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Guitar Musician e-zine     07/26/2006

In This Issue:

  "Jeff Beck is compelled by his inner artistic drive to keep evolving the instrument. He'll use the whammy bar with the volume knob and the tone control all at the same time - creating harmonics that no human being should be able to hit."

                                                                                   - Steve Vai

Some Humor

  Can we marry in heaven

On their way to get married, a young Catholic couple are involved in a fatal car accident.

The couple finds themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven.

While waiting, they begin to wonder: Could we possibly get married in Heaven?

When St. Peter showed up, they asked him. St. Peter says, "I don't know. This is the first time anyone has asked.
Let me go find out", and he leaves.

The couple sat and waited and waited. Two months passed and the couple is still waiting.

As they waited, they discussed that If they were allowed to get married in Heaven, what was the eternal aspect of it all.

"What if it doesn't work?" they wondered, "Are we stuck together FOREVER?"

After yet another month, St. Peter finally returns, looking somewhat bedraggled.
"Yes," he informs the couple, "you CAN get married in Heaven"

"Great!" said the couple, "But we were just wondering, what if things don't work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?"

St. Peter, red-faced with anger, slams his clipboard onto the ground.

"What's wrong?" asked the frightened couple.

"OH, COME ON!" St. Peter shouts, "It took me three months to find a priest up here!
Do you have ANY idea how long it will take me to find a LAWYER?"

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 Fender�.

Fender 60th Anniversary Stratocaster

Fender innovation in celebration of a milestone

By Jimmy Nichols

Fender innovation in celebration of a milestone

In 2006 Fender celebrated its 60th company anniversary and, for Fender, there's only one way to mark such a momentous occasion: lots of special-edition commemorative guitars, basses, and amps. There already are special limited-edition versions of the American Series Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazz Bass, and Precision Bass, as well as a Standard Stratocaster and Precision Bass. Each model offers special 60th anniversary touches and combinations of features never before available on a stock Fender instrument. These facts push the appeal and collectibility of these axes through the roof.

The song remains the same

It was in 1946 that Leo Fender incorporated Fender Musical Instruments Manufacturing Company in sunny southern California. An incorrigible tinkerer since childhood, Leo was always looking for ways to improve existing products and ideas for inventing new ones. His first love was radios and after graduating from college with an accounting degree, he founded Fender Radio Repair. After a friend asked him to repair a PA system, he became interested in musical equipment and together with Doc Kauffman started K & F Manufacturing, where they delved into the repair and manufacture of guitar amplifiers, guitar pickups, and Hawaiian-style lap steel guitars. In 1946 Leo opened the first Fender shop at Santa Fe and Pomona streets in Fullerton, officially leaving behind forever his days as a radio repairman. The innovations he developed with his workers and various artists would change the face of popular music�and the guitar�forever.

Something old, something new

60th Anniversary Commemorative Stratocaster
60th Anniversary Commemorative Stratocaster

60th Anniversary Commemorative Standard Stratocaster
60th Anniversary Commemorative Standard Stratocaster

60th Anniversary Commemorative Telecaster
60th Anniversary Commemorative Telecaster

While Leo invented a lot of things we now take for granted, none of them may be as iconic or as closely tied to him as the Stratocaster. The Fender American Series 60th Anniversary Stratocaster features subtle but distinctive touches that set it apart from a stock Strat. The most visible appointment is a "Diamond" inlay on the headstock. It features a shiny, classy-looking faux diamond (actually a rhinestone) set into the wood within a banner that reads "Sixty Years." There's also a special chrome neckplate with the classic Fender logo over a special 60th anniversary diamond graphic and the words: Diamond Anniversary 1946-2006. As a final touch, the Fender hardshell case in which the guitar arrives is covered in a special Silver Solarium material and the interior is lined with a dark red plush and embroidered with a 60th anniversary logo.

The American 60th Anniversary Strat's other special touches bring together old-school Fender style and tone with new-school thinking in a one-of-a-kind way. The first of those features is a set of three American Original '57/'62 Strat Pickups with the middle pickup reverse wound and reverse polarity. It's the first time Fender has ever done that trick with these more-vintage-than-vintage pickups, which have the original-style staggered, beveled-edge Alnico 5 magnets and Formvar magnet wire.

