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A set of useful tools for players of stringed instruments.

JGuitar, a rather useful tool for those learning the guitar or experimenting with alternate tunings. You can even bookmark a certain tuning.
posted by signal on Apr 18, 2007 - 6 comments

In a city renowned for phoney affection and rabid ambition, he exudes only diffidence, humour and generosity.

"If you had Bruce playing with you," Dylan wrote, in his 2004 autobiography, Chronicles, "that's all you would need to do just about anything."
Bruce Langhorne has quite the discography. And a hot sauce, to boot. And he's led quite the life. Here is Richie Unterberger's interview with Langhorne in Parts One and Two. And here he talks with Unterberger about working with Mimi and Richard Fariña.

On a personal note, I will add that his hot sauce is hot indeed. Will buy it again.
posted by y2karl on Apr 13, 2007 - 6 comments

Let me stand next to your fire.

Let me stand next to your fire. Forty years ago today, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar live on stage for the first time when he was appearing at The Astoria London. It was the first night of a 24-date tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdinck.
posted by psmealey on Mar 31, 2007 - 33 comments

In the Moment

Consciousness is a mystery, and Paul Broks thinks Nicholas Humphrey (not to mention jazz guitarist Pat Martino) may have some answers.
posted by cgc373 on Mar 30, 2007 - 25 comments

UkeTube: Roy Smeck

You really shouldn't miss the snazzy ukulele stylings of the great Roy Smeck, strummer and showman extraordinaire, who was not only fast as greased lightning, but for whom the ukulele also occasionally functioned as a wind or percussion instrument. The man was indeed a wizard of the strings: just give him a slide and watch him lay down that Hawaiian sound. And as you'll see here, he was still going strong in his later years. [most links to YouTube]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 23, 2007 - 15 comments

On-line guitar tools

So you wanna be a rock and roll star. Here's a place to start. GOSK, or the guitarist's online survival kit, is a very handy guide to both scales and modes as well as all chords in all positions on the neck. In order to put it all together, and map modes to chord progressions and really start jamming, this little php widget is pretty helpful. Though in all things, even if you want to learn from the masters, you should never forget the basics. However, if you decide that using these online utilities to improve your performance is too much, you can always go back to school, or else forego training entirely and emulate rock star attitude and style in real life situations.
posted by psmealey on Mar 20, 2007 - 18 comments

F***ing Hippies (Gotta Love 'Em)

Youtube links to Neil Young busking in Glasgow and some more. Vintage Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
posted by snsranch on Jan 24, 2007 - 17 comments

Guitar wankery as high art?

We've discussed guitar wankery here before, but this fellow (Polish virtuoso Adam Fulara) is the first I've seen who actually uses the techniques of tapping to enable the guitarist to perform classical pieces that have previously been unplayable (video: Bach BWV 784). Not good enough? He can also do it on two guitars simultaneously (video: Joplin, Maple Leaf Rag). Watch as his head nearly explodes from the sheer levels of concentration necessary (video: Bach BWV 848). More from his website.
posted by Civil_Disobedient on Jan 6, 2007 - 85 comments

The Atlas of Plucked Instruments

The bouzouki, the saz, chonguri and sarod, the veena and the shamisen, the cuatro and the oud. These and many hundreds more are to be found at the Atlas of Plucked Instruments. Plenty of guitars, banjos and mandolins as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 29, 2006 - 12 comments

guitar gods from the 60s

Yardbirds documentary part 1, part 2, and part 3. Bonus: Jimmy Page, age 14.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 27, 2006 - 27 comments

Lots of finger-tapping deliciousness

Finger tapping is a very fast guitar technique in which the picking hand is used to "tap" individual notes on the fretboard, while the fretting hand can either remain stationary or be used to do hammer-ons/pull-offs to create even faster playing. Popularized in rock music by Eddie van Halen (YT, great visual example) in the late 1970's, the technique has become almost essential for speed/metal guitar players. Although finger tapping has been dismissed as "wankery" by some, I think that the intense, jazzy stylings of Stanley Jordan prove them wrong. (here is Stanley playing two guitars!) For more tapping madness you can enjoy the furious, virtuous insanity of Dragonforce (full video), and be sure not to miss the speed genius of Mr. Batio. Tapping isn't just for metal though, you can do it on a bass or an acoustic (amazing video).

Want to learn how? This lesson should get you started.
posted by baphomet on Dec 21, 2006 - 117 comments

Online Rock Guitar Lessons

The Riff-O-Matic will help you learn to play rock & roll guitar, or at the very least, will help you play several of the most famous riffs in rock & roll history. Using a combination of sheet music, tablature notation & embedded (flash) audio & (windowsmedia) video, the site will get you up & playing the intro to Stairway to Heaven in the guitar store in no time. If you don't have time to learn whole songs, there's even an abridged list of the 10 Greatest Rock Riffs of All Time.
posted by jonson on Dec 18, 2006 - 35 comments

If you lived the blues, you'd be dead.

