Archive for January, 2009

YouTube – M13 Looper Shimmer

With U2′s new record dropping in early March ( the fanboys will be out in earnest imitating U2′s guitarist The Edge.

He’s got some of the best effect driven delay tones you’ll find and with that bit of trademark shimmer – Edge’s sound has a real landscape feel – take a trip around Youtube and you’ll find loads of immitators – but we reackon this guy armed with a Strat and a Line 6 M13 Looper has them all beat – great sound…..

YouTube – M13 Looper Shimmer.

Line 6 – M13 Stompbox Modelers

Line 6 are well known for producing some really great effects units with a variety of award winning units under thier belt from stomp boxes to multi effects units they seem to have the market covered – for a while the PoD XT (and it’s later incarnation the XT 3) seemed to have the gold star award – but for those just interested in the effects and don’t require the amp modelling the M13 looks like the answer.

The M13 is an all-in-one pedal board featuring a simply massive collection of  stompbox sounds, on top of that you get a awesome  full-featured looper.  The 28-second looper is a beast and features dedicated footswitches to control (Play/Stop, Half-Speed, Reverse, Undo).

The M13 has over 75 effects which include the full range from distortions, reverbs, delays. Each stompbox model features it’ own controls to tune and tweak to your hearts content.

As with any Line 6 kit – the construction is really good and the M13 is no different and is a tough sturdy construction.

This unit is great for live play and you can create different pedal board setups for different scenarios (rock, clean etc), or “scenes”, for instant recall of selected sounds.  Save up to 12 scenes, back them up to your computer and your good to go.

Sounds great show me what it can do!

Check out these great youtube vids for some stonking sounds from the M13

Great deals on Line 6 M13


Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler Guitar Multi Effects Pedal

Carlos Vamos on Myspace

Ok so there are loads of guitarists out there on myspace – but take a listen to Carlos Vamos – he’s a busker from Holland but wow he’s got great tone, chops and feel – he’s got a bumch of tracks on his site – check out Andora and When you feel good – which are our faves – for those interested do a quick search on Youtube and you’ll find some great video’s too.

Carlos Vamos Myspace page.

Guitar Tuning Guide: How To Tune a Guitar

By Mantius Cazaubon

Many beginning guitarists struggle when it comes to tuning the guitar. It’s a major stumbling block for them. Some end up quitting altogether because every time they start to play what comes out doesn’t sound right. A beginner should understand that guitar tuning is something you get better at with practice. Ear development takes time.

A beginner should practice tuning the guitar so that he can become better and better at it. Your friends won’t be around all the time to tune your guitar for you.

How does one tune the guitar?

Well firstly, here’s the standard tuning of a six string guitar:

6th string: E

5th string: A

4th string: D

3rd string: G

2nd string: B

1st string: E

The first string being the thinnest, and the sixth string the fattest.

Relative tuning: tuning an electric guitar by ear.

Let’s assume that your 6th string is already in tune (an E note). You can tune your 6th string by using another guitar that is in tune, a tuning fork, a piano, an electronic tuner or even a midi file on your computer. Then, all you have to do is match notes on the adjacent strings.

Play the 6th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 5th string open.

Play the 5th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 4th string open.

Play the 4th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 3rd string open.

Play the 3rd string at the 4th fret. It should match the tone of the 2nd string open.

Play the 2nd string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 1st string open.

You can also tune your guitar by octaves.

An octave is the interval between two notes with the same name. In the scale: C D E F G A B C, the two C’s are one octave apart.

Play the 6th string open. It should be one octave apart with the 5th string at the 7th fret.

Play the 5th string open. It should be one octave apart with the 4th string at the 7th fret.

Play the 4th string open. It should be one octave apart with 3rd string at the 7th fret.

Play the 3rd string open. It should be one octave apart with the 2nd string at the 8th fret.

Play the 2nd string open. It should be one octave apart with the 1st string at the 7th fret.

When your ear is sufficiently developed you should be able to tune your guitar by using chords. Just play a chord and tune the strings so the chord sounds right.

Learning to tune the guitar is very important. A must! But it is so much more convenient, faster, and more accurate to make use of a guitar tuner. Particularly in live situations and noisy environments. You will find an electronic tuner for 10-50 bucks online easily. You can order one today.

Mantius Cazaubon offers a buying guide to helping you choose an electric guitar that meets your needs on his site, Visit Electric Guitars Guide for electric guitar lessons, tips, and reviews.

