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No. 204, December 2009

Dave Matthews Interview and Lesson
The reluctant acoustic guitar hero talks about his fascination with rhythmic patterns and crafting Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. By Dan Apczynski.

30 Ways to Improve Your Tone
Improve your fretting-hand, flatpicking, and fingerstyle tone with these tips and techniques. By Scott Nygaard and McGowan.

How to Make Your Guitar Play Better than Ever
How simple tweaks can make the guitar you already own play and sound better than ever. By Teja Gerken.

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC
Night Moves. Words and music by Bob Seger. By Dan Apczynski.

CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. Words and music by Katie Tunstall. By Andrew DuBrock.

PRIVATE LESSON
Mary Flower. The fingerstyle blues guitarist discusses alternate tunings and what fuels her offbeat compositions. By Orville Johnson.

Equipment Picks: Mary Flower's guitars and gear.

NEW GEAR 1
Yamaha LLX16 Guitar Review. Acoustic Guitar checks out Yamaha's mid-price acoustic-electric. By Andrew DuBrock.

NEW GEAR 2
Martin D-1 Guitar Review. Acoustic Guitar reviews an affordable spruce-topped, solid-wood dreadnought acoustic guitar that has volume and punch to spare. By Nicole Solis.

NEW GEAR 3
DigiTech TimeBender Review. Acoustic Guitar reviews a powerful, compact delay pedal that lets you create unique delay patterns and intelligent harmonies. By Shawn Hammond.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
Julian Lage. On Sounding Point, the jazz guitar prodigy keeps company with bluegrassers Chris Thile and Béla Fleck. By Joe DeFranceschi.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Julian Lage.
30-MINUTE LESSON
Master a Tricky Section. Learn a helpful practice technique for confronting difficult pieces of guitar music. By Kirk Hamilton.

THE BASICS
Partial Chord Shapes Lesson. Pare down guitar chord shapes you know for great-sounding results (that are often easier to play). By Dan Apczynski.

LUTHIER'S WORKBENCH
Wendler Instruments Profile. Kansas City luthier Dave Wendler specializes in electric guitars with an acoustic voice. By Andy Volk.

GUITAR PRO: CREATE
Jill Sobule Profile. How the pop-folk songsmith Jill Sobule turned to creative financing for her latest CD, California Years. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.

PLAYLIST
Chris Smither, Time Stands Still. By Derk Richardson.
Guy Clark, Somedays the Song Writes You. By Mike Thomas.
Kris Kristofferson, Closer to the Bone. By Shaun Hague.
Rob Ickes, Road Song. By David McCarty.
Robert Earl Keen, The Rose Hotel. By Kenny Berkowitz.
Rodrigo y Gabriela, 11:11. By Dan Apczynski.
Tom Russell, Blood and Candle Smoke. By Celine Keating.
Yonder Mountain String Band, The Show. By David McCarty.

WOODSHED
Mixolydian Mode Lesson. Use your guitar to explore the popular and expressive fifth mode of the major scale. By Adam Perlmutter.

SONGBOOK
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. A holiday classic arranged for flatpicked guitar by Acoustic Guitar senior editor Scott Nygaard. By Scott Nygaard.

GREAT ACOUSTICS
2009 Custom Santa Cruz. By Richard Johnston.

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