April 26, 2013

Allen Hinds testing The Royal Overdrive van Weelden/ Joe Bonamassa

Allen Hinds testing this amazing pedal. It's THE best distortion/ preamp pedal there is. Earlier that week Robben Ford also ordered one! It's that good. In front of the amp or as a preamp. The sound is uberdynamic!

"About 4 years ago we got a request to design an overdrive pedal that would sound great on both low and hi volume levels and here is the result:… the Royal Overdrive!
The Royal Overdrive is a top quality hand built, very versatile, solid state distortion pedal with awesome harmonics and dynamics. It’s an original design that meets our quality standards and it’s not just a copy of any another pedal already out there with just 1 extra knob or switch. We needed more than 400 parts to get to this result. You probably won’t believe that this is a solid state unit. This baby is extremely "amp friendly!" We’ve tested it on several amps like a Super lead 100W, Gibson LAB7, Crate combo, Twin reverb, hotrod deluxe and the results were all amazing. So, with this baby you’ll no longer need an amp that is pedal friendly!! (We will record some clips with different amps for the new website) One of the key ingredients of this pedal is that in lead mode you can still hear what type of guitar you are playing and that it really f
eels like a tube amp! The attack and headroom are unbelievable! You can set your amp to a perfect clean sound and when the pedal is engaged you can use the wide selection of level and tone controls to make your lead tone, even with single coils. With this baby there’s no need to put your amp on 10 to make a great lead sound!
A couple of these units will be road tested the next few months and we hope to go into production later this year. Price: TBA

Stay tuned!

Van Weelden Royal Overdrive

April 23, 2013

April 21, 2013

Allen Hinds in Holland

Today Allen Hinds played a great concert in Holland. The whole show was recorded and the Dvd will be available soon.

April 18, 2013

Allen Hinds in Nederland/ Holland + Pics

april 20th in Emmen in Rue de la Gare
21st in Raalte in het Hoftheater
28th at the Buckshot in Groningen and clinics in local schools…

Also working on a new cd will be back at the potato in may Hal Leonard instructional book due out in June

Next sunday I'll be interviewing Allen. If you have any specific questions  please let me know.

April 17, 2013

Russell Malone - Learning from The Masters

Great anecdotes and lessons by the wonderful Russell Malone. Humbling experiences for sure. Check out the irockjazztv channel for more interesting interviews with a lot of jazz greats.

April 14, 2013

John Scofield and Mike Stern april 2013

This was supposed to be a continuation of the 'Hollow body tour' of John Scofield with Kurt Rosenwinkel. Since Kurt was asked for the the crossroads festival with Eric Clapton John asked Mike!
Great choice. Mike and Sco used to jam a lot when Mike lived over the 55 bar in New York. They played together extensively while on tour with Miles Davis and remained friends through the years.

John Scofield & Mike Stern: hollow body band ?

April 13, 2013

Allan Holdsworth / Kurt Rosenwinkel Crossroads 2013

Very cool!. The clip we've all been waiting for since it was first announced. 

"In late 2011 we got a call from Eric Clapton’s office, telling us that Clapton was planning to visit NYC to hear Kurt Rosenwinkel perform on 2/28/2012 at the Village Vanguard. They insisted they wanted to pay for the 2 tickets they asked for, but just wanted to make sure that there was seats and it wouldn’t be sold out when they showed up. We were of course more than happy to guarantee them that.
Clapton showed up with his friend and producer Russ Titelman (who produced “Tears in Heaven” as well as an incredible amount of other fantastic albums and tracks like “Chuck E’s in Love” with Rickie Lee Jones, “Ain’t Nobody” with Chaka Khan etc), and after the set told Kurt that he is a true inspiration to Eric these days, and that he had first heard of Kurt when listening to the track “Stoner Hill” from Brian Blade Fellowship’s album “Season of Changes“.
Subsequently Clapton invited Kurt to perform at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, which is a benefit for Clapton’s Antigua drug & alcohol rehabilitation center (located in the West Indies). The event will be held over 2 days in Madison Square Garden on April 12 & 13 (2013) – Kurt is scheduled to perform on April 12."  Taken from Kurt's website: www.kurtrosenwinkel.com
Allan Holdsworth & Kurt Rosenwinkel @ Crossroads festval 2013

April 11, 2013

Allan Holdsworth & Kurt Rosenwinkel Jammin' with Eric Clapton

Now here's a picture you don't see everyday?
Rehearsing for Clapton's crossroads festival?

