acoustic guitar – Mic Gillette http://micgillette.com/ Sun, 17 Apr 2022 19:41:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://micgillette.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/icon-2021-08-02T161817.082-150x150.png acoustic guitar – Mic Gillette http://micgillette.com/ 32 32 CMAT accompanies us | The Music Diary https://micgillette.com/cmat-accompanies-us-the-music-diary/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 15:29:03 +0000 https://micgillette.com/cmat-accompanies-us-the-music-diary/ At the height of the first confinement, I heard CMAT for the first time when her debut single “Another Day (kfc)” played on Louise McSharry’s old show on 2FM. She was singing about breakups and Kentucky Fried Chicken in a country-tinged pop style and I immediately stopped what I was doing to make sure I […]]]>

At the height of the first confinement, I heard CMAT for the first time when her debut single “Another Day (kfc)” played on Louise McSharry’s old show on 2FM. She was singing about breakups and Kentucky Fried Chicken in a country-tinged pop style and I immediately stopped what I was doing to make sure I got the details of the song. A month later, I’m dancing in my bedroom to a tutorial the artist shared on her Instagram in which she teaches choreography for the track’s accompanying music video. Had the lockdown got to me, or was there something special about this idiosyncratic artist who launched her music career during a global pandemic?

Over the next two years, the Dublin singer-songwriter CMAT – Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson – released a series of singles exploring topics such as relationships, self-image and life as a woman in her twenties, written with a witty style of lyricism and sung in her twang distinct country-pop. The plot grew as new music came out – singles like “Rodney” and “I Wanna be a Cowboy, Baby!” – not just for me, but there seemed to be a growing interest in this relatively unknown artist. Now her debut album If my wife was new, I would be dead went straight to number one on the Irish charts in its first week.

Donning a uniform of Dolly Parton-esque outfits, voluminous hair, and glitter essence, CMAT attachments bordering on caricature and homage to country music and its culture. However, she somehow found a balance and captured the attention and esteem of a devoted fanbase. Positioning herself not only as a musician but also as an online personality, the artist regularly shares humorous and playful videos on her social networks, often speaking directly to those who watch her. These online interactions feel like you’re on the phone with a friend or inventing dance routines at a sleepover.

Pre-pandemic, before CMAT had released music, if I had been told that one of my favorite new up-and-coming artists would be a singer-songwriter who dresses and sings like a country star and shares chicken pop Instagram videos -corn, I wouldn’t know what to expect. Two years later, CMAT has created a new and unique space for itself within the Irish music scene – and beyond, as it has just announced a series of UK concert dates for next winter, and this week is on view at SXSW.


lives online
With the release of the first album If my wife was new, I would be dead, fans now have a body of work to dive into. Its twelve tracks include previously released singles – “I Don’t Really Care For You”, “No More Virgos” and “2 Wrecked 2 Care” – as well as new compositions. ‘Nashville’ opens the record with rhythmic vocals and airy acoustic guitar. She sings about escapism and lack of personal contentment, fantasizing about a potential life in Tennessee’s capital, singing country music, drinking tequila and going to the rodeo.

On ‘I Don’t Really Care For You’ – a brilliant, punchy piece with a recurring piano hook – CMAT sings of a relationship gone wrong and the self-reflection that comes with it. “I just spent seven hours looking at old pictures of me, Tryna “tell where the female dog started / Somewhere after the passion of Christ, and before I had an Instagram”, articulating a personal experience but also a particularly millennial and Gen Z who has come to live part of our lives online.

Behind the facade of cowboy boots and glamorous outfits, CMATThe real strength of is its writing. She can seamlessly blend dark, melancholy issues with bright melodies and clever lyrics so that at first it sounds like a catchy, funny pop song, but with more listening, the layers of meaning unfold, harnessing a juxtaposition of light and dark.

In ‘Peter Bogdanovich’ she sings about an infatuation with an older married man – ‘My daddy didn’t like me so I guess I moved on to you’, while in ‘Geography Teacher’ we hear about the body image (a recurring theme) as she sings in her Kate-Bush-meets-Jean-Ritchie tweet “I dreamed of being thin in the hands of another”.

“Lonely,” an honest and vulnerable piece about feelings of disconnection and gloom, is a personal standout on the record. Its heartbreaking lyrics – “I’m so lonely and I don’t have any real friends / I’m so lonely, others are just means to an end” make it one of the most moving songs ever. album. Much of the artist’s work contains an element of sadness or discontent, but with this track you can hear him leaning completely into melancholy. There’s no upbeat chorus or catchy piano hook here to drown out the sadness. “How much longer until I’m a lost cause / I’m mentally ill,” she breathes over a cutting, plaintive slide guitar pattern that mirrors the pain of the artwork.

Tips for fans
The day before the release of his album, CMAT hosted a livestream on his YouTube channel titled ‘CMAT Confessional’. It was an interactive program where fans could call her on the phone, talk to her live, and ask her advice on different topics – like a dying aunt. The comments were broadcast with messages like “I love you CMATplease come to Nottingham’, and ‘CMAT is a queen! as she chatted with fans who had called for her advice on topics ranging from fashion to relationships to careers. Sitting in what appeared to be a pub lounge, wearing a flowing cream and pink dress while sipping a cocktail from a martini glass, CMAT talked with his fans, laughed with them, and addressed their questions with sincerity and tenderness. Something bigger was happening here than the usual experience of tuning into a live concert.

Hear the stunned and absorbed interactions between callers and CMAT made me wonder – what does this artist offer her listeners beyond the obvious music and lyrics? Is she just a musician for the fans, or does she offer something more than that? She fills the space of a friend, a confidant and creates a sense of community, providing an element of escape from real life. It’s kind of the big sister, cousin or neighbor you’ve always idolized, who you wanted to borrow clothes from and who you ask for advice.

