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Introducing The Mono Guitar Sleeve & Bass Sleeve

Mono Guitar Sleeve and Bass Sleeve

PRESS RELEASE: The Guitar Sleeve and Bass Sleeve are the latest addition to MONO’s collection of professional luggage for musicians. Designed to be a minimalist solution for traveling light and simple, the new Sleeve collection of cases merges MONO’s innovative protection and high quality construction standards into a super slim, stylish and competitive price-point design.

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Frank Iero Releases Solo Album

stomachachesFormer My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero will release Stomachaches, the debut album by his new project FRNKIERO ANDTHE CELLABRATION on August 29 via Cooking Vinyl Records. Iero plays every instrument on the 12-track album except for drums, which were handled by Jarrod Alexander. Iero recorded the album in his own B.Calm home studio, then later recorded at North End Recording in Passaic, New Jersey with some additional vocals completed at Backstage Studios. Continue reading

A Bunch O’ New Fenders

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Aah, is there anything sweeter than seeing an email in my inbox about a bunch of new Fender models? Well, maybe that day I brought home my Fender American Vintage ’62 Strat Reissue or perhaps my Squier Bass VI. But in terms of guitar-geek excitement level, there’s something primal about the Fender logo that still makes me giddy after all these years. Today they’ve announced some new Limited Edition American Standard Series guitars, new Classic Player Series models and a Special Edition Blacktop Series guitar, as well as some pretty dang sweet Custom Shop stuff. Here’s the press release: Continue reading

NEWS: DJ Ashba, Slipknot, Gene Kirkland

DJ Ashba’s “Stars” Guitar Lesson

SIXX:A.M, the modern rock band featuring Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, Guns n’ Roses’ DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, have released “Stars,” the first track from their forthcoming album Modern Vintage. LINK.

Slipknot Album Title Confirmed

Slipknot has unveiled the title, cover and track listing for their new album, their fifth record and first without late bass player Paul Gray and former drummer Joey Jordison. LINK.

Rock Photographer Unearths Unseen Pics

Rock n’ roll photographer Gene Kirkland photographed the biggest names in rock and metal throughout the 80s and 90s (and still shoots to this day). Twelve months ago he unearthed a stash of shots that had been unseen since those glory days; images that hadn’t been seen in 20 years – even ones that he hadn’t seen himself! LINK.

REVIEW: Mayones Comodous 6 Bass

mayones bass 2

Poland’s Mayones makes extremely fine, high-quality guitars with a very distinctive look and style, great tone woods and amazing playability. But their basses are equally distinctive and high quality. The Comodous 6 is a breathtaking instrument – quite literally, because everyone I showed it to had the same shocked reaction to its sheer size, odd shape and the striking nature of its top. Aah, but as anyone who’s played a Mayones guitar will know, you can’t judge one on looks: it all happens when you pick that first note.  Continue reading

Paul Gilbert Demos The DiMarzio PAF Master Pickups

DiMarzio says:

“One variation that’s highly sought after by vintage PAF® players is a pickup that is quiet, bright, and very dynamic. The PAF® Master Bridge Model has all that combined with real rock and roll character. It reacts to playing, and sounds good when playing more than one note at the same time. Picked hard, it has a beautiful, snarly, thick, rockin’ tone. The PAF® Master Bridge Model: vintage just got better. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt

Opeth Opeth unashamedly alienated some of their fan base with their 2011 album Heritage. While a large portion of their fans were drawn to the Swedesh masters for their progressive death metal leanings, Heritage was primarily inspired by 70s fusion in the style of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra – and there wasn’t a single death-growl to be heard anywhere. And now, with Pale Communion, Opeth has moved sideways again, a little away from some of the jazzier moments of Heritage and towards more of a 1970s progressive rock feel, while still a million miles removed from death metal. It’s an album which will challenge some fans while thrilling others, but the overall impression from a chat with frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt is that he’s driven solely by his artistry, and this is what he’s feeling right now.  Continue reading

