Check out my latest for Gibson.com and Tone Deaf

Hey! So I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve and all that fun stuff. Here are a few articles I wrote recently:

 

My interview with Stix Zadinia from Steel Panther

 

Let me set the scene for you. It’s my very first time in LA – my first time overseas, in fact. I’ve been in town for about a day, and I’m in the crowd at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. I’m surrounded by a bunch of Aussie musical instrument industry chaps who happened to be on my flight – scratch that, who happened to be drinking heavily and keeping everyone awake on my flight, and who I may or may not have told to shut the hell up cos I was trying to get some friggin’ sleep, dammit – but now we’re all the best of buddies as the beverages flow. Somewhere in the crowd is Lindsay Lohan, in between court appearances, I guess.

 

And in front of me on the stage is one of the hardest-working, hardest-partying, ass-kickinest bands LA has seen since the 80s glory days of the Sunset Strip. Also on that stage are some slammin’ hot LA ladies with their boobs out. One of them is being encouraged to lay down on her back and show the crowd whether her boobs stay put or whether gravity forces them to move away from each other and make her chest look “like a hammerhead shark.”

 

Welcome to Steel Panther.

 

Three-Note-Per-String Scales And Neck Gymnastics

The three-note-per-string pattern is one of the easiest ways of remembering scales on the guitar, and it’s a format that lends itself especially well to high-speed playing techniques like economy picking or legato, too. And they work equally well as a springboard for melodic ideas and as finger-warming exercises. Here are a few tricks that I’ve put to extensive use in my own playing.

These days it’s common – nay, expected – for a big blockbuster movie to have a kickass soundtrack packed with original new tracks by the big heavy-hitters of the day. But it wasn’t always like that. Once upon a time, the movie soundtrack section of a record store was populated largely by recordings of the actual orchestral music scores of films. If a soundtrack featured pop songs, they were often classic tracks that everybody knew.

Even in the case of big blockbuster soundtracks that featured a healthy amount of original new songs – like the album that accompanied the release of Dirty Dancing in 1987 – the tracks were very much mainstream radio-friendly pop. So the 1993 release of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Last Action Hero and its soundtrack sent shockwaves through the hard rock and heavy metal scene of the day.