Allan Holdsworth & Kurt Rosenwinkel

Kurt Rosenwinkel & Eric Clapton

Allen Hinds demo off ThroBak pickups

ThroBak SLE 101 Plus MXV demo by Allen Hinds. One of the ThroBak MXV P.A.F. vintage reproduction line of pickups.

Over the years many myths have grown along with the legend of vintage Patent Applied For pcikups. Perhaps largest myth is that 50's vintage P.A.F. coils or the "best" 50's vintage P.A.F. coils were hand wound. In fact all production vintage P.A.F. coils were machine wound on a very small number of machines. The few machines that wound these coils each put their own tonal signature on the classic Patent Applied For humbucker. A tonal signature that is the result of winding patterns and coil shapes that can only be accurately reproduced by machine. These machines made a wide variety of coil shapes and as a result produced the wide variety tonal colors that we associate with vintage 50's P.A.F.'s. These shapes varied with the machine model and with small differences in operator set-up. At ThroBak we take all the tonal possibilities that these machines are capable of and combine them to produce the ThroBak Maximum Vintage line of pickups.

Above are photos of original Patent Applied For coils and coils made on the vintage ThroBak Leesona 102 and Slug 101 50's vintage P.A.F. pickup winder models. All are very tightly wound solid coils. They are just a small sample of the variety of coil shapes that can be made on these two 50's vintage Patent Applied For winder models. Click the thumbnails and look closely at the variations in winding pattern. The turn per layer count for each machine has not changed but the coil shapes and wire scatter differ radically. Contrary to machine winding critics, coils wound on these vintage machines show a complex wire scatter driven by the quirks unique to these machines. They do not show the orderly distribution of wire exhibited by modern computer controlled winders. None of these winding patterns can be accurately duplicated by hand. Some of these shapes can be approximated by hand winding but the internal wire distribution of the hand wound coil will be radically different from the correct machine wound Patent Applied For coil. Differences that effect the final tone of the assembled Patent Applied For pickup. These machine wound coil shapes are in fact the signature winding patterns and tonal signatures of the vintage machines that were put to use in winding vintage Patent Applied For humbuckers.

April 10, 2013

Ibrahim Maalouf & François Delporte : Questions & Answers

Cool interplay between guitar and trumpet. Hypnotic melodies.

Ibrahim Maalouf - trumpet
François Delporte - guitar

 Ibrahim Maalouf en François Delporte perform Questions & Anwsers composed by Ibrahim Maalouf. This piece is from his album Wind. Ibrahim Maalouf plays a quarter tone trumpet. This instrument was invented by Maalouf's father. Ibrahim Maalouf was born in Beirut Lebanon and raised in Paris, France. This video was recorded in Bimhuis Amsterdam for VPRO Vrije Geluiden.

Vrije Geluiden is a music program for the Dutch public broadcast organisation VPRO. http://www.vrijegeluiden.vpro.nl

April 4, 2013

All that Jazz w/Mike Stern - Learn to Burn - April 2013

The following content is related to the April 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store:http://store.guitarworld.com/collecti...

Hello, and welcome to my new column for Guitar World. I'd like to begin this series of columns with a look at a topic all guitar players face on a daily basis: how to warm up in ways that are both physically effective and musically rewarding.

Most of the time, I warm up just by playing. I usually start with single-note lines, played in time, and move freely around the fretboard. Often, I'll start each day with a bunch of stuff that I had been working on the night before. I'm always trying to learn, because each new bit of knowledge and skill offers a path to greater musical sounds and ideas. For that reason, I'll often work on new musical ideas while warming up physically by putting on a metronome and freely riffing over the beat.

Improving your performance.