koRn – Hater

Introducing Black Lightning Gallery

black lightning gallery

Are you a fan of great guitar music? Of course you are. Do you need some inspiration for the wall of your music space? Maybe a shrine to your favourite artists? Or just something cool to hang above the fireplace? Check out Black Lightning Gallery in Los Angeles. Founded by Rohan Ocean, Black Lightning Gallery is about to unveil a fine art photography collection from prolific rock photographer Gene Kirkland (whose work I’ve long admired – his name is burned into my head from all sorts of guitar mags). The photos include a recently discovered collection of some of rock’s most pivotal and historically important moments. Vai and DLR. Metallica taking over the world. Guns N’ Roses at the “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” video shoot. Aerosmith. Black Sabbath. Ozzy getting chummy with a white dove (from the cover of Guitar School magazine – I totally have that issue in the other room). Randy Rhoads. Motley Crue at the “Girls, Girls, Girls” video shoot. They’ll be released as numbered, signed limited edition prints exclusively via Black Lightning Gallery, and will only be available until the limited numbers are sold. there will not be additional runs of the photos.

Here’s an example of some of the great stuff you’ll see on the site:

black lightning gallery james hetfield

“Metallica were unstoppable in 1988. A new album And Justice for All… was released. Their first single release ‘One’ came with a haunting and unforgettable video, Making the song itself display the full meaning of the lyrics. The band was shot in black and white while the movie had color moments in the flashbacks.
The following Justice world tour was massive in scope with 5 legs and 222 dates. Staging included the huge Dorothy statue recreated from the cover of the album that broke down during the title track. A full lighting rig that come off and swung very close to Lars’ drum riser. The justice show was epic. The full experience is immortalized and officially released in the Live Shit: Binge and Purge Box set recording at Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, Washington over 2 night on August 29 and 30, 1989.”

 

The Ultimate Guitar Pickup Guide

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So, what’s the deal with pickups, then? Check out this piece I wrote for Andertons which breaks it down for ya, from the basics to more advanced stuff like the difference between coil splitting and coil tapping. A snippet: “The simplest way to think of a pickup is “like a microphone for an electric guitar.” And have you ever noticed that if you pluck the string close to the bridge the note will sound bright and twangy, whereas if you pick right down by the neck you’ll hear a softer, rounder tone? Well if you place a pickup near the bridge of the guitar it will sound sharper and brighter compared to one that’s placed near the neck. This is why the majority of guitars have more than one pickup: so you can select different sounds from the full and warm to the thin and snappy.”

INTERVIEW: DragonForce’s Herman Li & Sam Totman

The mighty DragonForce have always brought the epic energy, triumphant power-metal riffage, anthemic choruses and intense shred to their work, but what makes their new album Maximum Overload stand out a little from the rest of their catalog is their willingness to step outside of their established sound just far enough to keep it fresh. Vocalist Marc Hudson has well and truly settled in now (he joined prior to the recording of previous album The Power Within, and Trivium’s Matt Heafy contributes his vocal power to three tracks as well. And for the first time DragonForce have worked with an outside producer, Jens Bogren, who has also produced, mixed or mastered the likes of Soilwork, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, James LaBrie, Devin Townsend. Throw it all together and you have Dragonforce’s biggest-sounding album yet. Continue reading

Seymour Duncan Re-Releases The Pickup Booster!

The Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster is one of those pedals that really shook things up, introducing a lot of players for the first time to the idea of boosting their signal before it hits their amp, thereby making the preamp tubes work harder and creating all sorts of great sonic textures from vibrant cleans to screaming overdrives. It was discontinued a little while ago but now it’s back, with a new look at some subtle improvements. All the regular features are still there, including the Pickup Resonance Switch, which lets you select different resonant frequencies for different sonic results; the idea is that its two modes will make a single coil sound like a vintage or modern humbucker, but you can use it with humbuckers for cool sounds too. And there’s now a discrete push-pull output stage and the capability for 0dB unity gain, so you can use it simply as a buffer or for the tone-sculpting abilities of the Pickup Resonance Switch without changing your level of gain. Continue reading

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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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