Article Source:

Guitar Lessons – String Muting

By Bill McRea

String muting is another technique that can help you define your own personal style. There are two types of string muting, the palm mute with your picks hand and the string mute with your fret hand. They serve very different purposes, but both are important to good guitar playing.

Fret-hand muting is particularly important when playing chords and power chord. The purpose is to use part of you finger tips and fingers to mute the strings you don’t want to include in the chord being played. For example the C majors chord is played from the 5th string to the first, your are not supposed to hit the 6th string. I use the tip of my 3rd finger that is holding down the 5th string 3rd fret to rub up against the sixth string thereby muting the string. I use this same technique with power chords, but in addition I use the fat part of my index finger to lightly lay across strings 1,2,3. with just enough pressure to mute the strings. The beauty is if you get a little wild with your pick it still sounds right. Fret-hand muting is used extensively.

Palm muting is more commonly used in distorted rock songs. The technique involves resting the heel of your pick-hand palm on the strings as you pick. Most people rest it directly over the bridge, but you can experiment with different positions for different sounds. Also try different levels of pressure to regulate the level of muting. This technique creates a percussive, muffled or chunky sound. Combine fast down strokes with palm muting in various patterns with moderate distortion for sounds similar to Metallica or other metal bands.

Both fret hand muting and palm muting are very individual and stylistic techniques.

Bill McRea is the publisher of

Other sites include and

YouTube – Elevation Intro – Fuzz Pedal

U2′s elevation is a cracking track with a really cool into – while Daniel Lanois introduced Edge to a vintage effect pedal to get the tone – you too can get really close with a bit of effort – check out this cool vid to see how!

YouTube – Elevation Intro – Fuzz Pedal.

10 All new Guitar Heroes

Looking back to the 60’s and 70’s the world seemed full of guitar heroes we had Page, Clapton, Hendrix, Richards to name just a few – the names from this period have gone on to dominate the guitar over the last 30 years

Whilst everyone needs inspiration, we think the great guitarists from the 1960’s and 70’s have had enough plaudits and it’s time to find an all new generation of guitar heroes – but who are they and which bands will they come from: Has anyone from the modern generation got the staying power to be talked about in 20 years time? Hear we take a punt on 10 modern guitar heroes – that we think can stand toe to toe with some of the all time greats.

1/ The Edge – U2

He may be Mr Effects for many but you can’t help but admire the man for using a delay pedal and turning it into a signature tone – been around for 25 years – and has an array of the best vintage guitars you’ll ever see taken on any world tour.

2/ Jack White – The White Stripes

Odd Vintage riffs – played with gutso – sparse – raw tones played on fantastic tunes – punk blues? We’re not sure but we like it!

3/ John Mayer

Controversial choice? Pop hero turns blues enthusiast – how many times have we heard that – well with Continuum we think he means it – sure he’s got the chops – he’s performed with Clapton to name but one vintage hero– but does he have the staying power?

4/ John Frusciante – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Red Hot Chilli Peppers will go down as one of this periods best bands – Frusciante’s playing all funky and punky remains a high point – Under the Bridge as the new stairway to heaven anyone?

5/ Jonny Buckland – Coldplay

People either love or loath Coldplay – however theirs no escaping it they are the next U2 and will no doubt dominate adult rock for the next x years and as such Buckland will be at the heart of it.

6/ Noel Gallagher – Oasis

With the release of the Oasis best of Gallagher emphasized his role of 90’s guitar superhero with tracks such as Wonderwall and Don’t look back in Anger setting the foundations for brit pop. No doubt influenced by the Beatles but to call Gallagher a one-trick pony would be a disservice – made semi acoustics cool again.

7/ Dave Keuning – the Killers

Having recently emerged – the Vegas band “the Killers” have it all – power hooks, crunchy rhythm and a firm grip on the zeitgeist. How long will they last? Who’s to know but enjoy it while it does.

8/ Kirk Hammet – Metallica

An inspiration to many up and coming metal players – trained by Satriani – and still hitting the high notes of a career that’s spanned over 20 years. Career highlights including anything from their Black Album – a rare guitarist that’s as good live as they are on record.

9/ Slash

Killer riffs – great tone and instantly identifiable image – had it all with Guns and Roses and with Velvet Revolver proved that it was still there in abundance.

10/ Billie Joe Armstrong – Green Day

Well if anyone embodies modern power-punk it’s green day – and as it’s lynch pin Armstrong has a meaty raw rhythm tone to back up the bands raucous energy whilst his choice of a Les Paul Junior shows fine taste!

