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Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Duane Eddy


Name: Duane Eddy
Born: 26th April, 1938 (Corning, New York, USA)

Profile: He is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He was one of the earliest guitarist to have a signature series guitar (under Guild guitars endorsement deal).

History: He took up guitar at the age of 5, learning first on an old Martin acoustic. For his 13th birthday, he was given a Gibson Les Paul, which he had traded in for a Gretsch Chet Atkins by the time he was 15 years old, when he was sitting in at local roadhouses with Al Casey's band.

In 1954 (Arizona), Eddy met Lee Hazlewood, who would become his longtime partner, co-writer and producer. They both moved to Phoenix, where Eddy formed a band known as "The Rebels", his commercial success was all about sound, feel and basic melody. He reaped considerable benefit from this enforced discipline, becoming the biggest-selling instrumentalist of his day.

In 1957, Eddy was 19 years old when he cut his first hit song at Audio Recorders Studio, Arizona. At the time, many people thought that he tuned his guitar down. In fact, Eddy would write and play most of the tunes in A and E, allowing open-sting rot notes to ring on. Later, he would tune his guitar down a semi-tone so that his fingerings would be the same but he could play in A flat and E flat, or he would tune up a semi-tone to play in F and B flat. Later, he experimented further.

Influences: Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Howard Roberts, Charlie Christian, B.B. King and Barney Kessel.

Axology: Gretsch guitar model 6120 Chet Atkins, Guild guitars signature series, Magnaton amplifier and Tom Macormack custom-made 100w

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVveJKV4ivQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=o_76N2Q0NOo&feature=related

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Eddie Cochran


Name: Edward Ray Cochran
Born/Died: 3rd October, 1938 (Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA) – 17th April, 1960

Profile: He was an American rock and roll musician and an important influence on popular music during the late 50's and early 60's.

History: He took music lessons in school, but quit the band to play drums. Also, rather than taking piano lessons, he began learning guitar, playing the country music he heard on the radio. Around the age of 16 he carefully studied jazz records by Joe Pass and Johnny Smith.

As his guitar playing improved, he experimented with just about every style of American 50's music, he then formed a band with two friends from his junior high school. During a show featuring many performers at an American Legion hall, he met Hank Cochran. Although they were not related, they recorded as "The Cochran Brothers" and began performing together. Eddie Cochran also worked as a session musician, and began writing songs, making a "demo" with Jerry Capehart, his future manager.

Started in 1956, Eddie had acted in various hit films such as "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Twenty Flight Rock" the next year, he even backed Skeets McDonald at Columbia's studios for "You Oughta See Grandma Rock" and "Heart Breaking Mama" in 1959.

By the time of his death in 1960 at the age of 21 - he was killed in a car crash while on tour in the UK with Gene Vincent - he had been called "the James Dean of Rock & Roll".

Influences: Chet Atkins, Hank Williams, Joe Pass and Johnny Smith

Axology: Gretsch Chet Atkins model 6120, Gibson electric acoustic guitar with a single florentine cutaway and Fender Bassman amplifier

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRjlZ8x2uQM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW659x8T-oo

"...the one man who could take my crown as the King of Rock & Roll." - Elvis Presley

Monday, 22 March 2010

Freddie King


Name: Frederick Christian King
Born/Died: 3rd September, 1934 (Gilmer, Texas, USA) - 28th December, 1976

Profile: He was an influential Afro-American blues guitarist and singer. He is best known for his recordings such as 1960's "Have You Ever Loved A Woman". King had an intuitive style, often creating guitar parts with vocal nuances. He achieved this by using the open string sound associated with Texas blues and the raw, screaming tones of West Side Chicago blues.

History: King's mother and uncle began teaching Freddie to play guitar at the age of 6 and his first instrument was a Silverstone acoustic. In his early teens he moved on to electric guitar. Before long, he was making trips to Chicago to seek out the guitar players he had heard on record.

In his early years as a young musician, King played with Muddy Waters's sidemen. Although he made recordings under his own name as early as 1956, it was not until 1961 that he had his first major success on record. Until the early 70's King's records was always a 'hit', from "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" and "Hideaway". In 1976, Freddie King suffered a fatal heart attack while playing a gig in Dallas.

Influences: Lingtnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers and B.B. King.

Axology: vintage Gibson Les Paul, Gibson ES-335, Gibson ES-345 and Gibson ES-355.

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdPD1rcQlig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbqtnNorgQA

B.B. King


Name: Riley King
Born: 16th September, 1925 (Itta Bena, Mississippi)

Profile: He is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter acclaimed for his expressive singing and guitar playing. King is thought to be the originator of the vibrato technique of moving the finger in small movements across the string rather than along its length. He was also one of the pioneers of note-bending techniques.

History: King first got hooked on the blues through hearing records by Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson, which a teenage aunt brought home. By the time he was 14, he got his first guitar - a three-quarter-sized Stella costing $15. His next guitar was a Gibson acoustic which he bought with some help from a country cousin (Bukka White) - and to which he fitted a DeArmond pick-up.

King's first record release was "Miss Martha King" in 1949, his first national hit on the R&B charts were in 1950 with the song called "Three O'clock Blues". In the early 60's he recorded the highly rated "Alive and Well" album. During the 80's King received numerous music business accolades, but his playing was also discovered by a new generation when in 1989 he featured on U2's "When Love Comes to Town".

He acquired the initials "B.B" early in his career when Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Boy), hosting the American King Biscuit, which nicknamed him "The Blues Boy from Beale Street" which was eventually abbreviated to the initials "B.B"

Influences: Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt

Axology: Gibson ES-355, Fender Twin Reverb and Gibson Series amp

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqAuuIDU2sw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsM6L8nW4kk

"He's the father of the squeezing of the string of the electric guitar. The original 'Sweet Little Angel' made me cry when I first heard it" - Buddy Guy

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Cliff Burton (Metallica)


Name: Clifford Lee Burton
Born/Died: 10th February, 1962 (Castro Valley, California, USA) – 27th September, 1986

Profile: He was an American bassist best known as the bass player of American heavy metal band "Metallica". As a bassist he made heavy use of distortion and effects (several of which are usually associated with non-bass guitars).

History: Cliff's interest in music began when his father introduced him to classical music and he began taking piano lessons. In his teenage years, Cliff had an interest in rock, classical and eventually heavy metal. He began playing the bass at age 13, after the death of his brother. His parents quoted him as saying, "I'm going to be the best bassist for my brother." He practiced up to 6 hours per day. Along with classical, jazz, southern rock, country and blues.

While still a student at Castro Valley High School, Cliff formed his first band called "EZ-Street", other member of the band was guitarist "Big" Jim Martin (Faith No More). Cliff and Big continued their musical collaboration after becoming students at Chabot College in Hayward, California.

Their second band, "Agents of Misfortune", entered the local "Battle of the Bands" contest in 1981. Their audition was recorded on video and features some of the earliest footage of his trademark playing style. Cliff joined his first major band, "Trauma" in early 1982.

Late in 1982, he joined "Metallica" and performed on their debut album, "Kill 'Em All". Cliff's early influence was essential in creating the unique musical style for which "Metallica" became famous. Cliff performed on two more albums, "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets", both of which met with major commercial and critical success.

