Meet The Fender Ultra Luxe Series

Today, Fender is unveiling the American Ultra Luxe series for players who demand the ultimate in performance and tone with the most advanced series of guitars and basses.

The addition of four new American Ultra Luxe models in 2021 will bring the guitar playing experience up a major notch.  These elevated models in this series feature versatile, state-of-the-art specs that will inspire players to push their skills to new heights. 

The American Ultra Luxe series features a unique Augmented “D” neck profile with Ultra rolled fingerboard edges for endless playing comfort and a tapered neck heel that allows easy access to the highest register. A speedy 10”-14” compound-radius fingerboard with 22 stainless steel medium-jumbo frets means effortless and accurate soloing.

Models include:  

·         American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster® ($4,499 AUD). The American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster features Ultra NoiselessTM Vintage pickups and advanced wiring options providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. Available in 2-Color Sunburst (Rosewood fingerboard) and  2-Color Sunburst and Plasma Red Burst (Maple fingerboard). 

·         American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster® Floyd Rose® HSS ($4,699 AUD). The American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Floyd Rose HSS features Ultra NoiselessTM Hot single-coil pickups and Ultra Double TapTM humbucking pickup, along with advanced wiring options, providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. The Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system allows for precision vibrato effects while staying perfectly in tune. Available in Silverburst (Maple fingerboard) and Mystic Black (Rosewood fingerboard).

·         American Ultra Luxe Telecaster® ($4,499 AUD) This model features Ultra NoiselessTM Vintage pickups and advanced wiring options providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. Available in Transparent Surf Green and 2-Color Sunburst. Available April. 

·         American Ultra Luxe Telecaster® Floyd Rose® HH ($4,699 AUD) Featuring an Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system, stainless-steel frets and eye-catching custom colors with matching painted headcaps, the American Ultra Luxe Telecaster Floyd Rose HH is Ultra – elevated. This model features Custom Double TapTM humbucking pickups and advanced wiring options, providing endless tonal possibilities  – without hum. The Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system allows for precision vibrato effects while staying perfectly in tune. The sculpted rear body contours are as beautiful as they are functional. Available in Mystic Black (Maple Fingerboard).

Check out Jared James Nichols’ new ‘Gold Glory’ Les Paul Custom

NASHVILLE, TN (April 6, 2021) Epiphone, the leading accessible guitar brand For Every Stage, is proud to release the new Jared James Nichols “Gold Glory” Les Paul Custom; available worldwide now via
The new Jared James Nichols “Gold Glory” Les Paul Custom, is a limited edition take on the Black-finished “Old Glory” signature model by the rising star who is originally from Les Paul’s hometown. The Jared James Nichols “Gold Glory” features a classic 1955 style Les Paul Custom body with a distinctive Double Gold Aged finish, a single Seymour Duncan P-90 Dogear pickup, an ebony fingerboard with traditional block inlays, Grover Rotomatic tuners, and an EpiLite case.
“’Gold Glory’ is an ICON of a guitar,” says Jared James Nichols. “Between the beauty of the tone, and glitter of the gold, it is breathtaking and bold. It’s simplistic, and powerful, a complete classic, yet rooted in today. I am honored to continue my ‘Glory Days’ with this incredible new signature model. I cannot wait to get this guitar out into the world and into the hands of players looking to find their own unique voice. Simply put, ‘Gold Glory’ inspires me to play, create, and perform at my very best.”
“2021 is going to be a big year for Jared James Nichols,” says Elizabeth Heidt, Vice President of Cultural Influence at Gibson Brands. “We are so inspired by Jared’s artistry and can’t wait to hear and support his new album. Jared James Nichols embodies everything that we are about at Epiphone and we are proud to have him as part of our family, and to bring the next evolution of Jared’s guitar to his fans.”
Over the past few years Nashville, TN-based singer-songwriter-musician rock artist Jared James Nichols has performed over 400 live dates traveling around the worldwith his band. Known for his high-energy, pick-less guitar-playing Jared James Nicholssigned his first record deal with Black Hill Records–a new label dedicated to rock, owned by independent publisher Round Hill Music and distributed worldwide by The Orchard–and will release new music later this year. The rising rock musician first collaborated with Epiphone in early 2019 on his first-ever signature guitar, the “Old Glory” a Les Paul Custom with an Ebony finish which quickly became a best-seller for Epiphone.
Watch and share the interview as Jared James Nichols talks about the “Gold Glory”guitar today, live on Epiphone Instagram and view his signature guitar video: HERE.
In other news, tune in to watch the first live concert in a year with Jared James Nicholsand his full band on Saturday, May 8 at 12pm PT/3:00pm ET via:

