Acoustic Guitar 278.pdf

July 17, 2017 | Author: 2rnt | Category: Subscription Business Model, Pop Culture, Entertainment (General), Leisure
Share Embed Donate


Short Description

Download Acoustic Guitar 278.pdf...

Description

DAVE VAN RONK | PETER CASE | PATTY GRIFFIN | HONEY DEWDROPS

3 SONGS

WIN A MARTIN HD-28 P. 69

ROLLING STONES Sweet Virginia GREEN DAY Warning DAVE VAN RONK Hang Me, Oh Hang Me

FEBRUARY 2016 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

THE

BIG ONE FROM DOC WATSON TO KURT COBAIN, MARTIN’S DREADNOUGHT HAS REVOLUTIONIZED POPULAR MUSIC FOR 100 YEARS

NEW GEAR McELROY STANDARD JUMBO BREEDLOVE LIMITED EDITION ALL-MYRTLEWOOD CONCERT FENDER ACOUSTIC PRO & ACOUSTIC SFX AMPS

PLUS 4 WAYS TO PLAY WITH A TENSIONFREE THUMB HOW TO SOUND LIKE ED SHEERAN LEARN TO PLAY A RAGTIME TUNE STAGE & STUDIO PERFORMANCE & RECORDING TIPS

“Elixir Strings simply play the smoothest and last the longest. I’ve never heard a fuller, brighter or cleaner sound out of my guitar. They bring new life to any classic.” - Jerrod Niemann

Photo Credit: Stephen Kearney

The Phosphor Bronze tone you love – for longer Elixir ® Strings Acoustic Phosphor Bronze deliver distinctive phosphor bronze warmth and sparkle together with the extended tone life that players have come to expect from Elixir Strings. Elixir Strings is the only coated string brand to protect the entire string, keeping tone-killing gunk out of the gaps between the string windings. As a result, Elixir Strings retain their tone longer than any other string, uncoated or coated*. Plus, our innovative Anti-Rust Plated Plain Steel Strings prevent corrosion, ensuring longer life for the entire set. With a smoother feel and reduced finger-squeak, Elixir Phosphor Bronze Strings are a winning choice for the studio and stage. With less hassle and expense of frequent string changes you can enjoy more time making music.

www.elixirstrings.com/phosbronze *Elixir Strings player survey GORE, ELIXIR, NANOWEB, POLYWEB, GREAT TONE · LONG LIFE, “e” icon, and other designs are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates. ©2015 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

ELX-532-ADV-US-JUL15

CRAIG MEIROP

CONTENTS

‘Van Ronk could howl and whisper, turn blues into ballads and ballads into blues. I loved his style.’ BOB DYLAN p. 26

Features 20 Sonic Palette Aram Bajakian paints acoustic guitar soundscapes By Adam Perlmutter

24 Higher Ground Honey Dewdrops expand their traditional folk sound

Special Focus The Dread Turns 100 34 The Big Gun How Martin’s big guitar revolutionized popular music

Miscellany 10 The Front Porch 96 Marketplace 97 Ad Index

By Greg Cahill

By Pat Moran

26 From the Land of Giants Dave Van Ronk remains a towering figure in folk and country blues By Derk Richardson

February 2016 Volume 26, No. 8, Issue 278 On the Cover Doc Watson: 1964, with a Martin D-18 Photographer David Gehr / Getty Images

AcousticGuitar.com 5

SPONSORED

CONTENTS

MIKE ELDRED DEMONSTRATES A VARIETY OF BLUESBASED TURNAROUNDS

The Turnaround at the end of any blues progression is an important moment for the band. Guitar builder, player and blues great, Mike Eldred, shows us a variety of Turnarounds. Stay focused, some of his parts are moving pretty fast! “Elixir Strings keep their tone and brightness longer than any other string I have tried. I use them on all of my acoustics and resonators because nothing sounds better.”

Fender Acoustic Pro and Acoustic FX, p. 86

NEWS 13 The Beat Rising duos James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg and Dawn & Hawkes; Lennon, Baez, and Elliott Smith guitars auctioned

78 Kitbag Learn to create your own Ed Sheeran sound

18 Five Minutes With . . . Patty Griffin explores alt-tunings

82 Review: McElroy Standard Model, Generation 2.1 A well-built tone machine

–Mike Eldred

PLAY 45 The Basics Perfecting a tension-free thumb position

Acoustic 80/20 Bronze with POLYWEB® Coating, Resonator

46 Weekly Workout Using triads and dominant seventh chords to build blues and rock solos

Watch the video now:

52 Woodshed Playing ragtime fingerpicking guitar, pt. 1

Elixir Strings Acoustic Phosphor Bronze with NANOWEB® Coating, Custom Light Gauge

AcousticGuitar.com/How-To/ Eldred-Blues-Elixir

SPONSORED 6 February 2016

80 Guitar Guru Breaking in an acoustic guitar

84 Review: Breedlove Oregon Concert Ltd. Concert-sized guitar is a sonic charmer 86 Review: Fender Acoustic Pro and Acoustic FX Stylish amps make a big impression 98 Great Acoustics The saga of David Wilcox’s Olson guitar

Songs to Play 60 Sweet Virginia Rolling Stones at their country-best 70 Warning The acoustic side of Green Day 72 Hang Me, Oh Hang Me Dave Van Ronk’s take on the folk classic

MIXED MEDIA 89 Playlist Peter Case is still the restless traveler on HWY 62; also, Darlingside’s Birds Say, Greg Blake’s Songs of Heart and Home, Mipso’s Old Time Reverie, Birds and Arrows’ Edge of Everything

AG TRADE 77 Shoptalk String king Jim D’Addario

94 Books New tomes tell the stories behind songs by Dylan and the Beatles

JOEY LUSTERMAN

AG ONLINE

Over 50 handmade American guitars in stock in the UK

Manzer Somogyi Matsuda Traugott Borges Circa Laskin Baranik Fay Wren Tippin Claxton Kraut Doerr Kinnaird Brondel Jang Ogino Strahm Luthier made guitars from £3000 “I have never met anyone like Trevor, his passion and dedication to North American guitars is unique in the world.” Grit Laskin “TAMCO has one of the best collections of handmade guitars on the planet”. Ervin Somogyi. “Its like attending your own private acoustic guitar festival. Trevor offers the world’s best Guitars.” Linda Manzer 01273671841 theacousticmusicco.co.uk 11.00 - 6.00 Tues to Sat 8 February 2016

Jennah Bell In the Studio

Enjoy a recent Acoustic Guitar Session with singer and guitarist Jennah Bell. Visit acousticguitar.com/sessions to check out interviews with and performances by Richard Thompson, Ani DiFranco, Seth Avett, Peter Rowan, Della Mae, Bruce Cockburn, Valerie June, Julian Lage, Eliza Gilkyson, Preston Reed, Laurie Lewis, and many others. SAVE BIG ON VIDEO LESSONS, SONGBOOKS & MORE Every Friday at 12PM, AG sends a special Acoustic Guitar Deal to thousands of guitarists like you. Recent Deals include Acoustic Guitar Solo Fingerstyle Basics for $9 and 50% off The Acoustic Guitar Method: Complete Edition. Sign-up today so you don’t miss out on a deal again. acousticguitar.com/deals GET ‘ACOUSTIC GUITAR’ IN YOUR INBOX Enjoy everything from reviews and demos of new gear and guitars, tips and instructions, or special offers all delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for Acoustic Guitar Notes and receive a guitar-related email every afternoon. acousticguitar.com/acoustic-guitar-notes

Vintage. Reunion. Fifty years ago, the Yamaha FG180 became the first love of countless musicians. Its iconic Red Label represented the heart of the instrument — a beautiful, soulful tone that has come to define Yamaha acoustic guitars. Now, Yamaha proudly introduces the FG180-50. With a run of just 180 guitars, this 50th Anniversary re-issue becomes a true collector’s edition that will take you back to where your passion for music began.

THE FRONT PORCH AcousticGuitar.com • AcousticGuitarU.com

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT Editorial Director & Editor Greg Cahill Editor at Large Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers Managing Editor Blair Jackson Associate Editor Whitney Phaneuf Copy Editor Anna Pulley Production Manager Hugh O’Connor Contributing Editors Kenny Berkowitz, David Hamburger, Steve James, Orville Johnson, Richard Johnston, Mark Kemp, Pete Madsen, Sean McGowan, Jane Miller, Greg Olwell, Adam Perlmutter, Rick Turner, Doug Young

CREATIVE SERVICES Creative Director Joey Lusterman Senior Designer Brad Amorosino

INTERACTIVE SERVICES Interactive Services Director Lyzy Lusterman Copywriter Kelsey Holt Creative Content Coordinator Tricia Baxter Single Copy Sales Consultant Tom Ferruggia

MARKETING SERVICES Dave Van Ronk

hen you heard him do a Joni Mitchell song,” guitarist David Massengill told longtime AG contributor Derk Richardson while reminiscing about Dave Van Ronk, “it was like hearing it for the very first time, like hearing it from ancient poets.” Van Ronk remains a major influence in the world of folk guitar. Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Bill Morrisey—the list of players who have emulated the late, great Mayor of MacDougal Street goes on forever. Little wonder that the Coen Brothers tapped Van Ronk as the inspiration for their 2013 film Inside Llewyn Davis. With the approach of the 90th anniversary of Van Ronk’s birth, and the 14th anniversary of his death, AG decided to look back on his legacy—this issue also features a solo-guitar arrangement of “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” one of Van Ronk’s trademark songs and the opening track from the Coen Brothers’ film. Speaking of major influences, you’ll also find a cover story signaling the 100th anniversary of the Martin dreadnought, the big guitar that revolutionized popular music. During the past century, the dreadnought could be found

“W

at many key musical junctures: It became the banjo-killing heart of the bluegrass sound, it sang out during the 1960s folk revival that spawned the likes of Van Ronk, it powered the 1970s singer-songwriter movement, it fueled essential works by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (see the music to “Sweet Virginia” on page 60—warning: the lyrics are rated PG), and it shared the stage with Kurt Cobain at Nirvana’s iconic MTV Unplugged concert. Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran’s guitar-tech Trevor Dawkins explains his boss’ looping station, Patty Griffin discusses her (mostly) DADDAD album Servant of Love, contributing editor Pete Madsen delivers a challenging rag lesson, and associate editor Whitney Phaneuf contemplates the popularity of harmonizing guitar duos cut in the mold of the Everly Bros. There’s also an additional song to play by Green Day (“Warning”); reviews of a new McElroy guitar, Breedlove’s all-myrtlewood concert-sized axe, and a pair of stylish Fender acoustic amps; and much, much more. Play on. —Greg Cahill

DISTRIBUTED to the music trade by Hal Leonard Corporation (800-554-0626, [email protected]) GOT A QUESTION or comment for Acoustic Guitar’s editors? Send e-mail to [email protected]

Sales Director Cindi Kazarian Sales Managers Amy-lynn Fischer, Ref Sanchez, Greg Sutton Marketing Services Manager Tanya Gonzalez

Stringletter.com Publisher David A. Lusterman

FINANCE & OPERATIONS Director of Accounting & Operations Anita Evans Bookkeeper Geneva Thompson Accounting Associate Raymund Baldoza Office Assistant Leslie Perry General Inquiries [email protected] Customer Service [email protected] Advertising Inquiries [email protected] Send e-mail to individuals in this format: [email protected] Front Desk (510) 215-0010 Customer Service (800) 827-6837 General Fax (510) 231-5824 Secure Fax (510) 231-8964

MAIL & SHIPPING 501 Canal Boulevard, Suite J, Richmond, CA 94804 Printed in USA

your subscription. A single issue costs $6.99; an individual subscription is $39.95 per year; institutional subscriptions are also available. International subscribers must order airmail delivery. Add $15 per year for

or snail-mail to Acoustic Guitar Editorial, 501 Canal Blvd., Suite J, Richmond, CA 94804.

Canada/Pan Am, $30 elsewhere, payable in US funds on US bank, or by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

TO SUBSCRIBE to Acoustic Guitar magazine, call (800) 827-6837 or visit us online at AcousticGuitar.com.

TO ADVERTISE in Acoustic Guitar, the only publication of its kind read by 150,000 guitar players and

As a subscriber, you enjoy the convenience of home delivery and you never miss an issue. You can take care of

makers every month, call Cindi Kazarian at (510) 215-0025, or e-mail her at [email protected]

all your subscription needs at our online Subscriber Services page (AcousticGuitar.com/Subscriber-Services): pay your bill, renew, give a gift, change your address, and get answers to any questions you may have about

10 February 2016

Except where otherwise noted, all contents ©2015 Stringletter, David A. Lusterman, Publisher.

PRS Acoustics A Culture of Quality

© 2014 PRS Guitars / Photos by Marc Quigley

Born in our Maryland shop, PRS acoustics are heirloom instruments with remarkable tone and exquisite playability. A small team of experienced luthiers handcraft all of our Maryland-made acoustic instruments with passion and attention to detail.

The PRS Guitars’ Acoustic Team.

13

14

The Beat Elliott Smith guitar fetches $35,000

18

NEWS

5 Minutes With Patty Griffin’s DADDAD Experience

JOAN SHELLEY

The Beat Dawn & Hawkes romantic new CD

AXE AUCTIONS

THE BEAT

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg

Guitar Duos on the Rise

Two new albums showcase the harmonious interplay between acoustic guitars & vocals BY WHITNEY PHANEUF

he Everly Brothers. Rodrigo y Gabriela. The Milk Carton Kids. There’s something irresistible about the interplay between two acoustic guitars. Its success is less about technique and more about the chemistry of the players—as if they’re speaking their own language through guitar. Two acoustic-guitar duos, James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg and Dawn & Hawkes, are carrying on this folk tradition and establishing their own sound on new albums. Salsburg and Elkington met through mutual friends in 2008, and despite living 300 miles apart—in Louisville and Chicago, respectively— the guitarists started sending each other rough demos and occasionally getting together to play. “It was totally for the fun of it,” Salsburg explains, adding that he had never played in a duo before meeting Elkington. “I had played in rock bands. It was weird, the concept of sitting

T

down with someone with acoustic guitars and playing music, but it totally worked.” The fast friends also shared different influences with each other. Salsburg grew up on Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, passed down from his folkie guitarist dad. He made Elkington a compilation of Southern traditionalists, but says, “he wanted nothing to do with it.” The England-born Elkington grew up on new wave, and when he discovered folk later in life, preferred UK countrymen Bert Jansch and Nic Jones. The guitarists’ divergent tastes blend into effortless guitar instrumentals on their new album, Ambsace (Paradise of Bachelors). Elkington and Salsburg pair ten original compositions—which range from introspective and understated to downhome front-porch jams—with creative re-imaginings of the Duke CONT. ON PG. 14

LENNON’S GIBSON FETCHES $2.4M John Lennon’s fabled 1962 Gibson J-160E, which AG first reported on in our September issue, was sold by Julien’s Auctions on November 7 to an anonymous buyer for a whopping $2.41 million. The guitar, which was missing for more than 50 years after Lennon used it to record such hits as “Love Me Do,” became the second most expensive guitar sold at auction (a Fender Stratocaster went for $2.7 million in 2005). Andy Babiuk, author of the newly revised book Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio (Backbeat), authenticated the guitar. The seller, John McCaw is a Vietnam vet who paid a couple of hundred dollars for the Gibson. He split the auction proceeds with Yoko Ono’s on Spirit Foundation charity. —W.P. JOAN BAEZ-PLAYED MARTIN 0-40 NETS $12,500 A C.F. Martin 0-40, which Joan Baez played from 1966–68, was auctioned by Freeman’s on November 20 for $12,500. Built circa 1880 by C.F. Martin Co., the Style 40 model was just below Martin’s top of the line Style 42. The seller, Joan Saxe, acquired the guitar in 1966 while attending the University of California at Berkeley. CONT. ON PG. 14

AcousticGuitar.com 13

THE BEAT

The Martin 0-40, which Joan Baez played from 1966–68.

Chris Hawkes and Miranda Dawn

Ellington composition “Fleurette Africaine,” The Smiths’ “Reel Around the Fountain,” and Norman Blake’s “Slow Train Through Georgia.” The album is surprisingly cohesive considering it was written and recorded over two sessions a year apart, but Salsburg credits its easy feel to the duo’s chemistry. “It’s much lower maintenance with Jim than it is with my solo stuff. We just have a lot of fun playing. We can write a song in half an hour. He’s got a part and I’ve got a part and we find some glue. We sit around and have a beer and play, and it comes together,” Salsburg says. The duo embarked on their first-ever tour in fall 2015, supporting Steve Gunn, one of many musicians with whom Elkington regularly performs and records. Salsburg has the enviable day job as curator of the Alan Lomax Archive, and regularly records and tours with Kentucky singer-songwriter Joan Shelley. Even with multiple outside commitments, Salsburg says the duo’s camaraderie keeps them playing together. “He’s the best guitar player I know and incredibly versatile in a way that I’m not. He’s pushed me in a way that I’ve never been pushed musically. I’m lucky to call him a friend and be able to play with him.” The Austin duo Dawn and Hawkes are more than just friends. In addition to a creative bond, they also have a romantic one. They met five years ago in an Austin bar (he asked her to dance), and co-wrote their first song the day after their first date. 14 February 2016

“The first time we realized our shared musical chemistry was at a late-night song circle; each with an acoustic guitar,” says Dawn. “When my grandmother first heard us perform together she said, ‘Your voices sound beautiful together, but your guitars . . . . they also sing together.’” Hawkes adds: “We started naturally hitting different chordal voicings with and without capos. The two guitars give us a wide range—from full choppy rhythmic chording and lead lines to delicate dual arpeggiated phrases with lots of space.” The duo debuted at the 2012 Kerrville Folk Festival, where Dawn was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Competition. A month later, they released a self-produced EP, Golden Heart, which reached the Top 25 of Billboard’s Folk chart, aided by three years of nonstop, cross-country touring and a run on NBC’s singing competition The Voice. Their new full-length album, Yours and Mine, showcases the duo’s impeccable vocal harmonies and instrumentation, with Hawkes on lead guitar and each switching off on bass lines and rhythm. They wrote the ten originals mostly at home and in the car, and that intimacy can be heard in the album’s tracks—all love songs. “We co-wrote the title track on the way to play a friend’s wedding and it defines our relationship in and out of music,” Hawkes says. “When it’s just the two of us sitting around playing for fun, trying new parts, and enjoying the way two guitars sound—it’s such an inspiring way to play. Some of our better songs start in those moments.” AG

A graduation present from her grandmother, the guitar was chosen because it looked similar to one Saxe had seen Baez play. That same year, Saxe met Baez, and asked her to look at a string rattle in her 0-40. Baez fell in love with the Martin, which Saxe loaned to her for three years during which it traversed the world and was pictured on the Japanese release of 1969’s David’s Album. —W.P. ELLIOTT SMITH’S ‘ROMAN CANDLE’ GUITAR GOES FOR $35K Elliott Smith’s Regal Le Domino guitar, which he used to write and record his 1994 album Roman Candle, was sold to a Seattle collector for $35,000 on October 15, 2015. Smith borrowed the flattop parlor guitar, built in Chicago in the early 1930s, from his friend and former housemate JJ Gonson, who wrote on its certificate of authenticity, “Elliott loved this funny little guitar as do I.” The steel-string, mini-acoustic helped create the lo-fi sound that defined Smith’s early songwriting, and he recorded his first solo album, Roman Candle, with only the Le Domino, a fourtrack tape machine, and a single microphone. The sale also included the Le Domino case, Smith’s Bill Lawrence pickup, and original type- and handwritten working lyrics for several songs. —W.P.

Pete Huttlinger and Collings Guitars.

Pete Huttlinger and his 1997 Collings OM1C

Serious Guitars | www.CollingsGuitars.com | (1) -777

An icon turns 100: Celebrating the Martin Dreadnought Guitar.

MartinGuitar.com

Adventures in DADDAD

DAVID MCCLISTER

5 MINUTES WITH PATTY GRIFFIN

Patty Griffin Servant of Love Thirty Tigers

Patty Griffin soars on ‘Servant of Love’ BY KENNY BERKOWITZ

Last year, Patty Griffin returned to the studio with Craig Ross, who’d produced her 2013 album American Kid (New West). The result is a new album that sounds worlds away from its predecessor: bluesy instead of lyrical, dark instead of elegiac. Played almost entirely in DADDAD, Servant of Love (Thirty Tigers) is as fine as anything she’s ever recorded, with its open tuning giving the music a new, deeper sense of despair in songs about love, nature, and a galaxy hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour. I caught up with Griffin by phone as she was heading out on tour.

18 February 2016

What makes these songs different? I’m older. I’m not trying to be flippant, but I’m older. I’m in a different place, and the world is different. Feels different, looks different. And some of the things I hoped would look different don’t. That’s where I start writing.

those things down. Everything felt very fluid, and now that I’m getting ready to tour, they still feel really different from one time to the next, which is nice. You can’t nail them down— well, maybe you can, but I can’t, and I’ve been at it for a while.

Why is important that you take on the world’s woes? It is the work of an artist. We’re not Doctors Without Borders, we’re not out there getting shot at. We’re just making music. But we should be contributing to the future somehow, trying to make a dent in somebody’s heart, an emotional mark that adds something good to the world.

What do the songs have in common? It feels more like a worldview than other records I’ve done. I feel our species may be running out of time, and maybe that’s part of our natural process, but I feel as though we do this to ourselves, that we can’t evolve away from our self-destructiveness and the destructiveness of just about everything on the planet. It’s a heavy, heavy time to be alive, and it’s definitely affected my writing.

Why did you decide to use DADDAD? I didn’t decide, it was just what I wanted to do. I was very worried that all the songs were going to sound alike, because I kept wanting to write in DADDAD. But I realized they would feel like little vignettes that were all related to each other, and listening back, that isn’t too far off. What were the songs like when you brought them into the studio? Just a bunch of voice memo recordings on my iPhone. For the last 13 years, before I went into the studio, I had everything sewn up, and with this record, I didn’t want to even try to nail

How do you know if you’re denting people’s hearts? I don’t. But you keep writing anyway? It’s what I do. It’s not the most important job in the world, but it’s the one I have. It’s the one I know how to do. Is it a hard job? It’s hard being human. It’s hard to be a human who’s trying to face life truthfully. AG

“Never has there been a better buying experience. Sweetwater is always my number one choice for all my needs.” JOHLENE FROM RICHMOND, KY

NEW! Mackie Reach

BOSS SY-300

Martin D-35E 50th Anniversary

Fishman ToneDEQ

NEW!

Martin Custom Series D-41

SPL Creon

NEW!

TC Electronic BodyRez Fender Acoustic SFX

Visit our exclusive Guitar Gallery for more detailed hi-res guitar images at Sweetwater.com/guitargallery.

Christopher from Savannah, GA

FREE PRO ADVICE

We’re here to help! Call today!

FREE 2-YEAR WARRANTY** Total Confidence Coverage™ Warranty

FAST, FREE SHIPPING

On most orders, with no minimum purchase!

(800) 222-4700 Sweetwater.com

0

of select manufacturers’ products % INTEREST Onmadepurchases with your Sweetwater Musician’s All Access Card between now and February 29, 2016 – * Platinum 24 equal monthly payments required. for 24 MONTHS *Offer applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. No interest will be charged on promo purchase and equal monthly payments are required equal to initial promo purchase amount divided equally by the number of months in promo period until promo is paid in full. The equal monthly payment will be rounded to the next highest whole dollar and may be higher than the minimum payment that would be required if the purchase was a non-promotional purchase. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Subject to credit approval. **Please note: Apple products are excluded from this warranty, and other restrictions may apply. Please visit Sweetwater.com/warranty for complete details.

SONIC PALETTE L

ast year, Armenian-American guitarist Aram Bajakian borrowed a DVD of director Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates from the New York Public Library and sat down with an acoustic guitar to watch the 1969 cinematic masterpiece. Void of dialogue, the film is based, in part, on the life of the 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova. By the time the movie ended, Bajakian had practically composed an entire soundtrack— without realizing that one already existed. “It turns out I didn’t have the volume on,” Bajakian says, laughing. “The original music by the Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian is beautiful!” The film’s poetic images, shot in Armenian cathedrals, inspired the minimalistic solo acoustic guitar pieces on Bajakian’s latest album, Music Inspired by the Color of Pomegranates, which you can listen to on its own or in synch with the film. “It’s a very dreamlike movie, and so I avoided writing music that’s developmental,” Bajakian 20 February 2016

says. “There’s something transformative that happens, maybe not even musical, when the same idea is repeated over and over again.” Bajakian, 38, has a body of work that defies neat categorization. He’s toured extensively with Lou Reed and Diana Krall; he’s a member of Abraxas, the Jewish rock group that covers the music of maverick composer John Zorn; and he’s lately been performing with the Glass House Project, led by trumpeter Frank London of the Klezmatics. As a solo artist, the guitarist explored Armenian dance music on 2011’s Aram Bajakian’s Kef (on Zorn’s Tzadik label), and he fashioned a sort of avant-garde blues trio for 2014’s there were flowers also in hell (Sanasar). Together with his wife, the singer Julia Ulehla, Bajakian leads Dálava, an ensemble that reimagines traditional Moravian folk songs. Though much of his work is on the electric guitar, Bajakian has a long history with the acoustic.

Aram Bajakian paints aural soundscapes with his modified acoustic By Adam Perlmutter He grew up in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, an hour northwest of Boston, where at 12, to relieve himself of small-town boredom, he played in rock bands while also delving into nylon-string literature. “Working on repertoire from Bach to Leo Brouwer really gave me a strong foundation in terms of both technique and reading,” he says. After high school, Bajakian auditioned for the jazz studies program at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. He botched it—fortunately, he recalls. “I ended up going to UMass Amherst, and I got to study with [the jazz multi-instrumentalist] Yusef Lateef. Not having to worry about amassing a hundred grand in student loans, I was able to move to New York afterward and, among many other things, meet [guitarist and composer] Marc Ribot, who’s been so important to my career,” says Bajakian, who now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Ulehla is a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology.

EMMA JOELLE

EMMA JOELLE

Right Modified 1937 Gibson L50 Wine cork for raising the strings Kashaka shaker from Ghana Aram’s daughter’s blue hairtie for making left-hand harmonics Brass slide—a gift from Nashville fiddler Stuart Duncan E-Bow fastened with green duct tape Broken business card creates string buzz A hairpin adds more string buzz

Aram Bajakian

B

ajakian credits Ribot, whose 20 albums cover everything from free jazz to Cuban son, as an important ally. Ribot helped him connect with Zorn and land the Krall gig, and advised him on practical career matters. Lateef, and later Reed, encouraged Bajakian to be a sound-seeker on the guitar. “Yusef was a sonic explorer, and Lou was as well,” he says. “This affected me not just on the electric but also on the acoustic. On the steel-string, instead of going for the perfect tone that everyone dreams of, I’m always in search of unusual sounds.” To access uncanny effects on the acoustic guitar, Bajakian uses extended techniques. He might alter the instrument’s timbre by preparing its strings with Ulehla’s hair accessories or a credit card, for instance, or use an EBow, a handheld string resonator more commonly used on the electric guitar. “I spent some time studying in Ghana, where musicians actually put metal bottle caps on their instruments, to

WHAT ARAM BAJAKIAN PLAYS Bajakian’s favorite acoustic guitars are prewar Gibsons—a 1937 L-50 archtop and a 1938 HG-00 flattop, with nicely contrasting voices. “I’ve tried some fancy modern guitars, and they just haven’t done it for me,” he says. “These old guitars sound amazing. I’ve got flatwounds on the L-50; it doesn’t have much sustain, but it has a really beautiful and warm sound. The HG-00, a small 12-fret guitar without a truss rod, sounds really big and it has amazing natural harmonics, even the ones around the third fret that can be difficult to produce.”

ELECTRONICS 1940s DeArmond Guitar Mic AMPLIFICATION 1967 Fender Vibro Champ STRINGS D’Addario ECG24 Chromes flat-wound (.011–.050) (on L-50) D’Addario EJ26 Phosphor Bronze (.011–.052) (on HG-00)

AcousticGuitar.com 21

ARAM BAJAKIAN

get these amazing buzzing sounds—the opposite of Western music,” Bajakian says. Bajakian adds that he’s not concerned with the transient noises inherent to the guitar— sounds that other players try to minimize or negate altogether. For instance, he says, “I was once afraid of string squeak—on all the online forums people talked about how unprofessional it is. But then I listened closely to ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ and it’s filled with squeaks, so now I make them part of the music.”

