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Guitar Musician e-zine     08/02/2006

In This Issue:

  "Usually, no one quite knew where Django Reinhardt was going to be, but I met his brother and about an hour later in walks Django with an entourage of friends. He always traveled with a large group--carried his own admirers with him, the most sinister-looking bunch of hoodlums you've ever seen. I walked up and offered to buy him a drink. That seemed to be the right thing to do... he was the first really brilliant solo guitarist I ever became aware of, I had records of his when I was 10 years old. It just blew my mind that anyone could play a guitar like that. Still does."

                                                                                    - Charlie Byrd / Jazz Guitar

Some Humor

  A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.
The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of
"No, I had to stop drinking years ago," the homeless man replied.
"Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?" the man asked.
"No, I don't waste time fishing," the homeless man said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."
"Will you spend this on greens fees at a golf course instead of food?" the man asked.
"Are you NUTS!" replied the homeless man. "I haven't played golf in 20 years!"
"Will you spend the money on a woman in the red light district instead of food?" the man asked.
"What disease would I get for ten lousy bucks?" exclaimed the homeless man.
"Well," said the man, "I'm not going to give you the money.
Instead, I'm going to take you home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."
The homeless man was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty
The man replied, "That's okay. It's important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up beer, fishing, golf, and


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 B.C. Rich.

B.C. Rich Guitars

Screaming tone and attitude to match

By Johnny Bach B.C. Rich Guitars

Many guitarists are happy playing a traditional axe like a Les Paul or an SG. Not me. I've always searched for guitars that looked and sounded as extreme as my playing and performance, but only a few have delivered both the attitude-laden appearance and pure shredability that my music demands. Those lucky ones found their way into my arsenal, while the others have gathered dust on pawnshop shelves, doomed to a life of having "Stairway to Heaven" and "Iron Man" plucked on them by amateurs.

Knowing my preference for axes with attitude, Musician's Friend sent me three B.C. Rich guitars that are making huge waves in guitardom: the Platinum Pro Zombie, the Bich Archtop, and the Evil Edge Special Edition Mockingbird. With all I'd heard about these instruments, I was more than willing to see if they'd meet my strict standards of excellence.


Looks that kill

The first word that popped into my head as I looked at the unique shapes of these axes was "edgy." The Zombie's body is based on the B.C. Rich Beast, and it bears the headstock of B.C. Rich's Widow. It's a little more symmetrical than the Beast, yet it retains the edges that create the aggressive look I love. The Bich Archtop is shaped to emit tons of attitude, with its large double-cutaways allowing superb access to all 24 frets. Black hardware on both the Zombie and Bich Archtop add to the metal vibe these guitars possess.

The Evil Edge Mockingbird has a more rounded appearance than the jagged Zombie and Bich shapes. It's offset nicely by chrome hardware and the large brass pickguard that runs from the bottom point on the body over the tone controls and bridge with a cool hand-axe shape. The large arm contour on the top of the body makes it a very comfortable guitar to play as well.


Tonal treasures

Great looks on a guitar are important, but they don't mean squat without the tone to match. After taking in the killer shapes of these guitars, I was anxious to plug them in to see if their sounds would live up to their designs.

The Bich Archtop's basswood body makes it lightweight, yet it generates excellent low-end via dual humbuckers. It has loads of sustain and it was easy to get rich clean tones as well as straight-up metal crunch. The maple neck is topped with a lightning-fast rosewood fretboard with 24 jumbo frets. The action was perfect out of the box--whether playing open chords, runs up the neck, or big bends, the guitar responded amazingly well. I've played guitars that cost much more that couldn't match the versatility the Bich provides. In fact, I soon learned that this is something that really united these guitars despite their radically different designs. They are all a pleasure to play.


BDSM badness

The Evil Edge Special Edition Mockingbird and Zombie match the great action and feel of the Bich with B.C. Rich's Broad Dynamic Sonically Matched (BDSM) pickups. These high-output humbuckers are hand-selected and matched by B.C. Rich engineers to deliver maximum output and durability. To put it simply, they are hotter than hell.

The Evil Edge Special Edition Mockingbird and Zombie both have agathis bodies, which gives them a warm tone similar to mahogany but without the high price tag. The Zombie comes with a trusty Floyd Rose locking trem. I love my whammy bars, but there's nothing worse than doing a killer dive only to find it's knocked the entire guitar out of tune. That's not a problem with the Zombie; it stayed true to pitch no matter what I threw at it.


The response

In my opinion, there's no better place to put a guitar to the test than a live show. While the studio or rehearsal can be forgiving of mistakes, broken strings, and the like, when you play live you're at the mercy of your gear and your talent.

The Bich served me well on a few of our straight-up, riff-driven rockers. I was able to pull both rhythm and lead tones out of it with ease, and the sustain was off the hook. The Mockingbird made a couple of appearances on songs where I really like my guitar parts to shine above the rest of the band. With those hot BDSM pickups, I was able to use the volume knob to achieve a number of nuances. I love the tone of the axe I normally play, but I often have the volume cranked to max to achieve the right sound, taking away the opportunity for such dynamics. I used the Zombie and its Floyd Rose trem for some of my more far-out numbers, including an instrumental I wrote that's basically a vehicle for shredding. The Zombie let me indulge my wildest dive bombs and didn't go a cent off pitch.