CMAT is an artist who speaks to a generation from the perspective of a young woman in her twenties. Blending elements old and new with her unmistakable country singing voice and notions of chicken fillet rolls and Instagram, CMATThe beginnings of are exposed and refreshingly authentic. For me, his music has been a beacon during lockdown and remains relatable, funny, sad and uplifting all at once.

If my wife was new, I would be dead and tickets for the next CMAT concerts are available at www.cmatbaby.com.

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Heart’s Nancy Wilson teaches you how to play the notoriously difficult opener to “Crazy On You” https://micgillette.com/hearts-nancy-wilson-teaches-you-how-to-play-the-notoriously-difficult-opener-to-crazy-on-you/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 12:00:27 +0000 https://micgillette.com/hearts-nancy-wilson-teaches-you-how-to-play-the-notoriously-difficult-opener-to-crazy-on-you/ You can slip, pull, and pound like a beast, but be warned. You’re unlikely to be able to keep up with Heart’s Nancy Wilson, as she demonstrates how to play the intro to 1975’s “Crazy On You,” one of the greatest and most iconic opening guitar solos. trickiest in rock history. “I really wanted people […]]]>

You can slip, pull, and pound like a beast, but be warned. You’re unlikely to be able to keep up with Heart’s Nancy Wilson, as she demonstrates how to play the intro to 1975’s “Crazy On You,” one of the greatest and most iconic opening guitar solos. trickiest in rock history.

“I really wanted people to know from the start what I could do,” Wilson revealed in a 1999 interview with Acoustic guitar:

It was the same as sitting in the Bandwagon music store and playing (Paul Simon) Anji. It was like, “Look at me, I know stuff.”

As hard rock musicians in the 70s and 80s, Wilson and her partner/sister, lead singer and songwriter, Ann found themselves constantly having to prove themselves.

As Ann recently explained to The Guardian:

At the time, especially in the 70s, there was no filter on how women were sexualized – hyper-sexualized – to sell their images. Now, at least, it seems women are in control of their own filters. At the time, they didn’t. It was just like, “Hey, here’s a hot chick. We know how we can sell it.

Let’s all observe Women’s History Month by emphasizing that every bonehead who’s ever dismissed these trailblazing women as a “girl band” is paying close attention to Nancy’s complex “hybrid picking.”

“Crazy On You” finds her picking out a beat on the A string while using her bare fingers to pull notes off the B and G strings.

And by her own admission, she tends to never play it the same way twice. (“which makes it really easy, right? »)

While we’re at it, how about celebrating Heart’s 50th anniversary by introducing the next generation to “Crazy On You”?

Times have changed significantly, but the emotions that inspired the song will hit close to home for many young people, according to Ann’s description on the rock teacher’s YouTube channel:

I wrote the words about the state of the world and the stressful effect it had on me. At the time, we thought the world was really screwed up, right? Because the Vietnam War was on and we chose to do this, but staying out of our own country…we were homesick. Crime was increasing, gasoline was expensive, gasoline shortages, all those horrible things. We had no idea what was going to happen in the next few years, so it seemed like at that point, you know, the world was ending. It’s close to the apocalypse. It’s very, very stressful when you’re in your twenties and you don’t see a bright future.

If you’re committed to learning Nancy Wilson’s guitar intro to “Crazy On You,” we recommend Shutup & Play’s video tutorial and tabs.

via laughing squid

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Pete Seeger teaches you how to play the guitar for free in The Folksinger’s Guitar Guide (1955)

Ayun Halliday is the chief primatologist of East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Little Potato Manifesto. Am here @AyunHalliday.

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Grammy Award-winning Brooke Ligertwood is the latest to collaborate with Martin Guitar on a custom guitar https://micgillette.com/grammy-award-winning-brooke-ligertwood-is-the-latest-to-collaborate-with-martin-guitar-on-a-custom-guitar/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 21:50:00 +0000 https://micgillette.com/grammy-award-winning-brooke-ligertwood-is-the-latest-to-collaborate-with-martin-guitar-on-a-custom-guitar/ Martin guitar added another artist to its exclusive club of collaborators. CF Martin & Co., the Nazareth-based guitar makers, have welcomed the contemporary Christian singer-songwriter from New Zealand Brooke Ligertwood to its signature series guitar family after Ligertwood worked with the company on a custom acoustic guitar. Ligertwood is the 13th woman to own her […]]]>

Martin guitar added another artist to its exclusive club of collaborators.

CF Martin & Co., the Nazareth-based guitar makers, have welcomed the contemporary Christian singer-songwriter from New Zealand Brooke Ligertwood to its signature series guitar family after Ligertwood worked with the company on a custom acoustic guitar. Ligertwood is the 13th woman to own her own Martin guitar.

The partnership was originally announced last month.

In an Instagram post from Ligertwood and the guitar company, she said she was first approached in 2019 and the design process started from there.

According to a release from Martin, the new signature guitar model combines facets of two of Martin’s other custom guitars from two pretty notable guitarists – Paul Simon and Eric Clapton. Still, there are plenty of unique touches, like a crown pattern inlay on the guitar’s headstock and Ligertwood’s signature emblazoned 20th fret, according to the release.

Ligertwood noted on Instagram that she’s been playing Martin guitars for 20 years, so it’s clear the collaboration was a long time coming.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to lehighvalleylive.com.

Connor Lagore can be reached at clagore@njadvancemedia.com.

