Rusty Cooley announces new online interview series ‘Guitar Autopsy’ featuring top players
“IT’S LIKE IF JOE ROGAN PLAYED GUITAR”
Guitar Autopsy is a new online chat show launching in March 2021, hosted by ‘guitar teacher to the stars’ Rusty Cooley and up-and-coming guitarist Zach Adkins and covering everything from guitar talk to general life topics, and everything in between – all with guitars in hand.
Each episode finds Cooley and Adkins joined by a guest from the world of guitar, drawn from Rusty’s little black book of guitar buddies from a lifetime in the industry as a player, educator and gear obsessive.
“Guitar Autopsyis not so much of us interviewing guitar players as it is three guitar players hanging out and talking and playing guitar,” Cooley says. “So it’s just a conversation about everything anything from guitar playing, practicing, teaching, learning, music business, touring, not touring, or where ever the conversation leads us. Maybe we don’t even talk about music and we talk about everyday life. If you want to have a drink or a smoke out, kick your feet up and hang out – and that’s exactly what you can expect: the unexpected!”
Every episode kicks off with Cooley and Adkins discussing the guitar news of the week: new releases, notable anniversaries, news happenings, gear trends or whatever else may be relevant that week. Each week’s guest then joins the chat to talk about whatever’s on their mind, and to throw plenty of guitar licks out there if the mood takes them.
“If whoever’s on the show is sick and tired of talking about music because that’s what they do, and they just want to talk about life, that’s what we’ll do,” Cooley says. “Basically imagine if Joe Rogan played guitar! It’s all fair game.”
“The big thing that I think is a game-changer with this,” Adkins adds, “is there are lot of other people who talk to guitar players and celebrities, but the difference is Rusty: he knows a lot of these guys personally, he’s met them, he’s probably even played with them or taught them, which makes it a whole other thing when you know somebody one-on-one verses getting them in for a quick interview.”
An impressive list of some of the greatest players in contemporary guitar and bass have already signed on for Season One, including some of the biggest names in thrash, progressive rock and metal.
Guitar Autopsycan be found at Rusty Cooley’s YouTube channel.
Rusty Cooley is a respected solo artist, guitar educator, and founding member of Day Of Reckoning and Outworld. Adkins first came to the attention of the guitar world when he took first place in the 2017 Flying Fingers competition judged by Paul Gilbert, and is author of the bestselling book Guitar Efficiency.
Rusty Cooley YouTube Channel:https://youtube.com/c/MrRustyCooley
Zachary Adkins YouTube Channel:https://youtube.com/c/ZachAdkinsmastershredder
Here’s Kiesel’s latest collaboration with Jason Becker: the Yin Yang Tribute Guitar. Unlike other Kiesel Jason Becker guitars, which are all made based on instruments Jason played, the Yin Yang guitar is a new design, for which Jason took colour inspiration from Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Strat while developing a very modern shred-friendly instrument.
“Although I love the meaning of unity/duality in the yin yang symbol, my desire to design a guitar like this came from my love of Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ guitar,” Jason says. “When I was 9, I saw The Band’s movie, The Last Waltz. Clapton and Robbie Robertson made me want to become a lead guitarist. I eventually got a black and white Strat in junior high and used it on Cacophony’s first album, Speed Metal Symphony.
“This yin yang design of mine was meant to capture the look of Clapton’s Blackie. To me, every line and curve is beautiful. I worked really hard on getting the perfect balance of black and white and artistic movement. My caregivers followed my picky requests. Without copying a Strat, it feels just as cool or cooler. The neck is the same size as my original Bluey, so I know it feels good. I am so grateful to Kiesel Guitars for bringing my design to life.”
From the Kiesel website:
The Jason Becker Yin Yang Tribute guitar has an mahogany body with a black/white Yin Yang finish on the front, and black back and sides with a clear gloss top coat. Mahogany is a medium weight high-quality tone wood used for its fine resonating warm tone. The bolt-on Eastern hard rock maple neck has a tung-oil finish and thinner neck profile ideal for fast playing. All of our necks and fingerboards undergo a long conditioning process in our de-humidification chambers to remove any stress in the wood and prevent future warping or twisting. Additionally, the dual-action, fully adjustable truss rod helps keep the neck straight and true, and allows you to set the action just the way you like it. Dual carbon-fiber rods further strengthen the neck.
The JBYY has a reverse inline angled pointed headstock, with black finish and white Kiesel headstock logo. Jason’s exclusive multilaminate Jason Becker truss rod cover, in white, is installed. A locking nut for the Floyd Rose tremolo is standard.
