Andy Summers changed the sound of rock when he added his jazz-inflected chord palette to the Police in the late 1970s and early '80s. Having grown up playing the jazz of Mingus, Monk, and Miles, he pushes his own boundaries as a solo artist by collaborating with players from rock, classical, Brazilian, and avant-garde genres. In this exclusive lesson, Summers explains his approach to composition, demonstrates his unique chord voicings, and suggests techniques for solo phrasing and effective accompaniment. By Andrew DuBrock.
Guitarmaker GabFest 2006
The editors of Acoustic Guitar and representatives from some of the most respected "boutique" guitar outfits in the world convened for an in-depth discussion of the guitar industry at the Winter 2006 NAMM show last January. As these experts discussed how their companies differentiate themselves from both the "big boys" and individual luthiers, the role of computerized production tools, and how their instruments have evolved over the years, it was evident that experience has only increased the passion they feel for their craft. By Rick Turner.
Songs from the World Unseen
To come to terms with the passing of her parents, Rosanne Cash channeled her grief, anger, and disbelief into Black Cadillac, her potent new collection of songs about the particulars of her family history, the mysteries of death, and the wonders of abiding love. By Derk Richardson.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Rosanne Cash.
Pinball Wizard. Words and music by Pete Townshend, from Tommy.
A Private Lesson with John Knowles. The veteran Nashville guitarist shows how to use the circle of fifths to reharmonize—and make new—a familiar old tune like "Red River Valley." By Ron Forbes-Roberts.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of John Knowles
NEW GEAR 1
Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner. This immaculately built, incredibly responsive small-scale dreadnought boasts clear, balanced tones and is excellent for roots music and powerhouse strumming. By Scott Nygaard.
Garrison GGC-20-CE. The composite-bracing pioneers from Canada break out of the dreadnought game with a grand-concert ax that offers great playability and rich tones at a very reasonable price. By Teja Gerken.
Fishman Loudbox 100 Amp. With two channels, 100 watts of bi-amped power, a stack of practical features, and great tones, this little box is a serious contender for the mid-priced title. By Shawn Hammond.
IN THE STORES
Behringer Ultra-DI DI600P. An affordable new passive direct-injection box.
Dean Markley Extra Protection Gig Bags. Cool new gig bags available in dreadnought and classical sizes.
Edirol R-09. A new portable MP3/WAV digital recorder.
Lowden 50 Series. The Irish outfit unveils its new top-of-the-line models.
In the Stores
Takamine EAN70C. A new acoustic-electric OM with a cutaway and a solid-cedar top.
Cindy Walker 1918-2006. Contemporary western-swing star Ray Benson celebrates the historic contributions of the first lady of country songwriting, whose compositions became hit vehicles and repertoire staples for Bob Wills, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, and others.
The Wood Brothers. An old National steel guitar, a shared passion for the blues, and brotherly instrincts for harmony and humor allow Colorado-bred siblings to forge a new musical relationship after pursuing divergent musical paths in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. By Bill Milkowski.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Oliver and Chris Wood.
String Me Up! Restringing your guitar doesn't have to be difficult, tedious, or time-consuming. Follow these simple steps to give your instrument back its golden tone. By Rik Elswit.
The Guitar as Dulcimer. While playing a melody on the bass strings, use your guitar's open strings to recreate the rhythmic drive and haunting drone of a dulcimer, giving your arrangement a fuller sound. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.
Make Your Nylon-string Play Great. Although fundamentally the same as setting up a steel-string or electric guitar, the lower tension, fatter strings, and design differences in a classical guitar require a different interpretation of familiar setup techniques. By Kenny Hill.
STAGE AND STUDIO
Reader's Rig. Berklee College of Music instructor and jazz/folk session guitarist Jane Miller relies on a pair of Martins and a 1967 Guild hollow-body for her busy six-string schedule.
Circa Guitars. Maine-based luthier John Slobod has learned from some of the finest guitar builders around. On a quest for vintage tones, he now crafts Martin-inspired, individually made masterpieces. By Simone Solondz.
Special Delivery. Like most players, Wyn Drabble enjoys test-driving as many guitars as possible. But he lives far away from well-stocked retailers where he could hang out and kick the tires. Instead, he buys and sells guitars online, knowing that he may only keep them long enough to get to know their personalities. By Ben Elder.
Add an Internal Mic to Your Saddle Pickup. AG gear editor Teja Gerken advises a reader on giving his Martin HD-35 dual-source electronics. By Teja Gerken.
String Gauges Demystified. SLP editorial assistant Jason Garoian explains coated strings and string gauges to a reader. By Jason Garoian.
Alejandro Escovedo, The Boxing Mirror. By Kenny Berkowitz.
Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat. By Scott Nygaard.
Tom Russell, Love and Fear. By Celine Keating.
LAGQ, KSpin and LAGQ Live. By Mark Small.
Mimi Fox, Perpetually Hip. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.
Paul Manousos, For Better or Worse. By Drew Pearce.
Blues Beyond the Box. Break out of boring blues-scale patterns by soloing with compact triad shapes, then dress them up with some bluesy upper and lower "neighbor" tones. By Adam Levy.
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic. Words and music by Sting, arranged by Claus Boesser-Ferrari. By Claus Boesser-Ferrari.
1930s Vincenzo DeLuccia. A modified 000-style guitar from the descendant of Italian violin makers. By Tony Marcus.