Practice Paying Attention To Yourself To Improve Your Performance 

Bill Plake 

For you to perform well as a musician, you already must be aware of many things simultaneously. 
Here are but a few:
• Your intonation
• The intonation of those with whom you’re playing
• Time and rhythm
• Notation (where applicable), including dynamics, articulation, form, etc.
• The quality of your sound, and/or attack
• The blend of your sound in the ensemble
• The conductor (where applicable)
• Your personal emotional expression
I could go on. The point is, you have to be aware of quite a few things. But understand that all these things are integrated together in your consciousness as the whole “experience of playing music”. (It is when you’re playing well, anyhow.)
But conspicuously missing from the above list is one of the most important things to pay attention to: How you are using yourself. More specifically, what you are doing with yourself in order to create music.
If you shift immediately to placing all your attention on yourself as you play, you’ll very likely play worse, feel awkward, self-conscious, and in general, disconnected to the music making process.
The idea is not to divide your attention by paying attention to yourself as you play, but rather, to gradually learn to integrate your self-awareness by expanding your consciousness.
Think about it. You’ve already developed your ability to keep many things in mind as you play (again, as an integrated whole). It’s therefore possible that you can learn to place an increased self-awareness into this whole. In my experience, I’ve found that self-awareness becomes the central organizing principle that helps me to be easily aware of everything else as I play.
In other words, self-awareness is the thing that integrates everything else (intonation, time, form, notation, etc.) into a clearer, whole musical experience. You need to include yourself into your attention if you are to play efficiently, expressively and safely (avoiding injury). And if you wish to improve, this is fundamental.
So how do you develop this ability to be more self-aware as you play music? Simple, you practice.
Here are some simple guidelines and suggestions for practicing paying attention:
• Devote 15 minutes per practice period to deal exclusively with improving your self-awareness. After that, go on to practicing whatever and however you like. By devoting your time to this on a daily basis, you shift your emphasis on “sounding good”, or “practicing something useful” to allowing yourself to pay attention to your use as you play.
 Pay attention first to how you pick up your instrument. Do you tense up (stop breathing, pick up your shoulders, stiffen your neck/jaw, etc)? You might be surprised to learn that you’re already indulging in your habitual playing tension before you even get the instrument into position. Any unnecessary tension you notice as you do this, you can make a conscious decision to prevent.
• Notice how you’re sitting or standing as you play. Do you find your sitting (or standing) balance first, before you pick or approach your instrument? Or do you find yourself coming down and forward toward your instrument as you “clamp down” to play? It’s important to find an easy balance first, before you bring the instrument to you.
• Notice what you do as you create sound on your instrument. Are you stiffening your neck? Are you lifting your shoulder(s) unnecessarily? Are you pulling yourself downward, maybe twisting through your spine to do so? Are you locking your knees? Are you holding your breath? Are you making a huge, noisy, tense inhalation to prepare to play?
• Notice what you do as you begin to connect notes. Do you lose your ease and balance? Do you begin to stiffen your neck and shoulders? Hold your breath? Stiffen your fingers and hands?
Anytime you notice yourself going into your habitual patterns of unnecessary tension in your 15-minute “awareness” period, you simply stop what you’re doing (even if it means to stop playing completely!) Every time you stop yourself from creating this tension as you play, you accomplish two important things:
First, you weaken the response from your brain that creates the pattern. If you do this over time, you gradually reduce the pattern to the point of elimination (it stops becoming your habit).
Second, you strengthen your skills in self-awareness. Your capacity to pay attention becomes more and more refined. The best thing about this is that after a while, you don’t have to make an effort to “look” at yourself to become self-aware. Rather, the awareness of what you do with yourself as you make music comes to your attention on its own.
In a sense, this is what has already happened to you with your sense of pitch. If you’re playing out of tune (or if the person next to you is), you probably don’t have any problem hearing it. In fact, it’s harder to ignore it than it is to hear it. This happens because your capacity to discern pitch has been highly refined. Through practice.
And so it is with your self-awareness. If you practice this way, you’ll get to the point where you’re old habits of bodily tension will become just as hard to ignore as the musician sitting next to you who is playing painfully sharp or flat.
So give yourself the chance to develop this very important skill. You’ll find nothing but growth and improvement if you do. In one sense, this is the chief aim of the Alexander Technique. Lessons in the Technique can help you discover an effortless way to integrate all the components of music making into a smooth running whole. (Your practicing and your performing will never be the same!)

April 1, 2013

Wayne Johnson on timing & phrasing part 2

Hi Jan,
I've had a lot of people ask about my phrasing, so I decided to turn it into a major group of lessons which I have finally completed. I have taken the "nuts and bolts" of the Phrasing portions and combined them in a document for you. I hope this will be helpful. I think that phrasing is the most distinctive part of any musician's playing so it is vastly important. 

