Jeff Loomis of Nevermore fame posted a video of himself last month playing the 1988 Jason Becker tune ‘Perpetual Burn’. Check it out below. Now that’s some fast fingerwork!
It’s a damn good cover. But I don’t think it’s quite as good as the original. Jason Becker is one guitarist who I should really listen to more of. I know the work of his old collaborator Marty Friedman quite well, but should listen to more Becker. One of my friends recently said that Becker was a modern Paganini, the Italian virtuoso violinist who was said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his dexterity! Part of this song seems to be going round YouTube recently in a competition of who can play it the best. Sadly, Jason Becker has suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for many years now, which has paralysed him almost entirely. It’s a damn shame.
Check out this vid of Mark Kroos playing both the banjo and guitar parts from Duelling Banjos at once, known from the classic movie Deliverance. Mark taps on a double necked acoustic-electric, and it’s damn impressive to say the least. I watched Deliverance again recently, if you haven’t seen it, I suggest watching that too for the classic Duelling Banjos scene!
I’ve just been reading an article online evaluating the UK based guitar company Invictus guitars. From the looks of it, these guitars are made for the technical metal/djent market, and so probably mostly have 7 or 8 strings. Some big name metal bands like Periphery seem to have been saying some bad stuff about the company…Here’s the link: http://www.themonolith.com/music/invictus-guitars-uk-victims-or-villains/
Yesterday I bought a set of D’Addario classical guitar strings to re-string my old Yamaha classical guitar that’s been lying in my room with only 5 strings for the past 6 months. I’ve had this guitar for over 10 years, and I think the strings have only been changed once, if ever, so I reaaaalllllyyy need to change them (I don’t play classical a lot so I haven’t really been looking after this guitar the way I should – it’s a shame really). Although I must’ve restrung my electrics 100 times or more, I’ve never tried re-stringing a classical guitar, so this is a learning experience for me. I’ve been trying to use YouTube videos, such as the one in the link underneath, to guide me through the process. Changing strings on a classical guitar is a bit different to changing electric/acoustic guitar strings because they are tied onto the bridge in a specific way, and the top 3 strings are made of nylon.
If I can work out how to change stings on a Floyd Rose, I should (hopefully) be able to handle this! Wish me luck!
Check out the YouTube video linked in this post to see an overview of the new Gibson SG Deluxe. This guitar looks quite outrageous – as well as the obvious 3 humbucker pickups mounted within it, it comes in a variety of colours, all of which are furiously bright. It also contains something called a Togpot, which you can use to blend the pickups together to create a variety of interesting tones. Overall, this mad looking guitar screams ‘fun’ at you! But, as with all Gibsons, that fun is pretty pricey. The guitars are priced at over $4000 each on Gibson’s website, and at £1899 in the UK (from GAK in Brighton). Whilst this is a very outlandish looking guitar, some might find it a little over the top and prefer something to suit subtler tastes.
Ok so my mate showed me this video last night, and I was pretty impressed. I’m not really into djent music itself, but I can recognise talent when I see it. This is some damn solid guitar work. The band is called ‘Structures’. Some pretty interesting time signatures and techniques thrown in there. I particularly like the slowed down/more melodic bit towards the end of the song.
Click the link below to find a picture and description of a Sardonyx 800 D II guitar that’s currently for sale in the US. This odd looking creature was popularised by John Lennon of The Beatles. Apparently they are very rare and this is the only one known to be on sale (not sure who would buy it though!). I’m not quite sure what the steel arms coming out of it are used for, and the several switches on the body supposedly change different pickup combinations. It would definitely take some getting used to!
Watch the video by clicking on the link below to have a look inside Tom Morello’s home studio, as he talks about some of his guitars and the stories behind them. Tom is best known for his work with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, as well as his solo act The Nightwatchmen. Morello’s unique techniques, quick licks, catchy riffs and innovative use of effects have made him a legend amongst guitar-playing folk.
Slayer’s guitar player and co-founder Jeff Hanneman has died at 49 of liver failure. He died in hospital near his home in Los Angeles yesterday morning. Hanneman hadn’t toured with Slayer since he contracted necroticising fasciitis, a flesh eating disease likely contracted from a spider bite. Jeff is known for writing some of Slayer’s most renowned songs such as Raining Blood, War Ensemble and Angel of Death.
Jeff Hanneman and Slayer have been a huge influence on metal music, with many thrash, hardcore punk and death metal bands citing them as influences. I was privileged enough to be able to see Slayer a few years ago with Jeff Hanneman, they put on a great show. My band also frequently performed Slayer covers including Mandatory Suicide and Raining Blood.
With Jeff Hanneman deceased and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo fired from the band over financial disputes, we can only ask the question – is this the end of Slayer?
RIP Jeff Hanneman