Robert Lockwood, Jr. R.I.P.
posted by EarBucket on Nov 28, 2006 - 32 comments

Not Rocket Science

The invisible axe. Australian scientists build a real air guitar.
posted by bunglin jones on Nov 12, 2006 - 15 comments

Gee-tar

Erik Mongrain is the latest artist to use extended techniques on the guitar (YouTube link 1 2), following closely (by his own admission) in the footsteps of the late Michael Hedges (YouTube link 1 2 3), although jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is a notable predecessor, as well as Emmett Chapman. Still, no-one else quite has the tuning peg mojo of Adrian Legg.
posted by starkeffect on Oct 25, 2006 - 18 comments

John Fahey at Rockpalast - Hamburg Uni, Hamburg, West Germany - 1978-03-17and otherwise on YouTube

John Fahey in concert: Beverly (aka Indian Pacific Railroad Blues) Poor Boy (Which is a variation on Booker White's Poor Boy Long Way from Home)
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2006 - 19 comments

John Smith Hurt: An Interview and the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation

Here is the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation, the website, which is the creation of one Frank Delaney of Spokane. There's a great deal of guitar related material and a page of mp3's by fans, which includes several interesting originals by one Fred Bolden, a grand nephew. I always knew he had a son who played guitar and wondered why no one had ever tried to record him. Now there is a grand nephew playing, if nowhere near as sublimely as his great uncle, in roughly the same style.

Here is an interview of John Hurt from 1963, courtesy of Stefan Grossman's guitar video empire. It is a real delight.

Consider this a follow up to this post. Not all of the links there are good. The Mississippi John Hurt Guitar Tab Book, for instance, is now available only in PDF format but well worth the download. And here is an illustrated discography of John Hurt by another Stefan, Stefan Wirz, a subject of yet another post back in the day.
posted by y2karl on Oct 4, 2006 - 19 comments

Stevie Ray Vaughan playing "Texas Flood"

Texas Flood - Previously. (YouTube)
posted by persona non grata on Sep 29, 2006 - 21 comments

Etta Baker 1913-2006

Etta Baker 1913-2006
posted by y2karl on Sep 25, 2006 - 19 comments

Armless Guitarist

Forgive me for this one link Youtuber, but this guy is one of my personal heroes. The Armless Guitarist of Balboa Park!
posted by snsranch on Sep 22, 2006 - 26 comments

Bennie Smith, Blues Legend, Dies

Bennie Smith the St. Louis electric blues legend has died at age 72.
posted by muddylemon on Sep 12, 2006 - 5 comments

Carlos Santana - Europa - Live

Europa (Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile, YouTube...)
posted by persona non grata on Sep 10, 2006 - 29 comments

Good Lick Fingering

Weirdest Instructional Music Video Ever. He is the chicken-picking, pop-locking, nunchuking avant-garde guitarist that is part giant robot and part Michael Myers. In his 15-year recording career, he has released over forty albums with the likes of Bootsy Collins, Bill Laswell, Iggy Pop, and Viggo Mortensen. His work under a pseudonym inspired William Gibson. He toured with Guns 'n' Roses and was offered a job by Ozzy but refused to perform without the bucket. His best conventional work may have been with Praxis, but his solo work is not to be ignored. His real name is Brian, but you can call him Buckethead. For your consideration 1 2 3 4.
posted by Pastabagel on Aug 30, 2006 - 28 comments

y2karl's 78 RPM jukebox-o-rama

For murder ballads, here's your Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins and your Grayson & Whitter's Ommie Wise. Then, for some early white blues bottleneck guitar, here's your Frank Hutchison's K. C. Blues. Not to mention Charley Patton's Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues. All courtesy the Internet Archives 78 RPM tag. where there is way more--like Bix Beiderbecke's first record, Davenport Blues, Louis Armstrong's Ain't Misbehavin' and Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words, among many others. Then, for more, Nugrape Records has an mp3 page. The standout there, at least for me, is Gus Cannon's Poor Boy Long Ways From Home. As for their namesake, the Nugrape Twins, well, the Archive has the mp3 of I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape. And don't let me omit mentioning PublicDomain4U. They have Mississippi John Hurt's Frankie, for one. Tyrone's Record and Phonograph Links will lead you to more 78 RPM goodness. And don't forget the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine.
posted by y2karl on Aug 25, 2006 - 48 comments

