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Guitar Musician e-zine     07/19/2006


In This Issue:


  ".. Playing live is about going for it .. it's about bringing it ... you should see a bunch of people trying out stuff, actually performing, instead of learning the record and recreating it note for note. I can't play the show the same way every night .. I really need to be in a creative environment, every night or I'll go nuts ... my manager accuses me of singing just long enough to get me to my next guitar solo - which is true..."

                                                                                - Brad Paisley


Some Humor

  A guy out on the golf course gets hit in the crotch.
Writhing in agony, he falls to the ground. As soon as he could manage, he took himself to the doctor.
He said "How bad is it doc?...I'm going on my honeymoon next week."
The doctor told him, "I'll have to put your willie in a splint to let it heal and keep it straight. It should be okay next week." He
took four wooden tongue depressors and formed a neat little 4 sided splint, and taped it all together; ..an impressive work of art.
The guy mentions none of this to his girl, marries her, and goes on their honeymoon. That night in the motel room, she rips open her
blouse to reveal her beautiful breasts. She said, "You're the first; no one has EVER touched these."
He immediately drops his pants and replies,.......................
"Look at this,....still in the CRATE!"

 


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 Dean.
 

Dean From Hell/CFH

The spirit of a legend

By Ara Ajizian

The spirit of a legend

When you think of legendary guitarists, it's a safe bet that you most always picture them playing an instrument that's as storied as the players themselves � Hendrix's cream-colored Strat, John Lennon's stripped Casino, Ace Frehley's sunburst Les Paul, Angus Young's SG. Although he played many guitars over the years, when you think of Dimebag Darrell, you no doubt picture him shredding on � and perhaps launching bottle rockets from � the one and only Dean From Hell. With its blue finish, lightning bolt graphics, KISS sticker, and Dimebag's own scrawl on the headstock proclaiming the guitar's name, the Dean From Hell is as much a part of Dime's legacy as his playing.

Full circle

At 16, Darrell had his sights set on winning a local guitar contest and the first prize of a maroon Dean ML. As luck would have it, his dad had already saved up and ordered his son an ML Standard, which arrived the same day as the contest. After easily winning the competition, young Darrell became in one day the proud owner of two of his favorite guitars.

Dime soon found himself in need of some wheels, and a particular Firebird had caught his eye. Needing $600 to get the car, he weighed his options and decided to sell the ML he won in the contest. It was a decision Dime would find himself regretting not long after, since he preferred the sound of that guitar to the one his dad had bought him.

Dime's ML finally ended up in the hands of guitarist Buddy Blaze, who had the axe custom-painted with the blue finish and white lighting bolts we all know and love. After getting to know Blaze, Dime often asked Buddy to sell the guitar back to him, but Blaze wouldn't part with it. After failing to deliver a different custom guitar to Dime as a trade for a Flying V, Blaze finally relented and sent the ML to Dime. It is this pure version of the Dean From Hell � as it appeared on the album cover of Cowboys From Hell � that Dean has painstakingly re-created as the Dean From Hell/CFH.

Dean From Hell/CFH

Carbon copy

The Dean From Hell/CFH is not just an extraordinary tribute to Darrell, it's a guitar that you will treasure owning and playing. Built to the same specs as the Dean From Hell, this guitar sports a mahogany body, rosewood fretboard, and 24-3/4" scale. The finish is remarkably accurate; I actually got a bit of a chill when I opened the custom hardshell case and looked at it for the first time. Every fan of Dime knows this guitar, but to actually experience that legendary lightning bolt finish up close is something that's hard to put into words. The chills continued when I plugged it in and let it rip.

It doesn't take long to figure out why Dime loved this guitar so much. In the bridge position sits a Bill Lawrence L500XL humbucker, complemented by a Dean humbucker in the neck position. From a tonal perspective, this dichotomy really makes anything possible with this guitar. The L500XL is perfect for killer harmonic squeals and blazing leads, while the Dean 'bucker provides warmth and crunch that's ideal for chugging riffery. A simple flick of the three-way toggle takes you from one to the other or combines them for the ultimate in metal tone.

