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Introduction to the Mandolin

4/11/12 11:39 AM

 

One of the best things I have found about attaining an understanding of the realm of music theory is that you can transfer your knowledge from one instrument to another with fairly consistent success, albeit with some elbow grease and plenty of practice. As a bassman myself, learning scales and rhythm went a long way in helping me better understand non-stringed instruments such as the keyboard or the flute (mixed results on the latter). Although it took time for my fingers to physically play the thing, my mind already knew what I needed to do. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been featuring a few guitar alternatives such as the banjo and ukulele in order to give musicians out there a bit of encouragement towards being a mighty and respected multi-instrumentalist.

This week, we keep things going with the history and mechanical basics of the renaissance era mandolin. Although the instrument itself is well over a few hundred years in age, musicians of all genre...

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0 Comments | Posted in Tech Tips & Tutorials By Mareo Lopez

Photo courtesy of Third Man Records

Fans of the late great White Stripes will finally have a little something to cheer about as former frontman Jack White has announced the upcoming release of a brand new DVD. According to UK music site NME, “Under New Zealand Lights” will be released via White’s record label Third Man Records and is slated to feature performances from both 2000 and 2003.

The three time Best Alternative Album Grammy winners parted ways in February of 2011 after it became apparent that drummer Meg White no longer felt she could go on.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Jack White spoke somberly about the band’s demise. “I’d make a White Stripes record right now,” he said. “I’d be in the White Stripes for the rest of my life. That band is the most challenging, important, fulfilling thing ever to happen to me. I wish it was still here. It’s something I really, really miss. Some people can live their whole lives in limbo, I’d rather cut the lifeline so we can move...

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0 Comments | Posted in Music Industry News By Mareo Lopez

In the world of rock and roll, fewer names are bigger than Fender, and in the world of Fender, fewer names are bigger than the Telecaster and the Stratocaster. When I first delved into guitars so many years ago, this question naturally came to mind; “Telecaster or a Stratocaster? What’s the difference? Ah…They’re both casters, obviously.” Not satisfied with my own answer, I decided to get to the bottom of it and ask around.

My first victim was a bright eyed employee of my local music store who happened to cashier at the electric guitar section. “Hey, can you tell me the difference between a Telecaster and a Stratocaster?” His normally cheerful but empty demeanor suddenly got stiff. As he rolled his eyes upwards to pause ingest what I had just asked, I quickly wish I didn’t. After a few seconds of gathering his thoughts, he responded with a quick and direct “This one costs more,” pointing at a white ’72 Telecaster reissue. Well, I got an answ...

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0 Comments | Posted in Tech Tips & Tutorials By Mareo Lopez


A bittersweet moment in the world of rock and roll so soon this year as a bevy of artists will be coming together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the advent of the Marshall amplifier on the heels of the death of legendary founder and “father of loud,” Jim Marshall.

The event will take place later this year at London’s Wembley Arena on September 22 and will feature plenty of guitar gods known for their love of “THE” amp. “50 Years of Loud…And Live” is set to crank it up to 11 with the likes of Zakk Wylde, Billy Duffy, Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Corey Taylor, Joe Satriani and Nicko McBrian, with plenty more to be announced.

Jim Marshall created his first amp back in 1962 when he was commissioned by a young Pete Townshend to fashion him an amp with more power and better gain control. Although Marshall was just the owner of a music shop and a drum teacher at the time, he used his extensive knowledge of electronics along with help from his shop repair man, as well as former EMI elec...

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0 Comments | Posted in Music Industry News By Mareo Lopez

It is probably the most popular instrument of the modern era, and easily the coolest. The guitar has seen unprecedented growth and renovation over the last hundred years not seen since the introduction of the piano in Italy during the early 18th century. What was once seen as a “hand-violin” way back in 17th century Europe and nothing more than a fun diversion of the common man (unlike the prestigious orchestral instruments) is now the go-to instrument for future musicians deciding on their first foray. With the introduction of the electric guitar, the boundaries were pushed even further, introducing amplifiers, effects and studio techniques that were never imaginable decades prior, eclipsing the previous amount of tones and sounds possible on a single instrument.

Most of us know about how effects pedals, amp settings and pickups have a great deal of influence in determining the sound of a guitar, but what several new to the instrument sometimes fail to re...

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20 Comments | Posted in Tech Tips & Tutorials By Mareo Lopez

Guns 'N Roses frontman Axl Rose

At what may come as no surprise to fans with realistic expectations, G ‘N R frontman Axl Rose finally answered questions concerning a possible reunion show with the originals members.

As the former members prepare for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this coming week, all but two members- Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin (who doesn’t plan on attending the ceremony)- have expressed interest in reuniting for at least one more time in honor of their fans.

The hopes of the possibility were finally put to rest as the soon to be hall of fame singer was caught on video by TMZ reporters Friday night leaving the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. When asked about his thoughts on a reunion tour, Axl gave a quick and direct “not in this lifetime.”

Fans in need of experiencing the magic that was the original lineup should get used to old music videos and 20+ year old performances, because if there’s one thing time has taught us, Axl doesn’t budge.