He was known for his "lead bass" approach, in which the bass played a melodic, soloistic role in addition to holding down the harmonic and rhythmic foundation of the band.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Rickenbacker 4001, Aria SB-1000 and Mesa Boogie amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O9zMnwD65Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=B_HmN4cHkvk&feature=related

Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)


Name: Nuno Duarte Gil Mendes Bettencourt
Born: 20th September, 1966 (Praia da Vitória, Terceira, Azores, Portugal)

Profile: He is a Portuguese guitarist and singer-songwriter best known for his role as the lead guitarist of the Boston hard rock band "Extreme" whose hits include the acoustic ballads "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted".

History: Nuno grew up in a very musical family. Initially, he had little interest in music, preferring to spend his time on sports. His first instrument was the drums, bass and keyboards, he played them exclusively until his brother, Luis, began to teach him how to play guitar.

While Nuno was slow to adopt the instrument under his brother's tutelage, his skills quickly developed when he began teaching himself, practicing upwards of 7 hours a day. In his junior years of high school, Nuno dropped out of sports so he could focus on playing guitar.

In mid 80's he formed a metal band called "Sinful" - unable to make a dent in the music world he then left the band and in 1985, he joined "Extreme" and released the band's debut album in 1989, which rose him to international prominence as a guitar player.

In 1990, "Extreme" released their most critically acclaimed album, Pornograffitti, which included the hits "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted". The band followed it with III Sides to Every Story in 1992. Nuno composed and arranged the brass and string sections for this album and the full orchestra on III Sides to Every Story. In 1996, "Extreme" disbanded after releasing the album, Waiting for the Punchline, - when Nuno expressed his desire to follow a solo career.

He has since recorded a solo project called Schizophonic as well as with bands he founded including "Mourning Widows", "Population 1", "DramaGods" and "The Satellite Party". In 2007, he reunited with "Extreme" to record new music and tour with the original line up (with the exception of drummer Paul Geary).

Since 1990, Nuno has had his own line of custom guitars designed by Washburn Guitars. His line is known as the N-Series, and is currently promoting the Washburn N4.

Influences: Eddie Van Halen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Brian May (Queen), Pat Travers, Paco de Lucía, Vito Bratta, Al Di Meola and Aerosmith.

Axology: Washburn guitars N-Series

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=cCgxCNNFm-k&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrIiLvg58SY

Paul Gilbert (Racer X/Mr. Big)


Name: Paul Brandon Gilbert
Born: 6th November, 1966 (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, well known for his guitar work with "Racer X" and "Mr. Big", as well as many solo albums. He also joined Joe Satriani and John Petrucci on the 2007 G3 tour. He was also a guitar instructor in GIT.

History: He began playing music at the age 5 and by age 15 he was touring local clubs with his band "Tau Zero". In 1984, Gilbert relocated to LA to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT), becoming an instructor there the following year; concurrently he formed the band "Electric Fence", which by 1986 evolved into "Racer X", they were heavily influenced by "Judas Priest" and Gilbert's playing was reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen, displaying fast-driven solos with extreme-level technique.

In 1988, Gilbert left "Racer X" and join Mr. Big, which in 1992 topped the pop charts with the ballad "To Be with You." In 1997, Gilbert left "Mr. Big"; and a year later Gilbert made his solo debut "King of Clubs".

In the late 90's, he reunited with his former band "Racer X" and recorded the album "Technical Difficulties", following "Superheroes" in 2000. In 2009, Gilbert reunited with the rest of the original "Mr. Big" band members for a reunion world tour.

Influences: Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page, Robin Trower, Judas Priest, Akira Takasaki, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, The Ramones, The Beach Boys and The Beatles and Jimi Kidd (his uncle).

Axology: Ibanez PGM signature series guitars, Ibanez RG750, Ibanez "Fireman" (a reversed-body Ibanez Iceman with single-coil pickups and an extra cutaway) guitars, ADA preamps and rack effects, Laney amplifiers.

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPGA3vjMLgE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVd6PeNAqUY

Gary Moore


Name: Robert William Gary Moore
Born: 4th April, 1952 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Profile: He is a Northern Irish guitarist and singer. In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore has played with artists including Thin Lizzy, B.B. King, Colosseum II, Greg Lake and the blues-rock band Skid Row (not the glam metal band), as well as having a successful solo career.

History: He started performing at a young age, having picked up a battered acoustic guitar at the age of 8. Moore got his first quality guitar at the age of 14, learning to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left-handed, he was turned on to rock and roll first through hearing Elvis Presley, and then via "The Beatles". Seeing the likes of Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in his hometown in the mid 60's opened up to him the rich world of The Blues.

In 1969, Moore joined the group "Skid Row". It was with this group that Moore earned a reputation in the music industry, and his association with Phil Lynott began. In 1973, Moore released his first solo album "Grinding Stone" and was billed as the Gary Moore Band. In 1978 his solo career continued with the help from Phil Lynott.

In 1987, Moore collaborated on the UK charity record "Let It Be", a cover of "The Beatles" track. Moore performed a guitar solo for inclusion on the recording. The record raised substantial funds for the survivors of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise disaster.

After a series of rock records, Moore returned to blues music with "Still Got the Blues" album, with contributions from Albert King, Albert Collins and George Harrison (The Beatles). The album was well received by fans and a huge success. In 2004, he released "Power of the Blues" album, following "Old New Ballads Blues" in 2006, "Close As You Get" in 2007 and his most recent album "Bad For You Baby" in 2008.

Moore has remained relatively unknown in the US, although his work has "brought substantial acclaim and commercial success in most other parts of the world – especially in Europe".

Influences: Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) and The Beatles.

Axology: 1959 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst, 50's Gibson Les Paul Junior, Charvel, Fender, Ibanez, Hamer, Jackson, Heritage, PRS and Marshall amplifiers.

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O_YMLDvvnw

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=D3-TgDjcBL0&feature=related

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Bo Diddley


Name: Otha Ellas Bates
Born/Died: 28th December, 1928 (McComb, Missisippi) - 2nd June, 2008

Profile: He is an American rock & roll vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and inventor. He was known as "The Originator" because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock & roll. He introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard-edged guitar sound on a wide-ranging catalog of songs. He was known in particular for his technical innovations, including his trademark rectangular guitar.

History: Diddley grew up in Chicago where he was exposed to post-war blues. As a boy he played violin and trombone before switching to guitar when he was 18 years old, inspired by a concert where he saw John Lee Hooker performed.

By busking on street corners with friends in a band called "The Hipsters". In 1951, he landed a regular spot at the 708 Club on Chicago's South Side. In late 1954, he teamed up with harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, drummer Clifton James and bass player Roosevelt Jackson, and recorded demos of "I'm A Man" and "Bo Diddley" (which became number one R&B hit and adopted the stage name "Bo Diddley").

He continued to have hits through the late 50's and the 60's, in addition to the many songs recorded by him, in 1956 he co-wrote, with Jody Williams, the pioneering pop song "Love Is Strange", a hit for Mickey & Sylvia in 1957.

Diddley spent many years in New Mexico from 1971 to 1978 continuing his musical career. In 1979, he appeared as an opening act for "The Clash" along with B.B. King, Les Paul, Albert Collins, George Benson, among others and joined "The Rolling Stones" as a guest on their 1994 concert broadcast of Voodoo Lounge.

Influences: John Lee Hooker, Louis Jordan and Muddy Waters.