Getting a great Blues Guitar tone

Part two – BB King’s sound – Chicago Blues

Chicago Blues came from Chicago Illinois and developed the delta blues by drawing upon a band environment (typically drums, bass, piano, guitar). One of the key men in Chicago Blues is BB King and in part two of our series on how to get a great Blues Guitar tone we’ll take a look at how BB Kings gets his sound.

King started his recording career in the 1940’s and has gone onto influence a plethora of artists from U2 to Eric Clapton – he has a number of classic tracks (“Thrill is gone”) and classic albums (“Live at the Regal”) to call upon. Today at the age of 81 – King continues to play live to a raft of adoring enthusiasts.

King is famous for his guitar “Lucille” – Typically Lucille has been a Gibson 335 of which King has been a close associate over the years. There have been many “Lucilles” over the years and King has played many different guitars throughout his long career, including various Fenders, Gretsch and Gibsons.) These days Gibson produces a BB King signature “Lucille”. A semi hollow body electric with two humbucker pickups.. Gibson also produce BB King signature guitar strings which he is also a user – King uses .010 to .054 gauge.

Today’s Gibson “Lucille” is that familiar 335 shape – semi hollowbody but with no sound holes (King has played 335’s with f holes over the years) – King opts for no sound holes to avoid feedback – the guitar also features a varitone switch which allows King to dial in the right tone that he requires. Gibson’s “Lucille” also features stereo output. Pickups are Gibson’s standard 490R and 490T humbuckers.

King’s amp of choice is a Lab Series L5, a solid-state 2×12 combo. When on the road King opts to rent his amps in each town he plays where L5’s aren’t available he’ll opt for Fender Twin Reverb.

Effects wise it’s pretty easy – BB King doesn’t generally use effects; his sound comes from his guitar, his amp and his technique – on a typical tube amp – look to boost everything but the mid range – and dial back down on the guitars volume and tone pots until your able to produce an approximation.

To get that BB King sound – look at his technique –he shows great use of vibrato and picking style incorporating slides and bends. He incorporates some classic riffs and his style is one of accompliment rather than rhythm (King doesn’t play rhythm) his style incorporates that classic call and response blues technique that is so apparent within classic blues.

Eric Clapton Custom Shop Blackie Fender Stratocaster

The history behind Eric Clapton’s famous Fender Stratocaster guitar “Blackie” is fairly well known. A combination of three Fender Stratocaster guitars (bought by Clapton in the early 70’s). Clapton took the best bits from each and constructed what was to become his mainstay for years to come.

Clapton used the guitar extensively during the 70’s and early 80’s. It featured on a variety of his album covers throughout this period and it appeared with Clapton at Live Aid. Clapton auctioned the guitar in 2004 and it raised $959,500 for his charity and the guitar became the world’s most expensive 6 string.

Guitar Center Inc (who bought Blackie at the famous auction) commissioned Fender to reproduce the guitar which will see a portion of the profits go to Clapton’s Crossroad Centre charity. The instrument represents a faithful replica of the famous guitar down to the smallest detail. Fender have had access to the original, taking it apart making measurements, taking photographs and then building 275 replicas through a painstaking production process.

Blackie was played extensively for around 15 years and was retired in 1985 – by that time the neck was pretty much worn out and there were concerns whether the guitar could take another fret job. Given its age and its history Blackie looks a little beaten up and Fender’s custom shop have had their work cut out reproducing the guitars unique look such as the cigarette burn on the headstock the worn paint job and worn hardware.

For Clapton’s fans the guitar is a must – and while it won’t set you back close to a million bucks the bad news is that the limited run was an instant sell out so it may take a little searching to get your hands on one.

The Birth of the Blues in Britain

First a Trickle then a Flood.The Birth of the Blues in Britain
By Robin Piggott

Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with the beautiful Otillie Patterson on vocals brought the sound of New Orleans to British traditional Jazz buffs in the late fifties and early sixties. This was just the beginning of a wave of new sounds that culminated in what came to be known as the British Blues Boom! On Banjo was the great Lonnie Donegan who became the Godfather of Skiffle a year or two later. All of the early musical melting pots were springboards for the next generation of musicians and within a couple of years the Music scene was to change forever.

My first exposure to the blues was on Barber’s wonderful L.P. New Orleans Joys. I forget all the titles now but the haunting sounds stirred up strange sensations and led me a few years later to a life long passion for the Blues as I am sure it did with many young kids at the time.