The unstoppable Herr Reichel

Hans Reichel (previously) is a man of many talents. His own site (flash/sound) is fun (often funny) and chock full of agreeably wacky sounds, but can take some time to navigate. Reichel hasn't made it easy for you if you happen to be in a hurry. You may well get stuck somewhere and just give up. That'd be a shame, though, cause you'd miss getting acquainted with the guitars he makes and plays. Or how he designs fonts. The mixing board shenanigans are not to be missed (once you get past those curious little fellows in the brown hats), plus you can sorta kinda play his daxophone yourself. And of course conduct your own little ensemble of meercats when one of them finally comes out of hiding and says "Hallo! Play with me".
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 3, 2006 - 6 comments

Standin' at the crossroads

After nearly 70 years, blues legend Robert Johnson's guitar has recently surfaced. It's up for sale, but you may need to sell your soul to afford it. Maybe Legba will lend you the purchse price. [more]
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 26, 2006 - 119 comments

Turtle sex, chiropractic death, and peyote under the pillow: a year-by-year account of American primitive guitar

...Record collectors are typically thought of as irascible loners, but in the Washington of the ’50s and early ’60s, there existed a group of scruffy young blues and folk fans who could’ve given the Illuminati a run for their all-seeing eyes. They thought of themselves as the guardians of a tradition the rest of the world had either forgotten or misinterpreted. They adopted fake names. They invented strange mythologies. They hatched plans to bring their favorite historical figures back from the dead--or at least back from the commercial oblivion to which the music biz had consigned them. But most of all, they inspired admiration and awe. Though they never used the term themselves, this bunch of vintage-78 obsessives was known by others as the East Coast Blues Mafia.
The Thong Club
via FaheyGuitarPlayers

posted by y2karl on Jul 13, 2006 - 20 comments

the making of peg

steely dan fans - the making of peg
posted by vronsky on Jul 4, 2006 - 31 comments

In Recognition Of His Contributions To The Art Of Fingerpicking

Tommy Emmanuel, CGP. Master of fingerstyle guitar. Captain of covers. Alpha and Omega of originals. After watching these videos, you'll have few questions as to why recording and touring partner Chet Atkins bestowed upon Tommy the title "Certified Guitar Player." (pdf)
posted by The White Hat on May 31, 2006 - 15 comments

Sophisticated Guitar Virtuosity

Guitar Virtuosity with feeling and sophistication... I forgot just how good a guitarist Allan Holdsworth is. A similar player is Scott Henderson, who these days is much more in touch with his blues/funk roots. His outside playing is delicious. Notice how they both build up their solos instead of starting off with all guns blazing with nowhere to go.
posted by BobsterLobster on May 31, 2006 - 28 comments

i was standing by the window

Made most popular to many Americans as the closing song for the Grand Ole Opry programs, Will The Circle Be Unbroken was written in 1907 by Ada Habershon, an intensely religious young woman and acquaintance of Dwight Moody and Ira David Sankey. The music was "composed" by Charles Gabriel, a popular songwriter and composer of the era who is often solely credited with the song, but while he may have put the notes down on paper, the tune itself already existed as the African-American spiritual Glory Glory / Since I Laid My Burden Down. [lots more inside]
posted by luriete on May 26, 2006 - 18 comments

You're with the band

DIY Instruments: Guitar, Bass, A Drum, Yokobue, Pipes, analog synth sound effects. And for those of you who don't want to build anything - you can play the spoons.
posted by bigmusic on May 16, 2006 - 8 comments

"and their spears into pruning hooks... drumsticks?

Six String Shooter. "What we want to create is an invitation to an attitude of change," [Cesar López] says. "It says a lot of different things — but the main idea is that weapons can be changed from an object of destructiveness to an object of constructiveness." Swords into plowshares axes, Music from Menace, Music Out of Madness.
posted by weston on May 3, 2006 - 5 comments

Speak the rhythm all alone, Spoonman

Video of guitarist who plays slide with a spoon held in his mouth.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on May 3, 2006 - 11 comments

Celebs, Tattoo Artists, and Guitars

Six-String Masterpieces. Dean Guitars invites tattoo artists and musicians to decorate 50 Deans in a tribute to Dimebag Darrell. The results range from popstar kitsch to cronenbergian delight. Via Needled.
posted by frykitty on Apr 14, 2006 - 15 comments

Well I've got this guitar and I've learned how to make it chat

The Intel-Fender Concept Telecaster Guitar, or Intelecaster, is exactly what you think.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 3, 2006 - 62 comments