Axology: Custom-made Gretsch electrics and Magnatone amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=979rwnVPG4A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHs6f0mlkaM

"My music has a little bit of a spiritual taste, but it's also primitive. I play the guitar as if I was playing drums" - Bo Diddley

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Chuck Berry


Name: Charles Edward Anderson Berry
Born: 18th October, 1926 (St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

Profile: He is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

History: Berry took up guitar after inspired by his partner in the school production. Chuck had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. He found that if he learned rhythm changes and blues chords, he could play most of the popular songs on the radio at the time.

Then in 1952, he began playing guitar and singing in a club band whose song list ranged from blues to ballads to calypso to country. Berry was becoming an accomplished showman, incorporating gestures and facial expressions to go with the lyrics. In 1953, he joined the Sir John's Trio, which played the popular Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis.

His break came when he traveled to Chicago in 1955, and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records. By the end of the 50's, Chuck was an established star with several hit records and film appearances to his name, as well as a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis-based nightclub, called Berry's Club Bandstand.

By the 70's he was more in demand as a nostalgic live performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality and now in his 80's, Berry continues to play live.

Influences: T-Bone Walker, Carl Hogan, Nat "King" Cole and Muddy Waters

Axology: Gibson ES-350T, Gibson ES-355 and Fender Dual Showman

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y3-NSalpKI

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=AEq62iQo0eU&feature=related

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Charlie Christian


Name: Charles Henry Christian
Born/Died: 29th July, 1916 (Dallas, Texas) – 2nd March, 1942

Profile: He was an American swing and jazz guitarist. Although there were guitarists who had played amplified guitars before him, but it was him who established the electric guitar as a serious proposition. He developed the style of single-note, melodic-electric guitar playing that placed the instrument on a par with the saxophone, trumpet, clarinet and other solo voices in jazz.

History: His interest in music began by playing the trumpet at the age of 12, but he also learned to play acoustic guitar, double bass and piano, though not necessarily in that order. It was as a double-bass player that Charlie got his first professional gig with Alphonso Trent's band in 1934.

In 1937, he played in several other bands before coming into contact with Eddie Durham (who was an arranger, trombonist and pioneering electric guitarist). Charlie had been impressed with Durham's electric guitar work who had been playing an amplified Hawaiian guitar. Charlie quizzed Durham on his playing technique. At the time Charlie did not own a guitar and when Durham told him to get one of his own he turned up with an extremely rough instrument for which he had paid only $5. Durham was amused by the instrument but impressed with Charlie's desire to learn and his instant ability to assimilate all he was shown.

By the time Charlie was discovered by John Hammond (Jazz entrepreneur), he had become something of a local hero in Oklahoma, Hammond thought that Charlie would be a perfect addition to Benny Goodman's jazz group and flew him to California for an audition.

Charlie stayed with Goodman less then 2 years later, however, after playing with Goodman in the evening, he would frequently head for Minton's Playhouse (a jazz club in Harlem). There he would play for hours with such infuential jazz musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk and Charlie "Bird" Parker, they are considered to be among the founders of "bebop" jazz.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Electric Spanish Gibson ES-250 and Gibson EH-150 amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXV7AvS_DzU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce9Jtl9D6FQ

"Charlie Christian sounds old and brand new at the same time. His solo on 'I Found a New Baby' is simple and complicated. It's as hip as any bop I've ever heard." - Jim Hall

Django Reinhardt


Name: Jean Reinhardt
Born/Died: 23rd January, 1910 (Liberchies, Belgium) – 16th May 1953

Profile: He was a Gypsy jazz guitarist. One of the first prominent European jazz musicians and remains one of the most renowned jazz guitarists. Django's most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including 'Minor Swing', 'Belleville', 'Djangology', 'Swing '42' and 'Nuages'.


History: Django spent most of his youth in Romani (near Paris), where he started in playing banjo, guitar and violin from an early age, and was performing in Parisian dance halls and clubs before he turned 14. He started first on the violin and eventually moved on to a banjo-guitar that had been given to him as a gift. His first known recordings (in 1928) were of him playing the banjo.

At the age of 18, Django was injured in a fire that ravaged his caravan. While his family and neighbors were quick to pull him to safety, he received first- and second-degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralyzed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs. Reinhardt refused to have the surgery and left the hospital after a short time; he was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane.

His brother Joseph, an accomplished guitarist himself, bought Django a new guitar. With rehabilitation and practice he relearned his craft in a completely new way, even as his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralyzed. He played all of his guitar solos with only two fingers, and used the two injured digits only for chord work.

By the late 30's, Django was recording with visiting stars of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and after WWII, he realized his lifelong ambition to tour the US in the company of Ellington Orchestra. Django suffered a fatal stroke in 1953, but his brilliant recorded legacy ensures that he will not be forgotten.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: 1932 Selmer Maccaferri Jazz guitar and Gibson LSEC

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iJ7bs4mTUY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6jwvS0mHwo

"One of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz." - Thom Jurek

"Django Reinhardt was fantastic. He must have been playing all the time to be that good" - Jimmy Page

Monday, 15 March 2010

Tommy Bolin (Zephyr/Deep Purple)


Name: Thomas Richard Bolin
Born/Died: 1st August, 1951 (Sioux City, Iowa) - 4th December, 1976

Profile: He was an American-born guitarist who played with Zephyr (from 1969 to 1971), The James Gang (from 1973 through 1974), Deep Purple (from 1975 to 1976) and his solo work.

History: Tommy interest in music began when he used to watched a TV show called "Caravan of Stars" where he saw Elvis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, he then knew he wanted to be a musician just like them. He started by playing drums for 2 years, keyboards then electric guitar.

He began playing in bands around Sioux City as a youth before moving to Colorado, in his late teens. He had played in a various bands such as "American Standard" and "Ethereal Zephyr". When record companies became interested, the name was shortened to "Zephyr".

In 1972 Tommy, at the age of 20, formed the fusion jazz-rock-blues band "Energy". While the band never released an album during his lifetime, several recordings have been released posthumously. A year after that, he joined "The James Gang" and had 2 records with them, after the band's tour in Miami, Tommy wanted out of the band and went on to do session work for numerous rock bands and also with a number of jazz artists.

In 1974, Tommy signed with Nemperor records to do a solo album, where he decided to do his own vocals as well. During the recording of this album, he was contacted to replace Ritchie Blackmore in "Deep Purple".

In the start of 1975 Tommy contributed some studio guitar assistance to Canadian band "Moxy" during the recording of their debut album, later with the released of his first solo album in the same year. He then toured with "Deep Purple" in 1975 - 1976, after "Deep Purple" disbanded in March, 1976, Tommy was back on the road with his solo band and planning a second solo album. However, his final show, in which he opened for Jeff Beck, in Miami, encored with a rendition of "Post Toastee."

Influences: Django Reinhardt, Carl Perkins, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and the "Rolling Stones".

Axology: Fender 1963 Stratocaster, Fender Stratocaster with Telecaster headstock, Ibanez Explorer and Yamaha Acoustic guitar

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjjoKCWIXiA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsRkBokQH2E

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Joey Tafolla (Jag Panzer)


Name: Joey Tafolla
Born: Unknown

Profile: He is an American guitarist who gain fame as a solo guitarist in the mid 80's. He is also a businessman who owned JTM Merchandising in California.

History: Started to take guitar seriously in his teen and initially a member of the heavy metal band "Jag Panzer" from 1984 to 1985, he joined Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records label soon after; releasing his debut album "Out of the Sun" in 1987.