Speed demon

So we've covered looks and sound � now you're probably wondering how it plays. The simple answer is that it plays how you'd expect it to play � fast, furious, and superbly responsive. The licensed Floyd Rose trem is capable of the baddest bombs you can drop without going out of tune. Rip out a harmonic and take it to outer space � Dime-style!

The Dean From Hell/CFH is one of those guitars that makes you feel like you're 10 times the player you think you are. The action is perfect and the neck just begs you to play your fastest. There are also touches here and there that really make this a player's axe, including Dimebag traction knobs that prevent slipping once the sweat starts to pour and tape around the neck pickup to prevent the strings from getting caught when you're working the trem � two modifications that the man himself created and implemented on his own guitars.

Getcha pull

The original Dean From Hell went through quite a transformation over the years as Darrell not only played the hell out of it, but made it part of the show. The Dean From Hell/CFH offers you the shiny original, and it's up to you how you want to Dime-ify your own. Whether you want to keep it pristine or fire some bottle rockets off the headstock, this is one guitar that you'll definitely getcha pull off!

Dean From Hell/CFH

Features & Specs:


  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bill Lawrence L500XL bridge pickup
  • Dean humbucker neck pickup
  • Licensed Floyd Rose tremolo
  • 24-3/4" scale
  • Grover tuners
  • Blue finish
  • Lightning bolt graphics
  • Built from the original Dean From Hell's specs
  • Custom hardshell case

Pay tribute to the legendary Dimebag Darrell with the Dean From Hell/CFH! From the killer blue finish and lightning bolt graphics to the L500XL, this guitar is as close to the original as you can get!

 

GUITAR Q AND A

 

Alternate Picking Verses Economy Picking

Mark Minardi; Lincoln Park, NJ

Q: In studying my picking technique I've found that I employ a bit of "economy picking" mixed into my alternate picking. I developed this method without really knowing the difference between the two techniques in my early days of learning to play. Now this "mixed mode" picking technique is very ingrained in my picking hand and I'm having a tough time adopting strict alternate picking (I'm just so much faster using my old way). It just seems to take longer to have to cross a string to pick it from the other side when I was already there before crossing past it! I've heard that SAP (strict alternate picking) will provide for much better timing and I do seem to understand that since the parts of my runs where I use economy picking can end up sounding rushed if I'm not careful.

Do you feel it's necessary to use SAP to really advance your technique? What are your thoughts on economy picking? Thanks.

A: Picking is so important to progress from a good guitarist to a great guitarist. If you play things that are not too challenging all the time you can pick almost any way you want but if you want the ability to play 64th notes at 140bpm you better have you alternate picking down cold!!!

What you are referring to as "economy picking" is also called "cross picking"; this picking style that encounters multiple down or up pick strokes in a row can be effective at times. When doing certain sweep picking patterns I use this technique very effectively.

Here is the bottom line ... If you want to play at very fast speeds with a smooth flowing sound you must be able to alternate pick well. The consistent up-down motion of your fingers when alternate picking creates a rhythm that allows you to gain momentum and build serious speed.

Practice exercises that concentrate on alternate picking and do them regularly; you will see a difference in a short amount of time that will have you rippin' up those strings.

 

Hope this helps,
Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House Guitar


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A&R: Getting Signed

by Kenny Kerner


With the mergers and pending mergers of EMI to Warner Bros. and BMG with Sony, there will be only three major record conglomerates in America. This means that there will be fewer and fewer A&R Reps out there looking for new talent.

One of the most difficult things to understand is what the A&R Community is really looking for. What does an artist have to have to get signed to a recording contract? For lack of a better name, I call these intangible things "signing ingredients." And the more of them you have, the more likely you are to get signed!

During my 35 years as an Editor and Music Journalist, I've interviewed over 250 members of the A&R Community and, based on those interviews, was able to compile a Top 10 list of important signing ingredients. So, in order of their importance, here's what you need to get signed:

1. Passion
That intangible, inner-emotion a singer or band possesses that makes him/them believable. Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, and yes, even newcomer Fantasia�all possess it.

