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Guitar Musician e-zine     04/26/2006

In This Issue:

  "... another guitar player who had a tremendous influence on my life was Howard Roberts ... I'd listened to a lot of Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith and Kenny Burrell, and I was certainly into those guys, but I was awestruck at the intensity and fire in Howards' guitar playing... for me, it became a roadmap..."

                                                        - Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter - guitar - Steely Dan / Doobie Brothers

Some Humor

  Moral of the story

A teacher gave her class of 11 year olds an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day, the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Ashley said, "My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs went flying and broke and made a mess."

What's the moral of the story?" asked the teacher.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket!", Ashley said

"Very good," the teacher replied.

Next little Sarah raised her hand and said, "Our family are farmers, too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. One day we had a dozen eggs, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks, and the moral to this story is, 'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched'.

"That was a fine story, Sarah", said the teacher. "Michael, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes. My daddy told me this story about my Aunt Shirley. Aunt Shirley was a flight engineer on a plane in the Gulf War and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops.

She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."

"Good Heavens", said the horrified teacher, "what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?"

"Stay away from Aunt Shirley when she's been drinking."

A Lesson For The Learning

Interested in guitar lessons? - Be sure and check out the guitar lessons offered by Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar

Click here for all products by Randall.

Randall G3 amps

Totally unique tube/MOSFET power section with premium punch

By Victor Leyson

Totally unique tube/MOSFET power section with premium punch

In the new G3 series, Randall has created a line of affordable combo amps and heads with superb tone resulting from an entirely new tube/MOSFET power section called "Valve-Dynamic." Spookily accurate and responsive tube tone is combined with advanced features like switchable gain voicings on the lead channel, boost on the clean channel (all foot-controlled), dual three-band EQs with a unique midrange voicing shift and contour control on the lead channel, spring reverb, effects loop, line out, genuine Celestion speakers, and a full range of DSP effects on select models. The G3 amps are a breeze to transport and easy to love.

Hearing is believing

I received the G3 amps before I had learned anything about them and pulled the RG75G3 out of the box to give it an objective spin before my judgment could be swayed by the folks at Randall. I plugged in my Les Paul and was favorably impressed by this new tube amp. The clean sound was warm and full, as I expect from an all-tube amp, and the distorted sound had that gritty punch, natural compression, and lively response that only a tube amp can generate.

I was particularly curious about the light weight (43-1/2 lbs.) for a tube amp with 75 watts of power. When I got to poking around, I couldn't find any tubes. Then I called Randall and got the lowdown on the Valve-Dynamic power section.

Though I can't leak the details, the basic design involves a 12AT7 tube incorporated into the power section, rather than the preamp like most tube/solid-state hybrids. The combo of the tube and the MOSFET circuit creates a much more accurate emulation of an all-tube power section in serious performance mode than has ever been created before. The G3 amps dish out true tube reactivity, warmth, and musicality without the high-maintenance and high price of an all-tube amp.

I was sent the RG75G3, RG100G3, and RG200DG3 combos for review. Since I spent the most time with the RG75G3, I'll focus on it. All of the G3 amps share the same Valve-Dynamic power section and advanced features (with the exception of built-in digital effects on the DG3 models, which don't have the spring reverb).

A feast of features

Randall RG75G3 Amp
Randall RG75G3 Amp

Though it's billed as a two-channel amp, the RG75G3 actually functions as a three-channel amp by virtue of its footswitchable dual gain stages. Gain 1 has a throaty traditional tube distortion that's great for hard rockin' and distorted rhythm sounds while Gain 2 pulls out all the stops for an incredibly ballsy sparkling modern lead sound saturated with upper mids and higher harmonics.

The voicing button on the lead channel subtly shifts the mids to get the most out of your guitar. The Contour knob dials in progressively more upper mids as you turn it. It added a real boost to my lead tone when I cranked it all the way to the right.

I was very impressed by the clean channel on this amp. It produced everything from spanky country tones to round jazz sounds to chunky, edgy rhythms with the Boost function punched in. The clean channel's natural, warm sound makes it the perfect platform for distortion pedals and other floorboard effects.

I set up a standard song format with a crystal clean reverbed intro, punched the Boost and turned off the reverb for the initial full-bodied rhythm tones, switched channels for distorted chorus chords in Gain 1, then switched to Gain 2 for some vicious shredding. This is the way an amp should perform--it left my hands free for the serious work while still providing a broad range of tones.

Randall RG200DG3 Amp
Randall RG200DG3 Amp

The built-in effects on the RG200DG3 (as on all the DG3 models) comprise 16 presets selected by one knob on the face with level controls for each channel. These combinations of chorus, flange, reverb, and delay sound totally professional and are the most usable effects presets I've encountered.

Back panel goodies

The good news doesn't stop on the front panel. Around back, a footswitch-activated effects loop with dual level controls lets you use higher-end rack effects that require a preamped signal. A line out lets you run the preamped signal directly to the board for recording or for very large halls in which you require PA assistance. But even the 75W RG75G3 is really stinkin' loud and the RG200DG3 provides enough volume to handle anything short of the Astrodome unassisted.

