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REVIEW: MONO Guitar Sleeve

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I’ve tended to avoid gig bags, personally. I’ave had a few of ‘em over the years and they’ve generally felt like something that would protect your guitar from, oh I don’t know, stray leaves and errant breezes. And the ones that were built to be more sturdy seemed unnecessarily bulky and cumbersome. So when the MONO Guitar Sleeve showed up for review I found myself thinking “Oh well, here we go. How much can you say about a bag?” Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Yngwie J Malmsteen

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Yngwie Malmsteen is the undisputed master of neoclassical guitar. Other players like Richie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth had explored elements of the style but none pushed it to quite the extremes that Yngwie did. A million guitarists arose in his wake to try to copy what he was doing but none have managed to capture Yngwie’s pure power and dazzling technique. As Yngwie himself puts it when discussing the various Yngwie clones who sprung up over the years, “And that’s why I call myself Yngwie J Malmsteen, not to be confused with all the other Yngwie Malmsteens.” And Yngwie is about to hit Australia for his first concert tour since 2006 (tickets here). Continue reading

Fender Brown Derby and Top Hat Resonators

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PRESS RELEASE: Fender is proud to introduce two new instruments, the Brown Derby Resonator and Top Hat Resonator. Fender’s Brown Derby Resonator gives a jaunty tip of the hat to phenomenal round-neck reso-phonic sound and style. Pure resonator tone rings from the mahogany body and maple top, which features dual Fender “F” soundholes and a special Eastern European “Continental” cone of hand-spun aluminum. For an unmistakable Fender touch, a Telecaster headstock tops the mahogany neck, which also features a comfortable “C”-shaped profile and elegant French heel. Other fine appointments include a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with 16” radius and black binding, aged white body binding with black-and-white purfling, bone nut, maple biscuit bridge, nickel hardware, vintage-style tuners with aged white plastic buttons, and brown stain finish. Continue reading

Fender FA-300CE Pack With SLIDE™ Interface

Fender Acoustics FA-300CE

PRESS RELEASE: Fender is proud to announce the release of the FA-300CE Acoustic/Electric Pack with Fender SLIDE interface. The FA-300CE Acoustic-Electric Pack gives players everything they need to start playing right now, and the included Fender SLIDE instrument interface gives them everything they need to connect the guitar to their mobile device or computer for digital recording, playback and editing. Continue reading

REVIEW: DiMarzio PAF Master Humbuckers

There are many, many different pickups out there that are inspired by Gibson’s ‘Patent Applied For’ humbucker invented by Seth Lover. Some makers go to incredible lengths to replicate not only the raw materials but also the chaotic, random unpredictability that went into the creation of those original 50s PAFs. DiMarzio’s PAF® Master bridge and neck models are designed with the spirit of those original PAFs in mind but DiMarzio says they’re more about paying tribute to the original sound rather than cloning it. So these pickups use several of DiMarzio’s patented ideas, and the coils are purposely tuned to specific differing frequencies to generate a version of the legendary PAF snarl without compromising the pickup’s ability to hum-cancel (which can be a problem with some of the originals and some of the more randomly-constructed PAF-alikes of the kind you tend to find from some of the smaller builders). Continue reading

Devin Townsend’s Framus Flying Z

Periphery To Reveal Big Pair Of Juggs

PRESS RELEASE: D.C. based prog outfit Periphery are set to release dual albums Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, on January 23rd via Roadrunner Records Australia. “Given the nature and complexity of the Juggernaut story, we’ve actually done something different and exciting in regards to the release,” explains drummer Matt Halpern.  “Juggernaut is a story that is told through our music, and we want our audience to fully digest the whole experience. Because Juggernaut is very detailed and dense in terms of character development, peaks and valleys, climaxes and resolutions we’ve divided the story and music in two, in the form of two separate albums.” Continue reading

Demystifying The Modes

The fine folks over at Roland Australia have a really great blog section and right now Mark Smith is writing a very helpful series on demystifying the modes: what they are, when they can be used, the patterns you can use to visualise them, etc. There will be a new mode covered every week and Coffee Break Grooves will provide a free backing track featuring real musicians playing real instruments to accompany the articles.

Introduction to Modes 
Mixolydian Mode 

Gretsch Crème de Marine Falcon

Gretsch G6136 Falcon Limited Creme de Marine

PRESS RELEASE:  –Gretsch is proud to release its newest breed of bird, the Crème de Marine Falcon guitar. This is a truly distinctive Falcon—a classic G6136T model dressed in a soft blue finish that we call Crème de Marine. Together with the gold appointments and classic style, it’s an elegant look as calm as quiet seas. All the other premium G6136T features are here, including late ’50s styling on a single-cutaway arch-top hollow body with 1959 trestle bracing, gold-sparkle binding and oversized bound f holes; three-piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard, gold-sparkle binding and Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays; dual High Sensitive Filter’Tron™ pickups; three-position pickup switch and three-position master tone switch; gold plexi pickguard with falcon motif; Space Control™ bridge and Bigsby® B6GB vibrato tailpiece; gold-plated Grover® Imperial™ tuners; and horizontal Gretsch gold-sparkle headstock logo. Includes deluxe hardshell case.

For more information, go to www.gretschguitars.com.

Geoff Tate Releases Queensryche F.U. Remix

queensryche-frequencyunknown-deluxeHuh. This is interesting. Look, there’s no doubt that of the two recent Queensryche albums, the Todd LaTorre-fronted version was the better-sounding and more consistent of the two. But the Geoff Tate one had a couple of really good songs. “Life Without You” in particular would fit quite well on Empire, Promised Land or Tribe. (And I don’t think it’s exactly common knowledge that Forbidden guitarist Craig Locicero plays rhythm guitar throughout the album – not to mention there are guitar solos by Ty Tabor, KK Downing, Brad Gillis, Dave Meniketti, Chris Poland and more). But the mix of the album sucks. Tate realised this even before the album was released, so Billy Sherwood was enlisted to remix it, but that was never finished, and the original mix was released instead. Well now the Sherwood mix has been completed and will be released on a deluxe edition of the album. I guess there must be some clause that allows this to be released under the Queensryche name since it’s an already-existing album. Either that or Tate’s going to get a very interesting phone call. Anyway, here’s the press release. Continue reading

Dream Theater – Melbourne, October 29, 2014

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I first started listening to Dream Theater with A Change Of Seasons – back then the albums weren’t released locally here in Australia, so we had to pay huge prices for imports – and I immediately had that feeling of ‘This is the band I always wished existed!’ My brother and I soon went back and checked out Images And Words and Awake and I was blown away by the scope of the music, the intensity of the performances, the creativity of the arrangements and the depth of the lyrics. It took a long time for Dream Theater to finally tour Australia (0n the Chaos In Motion tour) and this brief run of two Australian dates was only their third ever tour down here, and first with Mike Mangini behind the kit.  Continue reading

Slayer’s Tom Araya Visits ESP

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Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com If you'd like to support the site, feel free to kick in a couple o'bucks using this donation button.

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