I

nstead of decamping to a professional recording studio, as he’s done for his previous recordings, Bajakian made Music Inspired by the Color of Pomegranates at home. That had its advantages. “It offered me the flexibility to go at my own pace. For this music it was really important for me to be able to zone out and go into a meditative space when I was playing. Having the clock ticking in the studio can make it tough to do that,” he says.

Bajakian made the album in 2014 when Ulehla took their two young daughters on vacation for two weeks. He set up a makeshift studio in the family’s apartment: a Logicequipped computer and a pair of microphones in the living room and a 1967 Fender Vibro Champ set up for ambient effect in his daughter’s bedroom. “I spent the whole two weeks doing nothing but recording and watching Game of Thrones,” he says. “I captured the natural acoustic sound of each guitar with a tube mic, a Rode NTV, and a dynamic Heil PR 30. I plugged into the Champ with a 1940s DeArmond Guitar Mike pickup.

Aram Bajakian Music Inspired by the Color of Pomegranates

“I didn’t mike the amp, but just let its sound bleed into the recording, with the bedroom door half-shut—a trick I learned from T Bone Burnett via Ribot,” Bajakian continues. “I wasn’t going after pristine, perfect sounds on the recording. If you listen on YouTube to the isolated bass track from [the Beatles’] ‘Helter Skelter,’ it’s not big and full and pretty—it sounds like shit, but it’s so musical.” Last May, Bajakian performed Music Inspired by the Color of Pomegranates in its entirety as part of a weeklong residency he held at the Stone, a club Zorn founded in New York’s East Village. While Bajakian has no immediate plans to play the music elsewhere, he’s been performing with Dálava, his first collaboration with Ulehla, who trained as an opera singer. Her great-grandfather, Vladimír Úlehla, a biologist and ethnomusicologist in what is now the Czech Republic, transcribed the songs that serve as the source materials for the project, released in 2014 as a self-titled album. “If we’d performed the music in the traditional manner, it would have just been dead,” Bajakian says. “We wanted to breathe new life into it, and enlisted New York musicians to bring our sensibilities to the music. We’ve now been playing the music with a Vancouver band that brings a different set of sensibilities. Eventually we hope to do it with a modern Czech group, bringing it all full circle.” AG 22 February 2016

HIGHER GROUND

On Tangled Country, folk duo the Honey Dewdrops expand their traditional sound By Pat Moran

L

Wortman and Parrish had traced similar paths since childhood—guided by guitars. “My whole life has been centered on singing,” Wortman says. “I remember as a kid always wanting to have an instrument to accompany my other instrument—my voice.” When a piano proved unwieldy, Wortman turned to guitar. “I’ve always approached guitar in a chordal way. I’ve been a rhythm player, [using the] instrument to enhance my singing.”

MICHAEL PATRICK O’LEARY

aura Wortman remembers the day she started writing songs with her soon-to-be husband, Kagey Parrish. It was in 2006, and she had just graduated from college and moved in with him. “Kagey loved writing short fiction and poetry, and he had some things laying around our apartment,” Wortman recalls. “There was this magical moment where I saw something that he wrote, and I put it to music. It became the first song that we wrote together.” Since then, the Honey Dewdrops have continued to push forward, burnishing their handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies, Wortman’s dusky, luxurious alto, and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddlewheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway. The couple met in college, drawn together by their mutual love of acoustic music, “from old-time songs and singer-songwriter stuff to bluegrass and country,” Parrish says.

24 February 2016

‘THE GUITAR IS THIS BEAUTIFUL-SOUNDING THING THAT DOESN’T NEED ANY EXTRA EFFECTS.’

While Wortman got into music in the second grade, Parrish didn’t start playing until he was 11, though his interest in music began much earlier. “I’ve always been drawn to the shape and sound of guitars,” Parrish says. After “pestering his parents,” he got a guitar and started playing for fun in high school and college. He met Wortman when they played together in a college rock band, and although that band didn’t last long, it served as a launching pad for the Dewdrops. Soon, the duo was playing three-hour coffeehouse shows on weekends, and building a repertoire of old-time gems, plus a handful of originals. HOBBY OR CAREER? In 2008, Prairie Home Companion came calling. The Honey Dewdrops were featured on the public radio show, winning first place on its “People in Their Twenties Talent Show.” That successful appearance got them wondering: “Is this something that we want to turn into a career? Getting the audience feedback gave us the impetus to take a year off to make a record and then quit our teaching jobs.” Seven years and five albums later, the multiinstrumentalists—Wortman also plays banjo, while Parrish is adept on mandolin and fiddle— are still honing their sound. Integral to that sound are the guitars they’ve chosen, made by the Virginia luthiers Huss & Dalton. “We play three Huss & Daltons,” Parrish notes. “One of them is a mahogany and Adirondack spruce traditional model, based on a 1930s Martin OM. The other two are dreadnoughts. One is a rosewood D-RH, and the other is a mahogany and spruce TD-M.” Like the OM, the dreadnoughts use 1930s Martins as a design guide. “The dreadnoughts’ deep bass sound makes then ideal rhythm guitars,” Wortman says. “The OM is louder and good for leads, which has been Kagey’s role in our band.” However, before the duo’s sound got too settled, they decided to “switch it up” at live gigs. “We ended up with Laura on OM and me taking leads on [the darker-toned] dread-

DYLAN DUVALL

KAGEY PARRISH

noughts,” Parrish says. “You don’t always need the brighter guitar occupying the upper register.” After marrying in 2008, the couple left their home in Charlottesville, Virginia, adopting a nomadic lifestyle. They spent much of 2013 and 2014 on the road, eventually settling down in Baltimore. Parrish, who had injured his hand, was taking time off to heal, and the duo started writing songs for their fifth album, Tangled Country, while he recuperated. Drawing on Baltimore’s “amazing community of supportive musicians and artists,” the Dewdrops started recording at Clean Cuts, a studio less than a mile from their house. Producer and engineer Nick Sjostrom added some piano and bass, and their buddy E.J. ShaullThompson played drums on one track; another friend, Dave Hadley, came in with pedal-steel and “sprinkled a little powdered sugar on everything,” Wortman says, quoting Hadley’s own description of his playing. KEEPING THE CORE Though the Dewdrops opened up their traditional duet sound of two voices and two guitars with the addition of other players and instruments, they “made a concerted effort to keep Kagey and me as the core of the sound,” Wortman says. Their lead vocals and harmonies are up in the mix, “because we wanted the lyrics and melodies to come through.” One of those melodies, the closing track “Remington,” is a love letter to the couple’s new hometown. The cyclical, meditative instrumental

is named after the Baltimore neighborhood where Parrish and Wortman lived last summer. “It’s a community of row houses that are so old, they don’t have air conditioning,” Wortman says, so the Dewdrops hung out on their front porch, playing music. “We lived on a really busy street, across from a noisy garage, and we could barely hear ourselves playing. Then, all of the sudden, the noise would come to a complete stop. It was the most remarkable thing.” The piece captures the bustle of the industrial neighborhood, along with its magical moments of quietude. Parish says the title of Tangled Country refers to “finding a piece of high ground—so you can look at the path you came down while seeing what lies ahead.” With the album’s release now in the rearview mirror, the Honey Dewdrops are still working on advancing and expanding their old-style sound; part of that process is their ever-evolving approach to guitar playing. Wortman has started “exploring individual notes,” taking a few fills and leads on the album, and Parrish, a proponent of flatpickers like Tony Rice and Norman Blake, says he’s “getting into fingerstyle playing.” Despite this exploration of new possibilities, Parrish says the Dewdrops will never stray far from their pure, unadorned acoustic-music wheelhouse. “I feel that’s still important—the guitar is this beautiful-sounding thing that doesn’t need any extra effects,” he explains. “The only thing you need to add to the instrument is your hands.” AG AcousticGuitar.com 25

26 February 2016

MARC NORBERG

F R OM T H

E

LA

N

D

O

F

G IA

N T

S 90 years after his birth, the late guitarist Dave Van Ronk remains a towering figure on the folk and country blues scenes By Derk Richardson

AcousticGuitar.com 27

DAVE VAN RONK

“I

n Greenwich Village, Dave Van Ronk was king of the street, he reigned supreme. . . . He was passionate and stinging, sang like a soldier of fortune and sounded like he paid the price. Van Ronk could howl and whisper, turn blues into ballads and ballads into blues. I loved his style. “He was what the city was all about.” So wrote Bob Dylan in his 2004 memoir, Chronicles Volume 1, remembering Dave Van Ronk. David Kenneth Ritz Van Ronk died on February 10, 2002, at age 65. If he were still alive on June 30, 2016, he would turn 90. Today, Van Ronk continues to cast a long shadow on the country blues, rags, and folk scenes. The Coen Brothers’ 2013 feature film Inside Llewyn Davis was inspired, in part, by Van Ronk, and generated an upsurge in interest, which Smithsonian Folkways acknowledged that same year by releasing a three-CD Van Ronk anthology, Down in Washington Square: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection. But Van Ronk’s legacy has little to do with popular recognition, critical acclaim, or commercial success. In a 1992 AG profile of the chain-smoking, gravelly voiced Van Ronk, writer Beth C. Fishkind noted: “Van Ronk’s fingerpicking arrangements changed people’s conception of what could be done on guitar.” Biographer Elijah Wald, along with Van Ronk, co-authored The Mayor of MacDougal Street, the guitarist’s vibrant 2005 memoir that served as a blueprint for the Coen Brothers’ film. He says that pointing to specific evidence of Van Ronk’s influence among contemporary guitar players is tricky, yet his impact is pervasive. “That’s a hard one,” he says. “I would say it is extremely attenuated. There’s a world of singersongwriters from the ’60s and ’70s who learned to play guitar by imitating Dave Van Ronk, and who essentially invented the modern language of singer-songwriter fingerstyle accompaniment. Bill Morrissey’s guitar playing came out of Van Ronk. Townes Van Zandt got it from Dave. Jackson Browne learned to fingerpick by playing ‘Cocaine.’ Jaime Brockett learned to fingerpick by playing ‘Come Back Baby.’ But the people who have been evolving from them don’t know they’re descended from Dave Van Ronk. “When Bob Dylan plays ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,’ he’s doing Dave Van Ronk. But very few people who learned how to fingerpick off Dylan’s record know that’s what they’re doing, too. In addition, Dave had a rather clumsy right hand, because he was a natural lefty who was forced to change over when he was a little kid, and as a result, his arrangements were always designed to make it possible to do stuff that sounded really good but was not very hard to play, and they were very tasteful arrangements.” 28 February 2016

A

Brooklyn native who moved to Manhattan but never hit the big time (“It just wasn’t where he pictured himself,” Dylan wrote), Van Ronk came to be known as the Mayor of MacDougal Street, a moniker coined by critic Robert Shelton. A fixture in Greenwich Village since the 1950s, first playing tenor banjo in traditional jazz bands, then discovering the folkies in Washington Square and following the guitar fingerpicking lead of Tom Paley (later a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers). “What I really wanted to do was sing and that style of playing was ideal for accompanying yourself,” Van Ronk wrote in his autobiography. Over time, Van Ronk forged an original aesthetic that drew from the folk-blues of Lead Belly, Josh White, Furry Lewis, Mississippi John

Hurt, and Reverend Gary Davis, the vocalizing of Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday, and the piano playing and arranging of Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, and Fats Waller. Van Ronk also became known as a pioneer of fingerstyle ragtime guitar, based on his arrangements of “St. Louis Tickle” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” among other tunes, and spawned a school taken to higher levels by artists such as Dave Laibman, Rick Schoenberg, Tom Van Bergeyk, Stefan Grossman, Ernie Hawkins, and others. But Van Ronk’s style could not be pinned down or corralled (“No puppet strings on him ever,” is how Dylan put it), and his lasting influence, while not easy to discern in the music scene today, runs deeper and wider than any particular guitar technique or musical genre.

DAVE VAN RONK COLLECTION, COURTESY OF ANDREA VUOCOLO VAN RONK

‘HE WAS INTENSELY AWARE THAT IT’S NOT HARD TO WRITE A SONG. WHAT’S HARD IS TO WRITE AN EXTRAORDINARILY GOOD SONG.’ ELIJAH WALD

I

t all began in the Village. Noel Stookey, better known as the Paul of Peter, Paul & Mary, arrived in Greenwich Village from the Midwest in 1959, on the eve of what Van Ronk liked to call the Great Folk Scare. “Most of the beatniks were long gone,” Stookey says, “and what was left were referred to in disparaging tones by the neighborhood because they only worked at night, they played a lot of music, and they probably were engaged in some kind of vegetarian ritual that was either smoked or eaten.” Stookey found a handful of coffeehouses that presented music, including the Cafe Wha?, the Commons (which soon became the Fat Black Pussycat), and the Gaslight. It was while working at the Fat Black Pussycat that Stookey met Van Ronk, who was running the shows

across the street at the Gaslight. “I think the Gaslight wanted a master of ceremonies, somebody who was more chameleon-like,” Stookey says, “and that would have been me in the ’60s, so I took over those duties. I think it was nicer for Van Ronk to have someone neutral like me to welcome the people, talk about how we don’t clap here, we snap fingers because of the neighbors upstairs, that the fire exits are here and there. I think Dave passed on that mantle thankfully. We became friends by virtue of that. I’ve heard the rumor that [Dylan manager] Albert Grossman had considered teaming Dave in the trio with Peter and Mary, but I can’t confirm it. “In that community, there were certain pillars that you could depend on. You could depend on them for a couple of reasons: They performed only or mostly in the Village, they could always be found at one of the coffeehouses, they were iconic in style. That was Dave. You could bounce things off Dave that related to anything from music to politics, in which he was an incredible expert with a sense of what was proper and fair, although that was not always manifested in the poker games upstairs. “My all-time favorite moments came at the close of the night at the Gaslight, when the last performer finished or the owner of the place said, ‘OK, that’s it,’ because there were only 12 people left in the place and the [tip] basket had been retired. Dave would call us—usually Tom Paxton and myself, along with [Len] Chandler and [John] Brent and [Hugh] Romney, and maybe the guest artist that night, it could have been Dylan or Luke Askew—and we would sing ‘Lloyd George Knew My Father’ to the tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ The harmonies were questionable. There’s no telling what was going on in coffee cups that was supposed to be cider. Afterward, we’d either go upstairs to the Kettle of Fish and have a last beer or we’d head off—if it was a Saturday night it could be two in the morning—for breakfast somewhere.” Van Ronk presided over the Village coffeehouse scene as “the grand dragon,” in Dylan’s words: “He was built like a lumberjack, drank hard, said little, and had his territory staked out—full forward, all cylinders working.” His musical presence affected those drawn into his orbit. “I’d heard Van Ronk back in the Midwest on records,” Dylan wrote in Chronicles, “and thought he was pretty great, copied some of his recordings phrase for phrase. . . . Later, when I would record my first album, half the cuts on it were renditions of songs that Van Ronk did [including “House of the Rising Sun”]. It’s not like I planned that, it just happened. Unconsciously, I trusted his stuff more than I did mine.”

5

ESSENTIAL VAN RONK ALBUMS

Dave Van Ronk Sings Ballads, Blues, and a Spiritual Smithsonian Folkways, 1959

Folksinger Prestige, 1963

Sunday Street Philo, 1976

Inside Dave Van Ronk Fantasy, 1989

Somebody Else, Not Me Philo, 1999 AcousticGuitar.com 29

DAVE VAN RONK

HOW HE PLAYED

I

DAVE VAN RONK COLLECTION, COURTESY OF ANDREA VUOCOLO VAN RONK

As reported in AG in 1992, Van Ronk used a three-finger picking style that he taught to Tom Paxton and others. He used no picks on his right hand and anchored both his pinky and ring fingers on the face of the guitar. This position forced his thumb and first two fingers into a brushing action against the strings. But he warned that planting any fingers of the picking hand on the guitar can sacrifice some flexibility and endurance. He seldom used open strings (or open tunings) and used his left-hand thumb to fret notes, without which certain of his chord forms and sounds would have been impossible.

WHAT HE PLAYED On the road, Van Ronk’s trusty companion was a 1964 Guild F-50. He also owned a Gibson J-45, but reportedly it didn’t get a lot of use. He once told AG that his only requirement for strings was that they be “light-gauge and cheap.” He would change them “as seldom” as possible. “I don’t like the sound of new strings,” he said, “they’re metallic and brassy. When strings become difficult to keep in tune, that’s when I change them.” 30 February 2016

t might also be said of Van Ronk that he trusted other people’s “stuff” more than he did his own. His repertoire was vast. It included folk, blues, jazz, Tin Pan Alley standards, and renditions of songs by the contemporary singer-songwriters he admired, most notably Dylan, Tom Paxton, and Joni Mitchell, as well as Phil Ochs, Patrick Sky, Paul Simon, and Tom Waits. “He tried his hand at songwriting a fair amount,” Wald says. “He very rarely was happy with the results. He ended up with about one album’s worth of original songs. But he did a lot of ‘songwriting’ that is invisible in terms of credits. If you listen to other people sing Blind Blake’s ‘That’ll Never Happen No More,’ they tend to sing the Van Ronk lyrics, not the Blind Blake lyrics. The verse to ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’ is his. He was intensely aware that it’s not hard to write a song. What’s hard is to write an extraordinarily good song. “What held him back as a songwriter was that he was already a known performer with a very, very good repertoire that he had culled from thousands and thousands of songs,” Wald continues. “And as he would say, ‘If I do one of my own songs and it doesn’t stand up to the other material I am doing, it just makes me look like an asshole.’ He was hanging with Dylan and Joni and Leonard Cohen, and it made him intensely aware of his own skills and limitations.” As an interpreter and arranger—on “House of the Rising Sun,” “Green, Green Rocky Road,” “God Bless the Child,” “Cocaine,” “Come Back Baby,” “Mack the Knife,” “Stackalee,” “Duncan and Brady,” Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire,” Dylan’s “Song to Woody” and “Buckets of Rain,” or Mitchell’s “River,” “Urge for Going,” and “Both Sides Now”—Van Ronk had no limitations. “The guitar part on ‘Urge for Going’ he adapted very loosely from the Rolling Stones,” Wald explains. “When I said, ‘But Dave, you hate the Rolling Stones,’ his response was, ‘I’ll steal from anybody.’ All those lines—this is blues, this is jazz, this is folk—part of being a musician for him was ignoring those boundaries.” David Massengill is a dulcimer-playing singer-songwriter who toured extensively with Van Ronk in the 1980s as driver, opening act, and drinking partner. He recorded the 2007 album Dave on Dave: A Tribute to Dave Van Ronk. Massengill took a few guitar lessons from Van Ronk, but was especially moved by his powers of interpretation. “When you heard him do a Joni Mitchell song,” Massengill says, “it was like hearing it for the very first time, like hearing it from ancient poets. The first time I heard Dave do ‘Both Sides Now,’ I was

thunderstruck. It was so intimate, so moving. When you heard Dave sing it, it changed your life.” Dylan would agree. “Dave Van Ronk was the one performer I burned to learn particulars from,” he wrote in Chronicles. “Sometimes I’d hear him play the same song that he’d done in a previous set and it would hit me in a completely different way. . . . Dave got to the bottom of things. It was like he had an endless supply of poison and I wanted some . . . couldn’t do without it.” Singer-songwriter Christine Lavin took guitar lessons from Van Ronk in exchange for typing up his homemade tablature charts. “I practiced really hard before my lessons because it would be unthinkable to not do that,” she says. “Dave would roll his eyes because I used the capo so much for so many of my songs. He told me I’d have much more interesting charts for my songs if I stopped using the capo. All these years later I finally am doing that for most of my songwriting, and, of course, he was right—when you have the whole neck to play with, you can really get such interesting voicings. I wonder how many guitar players like me took lessons with Dave in the hopes of one day sounding like him, only to discover that it ain’t gonna happen.”

VAN RONK’S LASTING INFLUENCE, WHILE NOT EASY TO DISCERN IN THE MUSIC SCENE TODAY, RUNS DEEPER AND WIDER THAN ANY PARTICULAR GUITAR TECHNIQUE OR MUSICAL GENRE.

T

he primacy of finding and manifesting a singular voice, whether as a guitarist, singer, or songwriter, is one of Van Ronk’s enduring lessons. When the credits roll at the end of Inside Llewyn Davis, you hear him performing “Green, Green Rocky Road.” “It was a smack upside the head moment,” Lavin notes. “Even though earlier you heard Dave’s charts played very well, note for note, there is just nothing like hearing Dave play those songs himself. It’s what every guitar player dreams of—having a sound so unmistakable that instantly you know who it is you’re listening to.” Reverend Gary Davis is often cited as the foundational inspiration for Van Ronk, but

REACH YOUR

The Ultimate All-In-One Professional PA System

Everything you need and then some for your performance or presentation. From ultra-wide coverage to personal monitoring to wireless control over it all, only Reach delivers the comprehensive solution you need.

01

ARC™ COVERAGE: The ARC (Amplified Radial Curve) array technology utilizes a unique angled waveguide structure to provide 150° of horizontal coverage to reach each and every audience member.

02

EARSHOT™ PERSONAL MONITORING: Only Reach features

03

WIRELESS STREAMING AND MIXING: The Mackie Connect™ app for iOS and Android™ gives you total control of your mix including wireless music streaming.

built-in dedicated personal monitors so you can hear yourself better on stage, driving better performance.

mackie.com/reach ©2015 LOUD Technologies Inc. All rights reserved. “Mackie.”, the “Running Man” figure, EarShot, ARC and Mackie Connect are trademarks or registered trademarks of LOUD Technologies Inc. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by LOUD Technologies is under license.

DAVE VAN RONK

Trim 8.25” x 10.875”

guitarist Ernie Hawkins, perhaps the foremost Davis expert, says that Van Ronk was “a guy who was soaking up music from everywhere, and able to express it and play it and sing it. He was not just a Gary Davis-type player. He was more of a performer and a songster. If he liked a song, he did it. It didn’t matter where it came from, and he was able to do it with authority and authenticity.” Guy Van Duser, a guitarist and Berklee College of Music instructor, suggests that Van Ronk’s impact on fingerstyle guitar should not be

evaluated in terms of technique. “Somewhat like John Fahey did, Dave was going after a sound and a feel, rather than a lot of notes,” Van Duser says. “When he heard ‘St. Louis Tickle,’ he heard it as a piece of music. Of course, it was a piano composition, and Dave was able to understand the guitar the way pianists understood the piano. The guitar, for him, was not just a guitar—it was an instrument for expressing himself. It was Dave Van Ronk coming out through that instrument.” Elijah Wald not only completed The Mayor of MacDougal Street—based on dozens of other

Dave Rawlings Machine AND THE KYSER® QUICK-CHANGE® ON TOUR NOW www.daverawlingsmachine.com | www.kysermusical.com

Dave Rawlings Machine, Nashville Obsolete out now on Acony Records!

Nov 14 Providence, RI Nov 16 Boston, MA Nov 17 Philadelphia, PA Nov 19 Washington, DC Nov 20 Charlottesville, VA Nov 21 Richmond, VA Nov 22 Durham, NC Nov 24 Asheville, NC Nov 25 Knoxville, TN Dec 26 Chattanooga, TN Dec 27 Atlanta, GA

KYSER® MUSICAL PRODUCTS

32 February 2016

Dec 28 Birmingham, AL Dec 29 Nashville, TN Jan 05 Memphis, TN Jan 07 Houston, TX Jan 08 Dallas, TX Jan 09 Austin, TX Jan 11 Albuquerque, NM Jan 12 Flagstaff, AZ Jan 13 Tucson, AZ Jan 14 Scottsdale, AZ Jan 16 Los Angeles, CA

MADE IN USA

‘HE CAME FROM THE LAND OF GIANTS.’ BOB DYLAN

people’s interviews in addition to his own, as well as recorded stage patter, and two chapters Van Ronk wrote before his death—but also studied guitar with Van Ronk and did tablature for him. “The extent to which Dave was an absolutely essential influence goes way beyond blues and ragtime guitar,” he says. “He always thought of ragtime guitar as something he did to learn how to do other things better. He always felt that what he was first was a singer trying to learn to do better accompaniments for himself. The most significant influence on him in that sense was almost certainly Josh White, who had previously taken the step of taking techniques from blues and gospel, which were by far the most advanced fingerpicking styles out there, and adapting them to songs like ‘I Gave My Love a Cherry’ and ‘Barbara Allen’ and ‘On Top of Old Smoky.’ That was very much a model for Dave—the idea that you could take techniques from what he would have called Eastern seaboard blues or ragtime blues and adapt them to any material on earth.” It seems ironic that a figure so much larger than life—Massengill called him “Zeus,” and Dylan said, “He came from the land of giants”— never became a household name. But to a large degree it was Van Ronk’s own choice. “Trying to pry him out of Greenwich Village and get him to go anywhere was a challenge,” Van Duser says, “so it’s not surprising that he isn’t world renowned. But he is, in a way. There’s a Dave Van Ronk in the way there used to be pencil sharpeners.” “Actually his relative obscurity seemed to advance Dave’s pursuit of a good song,” says Massengill. If you were in the Village in the 1960s, Van Ronk was the touchstone for good songs brilliantly performed. “His pieces were perversely complex, although very simple,” Dylan wrote. “He had it all down and he could hypnotize an audience or stun them, or he could make them scream and holler. Whatever he wanted. . . . If you were on MacDougal Street in the evening and out to see somebody play, he’d be the first and last vital choice of the night.” AG

LEARN TO PLAY Dave Van Ronk’s arrangement of “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” on p.72

Blueridge Guitars... More Bang for the Buck!

W

hen it’s your instrument that’s holding you back, it’s time for a change. We invite you to stop by your local Blueridge Dealer and have an intimate conversation with the guitar that will bring out the best in you. The secret of tone lies in the details of design, selection of materials and the skilled hand of the craftsman. The result is more Bang… period!

BR-160 Dreadnaught

To learn more about Blueridge Guitars, visit www.sagamusic.com/AG

The Quality and Value Leader!

Blueridge BR-160 Guitar • Select, aged, solid Sitka spruce top with traditional herringbone purfling for tone and beauty • Expertly handcarved top braces in authentic, pre-war, forward-X position • Select, solid East Indian rosewood back and sides for deep, rich tone • Carved, low profile, solid mahogany neck and dovetail neck joint for strength and stability

P.O. Box 2841 • So. San Francisco, California Connect with us on

THE

BIG GUN

Neil Young performing with Hank Williams’ 1941 D-28 JAY BLAKESBERG

34 February 2016

The dreadnought turns 100: How Martin’s big guitar revolutionized popular music BY GREG CAHILL

AcousticGuitar.com 35

DREADNOUGHT CENTENNIAL The D-222 100th Anniversary Dreadnought Edition

I

t’s 1916—Britannia rules the waves. The United Kingdom, buffered from war-torn Europe by the narrow English Channel, is fighting for survival against the Central Powers. German submarines, known as U-boats, prowl the Atlantic in deadly wolf packs eager to sever England’s vital supply line from the United States. The Royal Navy, perhaps best symbolized by the H.M.S. Dreadnought, the biggest battleship ever built, stands between the wolf packs and possible annihilation—the previous year, the Dreadnought had sunk the U-29, making it the only battleship known to have rammed a submarine, becoming the stuff of legend. Three thousand miles away, across the Atlantic, C.F. Martin & Co. is creating the biggest six-string guitar ever built, a guitar with such a strong bass response that it would be sold as a bass guitar. That designation would soon change. “My grandfather was an amateur historian,” says Chris Martin IV, CEO of the company that bears his family’s name. He’s a bit of a historian himself and confesses to being “obsessed” with the H.M.S. Dreadnought’s story, able to rattle off minute details about its structure. “He said, ‘This is the biggest guitar ever made. Let’s name it in honor of the biggest British battleship ever made. This was in the middle of World War I, when people were wondering, are we going to keep our freedom or not? “The Dreadnought,” Martin adds, “was considered the first all big-gun ship. That’s why I love to call our dreadnought ‘a big gun.’” In an homage to that first “big gun,” created a century ago, Martin Guitars is issuing the D-222 100th Anniversary Dreadnought Edition, inspired by one of the first dreads. To coincide with its release, the company has opened a new exhibit at its museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, dedicated to the history of the influential instrument. At press time, the exhibit was scheduled to run from January 2016 through January 2017.   TALKING-MACHINE MUSIC READY These days, a dreadnought model can be found in the catalog of nearly every major guitar manufacturer. That ubiquity, and the popularity of small-bodied acoustics, makes it easy to forget why the dreadnought is so revolutionary. “Compared to all the guitars that preceded it, the dreadnought had more volume and more bottom end,” says Martin’s in-house historian Dick Boak, during a call from his office at Martin Guitars. “In terms of tone, and the hundreds of words that are used to describe tone, in the worst-case scenario, too much bottom end is called ‘mud,’” he adds with a chuckle. “The other extreme is ‘tinny-ness.’ 36 February 2016

‘BRIAN MAJESKI OF MUSIC TRADES SAID TO ME YEARS AGO, “YOU KNOW, CHRIS, THE DREADNOUGHT IS THE MOST COPIED GUITAR ON EARTH.” AND IT IS.’ CHRIS MARTIN

“The initial Martin dreadnoughts were very powerful in the bass response, but they weren’t muddy,” Boak continues. “I think muddiness comes from overbuilding a guitar, so Martin was building very light guitars that still had considerable balance between bass and treble but had great power and great bottom end. Bottom end was an attractive thing for any player—it’s a more pleasant sound than a tinny tone.” But recapturing the sound of the 222 proved challenging. The original dreadnought came in three models: the 111 was quite plain, the 222 a little fancier, and the 333 was the fanciest. “All of them were pretty austere by today’s standards,” Boak says. “The 222 had an extra inlay around the lip of the soundhole. But basically they were all the same.” Martin could not find any original 222s, so the D-222 100th Anniversary Dreadnought Edition is based, in part, on a surviving 111, first built by Martin for the New York and Boston-based department store Charles H. Ditson & Co. Martin’s contemporary luthiers relied on that 111 from its extensive guitar collection. They also looked at a concert-sized 22 model from that era, and a 2 model, which is a babysized version of the dreadnought. The first dreadnought made was a Model 222 shipped to Ditson in August of 1916, Boak says. After Ditson went out of business in the early 1930s, Martin introduced the D-1 and D-2 dreadnoughts for standard playing style—they would soon become Martin’s iconic D-18 and D-28 models. Limited to no more than 100 special instruments, the centennial D-222 is a 12-fret, slotted-head commemoration of the 1916 original, crafted with a torrefied Sitka spruce top, scalloped Martin X-bracing, premium mahogany back and sides, grained ivoroid bindings, a Ditson-style single-ring rosette, and a black ebony fingerboard and bridge. “Restrained in its appointments like the original, there is no restraint in tone,” Boak says. “The combination of the 12-fret dreadnought’s sheer size combined with the clarity and brilliance of mahogany yields a remarkably lightweight instrument with exquisite tone and power.” The creation of the D-222 is unlike other similar reproduction projects in Martin’s past. “The only challenge we have had with this model is that it’s an homage to a guitar that we have not seen in person,” Chris Martin says. “[The 222s] are that rare. We had to look at images, we had to talk to vintage dealers. So, it’s not a reproduction, it’s in honor of, though we did talk to one dealer who said, ‘Yeah, back in the ’70s, I sold one, but I don’t remember who I sold it to.’

