Press Release: On September 2013, Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, and Stevie Wonder gathered at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City’s Central Park to play historic performances in celebration of the work being done to end global poverty. A live audience of over 60,000 and a worldwide broadcast to millions made this event one of the most significant events in music history. An extremely rare Fender Blacktop Stratocaster guitar was signed by multiple famous names in attendance, including Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Janelle Monae, Katie Holmes, Gerard Butler, Erin Heatherton, Russell Simmons, and more. This exclusive item is open for bidding now on global charity auction site Charitybuzz until October 24 at https://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/399402. Continue reading
MARTIN INTRODUCES CUSTOM
00-45SC JOHN MAYER LIMITED EDITION GUITAR
NAZARETH, PA – January 18, 2011 – In special collaboration with seven-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/guitarist John Mayer, C. F. Martin & Co. is pleased to introduce a very special premium guitar – 00-45SC John Mayer Edition – limited to just 25 very unique instruments.
“There’s something about a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar that has always appealed to me. In one glance it inspires me to write, travel, perform, and age along with it,” said John Mayer. “Not very long ago I was inspired to return to a completely natural way of writing and recording music, and at the center of that vision were the Martin 00-sized guitars that defined an era of brilliant songwriting in the ’60s and ’70s. The 00-45SC John Mayer Edition is my vision of the ultimate 00-45 come to life. It’s simply perfect.”
“There is no better ambassador for our custom guitars than John Mayer,” said Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO, C.F. Martin & Co. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with such a singular talent on such a unique instrument.”
Remember my recent post about the new stuff from Jim Dunlop/MXR? Well here’s a little more info direct from the company themselves, including some more info about the awesome new Way Huge Aqua-Puss MkII analog delay. John Mayer’s all about this pedal and it sounded great at NAMM. Before we get to the Dunlop info, check out this video from Premier Guitar at NAMM, which includes Uli Jon Roth giving the Aqua-Puss a run-through at the booth.
The Aqua-Puss MkII is making its triumphant return, ready to bathe a tone thirsty world in gorgeously smooth delay. One twist of the Delay knob takes you from a tight 20ms delay to a cavernous 300ms. The Feedback control regulates delay duration and intensity. But watch out. Extreme settings can send the Aqua-Puss MkII into self-oscillating psycho-freak-out mode! Meanwhile the Blend knob lets you set a balance between dry and delayed signal—from mild to wild. The Aqua-Puss MkII delivers all the spooky mystery of vintage analog delay and tape-based echo, with none of the hassle of creaky, ancient gear.
Control your volume levels with exacting precision with the new Dunlop Volume Pedal. The Dunlop Volume Pedal features a patent pending Steel Band Drive that creates a low-friction environment with no strings or ratchet gears attached – allowing you to achieve thick, luscious volume swells in one smooth motion without the fear of breaking. With fully adjustable tension and high-quality low-noise electronic components, the sound is as clean and transparent as the feel is smooth. Housed in a lightweight but durable aluminum chassis, the pedal features a rocker pedal that is slightly curved for ergonomics, with an aggressive non-slip tread that keeps your foot firmly in place. Great features, smooth, hassle-free performance and crystalline tone make the Dunlop Volume Pedal the smart choice for every musician.
Heavy Core® Strings are uniquely designed for the player that enjoys higher tension at standard tuning or normal tension at dropped tunings. Our proprietary core-to-wrap ratios are meticulously calculated so the player can really “dig in” while retaining sound fundamentals. Heavy Core® Strings, like all Dunlop Strings are manufactured with the highest quality of materials and engineered for great tone, balance, and feel.
You know what it’s like as a guitarist. You find your favourite players or styles, you put the blinders up, and before you know it you’re swearing to some guy down the pub that you have no idea who Goo Goo Dolls are, even though you know damn well who they are and have maybe sung along to them on the radio once or twice, but you’re a hardcore guitar guy and you don’t dare admit something like that in a crowded room. Someone might be listening, and you have a reputation to uphold, dammit.
Look, it happens to us all. But there comes a time – usually when I’m in the car by myself – where I’ll hear some guitar playing and think ‘Hot damn… they’re actually pretty good…’ So here’s a little list of guitar players who are better than you probably think they are. Starting with…
This might be an odd choice, because among some corners of the guitar community you’ll find people who are well aware of Mayer’s fretboard skills. But others have no idea. If you want to see just how good John Mayer is, check out the amazing Jeff Beck-like solo in ‘Heartbreak Warfare,’ the opening track from his new CD ‘Battle Studies.’ The vocal-like phrasing, the killer tone, the dead-on sense of timing – these are traits you just don’t find every day in the guitar playing a pop artist. But dig a little deeper – say, into his ‘Try!’ album with the John Mayer Trio, and you’ll hear a dude whose blues education went far deeper than Stevie Ray Vaughan’s greatest hits and Eric Clapton’s ‘From The Cradle.’ He can shred too – just check out his solo on Fallout Boy’s cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It.’