The standard roasted flamed maple fingerboard features a 24.75″ scale length, with exclusive matching Yin Yang dot inlays. Luminlay SuperBlue glow-in-the-dark side dots are also a standard feature. Stainless steel jumbo frets are standard equipment.
Kiesel Guitars new M12SD humbucker with black polepieces is installed in the bridge position. This pickup is similar in tone to the original M22SD pickup found in Jason’s original guitars from the 1990s. The coils are black and white zebra, to match the aesthetic of the rest of the instrument. Our new Mark’s Single pickup, with white coil, is installed in the neck position. Electronics are passive, with a 5-way pickup selector switch and master volume and tone controls with white knobs.
Ear Training: Intervals You Already Know From Famous Riffs
When you’re learning to play guitar, sometimes the best tool you have is your voice. If you can hum a riff, it’s often easier to figure out how far apart each note is on the fretboard. It goes both ways: singing a riff can help you to transfer it to guitar, while learning a riff on guitar and then transferring it to vocals can teach your subconscious self all sorts of helpful things about melody and rhythm that might not be apparent from looking at the fretboard. This is stuff that can help you whether you’re learning by ear and experimentation, or if you’re taking a more guided, theoretical approach to guitar. When you come down to it, every note we hear in western music is one of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, so once your ear gets used to distinguishing the differences in distance between each note, the whole fretboard – nay, the whole nature of music itself – opens right up. It gets much easier to figure out songs when you can hear any two notes and just know how many frets lie between them. But this can be a tricky skill to develop without some kind of guide posts, so it can be very helpful to train your ears to recognise specific intervals. Here are some of the key ones and how you can recognise them (and yes, I realise that I almost could have named this article “How I Learned Intervals From Black Sabbath”).
Half Step (1 fret)
There’s a particularly iconic piece of music that really personifies the menace, mournfulness and might of the half-step interval: the ‘uh-oh, the shark is coming’ music from Jaws. Pick a fret – any fret – play that note, then play the next highest note. Sounds spooky, right? Once you’ve got that under your fingers, try playing it in reverse, going from one fret to the next lowest fret. This is the interval you’ll hear in the main riff of Ministry’s “New World Order.” And it’s the basis of more metal riffs than we could ever count. Megadeth’s “Symphony Of Destruction” is a particularly brutal example.
Whole Step (2 frets)
The whole-step interval (two frets) seems to be more of a ‘transitional’ one: many players tend to use it on their way through to another interval that more clearly defines the harmonic movement of a riff. But one of the most dramatic uses of this interval is the opening rhythm punch of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Kicking off with two sets of doubled-up F#5 power chords at the second fret of the low E string before dropping down to an open position E5 chord, this riff is packed with energy. This is also the interval of the first two chords of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love.” Spin it around the other way from lower note to higher one and you’ve got the interval from the verse of Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some!” or the beginning of Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” Stone Temple Pilots Vaseline
1 1/2 Steps (3 frets)
This is where things really get interesting: the sheer number of rock, metal and blues songs that hinge on this interval is utterly overwhelming. This gap of three frets is what you’ll hear in the first two chords of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water,” Everclear’s “Santa Monica,” Metallica’s “Fuel,” Joe Satriani’s “The Extremist,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and many, many more.
2 Steps (4 frets)
Fret a G chord. Pluck the lowest string, and then the second lowest. Hear that? Two steps. This one’s real easy. You don’t even need a riff for it.
2 1/4 Steps (5 frets)
This one is easily recognisable as the sound of two adjacent strings (ignoring, for a moment, the little tuning mismatch between the G and B strings on a standard guitar). Play an open A string, then play an open D string: that’s this interval (also known as a major fourth). This is the one that you’ll hear in the first two notes or chords of things like “Wild Thing,” Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and heaps more.
Bonus Interval: 3 Steps (6 Frets)
Aah, we’ve talked about this one before: Diabolos In Musica, the Evil Interval, the spookiest-sounding interval ever. Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” and “Symptom Of The Universe” are great examples of this one.
3 1/2 Steps (7 frets)
This is the same distance between the two notes of a typical Power Chord. It’s also the first two notes of the main melodies of the Flintstones theme, the first interval of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” the first two notes of Chris DeGarmo’s delay-drenched lead melody in Queensryche’s “Jet City Woman,” the fast back-and-forth riff of The Easybeats’ “Friday On My Mind” and jillions more.