In 1991, he released a second album titled "Infra-Blue", it was a noticeable departure from the neo-classical signature of his first album, and demonstrated a more standard instrumental rock-orientated sound.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Carvin guitars and Bogner amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj7wP93Kcds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkSwZm0gfgI

"Tafolla is a guy that has a superb talent and knows how to entertain and mystify you with it" - Nick Martinelli

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Jan Kuehnemund (Vixen)


Name: Janice Lynn Kuehnemund
Born: 11th November, 1961 (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Profile: She is an American hard rock guitarist best known for her work with "Vixen". Jan is the original founding member of the band. Her trademark guitar playing can be heard on many of the Vixen songs.

History: Started to pick up guitar in her early teens and jammed with her best friend Cindy, Gayle and Laurie. Her first gig was at a roller rink when she was just 16 years old. In 1981, she formed another all female hard rock band called "Vixen" with a new lineup in Los Angeles where their played on the LA/Hollywood club scene before signing with EMI in 1987.

In 1988, "Vixen's" self-titled debut album came out and open the eyes of every female guitarist all over the world on how Jan shreds her guitar. In 1990, Vixen's second album, "Rev It Up", had its share of catchy, infectious material. When Jan, who contributes her guitar and songwriting prowess to the group, decided to take a break in the early 90's, the group went their separate ways. During that time, Jan actively played with "Drawing Down the Moon" and "Population 361".

In 2005, Jan decided to keep the name alive and recruited Lynn Louise Lowrey (bass), Kat Kraft (drums), and Jenna Sanz-Agero (vocals) to round out the band. This new version of Vixen released a studio album, "Live & Learn", a year later.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Carvin guitars, Luna guitars and Carvin amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rk6kLpNqf8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzNOdall1To

Liz Phair


Name: Elizabeth Clark Phair
Born: 17th April, 1967 (New Haven, Connecticut, United States)

Profile: She is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. She attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and majored in art history. She even supported herself by selling her charcoal drawings on the streets of Wicker Park.

History: Liz's entry into the music industry began when she met guitarist Chris Brokaw of "Come". Brokaw and Liz moved to San Francisco together, where she tried to become an artist there. After moving back to Chicago, Liz began writing songs and recording homemade tapes under the name "Girly Sound" before signing with the independent record label Matador Records.

Her 1993 debut studio album "Exile in Guyville" was released to acclaim: by the turn of the twenty-first century, it had been ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. An album after an album it was always a great success and in 1998, Liz joined the now legendary "Lilith Fair" to promote her album and share the main stage along with the acts like Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Missy Elliott.

In 2003, her self-titled fourth album was released on her new label, Capitol Records. She had been working on her record, as well as making guest appearances on other tracks (she lent backing vocals to the Sheryl Crow hit "Soak Up the Sun").

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Mustang guitars

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I2i5cPHgW8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eelviLDxrto

Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle/The Chelsea)


Name: Paz Lenchantin
Born: 12th December, 1973 (Mar del Plata, Argentina)

Profile: She is an Argentine-American musician. She speaks fluent Spanish and English. She is a well known bassist and violinist in a band "A Perfect Circle".

History: She began playing piano at age 5. She then took violin lessons at age 8 and taught herself how to play guitar at age 12. Paz then joined Billy Howerdel in the band "A Perfect Circle", Paz later left the group to join with Billy Corgan's supergroup, in the band "Zwan".

In 2002, Paz with Melissa Auf der Maur created a new all-female supergroup band called "The Chelsea". The band played only one show before going their separate ways. Paz returned to play strings and piano with "A Perfect Circle" in recording their cover album eMOTIVe.

In 2005 she played violin on the "Kaura" track "Dividing Lines". She has also contributed to and toured with Jarboe (Swans). Paz also played bass on "Brightblack Morning Light" self-titled album on Matador Records. Since 2005, Paz has been collaborating with "Entrance" on their album Prayer of Death, as co- producer as well as contributing bass and violin. She is now a seemingly permanent member of the "Entrance".

She even worked with director Michael Mann on his film "Miami Vice" contributing violin on several scenes. She also contributed her playing skills with strings on Melissa Auf der Maur's first solo album "Auf der Maur".

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Precision bass and Fender Jazz bass

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auwDHmK9CGk

Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole/The Chelsea)


Name: Melissa Auf der Maur
Born: 17th March, 1972 (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Profile: She is a Canadian rock musician of Swiss-German ancestry. Her career has included as bassist with the band "Hole" and "The Smashing Pumpkins". She is also a published photographer.

History: She was immersed into the music scene at an early age thanks to her mother (1st female rock DJ in Montreal), who would show young Melissa interviews of rock stars like Frank Zappa and the "spreading the word" aspect of rock & roll intrigued her. She started by taking piano and trumpet lessons and had experience as a choir singer and she tackled the bass by teaching it to herself, thanks to a dream she had about the band "Kyuss".

Melissa jammed with the punk band boys, with the confidence that she would make it as a bassist and started a band called "Tinker" with her best friend and boyfriend, which their often played in a nightclub in Montreal. She then met with Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins) at the same nightclub.

In 1994, Melissa joined "Hole" (where Billy Corgan introduced her to Courtney Love) after the death of their previous bassist Kristen Pfaff and recorded an album with them, she then left "Hole" after the end of her 5 year contract. While busy with "Hole", Melissa briefly toured with Ric Ocasek "The Cars" contributing bass and background vocals for his solo album. In 1998, she also contributed her amazing vocals to childhood friend Rufus Wainwright's album which she appeared in his video "April Fools".

In 2000, Melissa briefly toured with "The Smashing Pumpkins" and collaborated with French group "Indochine" on their song "Le Grand Secret", singing a duet in French with Nicola Sirkis. In 2002, Melissa joined a band called "Hand of Doom", in which she performed as lead vocals and in the same year, she also formed "The Chelsea".

In 2004, Melissa released her first solo album, garnering airplay on modern rock for the singles "Followed the Waves", "Real a Lie" and "Taste You". Melissa was part of the 2004 "Love Metal tour" also featuring "HIM" and "Curiosa". In 2007, she appeared on the "Fountains of Wayne" album singing backing on the track "Someone to Love".

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Precision bass

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdRvcoD1uMY

Friday, 12 March 2010

Geddy Lee (Rush)


Name: Gary Lee Weinrib
Born: 29th July, 1953 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Profile: He is a Canadian musician, best known as the lead vocalist, bassist and keyboardist for the Canadian rock band "Rush".

History: Taking up bass as a teenager and influenced by the likes of John Entwistls (WHO). Lee then joined "Rush" in 1968 at the request of his childhood friend Alex Lifeson. In 1973, their released their self-titled debut album and after honing their sound on a few albums, the trio went with relentless touring and their 1976 sci-fi concept album, 2112.

Throughout the 80's, Lee and "Rush" explored more modern sounds with Lee vocals becoming more restrained, they remained successful throughout the 90's, issuing successful albums and playing sold-out arena tours worldwide, until "Rush" went on indefinite hiatus in 1997.

In 2000, Lee issued his first ever solo album "My Favorite Headache" who was joined by ex-Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and ex-FM guitarist Ben Mink and in 2006, Lee joined Lifeson's supergroup the "Big Dirty Band".

Influences: John Entwistle (WHO), Jack Bruce (Cream), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), John Myung(Dream Theater), Les Claypool (Primus) and Cliff Burton (Metallica)

Axology: Fender Precision bass, Fender Jazz bass, Rickenbacker 4001 model bass, Steinberger bass, British Wal basses, Ampeg amplifiers and Gallien-Krueger amplifiers.