The new Fender Mustang Micro is adorable and I want to pinch its little cheeks


Mustang™ Micro Packs 12 Amp Models, 12 Effects Combinations In One Portable Package, For Players To Practice Anywhere

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (April 6, 2021) — Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today launched the latest amp in the widely-acclaimed Mustang™ series, the Mustang™ Micro. The Mustang™ Micro is the complete personal guitar amplifier with a wide selection of tones and effects from the acclaimed Mustang™ Series amps, now available in a compact, portable product that fits in a player’s pocket and allows them to jam silently anywhere.  Fender’s personal amp has streamlined the playing process with no compromises, providing an affordable option with great sound capabilities. 

The ultimate on-the-go guitar amplifier, the Mustang™ Micro has over four hours of continuous play time and can be plugged directly into your guitar and connected to your favorite wired headphones. Players can easily choose from a selection of amps depending on your musical preference — from classic cleans to metal — and a bevy of effects. With 12 amp models and 12 effects combinations straight from Fender’s Mustang™ Series of amps, it makes it quick and easy to get iconic Fender tones no matter where you are. The Mustang™ Micro is ideal for beginners and seasoned players alike. Its simple and intuitive controls, as well as rechargeable batteries, are made for the player on the go, while its headphone output and Bluetooth play-along capabilities make it perfect for quiet, at-home practice sessions. 

“We’re thrilled to bring the iconic Mustang™ amp tones into a pocket-sized amp,” said Max Gutnik, Vice President of Electric Guitars, Basses & Amplifiers. “The Mustang™ Micro will allow everyone from touring artists to new players at home to plug in without disturbing anyone around them. Players will be able to express themselves through authentic effects and tones without being tied to an external amp, allowing for Micro’s portability to take them wherever the music goes.”



  • 12 Amp Models and 12 Effects Combinations Built-In: Straight from our Mustang series of amps with adjustable parameters. All signal processing is self-contained. Just plug in and play.
  • Backing Track Bluetooth Streaming with Audio Video Sync: Wirelessly stream audio backing tracks and play along with your favorite songs or practice app without latency or skipping.
  • Simple and Intuitive Controls: Easy to use features are ideal for beginners to seasoned players.
  • Rechargeable Battery: Internal battery is rechargeable via USB (cable included).
  • Recording Output: Record to your Mac or PC via USB with no additional hardware needed.

Fender discusses the Mustang™ Micro in an episode of Fender’s serialized social video series, Fender® Demos™. Watch it here. Fender Demos is an educational video series focused on providing a deep dive into Fender’s newest products. The series focuses on showcasing not only the key features and benefits but also the sonic quality of Fender’s instruments, amplifiers and pedals. In addition to product demos, the series also provides valuable beginner, intermediate and advanced tone tips, set-up and maintenance guides and insights to getting the most out of your Fender gear.

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

MUSTANG MICRO ($99.99 USD, £89.99, €99.99, $219 AUD, ¥11,000 JPY) The Mustang™ Micro is a complete personal guitar amplifier featuring a wide selection of tones from the wildly popular Mustang™ series of amps. Simply plug Mustang™ Micro directly into your guitar, connect a pair of headphones and choose your amp and effects. It’s ideal for any player from beginner to pro, making it quick and easy to get great tones when jamming silently at home or on the go. You can even play along to your favorite tracks or instructional videos using the built-in Bluetooth audio connection. Main features include: an all-in-one personal headphone amplifier with onboard DSP, 12 amp models and 12 effects combinations from the Mustang™ series of amps for a wide range of clean and dirty tones, Bluetooth audio streaming with audio/video sync for playing along in real time and a USB interface for recording output and firmware updates. 

To learn more about the Mustang™ Micro, click here. For product images click here. See and hear what the Mustang Micro can do in this video. 

