Wanna jam with Steve Vai? Of course you do!

Could you imagine how cool it would be to actually jam with Steve Vai during his Australian clinic tour? I mean, unless your name is Joe Satriani or Dave Weiner or Devin Townsend, who even gets a chance like that? Well, you, for starters, if you win the honour courtesy of Thump Music!

From the Thump website:

“It’s going to be the chance of a lifetime! An opportunity to play / jam on stage with Steve Vai at the upcoming Master Classes in October 2011 organized by Thump Music.

What does this mean for any would be applicant? A chance to be one of two winners per clinic / state.

All you have to do is enter a 1 minute video explaining, playing or both why you should be on stage jamming with Steve Vai in your state. (Post your YouTube link)


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Soxy Music’s guitar setup course

Are you here in I Heart Guitar’s home base of Melbourne? Want to learn mad setup skillz from someone who I hear really knows their stuff? Check out Soxy Music’s guitar setup course. I’ve heard so many good things about this guy’s work and I can’t wait to get down to check out Soxy Music in person (seriously, it’s just up the road but do you think I can find the time to stop by? Argh!). In the meantime, check out this info from the Soxy Music website about the guitar setup course.

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When Rock Clocks Off

Check out my latest feature for Gibson.com on rock star hobbies. Can you think of some others? There are plenty of other cool ones out there – Bryan May’s astronomy, Lars Ulrich’s art collection, that working time machine that Paul Gilbert built where he went back in time to save the earth from that huge flying turtle…


In an interview with Guitar Messenger, Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison) explained how he spends his downtime. “The other passion I have is buildings, believe it or not. I own a home in the Hollywood Hills, and I’m constantly remodeling it, and it’s my hobby.” At the time of the interview, Kotzen was knee-deep in a bathroom renovation. “I did something very cool – I made my first arch. When you go into the shower, it’s in the shape of an arch, and I never did that before. It’s a whole process to make that happen, so that was kind of exciting for me!”

The one that got away – Oh Jackson Archtop Soloist, where are you now?

When I was a kid there was a music store in my town called Don Jefferson’s Music – don’t look for it, it ain’t there no more – and a couple of times a year I was lucky enough to get to go to “Jeffo’s,” either to pick out a birthday present (usually a pedal) or to buy some new strings or a new guitar cable. The store seemed to have an awful lot of (or a lot of awful) Strat and Les Paul copies, but every once in a while something cool would come in. A green Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster. A snakeskin BC Rich Gunslinger. They’d never let me play ’em, but I sure used to like looking.

And then, I saw it.

A purple Jackson Archtop Soloist, with two humbuckers and a tigerstripey flamed maple top. That pic up there? That’s not exactly the right model and it’s obviously not the right colour, but you get the idea.

I thought this was the sexiest guitar in the world. Any time I went past the shop I would just stare and stare through the window at it. If I held my breath on a still day I could swear I could hear it gently calling my name. Its legend spread, and other guitar-playing kids at school became aware of it too. It was my “If I ever get a million dollars, I’m going to buy that” guitar.

Then one day, someone told me they were in Jeffo’s when some snotty kid came in with their dad, all sulky and teenage, and were told to pick out a guitar to start lessons on. The story goes that the kid grunted and pointed at my beloved purple archtop Jackson Soloist, and that was the end of that. I’d like to think that the story was bullshit – that the guitar went to a loving home, and that maybe bitterness and jealousy had tainted the story before it made it to my ears. At the very least, I hope the kid looked after the guitar and appreciated it. To this day I’ve never owned a Jackson, and that burns me up inside! I was this close to buying a Rhoads once but it wasn’t to be. Maybe some day I’ll get that Soloist. And that RR. And that King V. Some day.

Now, that was my first ‘The one that got away’ story. Some day, let me tell you about the Ibanez Jem7PBK I missed out on by a couple of bucks. Or the 80s Schecter Pete Townsend tele that some asshole was in the process of walking out with right when I’d walked into the store with a fistfull of cash to purchase it myself.

What was your one that got away?

Win a 1-Year Supply of Dunlop Strings and a G&L/Egnater Rig

Wow, this sounds pretty good. Dunlop, Egnater and G&L – that’d be a hell of a rig!


Dunlop Strings has teamed up with Egnater Amplification and G&L Guitars to bring you a sweet giveaway featuring a ton of Dunlop Strings and an Egnater/G&L rig ($3,508.99 value).

One lucky winner will receive:

1-year supply (52 sets) of Dunlop Strings and $1,000 shopping spree on jimdunlop.com ($1,500 value)
Egnater Tweaker-40 112 Combo Amplifier all-tube combo amplifier ($1149.99 value)
G&L Tribute Rampage Jerry Cantrell Signature Guitar ($859.00 value)
Twelve runners up will receive a 6-pack of Dunlop Strings and a Dunlop Strings cap.

To enter, visit jimdunlop.com. While you’re there, check out our new video, Dunlop Strings: Inside a Modern String Company, where we go in-depth on the conception and production of Dunlop Strings.

Dunlop provides musicians with the best tools to help them realize their artistic potential. Enter Dunlop Strings:

· Superior definition provides crisp highs, aggressive mids, and focused lows

· Dynamic response captures the energy of your attack

· Smooth surface lets your fingers glide across the strings

· Incredible string-to-string balance ensures even performance

No matter your genre or style, playing Dunlop will change the way you feel about strings.

Tear into your potential.