Tag Archives: guitar

RIP BB King

I’ve woken up to the news that one of my all-time heroes passed away. I’m terribly saddened. BB King was one of the most amazing musicians that ever lived. I was very forunate to have watched one of his concerts a few years ago – he even gave me a guitar pick in the middle of his set!! 

The world will miss you, BB, but your music lives on! Say hello to Jimi and Stevie Ray for us!

Read the full news story HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

ibanez steve vai
ibanez steve vai

Pictured above is my very own Ibanez JEM 777dy, which is 25 years old. It has been said that the great Steve VAi used to own (or still owns) a few of these guitars, and this (and other JEMs) have been the model from which he modelled his own line of signature guitars (I could be wrong, of course). Nevertheless, it is a fantastic guitar which I plan to keep forever.

Even though I have only had it for five years, I can tell you that it has stood the test of time. All of the hardwares, wires, pick-ups and paint are all original. I have gigged it many, many times in bars and outdoors, and it still sounds amazing. It stays in tune better than most of my guitars.

(In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic by The Daily Post)

The Guitar Man

Today’s Daily Prompt: Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

Headstocks

Aside from my family, friends and students, the only things that I love in this world are my guitars. I love the way each of them sounds and the way I respond to their own distinct qualities. When I plug one in and hit my first note or chord I could transport to any place in the world. They could also change or match my mood. I play my Telecaster when I’m excited or giddy. I play my Stratocaster or my Les Paul when I feel aggresive, angry or anxious. My AS75 (not on the picture) is for days when I’m sad or want to calm down. My RG and JS (again not on the picture) are for when I want to be transported into space. Time flies when I play my guitars.

PINGS:

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Dream Teacher – Jimi Hendrix

Today’s Daily Prompt asked: You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher and what do they teach you?

Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Alain de Botton, Michel Foucault and Urie Bronfenbrenner taught me how to think

Adolf Hitler taught me what NOT to do

My family taught me how to survive and how to function in society

My beloved other-half taught me how to love…

But I really wish Jimi Hendrix could teach me how to play the guitar. I have been playing guitar for over a decade now and I have been influenced by guitarists who were influenced by Hendrix (who isn’t, right?). I would really love to pick his brains on how he managed to come up with timeless classics such as Little Wing:

 

And Purple Haze

‘Scuse me, while I Kiss the Sky!

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My favourite guitar solos of all

As a guitar player, I’ve always been asked to name my favourite guitar solos of all time. I’ve been inspired by players from different genres and my favourite solos/songs change from time to time. Below are only a few of my favourite ones. Please note that they are not ranked and I am not claiming that they are better than any other songs that were not on the list. This is simply a list of the solos that inspired my own personal style of playing. These songs are the ones that I would listen to time and time again:

Mr. Big’s Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy. Introduced to me by one of my best friends, Mr Big features Paul Gilbert- one of the best alternate-pickers of all time. This song took me a month to learn and 3 months to perfect.

Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Randy Rhodes’ Crazy Train. This song has the groove that makes me wanna pick up my guitar everytime I hear it. The solo’s easy to learn but involves leggatos and tapping techniques that I believe every guitarist should have in their arsenal:

Guns n Roses’ Paradise City. No, it’s not Sweet Child o’ Mine. This song’s solos are far more complicated (for me) than Sweet Child’s and far more harder to learn and play- I still don’t know how to play this song in full.

Pantera’s Walk. I don’t need to explain why I like this song and it’s solo. If you’re a guitarist, you SHOULD know how to play this note for note. This is one of those solos that you don’t change when you play it live.

Avenged Sevefold’s Afterife. Yes, A7X lost it’s appeal when they went mainstream, but this song’s riff and solo is just out of this world. Learn to play this really really slow in order to play it up-tempo:

Derek Trucks’ I Wish I Knew. Honestly, I can’t pick a single song that will represent the genius of Derek Trucks. Just watch and learn:

Poison’s (Ritchie Konzen) Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice). I know the songs cheesy. But everytime I hear the solo, I always wish that I was the one who wrote it!

Al Di Meola’s Mediterranean Sundance. I know this is not your typical song and it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but watch him! I am too scared to try to play like him!

Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues. Slow, easy listening song with a mean, mean solo!

B.B King’s The Thrill is Gone. This man plays fewer note than most guitarists, but the notes that he plays are the right ones. I never knew what the BLUES is until I’ve seen this man live:

Lastly, my favourite solo of them all is John Mayer’s Slow Dancin’ in a Burning Room. I honestly don’t know why I love this solo so much. Everytime I hear/play it, I discover something new. I would never get tired of this song:

Ibanez Artcore AS73

I bought this guitar about 8-9 months ago due to my obsession with jazz guitar music and BB King, plus I liked how semi-hollow bodied guitars look- even though it made me look smaller when I’m on stage. Originally, I wanted to buy a Gibson 335 but I simply can’t afford it. So I went to about seven music shops in Wales to try out alternatives. I tried several Epiphone guitars, including their take on BB King’s Lucille, and I settled on buying a John Lennon Casino. However, 2 days before I was about to buy the Casino, I stumbled upon a youtube clip that featured the Ibanez AS73. I was fascinated by how good it sounded on the video, and after a few searches online, I found that it costs cheaper than the casino.

Having 3 Ibanez guitars so far back then, I already know how good the quality of their guitars are. Particularly how the neck feels when playing. So I went back to the music stores and tried one. Whilst noodling around, the shopkeeper said that if I bought the particular one that I’m playing right then and there, they’ll give me a 10% discount and a free case. So I did.

Here she is:

 

I didn’t have to change anything on the guitar apart from the strings- i like 12s on the 6th and 5th, and 10s on the others.

The playability is exactly what you expect with an Ibanez guitar. I feel like I’m playing a super-strat up until the 20th fret-which is pretty good for me. I am able to play fast-picking runs and emotive bends very very easily.

The sound is really good as well. As mentioned, I haven’t changed anything so the pick-ups are still stock. I am planning on replacing them with Seymour Duncan Jazz and JB soon, but don’t get me wrong, the stock pick-ups work really, really well. I play this guitar through a Vox Valvetronix amp set in the AC30 output, without any effects in between. That set-up responds very well with picking dynamics, resonating every note played. With the right amount of overdrive, feedback is not an issue.

The guitar is so versatile, it allows me to play songs from BB King’s catalogue upto AC/DC!

If any of you are thinking of getting a semi-hollow guitar, I suggest you seriously consider the Ibanez AS73 before buying anything else!

 

😉