He's A Pink Monkey Bird

Kid Congo Powers, noted guitar stylist, teenage president of The Ramones Fan Club, erstwhile member of The Cramps, The Gun Club, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (also known for his collaborations with Julee Cruise, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Khan and others) has produced a two part online autobiography of sorts for New York Night Train. It includes oral histories, available as transcriptions or MP3s, pages from his Cramps scrapbook, a vintage Creem article, free MP3s from his back catalogue, and, of course, his recipe for enchiladas.
posted by jack_mo on Feb 12, 2006 - 6 comments

Guitar Lessons with Olga Toy Doll

From Nellie the Elephant to his arrangement of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Michael 'Olga' Algar shows you how to play your favorite songs by The Toy Dolls. [First two links are embedded video. And, unfortunately, the guitar lessons are in .rm format.]
posted by milquetoast on Feb 11, 2006 - 3 comments

Someone controlled you

While my guitar fiercely weeps Next on YouTubeFilter: Prince shares a stage with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and George Harrison's son Dhani, at Harrison's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No, scratch that: Prince ain't sharin' with nobody -- that stage is all his.
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Feb 9, 2006 - 106 comments

Guitar Re-invented

The Six String Sonics are about reinventing the guitar. The conventional guitar has many limitations. For example, it binds the player to chords that one can hold with one hand, or melodies that can easily be reached with one hand. As a result, guitar compositions have come to sound very similar to each other. We created Six String Sonics to rid the guitar of these limitations, and make room for more possibilities in composition. A video of their debut perfomance. [embedded MOV file]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Feb 3, 2006 - 43 comments

hammering genious

I'm not really a fan of this style of guitar playing but THIS was good. It takes a minute before he starts to nail it. It's worth the wait. (embedded video-possibly slow download-worked for me)
posted by snsranch on Feb 2, 2006 - 58 comments

It was raining the day mama picked me up from prison

So You Think You Hate Country Music? Then listen to this. The roots of American country music may surprise you. In this series of NPR programs, trace the gradual development of real country music through the first half of the 20th century. Learn how a woman's instrument of the late 1800s, the parlor guitar, became the the central symbol of country and rock; see how African-American musical forms like gospel and blues meshed with the development of country and early rock and influenced the traditional forms in turn; listen to German-Mexican hybrids of accordian style; find out why women had so many honky-tonk torch songs to sing in the late 40s. The series contains hours of content (narrative, interviews, music tracks), and a multitude of excellent links for deeper digging.
posted by Miko on Feb 2, 2006 - 111 comments

Don't screw with Keith Richards

Don't f*** with Keith Richards. You have been warned.
posted by punkfloyd on Feb 1, 2006 - 122 comments

Guitars as art

NAMM 06 oddities. Guitars as works of art. Also found on that page: the Mikey guitar which functions as a frettted or fretless instrument with the flick of a switch.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jan 29, 2006 - 6 comments

Fripp sells out

Robert Fripp sells out to Microsoft, but at least we get to watch him build up a beautiful Frippertronics piece (wmp req'd).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 6, 2006 - 54 comments

Thunder! Thunder!

Bad acoustic cover songs with a French accent.
posted by Wolfdog on Jan 4, 2006 - 31 comments

Chris Whitley, Outrider on the Edge

"I know these desires could kill me dead, but how you gonna act instead?" So sings eros-haunted Delta-blues-steeped songwriter Chris Whitley on his superbly dark new album, Soft Dangerous Shores, and he's not kidding -- Whitley is currently "very very ill" and receiving hospice care. After Whitley's 1991 debut, Living with the Law, the slim (drug-addicted?) songwriter was acclaimed by his peers as "the real deal." When he was dropped by Sony in 1998, he released an album of stark poetic beauty recorded in a barn, Dirt Floor. Soft Dangerous Shores updates Whitley's coiled-viper resophonic guitars with dreamlike electronic atmospheres (one reviewer describes it as "a hypnotic wrestling match between juke joint blues and Kraftwerkian beats"). Instead of posting an elegy for another underappreciated self-destructive genius a la Nick Drake after his death, check out Whitley's music (via free downloads) while he's still with us on Earth.
posted by digaman on Nov 14, 2005 - 46 comments

For some fun, Air Guitar.

I love to guita-r. (QT required, but the downloads were pretty fast.) Wha-wha without the paddles. These are videos of past winners and hall-of-famers of US Air Guitar Championships. Makes for a laugh.
posted by countzen on Oct 27, 2005 - 12 comments

For the minimalist in you.

Some cool little tube amps. The world's smallest production tube amp and world's Smallest Vacuum Tube hi-fi stereo amplifier. These are too cool.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Aug 27, 2005 - 31 comments

Ralph Macchio can eat my dust...

Mr. Fastfinger cuts heads with the devil (whos on accordian) and allows you to take part in the fun. Practice with the master for some serious keyboard riffage.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Aug 2, 2005 - 11 comments

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