The year 1962 saw the birth of several Blues gigs in London Clubs, notably the Famous Marquee which made its home in Wardour Street, Soho. The great Alexis Korner was to prove to be a nursery slope for what was to come. Cyril Davies on Harp, Dick Heckstall- Smith on the most wailing of saxophones, Mick Jagger (yes that one!) on vocals to name but a few. I guess that first Album recorded live at the Marquee…Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, started the trickle which very rapidly gathered momentum and soon the Blues was the talking point of all young music heads.

Playing at the Marquee shortly after, in 1963 was the man destined to become the Godfather of British Blues… John Mayall…. John’s famous band, The BluesBreakers went onto fame and fortune as many musicians joined and left in quite a procession over the next couple of years. John celebrated his 70th Birthday a couple of years ago and is playing as well as ever. This gives lie to the notion that life is over at forty and its all downhill from there on. The list of John’s protégées is a who’s who of the music business; a good proportion of whom are still playing today. John McVie, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce of Cream, Eric “Slowhand” Clapton, Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Taylor and many more.

The band that I believe was the turning point at this time was undoubtedly The Yardbirds, whose incredible energy and enthusiasm were absolutely unparalleled on stage. My first exposure to this Juggernaut was on a Monday morning at school one time when some friends told me about this amazing band that they had seen at the Marquee who had a Guitarist that was simply unbelievable. The Year was 1963, the man in question (well he was only 18 years old!) was Eric Clapton.

The Legend was already underway at this stage and I believe Eric was responsible for the huge interest brewing in the Blues in Britain as the Yardbirds became household names on the R n’ B circuit. Many Guitars were sold at this time as young bloods attempted to emulate Clapton, some with success and many without. Probably one reason for the upsurge in Guitar bands as opposed to wishy washy pop sounds of the time was the discovery of the almost forgotten Gibson Les Paul which produced the sound closest to the Chicago Blues of a decade earlier. Eric’s use of this instrument took the Blues to a new height and no-one could escape the flood that was on the way. With the Yardbirds there was a mix of Gibson and Fender guitars in use. Eric initially played a Fender Telecaster with Rhythm Guitarist Chris Dreja using the Gibson 335, but the favourite in years to come particularly in ’65 and ’66 was the Les Paul.

In 1963 one of the first Bluesmen to arrive on this side of the Atlantic for a Tour was the legendary Harp player Sonny Boy Williamson who recorded a wonderful live album with the Yardbirds that was not released for several years. The restrained backing that the band provided to Sonny Boy showed them to be tight and controlled but Keith Relf the Lead singer and Harpist was a little put out at having to take a back seat to the Master during the gig. Many more Blues legends toured Britain and Europe in the following years which not only revitalised their own flagging careers but gave the budding white Blues players a chance to learn from the Maestros. These include Howling Wolf and the legendary Son House who had been a contemporary of Robert Johnson in the nineteen thirties. The author was privileged to see Son House play in London in 1970 shortly before he died. He was very frail but he certainly could make that National Steel Guitar sing sweetly!

The Album that preceded the Flood was of course the 1966 rendition by John Mayall entitled simply “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” recorded on the Decca label .This album marked the first vocal airing by Slowhand and he chose Robert Johnson’s “Rambling on my Mind” as his debut. The interrelating of Mayall’s gutsy Barrelhouse Piano together with Eric’s Les Paul and his tentative vocals, wrote a piece of Blues History that day in the studio. That Album sums up for me not only the musicianship involved and the passion of the music but the very essence of the British interpretation of the Blues. I have listened to this song so many times now since the first momentous day that it came through the speakers and every time it’s hard to keep the emotions steady.

The Robert Johnson Legacy forms an integral and vital part of the Birth of the Blues in Britain and is responsible for the undoubted vitality of today’s thriving Blues scene on both sides of the Atlantic. There are no Blues Bands past or present who do not owe a debt to Robert Leroy and his magic. His genius and virtuosity with the bottleneck will live forever!

Robin Piggott is a Professional Driving Instructor in Ireland, with a lifelong obsessional passion for the Blues. He treasures his Gibson as much as his Motor and just can’t make up his mind which is number one! Please visit his web site and blogs for a mix of Motor and Musings designed to help Beginner Drivers and those visiting Ireland.


  •  Page 4 of 14  « First  ... « 2  3  4  5  6 » ...  Last »