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Benchmark: Valencia VC204H – Mixdown Magazine https://micgillette.com/benchmark-valencia-vc204h-mixdown-magazine/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:03:37 +0000 https://micgillette.com/benchmark-valencia-vc204h-mixdown-magazine/ Lyrics by Peter Hodgson Australasian Music Supplies | Expect to pay: $125 Once upon a time, if you were a kid learning the guitar, you had a classic nylon-string acoustic. The student-priced electrics and amps were usually pretty clunky and basic (the built-in distortion was a luxury…a gritty, harsh, brittle-sounding luxury) plus you really wanted […]]]>

Lyrics by Peter Hodgson

Australasian Music Supplies | Expect to pay: $125

Once upon a time, if you were a kid learning the guitar, you had a classic nylon-string acoustic. The student-priced electrics and amps were usually pretty clunky and basic (the built-in distortion was a luxury…a gritty, harsh, brittle-sounding luxury) plus you really wanted to start something that wouldn’t hurt your little hands. anyway .

Nylon-string classical guitars have traditionally been the de facto first choice for newcomers, and for good reason – they provide an affordable, comfortable and, above all, stylistically versatile entry point into guitar theory. and the practicalities of navigating the fretboard in the cleanest way possible. , and all without a flimsy built-in distortion in sight.

Read more product reviews here.

The guitar market may have come a long way in recent years, but Valence, a longtime player in the game, is still ubiquitous in this type of guitar building, specializing in affordable guitars for beginners, and high enough in quality to hang on to even when it’s time to move on to something more advanced. . But Valencia has evolved and evolved over time, and the new VC204H is a perfect example of how to create player-friendly nylon-string acoustics in 2022.

Today, even beginner guitarists are looking for more in playability and neck shape, and with this guitar, Valencia more than rises to the challenge.

The VC204H is a full-size nylon-string acoustic guitar with a nato back and sides (the back is subtly arched which is a nice comfort feature for the player). The top is sitka spruce in a rich orange hue that nicely offsets the more walnut look of the nato. There is gold helix rosette decoration around the rosette, because what’s a nylon acoustic without a beautiful rosette, huh?

The neck is really interesting: it is made of jabon with a pair of teak reinforcement strips, much like the double “skunk stripes” found on much higher end guitars. The fingerboard is ebony mahogany (essentially mahogany stained to look like ebony) and the 19 frets are nickel. If you’re used to seeing stainless steel or nickel silver frets on guitars, remember this one is designed for nylon strings which are much softer on the frets. So it wouldn’t really make sense to put more expensive materials on this particular handle.. There are side dots from the fifth box to the twelfth.

The bridge is also blackened mahogany with a plastic saddle, while the tuners are nickel plated with cream buttons. Overall, it’s an attractive, well-built version of this particular family of instruments.

I have to admit a bit of nostalgia picking up this guitar. It took me back to my first nylon string acoustic. Damn, it’s even feels the same and I may or may not have taken a deep, satisfying whiff of the rosette. Please don’t judge.

The first thing an experienced guitarist will notice about this guitar is the neck shape. It’s not your standard “classic beginner” neck, which is usually very wide and presents some challenges for smaller hands. Instead, it’s specifically designed to fit smaller lugs, with a narrower 45mm width at the nut bringing the strings closer and easier to reach at the end where this instrument will see most of its playing action. And the actual neck shape is super comfortable, plus a flatter D-shape that gives players a roomy feel on the neck, reinforcing proper thumb placement and making it easier to hold hands in an ergonomic position. It’s easy to play barre chords higher on the neck, or glide across the neck in more complex classical pieces.

But the easy playability of those first three frets, where many beginners tend to spend their time, is particularly noteworthy. This smaller neck also made it much easier to capo than a traditional classical guitar, which will definitely come in handy for anyone looking for a good writing guitar.

The string spacing is nicely ergonomic for fingerstyle, and the weight and body shape sits comfortably on the leg when seated – precisely what you’d want in a guitar of this type.

Tone level, it sounds good. It’s not necessarily brimming with sustain, but it’s typical of this type of guitar, and the note decay on the higher strings is very even and musical. In terms of providing an awesome vehicle from which to learn correct finger technique and voice technique, it’s absolutely ideal. Unlike so many other classical guitars that truly punish all but the cleanest fingering, the VC204H is forgiving enough to provide a friendly playing experience without reinforcing bad habits.

As an entry point into the guitar world, you’d be hard pressed to find something that fits better in your hand and with that kind of edge. When you factor in the price (just over a hundred dollars) and with the level of quality displayed here, it’s pretty hard to argue, both as a first guitar or as a nice entry-level classical guitar for the House. .

While it may not be the absolute pinnacle of concert hall sound projection and fullness across the entire frequency range, it far exceeds its purpose of being a comfortable classical guitar. on which students can learn their trade, and the build quality is something that will see it. the test of time.

Head toward Valence for more information. For local inquiries, contact Australasian Music Supplies.

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And you will know us by the trail of tags and source codes of Dead at 20 https://micgillette.com/and-you-will-know-us-by-the-trail-of-tags-and-source-codes-of-dead-at-20/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 15:57:28 +0000 https://micgillette.com/and-you-will-know-us-by-the-trail-of-tags-and-source-codes-of-dead-at-20/ This isn’t the first time we here at PopMatters have discussed… And you’ll know us by the trail of the dead. Tags and source codes. Jon Garrett first reviewed the album in 2002. He focused a lot on how surprisingly good the record was in light of a terrible, drunken live performance he had witnessed […]]]>

This isn’t the first time we here at PopMatters have discussed… And you’ll know us by the trail of the dead. Tags and source codes. Jon Garrett first reviewed the album in 2002. He focused a lot on how surprisingly good the record was in light of a terrible, drunken live performance he had witnessed a few years before. He also spoke a bit about major label Interscope Records’ mind-boggling decision to sign such a non-commercial band.