We all know the Red Rocker as the dude who can’t drive 55, the guy who doesn’t know why this can’t be love, the dude who can’t tell when it’s love, the dude who’s there when love walks in, and the dude who doesn’t want you to tell him what love can do. But when he’s not crooning about love or rocking out as the vocalist in Chickenfoot, Sammy is one heck of a guitarist. He tempers Led Zeppelin-style blues rock with just enough technical flair to kick his playing up a notch above every other Zep-influenced soloist and riffmeister, and when he really wants to Sammy can slay. Check out Van Halen’s ‘Live Without A Net’ DVD/video to see Sammy going toe to toe and lick for lick against Eddie Van Halen in a killer guitar duel during ‘One Way To Rock,’ or his perfectly constructed solo during the solo track ‘High Hopes’ on his ‘Unboxed’ greatest hits CD. Sure Eddie eventually kicks his ass (and he hits one hell of a clanger right before the harmony bit) but he puts up a valiant fight and is worthy of a hero’s death as Eddie hammers him into the ground with a flurry of classic Van Halenisms.
David Bowie’s been known to strum a guitar from time to time – his late 60s 12-string acoustic work was quite adequate for his material at the time, for instance. But Bowie came into his own as a guitarist when he retired the Spiders From Mars, effectively giving the sack to the legendary Mick Ronson on lead guitar. What was Bowie to do? Play the axe himself of course. So that iconic riff to ‘Rebel Rebel’ and the greaser rock of ‘Diamond Dogs’ emanate from the fingers of Bowie himself. Much later, during the tour to back up his ‘Heathen’ and ‘Reality’ releases, Bowie’s fuzzy rhythm playing – on a few identical Supro solidbodies – was the perfect foil for Gerry Leonard’s ambient soundscapes and the 70s heroics of Earl Slick. Cool. The video here is Be My Wife and to be honest I’m not 100% sure if he plays it on the album, but his ‘finger synching’ in the video appears dead-on and he has that cool side-to-side classical-style vibrato, so obviously the dude can wail.
Keith Scott (Bryan Adams)
Hey, don’t tell anyone I said this, alright? I have a stack of Strapping Young Lad, Kreator, Sepultura and Morbid Angel CDs right here on my desk to prove I’m still totally metal, but… man, the dude in Bryan Adams’ band can play. Just listen to his solo in ‘Anything I Do (I Do It For You)’ for proof. It’s ok, sit through Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves to hear it over the end credits while pretending you’re trying to figure out who the Key Grip was if you can’t bring yourself to sit and listen to the track by itself and risk being caught. But you’ll hear some great delicate phrasing, perfectly understated whammy bar manipulation and killer note choices. Now, embedding of this video is disabled so instead I give you this:
Again, as with John Mayer there are people who well and truly know how good Frank Zappa was as a guitarist, but there are others who just think he’s that dude with the moustache who wrote songs about getting chicks off, yellow snow and valley girls. But if you need proof of exactly how incredible Zappa was, just listen to Steve Vai – some of his more out-there work sounds like a more polite Zappa, and of course Vai was Zappa’s stunt guitarist in the early 80s. If you’re in the ‘I didn’t realise Zappa was a serious musician’ camp, check out Frank’s stunning solo on ‘Inca Roads’ (where he performs two-handed tapping years before Van Halen), or his perfectly conceived and executed but totally improvised clean-toned solo in ‘Any Kind Of Pain’ – a solo so perfect it’s amazing that it wasn’t painstakingly mapped out note-for-note beforehand. This video is the actual performance used on the ‘Broadway the Hard Way‘ album, although a little bit was edited out for the album.
Do you have any favourite players who you feel are underrated? Comment below!
CLICK HERE for Guitar Center’s website.
Guitar Center’s King Of The Blues: The Search For The Nation’s Greatest Undiscovered Blues Guitar Player is Back!
World’s Largest Guitar Competition Offers Grand Prize Worth Over $35,000, Including $25,000 Cash, Gear and Product Endorsements
July 1, 2009 – Westlake Village, CA – Guitar Center is pleased to announce the return of King of the Blues, the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. With sign-ups launching July 1, Guitar Center’s King of the Blues will feature competitions in over 200 Guitar Center locations across the country, culminating with the Grand Finals in Los Angeles this November. In addition to showcasing the top five finalists, the King of the Blues Grand Finals will also feature performances by renowned blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, who has been awarded “Best Blues Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine for the past three years, and Grammy Award winner Pete Anderson.
