Jun202010
The Guitar Hero Series: Robben Ford
Written by Ava

The Guitar Hero series on Jemsite features interviews with guitarists and musicians who may not have star status YET, but their current situations have shaped them to be who they are--determined, fond of their craft, and heroes in their own right.  Perhaps you'll see in these upcoming entries the next Jimi Hendrix, Melissa Etheridge, or Duane Allman.  Or perhaps they'll become household names by doing what they do best--ripping a mean riff!

Robben Ford has played with jazz great Miles Davis, calling it a moment that was like "passing through Knighthood." If you don't think that's cool enough then ponder this: Robben also played with The Beatles rocker George Harrison on George's personal tour when he was just 22 years old!

If that's not enough, Robben has also played with Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt and many, many others.  

But that's not what makes Robben so cool.  Chalk it up to his peseverance as a young guitar player (his dad taught him a few chords but he mostly learned to play guitar by himself) and his current reputation as one of the premiere electric guitarists today...and you're onto something!

We had the privilege of interviewing this incredible guitarist for Jemsite.  Let's see what he has to say about his skill.

How did you start playing guitar? 

My father played and showed me my first few chords. I learned quickly and was given my first electric the following Christmas and started a band with my thirteen year old friends.

 
May302010
The Guitar Hero Series: Andrew Durkin
Written by Ava

The Guitar Hero series on Jemsite features interviews with guitarists and musicians who may not have star status YET, but their current situations have shaped them to be who they are--determined, fond of their craft, and heroes in their own right.  Perhaps you'll see in these upcoming entries the next Jimi Hendrix, Melissa Etheridge, or Duane Allman.  Or perhaps they'll become household names by doing what they do best--ripping a mean riff!

Perhaps he's not a guitar player in the way that Steve Vai or any of our past guitar heroes are guitar players.  In fact, Andrew Durkin, a self-taught guitarist, doesn't use it for instrumental music at all.  Instead, he uses it to compose songs with vocals.

Nevertheless, I felt compelled to call him a guitar hero because of the very unique way he uses guitar as well as his infatuation with jazz music, a genre that certainly doesn't get enough credit.  

Andrew Durkin holds court as a composer on the West Coast (mainly Portland, Oregon) where the scene is ripe for his self-proclaimed "wacky LA-based acoustic jazz monstrosity, the Industrial Jazz Group.  He also counts himself as a huge Frank Zappa fan, has written a rock opera, and a screenplay among other scores, and has studied composition in his lifetime.  

Now we're here to find out what the deal is with that jazz music concept.  Is it really the music of unemployment, as he refers to it on his blog? You'll be sure to learn what he means below, as well as just how much time he spends on guitars and music.
 
May232010
Rock House on Demand
Written by Curt

The Rock House Method is a guitar and music resource created to enrich musicians and music lovers through a variety of effective products, tools, and communities.  

We're a big fan of The Rock House Method and their products.  That's why we're thrilled to mention a new way you can download Rock House products rather than purchase them in a store.  It's a HUGE step in the internet world.

We get the lowdown from
The Rock House Method's Editorial Director Curt Moye:

As many of you know Rock House Method launched a new service called ROCK HOUSE ON DEMAND. Executive Director of Rock House, Joe Palumbo announced that he wants to give every one an opportunity to experience this exciting new venture for Rock House.

Right now you can save $10 off the purchase of any Rock House product by using this code ROCK10OFF. We will also throw in an additional $5 coupon code for another purchase of a product from ROCK HOUSE ON DEMAND. The second savings coupon code will be included on your receipt after you make your purchase using the ROCK10OFF coupon code. You can share this code with all your friends who play, so go ahead and pass the ROCK10OFF coupon code around.

 
May232010
Unveiling of New Ibanez Models
Written by Lars

Frankfurt's massive 2010 Musikmesse show witnessed the unveiling of the new Ibanez Steve Vai signature model. The Jem77FP2 features goodies galore, with a basswood body - with iconic Monkey Grip handle- covered with a unique patterned fabric displaying a stunning floral effect under a high gloss finish. The 77FP2 has a five piece Jem 'Prestige' maple/walnut neck and rosewood fingerboard inlaid with a floral design, whilst pickups are high output DiMarzio Evolution models.

JEM fans were also knocked out by Vai's multi-coloured limited edition Ibanez UV77RE. This 7-string beastie, like the 77FP2 has a basswood body, but with a five piece maple/bubinga tonewood neck construction and a rosewood fingerboard with 'disappearing pyramid' inlaid position markers. Housing seven-piece Dimarzio Blaze pickups, again in humbucker, single coil, humbucker configuration, expect the UV77RE to take no prisoners in the subtle department.

Few people are aware that Cort have been building guitars for over 50 years, now producing over a million a year, with a host of high profile endorsees. Latest in the line up includes non other than Matthias Jabs of the Scorpions, who after a short collaboration the Korean company has introduced two signaturemodels, and chose this year's show to launch the twin horned solid bodied electric guitars.

 
Apr272010
The Story of Norton
Written by Race

I like to tinker. Over fifty percent of my guitars and amps are modified in some way or another. One of my favorite modifications to make is changing the sound of a guitar by putting in new/different pickups. I’m constantly on quest to achieve some tone or another. Having said that…

Although I don’t remember exactly, I’m going to say the year was somewhere around 2003 or 2004. My brother had relocated to the West Coast from the East and was visiting. We were playing Project Gotham Racing 2 on my newly-acquired Microsoft® XBOX©. I was slightly behind the times regarding gaming consoles so my brother was showing me how to personalize my XBOX©, even to the extent of setting up custom soundtracks to play along with the games. He explained that he and a friend had a favorite “soundtrack” for playing this game that included a couple of songs I’d never heard before. They were both melodic rock songs and both had a driving rhythm that lent itself extremely well to the idea of going really fast, even if it was only on a video game. Not only were the songs extremely catchy, but the guitar tone in the songs was excellent. It had an excellent mid-range grind while still having a full sound all over the EQ. The tone was something fuzzy without being wooly or muddy. I had to know…

 
Apr262010
The Guitar Hero Series: John Horne
Written by Ava

The Guitar Hero series on Jemsite features interviews with guitarists and musicians who may not have star status YET, but their current situations have shaped them to be who they are--determined, fond of their craft, and heroes in their own right.  Perhaps you'll see in these upcoming entries the next Jimi Hendrix, Melissa Etheridge, or Duane Allman.  Or perhaps they'll become household names by doing what they do best--ripping a mean riff!

John Horne is quite the well-rounded guitarist and for many reasons. While he's a  soloist, who uses a fingerstyling technique, he flows with jazz tunes and standards rather than the typical rock genre.  Even more so, he doesn't really stick to any genre and is quite open to a variety of tunes--making him the kind of guy you could rock to at a concert, dance to at your wedding, or swing your body to in a mellow club with soft lights.

Beyond that, however, John Horne doesn't even get the most satisfaction out of performing. It's teaching, which he does in between gigs, that gives him the best feeling of all, AND it's a way to get feedback for his performances at the same time.

Let's find out about John and what else makes him stand out from the rest.

 


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