Jeff Dunn celebrated the album’s 10th anniversary by comparing the band to other great rock bands of the time. He also covered the intensity level of the tracks and the bizarre instrumental interludes between the proper songs. This piece included a reflection on the band’s creative struggles after Tags and source codes as well as.

Today, 20 years apart, the legacy of that record has grown as a legacy closely tied to music journalism on the Internet itself. 2002 was a time of transition for rock music. The garage rock revival of The Strokes and The White Stripes borders on leftover grunge and nu-metal like Puddle of Mudd, Godsmack and Staind. Pop-punk bands like blink-182 and Sum 41 still had juice, while Foo Fighters were more popular than ever. Looking back on various lists of the most popular rock songs of the year, there is an obvious discrepancy. Some of these lists include Jack Johnson’s Pop Acoustic Guitar and even Eminem’s Rap Singles. However, almost nowhere on these charts will you find indie rock bands.

Modern rock radio stations that remained from the 1990s had gradually reduced their playlists, focusing on acts not particularly adventurous or fresh. With the term “alternative” becoming obsolete, the moniker “indie” began to be applied to certain artists instead. It didn’t matter whether or not these bands belonged to real independent record labels. Rock radio and the influential MTV weren’t particularly interested in this new underground, but the burgeoning number of online pop culture sites were all over this type of music.

Social media had yet to take off and YouTube was still a few years away. For a few years in the early 2000s, these sites had an outsized, taste-creating influence. They might generate buzz and break up groups, at least to some extent. No one was headlining arenas based on positive reviews from PopMatters or Pitchfork, but they might sell some clubs. The boost given to Arcade Fire’s Funeral in 2004 by rave reviews from music sites paved the way for the band to win Grammys and eventually play 10,000-seat venues.

Tags and source codes was a relatively early beneficiary of this boost. Trail of Dead had released two independent albums, the second, Madonna, uneven but with real potential. Interscope picked them up and the group got to work on Source tags. They immediately reached that potential; creatively, at least, if not commercially. The AV Club, Pitchfork and yes, PopMatters all gave the album rave reviews. Metacritic, the online review aggregator, ranked it the 12th best-reviewed album of 2002.

It’s a record that effectively blends the band’s aggressive noise-rock tendencies with a new appreciation for melody and, in particular, melodic guitar riffs. The opener “It was there I saw you” sets the template for the album. Lead singer Conrad Keely screams over crashing guitars and Jason Reece’s expressive drums. The group then drops into a slow, silent section before slowly coming back up. The opening theme returns for a powerful ending, and that’s the whole song. Two sections, two very different atmospheres, and yet it works.

A song like “Another Morning Stoner” has a more melodic tone, and while Reece’s drumming is just as strong, it’s relaxed. It features a catchy guitar lead, which does a lot of work in setting the mood of the song. On the other end of the spectrum, “Homage” is full of hardcore energy as Reece takes over on vocals, screaming his head off. The band are savvy enough to provide dynamics amidst the fury, however, with a pair of noise-declining passages and even a solo in the middle of a piano song.

The best tracks on the album find the balance between power and dynamics. “Days of Being Wild” is another one that starts aggressively, calms down and builds, but it doesn’t return to the same musical spot. “Relative Ways” keeps the speed constant but changes the time signature and instrumentation for contrast. “Source Tags and Codes” manages to sound laid back while reaching the musical climax several times in the song.

On less melodic songs, Jason Reece’s drums provide the hooks. None of the three singers on the disc (bassist Neil Busch also takes a few turns of the microphone) is an outstanding singer. Sometimes the band’s guitarists focus more on the vibe and sound walls than on the riffs. In these places, Reece’s talent for memorable and catchy rhythmic patterns gives the listener something concrete to focus on.

This album still justifies all the hype the online music community gave it in 2002. It’s also a singular record in Trail of Dead’s now extensive catalog. 2005 worlds apart found the band trying to be more commercial and essentially failing, while 2006 So divided was a course correction that was not entirely successful either. After missing their chance at mainstream success, the band set up their own label and went independent again.

For the best or for the worst, Tags and source codes was the last album recorded by the original Trail of Dead lineup. Bassist Neil Busch left in 2004, and worlds apart was credited to the remaining trio. I saw the band performing in early 2009 as six musicians. Keely, Reece and three other members wore essentially the same black-on-black outfits, while founding guitarist Kevin Allen stood sullenly off to the side in jeans and a white t-shirt. It was no surprise when he left the band a year later.

Keely and Reece have continued ever since, with a rotating cast of players filling out the group. Their later material is often just as energetic as Source tags, but with a noticeable increase in prog-rock influences. Keely’s illustrations, a staple of the band from the start, informed this approach. Trail of Dead is now in the midst of an epic steampunk fantasy music story that has been going on for several albums. The intricate story is in the liner notes online for anyone dedicated enough to follow. Revisit Source tagshowever, takes me back to a time when the band’s lyrics were just as indecipherable, the songs were abrasive but catchy, and figuring it all out didn’t feel like homework.

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Tom Sands on honing his craft in the Bay Area and composing the perfect song to test guitars | Guitare.com https://micgillette.com/tom-sands-on-honing-his-craft-in-the-bay-area-and-composing-the-perfect-song-to-test-guitars-guitare-com/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 09:30:13 +0000 https://micgillette.com/tom-sands-on-honing-his-craft-in-the-bay-area-and-composing-the-perfect-song-to-test-guitars-guitare-com/ What first attracted you to acoustic guitars? “It’s a long and convoluted story that features many key characters. I expect that when they do my biopic, Peter Jackson will be involved. *Spoiler Alert* – I was at a bit of a dead end in my career as a furniture maker, or rather I found myself […]]]>

What first attracted you to acoustic guitars?

