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10 Must-Have Record Store Day Releases

Anne Erickson
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04.02.2014

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Record Store Day 2014 is almost here, and if you’re anything like me, it’s time to raid your local record shops looking for vinyl goodies. The folks behind National Record Store Day have been hard at work putting together a list of exclusive releases available starting April 19 only at your local, independently-owned record shop.
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Five Good Reasons to Record ALL Your Playing

Ted Drozdowski
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03.31.2014

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In today’s ultra-busy world, time to do what we all love — play guitar — is at a premium. Working musicians are on the road or in the studio playing gigs, or on the phone or computer scheduling more gigs. And for working Janes and Joes who play — even musical weekend warriors (and I use that term with respect, because if you rock, you rock) — the pressures of balancing a day job and personal life with any semblance of time for music are considerable.
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Why Hire A Producer? — A Guide For Indie Musicians

Ted Drozdowski
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03.31.2014

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For most indie musicians the idea of hiring a producer might seem high-falutin’, or at least expensive. But the truth is hiring someone to produce your demo or album might be smarter, more practical and cheaper than your think. A good producer makes songs, sounds and arrangements better, and can identify an artist’s or band’s strengths and weakness, then develop a strategy for embracing the former and triumphing over the latter. Smart producers also understand how to make an album strategically, selecting and crafting songs and arrangements to best reach a demographic, ideally without artistic compromise.
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10 Exercises that Turn Guitarists into Songwriters

Ted Drozdowski
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03.31.2014

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Sure, y’all can play songs, but can you write one? Here in Nashville writing songs is like breathing — it’s a requirement for musical life. And those who can pen a tune with lyrics have an entire host of opportunities for income, performing and creative satisfaction that those who can’t do not.
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Book on B.B. King Inspired by a Stolen Gibson Lucille Model

Ted Drozdowski
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03.31.2014

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The new book B.B. King's Lucille and the Loves Before Her is a painstakingly researched travelogue through the universe of the blues great’s gear, starting with the diddley bow he played in the Mississippi cotton fields as a boy and continuing through the current generation of the Gibson-made Lucille line of guitars he cradles on stage today, with plenty of information about amps, picks, strings and minutia along the way.
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Jack White’s Blues

Daniel Eriksson
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03.26.2014

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Guitarist and all-around musician/producer/songwriter Jack White is responsible for shining a light on old delta blues masters that had long been forgotten by the general public. His band The White Stripes covered songs by the likes of Robert Johnson, Son House, and Blind Willie McTell, as well as Captain Beefheart who represent the second generation of experimental blues acts.
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Lighten Your Les Paul Load

Michael Leonard
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03.25.2014

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Part of the appeal of a genuine Gibson Les Paul is all that fantastic tonewood: a mahogany body with a lustrous maple top. Yet many a guitarist will admit that Les Pauls can sometimes be heavy.
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News & Exclusive Interview: Zakk Wylde on Black Label Society’s New Album

Anne Erickson
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03.24.2014

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Zakk Wylde’s thick, deafening guitar tone and lightning-fast solos make him an unstoppable voice in heavy music. He has talent, drive, charisma—the whole package.
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Blending Multiple Guitar Amps

Ted Drozdowski
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03.22.2014

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Blending amps is a terrific and easy way to maximize your tone and even increase volume. Live it’s impractical for those of us without roadies to carry more than two amps, but using multiple amps is something almost all of the big-name six-string stars do — from Angus Young’s four Marshall heads to Joe Bonamassa’s double-Marshall plus Diaz set-up to the improbable pig pile of Marshall and low-gain American amps that Stevie Ray Vaughan carried on the road for years. Correction: the pile of amps that Vaughan had his roadies carry for years.
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Growing Past the Robot Guitar: The Evolution of the Min-ETune™

Russell Hall
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03.20.2014

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No one would deny that significant innovations in guitar technology have been rampant through the years. For decades, however, an extremely desirable innovation remained elusive: how to simplify, or automate, the process of tuning a guitar. Recent years have seen that long-held player’s dream at last become a reality. In fact, the latest generation of Gibson’s renowned Min-ETune™ system makes tuning as simple—literally—as strumming a guitar.
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