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dptj4dMuS1w

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Tim Commerford (RAtM/Audioslave)


Name: Timothy Robert Commerford aka Tim C
Born: 26th February, 1968 (Irvine, California)

Profile: He is the bassist/backing vocalist for American rock band "Rage Against the Machine" and the now-defunct "Audioslave", Tim plays Jazz basses through various amps with fingerpicking and funk slapping, he is a mountain biker and known for his numerous tattoos, he also likes to write poetry and artwork.

History: Tim met Zack de la Rocha in fifth grade where Zack introduced Tim to bass, and formed a band called "Inside Out" in ninth grade. Tim listens to jazz music (where he soon developed his skills).

In 1991, Tom Morello met up with Zack de La Rocha and Tim to form a new band "Rage Against the Machine" aka "Rage" and a year after, they signed a record deal with Epic Records, which they achieved a phenomenal amount of mainstream success. In late 2000, "Rage" was disbanded after Zack de la Rocha left, Rick Rubin (producer) suggested the three remaining members get together with Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) to form a new band called "Audioslave".

Recently, Tim is still active with the reunion of "Rage Against the Machine" and he also did sessions for other musicians.

Influences: Jimi Hendrix and Jaco Pastorius

Axology: Fender Jazz Basses with Precision Bass necks, Lakland Joe Osbourne Signature bass, Boss DD-3, MXR Phase 90, Dunlop 105Q Bass Wah, Ampeg amplifiers, Ashdown and Mesa/Boogie amplifiers.

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra7UzSMH3rE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHMeSyP7wNE

Antoine Dufour


Name: Antoine Dufour
Born: 1979 (L'Épiphanie, Quebec, Canada)

Profile: He is a French-Canadian acoustic guitarist and guitar instructor. His pieces are characterized by a highly percussive playing style, using slap and natural harmonics frequently. He shares many compositional traits with other fingerstyle guitarists such as Andy McKee, Craig D'Andrea and Don Ross, especially in terms of his music's technical complexity.

History: He started playing guitar at the age of 15. He went on to study at the CEGEP in Joliette, where his teacher make him listened to the music of Leo Kottke, Don Ross and Michael Hedges. His musical style is a mix of the powerful rhythms of rock, the sensibility of classical music, a funky groove and a pure folk melody.

In early 2000's, he has gone on to 2nd place at the 2005 Canadian Guitar Festival's Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, 1st place the next year and 3rd placed at the 2006 International Finger Style Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Antoine has released three solo albums and the forth album with Tommy Gauthier.

Influences: Andrew York, Steve Howe (Yes), Stephen Bennett, Andy Mckee, Steve Vai, John Patrucci (Dream Theater), Augustin Barrios Mangore and Tarrega.

Axology: Stonebridge guitars and Stonebridge 23CR (his own signature series)

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKLrO0WIzG4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jysCH5kMews

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeld-33DQn0

"The acoustic guitar is an instrument which has a very rich sound, and offers infinite possibilities to the player" - Antoine Dufour

Monday, 8 March 2010

Andy Timmons (Danger Danger)


Name: Andy Timmons
Born: 26th July, 1963 (Evansville, Indiana)

Profile: He is an American guitarist who has played in the bands "Danger Danger", "Pawn Kings", and "Andy Timmons Band (ATB)". He has also released several solo albums and has worked as a session guitarist. He has also played alongside Steve Vai, Joe Satriani , Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Mike Stern, Ace Frehley, Ted Nugent, and Pierre Bensusan.

History: Andy's musical career began in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana at the age of 13 with his first band, "Taylor Bay". The decision to pursue the studio scene led him to more serious music studies. He studied classical guitar for two years before moving to Miami to study jazz guitar at the University of Miami (largely because the Dixie Dregs, Pat Metheny, and Jaco Pastorius had all gone there).

He eventually ended up in Dallas where he was very fortunate to get a foot in the door of a very good studio scene. In 1988, the "ATB" was formed and he quickly gained a following in Texas. Around that time, Epic recording artists "Danger Danger" recruited him to finish their debut record, film several videos, and begin touring.

As guitarist for pop-metal band "Danger Danger, he toured the world opening for "Kiss" and Alice Cooper, sold over a million records worldwide, and had two #1 videos on MTV, plus amassing a discography that includes 7 solo releases that range from blazing guitar instrumentals, to blues, and even a Beatles/Elvis inspired collection of pop tunes.

After 4 years in NY with "Danger Danger", Andy returned to Dallas in 1993 to resume his studio career and the "ATB". His first solo release, ear X-tacy, was released in 1994 to critical acclaim followed 1997's ear X-tacy 2. He then released Pawn Kings (1997), Orange Swirl (1998), The Spoken and the Unspoken (1999), and And-thology 1 & 2 (2000).

In 2001 Andy signed with Favored Nations and released his first international record, "That Was Then, This is Now", a compilation of the first two ear X-tacy records and five new tracks. In 2006, Resolution marks Andy's first full-length new release for Favored Nations.

Andy has been consistently voted a “Top 20 Favorite Guitarist” in most of Japan's rock music magazine's reader polls, as well as being voted “Musician of the Year” four years in a row in the acclaimed Dallas Observer Music Awards. He also has become one of the most respected and sought after clinicians representing Ibanez Guitars, touring the world on their behalf.

Influences: Pat Metheny

Axology: Ibanez guitars

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgELKnnHtkc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36ToDxW_hns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKeMzevbcgw

"Early on, I realized that making it in a rock band was such a long-shot, that I better figure out other ways of making a living playing guitar. I began reading about players like Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton who made their living as session musicians. This really appealed to me, since I really loved a wide variety of musical styles." - Andy Timmons

Ana Popovic


Name: Ana Popović
Born: 13th May, 1976 (Belgrade, Serbia)

Profile: She is an incredible guitarist/vocalist, her career has been meteoric, and shows no signs of slowing down. Ana is the first European ever nominated for ‘Best New Blues Artist’ at the W.C. Handy Award Show in Memphis, Tennessee(2003). She and her band won the prestigious jazz award 'Jazz A Juan revelation In Juan Le Pins'(France 2004).

In 1999, Ana relocated to the Netherlands to study jazz guitar. She quickly became a fixture on the Dutch blues scene and soon ventured into neighboring Germany. In 2003, with "Comfort to the Soul" album, Ana delivered another diverse package of blues, rock, soul and jazz.

History: Ana grows up in a warm and loving family where music is very important. Her father Milutin is a creditable guitar/bass player, always inviting friends for nightly jam sessions. In this atmosphere Ana grows up, often listening to her father’s impressive blues and soul record collection. Finally, at 15, Ana picks up her father’s guitar and learned one of Albert King's solos.

Ana founded her first serious band at age 19. Within a year, she was playing outside of Yugoslavia. By 1998, her band was doing 100 shows annually and appearing regularly on Yugoslavian television. Her debut CD, Hometown, provided a first glimpse of her talents as a singer and guitarist.

Influences: Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie Earl, Albert Collins, Kevin Eubanks, George Benson and Howlin’ Wolf.

Axology: Fender Stratocaster guitars, Fender Telecaster guitar, MARTIN Vintage Series D-18V, 12-String OVATION CUSTOM LEGEND, MESA BOOGIE Mark IV, HUGHES & KETTNER Statesman Tube Amp and Marshall 1966 amplifier

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPS40OZYpnc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtYb33S1NoE

Saturday, 6 March 2010

MAJOR PENTATONIC SCALE

To read this diagram;

The letters EADGBe on the right-hand side are the tunings which is in the standard mode *please go to page "Fretboards Diagram and Various Tunings"* to know more about fretboards.