Combine that with the Delta Tone wiring�which features a no-load tone control for the middle and bridge pickups�and this axe is capable of scorching vintage tones. Delta-Tone wiring is an old Fender trick for producing just a bit more midrange and hotter output from the Strat. The no-load tone pot works like a standard tone knob from positions one-to-nine, but at ten it is removed from the wiring completely so that you get the full, unadulerated sonic output of your pickup. It means more output and more treble without using a booster pedal or active controls. An American two-point trem with stainless steel saddles, pearloid fretboard dots, plus parchment knobs and pickup covers complete the 60th anniversary package.

Cosmetic appointments aside, the Strat is a performance machine. Even though I'm not a Stratocaster player, I'm always amazed at what an incredibly playable guitar the Strat is. Each one is light, balanced, and just feels right in my hands. It makes playing nearly effortless. This 60th Anniversary Strat is definitely a thoroughbred. Yesterday and today meet in this Strat, making it an instant classic.

Features & Specs:

  • Sixty Years jeweled headstock inlay
  • 60th anniversary stamped chrome neckplate
  • US Vintage Reissue pickups
  • Reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup
  • Delta Tone wiring
  • 2-point tremolo with stainless steel saddles
  • Original alder body
  • Modern C-shaped maple neck with satin finish
  • Rosewood fretboard with rolled edges
  • Pearloid dot position markers
  • 21 medium-jumbo frets
  • 3-color sunburst finish
  • Parchment knobs and pickup covers
  • Custom Silver Solarium case with embroidered dark red plush interior




Using Inversions in Chord Changes

Roger C. Carson; Seattle, WA

Q: To the instructors:
1. When soloing, I heard a guy say he thought in intervals. I understand the concept of playing my scales in intervals (e.g. thirds, fourths, etc.), but beside practicing scales in intervals, how can this be applied particularly to chord changes?

2. I've been doing the first pentatonic run from the advanced metal DVD in 16th notes at around 110 BMP. What was the tempo that it was played in the DVD? It seemed he was a lot faster than 110 BPM.

Thanks for putting together great videos and an open forum for learning.

Sincerely, Roger

A: The concept of intervals can be applied to almost every aspect of music from chords to leads. In particular with chords it can be very useful creating inversions which will give your chords new life.

Let�s say we are talking about an "E" Major chord which would be the notes E-G#-B played in the open position with the open low "E" note on the bottom. Now let�s make another inversion of this chord by taking the third interval "G#" and moving it to the sixth string, fourth fret. When you play this "E" major inversion it has a different sound texture to it and sparks new life into the open "E" Major chord.

Try creating different inversions of your favorite chords by changing the intervals around and spark a new light into your rhythm playing!

As far as the Pentatonic Run exercise I played it around 190 BPM on the DVD but remember you should increase your tempo little by a little each day and before you know it you will be zipping around your neck!

Hope this helps!


Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House

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  Become More Proactive
by Bobby Borg


In his book Wild Thing, Ian Copeland, founder of Frontier Booking Agency and talent agent to Sting, The Police, and No Doubt, says,"Doors were usually closed to newcomers in the industry. We decided to stop beating on them and create new ones."

It's not enough to simply give someone a business card or demo tape and then sit back and expect to gain employment or procure a record or publishing deal. No one's going to hand you success on a silver platter. You need to take more control of your career and create your own destiny. Whether you're an individual musician, a songwriter, a solo artist or a member of a band, ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU BY FIRST HELPING YOURSELF!

If you're a musician who wants to be known as a great player rather than simply as a member of a band, and you want to perform with successful artists and play on lots of recordings, then get out there and be heard! Don't wait for the phone to ring. Try starting your own band first. You'll have the opportunity to showcase your individual style letting people know what you do best and most comfortably. Attend local jam sessions to find other musicians whose personalities and abilities you admire and then perform together everywhere you can. Eventually, more successful musicians and bands will begin to notice you, and may even ask you to play on their records or tours. Get to know the producers and managers of these acts. Your reputation and opportunities can build from there. For instance, when Guns 'N Roses was looking for a replacement drummer, GNR's guitarist Slash happened to attend a concert at which drummer Matt Sorum was performing. Slash liked Sorum's heavy/solid style, and without auditioning thousands of candidates, Slash offered Sorum the gig. Sorum worked hard at putting himself in situations where he could shine. As a result, he got a great job. At the time, Guns 'N Roses was one of the greatest rock bands in the world.