“Usually if we create a historical reproduction, we get one and go over it with a fine tooth comb. In this case it was more anecdotal.” But not entirely. “This whole thing is a moving target for me,” Boak says of the project, “because during our research we have scoured our archives and read close to a million documents. The research has included having letters translated from the old German into the new German, so they can be translated into English. And we are constantly learning new things [about the development of the dreadnought].” Among the vast treasure trove of archival material is a news clipping that shows how the music trades recognized Martin was on to something big in the then-burgeoning phonograph industry: The August 19, 1916 edition of Music Trade Review noted the innovative instrument had been “found to be excellent for [the] making of talking-machine records. . . . It is also said to be an excellent instrument for use in auditoriums and large halls.” Since then, the Martin dreadnought has played a singularly unique role in the shaping of popular music. Country, folk, bluegrass, rock, and pop artists, from Gene Autry and Hank Williams to Doc Watson and Peter Rowan, from Johnny Cash and Jerry Garcia to John Lennon and Kurt Cobain, from Bob Dylan and Beck to Joni Mitchell and Keb’ Mo’, have included the Martin dreadnought in their arsenal. Rowan, a one-time member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, owns a Martin D-18 Golden Era and a second Authentic model. Folk icon Ramblin’ Jack Elliot plays a D-28 hand-painted with a now-headless bull rider (the result of an unfortunate encounter with a spilled shot of tequila, he says). The early rockabilly artists embraced dreads: Elvis played a Martin D-28 (depicted on his eponymous 1956 debut album). The Beatles and the Stones often employed Martin dreadnoughts: Paul McCartney and John Lennon used their Martin D-28s to write 42 songs that would become The White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road, and Keith Richards played a D-45 on the band’s 1972 Exile on Main Street tour, which included performances of the acoustic classic “Sweet Virginia” (see music on pg. 60). The rise of the singer-songwriter and softrock eras in the early 1970s found Martin dreadnoughts in the hands of Loggins & Messina, and Seals & Crofts. Axeslinger Peter Frampton used a D-45 to write and record songs on his transitional Frampton’s Camel album (the guitar was stolen on tour in 1973). Jimi Hendrix reportedly used his 1968 Martin D-45 on the writing and recording of his last album, Cry of Love.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Upon its launch in 1906, the H.M.S. Dreadnought inspired awe. Sir John Fisher, who spearheaded development of the battleship, decided that this symbol of British naval superiority warranted a motto: “Trust in God, and fear naught.” For decades, that slogan contributed to a common misspelling of the dreadnought guitar. In the 1960s, historians took heed of the role the battleship had in the naming of the guitar and began using the historically correct spelling: dreadnought.

H.M.S. Dreadnought

AcousticGuitar.com 37

DREADNOUGHT CENTENNIAL

Hank Williams and his Martin D-28

THE MARTIN DREADNOUGHT HAS PLAYED A SINGULARLY UNIQUE ROLE IN THE SHAPING OF POPULAR MUSIC.

5

SONGS WITH THAT CLASSIC MARTIN DREAD SOUND

38 February 2016

Mystery Train Elvis Presley

The Weight The Band

Sweet Virginia The Rolling Stones

Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd

All Apologies Nirvana

Dolly Dimples, center, with her D-18

In synth-and-electric-guitar-sated 1970s prog-rock, the Martin dreadnought added sonic texture to Pink Floyd, one of rock’s most experimental bands: The Martin D-28 became guitarist David Gilmour’s go-to acoustic—you can hear it on the iconic opening chords of “Welcome to the Machine” and throughout “Wish You Were Here.” Michael Hedges showed the model’s versatility by playing his intricate fingerstyle on a Martin D-28. Other rockers partial to Martin dreadnoughts include Jimmy Page, Nancy Wilson of Heart, David Crosby, and Stephen Stills. Neil Young owns Hank Williams’ 1941 D-28, the guitar that inspired Young’s nostalgic tribute “This Old Guitar.” Such new-gen folk artists as Mumford & Sons play Martin dreadnoughts, as do the Avetts, Shawn Colvin, and Neko Case.  THE HAWAIIAN CONNECTION But, at first, the dreadnought proved less than popular. “I remember my grandfather saying that it was not an overnight sensation,” Chris Martin says when asked about the role the dreadnought has played in the success of the company. “You think back to the original dreadnought, introduced in 1916, and it was a 12-fretter, fan-braced; it had a slot head and wide, flat fingerboard, and it was made specifically for Hawaiian musicians to play with a slide. And it was big! Relative to the small-body guitars that people at the time were used to, it was maybe even awkward. It really came into its own when we put the 14-fret neck on it [and switched to X bracing]. That’s when people said,’ OK, now I get it.’” The 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco laid the foundation for the

dreadnought. That sprawling event, along with the advent of steel strings, introduced ukuleles and Hawaiian music to a mainstream American audience. One of the acts featured at the palatial Hawaiian expo was the Royal Hawaiian Band led by guitarist Major Kealakai. He played a steel-strung Hawaiian slide guitar set up with the strings high off the neck. “It was a big band and it played Hawaiian music unlike anything Americans had ever heard before,” Boak says. “For some reason, it caught hold with the American public and Hawaiian music spread like wildfire.” After the expo, the Royal Hawaiian Band toured cities throughout the mainland. “Major Kealakai was disappointed by the amount of volume he was getting out of the guitars he was playing, so he ordered a Martin,” Boak says. “He got one that was tinier than he wanted, though it was a big improvement. Then he came back and asked, ‘Can you make one that’s really big?’ And they did. The band placed the order through Ditson, and Martin made one that was quite large for him. It was dreadnought-sized, but with a tight waist. “I consider it the first dreadnought, even though it’s not the exact dreadnought shape,” Boak says. “Still, it had the exact width of a dreadnought at the shoulders and on the lower bout, and it had the exact height of a dreadnought from the 12th fret down to the bottom of the guitar. It’s just that the waist cuts in, kind of like a triple-0 does. Within six months, the staff at Ditson and the makers at Martin “put their heads together and came up with the dreadnought shape that we know today—the pear shape in the 12-fret format,” Boak says. “Ditson started ordering those from Martin and offering them for sale. They

A CLASSIC ROCK SONG IS BORN Guitarist Robbie Robertson of the Band had a melody in his head, but was stymied for words, when he sat down in 1968 with a yellow legal pad determined to find the lyrics. He liked the opening line , “pulled into” somewhere, but got stuck for the rest of the line. Glancing at his Martin D-28, Robertson noticed the guitar’s back center-brace stamp was branded with “C.F. Martin & Co, Nazareth, PA.” The lyrics began to flow easily: “I pulled into Nazareth, I was feeling ’bout half past dead . . . .” The line fit perfectly with a lyric that soon became peppered with religious imagery. “He told me that the rest of the song wrote itself in about five minutes,” Martin historian Dick Boak recalls. “The Weight,” released in 1968 on the Band’s debut album, Music from Big Pink (Capitol), opens with a distinctive acoustic guitar riff played on that same D-28. The recording helped spark the then-nascent Americanamusic movement and has been named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. AcousticGuitar.com 39

DREADNOUGHT CENTENNIAL

Martin D-1

weren’t tremendously popular, though they were offered in a couple of different configurations. But that was the beginning. They were mostly all made for the Hawaiian style of playing.”

IT WAS THE HAWAIIAN PAVILION AT THE 1915 PANAMAPACIFIC EXPOSITION IN SAN FRANCISCO THAT LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR THE DREADNOUGHT.

intimacy

1.800.788.5828 www.rainsong.com

Escape the expected. Experience graphite.

40 February 2016

THE REAL DEAL The Ditson era did not see tremendous success with the dreadnought size. Indeed, it wasn’t until the mid-’30s that sales of the instrument started to pick up. The reasons for that newfound popularity were many. The recording industry was booming. The use of electronic microphones and amplification was taking off. And acoustic guitarists onstage were discovering that they needed more volume. “The dreadnought guitars, especially the 14-fret versions as they were converted over in the 1930s, provided the perfect solution for performing groups in the Hayrides and the Grand Old Opry and similar settings,” Boak says. During the Depression era, country-music artists embraced the dreadnought. “Good times, bad times, people find music to be inspiring or soothing. But it was after World War II, when the economy picked up, that you found music evolving and getting more exposure,” Martin adds. “Not only is the dreadnought a workhorse, not only is it a powerful guitar, it has a visual presence. If you’re a lead guitar player and you’re holding one of those dreadnoughts up there, people pay attention. It not only sounded good, it looked damn good! It was unlike anything we had ever built and it really found a home in a combo.” On the then-nascent bluegrass scene, the Martin dreadnought showed that it could hold its own against the loud banjos and fiddles—it became common to see a group of acoustic players, including a guitarist with a Martin dreadnought in hand, huddled around a single mic playing old-timey music. “Bluegrassers are pretty pure about amplification, and back in the day they didn’t even have good microphones,” Boak says. “So they needed something that could push to the back of the house.” Indeed, the Martin dreadnought soon took its place alongside such iconic bluegrass instruments as the fiddle, the Mastertone banjo, and the Gibson F-5 mandolin. But it was the 1960s folk boom that really spurred dreadnought sales and prompted the first widespread copies. By the end of that decade, a wave of custom builders—including such early hippie luthiers as Stu Mossman—had begun making copies of the Martin dreadnought. The next wave of artisan luthiers built high-end production lines around the dreadnought model. Those include Bill Collings, Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitars, John Larrivée, and Bob Taylor, who helped to industrialize American guitar manufacturing.

EXPERIENCE Musicians love older, experienced guitars. The legendary team of craftsmen at Takamine have unearthed a method to bring you the sound of a guitar that has been played for decades. “Thermal Top” technology transforms the resins and sugars in the wood, revealing the liveliness and character of a perfectly aged vintage instrument. The result is pure tonal magic at a very fair price! Experience the new TT dreadnoughts today at your Takamine dealer. You might just meet your brand new “old friend”.

EF340S TT

w w w. e s p t a k a m i n e . c o m

For more information, contact The ESP Guitar company 10913 Vanowen St. North Hollywood, CA 91605 800-423-8838

EF360S TT

DREADNOUGHT CENTENNIAL

Clockwise from top left Martin Dreads on board Joni Mitchell, Gene Autrey, Kurt Cobain, Ethel Louise, Michael Hedges

Production of Martin dreadnoughts hit its stride in the 1970s. According to company records, in 1961, Martin made 507 D-28s; in 1971 the total was 5,466 (at the time, the company offered five different dreadnought models). Production peaked between 1974 and ’75—more than 30,000 were produced in this two-year period. (1974: 3,811 D-18s; 5,077 D-28s; 6,184 D-35s; 506 D-41s; 157 D-45s. 1975: 3,069 D-18s; 4,996 D-28s; 6,260 D-35s; 452 D-41s; and 192 D-45s.) “I remember my grandfather saying, ‘It’s our bread and butter. That’s what pays the mortgage,”

JAY BLAKESBERG

42 February 2016

Martin says. “Day in and day out, we make more dreadnoughts than anything else. There is a resurgence of interest in small-bodied guitars, which is wonderful because we still make them, but we make a lot of dreadnoughts, as do many other companies. Brian Majeski of Music Trades said to me years ago, ‘You know, Chris, the dreadnought is the most copied guitar on earth.’ And it is. “We still make a ton of D-28s,” he adds. “You know, it’s not the fanciest guitar. It doesn’t even have scalloped bracing, but for some people, they say, ‘Hey, this is my first Nazareth Martin—and it’s the real deal.’” AG

THE BASICS

46 Weekly Workout

Build your blues chord paletteays

60 Acoustic Classic Play the Stones’ ‘Sweet Virginia’

72 Acoustic Classic

PLAY

Learn Van Ronk’s gambler’s lament

THE BASICS

Take it Easy

BY OCTOBER CRIFASI

4 ways to perfect tension-free thumb position

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

fter weeks of dedicated practice, that dastardly beast known as an F barre chord has been conquered and is a new member of your arsenal of regularly used chords. All those hours of toil and endurance through the plunk and buzz of strings paid off, but now, as you begin the new task of changing quickly between C/G and other four-fingered chords, your wrist aches and the base of the thumb throbs. The culprit most likely responsible for these hand issues is the tension with which you hold your fretting hand while playing. Prolonged, concentrated practice can sometimes result in a hand grip of death around the neck as you learn new chords, triggering a multitude of pains and aches. The good news: relief is easily achieved by making a few changes to your fretting technique and position of the neck.

down toward the floor, the hand and wrist must twist to make chords and reach lower positions on the fretboard. All that twisting and torqueing places undo pressure on the thumb and joint and erases the room needed to reach fingers properly around the neck and press the strings. Pointing the headstock up also deters one from the nasty habit of resting the forearm on the top of the thigh, which can create an exaggerated angle in the wrist causing pain if held for too long.

fret position you normally play. If you find you’re twisting and turning the hand or elbow, stop and take a moment to relax, reset the thumb, and drop the wrist slightly before trying again.

A

KEEP THE HEADSTOCK AT SHOULDER LEVEL Before making any other adjustments, shift the headstock of the guitar so it is level with the shoulder. This position is helpful whether playing seated or standing up and is a staple to classical-guitar technique as it provides easy and unencumbered access to all parts of the fretboard. When the headstock of the guitar is parallel to the floor or, even worse, pointed

STEADY THE THUMB AND CURVE THE FINGERS The thumb is most comfortable when placed slightly behind the neck and shifted to the left or away from you. It should rest in line with the first finger (Fig. 1). Once placed, the thumb should stay relatively relaxed and in the same spot, not jumping to a new location each time you change chords. Allow the wrist to drop slightly so there is a natural line from the hand to the forearm (Fig. 2). Now reach around the neck with the fingers and spread them across the first four frets on the first string and then again on the sixth string (Fig. 3). The fingers should curve slightly so only the fingertips press against the strings. Your fingers should naturally fall in the middle of each fret. Repeat this again at the highest

LOOK AWAY FROM THE NECK If you curl the neck inward so you can see what you’re doing, start to ween yourself of that habit and focus instead on releasing the neck so it faces forward to build a solid sense of muscle memory. Curling the neck inward means you are also curling the hand and wrist inward, creating overextension and unnecessary strain. GET A PROPER SETUP A proper setup can make a huge impact on fretting tension and difficulty. Take your instrument to a local luthier and talk to him or her about the issues you’re experiencing and how to best set up the neck for ease of playing. You might also experiment with using lightergauged strings. If the problem remains after trying these suggestions, you may be using much more force than needed when pressing down on the strings. Take the time to experiment with different pressure to see just how much or how little you need to actually press the strings to get good sound. AG AcousticGuitar.com 45

WEEKLY WORKOUT

How to Improve Chord Changes

BY PETE MADSEN

Learn to use triads and dominant seventh chords to build blues & rock solos

ave you ever improvised using a tried-andtrue scale—only to hit a note that just doesn’t sound right once a chord change comes along? Here’s a remedy for this common problem: By targeting the notes of a given tune’s chord progression, you can create solos that sound more copacetic. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use improvisational ideas based on both triads and seventh chords on the I, IV, and V (A, D, and E) in the key of A major. You’ll finish things off with a full chorus of a 12-bar blues—

one of the most common forms in popular music—making it possible for you to transfer these concepts to a great variety of situations.

H

BEGINNERS’

TIP 1

WEEK ONE The most important thing to consider when improvising on chords is how to break down common shapes into cohesive musical phrases. Now, you’ll do just that with those I, IV, and V chords. Ex. 1—focusing on the I chord—depicts A and A7 grips, which you’ll use as the

Keep in mind that most of the these licks are in closed positions, so you can easily transpose them to other keys. For example, for the key of B, just move all the voicings and licks up two frets.

WEEK 1

Week 1

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

A

A7

xx 3 2 1 1

xx3 2 4 1

# # # 4 ˙˙˙ & 4 ˙

n ˙˙˙ ˙

5 5 6 7

5 8 6 7

B Ex. 5

A

5 fr.

3

7 7

6

3

5

5

5 5

6

5

3

5 5

7

x x x 23 4

6 6

7 7

6 6

7 7

5 7

xxx1 3 2

œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 3

7

8

6

5

E

5 fr.

≥ ≤

5

Ex. 7

D7

5 fr.

D

x x x 23 1

5 fr.

3

5

≥ ≤

7

8

3

5

≥ ≤

7

8

5

5 fr.

7

˙˙ ˙ 4 5 4

4 fr.

5

~~~~~~

˙ ˙˙ 7 5 7

8 7 7

Ex. 8

E7

xxx2 1 3

5 7 7

8

E

5 fr.

xxx1 3 2

Week 2 Ex. 9

Ex. 10

5 fr.

n ˙˙ ˙

E7

xxx2 1 3

4 fr.

5 fr.

œœ œœ œœ œ œœœ œœœ ... œ œ œ œ J 4 5 4

4 5 4

4 5 4

B 46 February 2016

D7

x x x 23 4

œ œ n ˙~~~~~~ ˙˙˙ nœ #œ œ

Ex. 6

# # # n œœj # œœ n œœj # œœ n œœj # œœ œœ .. & J 6 6

xx3 2 4 1

œ œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ #œ œ œ 5

Ex. 4

A7

xx 3 2 1 1

D

x x x 23 1

Ex. 3

Ex. 11

0 0

7 5 7

7 5 7

foundations for a couple of licks. These chord shapes are based on an E-shaped barre chord but include just the top four strings. Ex. 2 treats your first-chord grip to arpeggios and hammerons to create a cool-sounding lick. This hammer-on is a classic blues device that slips from the minor third to the major third. Ex. 3 is similar to Ex. 2, but it ends on the flatted seventh, G, for a more soulful sound. Ex. 4 shows voicings for the IV chord: a D triad and a D7 chord (omitting the fifth). The triad is put to use in a double-stop lick in Ex. 5; in a classic pattern, the root and third (D and F#) are slid into from a half-step below, three times, before ending with a double stop of the third and fifth (A). Ex. 6 uses the D7 chord voicing combined with the D major triad in a triplet pull-off lick. Pick it however you like, but I find the pattern shown in the notation to be most effective. And don’t forget the V chord. Ex. 7 shows E and E7 voicings. These chords are put to action and bridged via an open-string double stop in Ex. 8. WEEK TWO Since the I chord often takes up the first four measures of a 12-bar blues, it’s a good idea to have some longer licks under your belt. Ex. 9 depicts a new A7 voicing, based on a D shape. The lick in Ex. 10 starts off with this new A7 voicing, played as an arpeggio, yielding to double stops. In the second bar, a descending chromatic line (C# C B) sets you up for the majorminor move you’ll recognize from Ex. 2 and 3. You probably already know the basic A and A7 chords diagrammed in Ex. 11, but the double stops in Ex. 12 will show how to form these “cowboy chords” into something new. The first part of this phrase bounces on and off the A chord using open strings. In the second part, you’ll grab the flatted seventh (G) and descend though the sixth (F#) and back down to the fifth (E). Then you’ll jump up to the A shape from Ex. 1 and play just the second and third strings in a descending chromatic lick that resolves to your original chord from this lick.

BEGINNERS’

TIP

WEEK THREE Now, look at a couple of chord transitions. Ex. 13 travels between two different A-type chords on the way to a D7. In the interest of efficiency, note that when you get to the A7 chord, your second finger is on string 3, fret 9, and it can then be slid up to the 11th fret for the D7 chord that caps off the lick. Ex. 14 represents the last four measures of a 12-bar blues, containing all three chords: the I, the IV, and the V. For the E7 and D7 chords you’ll use the same grip—an abbreviated G7 shape. This puts you in close proximity to the chord shape of your first exercises for A, so you can take advantage and play a simple singlestring chromatic run to end on an E note.

TIP 3

When playing a lick over one chord and transitioning to a new chord, try to find a proximal voicing/grip— this will add smoothness to your transitions.

CONT. PG. 50

Get all of these links here www.G7th.com/all

G7thTheCapoCompany @G7thCapos

The Capo Company

TheCapoCompany G7thcapo

you

guit

Andrea Valeri

ar

r

Your chance to win one of 10 G7th Capos www.g7th.com/contests

Fingerstyle tone tips www.g7th.com/fingerstyle

Resources for Worship Leaders

2

For longer licks over a single chord, try toggling between a higher-voiced chord shape and a lower-voiced shape, or vice versa. You can often find chromatic runs on single strings or double stops that can resolve to the new chord voicing.

BEGINNERS’

www.g7th.com/worship

Guitar & capo humour www.g7th.com/humour

How the Performance 2 works www.g7th.com/how

www.G7th.com AcousticGuitar.com 47

&

J

6 7 6 7 WEEKLY WORKOUT

7

6

6

3

≥ ≤

5 7

7 7

6 6

7

3

8

7

≥ ≤

5

7

J

3

8

≥ ≤

5

7

8

5

4 5 4

7

7 5 7

4 5 4

4 5 4

4 5 4

0 0

7 5 7

7 5 7

B WEEK 2

Week 2 Ex. 9

Ex. 10

A7

xxx2 1 3

&

Ex. 11

A7

xxx2 1 3

8 fr.

A7

xx3 2 4 1

8 fr.

œ œ œœ œœ .. œ nœ J

w # # # n ww 9 8 9

9

9

8

9 8

8

A

5 fr.

x0 1112

˙˙ ˙˙ ˙

n˙ ˙˙ ˙˙

0 2 2 2 0

3 2 2 2 0

œ nœ œ œ nœ œ nœ #œ œ œ nœ 3 3

9 8

9

8

7

5

3

8

5

5

5

6

7

B

A7

x0 123 0

5

Ex. 12

A

x0 123 0

## & # œœ n œœ œœ œœ œœJ œœ .. 2 2

0 0

2 2

0 0

2 2

n œœ œœ œ œ œ œ . œ œ œ œ. J 3 2

2 2

3 2

2 2

2 2

0 2

0 2

œœ œœ n # œœ œœ n œœ œœ # œœ œœ

œœ n œœ œœ œœ ˙˙

5 6

2 2

5 6

4 5

4 5

3 4

3 4

2 2

2 2

0 0

2 2

0 0

B WEEK Week 33

WeekEx. 3 13 A13 Ex. xx 3 2 1 1

A

D7 xxx 214 D 7 10 fr.

8 fr.

10 fr.

Ex. 14 E 7 14 Ex. x x x 112

E7

œœ œ œ œ nœ ˙ œ œ œ œ œ nn œœ œ œ œ œ œ n œ ˙ œœ œ œœ

xx 3 2 1 1

## & ### & #

A7 xxx2 1 3 A 7 8 fr.

6

B 6 B Week 4

xxx2 1 3

j œ j œ

5 5

5 5 7 9

8

5 5 7 9

8

xxx 214

9 9

11

9 9

11

10 10

10 10

D7 D7

x x x 112

9 fr.

œ˙ œœœœ˙ œœœ

x x x 112

13

9

13

9

x x x 112

9

xx3 2 4 1

nœ ˙ œ œ œnœ ˙ œœœ

9 fr.

9

A7 A7

xx3 2 4 1

7 fr.

10 10 9 10 10

7

9

7

œ nœ #œ œ œ n œ #3œ œ

7 fr.

5 fr.

3

8 8

7 7

E7 E7

xxx2 1 3

5 fr.

7 8 8

5 6

7

5 6

5 5

5 5

5 fr.

œ n ˙~~~~ œ # œ ˙ . œ n ˙~~~~ œ #œ ˙. ~~~~ 5 8 ~~~~ 7 8 9 5 xxx2 1 3

8

7

5 fr.

8

9

WEEK 44 15 WeekEx.

7 Ex. A15

xxx2 1 3

A7

## & ### & #

8 fr.

œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ n œ3 œ œ3 œ œ3

xxx2 1 3

8 fr.

3

5 8

B B 48

5 8

D7 D 7 5 fr. February 2016

3

9 9

5 8 5 8

œ #œ nœ œ #œ nœ 1/2

3

9 9

5 8 5 8

9 9

10

9 9

10

1/2

˙ ˙

œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ n œ3 œ œ3 œ œ3 3

8 8

10

5 8

10

5 8

3

9 9

5 8 5 8

A7 A7

x x x 23 4

xx3 2 4 1

x x x 23 4

xx3 2 4 1



5 fr.

œ



œ

5 fr. 5 fr.

3

9 9

5 8 5 8

9 9 9 9

œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ n œ3 œ œ œ3 œ œ œ 3

5 8 5 8

A7 A7

xxx2 1 3 xxx2 1 3

1

3

5 5

5 8 5 8

5 5

8

1

8

8 fr.

œ

8 fr.

œ œ œ œ

great tone is

ELEMENTAL When a guitar has all the right elements, it just sings. The new Mitchell Element Series acoustic guitars will resonate with serious musicians, as well as those just getting started. Enjoy the unmistakable feel of rosewood and cedar, spruce and sapele, combined with exceptional craftsmanship, at a price you simply won’t believe. Available in dreadnought or auditorium style, with built-in Fishman electronics and cutaways, there is an Element guitar that will resonate with you. Play one today and you’ll see. Starting from only $299.

MitchellGuitars.com ©2016 Mitchell Guitars

WEEKLY WORKOUT Freddy King Let’s Hide Away & Dance Away King, Black Sheep

With a little experimentation, you can Week 3 up with dozens of excellent new ideas. come Ex. 13

A

A7

xx 3 2 1 1

xxx2 1 3

Ex. 14

D7

xxx 214

8 fr.

E7

x x x 112

10 fr.

LISTEN TO THIS D7

x x x 112

9 fr.

A7

xx3 2 4 1

7 fr.

E7

xxx2 1 3

5 fr.

5 fr.

œ˙ nœ ˙ œ œ œj œ n œ œ œ œ œ œ n œ ˙ œ œ n ˙~~~~ # œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ ˙. WEEK FOUR For the E7 chord in measure 9, bounce back n œ # œ & # œ In Ex. 15, play a 12-bar solo combining triad and forth between E7 and E7. Then, it’s down 3

~~~~

and seventh-chord phrases with minorto the D7 descending lick. Finally, play a pentatonic (in the key of A: A C D E G) lines. turnaround (a phrase, usually one or two bars, 5 5 7 9 10 10 10 8 8 5 5 The first phrase contains8 a sliding triplet back to the beginning of a 5 10 13that directs you 9 7 5 8BEGINNERS’ 6 9 11 box” 9 with 9 double stops 7 to reference 7 7 8 9 that transitions to a familiar9 “blues progression) the 5 6 pentatonic lick. In the third measure, repeat chord changes: A A7 D Dm A E7. The indicated Sprinkle in some chord the first part of the phrase and tack on another chord grips should be familiar to you. tones mixed with pentatonic Week 4 hammer-on triplet that ends with a box-pattern Some final words of advice: When you’re phrases. It may take time whole-step bend. improvising, try to track the chord changes and Ex. 15 to plot some ideas out, As you A transition to the D chord in the use the grips you already know as templates for 7 but once you have a few x x x 2 1 3 look for the closest chord fourth measure, creating licks. It can be as simple as moving 8 fr. of them down, others should voicing and play a lick similar to Ex. 6. Back at between two strings or playing a note adjacent to not be too hard to discover the A chord, in measure 7, play a lick from the the chord tone. for yourself. previous examples that moves from an E-shape With a little experimentation, you can come partial A chord to a D7-shape partial A7. up with dozens of excellent new ideas. AG

TIP 4

B

&

œ #œ nœ

### œ n œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 3

3

˙

œ

œ nœ

3

3

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 3

œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ

3

3

3

1

1/2

5 8

9

5 8

9

5 8

9 9

10

8

10

9

5 8

9

5 8

5 8

9 9

5

5 8

5

5 8

8

B D7

x x x 23 4

&

A7

xx3 2 4 1

5 fr.

