The Enduring Influence of Who’s Next

The Enduring Influence of Who’s Next

"I was around nine when a babysitter snuck Who's Next onto the turntable. The parents were gone. The windows shook. The shelves were rattling. Rock & roll. That began an exploration into music that had soul, rebellion, aggression, affection. Destruction. And this was all Who music."
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Gibson Oddities: The Ripper and Grabber

Gibson Oddities: The Ripper and Grabber

While the Ripper and the Grabber were short-lived, they didn’t disappear from the limelight entirely. In the 1990s, a new generation of bass players including Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Weezer’s Matt Sharp brought the forgotten instrument back into the public eye. For those musicians, the Ripper and the Grabber were dream pawnshop finds – solid, good-sounding instruments that wouldn’t break the bank.
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Do Double Albums Outstay Their Welcome?

Do Double Albums Outstay Their Welcome?

Sandinista! found critical acclaim upon release; Rolling Stone’s John Piccarella gave it a five-star review and called it the Clash’s White Album while Village Voice voted it number one in their 1981 Pazz and Jop critic’s poll.  But, in the aftermath of the initial hype, people started to question whether the record really was the Clash’s bona fide masterpiece.
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Carlos Santana: Words of Wisdom

Carlos Santana: Words of Wisdom

“There's a melody in everything. And once you find the melody, then you connect immediately with the heart. Because sometimes English or Spanish, Swahili or any language gets in the way. But nothing penetrates the heart faster than the melody.”
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Jared James Nichols’ Early Les Paul Restoration Sounds Insane

Jared James Nichols’ Early Les Paul Restoration Sounds Insane

“On 17 November 2013 one of the biggest recorded tornadoes tore through Washington, Illinois killing and destroying everything in its path. This guitar was found in the front yard of a home in the rubble. It has not been touched since, there is still mud on it!”
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All Along the Watchtower: The Best Hendrix Song?

All Along the Watchtower: The Best Hendrix Song?

As for Dylan, he was magnanimous, scarcely believing what has come from his raw materials. “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”  
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These “New” Hendrix and Doors Songs… Were Made by A.I.

These “New” Hendrix and Doors Songs… Were Made by A.I.

“To show the world what’s been lost to this mental health crisis, we’ve used artificial intelligence to create the album the 27 Club never had the chance to. Through this album, we’re encouraging more music industry insiders to get the mental health support they need, so they can continue making the music we all love for years to come.
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Time Corrected Van Halen is the Worst Van Halen

Time Corrected Van Halen is the Worst Van Halen

“They’d barely had any studio experience… at that point, we really wanted to get them before they knew what they were doing – just have them come in and play and then get them out. So we spent very little time in pre-production, in fact, we treated the first album like it was a demo.”
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Picks Are Way Older than You Think…

Picks Are Way Older than You Think…

As a quick recap, in the late 19th century, picks made from tortoiseshell (the shell of hawksbill sea turtles to be precise) were the gold standard when it came to assisted strumming. However, this along with the popularity of tortoiseshell in the manufacture of a bunch of other stuff, lead to the near extinction of the hawksbill sea turtle. Once it was placed on the endangered species list in 1973, tortoiseshell picks went the way of the dodo.
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Where Do You Stand on Modeling Amps?

Where Do You Stand on Modeling Amps?

Fortus isn’t wrong about the challenges of achieving certain tonal subtleties when using modelling amps and plugins. But, the truth is, the technology is getting better. I’ve been playing around with a couple of tube amp imitating plugins recently that get surprisingly close to capturing the nuances Fortus is talking about – at least to my luddite ears. And, I don’t doubt that differences between modelling amps and the real thing will be practically imperceptible in the not too distant future.
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Four Iconic Uses of the Wah Pedal

Four Iconic Uses of the Wah Pedal

“We were looking for something that would go with [Shaft’s] walk. Isaac told the drummer, ‘Give me some 16th notes.’ I was tuning my guitar, and checking the pedals out. I turned on the wah wah pedal, and was testing it out using a little pattern. [Isaac] said, ‘What are you doing?! Keep playing that! Keep playing that riff! I stayed on the same key the whole time -- all through the whole entire damn structure! Didn’t change anything except the structure of my foot.”

