Gibson Tone Tip: Slides

Dave Hunter
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06.02.2012

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Feel stuck in a stylistic rut? Break out a slide. One of these hollow tubes and a repertoire of a few basic licks can quickly inject some new energy and direction into your playing, and give you a fresh tone to work with besides.
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Tapping into the Muse: EVH, Satch and Vai Tapping Tricks

Peter Hodgson
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05.16.2012

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Players employed two-handed tapping before Eddie Van Halen came along (and legend has it that Eddie got the idea from watching Jimmy Page playing the open-string pull-off licks in the “Heartbreaker” solo). But in much the same way that Frank Gambale developed, refined and popularized sweep picking, Van Halen explored the creative possibilities of what tapping could offer more thoroughly and idiosyncratically than any other player before him.
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Stage Tips: Perform Like Hendrix, Townshend and Angus Young

Ted Drozdowski
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05.07.2012

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The saying “it’s all about the music” is only half the truth, especially when it comes to live performances. There’s more to playing on stage than playing well. The shoegazer aesthetic of the alternative rock era is over, and it’s time to put blood in the music every time you and your band step up.
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What the Funk?! How to Get That James Brown Sound

Ted Drozdowski
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04.25.2012

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It’s early 1965 and James Brown – whose May 3 birthday is a national funk holiday – is looking for a new guitar player. Les Blue, who’s been burning up the road with Brown for years, has had it with traveling. You’ve got the audition thanks to Blue’s recommendation to the demanding bandleader. How do you ace it and win the gig?
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How to Sound Like ’59 Les Paul Legend Gary Moore

Ted Drozdowski
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04.02.2012

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The punch line for the old joke “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” is the same as the answer for “How do I begin to sound like Gary Moore?” Practice.
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Scales Made Easy: Using Visual Patterns In Composition

Peter Hodgson
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03.14.2012

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Visual patterns are a great way of learning scales. Most of us are very familiar with the minor pentatonic pattern, which looks like a slightly squashed box when laid out on the fretboard. And three-note-per-string patters are a great way of adding some Holdsworthian angularity to your soloing. And we recently looked at symmetrical scales as a way of adding some spice to a fast lead guitar lick. But there’s another visual trick I like to employ from time to time to come up with new riffs and licks. And it’s so ridiculously simple that you can even use it when you’re nowhere near a guitar, or if you have no working knowledge of music theory at all. There’s no particular name for this technique, so let’s just call it the visual pattern method.
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