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 

The BOSS RE-20 Space Echo

space echoWhen you’re talking about a digital piece of gear that replicates a classic of the past, the true test is in how successfully it convinces those who are used to the old-school analog version. When it comes to the Roland RE-20 Space Echo, Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf is convinced: “Roland has a digital Space Echo, which sounds like it would be ridiculous, but they did it,” he said back in 2009. “They actually made it sound really, really awesome.” Read More …

MUSIKMESSE: Roland CUBE Street EX

cube_street_ex_angle_1_mainPRESS RELEASE: Roland is pleased to announce the CUBE Street EX, a battery-powered stereo amplifier with big sound and generous connectivity for a variety of mics, instruments, and other devices. Building on the success of the original CUBE Street, the new CUBE Street EX infuses the popular mobile amp with a huge performance upgrade that delivers more projection, more channels, and more versatility. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Adrian Belew

Adrian Belew

The Crimson ProjeKCt is a King Crimson offshoot featuring three current members of that historic, nay, iconic band – Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto – along with Julie Slick, Tobias Ralph and Markus Reuter. And a typical Crimson ProjeCKt concert is a marathon of musical might which shifts through many moods and configurations. Belew explains: “What happens is this: Stick Men (Levin, Mastelotto and Reuter) play a set of their music (which includes a Crimson track or two), then the Power Trio (Belew, Slick, Ralph) plays a set of my music (which also includes a Crimson track), then Tony and Pat and I play a Crimson song (as yet another trio), and then comes the big finale: both trios play more than an hours-worth of Crimson music as a double trio! It’s a helluva show!” And the group is coming to Australia and New Zealand to spread their particular brand of musical majesty in June and July, with shows in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Living Colour’s Vernon Reid

VernonReidFew guitarists are as endlessly creative as Living Colour’s Vernon Reid. One of those rare individuals who seems to be able to summon inspiration and individuality to them on request, Vernon’s playing ranges from the subtle and traditional to the sublimely outrageous. Living Colour are in Australia for the Soundwave festival and a few of their own side shows with Alter Bridge. I Heart Guitar caught up with Vernon recently to talk about it.

Correct me if I’m wrong but did you guys book this through Twitter? It kinda looks like that’s how it happened! I saw the Living Colour Twitter account tweeting to Soundwave that you’d like to do the festival, and a few weeks later it was announced.

I guess that’s the power of social media!  Read More …

AIRA Officially Unveiled

aira_familyOkay, so I’m a huge guitar nerd and if you’re reading this you probably are too, but something about the new AIRA line from Roland has really caught my imagination. Maybe it’s all the cool spooky green lights that remind me of Type O Negative. Whatever it is, this newly-announced line of instruments – the TR-8 Rhythm Performer, TB-3 Touch Bassline, VT-3 Voice Transformer, and SYSTEM-1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer – are all things that we guitarists can find ways to incorporate into our recording and composing, so I thought you might like to check ’em out here. Here’s the press release. Read More …

Unleashing The Acoustic Within Your Electric

acousticpicSome of us start out on acoustic guitar before ‘graduating’ to electric. Some of us stay on acoustic our whole lives. Some of us are electric shredders who don’t require an acoustic guitar often enough to actually plonk down enough cash to own one, but we might need the sound of an acoustic on our tracks from time to time. This post is for them. So, what do you do if you want to lay down some acoustic guitar on a track you’re recording, but you don’t have one at hand? Technology to the rescue! There are few tricks you can use to conjure up the spirit, if not the sound, of an acoustic guitar.

Read More …

Guitar Synthesis – What Are You Missing Out On?

LPGuitar is the greatest instrument in the world. I know it, you know it, the other dudes in the band know it. It looks cool, it’s sexy, and like you can’t stop at just one. But the sad, sad truth is that the guitar can’t do everything. It’s great at sounding like, well, a guitar, and in the right hands you can use it to make the sound of a rocket or a racecar or maybe a chicken, but when it comes to flexibility, you just can’t beat a synthesiser. A synth doesn’t just make a sound that’s ‘like’ a particular instrument: most synths actually trigger samples of the instrument you’ve dialled in. Call up a piano patch and you’re triggering actual samples of a real piano. And you can’t do that with a guitar. Wait, yes you can! Guitar synths have been around for decades now, and therefore the technology is pretty damn tight at this point. So there are now plenty of ways to integrate synthesis in your sound. Let’s have a look at a few of them. Read More …