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Check Out this Recently Unearthed Led Zeppelin Footage

Check Out this Recently Unearthed Led Zeppelin Footage

Back in the 1970s, there wasn’t much of an outlet for fan-shot 8mm footage. You’d watch it at home, maybe show it to a couple of friends, and then probably leave it on a shelf somewhere and forget about it. That’s exactly what happened with Godman’s movie. As he told RNZ, the footage sat untouched for decades in his shed.
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The Right Way to Start a Band

The Right Way to Start a Band

Starting a band isn’t as straightforward as you might think. If you’re gonna do it, do it right.
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This Fingerstyle Cover of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir is Mindblowing

This Fingerstyle Cover of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir is Mindblowing

“After driving the iconic guitar riff along with the a thundering kick drum and snare snap provided by booming right-hand slaps, Marcin shifts up a gear with a dizzying display of his prolific playing skills, executing a number of high-speed percussive drum lines and melodic strums.”
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Did MTV Really Kill Rock N’ Roll?

Did MTV Really Kill Rock N’ Roll?

MTV was definitely a paradigm shift. It changed the way music was consumed, and the things that people valued. Aesthetics were suddenly much more important. It would be naïve to say that a band’s image didn’t matter before MTV – the Beatles didn’t sport those mop tops and matching Pierre Cardin suits for nothing – but music videos put a group’s appearance under the microscope like never before.
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Get Started With Home Recording: Software (Part One)

Get Started With Home Recording: Software (Part One)

“There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. What matters most is choosing the DAW that appeals to you, your needs, and your budget, and learning it as well as you can.”
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What BB King Taught Me About… Phrasing

What BB King Taught Me About… Phrasing

He didn’t just mechanically run through scales. He paused for emphasis, used loud and quiet dynamics to convey different feelings, and accentuated certain notes to give them meaning. How he phrased his guitar playing was very considered and deliberate.
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Three Bits of BS Guitar Advice… I Wish I’d Ignored

Three Bits of BS Guitar Advice… I Wish I’d Ignored

Like me, Slash is a man with chunky digits. Slash also happens to be one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. Needless to say, my complex about inadequate fingers for guitar playing disappeared soon after.
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Are These the Greatest Rock Songs of the Century?

Are These the Greatest Rock Songs of the Century?

After a while of reading and re-reading this list, I gave up trying to weigh up the merits and demerits of the selections and whether or not they truly were the “greatest.” Ultimately, it’s impossible to qualify that, given the subjectivity of these things. Besides, I loved so many of the songs on the list in equal measure, I found it way too difficult to rank them.
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What is the greatest cover song of all time?

What is the greatest cover song of all time?

Coming up with a great cover is an art in itself. Effectively, you’ve got to take a strong template established by someone else and rework it enough that your voice shines through, while retaining the integrity of the original piece. It certainly isn’t easy. When you think about it, there have been many, many cover versions released over the years, but only a minority of those can hold a candle to the original version.

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Guitar Player Quotes to Live Your Life By

Guitar Player Quotes to Live Your Life By

Playing the guitar is like telling the truth - you never have to worry about repeating the same [lie] if you told the truth. You don't have to pretend, or cover up. If someone asks you again, you don't have to think about it or worry about it because there it is. It's you.” – B.B. King

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Jeff Beck’s Truth: An Unsung Rock Classic

Jeff Beck’s Truth: An Unsung Rock Classic

Truth was almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums. Its attributes weren't all new -- Cream and Jimi Hendrix had been moving in similar directions -- but the combination was: the wailing, heart-stoppingly dramatic vocalizing by Rod Stewart, the thunderous rhythm section of Ron Wood's bass and Mickey Waller's drums, and Beck's blistering lead guitar, which sounds like his amp is turned up to 13 and ready to short out.” 

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Ted McCarty: Pragmatic Genius

Ted McCarty: Pragmatic Genius

McCarty et al. used those paint schemes to fix a problem (the blemishes). Rather than seeing them as a band-aid, though, they came up with a solution that added to the aesthetic of the guitar. They found a problem and turned into a win-win scenario. In the process, they designed some of the most enduring instruments in the Gibson portfolio used by some of the most famous players in the world.
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Why Peter Green's Les Paul Had that Sound

Why Peter Green's Les Paul Had that Sound

Peter Green’s Les Paul is one of the most storied instruments in rock history. Some of that is down to its trio of famous owners. The instrument started off in the hands of Mr. Green, was passed on to Gary Moore, and eventually ended up in the possession of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. But its celebrity owners aren’t the only thing that make this guitar noteworthy. It’s also one of the most distinctive sounding Les Pauls out there, thanks to a peculiarity in its pickup configuration.

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