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Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH®, Charvel® and Bigsby®–follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends. In 2021, Fender celebrates 75 years of giving artists “wings to fly,” carrying on the vision of its founder, Leo Fender, and connecting players through a shared love of music.


Christina Stejskal
Vice President, Global Communications
Fender Musical Instruments Corp. 

Fender Squier, Jackson, Charvel and Bigsby are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and/or its affiliates, registered in the U.S. and other countries. Fender Demos and Mustang are trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Dave Mustaine partners with Gibson Brands for a whole bunch of guitars

NASHVILLE, TN (February 23, 2021) For 127 years, Gibson has shaped sound across generations and genres of music, becoming one of the most relevant, played, and loved guitar brands around the world. Gibson is proud to officially announce a new partnership with Dave Mustaine, the legendary guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and GRAMMY®-winning founder and leader of Megadeth who joins Gibson as a Brand Ambassador. The new Dave Mustaine Collection will span acoustic and electric guitars across Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer.
Dave will join the Gibson Artist Alliance–a forum which includes legendary musicians, innovative movers and shakers, and new talent–to share in thought leadership, research & development, mentorship of the next generation of players, as well as philanthropic endeavors. In addition to the Dave Mustaine Collection, Dave will be featured in original content and special projects across Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer.
“One of first albums I ever bought was Kiss Alive. On the back of that LP was the Gibson logo, followed by ‘Kiss uses Gibson Guitars because they want the best’. Period,” says Dave Mustaine. “Years later, I’m still that same fan, but now I’ve been playing, touring, writing, and performing around the world myself, and I can say that I could not agree more with that statement. As I was looking for a change in my guitars, I met with Cesar and got his perspective on the vision and direction Gibson is taking. I saw passion, respect for the instruments, a focus on quality and a company that is led by guitar players. I feel I am finally at home with Gibson and I am proud of what we’re building together. I can’t wait for the world to get their hands on the new Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer Dave Mustaine Collection guitars. This is a dream come true for me, don’t #@!# wake me up.”
“It’s an honor to welcome icon, pioneer and visionary musician Dave Mustaine to the Gibson family as our brand ambassador”, said Cesar Gueikian of Gibson Brands. “Dave is one of the most influential metal icons and riff lords of all time, having paved the way for multiple generations of players to carry the flag for hard rock and heavy metal, from riff writers to shredders and everyone in between. Working with Dave is especially gratifying because he is a guitar nerd like me, who gets involved in every aspect of the development of the concepts and ideas we have been designing with him at the Gibson Lab. When I was as kid learning how to play guitar, I aspired to play Dave’s riffs and I was one of the fortunate fans who attended their Youthanasia Tour concert at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in 1994, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the ‘Aguante Megadeth’ chant was born over the song Symphony of Destruction. That was an epic night that I will never forget. I look forward to bringing this partnership to life and unveiling the first stages of the Dave Mustaine Collection to the world.”
Watch and share the new interview with Dave Mustaine and Cesar Gueikian of Gibson, HERE.
Renowned worldwide, the thrash metal pioneer founded MEGADETH 35 years ago, virtually inventing the thrash metal genre with the band’s debut album, Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! MEGADETH has sold more than 38 million albums, earning many accolades along the way, including a GRAMMY® Award and 12 additional GRAMMY® nominations, and five, consecutive platinum / multi-platinum albums, including 1992’s two-million-selling Countdown to Extinction. MEGADETH has headlined many of the biggest stages in the world and sold-out arenas as part of ‘The Big Four.’ Prior to founding MEGADETH, Mustaine co-wrote many of the songs on Metallica’s Kill Em All and Ride the Lightning albums as the band’s original lead guitarist, which have certified sales totaling more than 14 million copies. Across the entirety of his recorded catalog, Mustaine has achieved a staggering sales tally of nearly 50 million albums worldwide. Listen to MEGADETH, HERE.
MEGADETH’s last studio album, Dystopia (2016), debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The critically acclaimed album was featured in Best Albums lists from leading music magazines, including Rolling Stone’s “20 Best Metal Albums of 2016”(No. 6); Revolver’s “Top 20 Metal Albums of 2016” (No. 2); and Loudwire’s “20 Best Albums of 2016” (No. 12) and “Best Metal Songs of 2016” (No. 2) for the title track, “Dystopia.” MEGADETH won a Silver CLIO Award for their Dystopia VR album campaign, and the album’s blistering title track earned the band a GRAMMY® Award for Best Metal Performance.
With his visionary business acumen, Mustaine holds the mantle as metal’s most enterprising mogul and has founded multiple brands in and outside of music. To name just a few, MEGADETH À Tout le Monde and Saison 13 beer (eight million+ pints sold to date across North America, UK, Europe), House of Mustaine vineyards’ award-winning wines, a range of signature guitar gear, a 2020 graphic novel anthology with Heavy Metalmagazine, the FIRST EVER band website in history (Megadeth Arizona), the Cyber Army fan club (established in 1994), five successful traveling GIGANTOUR all-star music festivals, Megadeth fan Boot Camp (sold out), and the inaugural Megacruise(sold out).
In 2010, Mustaine released his New York Times-bestselling autobiography, titled Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir in the U.S, UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In September 2020, Mustaine released his second national bestseller RUST IN PEACE: The Inside Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece to coincide with the 30th anniversary of MEGADETH’s iconic thrash metal masterpiece Rust in Peace.
In 2019, Mustaine was given a cancer diagnosis while he was out on the road and he approached cancer like he has dealt with all the hard blows in his life – with all his energy and passion focused on a singular goal. After intense treatment, he succeeded and his cancer is in remission, and all aspects of his life and business continues with his same intensity and perseverance. Nothing has slowed down for Mustaine who is currently working on MEGADETH’s 16th album for 2021.
Following is a sampling of prototypes for the new Dave Mustaine Collection below:

