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10 “Smokin’ ”Songs: The Great American Smoke-Out

Ted Drozdowski
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11.19.2013

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“Smokin’ “ is a term that’s often used to describe guitar solos and tunes, but smoking is also a part of the lore of rock ‘n’ roll, and it has appeared in the lyrics of popular music since the early days of sound recordings.
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Which Gibson Acoustic Is Right For You?

Michael Leonard
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11.18.2013

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Some players think acoustic guitars are simple things compared to their control-laden, pickup-loaded, electric brethren. Not so. Tonewoods, bracing and shape and size are all key to how your acoustic will sound and feel, relying on guitar-making craft going back hundreds of years.
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Behind the Lens: Photographer Tom Wright Remembers Life on the Road with The Who, Stones, Faces

Russell Hall
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11.17.2013

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In a better world, Tom Wright would be a name familiar to every rock and roll fan. Travelling as road manager with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Faces and, most notably, The Who, Wright became one of rock’s most important photographers, amassing a vast collection of shots now housed at the University of Texas’s Center for American History. Perhaps just as important, Wright’s friendship with Pete Townshend, which began in the early ’60s and continues to this day, exposed the Who guitarist to music that helped shape his direction as an artist.
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The World According to... Rush

Ellen Barnes
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11.15.2013

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Fans of this longstanding prog rock powerhouse – composed of bassist, keyboardist and vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart – don’t just love Rush, they worship Rush.
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Factors to Consider When Buying a Turntable

Russell Hall
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11.15.2013

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In today’s high-tech world, when thousands of songs can be stored on a palm-sized device, why would anyone opt to buy a turntable? Turns out there are plenty of reasons. Opinions will always vary regarding sound quality, but there’s no question vinyl sounds different—warmer—than music in a digital format. Audiophiles often say analog music feels immediate, as if it’s being performed in the room.
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Strung Out: When to Use Wound G Strings

Ted Drozdowski
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11.14.2013

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When I was a youngster, just starting to play guitar, one day the clerk at the shop I patronized accidentally gave me a set of strings with a wound G, instead of the three wound and three pulled strings that come in the typical pack of .10 gauge electric guitars strings.
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Interview: A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel Talks ‘By and Down,’ Part 1

Anne Erickson
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11.14.2013

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A Perfect Circle brings together Maynard James Keenan’s yearning voice and Billy Howerdel’s imaginative guitars, and the result is a masterpiece of moody art-rock. Howerdel’s guitar work is a focal point of A Perfect Circle. His sensitivity to sound makes for ambient and textured songs, brimming with beauty and theatrical sonics.
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The Koa Les Paul Standard

Peter Hodgson
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11.13.2013

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The Les Paul Standard is the centerpiece of the now-almost concluded 2013 Year of Les Paul celebrations. It’s the most versatile Les Paul Standard ever created, and it pretty much has to be: if you’re going to call a guitar a ‘standard,’ it’s going to be scrutinized pretty closely. The 2013 Les Paul Standard has plenty of high-performance features geared towards playability and tone, and for 2013 there’s also the option of a koa upgrade, taking the place of the standard maple top.
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Soundtrack to War: 10 Vietnam Era Rock Classics

Ted Drozdowski
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11.11.2013

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Today soldiers patrol the streets of Kabul and Baghdad with metal and rap tunes resonating in their armored vehicles. In that respect, rock and its offshoots have become part of the culture of war, often sustaining our warriors through their trials and challenges.
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How To Use Dropped D, Open D and D-A-D-G-A-D

Ted Drozdowski
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11.09.2013

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Some of the most interesting players around — from Mississippi John Hurt to John Fogerty to Ry Cooder to Jimmy Page to Slayer’s Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman — have used Open D, Dropped D and D-A-D-G-A-D tunings. So let’s take a quick look at the “D” family of alternate tunings and some of their applications, and feel free to plug in and fly as we go.
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