If you're a songwriter (and not an artist/performer), who wants to get a publishing deal and get his or her music placed with successful artists and in television commercials and films, you can start off by contacting some of the more popular bands in your area yourself and see if they'd be interested in performing one of your songs or co-writing one with you. If the group ends up getting a record deal, you're in business! Some writers go as far developing their own artists, writing songs for them to perform, and then producing them and helping them get signed to a recording contract. It's a long term approach, but you have to start somewhere. You can also try contacting the film departments at local colleges to make your music available for student films. The film may go on to win an award, or that student may even go on to become a successful director one day and you'll be one of the first persons he or she calls. Try contacting some of your local radio stations to see if they're interested in using your material for their advertising spots. Start with the smaller radio stations and work your way up from there. Keep your eyes open for the number of songwriter's workshops and events and songwriter's competitions offered by the performing rights societies (ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC). This is a great way to gain some exposure and even earn a few bucks. Check out,, and Other organizations to check out include the Songwriter's Guild of America at www.songwriter', AIMP Association of Independent Music Publishers at, and Society of Composers & Lyricists at The opportunities to take charge of your career are endless. For over 8000 more places to promote your music, try checking out the Indie Bible, now in its fourth edition, at

Solo Artists and Bands
If you're a solo artist or part of a band that wants to get a record deal, cut your own record first! Digital technology has greatly reduced studio costs and has made home recording equipment more practical to own. CD manufacturing has also become more affordable. You can sell your CDs at live performances or over the Internet (the Internet provides a number of marketing opportunities through online stores and MP3 sites). Create a buzz! Build a following. You'll be surprised at how many people in the industry you'll attract once you set the wheels in motion. Everybody likes a winner and will want to be part of your success by associating themselves with you. Singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco was actually able to by-pass the record companies altogether by starting her own label out of her parent's garage. She was only twenty years old when Righteous Babe Records began. At the time of this writing, sales of her albums are known to reach up to 30,000 copies per month. Though DiFranco is a rare example, it shows what you can accomplish when you take the initiative. In yet another example, both Guns-N-Roses and Motley Crue were selling out Los Angeles clubs before Geffen Records A&R man Tom Zutaut "discovered" and then signed the bands. There we're literally lines around the block to see the band's performances. As Zutaut says, "YOU DON'T NEED EARS TO BE A TALENT SCOUT; YOU NEED EYES."

Bobby Borg is the author of "The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide To Understanding The Music Business," which is NOW available by Billboard Books; available on-line at or in a store near you! For more information: Mail


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!

John McCutcheon, Mightier Than the Sword
By Larry Kelp
A master of folk and mountain instruments, including the guitar, fiddle, banjo, and hammer dulcimer, John McCutcheon uses them all to color his new batch of songs. From the comfortably homespun guitar strumming on the opening �Our Flag Was There,� through another 13 rootsy-to-rocking songs, McCutcheon repeatedly turns to the guitar not just for coloration but also as the foundation of his music. Mightier Than the Sword takes a novel turn as he borrows from and occasionally collaborates with his favorite authors on the song lyrics. �Our Flag Was Still There,� for example, comes from a popular, post-9/11 Barbara Kingsolver essay. Other lyric sources range from Pablo Neruda to former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove, as well as two bits of humor from novelist Wendell Berry (�It�s the Economy, Stupid� and �Jayber Crow�s Silly Song about Jesus�). The production is impeccable, and the small-band arrangements are excellent. But it is often the acoustic guitar work�in those living-room folkie strums that make the lyrics come off as friendly conversation, and especially when McCutcheon and fellow guitarist John Jennings add a solo here and there to punctuate a verse�that takes the songs beyond a words-set-to-music project and gives them their own personalities, often cantankerous but always delightful. (Appalsongs,


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