Rusty Cooley announces new online interview series ‘Guitar Autopsy’ featuring top players

Rusty Cooley announces new online interview series ‘Guitar Autopsy’ featuring top players


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:
Zachary Adkins YouTube Channel:

Ear Training Part 1: Intervals You Already Know From Famous Riffs

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.

A great guitar album you probably missed out on is available again

Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell has just released The Glitz, The Glamour, a box set covering his non-Jane’s work, and tucked away within its tracklist is a cracking album that you’re gonna wanna check out if you haven’t already. 

In 2005 Perry released Ultra Payloaded, the debut album by Satellite Party, a band which also featured Nuno Bettencourt and his extreme bandmate Kevin Figueiredo, plus Nuno alumnus Carl Restivo on bass and Etty Lou Farrell on backing vocals. It started as a project between Nuno and Farrell, although Nuno left in 2007, and the album featured plenty of guest stars. Why did it fall apart? “I have always felt uncomfortable with the direction of the lineup and live show,” Nuno said at the time. “I truly do believe in the songs and music on the album, and I wish Perry Farrell and any musician that remains on tour all the best.” Nick Perri stepped into the open guitar position.

Ultra Payloaded makes up Disc 2 of The Glitz, The Glamour, and it kicks off with ‘Wish Upon a Dogstar’ featuring some very Peter Hook bass playing from …Peter Hook. Hooky also turns up on track 4, ‘Kinky,’ and both songs are overflowing with gothy post-punky vibe.

There are also appearances from Peter DiStefano, Fergie, Hybrid, Jack Irons, Suze DeMarchi, session legend Tim Pierce and more – but for me the big one is track 3, ‘Hard Life Easy,’ which features Red Hot Chilli Peppers bandmates Flea and John Frusciante locking together over a super solid groove. It’s some of the sweetest Frusciante guitar and Flea bass playing you’ll ever hear. 

And of course Nuno is godly on this thing, even though he’s more restrained here than with Extreme or his various solo and side projects. 

Although the box set is beautiful, if you can’t spring that sort of dough you can find the tracks on streaming services. 

The Fender Jason Isbell Telecaster is a thing of beauty

I love me a good double-bound Tele, and apparently so does Jason Isbell, if his new signature Fender is anything to go by.

It’s finished in a gorgeous Chocolate Sunburst with ’59-style Telecaster Custom cream double-binding and it’s given the Fender Road Worn aging treatment, which is a feature I really like, not particular for the look but for the feel. It has a vintage-style mid-’60s “C”-shaped Maple neck with a 21-fret Rosewood fingerboard and a set of custom Fender Jason Isbell Telecaster Pickups. The bridge is a custom-modified unit with vintage-style brass saddles, and the neck has a vintage-accurate 7.25″ radius.