No. 252, December 2013
Stéphane Wrembel creates a new instrumental blend from Django-style swing, modern jazz, rock, and world music. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
THE WILLIE WAY
An 80th-birthday tribute to the one-of-a-kind songwriting of Willie Nelson. By Adam Levy.
COLLECTOR QUALITY AT BARGAIN PRICES
You don’t need to win the lottery to afford a vintage guitar. Look past the popular models and eras to find a guitar priced comparably to new instruments. By Walter Carter.
Small Town. Words and music by John Mellencamp.
Bluegrass Soloing: Versatile flatpicker Tim May on targeting chord tones and practicing strict alternate picking. By Scott Nygaard.
Alvarez-Yairi Masterworks DYMR70SB: A slope-shoulder dreadnought that’s traditional, but not old-fashioned. By Adam Levy.
Andrew White Freja 1022: Jumbo acoustic-electric from the luthier’s new Korean-made line is smart, modern, and sonically versatile. By Adam Perlmutter.
Headway EDM-1 and EDB-2: Two tiny acoustic preamps deliver transparency and flexibility. By Doug Young.
IN THE STORES
Pharis and Jason Romero: Old-time duo creates beautiful instruments, timeless songs, and sublime harmonies. By Paul Kotapish.
Writing Bluegrass Songs: How Kathy Kallick writes songs that fit with—and extend—the tradition. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Carter-Style Embellishments: Add flourishes like hammer-ons, pull-offs, and subtle melodic variations to melodic bass lines. By David Surette.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE
Healdsburg Guitar Festival 2013: A report from North America’s premier custom-guitar festival. By Teja Gerken.
Single-Note Bach: Find new melodic and harmonic pathways on the fingerboard by exploring Bach’s solo-violin music. By Scott Nygaard.
Open-String Chords: Add open strings to familiar chord voicings to create lush sounds and motion within chords. By Sean McGowan.
1981 D’Aquisto Flattop. By Peter Ilowite.
Lessons on how to add extra dimension and color to your blues leads. By Andrew DuBrock and Pete Madsen.
DOWN THE DARK HIGHWAY
On his new album, Steve Earle sings about America’s downtrodden with a folksinger’s passion. By Adam Levy.
Five working blues players on the guitars they count on for gigs, recording, and songwriting. By Teja Gerken.
Bird on the Wire: Leonard Cohen.
Contemporary Bluegrass Flatpicking: Courtney Hartman on playing fiddle tunes and using chord inversions as lead guitarist in the hot new bluegrass band Della Mae. By Orville Johnson.
Fender TPD-1: Mahogany and spruce dreadnought from new Fender Acoustic Custom Shop has a classic look and versatile tones. By Adam Perlmutter.
D’Angelico EXL-1: Vintage re-creation with clean sound and classic styling redefines the affordable archtop. By Sean McGowan.
IN THE STORES
Capo Clips and Schertler Basik, with reviews of Graph Tech Ratio tuners and the Gretsch G9240 Alligator resonator guitar.
Trixie Whitley: The singer-songwriter and Black Dub vocalist gives in to the guitar. By Derk Richardson.
Writing Songs with GarageBand: How Erin McKeown uses her Mac and iPhone to develop song ideas. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Bamburg Guitars: Colorado luthier builds modern steel-string flattops in his one-man shop. By Teja Gerken.
Diminished Scales and Arpeggios: Learn how to play and solo with diminished-seventh arpeggios, scales, and patterns. By Sean McGowan.
Hybrid Picking: How to get new sounds by blending flatpick and fingerstyle technique. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Hear My Train a Comin: Jimi Hendrix.
1975 Gallagher 670M. By Teja Gerken.
21 TIPS FOR BETTER ACCOMPANIMENT
How to make your guitar parts more distinctive and deepen the impact of your songs. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
After digging into gospel and touring with Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, the singer-songwriter returns with the all-original American Kid. By Derk Richardson.
From his days as a luthier in the 1960s and ’70s to running a successful parts factory, Michael Gurian has had a long and influential life in the guitar trade. By Orville Johnson.
The River. Words and music by Bruce Springsteen.
Traditional Folk Song Accompaniment: Jefferson Hamer on the flatpicking and hybrid-picking styles he uses to accompany folk ballads. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Gibson J-35: Gibson brings back a classic slope-shoulder, this time with stage-ready electronics. By Adam Levy.
Boulder Creek ECGC-7VB: Stylish, affordable acoustic-electric with contemporary features. By Adam Perlmutter.
Zoom A3: Clean, compact preamp provides myriad effects, modeling, and EQ to help you color and perfect your amplified sound. By Doug Young.
Aoife O’Donovan: The voice of Crooked Still and the Goat Rodeo Sessions steps out solo. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Painting Pictures: Ellis Paul shares tips and exercises that can help you sharpen your lyrics. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Seventh Chords: Learn how to build major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, and other seventh chords. By Andrew DuBrock.
Traugott Guitars: California solo guitar maker offers ultra high-end steel-strings. By Teja Gerken.
Ascending and Descending Slurs: These hammer-on and pull-off exercises will strengthen your hand and increase your finger independence. By Scott Nygaard.
1965 Goya T-18. By Teja Gerken.