The price is right

After spending some time with these B.C. Rich guitars, I had to remind myself how affordable they are. Normally when I play a guitar that responds as well as these, I just assume it's priced somewhere in the $1,000 and up range. Not so with these. In fact, all three of these guitars come in at under $500--stellar values given their attributes.

If you're a guitarist who wants to stand out from the crowd, impress your fans with monster tone, and not have to struggle to play your chops, then any of these B.C. Rich guitars will serve you handsomely.


Platinum Pro Zombie:
  • Agathis body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • BDSM humbucking pickups
  • Licensed Floyd Rose locking trem
  • 25-1/2" scale
  • 24 jumbo frets
  • Black hardware
Bich Archtop:
  • Basswood body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • White body binding
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Dual humbuckers
  • Black hardware
  • 25-1/2" scale
  • 24 jumbo frets
  • Sealed B.C. Rich tuners
Evil Edge Special Edition Mockingbird:
  • Agathis body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 2 BDSM humbuckers
  • Chrome hardware
  • Unique brass bridge/tailpiece/pickguard
  • 25-1/2" scale
  • 24 jumbo frets
  • Sealed B.C. Rich tuners

The Platinum Pro Zombie, Bich, and Evil Edge Special Edition Mockingbird guitars from B.C. Rich have the bold looks and tone that players on the edge want, as well as very friendly price tags.




Increasing Your Lead Speed

Frank Numberg; Los Angeles, CA

Q: How can I increase my speed? I want to shred but I feel I am falling short.

A: So you want to SHRED! The best way to get you prepared to play fast passages and rip up the guitar neck is to design an exercise routine and practice it consistently.

It seems like everyone is looking for a magic pill or potion that will make you a great lead guitar player instantly, but it really comes down to hard work and consistent practice.

A great daily practice routine should be balanced with scales, exercises, lead patterns, and difficult single-string pieces to challenge all your skills together (I like classical pieces from Mozart best).

My DVD program Hands of Steel has three complete workout routines that can help get you started if you don�t have these components to use already.


Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House


Copyright Your Music

You've spent many hours on the new song, honing the lyrics and polishing the melody; now, how do you copyright it? Any artistic expression is protected by copyright law at the moment of its creation... but how can you prove ownership? The option (for U.S. musicians) is registration with the United States Copyright Office. (For copyright information in non-US countries, see Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (UK), and The Australasian Performing Right Association Limited.)

The copyright law of the United States (title 17 of the United States Code) provides for copyright in "musical works, including any accompanying words," which are fixed in some tangible medium of expression. Musical works include both original compositions and original arrangements or other new versions of earlier compositions to which new copyrightable authorship has been added. The Copyright Office registers claims to copyrights and issues certificates of registration, but does not "grant" or "issue" copyrights. Under the present statute, copyright protection begins at the time a work is created in a fixed form such as a writing or recording. Original musical works may be registered in published or unpublished form. For unpublished works and works published on or after January 1, 1978, registration in the Copyright Office is not a condition of protection; however, there are certain advantages.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, U.S.C.) provides for copyright protection in sound recordings. Sound recordings are defined in the law as "works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work." Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures. Copyright in a sound recording protects the particular series of sounds "fixed" (embodied) in the recording against unauthorized reproduction and revision and against the unauthorized distribution of phonorecords containing those sounds. Generally, copyright protection extends to two elements in a sound recording: (1) the contribution of the performer(s) whose performance is captured, and (2) the contribution of the person or persons responsible for capturing and processing the sounds to make the final recording.

Copyright forms in PDF form are available from the United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress located at The forms require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print.

If you choose to register a claim in your work by mail, send the following material in the same envelope or package to:

Register of Copyrights
Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 20559

1. A properly completed application form;
2. A nonreturnable deposit of the work to be registered; and
3. A nonrefundable filing fee of $30 with each application.

For more information see the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 for all the legal mumbo jumbo about copyright infringement and more.

Related Links:

Copyright Resource Center

Copyright Clearance Center
National Music Publishers' Association, Inc.
Musicians' Intellectual Law & Resources Links
NPSAI Songwriter and Music Copyright Resources
The Copyright Website


Recommended Listening - A Must For Your Collection!

Raphael Rabello, Cry, My Guitar
By Teja Gerken
Brazilian guitarist Raphael Rabello transcended every expectation about how he �should� sound, given widespread preconceptions about his heritage and his instrument. By the time he died at age 33 in 1995, Rabello had made several groundbreaking ecordings, including Dois Irm�os, an influential duo album with clarinetist Paulo Moura. Cry, My Guitar was recorded in 1994, and its release more than a decade later unearths a lost treasure. Rabello composed only five of the CD�s 13 tracks, but his signature voice�precise and confident chops augmented by flamenco rasgueados and jazz harmonies�is apparent in such familiar Brazilian fare as Baden Powell�s �Sentimentos, se Voce Pergunta: Nunca Vai Saber� and Garoto�s �Lamentos do Morro.� Of Rabello�s originals, �Sete Cordas� is representative of his virtuosity and sense of form, with clever melodic lines weaving through beautiful chords. Cry, My Guitar should be mandatory listening not only for fans of nylon-string guitar and classical music, but also for anyone who appreciates brilliant instrumental soloists on any instrument, in any genre. (GSP,


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