The six horizontal lines represent the strings. The first string (highest tone which is indicated as "e") is on top and the sixth string (lowest tone which is indicated as "E") is at the bottom. The vertical lines represent the frets. The numbers above the diagram indicate each frets (1 is the first fret, 7 is the seventh fret and so on).

The BIG black dots shows you where to put your fingers while the small black dots are your marking frets. The scale's root is the root of the scale and it is indicated in BIG "red" colours.



A pentatonic scale is made up of five notes per octave. The Major Pentatonic scale is similar to major Diatonic scale, but without the 4th and the 7th note.

In this diagram the 1st Pentatonic position started from the lower "F" (1st fret) and back again to higher note "F" (12th fret) on the 5th position.
(F major pentatonic consists of F, A#, D#, G# and C).

Al Di Meola


Name: Al Laurence Dimeola
Born: 22nd July, 1954 (Jersey City, New Jersey)

Profile: He is an American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist. Having a musical career that has spanned more than 30 years, he continues to be one of the most influential guitarists in the jazz fusion category.

History: In 1971, he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he joined Chick Corea's band in 1974 and played with the band until a major lineup shift in 1976.

Di Meola went on to explore a variety of styles, but is most noted for his Latin-influenced jazz fusion works. In the beginning of his career, Di Meola was noted for his technical mastery and extremely fast, complex guitar solos and compositions. But even on his early albums, he had begun to explore Mediterranean cultures and acoustic genres like flamenco.

His early albums were very influential among rock and jazz guitarists alike. Di Meola continued to explore Latin music within the jazz-fusion genre and he even exhibited a more subtle touch on acoustic numbers like "Fantasia Suite for Two Guitars" from the Casino album. In 1980, he also toured with fellow Latin guitarist Carlos Santana.

With Scenario, he explored the electronic side of jazz in a collaboration with Jan Hammer (of Miami Vice theme fame). He began to incorporate guitar/synthesizers on albums such as Soaring Through a Dream. Beginning in the 90's, Di Meola recorded albums closer to World music and modern Latin styles than jazz.

He has continued to tour, playing in smaller venues in Virginia and Las Vegas, Nevada. Recent concerts have included a sampling of his newer material (an engaging mix of acoustic, "distorted acoustic music", and guitar/synthesizer with a looser format than the songs on the early solo albums) along with a selection of electric guitar numbers from the early albums.

Di Meola became arguably the most important pioneer of shred guitar, influencing guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) and John Petrucci (Dream Theater).

Influences: Unknown

Axology: PRS guitars and acoustic guitars

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeC6J9MKnqo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhccIfevjCU

"In the history of the electric guitar, no one figure has done more to advance the instrument in a purely technical manner than Mr. Di Meola. His total command of the various styles and scales is simply mind-boggling. I feel privileged to have been able to study his work all these years." - Robert Lynch

Friday, 5 March 2010

SRV's Lenny

Fender SRV's Lenny Signature series with his name written on the guitar case


The late Stevie Ray Vaughan's with his second favorite guitar - Lenny

Brand/Model and Name : 1965 Fender Stratocaster (Lenny after Stevie's wife Lenora "Lenny" Vaughan)
Neck : Charvel maple guitar neck (a gift from "ZZ Top" guitarist Billy F Gibbons).
Fingerboard : Originally a Rosewood fretboard but change it to Maple
Body : 1965 Solid Alder wood
Color : Originally 3-color sunburst but it was refinished
Pickups : Fender 3-single coil

Extra notes:

The “Lenny” story is a love story. Love for a woman and love for a guitar.

- His wife, Lenora "Lenny" Vaughan, gave him a used Stratocaster guitar on his 26th birthday that had recently caught his eye in an Austin, Texas, pawnshop.

"... there was something about it (Lenny) that clearly and immediately resonated deeply with Vaughan. That guitar really grabbed him" - Lenora "Lenny" Vaughan

- After receiving the guitar that night, as Lenora slept, Stevie wrote a new song on it. In the morning, Lenora remembers, "He was sitting on the edge of the bed with the guitar and said, 'Listen to this.'" He played her the song he had written that night, "Lenny," and she cried.

- Stievie received a new Charvel guitar neck as a gift from his friend and "ZZ Top" guitarist Billy F Gibbons. Vaughan installed the neck (with a maple fingerboard) on "Lenny", at which time he also etched his name into the guitar's neck plate as a point of pride.

- In 1983 breakthrough album, Texas Flood, The song "Lenny" appeared on Texas Flood and was featured regularly in Stevie’s live set. Whenever he played it in concert, he would set aside his beloved "Number 1" Stratocaster and pick up "Lenny" (the guitar).

- In 1985, Stevie was invited to play the national anthem at the Houston Astros season opener. Stevie confessed to his wife that he didn’t know how to play the Star Spangled Banner. Watching her husband play the national anthem there to a packed house in the cavernous Astrodome, Lenora turned to the guy standing next to her and said, "You know, he didn’t know how that went (song), I had to hum it to him on the way here." Turns out the guy next to Lenora was Mickey Mantle (the greatest baseball players in history), this is where Mantle autographed "Lenny" the guitar rather then a baseball bat.

- Stevie slept at night with one arm around Lenora and another around "Lenny" the guitar.

- Lenny’s most notable feature is a batwing shaped inlay behind the bridge, believed to be from a 1910 Italian mandolin pickguard.

- The original 1965 sunburst finish was removed by heavy sanding, giving Lenny a much more rounded, smoother and softer contoured body than any Strat guitar before or since.

Link(s):

http://www.fender.com/features/lenny/

Rob Marcello (Danger Danger)


Name: Rob Marcello
Born: 9th September

Profile: He is a neoclassical metal, rock and jazz/fusion guitar player, notably known as the lead guitarist of "Danger Danger".

History: A virtuoso player who started to play guitar in his early teens and had played with various of powerful bands like "Ironhorse", "Obsession", "Twenty 4 Seven", and "Marcello-Vestry". He gain fame after he replaced Andy Timmons as the lead guitarist of the band "Danger Danger" in 2003 and in late 2009 he was also a stand-in guitarist in the 80's band "House of Lords".

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Ibanez guitars and Suhr Amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywo0Mc8ELEg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzamSJmUaRI

Michael Shanker (UFO)


Name: Michael Schenker
Born: 10th January, 1955 (Sarstedt, Germany)

Profile: He is a German rock guitarist, best known for his tenure in "UFO", in addition to his solo work. He first rose to fame as a founding member of the "Scorpions", then achieved fame in the mid 70's as the lead guitar player for "UFO". Since leaving UFO in 1978, he has been leading the "Michael Schenker Group" in various incarnations.

History: Michael started playing at an early age, after his brother Rudolf brought home a Gibson Flying V guitar, which captured his imagination. He played his first gig when he was 11 with the "Scorpions" in a nightclub. Michael debuted with "Scorpions" on their debut album at age 17. The "Scorpions" went on tour after recording their first album, opening up for upcoming UK band "UFO" in Germany. Michael was offered the position of lead guitar player Bernie Marsden, even though he didn't speak English.

Michael wrote the music for most of UFO's major label. He left "UFO" soon after the last show of their US tour in Palo Alto, California, in October 1978. His playing with "UFO" attracted attention from music critics and especially from the guitar community.