2. Songs
The very essence of success. The reason this did not come in at #1 is that songs can come from many different places�publishers, covers of other songs, the artist himself, collaborations, etc. So, if the artist isn't an amazing songwriter, he/she can still obtain amazing songs.

3. Live Show
This is how a musician sells his CDs and merchandise. A poor live show, and you turn off your audience. A great live show, and you've made a fan for life. Live shows also tell an A&R person whether you are communicating with your audience and if they are accepting your music. Remember, there are no small shows!

4. Star Quality
Is there someone bigger than life in your band? A Gene Simmons? A Mick Jagger? Rock star Billy Idol wasn't much of a singer, yet he went on to become an international rock icon because of his star quality. Skid Row's Sebastian Bach had star quality. Ditto Axl Rose. Remember them?

5. Marketability
Can your image and music be marketed to a targeted audience? Who is likely to buy it and why? There is little demand for Lithuanian accordion music, so regardless of how you shine on that instrument, the chances of you landing that big-bucks record deal are slim, at best. Ever wonder why Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and the Divas all do big business?

6. Group Focus
For a solo artist or duo, this is a no-brainer. But, as a band, is everyone pulling in the same direction? Does the band/artist have a plan? Is the manager aligned with the artist's plan? Where are the trouble spots? Who's holding back the train?

7. Hunger
How hungry are you to make it? And I don't mean when did you eat last! Is the artist spoiled? Will the artist do anything to make it? Are they willing to earn a record deal? Many artists that have been around for years are under the misconception that because they're still performing and staying together, they've earned the right to be signed. Not true.

8. Business Savvy
Does the artist know how things in this industry really work? What kind of "Pro-Team" have they assembled? Do they need a manager? Attorney? What do they expect?

9. Red Flags
Are there any troublemakers in the band (or is the solo artist himself unreliable)? Any personal problems like sex? Drugs? Money problems? Is there anything or anyone that might prevent this artist from pursuing a career in the music business? Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Former wife? Children?

10. A&R Instinct
What does my A&R instinct tell me about this artist? Am I in love with this band? Am I willing to risk my job, my benefits, my vacation and my expense account to get them signed? What do others in my company think? Bringing an act into a record company when you are the only one championing their cause is the beginning of the end�for both of you.

Before making his final decision, an A&R person will see how many of these talent ingredients his act has�and then go from there. Considering it takes about one-million dollars to properly promote each new act, don't expect a flurry of signings at any one label.

 

Excerpted from the best-selling book "Going Pro" written by Kenny Kerner and published by Hal Leonard. You can order this book by calling 800-637-2852

 

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!

 
Slick Ballinger, Mississippi Soul
By Ian Zack
On this prodigious debut, Daniel �Slick� Ballinger, a 22-year-old originally from North Carolina, arrives as a fully formed bluesman. Ballinger favors the urbanized Mississippi country blues that Muddy Waters popularized after arriving in Chicago two generations ago. Ballinger�s guitar playing (on amplified acoustic and electric) is deft and driving, in the style of Waters and his many disciples, including Johnny Winter. His singing style is reminiscent of Winter�s, but with a heavy gospel influence, and he can express more with his vocal cords than most men twice his age can. With additional propulsion from Leon Baker�s breakneck drumming and Blind Mississippi Morris� blistering harp, the album manages to generate the kind of heat that Waters would surely have appreciated. Almost half of the tunes are covers of songs by Waters (�Rosalie�), Sonny Boy Williamson (�Sugar Mama Blues�), and others, and while Ballinger�s originals don�t necessarily break new ground, the definitely hold their own. On the title track, based on a hip-shaking slide riff, Ballinger invites everyone to �kick up their heels� the way they�ve been doing it in Mississippi juke joints for ages. And with his CD in the player, it�s hard not to follow that advice. (Oh Boy Records, www.ohboy.com)

 



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