 

 

 

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1 Comments | Posted in Music Industry News By Mareo Lopez

Every single year, it seems as though technology is moving at a much faster rate than our wallets, or our contracts for that matter, but undoubtedly, one of the most exciting features the inception of the smartphone has brought us are apps. Not only that, these mini programs are usually priced much (MUCH) lower than their proper standalone software iterations. Best of all, there truly is something for everyone. Every Friday, we here at PAL have been sifting through the multitude of music apps to give you the musician something that is definitely worth your while. Whether you have an iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry, read on as we give you our weekly recommendations to make sure you not only get the most bang for your buck, but you get something that definitely fits your style.

We’ve featured plenty of mini studios and useful tools such as tuners and drum machines, but this week we will be focusing on the synthesizer and keyboard. Those of you who have never messed around with one of ...

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0 Comments | Posted in Tech Tips & Tutorials By Mareo Lopez

Written By: Robert Cavuoto

Regardless of which British Invasion you prefer, The Beatles in the 60s or the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the early 80’s, “this pedal just might be your bag” or should I say, “should be on your pedal board”.

Tech 21 has designed a series of Character pedals to emulate the sound of different amplifier lines, which they call SansAmps. These pedals allow you access to specific tone shaping characteristics of a tube amplifier’s sound spectrum. This British pedal is modeled after Marshall amps with the speaker simulation tuned to match Greenback-style speakers.

Just as music has evolved between the 60s and 80s, this rebellious pedal can evolve with your style of playing. It provides you with a bright distortion and classic rock tones from The Beatles to Def Leppard (pre-Pyromania) or The Who to Judas Priest (78 to 82).


The pedal has 5 control knobs; Low, Mid and High (3 band EQ), Level, Character, and Drive. The Level is the volume and the Drive is the distor...

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0 Comments | Posted in Tech Tips & Tutorials Gear Reviews By Robert Cavuoto

As far as rock stars go, few are as iconic and varied as Bob Dylan. The legendary folk singer turned electric, then back again, has had a few forays into the big screen but never has one of his albums been turned into a full feature film – until now.

Brazilian based production company RT Features is set to turn Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” into a proper movie and although the storyline has yet to be disclosed, the company promises they will find a director with a “unique” vision for the project.

Those familiar with the singer-songwriter will remember (with varied feelings) previous Dylan silver screen ventures such as “Pat Garret and Billy the Kid” for which Dylan co-starred and contributed cover friendly creations such as “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” for the film score, as well as winning a Best Song Oscar for his contribution to “Wonder Boys.”

“Blood on the Tracks” is not only considered one of Dylan’s finest creations but one of the best albums in rock, feature classic tracks such as ...

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0 Comments | Posted in Music Industry News By Mareo Lopez

The Legacy of Jim Marshall

4/5/12 11:58 AM


Jim Marshall (July 29, 1923 – April 5, 2012)

Early in the day on Thursday, April 5, 2012, Jim Marshall passed away from complications due to cancer. Known as the man behind “THE” amp and the “father of loud,” Marshall leaves behind an unbound legacy and thousands of loyal musicians. In order to celebrate the life of one of the most important innovators in rock and roll history, we here at PAL would like to take a look back at the history of the man and the company that would forever change the sound of rock.

 

The Early Years

James Charles Marshall was born in Acton, West London on July 29, 1923 to a family which included boxers and music hall performers. During his youth, Marshall suffered from tuberculosis of the bones, a potentially fatal bacterial infection of the spongy bone tissue which inevitably caused his exemption from World War II due to poor health. With a great portion of the men drafted for the war effort, Marshall found a job as a singer and eventually doubled as a drummer a...

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0 Comments | Posted in Artists & Musicians By Mareo Lopez

Courtesy of his "myspace.com" internet link

Last Thursday, Crazy Town singer Seth Binzer, known to his fans as Shifty Shellshock, had gone into a coma and was completely unresponsive at the time but has since regained consciousness last night,TMZ reports.

Sources close to the “Celebrity Rehab star” star say that although they are not sure what put him there, they believe it was drug related as the singer was scheduled this week for a pre-trial hearing regarding a February cocaine arrest and was in a state of complete anxiety over the likely possibility of jail time.

The singer had been placed on breathing tubes since last Thursday and although he is now conscious, Binzer remains disoriented and speaking sporadically.

The troubled singer has had a history of narcotics abuse, most notably cocaine, and has been featured four times on a drug rehabilitation reality TV show, most recently in 2009 after friend and former bandmate Adam Goldstein (better known as DJ AM) died of an apparent drug ove...

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0 Comments | Posted in Music Industry News By Mareo Lopez

Introduction to the Banjo

4/4/12 2:10 PM

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like nowadays everybody plays guitar. Whether it’s a classic acoustic or a custom electric, in the sphere of music, guitarists are a dime a dozen. But don’t get me wrong, it’s the first instrument that got me into music, the same for a lot of us, and how can they blame us? With all those videos of Jimi Hendrix making his axe scream or Eddie Van Halen simply destroying solos… you tell me how I’d ever want to pick up a violin! But with that said, the great thing about music is the shear amount of options we as musicians have to play around with and master.  So, for those of you looking to spice up your instrument skill set, why not try some of these guitar alternatives?

Sure, there are a few differences between them; an extra string or two, an alternate tuning here and there, but nothing that veterans capable of holding chord patterns should worry about. So, for all you axe-men out there check out some of the guitars less popular cousins. ...

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0 Comments | Posted in Tech Tips & Tutorials By Mareo Lopez
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