“It’s a long and convoluted story that features many key characters. I expect that when they do my biopic, Peter Jackson will be involved. *Spoiler Alert* – I was at a bit of a dead end in my career as a furniture maker, or rather I found myself in a position where my passion for making, my purpose for being had slowly evaporated.

“I decided I needed to get my mojo back and that involved making a kind of pilgrimage. I wrote to artists, makers and designers all over the world asking if I could hang out with them in their studios and workshops. Ervin Somogyi responded by offering an interview. (This will be the part of the film where I cut trees in the Russian tundra, paint fences and raise X-Wings in swamps.)”

What impact has Ervin Somogyi had on your development as a builder?

“Ervin reignited my creativity and critical thinking. For me, that was all I was looking for.

Tom Sands Guitar

You mentioned your experience building luxury furniture and you also studied at the Glasgow School of Art. How does your knowledge of the art world influence your violin making?

“I think it allows me to approach work from a different angle. I am not buried in the tradition of the instrument and I feel free to play with materials, colors, textures and techniques. I love looking at contemporary product design and wondering how I can apply that design language to the acoustic guitar.

Tom Sands Guitar

There are three models – the S, the M and the L – as the basis of your catalogue. Why did you choose to avoid standard acoustic model names and return to simpler choices?

“Honestly, I found the commonly used Martin naming conventions confusing and often misleading. Unless you are fully conversant with the nuances of scale lengths and the number of frets on the body etc., terms like 000 and OM lose their meaning. For example, when was the last time you saw someone playing acoustic guitar in an orchestra? I had played with cool sounding model names like “Blade”, “Laser” and “Blazer”, but I finally settled on Small, Medium and Large. »

Tom Sands Guitar

Each of the three models listed above is infinitely customizable. Is this ‘contemporary’ approach a way to connect with the buyer of modern guitars?

“It’s become a bit of a personal cliché at this point, but I always say a good guitar starts with a good relationship. My clients are spread across the world and from different cultures. There’s no one demographic that I’m trying to target. At the end of the day, they’re all guitar enthusiasts and it’s something we share that can bond. That bond is crucial because the gestation period between the first e e-mail to my inbox and the day of delivery isn’t exactly short. There’s a journey of discovery we take together and a common language we must develop to come up with a successful guitar. A custom guitar is an object so personal, esoteric and intimate and the best are always the fruit of a friendship.

Tom Sands Guitar

Some intriguing materials are also used for rosettes and caps, such as patinated copper. Why do you use materials like this?

“It started during my apprenticeship. If you are familiar with Ervin’s work, it is extremely artistic and expressive. There are plenty of amazing inlays, carvings and embellishments. Early in my time in Oakland, I tried to emulate that style. Two things struck me pretty quickly. One, I’m far too impatient for this kind of detail work. Two, I’m really, really bad at this. So I went back to my basic design principles and focused on the materials and let them do the talking. The natural beauty, colors and textures of copper could tell more than I ever could with thousands of joints. »

Tom Sands Guitar

When did you realize you had a viable business?

“When I was able to buy a fish burrito AND a drink from the Mexican restaurant across from Ervin’s workshop without having a panic attack. I was very lucky that a now dear friend discovered my work pretty much straight away. He commissioned me to build a guitar, which I did, during my evenings and weekends at the Somogyi store. I fell in love with the whole process of working with a client, I had found my mojo and there was no turning back. As long as I had enough money for rent and the occasional cocktail party, I would never do anything else.

Tom Sands Guitar

Did you have any external investments at the start?

“I did. My apprenticeship was paid in kind so to speak, and since the Bay Area has the highest cost of living in the United States, I had no noticeable savings, so I had to looking for financial aid. A friend told me about the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust which is the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. Twice a year QEST gives funding to support British Craft. I have been very lucky to receive a scholarship that basically paid for my first year of study with Ervin. With that and selling everything I owned, I was all set.

Tom Sands Guitar

Elsewhere you introduced “white label” guitars, much like the first LP pressings. How does this improve the specifications and build quality of your instruments?

“I like to experiment, mainly to satisfy my own curiosity. It keeps things fresh and exciting; you never really know what you’re going to get. There’s an element of risk to that which, honestly, I like. If I built the same guitar day after day, I would get bored pretty quickly. Building in small quantities, by hand, with wood – it’s very difficult to beta test with any degree of certainty. There is a lot to be said for experience and developing an intuitive sense of how a material behaves.

Tom Sands Guitar

“I combine that with a tremendous amount of grading, record keeping, and handing over the finished article to players who really know how to get the most out of a guitar. The head of Bullshit Detection at Tom Sands Guitars is Will McNicol, he records all the guitars I build, and we’ve even designed and composed the ultimate “guitar test track” to bring out every nuance of an instrument’s character. My goal is always to be better than yesterday, to always keep pushing for that extra percentage point of improvement and incremental growth. Experimentation is at the heart of this philosophy.

Tom Sands Guitar

What future for Tom Sands Guitars?

“I feel like we are emerging from the pandemic, flashing in the light but full of hope and excitement. This year I am investing heavily in growing the business, we have just moved into a Beautiful new space and my assistant Ted is doing an amazing job We have a whole slew of White Label guitars in production so you can expect to see some new features, woods and hopefully sounds too!

Visit tomsandsguitars.com for more.