King of the Blues is part of Guitar Center’s ongoing mission to provide emerging artists and musicians with career-altering opportunities and vehicles to achieve success. Other Guitar Center programs include Drum-Off and On-Stage. Now in its 21st year, Guitar Center’s Drum-Off has been a launching pad for numerous professional drummers, including Cora “CC” Dunham (Prince), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Tony Royster Jr. (Jay Z) and Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). In 2008 Guitar Center also added On-Stage, a search for America’s next great rock band, with close to 8,000 bands vying for an opening slot on Mötley Crüe’s 30+ city North American arena tour. The winning band, The Last Vegas, not only toured with Mötley Crüe, but was also awarded a record deal with Eleven Seven Music and a management contract with Tenth Street Entertainment (Mötley’s management company).
Introduced in 2006, Guitar Center’s King of the Blues is designed to offer similar life-changing opportunities for unsigned guitarists. More than just a competition to find the most technically skilled players, King of the Blues is designed to seek out the most passionate, innovative and authentic undiscovered guitar players and give them a shot at stardom. Some of today’s most iconic and groundbreaking artists, including BB King, John Mayer, The Black Crowes and Kenny Wayne Shepherd have participated at past King of the Blues events, and the winner of Guitar Center’s 2007 King of the Blues, Aaron Loesch, was invited to perform at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in front of over 25,000 attendees.
With “the Blues” being the foundation for nearly all of today’s popular music, the search for the nation’s greatest undiscovered blues guitarist is expected to unearth a goldmine of unsigned talent, some of whom are destined to become tomorrow’s legends. “The Blues defines today’s music—from Robert Johnson to Jack White and B.B. King to John Mayer,” notes Dustin Hinz, Manager of Event Marketing and Promotions for Guitar Center. “By tapping into this rich and deep musical art form, our goal is to find true original talent—not clones of great guitarists, but rather great guitarists in their own right who deserve a place alongside the legends.”
Guitar Center’s King of the Blues champion will win an impressive package of prizes, including $25,000 cash, a featured spot in a Guitar Center ad campaign, along with a Gibson ’59 Les Paul reissue guitar, a $2,500 Levis shopping spree, a Marshall Vintage Modern 50 watt half stack, a Boss GT-10 Guitar Multi Effects Pedal, a feature in Guitar World magazine, worldwide distribution of their music in iTunes and more, plus endorsement deals from Ernie Ball, Marshall Amplification, VOX Amplification and Gibson. Additional regional, district and local prize packages will also be awarded, thanks to the generous support of Gibson, Levi’s, Ernie Ball, Marshall, Boss, VOX, Guitar World and TuneCore, all of whom are proud supporters of Guitar Center’s King of the Blues
How It Works:
Sign-ups for the preliminary rounds of the King of the Blues competition begin July 1, and run on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, with a maximum of 30 registrants per store. Contestants must sign up with a Guitar Center associate at their local store — no phone or online sign-ups are available.
Each contestant will perform live to 1 of 25 original backing tracks, developed by Grammy Award winning producer, Pete Anderson. All backing tracks are available for free download at www.guitarcenter.com/kingoftheblues Contestants may bring and use any 6, 7, or 12 string acoustic or electric guitar, lap steel or pedal steel guitar, plus any audio pedal effects that can be set-up in a 5 minute time limit, all of which will be plugged into a selection of amplifiers provided by Guitar Center.
Local competitions start August 20 in all 214 Guitar Center locations nationwide. One winner from each store will be chosen to move up to district competitions (24 locations), followed by regionally hosted semi-finals (6 locations) and culminating in the final King of the Blues Grand Finals competition in Los Angeles in November, where the grand finalists will perform in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges, sharing the stage with Joe Bonamassa, who was named Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine’s readership in their annual Reader’s Choice Awards for 2008, and whose incendiary playing has resulted in numerous albums in Billboard’s Top 10 blues chart..
Store Prelims: August 20th, August 27th, September 3rd
Store finals: September 10th
District finals: September 30th
Regional finals: October 21st
Grand Finals: November 2009
If you’re not into the whole relicing thing, you might wanna skip this story and read something else. Might I suggest this?
Check out this Fender prototype of the new John Mayer relic Stratocaster, which is based on – get this – John’s Fender Custom Shop Relic ’61 Strat. Yeah, it’s not vintage like a lot of people naturally assume. So this is a relic of a relic.
John posted this photo today on Twitter, not long after posting “Meeting with Fender and incase to look at prototypes of the new “Black 1″ guitar and case.”
That’s the original on the bottom, and the copy on top.
Of course this isn’t the first signature Strat Fender has made for John Mayer. When I worked at World of Music in Brighton East here in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to play a several production model John Mayer Stratocasters and one of them in particular was probably the nicest non-Custom Shop Strat I’ve ever played.
If you can’t wait for the Relic, here are a couple of standard Fender John Mayer Stratocasters available from Music123:
Fender Artist Series John Mayer Stratocaster Electric Guitar Olympic White
Fender Artist Series John Mayer Stratocaster Electric Guitar 3-Tone Sunburst
CLICK HERE to see Fender Stratocasters on eBay.