What Is Phrasing?... What is Good Phrasing?... How To Develop YOUR Phrasing...!
First of all... there is an element of personality & talent when it comes to phrasing.  It's not all learned.. which is the great thing about improvisation in general.  It is environmental & genetic!  It incorporates much more in your life than just learning to play an instrument! It is all individual and has to do with personal taste as well.  That said, there are specific things that make phrasing good.  And... for the most part, this is very dependent on your skills as an instrumentalist.  The better you know your instrument i.e. chords / scales / theory etc and how they work & weave through harmony i.e. chord progressions.. seamlessly... the better phraseologist you will be.   Put it this way, if you could play everything you hear and sing... with little effort... you would know your instrument very well.  That.. is not easy to do.   I find that I can sing lines over chord changes that make great melodic sense... all the time.  Trying to do that with guitar is not that easy because we have too much interference with all the "stuff" that we practice.  Here again it all boils down to knowing your instrument, good ear training and knowledge of the fingerboard i.e. harmony and theory. 

The extra pages I included on the diminished arpeggios & chords will help your phrasing a lot!  What the diminished arpeggio does is achieve a great deal of tension in a shorter amount of time than a full 7 note scale and these textures are literally available any place your hand already is!  Seriously.. you can add a little flair of diminished tension anytime without moving to another position.  It's just about knowing the notes and/or locations of the notes... i.e. the 3rd, 5th, 7th & b9th of the dom. 7th chord of the moment.  The diminished arpeggio is half of a total altered dominant  7 note chord and can achieve that kind of tension in just a few notes and in 4 times the places. 

Another key to good phrasing is "Guide Tone Lines" usage.  I've also included a page on these for the blues progression.  These are the very basic, important and defining notes of the chords and the movement as they go through the chord changes.  Predominantly the 3rd & 7th.. these are very easy to locate in every chord and an easy way to sound "solid" if you get lost or just want to take a break in your playing. A great sounding phrase incorporates these strong tones.. ending and/or beginning on them.  Check this page out and apply it to other tunes.

Lastly... phrasing is as much about not playing as playing.  It's about the space between your phrases... that's what makes your phrase stand out... the space before and/or after your phrase.  It all started with the vocal chords.  Singers and singing are the reason we have phrasing.  Singers can only sing for so long and then must take a breath.  It is a constant balance of singing and breathing.  Instrumentalists have always tried to emulate the human voice.  

As long as I've mentioned the human aspect of phrasing I'd like to dive in deeper.  So far I've talked about melodic phrasing and the physical part of phrasing.. breathing with space as to emulate a vocalist.  Now, let's address rhythmic phrasing. This is something that people don't really talk about and many players don't explore.  I'm going to use the singer Tony Bennett as an example here.  There is back phrasing and fore phrasing.  Tony is the king of back phrasing.. and Frank Sinatra a close second.  I love to do this on guitar. You actually hold your playing back and play slower than the tempo of the song... just for a bit... not too long.  You instinctually plan this out when there would be a natural place for a break (breath) so that you don't get to far behind the beat. You can then take a breath and start right in back on time. Another way to think of it is "falling behind the beat to create tension and you end your line.. that's the release.  Tony does this naturally with the written melody.  Back phrasing creates a very strong, sexy vibe.  

Tony Bennett is the king of back phrasing.

What I like most about back or fore phrasing is that since it is totally off beat.. it can't be written with notation... there are no symbols to exactly notate this.  The best one can do is to write it in natural time and then give a direction such as "Relaxed" or "Play Behind" or "Freely With Espression" but even here.. everyone's performance would be different.  Fore phrasing is just the opposite and I believe not as popular because it sounds rushed and used more as an effect.  Either way... rhythmic phrasing is an amazing way to develop an individual sound because no one does it quite the same. 

There is a concept called Target playing that will help develop the feel for back & fore phrasing.  In Target playing, let's say you are playing an improvised line.....you pick a note that will be a strong chord tone to end this phrase on as you think ahead to the coming chord changes.  This is your "target"!  You now can take more liberties in your improvisation... playing almost anything towards this target. You can play in time,  out of time, in the key or out of the key as long as you hit your target… the strong chord tone.  As well, these types of phrases work best if they are not drawn out too long.   As you hit your target, you've just sent a message to the listener that this phrase was totally designed and that you were not just "flying by the seat of your pants"…even if you were!  Chromaticism is a great way to start  "Target Playing" in order to develop your own individual phrasing.
Here's another way to think of Phrasing:  Just like we take a melodic idea out of key momentarily for tension and then come back into the key center (as when you are improvising), we can do the same with our "time" or rhythmic ideas.  We can slow down, speed up and even take it completely out of time… coming back into time.  This is usually a quick process that you can do many times over in a given solo.  It is not a one shot deal for any length of time or you will lose the listener.  Both elements, Melody and Rhythm, are considerations when "Target" playing as described above.