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Little Green House: Anxious’ debut album features punk without politics https://micgillette.com/little-green-house-anxious-debut-album-features-punk-without-politics/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 01:14:42 +0000 https://micgillette.com/little-green-house-anxious-debut-album-features-punk-without-politics/ Connecticut band Anxious ring in the new year by releasing their debut album little green house in January. The first thing that jumps out at Anxious is the youth of its members: their ages range from around 19 to 21 years old. The musicians grew up together and have been playing in a band since […]]]>

Connecticut band Anxious ring in the new year by releasing their debut album little green house in January. The first thing that jumps out at Anxious is the youth of its members: their ages range from around 19 to 21 years old. The musicians grew up together and have been playing in a band since at least high school, which isn’t a very distant memory for any of them. Additionally, the album is named after the childhood home of the band’s lead singer, Grady Allen.

Anxious, little green house

Journalists described Anxious as having ties to the local hardcore punk scene. Hardcore was a faster, more intense version of punk rock that emerged in part as a reaction against the more romantic or consciously arty directions in which punk was moving around 1979. Hardcore songs tended to be short (sometimes less than one minute) and feature angry shouting, vaguely leftist political themes, and dark or provocative humor.

But Anxious has a closer musical resemblance to emo, a trend that grew out of hardcore and focused on feelings and relationships rather than politics. Influences from early emo bands Dag Nasty and Rites of Spring, and more recent and popular Jimmy Eat World and New Found Glory, can be heard on Anxious’ early days. The Connecticut band clearly paid close attention to the music of their predecessors.

From the first note of the first album, we notice how polite the group is, especially considering the youth of its members. Guitarists cleverly use basic techniques such as palm muting and harmonics to provide accents. Singers can carry a melody and even harmonize. But most impressive is the skillful, precise and powerful drumming of Jonny Camner, the most musically accomplished member. Camner provides much of the group’s energy.

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Nashville singer-songwriter remembers Marin’s childhood in new single https://micgillette.com/nashville-singer-songwriter-remembers-marins-childhood-in-new-single/ Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:39:55 +0000 https://micgillette.com/nashville-singer-songwriter-remembers-marins-childhood-in-new-single/ As a teenager, singer-songwriter David Austin was inspired by the poetry of Bruce Springsteen’s early hymns about coming of age in New Jersey’s working-class urban grit. In his new single, ‘Cut Hunting’, the 25-year-old musician explores the same themes as Springsteen – young people seeking freedom and independence in an adult world – only Austin’s […]]]>

As a teenager, singer-songwriter David Austin was inspired by the poetry of Bruce Springsteen’s early hymns about coming of age in New Jersey’s working-class urban grit. In his new single, ‘Cut Hunting’, the 25-year-old musician explores the same themes as Springsteen – young people seeking freedom and independence in an adult world – only Austin’s ode to adolescence springs from his memories of growing up in the idyllic natural landscapes and safe suburban streets of wealthy Marin County.

“We’ve had bands like Journey and Train and the Grateful Dead and a lot of other bands that came out of Marin, but I don’t know if I can say a lot of them wrote strictly about Marin in a kind of poetic narrative style,” he says over the phone from his home in Nashville. “I kind of wanted to do that about how I grew up in Marin. It’s an absurdly beautiful place. I said, ‘I need to write about this. It’s my childhood.

As a child, Austin lived in Ross and began playing guitar and singing in student bands at Marin Country Day School.

“It was a great starting point,” he says. “It was a very open and free contemporary music program with rock and world music. In middle school I started playing classic rock and guitar, and being able to be in the school band and play AC/DC and Boston at school gigs was super cool. It got me going.

When he was 14, he went to boarding school on the East Coast and started writing original songs. During vacations and through the summer, he would come back to Marin, reunite with his old running buddies, and experience a kind of teenage culture shock.

“Living Two Lives”

An image from David Austin’s “Cut Hunting” music video.

“I felt like I was living two lives, going to a super strict boarding school with all these rules,” he says. “You had to check in by 11 p.m. on Saturday night. There wasn’t a lot of partying. And then I would come back to Marin and it would be, ‘Oh my God, you’re out until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night.’ It was crazy.”

Where Austin and his pals went and what they did at those crazy weekend parties is what ‘Cut Hunting’ is, a mix of truth and fiction. The title comes from a slang phrase he overheard a friend use to describe driving and finding secluded places and hidden corners of the county to do what young people do when their parents and teachers aren’t around. not here. The name of the lyrics verifies Phoenix Lake as a particularly nice place to “get down”.

Thinking back to his teenage years, Austin fondly recalls that he and his young pals were fans of Bay Area rappers E-40, Too Short and Mac Dre, who rhymed about an urban subculture that was outside of the experience. of the average sailor. child. In a memorable line from “Cut Hunting,” Austin sings, “Well, I know I’m just a white Marin boy. I had redwood dirt smeared on my skin.

Chance encounter

After high school, Austin earned a music degree from the University of Southern California and lived in Los Angeles for a few years before a chance meeting in Marin led him to move to Nashville. He was playing on a bench near the College of Marin when Novato restaurateur and songwriter Robin Lindsey overheard him and put him in touch with his brother, the Nashville country music producer, Chris Lindsey.

“He’s definitely the real deal,” says Robin Lindsey.

A singer-songwriter who plays acoustic guitar, Austin has spent the past year recording a dozen new songs in Lindsey’s studio for a second album, “Carolina Blue,” which will be released in early summer. This follows an eight-song debut track, “Southwood Waltz”, named after the street in Ross where he and his family lived when he was growing up.

David Austin’s next song, “Cut Hunting”, is a mix of truth and fiction.