Michael briefly re-joined the "Scorpions" in late 1978, and the year after he toured with the band in support of the album, but left the band 3 months later, where he was permanently replaced by Matthias Jabs, who had originally joined the "Scorpions" before Michael's return.

In 1979, Michael formed the "Michael Schenker Group (MSG)" and he briefly played guitar for the band "Ratt", appearing on their 1990 MTV Unplugged performance. Michael continues to perform and record and to maintain a following, and is called "a legendary figure in the history of metal guitar."

Influences: Rudolf Shanker

Axology: Gibson Flying V guitar, Schenker Dean V guitar and Marshall amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwa3qErkUnU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blvnoao1WO0

"Big brother (Rudolf Shanker) has influence. But I had the passion, discipline and the desire to become what I felt deep inside (to be a guitarist)" - Michael Shanker

Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions)


Name: Ulrich Roth
Born: 18th December, 1954 (Düsseldorf, West Germany)

Profile: He is a German guitarist and one of the earliest contributors to the neo-classical metal genre. He is also the founder of Sky Academy and inventor of the Sky Guitar.

History: Started to play guitar in his teens where in the early 70's, Roth formed a band called "Dawn Road". After Michael Schenker left the "Scorpions" the two remaining members, Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine merged with Uli Jon Roth, as Scorpions new lineup.

In 1979, Roth formed his own band named "Electric Sun" which released three albums. The first, Earthquake (1979), was dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. A second album released two years later, Fire Wind (1981), was dedicated to Anwar el-Sadat (the assassinated President of Egypt who had tried to make peace in the Middle East), and featured a song called "Enola Gay" about the atomic bombing of Japan. In 1985, Roth released his third and final album, Beyond the Astral Skies, dedicated to Martin Luther King and to his fans.

After Electric Sun, Roth entered a new phase of creative work, composing four symphonies and two concertos, and sometimes performing with symphony orchestras throughout Europe (these were around the 90's and early 2000's)

In 2007, Roth had begun working on a new full-length studio album. The title of the album would be "Under A Dark Sky" and was going to be the first official release in the long-awaited series of Symphonic Legends - a cycle of music written by Roth for his all-encompassing Sky of Avalon project.

Going back in the 80's, there have been companies who sold Sky Guitars, either without Uli’s knowledge or without his consent. Many private individuals have also had copies built for themselves, because of the unique and appealing design and the features. But these were all just copied from photographs and no one had access to the precise dimensions of the originals; hence most of those copies resulted in poor limitations, which didn’t stand a chance to live up to the extremely high standard of the handful of originals. The new Dean Custom line will be the first genuine, fully authentic Sky Guitars for 20 years.

Influences: Vivaldi

Axology: Sky guitars; 'Mighty Wing' and 'Destiny' have 7 strings guitars and Marshall amplifiers

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQWuKv4HCWc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmDTO3XUGZ4

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Jake Shimabukuro


Name: Jake Shimabukuro
Born: 3rd November, 1976 (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Profile: He is a ukulele virtuoso known for his complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz, rock, and pop. He is also recognized as one of the world’s most exciting and innovative ukulele players and composers.

History: Jake's mother gave him his first ukulele lesson when he was 4 years old. It was a family tradition. His mother could play the instrument and it is a tradition in Hawaii. Growing up in Hawaii everyone picks up a ukulele at least once in their lives. He then grew into a deep passion to create and innovate this instrument. Experimenting with and inventing various techniques allows Jake to create sounds never thought possible on the tiny four-string, two-octave instrument. A true showman, his shows dazzle audiences with intricate strumming and plucking, electrifying high-energy grooves and deeply felt melodic ballads.

From a modest beginning performing at a local Honolulu café, Jake has gone on to play renowned and popular venues and festivals across the world. Occasional tours with Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band have broadened Jake’s experience, regularly exposing his virtuosity and charming stage presence to crowds of up to 50,000. Speaking of large audiences, Jake has also performed on national television shows such as The Late Show with Conan O'Brien, The Today Show, and Last Call With Carson Daly.

In his spare time Jake often visits schools to talk with and play music for the children of Hawaii, hopefully inspiring thousands to put their energy into learning about and playing music.

Jake is also making a name for himself as a film composer. The association with Jimmy Buffett led to his contributions to the soundtrack of the Buffett-produced film, Hoot. Shortly afterward, Jake scored the hit Japanese independent film Hula Girls. In 2009 Jake completed writing and recording the score for the Japanese version of the film Sideways.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Ukelele

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puSkP3uym5k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqaYmQZgrB4

"When you see a very well made instrument, you can buy a ukulele for up to $5000, and you hear one of that quality, you realize that this is no toy." - Jake Shimabukuro

"This four-stringed instrument is in theory, like other stringed instruments but your lowest tone is actually your third string and your two high strings are your first and fourth strings, that's what gives it that unique sound especially when you're playing chords." - Jake Shimabukuro

“When I played my first chord I was hooked, I fell in love with the instrument.” - Jake Shimabukuro

SRV's Number One



This first two pictures were the original SRV's #1 Fender Stratocaster


The right SRV #1 are Fender SRV signature series guitars while the left SRV #1 is a perfect replica (notice the SRV stickers are the same as the right picture).

Brand/Model and Name : 1959 Fender Stratocaster (Number One or #1)
Neck : 1962 D shaped Maple neck, fattest neck Fender made
Fingerboard : Rosewood
Frets/Nut : Jumbo size Fretwire and Nut replaced with Fender style made of bone
Body : 1963 Solid Alder wood
Color : 3-color sunburst front and back
Pickups : Fender 3-single coil 1959
Bridge-Tremolo : Left handed steel Fender Synchronized Tremolo, Gold plated hardware added in 1986.

Extra Notes

• The headstodck on #1's original neck had been damaged by Stevie himself. He had attempted to recreate a trick he saw his brother do by bouncing the guitar off the wall and catching it. The headstock split when Stevie attempted this. The headstock was taped up and later repaired.

• The fingerboard had worn down due to the number of refret jobs over the years. According to the Fender® Custom Shop, upon examination of #1, the neck had been repaird after it was damaged in an accident while on tour. The original neck was replaced with a neck from one of Stevie's other guitars, and then later by a neck from Fender. The original neck was put back on after Stevie's death.

• There is a hole that was patched on the right side of the bridge/tremolo plate. This is either a mistake created when attempting to install the left handed tremolo or this is the hole that will be left as the left handed tremolo arm is now located on the left side of the bridge/tremolo plate.

•Stevie used very heavy gauge strings and his set-up had the string action very high. This combinded with the large fretwire gave Stevie his signature guitar tone.

• The stickers for the block SRV letters and the Custom sticker were items Stevie would find at truck stops.

• Stevie's guitar tech would use heat shrink electrical tubing to reinforce the strings where they cross the bridge plate and travel through the body. This was a point of the greatest friction and caused strings to break. So the tubing helped allieviate the friction.

• Stevie's pickups were sheilded and there is also information stating there was a dummy coil installed to help with ground buzzing, which single coil pickups are prone to.

Link(s):

http://www.srvguitar.com/

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Orianthi


Name: Orianthi Panagaris
Born: 22nd January, 1985 (Adelaide, South Australia)

Profile: An Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for being Michael Jackson's guitarist for his comeback concert series, This Is It. Her debut single "According to You" has peaked at #6 in Australia and #17 in the US, and her debut album Believe was released throughout the last three months of 2009 worldwide.