### œ n œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 3

3

7

8 5

7

7 5

œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

3

7

3

3

5 5

7

8 5

7

A7

xxx2 1 3

5 fr.

8 fr.

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ œ œ nœ œ œ 3

3

7 5

5

7

5 6

5

5

8

5

8

5

5

8

9

8

9

8

9

9

B E7

x x x 112

D7

9 fr.

x x x 23 4

A

œ œ œ œ œ # # # œ n œœ # œ n œœ # œ œ œ œ n œ œ œ œ œ œ œ n œ & 3 3 10 9 10 9 10 10 9 8 9 8 9 9

B 50 February 2016

7

8 5

A7

xx 3 2 1 1

5 fr.

7

7 5 5

7

5

xx3 2 4 1

D

5 fr.

x x x 23 1

Dm

5 fr.

xxx3 2 1

A

5 fr.

E7

xx 3 2 1 1

xxx2 1 3

œœ œœ n œœ œœ œœ œœ n œœ œœ

œœ n # œœ n œœ œœ ˙˙

5 6

5 6

5 6

8 6

8 6

7 7

7 7

6 7

6 7

4 5

3 4

4 3

©2016 SANTA CRUZ GUITAR COMPANY

WOODSHED

Rag, Mama, Rag

BY PETE MADSEN

‘Pete’s Barrelhouse Rag’ offers opportunities to emulate the greats

he musical art form of ragtime piano proved popular from the late 1890s up until the late 1910s. Its contagious syncopated dance rhythms were not only influential to pianists, but to blues guitarists of the late 1920s as well. In their efforts to emulate the syncopated rhythms and melodies of Scott Joplin and other ragtime composers, such fingerpicking blues players as Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, and the Reverend Gary Davis, to name a few, were able to craft unique solo guitar pieces that still hold up today.

VARIATIONS ON ‘PETE’S BARRELHOUSE RAG’ “Pete’s Barrelhouse Rag” is a study in fingerpicking. You can use your bare fingers—if you’d like, add a thumb pick. The foundation, shown in the downstemmed notes throughout, makes good use of a common alternating bass pattern. If you are a competent fingerpicker and are familiar with ragtime, you should find this composition especially satisfying to play. If you’re new, take it slow at first. The first eightbar verse, depicted in Ex. 1, sets up the chord

Although Joplin is quoted as saying that ragtime should be played at a slow tempo, more often than not it is taken at a fairly brisk pace. For guitarists, ragtime can be a joyful excursion filled with fun and quirky moves. I’ve taken inspiration from many of the aforementioned artists and pieced together a composition I call “Pete’s Barrelhouse Rag.” It’s rooted in a fairly common eight-bar chord sequence of I–III–IV–II–V, or C–E–A– D7–G in the key of C major, with a verse and variations that round out the rest of the composition.

T

Ex. 1

q = 180 C

E

x 32 0 1 0

j œ œ 4 œ. & 4 œ œ œ œ œ 0

1

B

3

2

3

1

j j j œ # œ œ œ œ œ .œ œ œ 0

2

3

A

D7

x0 1114

0 23 1 00

1

1

2

0

œ œj œ œ . œ œ œ œ

œ ˙ Œ œ œ œ œ 5

3

2

0

0

2

3

5 2

0

x 3241 0

0

3 5 2

j j œ œ œ œ œj œ œ œ œ . œ #œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ

3 0

3 2

5

3 4

0 5

4

5

0

3

5

5

5

3

4

4 5

Ex. 2

G

G

xx 32 1 1

2 1 0003

& ‰ œ .œ œ # œ œ #œ œ 0

B

1 0

3

0

2 1

œ Œ œœœœ Œ œ Œ Œ 3 2

3 3 4 5

C

E7

x 32 0 1 0

j œ œ œ œ. œ œ œ œ 1 3

0 2

3 3

x0 1114

j # œ œ # œj œj œ . œ œ œ œ 4

1 2

2

3

0

G7

œ œ . # œj œj œ # œ œj œjœ œ . ( ) ( ) Œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ hold bend

5

3

2

52 February 2016

D7

A

0 x 1324

2 0

G #dim7

0

2

3 0

0

4 2

G dim7

0

|

4 2

0 0

G7

4 2

ANY GEAR, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE At Guitar Center, you can wrap your hands around the finest acoustic guitars in the world, from major manufacturers to exclusive boutique makers. The best gear, the best deals—only at Guitar Center.

LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE | RISK-FREE RETURNS | EXPERT ADVICE | BEST SELECTION GET HANDS-ON AT ONE OF OUR 265+ STORES NATIONWIDE OR SHOP ONLINE AT GUITARCENTER.COM

Ex. 1

q = 180 WOODSHED C

E

x 32 0 1 0

A

j œ œ œ. & 44 œ œ œ œ œ

j j j œ # œ œ œ œ œ .œ œ œ

VIDEO LESSON ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

D7

x0 1114

0 23 1 00

x 3241 0

œ œj œ œ . œ œ œ œ

œ ˙ Œ œ œ œ œ

j j œ œj œ œ œ œ . œ œ œFURTHER RESOURCES œ #œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ

changes. You’ll start off with first-position C and strings, then—after you have played the fourth E chords and then move into a “long” A chord string with your thumb—gently rotate your and a C-shaped D7. Many of the variations from fingers away from the guitar. here on out rely on CAGED alternative voicings Ex. 3 shows a second variation. For the D7 of the chords moved up and down the neck. (For chord, wrap your fret-hand thumb over the top more info on playing CAGED dominant-seventh of the fretboard to hold down string 6, while 0 3 5 strings. 3 5 On 3 chords, see your first finger5bars3the top four 1 the Weekly 1 Workout 0 in AG’s 3 3 3 September 2015 issue.) the1 G9, add the chord’s 13th (the 12th-fret E) 1 2 2 2 2finger. 2 2 2 4 In the first with 2your fourth 3 variation 3 (Ex. 2), the original 0 0 0 0 5 0 on to a 0 C chord stays intact as you move At the end of this verse you’ll return to the D7-shaped E7 chord that allows you to maintain C chord for two bars and walk down from C to A the alternating bass pattern. The A chord in this Ex. to 2 transition into a new theme in the third verse.  up to E, which CONT. PG. 58 variation uses a nice bend from D G G C E7 A xx 32short x0 1114 2 1 0003 11 0 x 1324 in performance tends to come up a little of x 32 0 1 0 the intended target note in order to create tension. The D7 voicing in this variation is one I borrowed from Big Bill Broonzy’s “Saturday Night Rub” and is a variation on a C shape. The final two bars of this verse are a set of finger rolls that travel between an E-shaped G7 chord, through an F diminished-seventh and G diminished-seventh chords to land on a D-shaped G7 chord. To play the finger 3 rolls, 0 3 4 2 5 3 2 three 3 fingers3on the 1 1 3 3 place your0thumb1 and 4 JOHN COHEN 0 5 2 2 2 2 2 0 1 2 3 3 0 0 3 0 0

B

& ‰ œ .œ œ # œ œ #œ œ

j j # œ œ # œ œj œ . œ œ œ œ

j œ œ œ œ. œ œ œ œ

œ Œ œœœ Œ œ œ Œ Œ

LISTEN! Blind Boy Fuller: East0Coast Piedmont 0Style 3 3 Columbia/Legacy 5 5 5 4 4 4 Blind Blake: 5 5 5 Ragtime Guitar’s Foremost Fingerpicker Yazoo READ! Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis by Ian Zack ( # œ ) (œ ) University of Chicago Press, 2015

œ œ . # œj œj œ œj œj œ . Œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ hold bend

2

B

D7

xx 1 2 11

˙

& œ œ # œœ œ œ œ 3

B

G #dim7

G7

x0 2314

5

œ

5

3

0

5

4

0

j j j œ œ . œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ

4

0

5

3

3

4

0

i

4

0

4

3

m a 3

p

p

4

2

0

xx 1324

i

m a

3 4

4

5

4 2

G7

xx 1324

5 fr.

5 fr.

˙˙ ˙˙

œ #œ œ # œ œ

p

5

4

0 0

G dim7

xx 1324

œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ #œ œ p

0

4

|

5

5

6

5

6

7 6 7 5

6

Ex. 3

C

x 31144

E7

xx 2314

5 fr.

j œ œ œ œ. & œ œ œ œ 8

B

7

8

8 5

54 February 2016

œ 7

8 7

j œ

5

A7

x0 1 2 1 1

5 fr.

œ #œ

œ

œ

7

5

œ bœ ‰ # œ .œ œ œ œ 7

5

6 0

œ. œ

6 0

D7

T x 12 4

5 fr.

6 0

5

0

6 5

j œ œ œj œj œ . œ œ œ œ 5 0

5

6 5

0

j j œ œ œ œ œ # œœ œ œ œ 12

5

G9

x 21333

10 fr.

5

10

12

10

10 10

10

j j j œ œ œ œ œ. œ œ œ œ 10

11 10

9 fr.

10

12

10 9

10 10

9

WOODSHED

Ex. 4

C

Am

x 32 0 1 0

j j j œ œ & œ œ œ œ .œ œ œ 1

B

0

3

1

0

2

œœ Œ Ó œ œ œ #œ

Am

E

0 23 1 00

Am

# œœ œ

˙˙ ˙

1 2

0 1

1 2

0

3

2

#œ œ œ

1

œ

i m p

p

œ

1

0

1

1

1

3

3

D 7/F#

œœœ 3

œ

0

2

2

0

0

B

2

2

0

3

2

2

2

b œœ bœ

˙˙ ˙

2 1 1

2 1 1

1

0

4

0

2

Ex. 5

1

1

2 2

Œ & œ

0 2

1

1

0

0

0

2

1

C

1

0 0

0

0

1

0

3

3

0

1

0

2

0

3

œœ Œ Ó œ œ œ bœ 1 0 3

3

2

1

E7

x 3241 x

8 fr.

œ œ

j œ œ. œ œ

8

B 10

1

2

x 32 0 1 0

3

G7

x 3241 x

2

1

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ

3

3 x000 1

2

œ 0

j j j # œ œ j j œ j j œ œj œj # œ œ œ œ œ œ œ. œ œ œ œ œ œ & œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ 2

#œ œ œ 3

C

G7

T x0 213

E

0 23 1 00

x 32 0 1 0

1

3

#œ œ œ 1

2

A b7



Am

x0 231 0

3

xx 1 1 1 2

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

A

œœœ 2

2

0

F

x0 111 x

0

1

2

0

œ

i m p

1

E

0 23 1 00

3

3

xx 3 21 1

0

0

p

2

3

x0 231 0

& œœ œ

œœ œ

œ

Am

x0 231 0

0 23 1 00

3

1 0

0

3

x0 231 0

B

E

x0 231 0

10

9

56 February 2016

10

9

œ œ

œ #œ nœ œ #œ nœ

8

8

7

6

10

10

9

8

5 fr.

œ œ #œ œ 3

7 7

œ œ œ 3

œ

5

7

6 7

œ œ #œ œ 3

5 6

7 7

œ œ œ 3

œ

5

7

6 7

5 6

WOODSHED

In the third and fourth variations, the form breaks down and becomes a little looser, 12 bars long instead of the established eight. Ex. 4 is a Reverend Gary Davis/“Hesitation Blues” type theme that travels quickly between Am and E chords. The second four bars of this verse are borrowed from Blind Blake’s “Blind Arthur’s Breakdown,” making its way through IV–VI–I– VI–II–V–I (F–A  7–C–A–D7–G7–C) chord changes. Ex. 5 starts out on a C-shaped G7 chord before moving chromatically down to an E7, decorated with some more finger rolls. The

rolls continue with a different voicing of E7, best fretted by the second and third fingers so that the index and fourth fingers can execute the walking bass line. The finger-roll theme continues with the A–A7 move and descending bass line. Then, you’ll play four bars of D7 before finishing off this final variation with a series of finger-rolled natural harmonics at frets 5, 7, and 12, implying a G chord. As you can tell, there’s a lot going on in this composition, and it’s a bit of a workout. To make it more approachable, try one eight-bar section at a time.

You can also make up your own variations and experiment—which is much more in the spirit of ragtime—rather than try to play everything exactly as it is written. Next month, I’ll have a look at some additional variations. AG Pete Madsen is a San Francisco Bay Area-based guitarist and instructor who specializes in acoustic blues, ragtime, and slide guitar. His latest titles are A Guide to Bottleneck Slide Guitar and Improvising and Variations for Fingerstyle Blues, both available at learnbluesguitarnow.com.

To make the tune more approachable, try one eight-bar section at a time.

E7

A

0 xx 32 x

&

œ œ 4

B

œ œ

3

œ

A7

x0 1114

œ œ

3



3

œ

3

4

0

3

4

3

4

2

4

3

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ #œ œ #œ 3

3

3 2

4

4

3

3

4

3

3

4

œ

3

4

x0 1112

#œ 2

2

œ

3

œ

œ

5

2

2

0

4

œ

œ

3

œ

œ



3

2

2

0

œ

3

œ

œ

5

œ 2

2

0

œ

œ

3 2

0

D 7/F# T x0 213

B &

2

5

œ. #œ

3

2

œ

3

B

2

2

4

œ

2

œ

1

58 February 2016

œ

œ

0

0 2

3

0 2

2

3

2

2

3

2

j œ 2

2

2

4

3

2

3

0

0 0

2

2

0 2

2 0

0

3

3

1

2

2

‚ ‚ ‚ ‚

0

2

0

2

#‚ ‚ ‚ ‚

2

2

1

2

0 2

‚ ‚ ‚ ‚

·

3

3

harmonics till end

0

2



2

3

j œ œ œ œ. œ œ #œ œ 1

3

2

j œ #œ j œ œ œ œj œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ

#œ.

œ #œ œ œ œ œ & œ œ #œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ 3

5

5

5

5

7

7

7

7

12

12

12

12

5

2

.................................................

DISTRESSED TOBACCO SUNBURST LIMITED

................................................. Drawing on an epoch of American guitar design, these instruments

are inspired by three periods of U.S. history: The parlor---borne of the

Civil War era, the Grand Concert---from the turn of the century, and the Dreadnought, a creature of the roaring 20s. Rich with tone from

another era, each model features a solid Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, and is augmented by vintage period

................................................. touches like antique nickel tuners and aged bone saddle and nut.

Grand Concert AVC6DTS

ibanez.com

Parlor AVN6DTS

Dreadnought AVD6DTS

The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St. Rolling Stones

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC

Sweet ‘Exile’

Let loose and improvise with the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sweet Virginia’ BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

n 1971, as tax exiles from England, the members of the Rolling Stones scattered to France from their native country. Guitarist Keith Richards rented Villa Nellcôte, a mansion on the French Riviera, where the band used a makeshift studio to record the bulk of the sessions for Exile on Main St., often regarded as one of the best rock albums ever made. From that double-record, the countryinspired song “Sweet Virginia,” with its references to mind-altering substances, reflects the group’s legendary debauchery during this period. It also boasts some of the Stones’ finest acoustic work, with Mick Taylor’s nimble lead lines and Keith Richards’ sturdy strumming.

I

60 February 2016

In this arrangement, the rhythm guitar is represented by Guitar 1, which is capoed at the second fret, causing everything to sound a major second higher than fingered (and written). The lead guitar (Guitar 2) is played without a capo. That’s why there are two sets of chord symbols throughout, those in parentheses are applicable only to Guitar 1. The first eight bars of the notation contain all of the chords in the entire song, fingered as G (I), D (V), C (IV), and A (II). Learn this part as written, with the walk ups and walk downs in select measures, then improvise your own variations for the rest of the intro and subsequent sections.

Beginning in bar 9, Guitar 2 channels a mandolin with some tremolo-picked tones—using alternate picking, render these notes quickly and as evenly as possible. Other techniques used for this vibrant part include oblique bends (bar 15 and elsewhere), lines with chromatic passing tones (foreign notes that connect notes within a key; bars 19–20, for example), and sliding sixths (measures 30–31, etc.) Don’t be overly concerned with playing exactly what’s written here; use the arrangement as a guide for your own improvisations. This is essential for achieving the off-the-cuff feel of the original recording. Be forewarned: the song’s chorus is ratedPG for strong language. AG

PREMIER SERIES GUITARS Accomplished musicians will attest, consistent performances start with a reliable, great sounding guitar. The Premier Series offers the serious artist the renowned Breedlove distinctively crafted sound - the time-tested balance, clarity, and sustain – with the same attention to detail as a custom instrument. We invite you to learn about the Breedlove difference at www.breedlovesound.com.

SWEET VIRGINIA

WORDS AND MUSIC BY MICK JAGGER AND KEITH RICHARDS

Guitar 1, capo II

A (G)

#4 & 4 œj œ œ Guitar 1

0

B

5

&

#

3

A (G)

œ œ œœ œ œœœ œœ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ 3

3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

0

0 0 2

2 2 3 3 2 2 0 0

0 0

3 2 0 0 2 0 3 2

3

D (C)

B (A)

A (G)

œœ œœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœœ œœœ œ œ œ œœœ # œœœ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 1 0 2

0 2 3

B

0

œ

œœ œœ œ œœ œ

E (D)

0 2 3

1 0 2

1 0 2 3

0 0 3

0 2

2 0

0 0

0 2 2

2 2 2 0

2 2 2 0

0 0 0 0

A (G)

œœ 3 œœ œœ œ œœ œ œœ œœ œœ œ

3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 3 2

3

œ œ œœ œœ œ œ œœ œ œœ œ œœ œ 3 0 0 0

3 0 0

3

0 0

0 0

0 0 0

0 0 2

œ œœ œ œ

œ œœ œœœ

œœ œœ

œ œ œ œ œœ œœ œœœ œœ œœ œœ œœœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œ

3 0 0 0

3 0 0 0 2 3

0 0 2 3

0 0 2 3

0 0 3

2

D (C)

3 0 0

3 0 0 0 2 3

0 0

0 0 2 3

0 0 2 3

3 0 0 0

3 0 0

0 0 0

0 0

2

Guitar 1 cont. sim. throughout

B (A)

9

æ

17

&

###

œ

æ

æ

10

˙. æ

w æ

w æ

### w æ &

Guitar 2

B

A (G)

12

æ

14

A (G)

œ œ œ œ œœœ œ J J

14

B 62 February 2016

æ

12

B (A)

A (G)

˙. æ

w æ

æ

12

A (G)

œ

Œ

æ

10

E (D)

1

1

12

1212

D (C)

3

3

1/2

12

12

12

12

(12)

12

(12) 10 12 10

E (D)

œ œ œ œœœ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ J J Œ

œ. œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ nœ j 3 J nœ œ œ

1

12

œ æ

D (C)

5

6 7

5

7 5

5 4 2

14

(12)10

12

12

(12) 10

A (G)

œ œ #œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œœœ 3

3

4

2 3 4

2

4 2

3

4

3 2 0

3

2

0

©1972 (RENEWED) ABKCO MUSIC INC. 85 FIFTH AVE., NY, NY 10003. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

D (C)

SWEET VIRGINIA

% Verse D (C)

## & # .. n œ œ œ

21

‰ #œ

B (A)

œ

œ

. .

B

œ œ œ œ

2

3

0

## & # n œJ œ .

2 2

0

D (C)

## & # œJ œ . ## & # œ -

in’

0

3

B (A)

œ

5

5

8

(7) 5 7 5

7

A (G)

‰ œ œ nœ

Œ



0

2

2 8

to stop

3

0

9 8

B (A)

‰ nœ œ œ œ œ 3

7

7

œ.

the wave

j œ



2

8

0

8

œ

œ œ

5 5

### n œ œ & J

33

&

###

Drop your

B 64 February 2016

œ œ J

reds,

∑

Œ

E (D)

nœ œ J

drop your

6 6 7 7

œ #œ. J

3

be - hind your eye

-

Œ

j œ

œ J

7

œ œ J

greens

∑

œ

œ

and blues.

œ

5 4 2

D (C)

Œ

Ó

∑



6

œ

5 6

7

D (C)

uh - huh.

w

3

2

4

Try -

7 5

9

œ nœ œ œ œ J

balls,

4

Œ ‰ n œJ

3

4 6

A (G)

7 5

9

œ nœ œ œ

5

8

To Coda

A (G)

7 5 5 5

A (G)

‰ ‰ œ œ œ œ nœ

œ

5

Ó

Ó

4 6

3

7

3

7 7

5 5 6 7

œ œ œ œ . œœ j œ J œ œœ œœ œ œ ‰ œ œJ œ œ J J

help you through.

3

œ œ œ œ. J

2

B

7

not a friend

3

∑

ter.

œ œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ j #œ œ œ œ œ œ

## & # œ

29

4

‰ #œ œ œ

And there’s

B

2

-

Œ

œ ~~~~~~~~~~ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ nœ j 3 œ œ #œ J J nœ œ œ ‰ J J J œ 3 3 3 1 ~~~~~~~~~~ 7

3

0

D (C)

25

storm - y win

œ

œ

‰ œ œ œ œ nœ #˙

œ Œ

1. Wad - in’ through the waste, 2. See additional lyrics 3. Saxophone solo

## & # .. œ

A (G)

∑

2

1

A (G)

..

∑

. œ #œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ œ . œ 3

3

2

3 4

2

4

3

2

4

3 2 0

3

2

0

. .

50 years of craftsmanship, tone and beauty. Introducing the new Alvarez 1965 series For more information, please visit: www.alvarezguitars.com/1965-series AcousticGuitar.com 65

SWEET VIRGINIA

2

Chorus

A (G)

## & # Ó

37

Œ ‰ œ

œ

3

D (C)

œ œ Œ

Well, come

# œ œ Œ ‰ œ œ œ & # on,

3

œ Œ ‰ œ œ œ w

œ Œ ‰ œ œ œ ˙.

Œ

D (C)

you got it in

ya,

52

&

###

˙

D (C)

Ó

## & # Ó

Got to scrape

∑

&

2

2 3 4

B

4 2

3

4

3

3

2

0

2

3

&

0

2

0

3

2

4

2

### ###

B

4

œ œ œ J

shit right

fi CodaA 54

come on down,

nœ œ J

my

‰ œ œ œ

on,

E (D)

œ œ œ œ œ. J J J

∑

œ #œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ 3

3

œ œ Œ

A (G)

uh huh.

A (G)

D (C)

Come

D.S. al Coda

A (G)

Come

Œ ‰ Jœ

Ó

beg of you.

A (G)

Œ ‰ Jœ

Ó

sweet Vir - gin - ia.

A (G)

## & # œ Œ ‰ œJ œ œ œ œJ œ . œ œ œ

47

A (G)

come on down,

B (A)

hon - ey child,

B (A)

‰ œ œ œ

on,

D (C) #

42

B (A)

off

œ

your shoes.

3 3 œ ‰œ œ œ œ

(G)

‰ ¿.

Yeah!

I want you to come

j œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 3

0

3

3

2 4

2

4

3

2 2

2

4

4

2

Outro-Chorus

D (C)

## œœœ‰ ‰ œ œ œ & # ..

55

## & # .. œ B 66 February 2016

. .0

on,

come on down,

œ œ

œ J œ

2

0

2

3

œ J

B (A)

œ



œ

Œ œ

7 4

8

A (G)

œ 7

‰œ œ œ ˙

Sweet Vir - gin - ia.

Ó

œ

8

œ

œ

9

7

œ œ œj œ n œ 6

0

œ œ œ œ ‰ œ 3 œ œ œ3 œ J J

œ œœ

5

6 9

7

œ

œ

3

œ n œ œ œJ œ .

Hon - ey, I

5 6

6

said

I want you to come

8

7

6

5

䄀䌀伀唀匀吀䤀䌀 䘀伀唀刀倀䰀䄀夀 䌀刀䤀匀倀Ⰰ 䈀刀䤀䜀䠀吀 䄀一䐀 倀䰀䔀䄀匀䤀一䜀 伀嘀䔀刀吀伀一䔀匀

刀䤀䌀䠀Ⰰ 圀䄀刀䴀 䄀一䐀 䈀䄀䰀䄀一䌀䔀䐀 吀伀一䔀

匀唀倀䔀刀䤀伀刀 䰀伀圀 䔀一䐀 䄀一䐀 䌀䰀䄀刀䤀吀夀

䌀伀䄀吀䔀䐀 䘀伀刀 䘀䔀䔀䰀 䄀一䐀 䰀伀一䜀䔀嘀䤀吀夀

倀攀爀昀攀挀琀氀礀 眀漀甀渀搀 昀漀爀 愀渀礀 猀漀甀渀搀⸀

攀爀渀椀攀戀愀氀氀⸀挀漀洀 簀 ⌀椀瀀氀愀礀猀氀椀渀欀礀 倀愀甀氀 䴀挀䌀愀爀琀渀攀礀Ⰰ 䨀椀洀洀礀 倀愀最攀Ⰰ 䨀漀栀渀 䴀愀礀攀爀Ⰰ 吀栀攀 䔀愀最氀攀猀Ⰰ 匀氀愀猀栀Ⰰ 䨀漀攀 䈀漀渀愀洀愀猀猀愀Ⰰ 䔀氀瘀椀猀 䌀漀猀琀攀氀氀漀Ⰰ 䌀栀爀椀猀 䌀漀爀渀攀氀氀Ⰰ 吀栀攀 圀栀椀琀攀 䈀甀û愀氀漀Ⰰ 䘀爀愀渀欀 吀甀爀渀攀爀Ⰰ 䈀爀愀搀 倀愀椀猀氀攀礀Ⰰ 䠀甀渀琀攀爀 䠀愀礀攀猀Ⰰ 䨀 䴀愀猀挀椀猀Ⰰ  䴀椀欀攀 一攀猀猀Ⰰ 䄀渀搀礀 䴀挀䬀攀攀Ⰰ 倀栀椀氀氀椀瀀 倀栀椀氀氀椀瀀猀Ⰰ 䈀椀氀氀椀攀 䨀漀攀 䄀爀洀猀琀爀漀渀最Ⰰ 䴀愀琀琀 䈀攀氀氀愀洀礀Ⰰ 䄀氀氀 吀椀洀攀 䰀漀眀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 琀栀漀甀猀愀渀搀猀 漀昀 漀琀栀攀爀猀 挀栀漀漀猀攀 䔀爀渀椀攀 䈀愀氀氀 䄀挀漀甀猀琀椀挀 匀琀爀椀渀最猀⸀ 䨀漀椀渀 琀栀攀 氀攀最愀挀礀⸀

SWEET VIRGINIA

D (C)

B (A)

## œ & # œŒ ‰ œ œ œ

59

&

###

on,

œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ 0

B

2

0 2

3

j œ

œ œ œœ œ #œ œ 7

4 8

B (A)

7

A (G)

### w æ &

you got it in

7

8

### œ Œ ‰ œ 3 œ ˙ . & J œ œ

64

3

œœœœœœœ œ J J

œ œ œ œ œ œ œJ ‰ J

Ah!

I want you to come on,

œ

˙ æ

10

10

w æ

ya,

œ œ uh - huh.