Sidelined for much of the past two years due to the pandemic (he’s recovered from two bouts of COVID-19), Austin and his four-piece band kick off a Northeast tour in February . He will be in the Bay Area on February 19 for a concert at The Brick & Mortar in San Francisco.

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Am I Too Old To Learn Guitar? https://micgillette.com/am-i-too-old-to-learn-guitar/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 11:54:39 +0000 https://micgillette.com/am-i-too-old-to-learn-guitar/ By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers If you’re worried that you’ve waited too long to get started, don’t worry and read on for tips and encouragement for learning guitar at any age. Is there an optimal age to learn guitar? There really isn’t – nor is there a perfect age for everyone to get married, have kids, […]]]>


By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

If you’re worried that you’ve waited too long to get started, don’t worry and read on for tips and encouragement for learning guitar at any age.

Is there an optimal age to learn guitar?

There really isn’t – nor is there a perfect age for everyone to get married, have kids, or play tennis. We all live and learn on our own schedules, and the simplest answer is that we are ready to take the guitar when we are ready to take the guitar, when we have the desire, the energy and the time.

Of course, our age and stage in life greatly affect the learning process. Children learn fast, with high energy, flexible limbs, and a knack for imitating what they see. But Marcy Marxer, who along with Cathy Fink has been teaching and entertaining children and adults for decades, points out that some things can be more difficult at a young age. “The coordination and dexterity required to play the guitar is often more of a challenge for children than for adults,” she says, “so they have to be patient because it can take a little longer. But the only thing kids have is time: they tend to have more free time than adults.

“Adults have other advantages of listening for longer,” she adds. “I once had a student in her 50s who was playing guitar for the first time. She wanted to learn swing music, so we went in that direction, and all she needed to know was how to play a few chords – she automatically knew how to put them together from their sound. She was like: Oh, it’s like that song or that song. This life experience really helped her.

Carol McComb, veteran teacher and performer and author of Country and blues guitar for the musically desperate, observe that certain aspects of the guitar tend to be easier to learn at certain ages. She says, “For example, playing fingering is difficult for young people; I don’t think they developed the motor coordination, overall, to do it. Some kids are unusual and agree with it. Adolescents become very coordinated from around the age of 12. This coordination remains in adulthood, but she finds that some students over 60, especially those with arthritis, have difficulty learning basic techniques with their fingers.

Due to the guitar’s close kinship with rock’n’roll, many of us begin playing in our teens, a time when we (potentially) have not only coordination, but motivation and motivation as well. schedule to devote countless hours listening, practicing, and leaning on guitar magazines – Bill Purse calls hungry young students as these “legends of their own room”. Of course, that same source of energy can easily be diverted to a number of other activities, leaving the method manual or the lessons unfinished.

According to Purse, it all comes down to engagement. If we’d rather shop, fly fish, or surf than play the guitar, we probably won’t go far with the instrument. But if we, regardless of our age, are truly determined to get music out of those six strings, we will.

Any advice for a newbie adult with a job and a family?

As an adult, you might well envy all the kids learning the guitar, with reserves of time, energy, and confidence in their ability to conquer the six-string beast. But you also have special advantages. As Marcy Marxer noted, your years of listening have given you a lot of intuitive knowledge about the structure and traditions of music, as well as an idea of ​​the specific style (s) you want to play. Your experience mastering so many new skills, from driving a car to job responsibilities to parenting, has undoubtedly given you some insight into the best ways to learn – a lesson you can apply to this. new quest.

And while you may have passed up the opportunity to be a child prodigy or a teenager, it’s never too late to start. Ask any teacher. Cathy Fink talks about a favorite student who learned guitar at age 55. “I walked around the room and asked all the newbies what they were doing in the classroom,” she recalls. “This guy said, ‘Well I looked at my dad when he retired and he was feeling lonely and bored. It’s not going to happen to me, so I have a guitar. ‘”Too bad this man’s dad doesn’t know the 90-year-old couple who once took Carol McComb’s debut class at a music camp!

As a newbie adult you need to strategize about time first – this project will require regular commitment. To be realistic; There is no point in setting a goal of training three hours a day if there is no hope of it. If you are taking lessons, immediately discuss time issues with your teacher. Your gaming sessions don’t have to be long: Effective 20-minute training sessions that address specific, achievable goals are more effective than hours of mindless noodles. So reserve small chunks of time at frequent intervals for you and your guitar, and protect them. Finding a space at home where your kids won’t climb on your back while you play isn’t a bad idea either.

There are so many ways to learn guitar these days, from books, videos, and apps to private and group lessons to music camps, that you can surely find one that fits your schedule and needs. your personality. (Check out our guide to the best websites and apps for learning guitar.) Plus, you have more options than a kid, given that you hold the purse strings and likely have wheels.

Many adults are inclined to study on their own, and there is nothing wrong with that. But many teachers highly recommend group lessons, jams, and music camps as a way to speed up learning and have fun at the same time. (Check out our guide to planning your summer camp getaway.) The opportunity to play with just one other person can bring huge rewards. I know several parents who have decided to start playing guitar with their children, a special experience for all.


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Remember that whenever we learn something new we have to allow ourselves to be clumsy and clumsy for a while. Children are more used to it, while adults tend to focus on activities that they are familiar with and can do competently and unconsciously. Jimmy Tomasello, who teaches a wide range of guitar lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, notes that “people who take adult lessons are a little insecure. And they want to be right – it’s a lie when you learn something. The more mistakes you make, the closer you get to the goals you set for yourself. So let go, take risks and most of all, enjoy the incomparable experience of learning to make music with your own hands.