History: She learned to play acoustic guitar at 6 because of her father, started electric when she was 11 and left school at 15 to focus on writing songs and performing. She has been playing in different friends' bands since she was 14 in England and in France. Her first support show was for Steve Vai at age 15. Orianthi had the opportunity to meet and jam with Carlos Santana when she was 18. He invited Orianthi to get up and jam with him at soundcheck then later asked if she would join him on stage that night to jam. She signed with Geffen Records in late 2006 and struck a management deal with 19 Entertainment. As of 2010, she lives in the United States and in Asia.

She has also played with Prince, had a song featured in Bratz: The Movie, played at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival, appeared in The New York Times business section promoting Eco-friendly acoustic guitars and was named in the 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists. She also appeared at the 51st annual Grammy Awards as Carrie Underwood's lead guitarist. A guitar solo by Orianthi is featured on the song "Sleepwalker" on Adam Lambert's debut album For Your Entertainment.

Orianthi was Michael Jackson's lead guitarist and was present on all rehearsals for his "This Is It" concerts before his death. In regards to being handpicked by Jackson, she stated: "I don’t know exactly why he picked me, but he watched my YouTube videos and loved them. He had his choice of guitar players, but I came in and played the 'Beat It' solo for him. Afterward he was so happy he got up and grabbed my arm and started walking up and down the stage area with me. He said, 'Can you play once for me?' He hired me that night. I wish he was still around. He made me believe in myself more, and I learned so much. Going into it, I thought it would be all about playing guitar solos. But the majority of it was playing chords and funky rhythms".

Influences: Steve Vai, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen and Def Leppard

Axology: PRS guitars

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7oAteGa55g&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLjl9U-B1R4

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Joe Walsh (The Eagles)


Name: Joseph Fidler Walsh
Born: 20th November, 1947 (Wichita, Kansas, United States)

Profile: He is an American musician, songwriter, and actor. He has been a member of three commercially successful bands, "The James Gang", "Barnstorm" and "The Eagles", and has experienced notable success as a solo artist and prolific session musician.

History: Joe started to play guitar in his teens and always spent time in various bands playing around the Cleveland area, including "The Measles", while attending Kent State University.

In 1968, he replaced Glen Schwartz as lead guitarist for "The James Gang". Joe proved to be the band's star attraction, noted for his innovative rhythm playing and creative guitar riffs. In 1971, Walsh left the group and formed the group "Barnstorm", although their albums credited Joe as a solo artist, the album was a critical success, but had only moderate sales. The follow-up The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get in 1973 was titled under his own name as a solo artist, and was Joe's commercial breakthrough. In 1974, Barnstorm disbanded and Joe continued as a solo artist.

In 1976, he joined "The Eagles" as Bernie Leadon's replacement. His addition steered the band toward a harder-edged sound and away from their early country-style work, and he featured prominently on their multi-million-selling album Hotel California.

In 1989, Joe toured with Ringo Starr (drummer of The Beatles), alternating a handful of his best-known songs with Ringo's tunes and also recorded an MTV Unplugged with R&B musician Dr. John. In the same year, Joe briefly joined New Zealand's reggae band "Herbs".

In early 90's, Joe was part of a band called "The Best" that played shows in Japan and in 1994, Joe reunited with "The Eagles" for a highly successful reunion tour and live album, Hell Freezes Over. Joe has toured regularly with "The Eagles" since then and the group released their first new studio album in 28 years, Long Road Out of Eden, in 2007.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Gibson Les Paul guitars

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYAitpi6Dhg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1-dglZs0-8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjgbFWdQiPk

Lita Ford (The Runaways)


Name: Lita Rossana Ford
Born: 19th September, 1958 (London, England)

Profile: She is a British-born, American rock musician and singer (her vocal range is mezzo-soprano) who was the lead guitarist for "The Runaways" and achieved popularity for her solo career between the 80's and late 2000's.

History: She began playing guitar at age 11. At the age of 17 (1975) she joined the all-female rock band "The Runaways", as a lead guitarist. After the group split in 1979, she began a solo career. Her song title "Fire In My Heart" reached the Top 10 in several countries, while "Gotta Let Go" was one of Lita's signature song and it reached Number 1 on the Mainstream Rock charts.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: B.C. Rich guitars Warlock, Eagle, Mockingbird and Bich single and double-neck models.

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36AmmAqATWY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRgGO3fyhRI

Memphis Minnie


Name: Memphis Minnie
Born/Died: 3rd June, 1897 (Algiers, Louisiana) - 6th August, 1973

Profile: She was an American blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. She was the only female blues artist who matched her male contemporaries as both a singer and an instrumentalist, Minnie was one of the most influential and pioneering female blues guitarists of all time.

History: After learning to play guitar and banjo as a child, she ran away from home at the age of 13. She travelled to Memphis, Tennessee, playing guitar in nightclubs and on the street as Lizzie "Kid" Douglas. The next year, she joined the Ringling Brothers circus. Her recording debut came in 1929, when a Columbia Records talent scout heard them playing in a Beale Street barbershop in their distinctive 'Memphis style,' and their song "Bumble Bee" became a hit.

In the 30's she moved to Chicago, Illinois where she recorded nearly 200 records. She recorded for forty years, almost unheard of for any woman in show business at the time and unique among female blues artists. A flamboyant character who wore bracelets made of silver dollars, she was the biggest female blues singer from the early Depression years through World War II.

In 1942, she was one of the first blues artists to take up the electric guitar, she combined her Louisiana-country roots with Memphis blues to produce her own unique country-blues sound, she took country blues into electric urban blues, paving the way for Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, and Jimmy Rogers to travel from the small towns of the south to the big cities of the north.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Unknown

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhis33IOXN0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQwGhSiEMzE

Monday, 1 March 2010

Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)


Name: Frank Anthony Iommi
Born: 19th February, 1948 (Aston, Brimingham, England)

Profile: He is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as the founding member of pioneering heavy metal band "Black Sabbath", and the sole constant band member through multiple personnel changes, he is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential guitarists in rock music.

History: Tony picked up the guitar as a teenager, he plays guitar left-handed. At the age of 17, in an industrial accident on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory, he lost the tips of the middle and ring finger of his right hand. He considered abandoning music, but his boss encouraged him to reconsider by playing a record by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who earned wide acclaim despite limited use of his fretting hand following an injury. After attempting to learn to play right-handed, he strung his guitars with extra-light strings and wore plastic covers over the two damaged fingers.

Tony had played in several blues/rock bands, the earliest of which was "The Rockin' Chevrolets" 1964-1965, "The Rest" 1966-1967, "Mythology" 1968. In August 1968, after "Mythology" was disbanded he met Ozzy Osbourne and formed a band called "Earth", then he (Tony) joined "Jethro Tull" and back again with "Earth" and renamed it to "Black Sabbath".

Influences: Hank Marvin and The Shadows

Axology: Gibson SG, John Birch Custom SG, 100watt Laney and Rangemaster treble booster

Link(s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFh8noEepU4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z47_OUfcK6U

"I'll try anything to sound heavier." - Tony Iommi

"Grunge, goth, thrash, industrial, death, doom... whatever. None of it would exist without Tony Iommi. A veritable riff-making machine since 1968, Black Sabbath's swarthy master of the guitar is responsible for creating such heavy metal standards as "Iron Man," "Paranoid" and "Sweet Leaf". - Guitar World