7

5

D (C)

Ó

˙. æ

55

12

5 12

12

12

A (G)

œ J

Œ ‰ œJ œJ œ œ œ œ J J Got

Œ

(12)

12

æ

æ

12

E (D)

œ nœ J

œ œ œ nœ œ œ J ‰ J ‰ to scrape

1

69

&

### ###

˙

Guitar 2

&

D (C)

Œ

œ œ œ œ œ One œ ‰ J 1

12

B &

#

B

‰ ¿ J

12

12

∑

14

æ

14

A (G)

that

10

right

¿ ¿ J

‰ Œ

more time!

12

12

Œ

Ó

D (C)

.. . .

(12) 10

∑

ww ww

off

your shoes.

12

12

U

shoes.

∑

ritardando

2 3 2 0

Guitar 1

1 0 2 3

œ

(12)

12

œ œ. Œ

.. ˙˙ ˙˙ . .

j j œ œ

œ œ J

A (G)

‰ ¿ .. w J Yeah!

10

1/2

(12)

12

10 10 9

œ œ œ nœ œ œ œ œ J J

shit

2

A (G)

œ

12

2. Thank you for your wine California Thank you for your sweet and bitter fruits Yes I got the desert in my toenail And I hid the speed inside my shoe 68 February 2016

œœ œ œ @ @

æ

1/2

B

hon - ey child,

1

0

2

yeah, you.

D (C)

¿ ‰ J Œ ‰ Jœ œ œ œ œ œ Œ‰ œ œ œ

‰ œ œJ w

œ Œ

hon - ey child,

2

A (G)

œœœ œ œœœ œœ œ ritardando

0 0 0 2 0 3 3

0 2

U w jw œ w w 0 0

3

02

3

Ó

10

ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE + C.F. MARTIN & CO. PRESENT

THE

MARTIN HD-28 GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic Martin Dreadnought, one lucky winner will take home this HD-28. MSRP: $3,799

ENTER TODAY ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM/WIN/HD-28 FEATURES Top: Solid Sitka Spruce Back and Sides: Solid East Indian Rosewood Top Bracing Pattern: Standard “X’’ Scalloped Top Braces: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16’’ Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony Scale Length: 25.4’’ Number of Frets Total: 20 Nut Material: Bone Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony Tuning Machines: Chrome Enclosed w/ Large Buttons Case: 640 Molded Recommended Strings: Martin SP Lifespan Phosphor Bronze Medium Gauge (MSP7200)

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN. ENTER BY FEBRUARY 29, 2016.

GIVEAWAY RULES: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Each entry must be individually submitted using the Official Entry Form at AcousticGuitar.com/ Win/HD-28 and received by February 29, 2016; facsimiles may not be substituted. Prize drawing will be made on or around March 15, 2016. The grand prize will be fulfilled by Acoustic Guitar and C.F. Martin & Co. within 60 days of receipt of winner’s written acceptance. Employees of Acoustic Guitar magazine, and C.F. Martin & Co. are not eligible to win. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Limit one entry per person. Acoustic Guitar magazine reserves the right to notify the winner by mail or by e-mail and to identify the winner in the magazine as well as the Acoustic Guitar website and Facebook page. International entrants, please note: If the winner is resident outside the United States and Canada, he or she is responsible for all shipping, customs, and tax costs. In the event that an international winner is unwilling or unable to cover these costs, he or she will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entrants may receive information from Acoustic Guitar and C.F. Martin & Co. For the name of the prize winner, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to C.F. Martin & Co. 2016 Giveaway, c/o Acoustic Guitar magazine, 510 Canal Blvd, Suite J, Richmond, CA 94804. This offer ends on February 29, 2016. Taxes are the responsibility of the winner. No prize substitutions are permitted.

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC Green Day Warning Reprise

Punky Colors

Green Day’s ‘Warning’ is a three-chord protest song BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

n the mid-1990s, the San Francisco Bay Area punk-rock trio Green Day achieved mainstream success with its terse songs of resentment and bratty antics. By the early 2000s, the outfit had toned down somewhat and had begun to let pop and folk influences settle into its sound. Case in point is “Warning,” from the album of the same name, on which the frontman Billie Joe Armstrong plays a steel-string acoustic instead of his customary electric.

I

It won’t take a great deal of technical facility to learn how to play this breezy song, a textbook study of punk harmony and structure. It’s got just three chords—A, D, and G, or the I, IV, and, bVII in the key of A major—strummed in heavy, steady eighth notes and without syncopation. The pattern heard first in the intro, shown here in standard notation and tablature, is used for the entire song, save for the interludes. To achieve the proper punk feel, play it in

CarbonFiberCases.com #hoffeesavesguitars

70 February 2016

downstrokes exclusively. If you’d like to make the part sound edgier, remove the third from each chord—in this case, the highest note in each grip (like the sixth-fret C# on the A chord). For a more folky sound, just play the chords with basic open-position voicings. Once you’ve polished off “Warning,” you’ll not only have learned a Green Day classic, you’ll be all set to play an incalculable number of the songs in the rock canon. AG

WARNING

Basic Strumming Pattern

WORDS BY BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG, MUSIC BY GREEN DAY

A

# # # 4Pattern Strumming Basic A Strumming D Pattern G Basic .. œœ Û Basic Strumming Pattern

A

D

1342 1342xx

1342 xx

A

1342 xx

3x

G

5 fr.

5 fr. 5 fr.

x 1333 x

D

x 1333 x

5 fr. 5 fr.

1342 xx



5Gfr.

##4 & ## A 4 ## 4 & 4

1342 1342xx

1342 xx

1342 xx

Intro D 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 G D 𝄇𝄇𝄇𝄇 play 4 times 𝄆𝄆𝄆𝄆 A Intro A D 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 G service D 𝄇𝄇𝄇𝄇 play 4 times 𝄆𝄆𝄆𝄆 AThis isDa public 1. announcement

Û Û Dœœœ Û Û Û œ D Û Û Û œœœ Û Û Û œ

.. Aœœ œ .. œœœ œ Pick: œ ≥ Pick:. ≥ 6 .. 77 6 . 577

7 7 7 7 5 7 7 5

5

D

1. ThisMayisimpair a public service your ability to operateannouncement machinery A

D

G

D

A Gability to operate D playDyour 4 times May𝄇𝄇𝄇𝄇impair GD Can't A Dtomachinery quiteD tell just what it means meG D

A is only D aG test D D ThisCan't A quite tell D just what it means G to me

D

Keep out of reach of children don’t you talk to strangers lic service announcement A D G D

a test

AKeep outAofDreachDGof Gchildren don’tDyou A D G D D talk to strangers Get from a bumper sticker Emergency protest A D your G Aphilosophy D evacuation D G D Get your philosophy from a bumper sticker Chorus A D G

D

A impair D G Dability D Goperate D MayD machinery Ayour Dwarning G DA to Chorus live without Warning A D G D A D G D evacuation protest A D G D ©2000 WB MUSIC CORP. AND GREEN DAZE MUSIC ALL RIGHTS ADMINISTERED BY WB MUSIC CORP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

G

A D G

your ability to operate machinery AA

D G

D

D

G

D

Without alright Interlude

Warning live without warning A Let’s D G D see a warning live without warning D Gjust D it means to me quite DCan't G A tell D what A D G D Let’s see a warning live without warning Without alright

etc. 4 5 5 4 3 5 5 3

≥ n œœ ≥

Û ≥ Û . ≥ Û Û œ Û Û Û . Û77 n œ ÛÛ Û ÛÛ . Û .

e

7 7 7 7 5 7 7 5

7 5 etc.

Û Û Û

2. Better homes Did you remem Or shut up and be a victim of authority Chorus Caution police A D G D A D G D Chorus 2. live without Betterwarning homes and safety Warning Is thesealed cop orcoa A D G D A D G D D G D A to D Gpay D the utiliti Did you remember Warning liveAwithout warning Sanitation exp Let’s see a warning live without warning A D G D A D G D police line you better c ACaution D G G shut D upnot and Let’s see a warning live withoutDwarning A D Or Let’s see a warning live without warning AIs Dthe G cop or D am IAthe D Gone D that’s re A D G Let’s see a warning live withoutDwarning A D G D Let’s see a warning live without warning Sanitation expiration date question A D G D A D G D Chorus A D G D Let’s see a warning live without warning Or alright shut up and be a victim of auth Without

D G D A D G D A evacuation D protest G D Emergency

G

etc.

Û œœœ Û Û Û .. œ

n n

Better homes and safety sealed communities Did you remember to pay the utilities 2. Better homes and safety sealed communities Caution police line you better not cross Did you remember to pay the utilities4 Is the cop or am I the one that’s really5dangerous Caution police line you better not cross 5 Sanitation expiration date question everything Is the cop or am I the one that’s really 3dangerous Or shut up and be a victim of authority Sanitation expiration date question everything

This is only a test Emergency evacuation protest

A

G

2.

A D Intro D A announcement D G D 1. G This is a public service This is only a test 4 times 𝄆𝄆𝄆𝄆 A GA D DD 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀G GA DD G DD A D𝄇𝄇𝄇𝄇G play D A

œ Û Û œœ Dœ Û Û Û nGœœœ Û Û Û œ DœœœG Û Û Û ..

4 œ œ nn œœœ Û Û G œ # # # 4 . œ Û ≥ ≥Û ≥ Pick: n œ≥ ≥ ≥ œ ≥ ≥ œ ≥ ≥ & 4 . œœ Û≥ Û≥ Û≥ Û≥ Û≥ œœ Û≥ Û≥Û Û Û ≥ÛÛ œ Û Û Û . Û Û ÛÛ Û Û ÛÛ B 6 .7 B Pick: ≥ ≥B ≥ ≥ 7≥ ≥ ≥ ≥ 5 . 6 Û Û Û 77 Û Û Û 7 . 77 5 B 5

x 1333 1333x

A 5 fr. D

D

𝄆𝄆𝄆𝄆 A 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄇𝄇𝄇𝄇 Interlude 𝄆𝄆𝄆𝄆 A 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄇𝄇𝄇𝄇 Repeat second Averse

Chorus

D

D G

A

D G

Warning live w

A Let’s D see aAwaD

Warning live without warning Repeat second verse Without alright A Repeat second chorus (omit last line) Keep out of reach of children don’t you talk to strangers D G D Interlude Let’s see aDwa 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A it means Repeat second chorus (omit lastAline) D G ell just whatInterlude to me Outro D A D A𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A D D𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 AG D 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A D 𝄁𝄁𝄁𝄁 Let’s see a warning live without wa 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A A D A Get your philosophy from a bumper sticker Outrois a public service announcement D G This 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A D 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A D D 𝄀𝄀𝄀𝄀 A D 𝄁𝄁𝄁𝄁 A D A D A D GLet’s see aDwa reach of children don’t you talk to strangers G is a public D This service announcement This is only a Let’s test see a warning live without wa G D A D G D Chorus G D This is only a test Witho A D G D osophy from a bumper sticker A D G D A D G D AcousticGuitar.com 71 Let’s see a warning live without wa Warning live without warning

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC

Dave Van Ronk

he Coen Brothers’ 2013 paean to the Greenwich Village folk scene, Inside Llewyn Davis opens with a great scene in which the film’s namesake protagonist, played by Oscar Isaac, sings “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” before a hushed audience at the fabled Gaslight Cafe. Many folk fans know the song through a 1962 version by the late Dave Van Ronk, whose life and work inspired the character of Llewyn Davis. The song was first recorded in 1937 as “I’ve Been All Around This World” by Justis Begley, and it’s been interpreted by everyone from the Grateful Dead to the Yonder Mountain String Band, but it is inspired by events that transpired in the 19th century and is derived from a much earlier song, “My Father Was a Gambler.” “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” has a straightforward structure: a 15-bar verse/chorus, played six times. On the guitar, Van Ronk fingered the song in the key of C major, with a second-fret capo causing it to sound in D. If you scan this arrangement, you’ll see the piece contains only

T

High Stakes

Van Ronk’s classic ‘Hang Me, Oh Hang Me’ is a gambler’s lament BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamps Look at this unbelievable 2016 Instructor Line-Up!

Specially Designed for the True Beginner through Professional

On The Campus of Maryville College in Maryville, TN - 17 mi. So. of Knoxville, TN. Old Time and Traditional Week - June 12-18: Flatpicking: Russ Bar enber g, Steve Kaufman, Andy Hatfield, Chris Newman; Rhythm Guitar: Steve Kilby; Fingerpicking: Clive Carroll, Mike Dowling, Todd Hallowell; Mountain Dulcimer: Sarah Morgan; Old Time Banjo: Steve Baughman; Hammered Dulcimer: Linda Thomas, Old Time Singing: Car y Fr idley; Old Time Fiddle: Kenny J ackson, J im Wood and Apr il Ver ch; Old Time Mandolin: Car l J ones; Jam Instructors: Er ynn Mar shall and Keith Yoder Bluegrass Week - June 19-25: Flatpicking: Rober t Bowlin, Mike Dowling, Gr ant Gor dy, David Keenan, Molly Tuttle, Doug Yeomans; Rhythm Guitar: Tyler Grant; Mandolin: Carlo Aonzo, Tim Connell, Matt Flinner, Bruce Graybill, Andy Hatfield, Steve Smith; Bluegrass Banjo: Greg Cahill, Gary Davis, Bill Evans, Jeff Scroggins ; Songwriting: Wil Maring; Bass: Clint Mullican, Todd Phillips, Steve Roy; Bluegrass Singing: Kathy Chiavola, Dan Boner; Ukulele: Marcy Marxer; Dobro ™: Ivan Rosenberg, Jimmie Heffernan, Phil Leadbetter; Bluegrass Fiddle: Bobby Hicks, J osh Gofor th and Adam Master s Jam Instructors Keith Yoder and Tony Anthonisen

five chords: C (I), F (IV), Am (vi), Ab (bVI), and G (V), so it’s easy on the fret hand. You can play the F chord as diagrammed, with your thumb fretting the sixth-string F, or as a regular F barre chord. The accompaniment is based on Travis picking, named after the country great Merle Travis, with bass-string notes on beats 1 and 3, and chordal fragments and arpeggios elsewhere in each measure. To play this part, hold down each chord shape for as long as possible and, letting the notes ring, pick the bass notes with your thumb and the higher ones with your index and middle fingers. You could also play the piece using a thumb pick or with hybrid picking—the plectrum on those lower notes and your bare fingers on the others. Whatever picking approach you choose, be sure to play the rhythms with a bit of a swing or triplet feel; consecutive eighth notes should be rendered not equally as written, but long-short. Playing along with the original recording should help you with this essential rhythmic device. AG

The Original Guitar Chair

the details make the difference

Your $900.00 Paid Registration Includes:

All Classes, Housing and Meals plus ~ Morning, Afternoon & Evening “All Level” Jams Highly Focused Afternoon Instructor Sessions Ensemble Work, Band Scrambles, Extra Events Admission to All The Nightly Star Studded Concerts Voted "Best Camps" Open Mic Time on the Main Stage Airport Shuttle Service from Knoxville Airport (TYS) Each Year Since 2002 Plus much, much more. Call for info.

Find Out Why!

Register Today - It Only Takes a Moment!

www.flatpik.com

PO Box 1020, Alcoa, TN 37701 [email protected] 865-982-3808 You’re Ready Now so Register Today! Write for a Free Kamp Brochure. 72 February 2016

Proudly made in the USA

1-877-398-4813

www.OriginalGuitarChair.com

HANG ME, OH HANG ME

TRADITIONAL

Capo II Intro

Chorus/Verse

3

Swing ( q q = q e)

C

C

x 32 0 1 0

∑

& & 44

œœ œ œ œ œ .. œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 2

3

1

0

2

0 3

3

1 0 2

2 3

Œ

‰ œ œ œ

& œ œ œ œ œ œ

1 0 2

œ

0

1

0

Hang

2

me,

œœ

oh

œ

œ

0 1

hang

œ 2

3

3

Would - n’t

B

mind

œ

œ

œ

1

œ

the

œ

3

me.

2 3

0

2

œœœ

œ

2

2

2

1

1 2 3

2

œ œ œ

1

3

1 0 2

3

1

1 2 3

Am

x0 2 3 1 0

lay - ing in

0

œœ œ œ œ œ œ

2

3

Œ

˙.

dead and gone.

œ

3

1

0

3

1

be

1

but the

2

1

œ œ œ œ œ J

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

Œ

œ

C

1 2

œ œ œ

x 32 0 1 0

I’ll

œ œ œ œ œ œ 2

dead and gone.

1 2 3

2

2 3

‰ œ

Ó

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

1

2

1

C

hang - ing,

œ

1 0 2

0

x 32 0 1 0

œ œ œJ œ .

& ‰œ œ œ œ œ

3

2

œ œ. J

0

I’ll be

F

1

2

3

3

j œ œ œ œ œ

œ œ œ œ œ œ

T x 3211

Am

0 1 0

1 3

x0 2 3 1 0

œ & œœœ

œ

3

œ œ œ œœœ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ

Am

& ˙.

11

œ

x0 2 3 1 0

6

3

œœ œ

. .3

0

C

2

Œ

hang me. 1., 4., 6. Hang me, oh, 2., 3., 5. See additional lyrics

x 32 0 1 0

B

T x 3211

.. ‰ œ œj œj œ j j Ó bœ œ œ.

∑

let ring throughout

B

F

x 32 0 1 0

œœ œ

the grave

œ

1 0 2

œ

œ œ

so long,

œ œ

1 2 3

3

œ œœ œ poor

Œ



boy.

3

œ œ

I been

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

0 0

2

2

2

1 2

0

AcousticGuitar.com 73

A

Ab

C

x 32 0 1 0

G

xx 111 x

j6 œ bAœ b œ 1–5œ

this

œ

0 2

w& 15

œ.

C

& œ.

j œ bœ œ œ

w

xx 111 x

all

a - round

A

this

Gw

C

x 32 0 1 0

210 0 03

world.

Ab

6

G

∑

C

all

œ

a - round

this

C

x 32

210 0 03

..

xx 111 x

210 0 03

∑

x 32 0 1 0

U 1 1 0 ww . œ U0 . 11 0 0 0 œ . b œ œ œ œ œ œ 2w . 1 œ &œ b œ œb œœœ œ œ œ œ œBœ œ1œ œ œb œœ œ 2 œ œœ3 2œœ œ wwœ .. 2b b œœœ œ3 œ2 œ w w 3 3 3 œ œ œ > œ œ œ œ œ w 1 1 0 1 . 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 . 11 2 2 2 2 2 . 10 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 3 30 2 1 3 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 2. I been all. around Cape Girardeau parts of2 Arkansas 3 3 2 3 3 2 3 B All around Cape Girardeau 3parts of Arkansas 3 3 3

world.

G

xx 111 x

œ œ Uœ œ œ .. b œœ œ œ∑ œ œ œ œ bœ œ œ œ œ ∑& b œ b œœ .. ∑ œ œ œ U œ > œ œ .. œ ∑ ∑ œ ∑

x 32 0 1 0

210 0 03

C

x 32 0 1 0

210 0 03

15

HANG ME, OH HANG ME 1–5

œ œ

œ

G

xx 111 x

world.

œ

1 1 1

1

0

0 3

Got so goddamn hungry I could hide behind a straw Poor boy I've been all around this world

2.

3.

5. Joaquin Lares Photography

I been all around Cape Girardeau parts of Arkansas 3. Went up on the mountain there I made my stand I been all around Cape Girardeau partsWent of Arkansas All around Cape Girardeau parts 2. of Arkansas up on the mountain there I made my stand All around Cape Girardeau parts of Arkansas Got so goddamn hungry I could hide behind a straw A rifle on my shoulder and a dagger in my hand Got so goddamn hungry I could hide behind a straw Poor boy I've been all around this world Poor boy I've been all around this world Poor boy I've been all around this world Went up on the mountain there I made my stand 5. Put the rope around my neck hung me up so high up on the mountain there I madePut mythe stand Went up on the mountain there I 3. madeWent my stand rope around my neck hung me up so high up on the mountain there I madeThe mylast stand A rifle on my shoulder and a dagger inWent my hand words I heard them say Won't be long now 'fore you die A rifle on my shoulder and a dagger inPoor my hand Poor boy I've been all around this world boy I've been all around this world Poor boy I've been all around this world Put the rope around my neck hung me up so high 5. mePut rope around my neck hung me up so high Put the rope around my neck hung upthe so high mydie neck hung me up so high The last words I heard them say Won'tPut be the longrope nowaround 'fore you The last words I heard them say Won't be long now 'fore you die Poor boy I've been all around this world Poor boy I've been all around this world 3 Time National Champ

Grace Harbor Guitars

Steve Kaufman Group Guitar Lessons

Outstanding Tone Great Projection Quality Craftsmanship Dreadnought, Grand Concert, Parlor & Classical models Hard Case Included Las Vegas Artist Yvonne Silva plays a GHD-100 Cutaway Electric

Guitar and Mandolin Lessons Online - Live Join Us - Register Today

A Six Week Course. One Hour Each Week

Beginner through Advanced

Also.......Single Song Video Lessons 100’s to choose from. Only $10.00 ea.

www.flatpik.com 1-800-741-0109 GraceHarborGuitars.com 74 February 2016

Write for Free Catalog PO Box 1020, Alcoa TN 37701

865-982-3808

2

U

ww ww

1 0 2 3

TheWORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTIONof theFINEST CLASSICAL and FLAMENCO GUITARS IN ONE SHOWROOM Visit GuitarSalon.com for Videos, Articles, Player Profiles, Luthier Biographies and More (877) 771- 4321

80

Guitar Guru Breaking in a guitar is no simple task

82

86

New Gear McElroy’s smart, stunning standard

AG TRADE

New Gear 2 impressive acoustic amps from Fender Guitars

important, for guitarists everywhere. We purchased four half-million-dollar machines for drawing our own steel and another million on equipment for coating and corrosion protection—that’s the shiny tin coating on strings; if left bare, strings would completely corrode. Now we have a capability of drawing wire at an unprecedented level of precision and accuracy. A tremendous amount of R&D—of physics and mathematical models, and working with machine builders to come up with optimal processes—was behind this. In the end we’ve been able to increase the strings’ tensile strength and consistency of diameter and tension: a breakthrough that takes our strings to a whole new level.

SHOPTALK

Jim D’Addario

Man of Steel Jim D’Addario is on a mission to build a better guitar string BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

everal years ago, Jim D’Addario, the CEO of the company that bears his name, issued a special challenge to his team of nearly 30 engineers: figure out how to produce the best high-carbon steel wire, in house, for use in the company’s music strings. The results of this challenge were first seen in a series of string sets dubbed NYXL, whose proprietary wire made them stronger and more consistent than any of the company’s previous offerings. Now, NY Steel—the brand name for the wire used for the cores and plain strings—is an option in D’Addario’s EXP strings for acoustic guitarists. I chatted with D’Addario via phone from his office in Farmingdale, New York, about the benefits of NY Steel strings.

S

How did the NY Steel series come about? It’s always been our approach in making strings to integrate as much of the process into our

own operations, so that we can control quality every step of the way. We’ve always built our own string-making machines, and in 1979 we bought into a company in Massachusetts that makes steel—one of only a few companies that produced high-carbon steel with the right characteristics to be made into music wire. The wire is the most difficult aspect to manufacture and is critical in making great music strings, so we wanted to improve on this critical component by making it next to our string factory in New York. What steps did you take to make this happen? We were fortunate to be awarded a tax-reduction credit from the state of New York, which also helped us with employee training: a win-win situation for our company, our community here in Suffolk County, and most

What does increasing the tensile strength mean in practical terms? A standard .010-inch string, when tuned, bent or stretched to G #—two whole steps higher than a normal E—will be at approximately 90 percent of its breaking strength. That’s not a lot of margin for error, and that’s why strings can be prone to breakage and slippage of pitch. When a NY Steel .010 is tuned in the same fashion, it is at under 75 percent of its yield strength. It’s no longer so close to the threshold of strength, so it stays in tune and, under normal use, it doesn’t break. We also have far fewer rejects in the manufacturing process since the new machinery allows us to make extremely consistent wire. String breakage is less of a problem for acoustic guitarists. What other advantages do the NY Steel cores have? The main advantage is that because the wire is stronger and more stable, the strings settle in more quickly and hold their pitch better than conventional strings. This might be lost on a beginning player, but those serious about the acoustic guitar will definitely notice a significant difference. Last year, I went backstage to visit Pat Metheny when he played here in New York at the Westbury Theatre. He told me that at the end of a 12-minute song, his guitar was still perfectly in tune, and that NY Steel has changed his life. AG AcousticGuitar.com 77

KITBAG

Sheeran with a custom Martin 00-28VS

Loop-the-Loop

Learn to create your own Ed Sheeran sound BY TREVOR DAWKINS

[Editor’s note: When Acoustic Guitar profiled Ed Sheeran last year, guitar tech and soundman Trevor Dawkins described the tools the British acoustic guitarist and pop sensation uses onstage. AG published that article as an online exclusive. Now, AG offers the article to our print readers.] d Sheeran essentially plays two Martin Guitar models. The larger models are a pair of 00-28VS customs that Martin put together for us. They’re absolute beauts: figured Koa back and sides, the gecko inlays on the neck (copies of one of Ed’s tattoos . . . ), and the inlaid koa “X” logo on the soundboard. These are fitted with Fishman Matrix Infinity electronics and are used for Ed’s acoustic ballad-type songs. The smaller models are custom LX1s. Unfortunately, with the current Martin LX1Es, we’re unable to get the sounds that we need for Ed’s percussion loops, due to the additional hole for the new Fishman Isys electronics detracting even further from the sound of an already small-bodied guitar. To get around this problem, Martin managed to find us a number of the older Fishman Mini Q electronics, which they now retrofit into the regular LX1s for us.

E

78 February 2016

Ed tends to chew through these at quite a rate—understandable, if you’ve ever seen Ed play—and an LX1 lasts an average three months of gigging before it becomes worn out. Due to this, I’ll often have to recycle the electronics from guitar to guitar. Although Ed used to famously name all his guitars, this has now apparently stopped with the bigger custom guitars. The guitars are all strung with Elixir Nanoweb 0.012–0.053 80/20 bronze strings, which Ed loves. The capos are all Jim Dunlop triggers. ONSTAGE Ed’s setup onstage is reasonably straightforward. His guitar goes into a Boss TU-3 pedal, and from there straight to a DI box, allowing our front-ofthe-house sound guy, Chris Marsh, to add the guitar signal straight to his mix. The through from the DI is then sent to our loop system, which has now been extensively upgraded. There are two vocal mics, a 2000-series radio mic fitted with a custom 5235 capsule, which is relayed through a Sennheiser EM2050 radio system straight to the front of the house and a Sennheiser e945 vocal loop mic, which again runs into the new loop system.

When I first started working with Ed, he was still using the Boss RC-20XL pedal, which was the pedal that he learned to loop on. Although the sound quality wasn’t brilliant, it was good enough for the pub gigs and dodgy PAs that he was playing through. Unfortunately, as the gigs became bigger and the PAs better, it was becoming quite obvious to us that the sound quality of the RC-20 wasn’t really up to it. Ed also used to mess with the input volumes of the guitar and mic when he got carried away during a show, and that really didn’t help things either. After deciding that we needed to source a pedal that had separate outputs for the guitar, percussion, and vocal elements of the loop, allowing for separate treatments (reverb, echo, harmonizer, etc.) at the front of the house, Chris and I spent months contacting every pedal manufacturer worldwide that we could think of to get someone to help us come up with a pedal that would be future-proof and sonically superior to the RC. Although a couple of manufacturers were interested, no one had an existing product that really came close to what we wanted to do in terms of numbers of outputs and attainable loop lengths.

We then started looking at software-based systems. During conversations with a couple of boffins [British for scientists or engineers], John Jenkins and Sean Lascelles, who have worked with rapper Example and pop singersongwriter Lily Allen, among others, they were confident that it could be done. A few months later, Chewie Monsta MK1 appeared. The “Chewie Monsta” is the pedal-board controller that Ed uses to control an offstage Roland FC-300, which is the brain behind the looping system currently used (essentially, Mobius 2 VST plug-in hosted by Ableton Live). Ed had already decided he wanted to stick with the RC-20-type pedal as a controller. It became obvious that the pedal board we would need onstage for live situations would, indeed, be a “Monsta,” as it ended up having four of the Roland double pedal-type switches as well as two video screens to monitor the program’s record/overdub/playback functions and show the time frame of the loop itself. After a few teething problems, John and Sean were able to come up with a pretty rocksolid system, despite being told by Roland that they’d never be able to write code to enable the FC-300 and the “Monsta” to talk and mirror each other. The pedal allows Ed to record, overdub, and play back on any one of four synchronized loops, each of which has its own output, allowing us to now have the guitars, percussion, and vocals separate, which is invaluable in a live situation. Ed can also now mute the loops individually, allowing him to alternate between different sections, such as a verse/chorus scenario. We also have an “undo” function, which allows Ed to clear the last overdub on the selected channel, should he need to. We run an A/B system allowing for 100-percent redundancy, with the two sets of outputs from the RME Fireface interfaces controlled by a Radial SW8. I have control of the FC-300 offstage, which allows me to keep an eye on things and mute or arm channels or clear the recorded loops, just in case. Other than the loop system and onstage tuner, we use no other effects or pedals onstage, although Chris may treat them at the front of the house. The sound quality of the system is absolutely first-class, with no compression whatsoever, and you can overdub almost infinitely, the only limit being the amount of RAM in the laptops. Visit AcousticGuitar.com/How-to to watch Ed Sheeran looping it up onstage at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival.