More resources for adult beginner guitarists from master teachers to Acoustic guitar magazine:

the Acoustic guitar method is the only beginner’s guitar method based on traditional American music that teaches you authentic songs and techniques. From the folk, blues and old music of yesterday, rock, country and jazz of today were born. You can now begin to understand, play and enjoy these essential traditions and styles on the instrument that truly represents American music, the acoustic guitar.

You want to start playing guitar on the right foot so that you can quickly enjoy all the fun and satisfaction that music brings. This useful book is full of advice from master guitar teachers to Acoustic guitar, which shows you the right way to play chords, songs, and solos with six essential lessons and audio accompaniment. You’ll also get answers to dozens of questions about buying, owning, and starting your guitar. The best way to have fun with the world’s most popular instrument is to get some solid advice and instruction right from the start, and Teach yourself the basics of the guitar is the perfect companion to start your musical journey.

Book cover for "Teach yourself the basics of the guitar" by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers with subtitle "Learn how to choose, buy and maintain a guitar.  Plus 6 lessons on how to play your first chords and songs"

learn guitar - information and tips for learning to play the acoustic guitar
Want more information and advice on learning to play the guitar? Click here.

How old were you when you first started playing? What tools have you found most useful to start your guitar learning journey? Give us your suggestions, stories and questions!


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Meet Cait Devin: The Guitar Community’s Most Charitable New Player | Guitar.com https://micgillette.com/meet-cait-devin-the-guitar-communitys-most-charitable-new-player-guitar-com/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 09:30:25 +0000 https://micgillette.com/meet-cait-devin-the-guitar-communitys-most-charitable-new-player-guitar-com/ At just 20 years old, Cait Devin is already climbing the industry ladder. Although she is a passionate singer-songwriter in her own right, the shredded collaborations she hosts through YouTube have not just been fundraisers for charity, but impressive mini-concerts where she has performed. been joined by some of social media’s most notable players and […]]]>


At just 20 years old, Cait Devin is already climbing the industry ladder. Although she is a passionate singer-songwriter in her own right, the shredded collaborations she hosts through YouTube have not just been fundraisers for charity, but impressive mini-concerts where she has performed. been joined by some of social media’s most notable players and musicians, from Michael Angelo Batio to Lexi Rose, and more.

We tell her about the use of music to relieve health problems, her latest Shred collaboration, Jams For Benefits, and her recent single, jokes about you.

How long have you been playing guitar?

“I bought my first acoustic guitar when I was 14 and started playing acoustic concerts regularly when I was 15. When I was around 17, I started playing solo guitar and formed a hard rock band, and that’s where I got a lot of experience. After that, I decided to contact my favorite players, hoping to work with them. But lead has always been my second voice.

Since then you have organized numerous charity shred collaborations. Why haven’t you pursued a more linear solo career?

“Experiencing an illness like trigeminal neuralgia has really opened my eyes to what other health issues can really be struggling with. So, it really inspired me to do some charity work so that my projects can also benefit those in need. I have a main solo career alongside my guitar work – I’ve been a singer-songwriter since the very beginning of my career. I would consider the shred collaborations and things as a side project, but a very, very worthy project that I’m proud of.

What can you tell us about your future collaborations and projects?

“I’ve organized three mega shredding collaborations and a few more, including Vinnie Moore and Andy James. This next event will be called Jams for Benefits and it will be a multi-week concert series. I’ve partnered up with a new artist streaming platform called The Avenue, artists like Rikki Lee and Sarah Longfield have already made their own streams there. It’s a great place to build an audience.

“The event will open with a series of independent and underground artists and headliners, including Bill Hudson of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Michael Angelo Batio, Lexi Rose and many more. Each feed will have a tip jar attached and the proceeds will go to the Facial Pain Association – a link will be shareable for viewers to tune in – and they essentially provide resources for patients like me with trigeminal neuralgia. If you don’t know what it is, it is a severe chronic nerve pain that affects the trigeminal nerve that carries sensation from the face to the brain. More details and the full lineup will be announced later in October. “

What do you learn by collaborating with confirmed guitarists? Have you ever felt the pressure of being a rising and rising woman?

“Honestly, I don’t feel any pressure. I’m just happy to be here! I take tabs for a few solos from different people, and just go over exactly what they’re playing, so I’m definitely picking up a few guitar hits again. The more melodies in my brain, the better!

Who influences your sound as a guitarist?

“I have explored many genres. My recent single, jokes about you, has a very alternative pop touch with elements of hip hop and rock, I think that’s where I’m headed. I feel like I’ve found a sound in which I can express myself freely and be the most authentic. I was in the rock business for a long time – and I still consider myself given that I host all of these genre-based projects – but I’m open to artists of all kinds and try to think outside the box. I love songwriters like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, but I’m also a huge fan of Doja Cat, The Weeknd, and Grimes. When it comes to my game, I have so many people that I admire who have influenced me, some that I can now call my friends including Sophie Burrell, Nita Strauss, Angel Vivaldi and many more!

Do you see future projects following a similar theme or going in a different direction?

“Alternative pop is definitely where my heart is – often accompanied by a few guitar riffs. I’m a lover of all styles and because of who I am as an artist I try my best not to label. But I’m really happy with where I am.

What are your goals as a guitarist and composer?

“I want to continue to fundraise for good causes – making music just for myself alone is sort of in vain. It is one of my goals for the future to eventually be signed and join a great team. And that doesn’t mean I can’t be a freelance artist forever – it’s definitely more than doable and fun – but being part of that “family” vibe would be cool. Of course, I have to tackle my illness a little more, but I am confident that I will get better and come back to life!

Cait Devin’s new single, jokes about you, is now available. Visit caitdevin.com for more information on its Jams For Benefits.


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