External speaker outs on the RG75G3 will drive 4 ohms at 100W, powering both the internal speaker and an external 8-ohm speaker. And the internal speaker is nothing to sneeze at; a custom Celestion Seventy 80 handles what this baby puts out with a bold crispness and modern, brilliant voicing. The RG200 model feature paint-peeling G12T-100s. Class 2 wiring throughout and a ground lift button ensure quiet operation and resistance to outside interference.

For my money, Randall has produced a great line of pro-featured amps without the scary price tags. The Valve-Dynamic power section is worth its weight in gold.




The Blues Scale Formula

Jimmy Edwards; Memphis, TN

Q: Okay, I see that minor/major scales follow a certain pattern using steps and half steps, etc., but on the "E" Blues scale I can't see a similar pattern? Am I correct in this observation and can you give any particular reason this is the case if it does not follow a pattern?

A: The Blues scale is simple in its own right and does have a definite formula.

The Blues scale formula is: 1 b3 4 #4 5 b7

In the key of "E" the Blues scale notes are: E G A A# B D

The Minor Pentatonic scale formula is: 1 b3 4 5 b7 

In the key of "E" the Minor Pentatonic notes are: E G A B D

The Blues scale just has a #4 note added and this note is referred to as a Blues Tri-tone. This gives it the very distinctive Blues sound.

Hope this helps!

Yours in Music,
John McCarthy
Rock House


Co-Publishing Agreements�How Writers Are Paid

By Jeffrey and Todd Brabec

Jeffrey and Todd Brabec

One of the important aspects of a co-publishing agreement is how the various parties to the agreement share the income that is earned from CD and tape sales, downloads, subscriptions, videos, performances, motion picture, and television synchronization rights, commercials, streaming, and all other sources of revenue generated by a writer's songs.

The most common sharing of income arrangement in this area is known as the "50/50" split. This equal sharing of income (50% to the writer's company and 50% to the major company) refers only to those monies that represent the music publisher's share of earnings.

It does not relate to the writer's share, since the songwriter will still receive his or her 50% songwriter's royalties regardless of the terms of the co-publishing agreement.

A simple diagram comparing the standard writer-publisher contract and the co-publishing agreement can best explain this sharing of income between the writer's publishing company and the major publishing company.

Under the standard music industry publishing contract, the writer generally receives 50% of the net income earned from uses of his or her songs, and the publisher receives the other 50%. For example, if a total of $100,000 is received by the music publisher from the sale of CDs or downloads, the publisher is entitled to retain $50,000 and the writer receives $50,000.

Under the co-publishing agreement, however, the writer receives not only his or her 50% share of songwriter income but also receives a share of the publisher's share. If we keep our previous example of $100,000 received by the publisher from CD and download sales and assume a 50/50 co-publishing arrangement, the income would be shared as set forth below.

As can be seen, the songwriter receives 50% of all monies received, with his or her publishing company and the major publisher sharing the remainder equally. In effect, the writer and his company receive 75% of all monies earned, and the major "copublisher" receives the remaining 25%.

To illustrate the arrangement once again through the use of actual dollar figures, the sharing of income is shown in Figure 1.

The basic 50/50 co-publishing agreement is not the only type of royalty split encountered in the music industry. Another type of co-publishing agreement provides for a 75/25 split of publishing income between the writer's company and the major publisher.

Under such an arrangement, the writer will receive his or her full writer's share of income (50% of all monies that are earned) as well as an additional 25% of the publisher's share of monies earned (25% of the remaining 50% of all income).

Assuming our $100,000 example, the writer's company would receive 25% of the $50,000 publisher's share ($12,500) and the major co-publisher would receive the other 75% ($37,500).

Under this arrangement, the writer and his or her publishing company would receive an aggregate total of $62,500 of the $100,000 earned and the major publisher would receive the remaining $37,500.

This article is based on information contained in the new, revised paperback edition of the book "Music, Money, And Success: The Insider's Guide To Making Money In The Music Industry" written by Jeffrey Brabec and Todd Brabec (Published by Schirmer Trade Books/Music Sales).

Brought to you by TAXI: The Independent A&R Vehicle that connects unsigned artists, bands and songwriters with major record labels, publishers, and film & TV music supervisors.

Recommended Listening - A Must For Your Collection!

Hit and Run Bluegrass, Without Maps or Charts
By Sue Thompson
Bluegrass music has raised a crop of hot young bands in recent years, and Hit and Run Bluegrass is among the best. Anyone who enjoys rootsy acoustic sounds will find the quintet�s second release, Without Maps or Charts, delightfully listenable. The program includes traditional, contemporary, and original songs, delivered with youthful energy and surprisingly mature musicianship. Paul Seibel�s �Any Day Woman� (which was a hit for Bonnie Raitt) gets a tasteful bluegrass treatment. Among the well-crafted originals, standouts include mandolinist John Frazier�s clever, bouncy �Lockdown for Your Love� and Rebecca Hoggan�s thoughtful �Why Does This Old Town Look Better Now.� In addition to being a songwriter and singer, Hoggan is an exceptional young guitarist, adding driving rhythm and smooth, bluesy lead flatpicking to the group�s tight ensemble sound. Check out her sweet solo counterpoint to bassist Erin Coats� soft-edged vocal on the poignant ballad �I�ve Kissed You My Last Time.� (Hit and Run,


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