SHUBB The best performers will settle for no less.

[email protected] • www.shubb.com 707-843-4068

AcousticGuitar.com 79

GUITAR GURU

pieces of wood. Over time, though, a guitar responds to forces that bear upon it. Loaded under 175 pounds of string tension and subjected to regular vibrational movement, wood fibers begin to loosen. As internal tensions relax, volume and sustain increase and bass response strengthens. After longer periods of loading, wood fibers eventually stop stretching. Physical distortions become permanent, as evidenced by that “belly” behind the bridge of an older guitar that no longer goes away when strings are slacked. A permanently distorted top is stiffer in central areas than it was when new and flat, and more closely resembles a coaxial speaker: Localized stiffness enhances treble response (think tweeters), while looseness around the perimeter favors bass response (think woofer).

Being There Breaking in an acoustic guitar is no simple process

BY DANA BOURGEOIS

Q

How long should it take to break in a new guitar? Do you know of any shortcuts? James Becker Loveland, Ohio

A

Numerous and complex elements contribute to breaking in a guitar. After years of exposure to oxygen and UV radiation, wood undergoes chemical and structural transformations. Sounddamping compounds such as sugars, oils, pitches, and resins slowly become gasses and crystalline residues, allowing wood to vibrate more freely. Evaporative finishes, such as lacquer and varnish, go through analogous changes. Prolonged exposure to air and light causes plasticizers to gas off, molecular chains to morph, film thickness, and mass to diminish. After years of curing, older finish becomes a more efficient transmitter of vibrational energy. More than just chemistry happens under the hood. A guitar starts life as 30 or so individual pieces of wood, each with its own moisture content, internal tensions, and structural “memory.” Glue them together and, initially at least, you get a guitar that still wants to be 30

GOT A QUESTION? Uncertain about guitar care and maintenance? The ins-and-outs of guitar building? Or a topic related to your gear?

80 February 2016

Different guitars break in at different rates. A guitar made entirely with well-seasoned woods, constructed in a stable environment, expertly finished, and designed to flex and distort in ways that favor a full range of frequencies, will break in more quickly than one made with improperly or inconsistently seasoned wood, assembled under inconsistent climate conditions and overrigidly constructed. Though the break-in process can continue for years, rate of change slows exponentially. Happily, most contemporary luthiers employ a

Ask Acoustic Guitar’s resident Guitar Guru. Send an email titled “Guitar Guru” to editor Blair Jackson at [email protected], and he’ll forward it to the expert luthier.

variety of techniques for coaxing guitars to sound partly broken-in from initial string-up, including use of cutting-edge wood-curing methods and/or torrefied woods, sophisticated finishes and application processes, high-tech or at least well-monitored climate controls, and advanced knowledge of acoustic design. A new guitar from a reputable luthier should begin to sound and feel quite comfortable after a year of good playing. But breaking in still requires playing. A pristine, unused vintage guitar can radically improve with regular playing, suggesting that chemistry alone cannot create an authentic vintage sound. While vibration of any kind may benefit a very new guitar, I am personally skeptical of most break-in strategies that don’t involve real players. It’s difficult to imagine how responding over and over to a device that artificially excites strings at a single frequency can cause a guitar to develop a balanced, musical voice. Of equal concern is the potential for unintended consequences after exciting a guitar over long periods with randomly or algorithmically generated frequencies, or, for that matter, even with amplified music. Any guitar favors certain frequencies over others. The name of the game is maintaining— rather than enhancing—stronger frequencies while developing weaker ones. This happens, consciously or unconsciously, when a real player playing real music avoids overplaying certain notes and puts a little something extra into others. Qualified observers have long speculated that guitars played for many years by exceptional players often develop, rather than start out with, exceptional voices, in good part because of how they are played. Indeed, when playing certain guitars I sometimes sense the spirit of a current or former player from the sound, response, and feel of the instrument. Though the proposition is difficult to prove scientifically, I don’t doubt its truth for a New York minute. Dana Bourgeois is a master luthier and the founder of Bourgeois Guitars in Lewiston, Maine.

If AG selects your question for publication, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of AG’s The Acoustic Guitar Owner’s Manual. Dana Bourgeois

AcousticGuitar.com 81

NEW GEAR

Nitrocellulose gloss finish

Brazilian rosewood bridge with bone saddle (25/16-inch string spacing)

A Well-Built Tone Machine McElroy Standard delivers a rich and warm sound, with superb projection and sustain BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

n the late 1980s, Brent McElroy, a carpenter, became intrigued when he met a cohort who made his own guitars. In 1991, when McElroy opened a coffee shop offering live music on the weekends, he encountered another artist who made his own guitars. But it wasn’t until McElroy moved to Seattle, in the mid-’90s, that he met a guitar maker at Seattle Center and was finally inspired to transfer his skills to lutherie. Now, 20 years and more than 100 guitars later, McElroy builds a range of steel-string instruments as well as nylonstrings. McElroy’s first guitar design was his Standard, with a 16-inch lower bout, a grand concert- or jumbo-sized instrument intended to work equally well for forceful strumming and delicate fingerpicking. A few hours with one of

I

82 February 2016

his latest Standards—Generation 2.1, serial No. 110, whose build is documented on McElroy’s website—confirms that McElroy has more than achieved this goal in creating a smart modern guitar that sounds as stunning as it looks. THE FEEL & SOUND Removing the Standard from its Ameritage hardshell case for the first time, I’m struck by its lightness—about 4.75 pounds—relative to its size and by the deep beauty of its woods. The Sitka spruce’s top has a beautiful natural red tint and an intense bear-claw figuring throughout, complemented by a buckeye burl rosette with a wild marbled coloring. On the guitar’s back, a pair of perfectly book-matched Indonesian rosewood plates, in a range of warm browns, meet in a dramatic lighter-

colored area whose effect is mirrored in the heel cape, made from buckeye burl. Meanwhile, the bridge is unmistakably Brazilian rosewood and the Gotoh 510 tuner’s customary gold buttons have been swapped out for those made from cocobolo. Though at a glance the Standard appears to have been conventionally built, it’s got some interesting structural details. The neck is built with a bolt-on joint and the bracing is not the traditional X but in a lattice pattern inspired by classical guitars. (McElroy’s Generation 1 instruments had X bracing, and he still uses this spec on request.) The unusually shaped bridge does away with the standard pins in favor of a design where the ball ends rest against the bottom end, like on an archtop guitar’s trapeze tailpiece, making string changing easier while providing

VIDEO REVIEW ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM/GEAR Top Book-matched Indonesian rosewood back Bottom Buckeyed burl rosette

Tru-Oil satin finish

Premium 16:1 Gold Gotoh 510 tuners with cocobolo buttons

AT A GLANCE

MCELROY STANDARD MODEL, GENERATION 2.1 BODY Grand auditorium/small jumbo Solid bear-claw Sitka spruce top with lattice bracing Solid Indonesian rosewood back and sides

NECK Honduran mahogany neck with ebony fretboard

EXTRAS John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Wound Light Gauge strings (.012–.053)

25.4-inch scale length 1.75-inch bone nut

Ameritage Gold Series hardshell case

PRICE $8,100 as reviewed (base price $7,500) Made in La Conner, Washington mcelroyguitars.com

Lifetime warranty

tonal integrity. The Standard is beautifully built, to say the least. Inside the box the kerfing and bracing are perfectly clean, with no excess glue to be found, nor any debris from the building process. The frets are perfectly crowned and polished, without any jaggedness at the edges. The body’s nitrocellulose lacquer finish has been buffed to a faultless gloss. BIG & BROAD SOUNDING Though it has an ample body—45/8 inches deep at the end block—the Standard doesn’t feel cumbersome to hold. The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a decidedly modern C-shaped profile— neither club-like nor pencil-like—and it feels fast and effortless to play. The guitar is perfectly

intonated and all of the notes on all of the strings ring with perfect fidelity and no buzzing or dead spots. The Standard has a rich and warm sound, with superb projection and sustain, and a wide dynamic range. The rosewood seems to add complexity to the sound, and overall, the guitar feels very lively—as any flattop in its class should. From Carter-style accompaniment to frenzied rock strumming, the guitar responds well when played with a plectrum. With its generous amount of headroom, it takes a lot to get the instrument to overdrive. Flat-picked single-note textures have great breadth and definition, though there’s just a hint of brittleness when I really dig in on the first string. When gently fingerpicked, the Standard amplifies the

slightest nuances. It feels piano-like in the way that the notes of arpeggiated passages cascade together. But the instrument also holds up well to a less gentle attack, having a rich snap when treated to a hearty blues approach. Whether strummed or fingerpicked, at a whisper or a holler, the guitar retains its brilliant sound when placed in a low tuning, like open C. With the Standard Model, Generation 2.1, Brent McElroy has arrived at the perfect intersection of sonic and aesthetic beauty, craftsmanship, and playability. The instrument recommends itself for any player looking for one fine guitar that will cover a lot of territory. Adam Perlmutter transcribes, arranges, and engraves music for numerous publications. See his website at adamperlmutter.com. AcousticGuitar.com 83

NEW GEAR

AT A GLANCE

BREEDLOVE OREGON CONCERT LTD.

BODY Concert size Myrtlewood top Solid myrtlewood back and sides African ebony bridge Gloss finish on soundboard and satin on back and sides NECK Hard rock maple neck Ebony fretboard 25.5-inch scale length 1.75-inch nut

A Sonic Charmer Breedlove’s all-myrtlewood concert-sized guitar is light and lively BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

Gold Breedlove tuners EXTRAS D’Addario EXP16 strings (.012–.053) LR Baggs Element Active System VTC electronics Deluxe hardshell case PRICE $2,399 list/$1,799 street Made in the USA breedlovemusic.com 84 February 2016

n the coastal regions of southwestern Oregon, the myrtlewood tree, a broadleaf evergreen, grows prolifically. When harvested, it’s known to yield a beautiful range of coloring, from blonde to black, and figuring, from fiddleback to burl. Sonically speaking, it’s said to split the difference between rosewood and mahogany. The Oregon-based Breedlove has long taken advantage of myrtlewood’s cosmetic and tonal beauty, to say nothing of its sustainability, for use on the backs and sides of some smart modern guitars. And now, in Breedlove’s Limited Edition series, myrtlewood makes an appearance on the soundboard of two models, a concert and a parlor. I checked out the former and was taken with this guitar’s liveliness and clarity.

I

BALANCED IN ALL WAYS It’s so satisfying to play the Oregon Concert, a beautifully responsive instrument. In terms of projection and power, the guitar has both in spades. With its 15-inch lower bout, it sounds like a larger guitar than it is. The Oregon is crisp and articulate and, like the other Breedloves I’ve known, it has an impressive sonic balance. Its bass is powerful but not boomy and its treble is impressive but not at all strident. These aspects make the guitar a smart choice for recording. Likewise, the Oregon is great for gigging, thanks to its LR Baggs’s Element Active System VTC. Plugged into a Fender Acoustasonic amp, it sounds warm and natural.

VIDEO REVIEW ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM/GEAR

The Oregon is up for anything when it comes to stylistic approaches. It works as well for fingerstyle blues as it does for modern-rock strumming. It handles open cowboy chords and closed cluster voicings with equal authority—no matter how complex the harmony, the note separation and clarity are excellent. Though the guitar generally takes well to alternate tunings, when tuned to an open Cmaj9 chord (low to high: C G D G B E), the sixth string loses a little of its presence. The Oregon’s playability is every bit as good as its sound. Its satin-finished hard maple neck feels friendly to the fret hand—the action is agreeably low and buzz-free. It doesn’t feel at all a struggle to play the guitar, and it responds to the subtlest nuances of both left- and righthand technique.

ALEX DE GRASSI FINGERSTYLE GUITAR METHOD THE COMPLETE EDITION

Learn to position the picking hand for efficient Honeproperly your technique and and comfortable playing. deepen yourfingerstyle understanding contemporary fingerstyle nofHow to grow and shape guitar this full method your with fingernails taught by a master of the n Where to place your picking genre. With notation and tab the best tone forhand 200for musical examples, excerpts from many nplus Detailed instruction on of deplaying Grassi’s arrangements rest and free and compositions.

Includes 6 hours of video

No matter how complex the harmony, the note separation and clarity are excellent. SMART DESIGN & EXECUTION The Oregon is a real looker, with an appealing blend of traditional and modern elements. Its bold herringbone trim references prewar flattops, while on the fretboard, left- and rightjustified micro-dot position markers lend a contemporary flourish, as does Breedlove’s trademark asymmetric headstock. The myrtlewood on the guitar leans toward the blonde end of the spectrum in coloring, and the figuring on the perfectly book-matched soundboard and back is striking. Craftsmanship on the Oregon is tip-top. Inside the box, there aren’t any glue gobs or other evidence of the manufacturing process. The frets are meticulously dressed and seated; the saddle and nut are notched cleanly. On the soundboard, a gloss finish is flawlessly executed. It’s too bad that the sides and back have a satin finish instead of a matching gloss, but that would’ve no doubt made the relatively affordable guitar more expensive. In the Oregon Concert Ltd., Breedlove has introduced yet another winning instrument. Its excellent sound, feel, and craftsmanship and its distinctive look make it a strong contender for any player in the market for a terrific mediumsized instrument. And, coming in at under two grand, it’s a sweet deal for a US-made guitar. AG

strokes with the thumb and the fingers

Play like Alex.

DEFINITIVE ADVICE ON FINGERSTYLE TECHNIQUE FROM A MASTER OF THE GUITAR.

store.AcousticGuitar.com.

Guitar Week, July 24-30, with

Pat Donohue, Peppino D’Agostino, Del Rey, Greg Ruby, Al Petteway, Muriel Anderson, Steve Baughman, Tony McManus, Sean McGowan, Robin Bullock, Folk Arts Workshops at Pete Kennedy, Wilson College Vicki Genfan, POWarren Box 9000 Josh Goforth, Asheville NC 28815 Steve James, 828.298.3434 Scott Ainslie, www.swangathering.com Gerald Ross, Paul Asbell, & more. • Trad. Song Week, July 3-9 • Celtic Week, July 10-16 • Old-Time Week, July 17-23 • Contemporary Folk Week, July 24-30 • Mando & Banjo Week, July 31- August 6 • Fiddle Week, July 31- August 6 AcousticGuitar.com 85

NEW GEAR

Left Fender Acoustic SFX Below Fender Acoustic Pro

The amps are lightweight—the Pro is 27 pounds and the SFX is 25—and their handles are integrated into the cabinets, making them easy to carry while providing a cradle for smartphones and tablets. Another thoughtful design feature on each chassis is a durable rubber bottom. And it’s nice of Fender to have included a cover for each amp.

AT A GLANCE

FENDER ACOUSTIC PRO THE SPECS Two independent channels with combo ¼-inch/XLR inputs

Dynamic Duo

A pair of stylish Fender acoustic amps make a big impression BY ADAM PERLMUTTER

Volume, reverb, phase, and four-knob EQ on each channel 200 watts 12-inch Fender Special Design loudspeaker plus high-frequency horn Tilt-back kickstand Included cover Optional two-button footswitch 17.65 x 21 x 10.5 inches 27 lbs PRICE $999.99 street Made in Mexico fender.com

86 February 2016

ince the mid-1990s, anytime an acoustic guitarist has plugged in at a coffeehouse, there’s a pretty good chance that he or she was using a Fender Acoustasonic—a popular amplifier that delivers good, clean sound, in an affordable, roadworthy package. This mainstay series has gone through several generations and is now joined by a swanky new pair, the Acoustic Pro and the Acoustic SFX, two lightweight digital amps with robust power and lush effects. Side by side, I put them to their paces and found them to be quite the dynamic duo.

S

SMARTLY DESIGNED The Acoustic Pro and the Acoustic SFX look completely different from any previous Fender amplifier, let alone any acoustic amp on the market. Taken together, they’re like Mutt and Jeff, the SFX being the tall relative to the short and squat Pro. Each is housed in a molded plywood cabinet, stained in a butterscotch color, calling to mind midcentury modern furniture. Not only is this design cool-looking, it increase s the amps’ responsiveness and projection.

THE ACOUSTIC PRO The Acoustic Pro is the more straightforward of the duo. This 200-watt amp has one 12-inch Fender Special Design speaker and a horn tweeter. Each of its two identical channels has a combination XLR/quarter-inch input (making it, of course, a mini-PA system); volume and reverb controls; four EQ controls, low, mid-frequency, mid-level, and high; and a phase switch, for attenuating feedback. Situated between the channels are two eighth-inch plugs, for connecting an auxiliary device and headphones. When I plug in a Martin OM-28E with the EQ knobs set flat, I’m straight away impressed by the amp’s ability to replicate the guitar’s natural acoustic tone. It sounds much like the guitar does unplugged—except much bigger and more present, just as it does for an Ortega Lizard-CCGB acoustic-electric ukulele. Whether I strum or fingerpick, gently or vigorously, the amp feels responsive and never harsh or overbearing. The EQ knobs are quite functional, boosting the highs makes for a tone that will cut through for a solo, without any brittleness. The Acoustic Pro’s reverb might be limited in its flexibility, being controllable only in terms of level. But it has a lush organic quality that, dialed in at 9 o’clock, is perfect for adding shimmer to fingerpicked passages and body to single-note lines. Players who are more adventurous when it comes to sonic manipulation will appreciate the effect loop, located around back, with a quarterinch send and return. THE ACOUSTIC SFX As its name suggests, the Acoustic SFX (that’s Stereo Field Expansion technology) is geared more toward the electro-acoustic guitarist. This 2x80-watt amp is tricked out with an eight-inch low-frequency driver, a high-frequency tweeter, and a side-radiating six-inch speaker, plus the horn tweeter. To put it another way, the amp has

VIDEO REVIEW ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM/GEAR

The Acoustic SFX has a wide field of sound.

a wide field of sound—unlike a traditional amp, on which sound is projected forward. The two-channel SFX has the same basic controls as its portly counterpart, except the EQ section includes only a single mid control and adds an effects level. Each channel has buttons for engaging four effects—two delay types, a chorus, and a vibrato effect. DLY 1 is a slapback echo, with a single repeat, adjustable between 100–550ms, while DLY 2 is a multiple repeat, adjustable within the same range. CHO is a deep-sweep chorus adjustable between 0.66Hz and 10 Hz and VIB a fast vibrato with a range between 0.66Hz and 5.66Hz. The button for each effect is illuminated when it’s on, and the range of an effect is controlled by tapping its button. Only one of the four effects can be used at a time, but it can be paired with reverb. It’s great fun to experiment with the effects using the Martin and the uke. The delay is transparent and preserves the acoustic sound while imparting spacey effects; the chorus lends depth and richness; and the vibrato provides an interesting textural departure from the ordinary acoustic sound. All of the effects in the quarter pair nicely with the reverb; there isn’t any murkiness of sound in any of the combinations. And the effects section’s Stereo SFX control, which adjusts the width of the amp’s stereo image, makes for quite a deep tone. GREAT NEW TOOLS With the Acoustic Pro and Acoustic SFX, Fender has introduced two great new tools for the acoustic guitarist, each of which has a warm natural sound and power to spare. The Pro appeals to the broadest audience, its focus being mainly on duplicating the acoustic sound, while the SFX is for the sonic tinkerer. As a bonus, both have a snazzy, woody look that pairs nicely with an acoustic guitar. AG

AT A GLANCE

FENDER ACOUSTIC SFX THE SPECS Two independent channels with combo ¼-inch/XLR inputs Volume, reverb, phase, effects level, and three-knob EQ on each channel 2x80 watts One eight-inch low-frequency drivers, high-frequency tweeter, and side-radiating six-inch speaker, plus high-frequency horn Included cover Optional two-button footswitch 19.5 x 17.5 x 10.5 inches 25 lbs. PRICE $899.99 street Made in Mexico fender.com AcousticGuitar.com 87

SONGWRITING BASICS FOR GUITARISTS

21 SONGWRITING TIPS FROM THE MASTERS

By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

Ex. 1a

G A7 œœ œœ # 4 D œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ & #4œ œ œœ œ œœ œœœ œ œœ œ œ œ œœ œœœ 0

B

2

2 3

0

0

0

Ex. 1b D sus2

3 3 0

0

3

2

G 6add9

2

0

0 2 0

2

2

0

0 2 0

2

6

TWEAK THE CHORDS. “It’s amazing how much cooler it gets when you change one note in a chord,” Sean Watkins once said in a conversation with his thenband mates in Nickel Creek. His guitar parts often use modal chords (with no third) and suspensions that add a nice openness to the sound. Check out the differences between Examples 1a and 1b, and between Examples 2a and 2b, to hear how a one-finger change in a chord makes a big impact.

0

A 7sus4

# œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ & # 44 œ œ œœ œ œœ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ œœ œ œ 0

B Ex. 2a

& 44 B

Am

œ œœ 2

0

2

2

0 3

0

0

1 2

2

œ œœ

1 0

Ex. 2b

A sus2

& 44 B

œ 0

œœœ œœœœ

2

2

0 2

2

3 2

3

G

œ œ œœ œ

0 3 0

0

0

0

F

œ œ œœ œ 0

0

0

œ

0 3

3

1

F b5

œ

0 2

0

0

0

2

œ

2

0

2

1 3

2

œ

2

0 3 0

7

UNCHAIN THE MELODY. An insight about chords and melodies from a young David Wilcox—interviewed 20 years ago—still rings true for me. “I learned from listening to James Taylor that you don’t want your melody to be the root of the chord,” Wilcox said. “You want the melody to be an interesting note in the chord. And if you have a given melody note, there are different chords that go with it, so pick one where the melody is a fifth or a seventh or a third or a ninth, but not the tonic.” To make this concrete, take a look at Examples 3a and 3b (play the same accompaniment—shown in Example 3a—for both examples). Notice that in Example 3a the melody notes are the same as the roots of the chords, while in Example 3b the melody is shifted onto other notes. In this version, the melody lifts free of the chords and has much more impact.

3 0

œœœ œœœœ

1 3

2

1

2

3

1

1

œœœ œœœœ

0 3

3

0 3 0

œœœ œœœœ

G6

œœœ œœœœ

2

2

0 3

2

œ

œœœ œœœœ

0 3

1

2

0

2

3

0

1

Ex. 3a Melody

& & B

# 3 4 ˙

G

# 3 4

A m7

D

G

Em

D

∑ ∑ Œ Œ ˙. ˙ ˙. ˙. ˙. œœœ œœ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œœ œœœ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

Accompaniment

0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0

3

Ex. 3b Melody

# 3 & 4˙

G

© 2012 Stringletter

Œ

A m7

˙

1 0 2

1 0

2

0

2 3 2

2 3

2

0

2 3 2

2 3

0 0 0

0

0 0 0 0

3

œ

D

˙.

∑

G

˙

0 0 2

0 0

2

0

2 3 2

2 3

2

0

2 3 2

2 3

0

0

Œ

Em

˙

œ

D

œ œ œ Œ

∑

SONGWRITING BASICS FOR GUITARISTS • 21 Songwriting Tips from the Masters

3

Download 21 Songwriting Tips from the Masters, and you’ll learn to write better songs with advice from from Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Jakob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and more! available now at store.AcousticGuitar.com

90

Playlist Greg Blake returns to bluegrass roots

94

Books Dylan & the Beatles: Behind their music

JOEY LUSTERMAN

Playlist Darlingside’s daring indie-folk

91

MIXED MEDIA

PLAYLIST

Road Warrior

The return of the resident poet of restlessness BY KENNY BERKOWITZ

Peter Case HWY 62 Omnivore

PLAYLIST

Peter Case: Weary traveler

ollowing the post-surgery garage rock of WIG!, Peter Case returns to his other life as a guitar-slinging troubadour and resident poet of restlessness. With HWY 62, his first new album in five years, he traces the mindscape along US Route 62, which starts in El Paso, Texas, by the Mexican border, zips past Woody Guthrie’s Oklahoma hometown, and ends 2,248 miles later in Niagara Falls, not far from where Case was born. In between, there are “nine kinds of motherf***rs/bad-looking bloodsuckers everywhere we go,” the latest in a long line of Case antiheroes, cons, and hoods who live on the margins of society, either in jail or headed there pretty damn soon. No one can tell a story like Case, swerving wildly between folk tale and hyperrealism while somehow staying within the lines—well, just barely. Sometimes, it’s the hooks that keep him straight, like the singalong choruses on

F

“Evicted” and “Long Time Gone,” which hardly sound written at all. Sometimes, it’s the wailing harmonica, or the catch in his voice, which has never sounder truer, wearier, more Dust Bowl direct. Mostly, it’s the strumming—over all these miles, Case’s 12-string has become the perfect vehicle for his traveling songs, ringing like a Ford Pinto rattling down a rough road. It helps that Ben Harper is riding shotgun, compounding that restlessness with the lonely, hollow sound of slide guitar on “Bluebells,” the acoustic blues licks on “All Dressed Up (For Trial),” and the long, low highway hum of “New Mexico.” In the album’s best song, “The Long Good Time,” all these miles come together, turning wistful at the thought of blowing back into town another day. In the minute-long, pianopounding instrumental that closes the album, Case fills up his tank again, barreling down the road in search of adventure and more tales to tell. AcousticGuitar.com 89

PLAYLIST

TOP 5 BLUEGRASS ALBUMS So Familiar Steve Martin & Edie Brickell 40 Share

The Muscle Shoals Recordings The SteelDrivers Rounder

Christmas Time Rhonda Vincent Upper Management

Farm Machine Steve ’n Seagulls Spinefarm

Weight of the World 10 String Symphony Poppyshop

Source: Billboard, week of 11/16/15

Darlingside Birds Say Thirty Tigers

AOIFE O’DONOVAN IN THE MAGIC HOUR “(MAGIC HOUR IS A) FORCEFUL, PIANO-DRIVEN FOLK-ROCK SONG” – NPR SONGS WE LOVE AOIFEODONOVAN.COM 90 February 2016

YEPROC.COM

Adventurous indie-folk with spectacular harmonies On a diverse set that ranges from gentle folkish tunes to numbers that show classical, country, and indie-rock influences, the Massachusettsbased quartet Darlingside combines glistening harmonies with a largely acoustic-based musical foundation (guitar, banjo, mando, violin, cello, harmonium, and piano are just some of the instruments employed, along with electric guitar, bass, organ, and Wurlitzer). The lyrics are occasionally opaque, but not maddeningly so— the poetry fits the always-sublime group vocals that soar and float above what are often spare instrumental beds, occasionally augmented by semi-psychedelic electronic touches and plenty of atmospheric reverb. It’s dreamy and opensounding, but it also has an unmistakable momentum, even with nary a drum kit in sight. Most of the songs feature silky acoustic guitars, played by Don Mitchell and Harris Paseltiner, but they often appear in an almost chamber-ensemble context—both guitarists and Auyon Mukharji are multi-instrumentalists and the musicians mix and match instrumental voices and textures in fascinating and sometimes unusual ways. Bassist Dave Senft is assertive and imaginative throughout. If there’s a prototypical Darlingside song, perhaps it’s “Go Back,” which opens with a mesmerizing a cappella harmony section reminiscent of the Eagles’ “Seven Bridges Road,” then rushes forward on a rhythmic river of guitars, bass, and mandolin through a verse, slows down, speeds up again, slows down, the vocals binding everything together with golden thread. A fascinating band. —Blair Jackson

Greg Blake

Mipso

Songs of Heart and Home Self-Released

Old Time Reverie Robust Records

Greg Blake gets back to his bluegrass roots Greg Blake isn’t kidding when he calls his debut solo album Songs of Heart and Home. Of 13 songs, over half have “home” in their title. Guitarist and singer Blake, who fronts progressive bluegrass combo Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, returns to his Appalachian roots with this collection, contributing a suitably bucolic original, “50 Miles from Nowhere,” and covering Bill Monroe’s high-lonesome, yet rejoicing, “Thinking About You.” Blake’s rich, grainy baritone, harkening to the hollers of his West Virginia home, goes from bluff and hearty to forlorn in a pinch, making potentially cloying sentiments about hearth and family ring true. His flatpicking skills are not neglected. On “Cruising Timber,” Blake’s labyrinthine picking rockets up a winding mounting road and barrels down the other side, colliding with chugging banjo, sawing fiddle and trilling mandolin, all of which flow like tributaries to a stream. On his duet with Laurie Lewis on her own “The Hills of My Home,” Blake’s guitar spirals down the tune’s jaunty switchbacks before bubbling up like a mountain spring. Yet, even on the blistering instrumental showcase “Home Is Where Your Heart Is,” a high-speed guitar duel with claw-hammer banjo, hyperactive fiddle, and pinpoint mandolin, Blake plays just enough, keeping power in reserve. In contrast, the bluegrass gospel of “Turn Your Heart Toward Home” builds upon coils of sorrowful fiddle and producer Sally Van Meter’s ghostly dobro. Spare and lilting, it’s a powerful reminder of the heartfelt tradition that underpins Blake’s firecracker virtuosity. —Pat Moran

Chapel Hill string band delivers a front-porch sweetness Nearly 20 years after the death of Bill Monroe, young bluegrassers still feel a need to explain how they’re different and how they’re the same. On this second album, Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Mipso continues to define itself and place within the tradition. In the two years since Dark Holler Pop, the trio—Jacob Sharp (mandolin), Joseph Terrell (guitar), and Wood Robinson (bass)—has become a quartet, discovering what they’d been missing all along: Libby Rodenbough, whose fiddle provides the perfect balance for Terrell’s guitar, each playing with a lively, gentle lyricism. She’s helped clarify the band’s folk-pop center, which is what makes their sound so distinct, and broaden their emotional range. There’s no banjo, no twang, no high tenor, and no bluegrass overdrive. Instead, there’s a front-porch sweetness to their sound, a thoughtfulness that makes every note count, especially on guitar, where Terrell’s leads quietly circle around the melodies, careful not to step too far in front of the music. The songs are smartly written, hewing surprisingly close to gospel (“My Father’s House”) and folk (“Eliza,” with its echoes of “CottonEyed Joe” and “Little Liza Jane”) while still sounding modern and secular. They’re subtle— if you miss the liner notes, you may never know that “Marianne” is the story of an interracial couple, or that “Down in the Water” is a mantra of self-awareness, or that “Everybody Knows” is about our struggle with existence. And every so often there’s a twist such on rhymes as “Cold and dark/we take our sorrow a la carte,” which is about as far from Bill Monroe as you can get. —Kenny Berkowitz AcousticGuitar.com 91

PLAYLIST

䜀甀椀琀愀爀 匀琀爀椀渀最猀 眀椀琀栀 一礀氀漀渀 漀爀 匀甀瀀攀爀 䌀愀爀戀漀渀 ㄀ ㄀ 吀爀攀戀氀攀猀 ᰠ䘀椀渀愀氀氀礀Ⰰ 愀 猀琀爀椀渀最 琀栀愀琀 栀愀猀 椀琀 愀氀氀Ⰰ 漀甀琀猀琀愀渀搀椀渀最 琀漀渀攀Ⰰ 匀甀瀀攀爀戀 愀挀琀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 氀漀渀最 氀椀昀攀ᴠ

䨀漀爀最攀 䴀漀爀攀氀

伀甀琀猀琀愀渀搀椀渀最 刀椀挀栀 吀漀渀攀 倀爀攀挀椀猀椀漀渀 吀甀渀椀渀最 䰀漀渀最 䰀椀昀攀 倀攀爀昀攀挀琀 䈀愀氀愀渀挀攀

ᰠ吀栀攀 䰀甀琀栀椀攀爀 匀琀爀椀渀最猀 栀愀瘀攀 洀愀搀攀 瀀漀猀猀椀戀氀攀 琀栀愀琀 洀礀 䘀氀愀洀攀渀挀漀 攀砀瀀爀攀猀猀椀漀渀 戀攀 戀愀氀愀渀挀攀搀 愀渀搀 昀甀氀氀 漀昀 洀甀猀椀挀愀氀椀琀礀⸀ᴠ

䰀甀琀栀椀攀爀 䴀甀猀椀挀 䌀漀爀瀀⸀ 䴀愀渀甀昀愀挀琀甀爀攀爀 漀昀 䰀甀琀栀椀攀爀 栀椀最栀 焀甀愀氀椀琀礀 猀琀爀椀渀最猀 㐀㤀 圀攀猀琀 㐀㐀琀栀 猀琀⸀ 㐀琀栀 䘀氀漀漀爀 一攀眀 夀漀爀欀Ⰰ 一夀 ㄀  ㄀  ∠ 吀㨀 ㈀㄀㈀ⴀ㌀㤀㜀ⴀ㘀 ㌀㠀 ∠ꀀ最甀椀琀愀爀䀀氀甀琀栀椀攀爀洀甀猀椀挀⸀挀漀洀 ∠ 眀眀眀⸀氀甀琀栀椀攀爀洀甀猀椀挀⸀挀漀洀

Ten Great Rock Strumming Patterns

ACOUSTIC ROCK ESSENTIALS

Acoustic Rock Essentials

Add ten popular rock rhythms (and their variations) to your strumming vocabulary. n

ALL THE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES TO UNPLUG YOUR ROCK AND ROLL

store.AcousticGuitar.com

n

Strumming patterns based on music by the Beatles, Coldplay, the Strokes, Buddy Holly, and more Tips for finding the right rhythm patterns for your own songs

By Andrew DuBrock Includes 16 minutes of video

Tools and parts for working on your guitar SINCE 1969 FAST SHIPPING ROCKSOLID GUARANTEE

stewmac.com BUY ONLINE NOW / GET OUR FREE 100PAGE CATALOG

92 February 2016

STEPHEN RAPHAEL MARCHIONE Houston Texas, USA www.marchione.com

Birds and Arrows Edge of Everything Redeye

Fine picking and ruminations on family life As Birds and Arrows, husband-and-wife duo Pete and Andrea Connolly have examined their evolving relationship over the course of eight years. Edge of Everything, their fourth fulllength album, continues that trend, while broadening the couple’s outlook and sonic palette. Building on Pete’s drums and Andrea’s acoustic guitar, producer Chris Stamey of the dB’s keeps layers of acoustic and electric guitars, fiddles, horns, and the Connolly’s conjoined harmonies clean and separate, evoking the burnished, Baroque folk-rock of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Neil Young’s Harvest. Birds and Arrows have always grappled with their domestic situation, but here the duo expands its focus beyond the insular worlds created by couples. On the haunted piano-and-percussion reverie “Wolf,” Andrea elicits the fears kindled by starting a family. “Desert Home” conjures family history as myth. Stately chiming acoustics and decaying electric guitars evoke heat, dusk, and scouring winds, as Andrea recounts the tragic tale of her grandfather who ran out of gas, water, and luck in the Mojave. With the Connellys planning a move from North Carolina to Tucson, Arizona, the desert looms large in this collection. Winding-down music-box banjo and grimy electric guitar map the barren landscape of “Trainwreck,” while the title track employs reverberating electronic effects to suggest whorls of stars in the clear desert sky. Yet Birds and Arrows’ expanding horizons go beyond mere geography. Edge of Everything is the Connellys’ most satisfying set to date, because they temper complex adult concerns with a youthful sense of wonder and zest for adventure. —P.M.

Get all of this in your e-mail inbox. Acoustic Guitar Notes delivers guitar and gear reviews, video lessons, exclusive interviews, flash sales, and more.

Sign up today: acousticguitar.com/Newsletter-Sign-Up

NOTES

ELLIOT LANDY

BOOKS

The Stories Behind the Music

The bard at work: Bob Dylan

Two books—one new, the other revised—venture inside the stellar songcraft of a pair of iconic pop acts BY GREG CAHILL

o self-respecting Dylan fan will want to miss Bob Dylan: All the Songs, the Story Behind Every Track, by Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin, though these backstories might be familiar to hardcore Dylanologists. Guesdon is a musician, composer, and producer; Margotin a music historian who has written biographies of U2, Radiohead, and the Rolling Stones. Now, they’ve tackled folk-and-rock enigma Bob Dylan and crafted a must-read for trivia buffs. Their authoritative 704-page book covers a half-century career marked by numerous twists and turns. It is informative (each listing includes the names of session players, engineers, and producers; as well as other pertinent studio info) and probing: Their summary of “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” from 1966’s hit album Blonde on Blonde, for example, is an in-depth analysis of the song’s origins, production, and lyrics. It spans three pages and credits Dylan’s then-new bride Sara Lownds, and not longtime significant other Joan Baez, as the chief inspiration for the song, and discusses the song’s spiritual connection to

N

94 February 2016

Blake, Rimbaud, and Ginsberg, among others. A “For Dylanologists” sidebar, one of many in the book, points out that the song’s chord changes influenced George Harrison’s “Long, Long, Long.” The song also moved Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters to stretch out artistically. At 354 pages, the reprint of Steve Turner’s 1994 book The Complete Beatles Songs lacks the depth of that Dylan tome, and falls short of Guesdon and Margotin’s own Beatles’ song collection. The backstory to many of these songs is familiar, since the Beatles have been the subject of numerous documentaries and biographies. Still, each listing contains the complete song lyrics and covers the key points, sometimes in great detail. Is it informative? Hey, this Beatles fanatic didn’t know that “Can You Take Me Back?,” the haunting song fragment heard at the end of “Cry Baby Cry” (and that segues seamlessly into John Lennon’s experimental “Revolution No. 9”) had emerged from the “I Will” sessions, the same jam session that spawned the Cilla Black hit “Step Inside Love.” There’s always something new to learn. AG

Bob Dylan: All the Songs, the Story Behind Every Track Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin Black Dog & Leventhal

The Complete Beatles Songs: The Stories Behind Every Track Written by the Fab Four Steve Turner Dey St.

GET MORE FROM YOUR GUITAR Understanding Chord Progressions

CARTER-STYLE GUITAR BASICS

WEEKLY WORKOUT

ACOUSTIC ROCK ESSENTIALS

DIMINISHED SCALES & ARPEGGIOS Start writing your own songs using diatonic chords.

CARTER-STYLE EMBELLISHMENTS

n

Learn how related chords fit together to form chord progressions

n

Create your own songs and transpose them into different keys

By Andrew DuBrock Includes 20 minutes of video BY SEAN MCGOWAN

Chord-Shape-Based Improvisation

FINGERSTYLE JAZZ GUITAR ESSENTIALS Discover how to turn familiar chord shapes into exciting improvised lines in the style of Joe Pass. n

Use different scales to steer the sound of a chord or progression

n

Move seamlessly between single-note melodies and jazzy chord inversions

GOSPEL SONGS FOR FINGERSTYLE GUITAR

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

Includes 18 minutes of video

By David Surette

By Sean McGowan

By Steve Baughman

LEARN A NEW SONG, STYLE, OR TECHNIQUE WITH ‘ACOUSTIC GUITAR GUIDES’ Start shopping today: store.AcousticGuitar.com

MARKETPLACE

| JUDY COLLINS

KINS | SEAN WAT

UM | HAPPY TRA

3 SONG S

GER PETE HUTTLIN

D PINK FLOY s Fearles SHAVER BILLY JOE & Chess Checkers N PETE R ROWA ght Midnight Moonli

GARY CLARK JR. | JEWEL ICGUITA 2015 | ACOUST

STEVIE RAY VAUGHA N Pride & Joy HANK WILLIAM S Jambalaya TOM WAITS Ol’ 55

CHR IS L COR NEL GRU NGE GOD

WOODY PINES | JOHN RENBOURN

R.COM

JANUARY 2016 | ACOUSTICG UITAR.COM

UNPLUGG ED!

GLEN HANSARD ‘ONCE’ CREATOR TO HIS BUSKI NG RETUR NS STYLE

SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW TODAY

NEW GEAR PHOE NIX OM Nylon String G KING RECORDINSingle 0 Harmonella

store. AcousticGuitar.com INSIDE

STAG E & STUD IO HOLIDAY GIFT GUID E

KATHY WINGERT AN AMERICAN CLASSIC

N GRACE DESIG Felix Preamp

PLUS ING 3 NYLON-STR PLAYE RSSWITH NO LIMIT YOUR IMPR OVE IMENT ACCOMPAN SKILLS WIN A RAINSONG SMOKEY P. 72

NEW GEAR RAINSONG SMOKEY SMCX HENRIK SEN BUD ACOUSTIC AMP FAITH MERCURY PARLOR

introducing finger-tone® fingerstyle Guitar Picks by ProPik®

PLUS HOW TO REFRES H YOUR JAZZ LICKS A GUIDE TO BUYING HANDMADE GUITARS

now you can get the same pure sound of fingernails and fingertips from a light weight metal finger pick • No fingernails to fuss with • Fingertips touch string as you play • Large and medium sizes available available at your favorite Music store or contact:

(3 1 0) 5 2 2 - 9 5 9 6

Guptill Music (714) 556-8013 www.guptillmusic.com

LUTHERIE INSTRUCTION

Available at themusiczoo.com

THE ULTIMATE FINGERSTYLE GUITAR GUIDE ALEX DE GRASSI FINGERSTYLE GUITAR METHOD THE COMPLETE EDITION

�n�� th� �n�st woods and craftsmanship

Learn to position the picking hand for efficient Honeproperly your technique and and comfortable playing. deepen yourfingerstyle understanding contemporary fingerstyle nofHow to grow and shape guitar this full method your with fingernails taught by a master of the n Where to place your picking genre. With notation and tab the best tone forhand 200for musical examples, excerpts from many nplus Detailed instruction on of deplaying Grassi’s arrangements rest and free and compositions.

Includes 6 hours of video strokes with the thumb and the fingers

worthyguitars.com AUSTRALIA 96 February 2016

store.AcousticGuitar.com

3 SONG S

NOVEMB ER

MARKETPLACE

Want to Pass it On?

LEARN j j j j j FINGERSTYLE Ó ‰œ œ œ ‰ œœ œœ œ . œ œ œ œj œj œ œj . œ ˙ œ œ œ œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ARRANGEMENTS œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ OF TRADITIONAL GOSPEL SONGS A

G

#4 4

œ

œ



œ

œ

0

0 3

0

0

3

0

3

G

p

i p

0

0 2

0

2

3

3

0

0

3

0

0 0

0

3

3

0

0 0 0

3

0

0

2

3

G

TO THEE

2

0

0

2

2

0

i

0 4

p

0 0 0

0 4

2

2

3

0 0

By Steve Baughman

0

2

3

2

0

0

0

0

3

2

3

p

i

0

0

0 2

0

3

p

0 3

0

0

0

j œ. œ œ ˙ œ œ œ

GOSPEL SONGS FOR FINGERSTYLE GUITAR

p

2

3

j j j j j j j œ . œ œ œ œj œ œ Œ œœ œ . œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ NEARER, œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œMY GOD,œ i p i

3

www.zimnicki.com (313) 381-2817

0

0

0

0

3

3

D 7/F# G D 7/F# G A m7 B bdim7 G /B j œ . œj œj œ j j œ j œ œ œj œ .. œ œ œ œ b œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ˙ œœ œ œ œ˙ œ œ œ˙ œ œ b œ˙ œ œ n œ˙ œœ œœ œ œ œ ˙ 0

0

0

0

1 2

0 0

0 0 0

0

1

Each chapter in 0 0 1 3 3 2 Gospel Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar contains G with instruction D 7/F# j j j œj œj j a PDF œœœ ˙ j j j œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ .and notation b œ œ n œ œj œand œœ œœ œœan˙˙ œ œ œœ œ œœ ..œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œaccompanying œ ˙ video. œ œ 0

2

3

1 3

2

0

0

0

3

0

0 0 3

2 0

2

3

1 2

2

0

1

2

2 3

0

Gary Zimnicki Guitars

2

2 0 0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

2

2

0 0 3

0

3

0

3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

3

3

2 2

3

1 2

2 0

2

2

Availble to download at store.AcousticGuitar.com

0

The Guitar Legacy Program Learn More Today! 0 0 0 0 0

D 9/F#

G

œ œœ œœœ œ œœ ˙ ˙

0 0 3

0 0 0

2

ACOUSTIC CONNECTIONS.

Microphones and pickups for guitars, violins, mandolins, banjos, and other stringed instruments. Brands include: MiniFlex 2Mic Soundhole Microphones; GHS Soundhole mics; McIntyre, L.R. Baggs, and B-Band pickups; Elixir strings and Homepsun Tapes. International orders are welcome. On the Web at www.acousticon.com

0 1 2

2

guitarsintheclassroom.org

ADVERTISER INDEX Acoustic Guitar Store, store.acousticguitar.com . . . . . . . . 95

AcousticConnections.indd 1 5/29/12 4:22 PM Paul Reed Smith Guitars, prsguitars.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Elliott Capos, elliottcapos.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar.com/subscribe. . . . . . . . . . 99

Epiphone Guitars, epiphone.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

The Acoustic Music Company Ltd.,

Ernie Ball Music Man, ernieball.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Radial Engineering, radialeng.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 RainSong Graphite Guitars, rainsong.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

theacousticmusicco.co.uk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

ESP Guitars, esptakamine.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Acoustic Remedy Cases, acousticremedycases.com . . . . 95

G7th, Ltd., g7th.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Alvarez, alvarezguitars.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Guitar Center, guitarcenter.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49, 53

Andrew White Guitars, andrewwhiteguitars.com . . . . . . . 91

Guitar Humidor, guitarhumidor.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

Bourgeois Guitars, pantheonguitars.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Hoffee Cases, carbonfibercases.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Santa Cruz Guitar Company, santacruzguitar.com . . . . . 51

Bread & Roses, breadandroses.org . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Homespun, homespun.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Shubb Capos, shubb.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Breezy Ridge Instruments, Ltd., jpstrings.com . . . . . . . . 85

Ibanez Guitars, ibanez.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Steven Kaufman Enterprises, Inc., flatpik.com . . . . . 72, 74

C.F. Martin & Co., Inc., martinguitar.com . . . . . . . 16, 69, 100

Janet Davis Music, jdmc.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

Collings Guitars, collingsguitars.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Kyser Musical Products, kysermusical.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

D’Addario & Company, daddario.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60, 76

Luthier Music Corp., luthiermusic.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Dana B. Goods, danabgoods.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

Mackie Designs, mackie.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

DR Music, drstrings.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Marchione Guitars, marchione.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Dreamguitars.com, dreamguitars.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Original Guitar Chair, originalguitarchair.com . . . . . . . . . . 72

The Swannanoa Gathering, swangathering.com . . . . . . . 85

Elixir Strings, elixirstrings.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 6

P.K. Thompson Guitars, pkthompsonguitars.com . . . . . . . 87

Yamaha Corporation of America, yamaha.com . . . . . . . . . 9

Redeye International, redeyeinternational.com . . . . . . . . . 90 Saga Musical Instruments, sagamusic.com . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Sam Ash Direct, samash.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Stewart-MacDonald’s Guitar Supply, stewmac.com . . . 92 Sweetwater Sound, sweetwater.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Tanglewood Guitar Co., tanglewoodguitars.com . . . . . . . 55 Taylor, taylorguitars.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

AcousticGuitar.com 97

VIDEO AT ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

GREAT ACOUSTICS

Lost & Found Singer-songwriter David Wilcox reconnects with an old friend BY MARK KEMP

n 2005, singer-songwriter David Wilcox sold some of his prized instruments so he could take his wife and teenage son on a year-long journey across the country in a biodiesel truck pulling an Airstream trailer. One of the instruments he sold was an Olson guitar that’s taken a circuitous journey of its own. Wilcox got the instrument when a previous Olson—his favorite guitar—was stolen. The luthier, James Olson, felt bad for the singerguitarist and offered to replace it. “He said, ‘Dave, I want it to be a blessing to you. I’ll just charge you for the materials,” Wilcox recalls in video about the instrument. Wilcox decided to put the money he would have spent into getting the best woods he could find. A quirky friend of Wilcox’s knew of a rare Adirondack red-spruce tree that had fallen in the Tennessee mountains during a hurricane. Not only are Adirondacks rare in the Great Smoky Mountains, but since the tree was high up on a rocky ridge in minimal soil with limited water, it had grown slowly, making the grain very tight— perfect for a guitar top. Wilcox was able to get wood from the tree, but he had a hard time convincing Olson that it was genuine Adirondack, so they sent the wood off for a test just to prove it. Olson was so excited about the results that he selected rosewood from his reserves to use for the back and sides. “He said, ‘You know, I’ve got this piece of Brazilian. I’ve had it my shop since ’72,’” Wilcox remembers. Wilcox hadn’t thought much about the guitar since he sold it, but when he found out that it had resurfaced last year at Dream Guitars in Asheville, North Carolina, where the singer-songwriter lives, he jumped at the chance to tell its story and play a song. You can watch the David Wilcox video at acousticguitar.com.

Acoustic Guitar (ISSN 1049-9261) is published monthly by String Letter Publishing, Inc., 501 Canal Blvd, Suite J, Richmond, CA 94840. Periodical postage paid at Richmond, CA 94804 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send changes of address to Acoustic Guitar, String Letter Publishing, Inc., PO Box 3500, Big Sandy, TX 75755. Changes of address may also be made on line at AcousticGuitar.com. Printed in the USA. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Imex Global Solutions, PO Box 32229, Hartford, CT 06150-2229.

98 February 2016

DREAMGUITARS.COM

I

GET TO KNOW THE MUSIC, MUSICIANS, AND INSTRUMENTS THAT MATTER. DAVE VAN RONK | PETER CASE | PATTY GRIFFIN | HONEY DEWDROPS ROLLING STONES Sweet Virginia GREEN DAY Warning DAVE VAN RONK Hang Me, Oh Hang Me

3 SONGS

WIN A MARTIN HD-28 P. 88

FEBRUARY 2016 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

THE

WOODY PINES | JOHN RENBOURN

DECEMBER 2015 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

FROM DOC WATSON TO KURT COBAIN, MARTIN’S DREADNOUGHT HAS REVOLUTIONIZED POPULAR MUSIC FOR 100 YEARS

ART OF THE AXE

STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN Pride & Joy HANK WILLIAMS Jambalaya TOM WAITS Ol’ 55

3 SONGS

WIN A CUSTOM SHOP MARTIN 00-28K

GEORGE HARRISON Hear Me Lord THE LEFT BANKE Walk Away Renée CHARLEY JORDAN Keep it Clean

3 SONGS

BIG ONE

GARY CLARK JR. | JEWEL

DON HENLEY | SHAWN COLVIN | PIERRE BENSUSAN | LOS LOBOS

JANUARY 2016 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

GLEN HANSARD ‘ONCE’ CREATOR RETURNS TO HIS BUSKING STYLE

9 INLAY ARTISTS STEP INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

NEW GEAR McELROY STANDARD JUMBO

3 DADGAD MASTERS SHARE THEIR WISDOM

PLUS 4 WAYS TO PLAY WITH A TENSIONFREE THUMB

BREEDLOVE LIMITED EDITION ALL-MYRTLEWOOD CONCERT

HOW MELODIC SOLOING CAN ADD DEPTH TO YOUR PLAYING

HOW TO SOUND LIKE ED SHEERAN

FENDER ACOUSTIC PRO & ACOUSTIC SFX AMPS

NEW GEAR LICHTY SMALL JUMBO TAKAMINE EF360S-TT MACKIE FREEPLAY PA

LEARN TO PLAY A RAGTIME TUNE WIN A RAINSONG SMOKEY P. 72 STAGE

& STUDIO PERFORMANCE & RECORDING TIPS

RECORDING TIPS PERFORMANCE & STAGE & STUDIO

FREEPLAY PA MACKIE EF360S-TT TAKAMINE SMALL JUMBO LICHTY NEW GEAR PLAYING TO YOUR DEPTH CAN ADD SOLOING MELODIC HOW

ACOUSTIC SFX AMPS ACOUSTIC PRO & FENDER

A RAGTIME TUNE LEARN TO PLAY ED SHEERAN SOUND LIKE HOW TO

GET ACOUSTIC GUITAR.

WISDOM THEIR SHARE MASTERS 3 DADGAD

CONCERT ALL-MYRTLEWOOD LIMITED EDITION BREEDLOVE

AXE OF THE ART

THE SPOTLIGHT STEP INTO 9 INLAY ARTISTS

STANDARD JUMBO McELROY NEW GEAR

NEW GEAR RAINSONG SMOKEY SMCX HENRIKSEN BUD ACOUSTIC AMP FAITH MERCURY PARLOR PLUS HOW TO REFRESH YOUR JAZZ LICKS A GUIDE TO BUYING HANDMADE GUITARS

GUITARS HANDMADE TO BUYING A GUIDE LICKS JAZZ YOUR REFRESH HOW TO PLUS PARLOR MERCURY FAITH BUD ACOUSTIC AMP HENRIKSEN SMOKEY SMCX RAINSONG NEW GEAR

THUMB FREE TENSIONWITH A TO PLAY 4 WAYS PLUS

Don’t miss a single story. Subscribe to Acoustic Guitar today. DECEMBER 2015 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

00-28K MARTIN SHOP CUSTOM WIN A

FOR 100 YEARS POPULAR MUSIC HAS REVOLUTIONIZED MARTIN’S DREADNOUGHT TO KURT COBAIN, GEORGE HARRISON FROM DOC WATSON

ONE BIG

store.AcousticGuitar.com/Subscribe store.

CHARLEY JORDAN Walk Away Renée THE LEFT BANKE

DON HENLEY | SHAWN COLVIN | PIERRE BENSUSAN | LOS LOBOS

Ol’ 55 TOM WAITS Jambalaya HANK WILLIAMS Pride & Joy STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN

S GNOS 3

Don’t D on’t miss a single story. Subscribe today. AcousticGuitar.com/Subscribe

meet the family

New Look. Six Envelopes. Long-lasting Tone. The same Martin Strings you fell in love with in the first place.

Learn more about the family of Martin strings at martinstrings.com.

STAGE&STUDIO THE ACOUSTIC MUSICIAN’S GUIDE TO CREATING, PERFORMING & RECORDING

SPRING 2016

N O I T U L S? O O I V D U E T S R

SIC U G M N F I O D NB B R R I O A E C H E IO T

RIS STUDIOTIME.

DONN JONES PHOTO

PLUS HOW TO TURN YOUR iPHONE INTO A MINI STUDIO

LEARN TO MIX YOUR ONSTAGE SOUND WITH MICS & PEDALS

CRAFT YOUR PRACTICE TO SUIT YOUR PERFORMANCE

LEARN TO BUILD AN EFFECTIVE SETLIST

The Fishman of Acoustic Preamps Our new Platinum Pro EQ and Platinum Stage universal preamps are designed for players looking for a pro-quality preamp/DI for their acoustic guitar, violin, cello, bass, resonator guitar, banjo, mandolin or other acoustic instruments that may be too small or too precious to have an onboard preamp. Class-A analog circuitry makes it a preamp… Great sound makes it a Fishman. Platinum Series Preamps from Fishman – For over 30 years, the world’s #1 maker of acoustic instrument pickups & preamps.

Inspired Performance TechnologyTM

fishman.com

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

HOW TO RECORD ON AN iOS DEVICE Improve the recording quality of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with these dedicated apps and mics BY JASON BORISOFF he Apple iPhone has become an allpervasive force in many musicians’ day-to-day lives. The ability to record audio is an obvious thing to include in a stock iPhone, as Apple does in the form of Voice Memos, but some of the third-party recording apps—including GarageBand—and additional hardware give musicians impressive options for laying down a new song, a demo, a fleeting lick, an incredible street guitarist, or an entire lesson, anytime and anywhere. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, here are some recording options available to you.

T

VOICE MEMOS Voice Memos comes with your iPhone. It’s a very basic app that’s pretty idiot proof. Hit

record and then talk, play, or sing into the built-in mic (iPod Touch 2G users will need an external mic), and hit stop when you’re done. It’s a good idea to navigate to the file-management page to rename your clips so you can easily find them later on. You can also e-mail any sound file under 15 MB directly from your phone or sync to your computer to transfer your sound clips. Voice Memos is not designed to produce high-quality audio. It doesn’t have any quality options, and it records to a compressed M4A digital format. When recording basic blues fingerpicking, the sound was somewhat grainy and unclear, with a slight roll-off of bass and high frequencies. While Voice Memos does suffice for capturing musical ideas, the inability to record uncompressed

files results in a significant loss of sound quality.

THIRD-PARTY MEMO APPS Thankfully, there are a host of other great apps similar to Voice Memo that include more useful functions and will significantly improve your audio quality. Apps iTalk (free or $1.99 for a premium upgade), Audio Memos (99¢), and SpeakEasy (99¢) are all popular and inexpensive alternatives that offer better file-organization features and adjustable sound quality, with the option of recording to uncompressed file formats. When shopping for recording apps, check out the sound-quality options. In general, uncompressed formats, like WAV and AIFF, will provide better sound quality than compressed formats like MP3 and M4A. STAGE&STUDIO 3

MULTITRACK RECORDERS If you’re not satisfied with laying down just one track, consider looking into a multitrack app. While generally more expensive than voice recorders, apps like like GarageBand ($4.99), MultiTrack DAW ($9.99), Audiostar ($4.99), RecordStudio ($4.99), and StudioApp ($1.99) offer basic multitrack recording capabilities that allow you to dub in layered parts. MultiTrack DAW, for instance, allows you to record and edit up to 24 tracks of professional CD-quality, 44.1 kHz/16-bit audio. The only catch is that you can only record one track at a time, but, for example, a songwriter could conceivably produce an acceptable finished product with nothing but an iPhone and a compatible external mic. Multitrack apps are relatively simple to use and come complete with basic DAW controls like panning, level, mute, solo, and arm record, plus adjustable input and monitor levels. Some, like Monle and MultiTrack DAW, offer basic editing functions such as audio-region splicing and crossfading. Though they don’t hold a candle to professional computer-based DAWs like Pro

Tools or Cubase, the functionality of these iPhone multitrackers is very impressive, considering their price and portability. When it comes time to share what you’ve recorded, there are a few different ways to transfer your files to a computer, depending on the app. The most common way is through e-mail attachment, however there is a 15 MB file limit. Wi-Fi sync is a common option for larger files, as well as uploading to SoundCloud. Some apps even allow you to access FTP servers.

EXTERNAL MICS AND AUDIO INTERFACES To reach their fullest potential, recording apps require external microphones, and there are several after-market products that can increase the sound quality of your recordings. One option is to get an external microphone like the Olympus ME51S stereo mic ($29), iRig Acoustic ($49.99; it can be pairedpair with the AmpliTube modeling app), the Blue Mikey stereo condenser mic ($99), which connects to the dock adapter. While providing greatly improved gain and frequency response over the built-in mic, these external microphones

do not allow you to monitor sound at the same time you’re recording, which makes them incompatible with multitrackers, where you need to listen and record simultaneously. A great solution to this dilemma is Sonoma Wire Works’ GuitarJack ($199), which is designed to be used with Sonoma’s FourTrack app ($9.99) but is compatible with most other multitrack apps. The GuitarJack plugs directly into an iPhone and iPod Touch docking jack and gives you one 1/8-inch headphone output and one external stereo mic input with 60 dB of level control and pad, normal, and boost modes. There also are several good interfaces on the market that can be used to connect mics or instruments directly to your iPhone. Those include the Sonoma Wire Works’ GuitarJack 2 USB interface ($70), the Behringer Guitar Link UCG ($40), and the Apogee Jam 96k Guitar Interface ($120). While the iPhone may not yet be poised to replace a home studio, or even your portable stereo digital recorder, cell phone recording apps are gaining remarkable ground. S&S

Meet the little preamp everyone is talking about. Studio Quality, Stage Friendly, 2 Channel Instrument & Mic Preamp / EQ / DI / Blender “I’ve been loving the FELiX. I feel that the pure tone of my banjo is now coming through, and that nothing is degrading the sound along the way. I would highly recommend it to those that can hear the difference!” — Béla Fleck, Grammy Winning Instrumentalist and Composer “Congrats on making a great box. I’ve been hoping for something of this caliber for years and years. It renders my pedal board of the last several years obsolete and useless. It’s easy to use and sounds like I’d hoped. Bottom line - this is the best preamp I’ve ever used.” — Bryan Sutton, Six Time Winner of the IBMA’s Guitarist of the Year “Man, FELiX sounds great! And it really helps because it eliminates another piece of gear for me. Now, I have everything I need in a single unit: the mic preamp for my acoustic bass, great EQ, and flexible I/O. It works great for my electric bass too. Home-run! Killer!” — John Patitucci, Bass Solo Artist, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter Designed and built in the USA by

www.gracedesign.com

4 STAGE&STUDIO

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

A new website aims to be the Airbnb of music studios BY PATRICK SULLIVAN

GENEVIEVE PIERSON

RECORDING REVOLUTION

Shelby Earl

he idea seemed too good to be original, Michael Williams remembers thinking. “A studio is a focal point of music,” he says. “It’s sacred. No matter what you’re doing, it goes back to the recording studio.” So somewhere on the internet, Williams reasoned, there had to be a “sharing economy” website designed to help musicians find studios and book time. Airbnb, after all, began revamping vacation rentals back in 2008. “But I started researching and couldn’t find anything like that for studios,” the 27-year-old says. So the Los Angeles-area computer programmer swung into action, completing the first version of a studio sharing site in a single evening. Williams isn’t a musician, though he has connections in the music world. He’s been building websites since he was teenager and recently founded the tech job site Codeity.com.

T

The site he dubbed Studiotime (studiotime.io) allows both studios and musicians to create profiles. Artists can search by city, check availability, and book time online. A rating system permits public feedback. “Artists can easily compare what’s out there,” Williams says. “They can see which studios have the equipment they need. They can figure out, ‘Here’s what I can expect to spend.’” Studiotime also handles payment, which must be made in advance. Musicians can use credit cards or Paypal, and the studio can accept or deny reservations. “We take a 10 percent cut once the studio accepts,” Williams says. The site went live in March and drew 300,000 visits in the first week. Several thousand musicians have joined. So have hundreds of studios, from soundproofed basements to well-known facilities working with major-label acts.

‘I can see this being really useful if you have a pressing need to get a recording project done quickly and don’t have time to call around to find an open studio.’ SHELBY EARL

STAGE&STUDIO 5

Eastside Sound Studios in New York City is featured on studiotime.io.

6 STAGE&STUDIO

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

ROLAND MUENGER

STAGE&STUDIO 7

Can the “sharing economy” concept work in the studio world, where personal relationships have long dominated? Even some Studiotime studios are skeptical. Bryan Matheson has run Skyline Studios in Oakland, California, for 22 years. He’s a producer, recording engineer, and Grammynominated vocalist. Matheson joined Studiotime in April, but hasn’t had a single booking through the site—and he sounds dubious of the concept. “I don’t know that people really have a problem booking studio time,” says Matheson.

“This might be a solution in search of a problem.” He’s also concerned about one of the site’s fundamental features—it allows you to book studio time without actually talking to the person who runs the place where you’ll be making music. “When someone calls me to book time, I engage with them,” Matheson says. “I find out where they’re trying to go and support them. ‘Oh, you want to track acoustic drums—we have a lot of experience.’ ‘Oh, you want to do metal guitars—I’ve got a guy you should call.’”

There are tuners and there is Peterson.

SC-1 Clip-On Strobe Tuner

Lisa Berman - Simplyviolin.com Featured - VLN Sweetened Tuning™ for: Violin - Perfect fifths for 4 & 5-string violin | Viola - Perfect fifths for viola | Cello - Perfect fifths for cello

Trusted by professionals since 1948.

The Sound of Precision ©2011 Peterson Tuners. StroboClip and the Sweetened Tunings logo are trademarks of Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.

8 STAGE&STUDIO

That pre-session engagement is especially important for newer musicians, Matheson says. “It’s OK to not have a clue,” he says. “But you need to get a clue before you come into the studio and waste a bunch of money. So I try to help them out. And I don’t think that’s the kind of thing you automate.” Andrew De Lucia, owner of Blue Rhode Studio in North Hollywood, has a more positive take. He’s already had one or two bookings through the site. “It was quick and easy,” he says. “They messaged me, made the payment, and then they came in and that was about it.” Studiotime, he says, is a boon to independent studios that offer a good value to musicians. “You’ve got quality studios charging a fair price that nobody knows about,” De Lucia says. “This will help people find them.” Musicians that have used Studiotime are hard to locate, since the site is so new. But some artists see potential. To Seattle singer and songwriter Shelby Earl, the site looks like a useful tool that could help musicians find a specific kind of facility or piece of gear. “I can also see this being really useful if you have a pressing need to get a recording project done quickly and you don’t have time to call around to find an open studio,” she says.  Musicians new to recording might find the site especially helpful. “I know when I set out to make my first solo record I had no idea what reasonable studio rates were, or what studios were even out there,” Earl says. But many well-regarded Seattle studios aren’t yet on the site, she notes. “Like anything, I suppose, I would want to know the listings were pretty comprehensive before I trusted Studiotime as a one-stop shop,” she says. New York City cellist Sean Grissom, who has produced a dozen recordings, thinks musicians with no studio relationships might find Studiotime helpful. But he also stresses the importance of knowing who you’re working with. “I think going into the studio is like a doctor’s or mechanic’s visit,” he says. “Knowing the people, environment, and personalities is vital to help an artist get the best result for their time and money.”  Other musicians note that Studiotime doesn’t seem to have many ratings yet—and sparse profiles make it hard to see what some studios actually offer. User feedback is already prompting Williams to revamp the site. He wants to help studios build better profiles and allow easier comparison of equipment. “We’re so new and we’ve gained so much traction in so little time, so we’re still looking at all those things, he says. “But we are redesigning and we will relaunch the site soon.” S&S

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

GROUP DYNAMICS

How to mix yourself onstage by working a mic and using boost pedals BY SCOTT NYGAARD

f you play in a band where you’re required to fill the roles of rhythm and lead instrumentalist, you know that the onstage volume level needed for each can be very different. Whether you play in an acoustic-electric band with drums, electric bass, keyboards, and so on; in an allacoustic bluegrass band that clusters around one mic; or any other kind of group that uses a combination of mics and pickups onstage, it can be difficult to match the level of your solos and fills with your rhythm instrumental level. For example, most guitarists, especially aggressive rhythm players, tend to play chords and strums harder than single-note melodies, and it’s difficult for anyone to raise the level of their solos above the rest of the band simply by playing harder. Fortunately there are a few ways to adjust your volume level onstage so that your solos, fills, and melodies are audible and your rhythm playing doesn’t overwhelm the band. If you play into mics, you can “work” the mic,

O

varying your dynamics by getting closer or farther away from the mic, and if you only use a pickup to amplify your acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, or ukulele, you can use a volume or boost pedal to increase the gain when you’re soloing. For many players, a combination of these methods works best. Here are some tips on “mixing” your sound onstage in different performing situations.

WORK THE MIC If you only use a standing mic to amplify your instrument through a PA, your “mixing” options are simple: increase or decrease the distance from the mic to the instrument. The advantage of working a mic is that you can get more volume variations than the two levels of gain you get from a boost pedal. Working a mic is a bit like using a mixingboard fader to control the level of your instrument, and this can allow you to increase the volume slightly for fills or adjust your overall volume depending on the requirements of the

song—getting closer to the mic for a quieter fingerpicking accompaniment part or farther away for a boisterous basher. One disadvantage of only using a mic is that you have to pay close attention to where you’re standing onstage. Wandering too far off-mic will effectively silence your instrument from the audience’s perspective, and veering into the mic accidentally can produce volume spikes and feedback. If you sing and play, you’ll need to pay attention to your proximity to two mics at once. To get the best results from working a mic, you should become intimately familiar with the mic you’re using. If you’re a touring musician who plays through a different PA every night, you may choose to travel with your own mic, but most good acoustic sound engineers have chosen their mics to match the rest of their system. You can consult the sound engineer to see if he or she wants to use it, but keep in mind that every mic sounds and reacts differently with different STAGE&STUDIO 9

THESE ARE THE BOOKS THAT SHOULD HAVE COME WITH YOUR INSTRUMENT.

store.AcousticGuitar.com

PA components, so bringing your own mic is no guarantee that your guitar will sound the same from gig to gig. Whatever mic you use, the sound check is your opportunity to check out the characteristics of the mic and determine how to position yourself to get the best volume and tone. Get to the sound check on time (or early), so you can check the guitar first. This gives the engineer time to work on your sound and gives you time to see how the mic reacts. In a bluegrass band, I generally stay about 7 to 8 inches away from the mic for rhythm and move in as close as I can for solos. But many mics have a proximity effect, which increases the bass response when you get close to it. Make sure your instrument doesn’t get so boomy when you move in that the increased bass effectively drowns out your solo, a potential problem for guitarists. The closer the mic is to the soundhole, the louder you’ll be, but most of the time, getting close to the soundhole increases the bass frequencies too dramatically, so it’s best to point the mic either at the fretboard around the 14th fret (the best choice for flatpickers) or down by the lower part of the bridge, as long as your hand doesn’t get in the way. There are some mic and guitar combinations, for example, that won’t get too boomy when the mic is close to the soundhole, but you should determine this at sound check, not in the middle of the gig.

BOOST PEDALS

store.ClassicalGuitarMagazine.com

store.AllThingsStrings.com

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

10 STAGE&STUDIO

If you use a pickup to amplify your acousticelectric instrument, whether through a PA, an amp, or both, one of the best ways to vary your volume is with a boost pedal that allows you to switch between two preset volumes (see “Get a Boost” below for some specific models). While some players are comfortable using a volume pedal, which provides infinitely variable adjustment between the maximum and minimum settings, it can be distracting to be constantly worrying about what your foot is doing. And it can be difficult to accurately preset the two specific volumes you primarily need. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that boost pedals, at least those currently available, only work with mono signals, so if you’re using a dual-source pickup system with a stereo cable, you’re out of luck. You should also be careful about radically boosting the signal of an internal mic, which is more prone to feedback than a pickup, especially if you’re running this signal into the monitors. You can also try using an A/B switch into two amp or PA channels, setting one channel

for your rhythm volume and the other for your solo volume. It’s cheaper than a dedicated pedal, and since the signal path stays clean, it can sound great, although if you have a few band members doing this, you can use up PA channels pretty quickly.

MIC AND PEDAL You can get a lot of flexibility by combining a pickup with a standing mic, increasing your signal by working the mic, stepping on your pedal, or both. If you like to roam the stage untethered, you can use the pickup signal as your basic sound, and then step up to the mic to increase your lead volume, add a bit of “air” to your solo sound, and focus the audience’s attention on your solo. Most players who use this setup run a pickup-only signal in the monitors to reduce the chance of feedback.

GET A BOOST Many affordable acoustic instrument preamps include a volume boost among their many functions. Most boost pedals designed for electric guitarists color the signal to some degree and are often intended to drive amps into distortion, but the Fulltone Fat-Boost ($134) or Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster ($79) can be used as a clean boost pedal by rolling off the “drive” entirely and adjusting the treble and bass controls, making the tone of the boosted signal nearly indistinguishable from the unboosted signal. Some graphic EQ pedals, such as the seven-band Boss GE-7 ($99), can also be used as a boost pedal, either with no EQ changes, or with a different EQ setting for the boosted signal if you prefer. S&S

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

PULL IT TOGETHER IN PRACTICE—KEEP IT TOGETHER ONSTAGE ow you practice is a direct reflection of how you perform. Even if your playing in the practice room sounds good, you need to practice and learn the piece in a manner robust enough to withstand the pressure of onstage performance. After all, with the stage, lights, excitement, and expectant audience, performing isn’t at all like the practice studio. Hans Sturm, assistant professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and professor emeritus at Ball State University, offers some ideas on how to practice, so your playing holds up in performance.

H

DON’T DIVE IN Let’s say you’re learning a new piece. If you’re using sheet music, don’t just put the music on the stand and start sightreading. The problem

The way you approach music in the practice session can greatly affect your success in performance BY LOUISE LEE

with jumping in that way is that “you’ll make many mistakes and they’ll become part of your memory, strongly associated with that crucial first experience of the piece,” Sturm says. During the stress of a performance, you’re likely to make those early mistakes again even if you supposedly “unlearned” them. You want to reduce the number of early mistakes, so you don’t have to undo them in the first place. Here’s how: First, listen to a good recording, and don’t even look at the music. Just close your eyes and listen, Sturm says. Internalize the piece, and sing along. Then, listen with the music in hand. Build an interpretation, and visualize yourself playing the work. Then review the piece without the recording, singing it internally and imagining the physical requirements of playing it. Mark up

the music, creating solutions to problems even before they crop up. Only then should you take up the instrument, since you now have a good impression in your mind of melodies and rhythms. If you play something wrong, you’ll notice immediately and can address it right away, so you’ll have less to unlearn and fewer early mistakes lurking in the back of your mind.

DON’T ‘BULLDOZE’ A common, but misguided way of practicing is starting at the beginning of the piece and “bulldozing” your way through until you make a mistake, repeating the offending measure a few times until the flub is “fixed,” looping back to the beginning, playing until another mistake is made and fixed, looping back, and so on. This practice “adds anxiety to a performance because you’re practicing STAGE&STUDIO 11

stopping at each mistake,” Sturm says. You should “make each moment in practice a mini performance—always performing the work with a performance mentality, whether it is only two beats or four movements,” he adds. Instead of bulldozing, try “framing.” Select a “frame size,” whether a few notes, a few bars, or an entire passage that you want to work on. Play it without stopping and ask yourself where the problems are only afterward. Then resize the frame to focus on the spot or spots where you had problems. “The key is not to stop—to complete the task,” says Sturm, noting that when you’re onstage, after all, you’re playing an entire piece

without stopping. Focusing on one issue at a time within a frame will let you “hone in and refine issues in great detail, all while practicing performing.”

USE THE SHEET MUSIC—OR LOSE IT Players might have a piece almost memorized and during practice look at the music only in passages where they think they need it. Then in the performance, they bring the sheet music out with them just in case, but if they glance at the music, they risk looking at the wrong place in the adrenaline of the moment and becoming startled, Sturm says. This is especially true for classical or jazz players. The best way to avoid being thrown off track by the music is to either use the score entirely or don’t use it at all. If you’re planning to use the music onstage, practice with it and read the entire page, he says. If you’re not going to use the music during the performance, don’t use it in practice, either.

If you’re not going to use the music during the performance, QUIET THE JUDGE don’t use it in Everyone has an internal judge who’s waiting to stop practice, either. ad_AER_trio*_Layout 1 2015-08-20 11:28 AM Page 1 and berate you at every mistake. The

12 STAGE&STUDIO

negativity can wear you down and distract you in the practice room, so give your internal judge another role that’s more positive and helps you strengthen your performances. “Ask your judge to be a silent observer during the performance of a frame,” Sturm says. “After you have completed the frame, ask your judge to share a specific observation to help the level of performance improve. This gives the judge a positive role and helps to limit unproductive negative opinion. You are slowly changing the internal dialog to work for you rather than against you.” During practice, choose the frame to work on and have your judge rate your performance on a scale from 1 to 5 before repeating the frame again. “Over time, your judge will evolve into a role more like a working partner and you will find that you will begin to have more control over the internal dialogue,” Sturm says. “This is not to say that the overtly negative voice of the judge won’t ever return to haunt you, but you will have begun to engage the voice, and its power to disturb your focus will be diminished.” S&S

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

BUILDING A SET LIST

8 ways to create a song order that will keep you and your audience interested BY RUTH PARRY

set of music is typically about 12 songs, but it takes quite a bit of thought to choose the best songs and put them in the right order. A good set is not a grocery list. Nor should it just be a list of your current favorite tunes. When putting together a set list, you need to address your personal style and balance that with the needs of the person who hired you and the event itself. You also need to make sure you keep your audience interested. Generally, a good set begins with impact, ebbs in the middle, and ends in dramatic fashion. Along with this overall concept, there are ways to enhance your set, so you can present a satisfying performance, for you and your audience.

A

1 START WITH SOMETHING IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE For the first song, play something you could theoretically play in your sleep. At the beginning of your performance, your adrenalin will be pumping, so choose a familiar song that

reflects your style and gives you some psychological comfort. This is both a good way to calm the jitters and provide a good warm-up for your fingers and joints that isn’t overly taxing. It’s important to include a variety of song styles and moods in your set, but it’s better if your first song is not a slow, sad ballad. Start with something upbeat or medium tempo to give the audience a positive first impression.

instead. For example, if you’re strictly a blues musician, try following a blues song that has a feeling of anger or frustration with a blues that has a sense of humor or joy. Or mix instrumental tunes with songs that have lyrics. Remember that there are songs with different time signatures. A lot of tunes are in 4/4, but perhaps you know a song in 3/4 or 6/8. Mixing things up in this way also adds dimension and interest.

2 KEEP THINGS VARIED

3 PICK THE RIGHT SONGS FOR THE OCCASION

You can achieve this in different ways. For example, mix up your fast songs with slow ones. I once heard a friend’s band experiment with playing only upbeat tunes for their set. Afterward, they realized not only that variety was necessary and that too much of one thing is simply too much, they were tired! Another way to add variety is to change styles. Follow a blues tune with a country or pop song, perhaps. Of course, if you focus specifically on one style of music, you can change the feeling

Consider the event itself. Are you playing a wedding? Background music for an art show? A performance-focused concert? If you’re uncertain about the expectations, ask whoever hired you. My band once performed at a house concert that began with a reception where we played background music, and after the dinner hour we played a set in a concert setting. The set lists for these two environments were very different, but both captured our sound and style. STAGE&STUDIO 13

4 GAUGE THE CROWD’S MOOD You might sense the need to change course during a performance, depending on the mood of the crowd, so it’s important to have a cache of extra songs to choose from and be flexible about your song order. Early in the evening, the crowd may seem more subdued, and you may choose to play relaxing, background music. As the evening continues, the crowd size may increase and a party atmosphere might start to emerge. Your song choices should change gears along with the audience. Some of this you can predict, given the nature of the event, but it’s good to be prepared for any surprises.

5 HAVE SOME EXTRA SONGS HANDY Another good reason to have a cache of additional tunes you can play is that you may be asked to play longer than you expected. It’s important to know the logistics of the evening before you arrive, such as how many sets you’re being asked to play and the start and end times of each one. But things don’t always go according to plan. At one of my gigs, I was asked to play just one set, the last set, because there were two other performers

before me. It’s a good thing I arrived early, however, because the second act didn’t show up and I ended up playing two sets.

6 WAIT TO PLAY NEW SONGS If you decide to play a new song, place it later in the set rather than earlier. That way, you’re warmed up and feeling good, ready to concentrate on new material. However, there have been times when I’ve performed a new song early in a set because there were fewer people and the atmosphere felt right. Some performers like to tell an audience when they’re about to perform a new song, but this can make the audience focus more on the perfection of your execution, creating unnecessary stress. Be aware of the best times to test-drive a new song and when it’s best to stick with the familiar.

7 BE FLEXIBLE Your intuition and awareness should guide your song selections, even as you follow a written set list. You need to be able to adapt to the moment and be flexible in your approach. Having said that, don’t get too far off track! You want to preserve the thought process behind your original set list and

ensure it has a variety and mix of song styles and moods. Keep in mind that if you perform as a soloist, you have greater flexibility than if you perform in a band. Bands tend to stray from their set list only occasionally, whereas a soloist can be more free-flowing in choosing the right song for the moment. Think of your set list as a guide or map for setting the mood for the evening.

8 GO OUT WITH A BANG! Save your best song for last, but also be ready for the possibility of an encore. I usually save my best two songs for last, playing them one after the other. The last song (or songs) should echo the initial impact of your first number but with much more drama. It’s the end of the set, you’re totally warmed up, so you should unleash a song that has a little flash and shows off what you do best. Some performers will choose a song everyone knows for their last song and encourage the audience to sing along or clap their hands. Finding that “exit tune” is important. It can be the most important song of the night, because it’s what gives an audience its lasting impression of you and your music. S&S

STAGE&STUDIO ADVERTISER INDEX Acoustic Guitar, store.acousticguitar.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Ear Trumpet Labs, eartrumpetlabs.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Fishman Transducers, fishman.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 02

Grace Design, gracedesign.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04

Peterson Electro-Musical Products, petersontuners.com . . . . . 08

AER The Acoustic People, musiquip.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

14 STAGE&STUDIO

EarTrumpetLabs-Stringletter_HOC.indd 1

9/8/15 10:58 AM

GET TO KNOW THE MUSIC, MUSICIANS, AND INSTRUMENTS THAT MATTER. EMMYLOU HARRIS | ARLO GUTHRIE | RON SEXSMITH | JOSH ROUSE

WIN A 50TH ANNIVERSARY MARTIN D-35

3 SONGS

HAPPY TRAUM Careless Love Blues SAM COOKE Good Times THE WHITE STRIPES The Unfortunate Rake

AUGUST 2015 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

PAYING THE DEVIL HIS BLUES HAS A FLORIDA BUSINESSMAN REALLY UNCOVERED ROBERT JOHNSON’S LOST GIBSON L-1?

TONE QUEST HOW TO FIND THE ULTIMATE GUITAR PICK NEW GEAR SPECIAL FOCUS: REPERTOIRE EASTMAN E10OM-LTD YAMAHA A6R BLACKSTAR ID:CORE BEAM

WINTER 2015

FASHION, FOOD, TRAVEL & MORE!

CLASSICAL GUITAR SING OUT! HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SINGING SKILLS

XUEFEI YANG REDISCOVERS HER ROOTS

INSIDE THE HARRIS GUITAR COLLECTION

NEW GUITARS FROM ORTEGA & TAKAMINE

PLUS: MENG SU DAVID RUSSELL FLAMENCO STYLES

FEELING HANDY A GUIDE TO DIY GUITAR KITS WINTER 2015

GEAR REVIEWS OPAL HOLLOW BODY EASTMAN ARCHTOP ORTEGA ACOUSTICELECTRIC

PABLO VILLEGAS

THE LIFESTYLE ISSUE

HOW TO MASTER BLUES FINGERPICKING CHANGE YOUR STRINGS IN 7 STEPS

3 SONGS TO PLAY BRUNO MARS THE LAZY SONG

ADELE ROLLING IN THE DEEP

TCHAIKOVSKY DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY

EXPLORES GUITAR MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS

DON’T MISS A SINGLE STORY. AcousticGuitar.com | AllThingsStrings.com | ClassicalGuitarMagazine.com | UkuleleMag.com

WELCOME TO

STAGE&STUDIO THE ACOUSTIC MUSICIAN’S GUIDE TO CREATING, PERFORMING & RECORDING

SPRING 2016

NS? O I T U L O O NG R E VF MUSIC STUDI

I O R ETCUDOIOTRIMDE.IO THE AIRBNB

LET US KNOW HOW YOU LIKE STAGE & STUDIO. Drop us a line at [email protected] stringletter.com. And look for the next edition in any of these upcoming issues of Stringletter magazines:

MAY 2016

IS S

MAY 2016

SUMMER 2016

SUMMER 2016

DONN JONES PHOTO

PLUS HOW TO TURN YOUR iPHONE INTO A MINI STUDIO

LEARN TO MIX YOUR ONSTAGE SOUND WITH MICS & PEDALS

CRAFT YOUR PRACTICE TO SUIT YOUR PERFORMANCE

LEARN TO BUILD AN EFFECTIVE SETLIST

GARY CLARK JR. | JEWEL

WOODY PINES | JOHN RENBOURN STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN Pride & Joy HANK WILLIAMS Jambalaya TOM WAITS Ol’ 55

3 SONGS

Because there’s a lot more to music than your instrument alone…

JANUARY 2016 | ACOUSTICGUITAR.COM

Introducing Stage & Studio. We’re here to help.

GLEN HANSARD ‘ONCE’ CREATOR RETURNS TO HIS BUSKING STYLE

NEW GEAR RAINSONG SMOKEY SMCX HENRIKSEN BUD ACOUSTIC AMP FAITH MERCURY PARLOR

WIN A RAINSONG SMOKEY P. 72

Learn to

PLUS HOW TO REFRESH YOUR JAZZ LICKS A GUIDE TO BUYING HANDMADE GUITARS

WINTER 2015

create record perform compose

arrange practice learn teach

notate share promote market

FASHION, FOOD, TRAVEL & MORE!

SPECIAL FOCUS: REPERTOIRE

CLASSICAL GUITAR XUEFEI YANG REDISCOVERS HER ROOTS

INSIDE THE HARRIS GUITAR COLLECTION

NEW GUITARS FROM ORTEGA & TAKAMINE

PLUS: MENG SU DAVID RUSSELL FLAMENCO STYLES

WINTER 2015

GEAR REVIEWS OPAL HOLLOW BODY EASTMAN ARCHTOP ORTEGA ACOUSTICELECTRIC

PABLO VILLEGAS

EXPLORES GUITAR MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS

HOW TO MASTER BLUES FINGERPICKING CHANGE YOUR STRINGS IN 7 STEPS

THE LIFESTYLE ISSUE 3 SONGS TO PLAY BRUNO MARS THE LAZY SONG

ADELE ROLLING IN THE DEEP

TCHAIKOVSKY DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY

View more...

Comments

Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.
SUPPORT KUPDF