The Legends Of Classic Rock

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jerry Cantrell From Alice In Chains And What You Can Learn From His Influences Playing Wise

You'll be surprised where his biggest influence comes from. It's not a guitar player.

Even though Jerry is a hard rock axeman, his sound tends to come from music other than traditional metal or rock. If you really want a signature Jerry Cantrell sound, pick up a Cantrell Signature Crybaby Wah, or listen to some of Alice In Chains material when Layne Staley was the lead singer. His vocals went off the beaten path, and weren't hard rock tinged. They tended to be blues and soul based.

That's how great Layne was as a singer. I wish he was still here. I think you'll enjoy listening to Jerry.

If you want more insights from Cantrell I'll have some lessons from him.

So go back and listen to AIC's Facelift album from way back.


Friday, August 15, 2014

AC/DC's Angus Young Gives You Some Simple Riffing Tips Just Using The Strings And A Solid Pick--That Will Make Your Tone--More Your Own

 "Its a long way to the top if you wanna Rock n' roll! (AC DC).

Here's another important repost from the old blog. At least I think its vital for players. Some simple tips from Angus Young that will help you develop your own tone more, and you wont flounder so much trying to come with new riffs and chording, making it more complicated.                                                                                                                          Guitar World did an interview with Angus Young and he gave some super simple nuggets of Guitar playing gold that will make your playing more instinctive, without using any effects or even having to tweak your guitar. I love it when musicians like Angus make it simple and don't complicate it.

He even talks about just using a good solid pick instead of your fingers or a cheap thin pick that does nothing to help your sound. Sometimes it pays to use something better.

Even Angus talks about his sound like he's not original. He doesn't think he's hip either. But he's given us rock n' roll lovers great music for umpteen years. And he gives a big thanks to his band mates who help his sound and feel big time!  And even a tip to rev up your songs so you can go sneak a smoke between takes.

Thank you to Nick Bowcott of Guitar World who did this interview. You can read the interview by clicking the link below. You may think his ideas and his ways of playing are very simple, but you know they work for Angus and you should take notes and take action! Just try out a few of Angus's ways of playing and you'll do good!! Your fans will love you for it. Maybe even your band manager or agent who's been hounding you to inject some life into your band's music.

Here's what to do: Take notes,
Why You Should Do it: It will make you play better and get more raving fans. And the ones you have will love you even more.
Here's what to do now: Click the link below and learn something from one of the best guitarist's in rock n' roll!

Like AC DC said in a song. "It's a long way to top if you wanna rock n' roll!

So click this link guys and you'll do better.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jimmy Page Talks With Jeff Woods From The Legends Of Classic Rock On Why Full Albums Are Better Than Singles Or Dealing With Record Labels Nonsense In This Regard

 Jeff Woods from the Legends Of Classic Rock talks to Jimmy Page about why it was more important to record full albums than singles, and why that made the music that much better from a live and studio perspective, and made fans more knowledgeable and understanding of the music from Led Zeppelin in the late 60's early 70's. Jimmy also talks about the influence of his producer Mickie Most, a driving force in the studio back then.

Thank you to The Legends of Classic Rock and Jeff Woods for the great material on many rockers from the 60's and 70's and their impact on great rock n' roll that was creative. Just click the link to the interview with Jimmy and Jeff.

Listen to The Legends of Classic Rock every week by clicking this link and finding out the station best for you. Classic Rock 945 which I listen to daily hosts the show every sunday at: 6Pm.

Detroit Bluesman Dee Curtis CD Review--And How Dee Played With John Lee Hooker

These are two articles in one.We start off with a CD review of Dee Curtis and his original and cover material. Just click the link to these 3 tunes and grab a listen. Tell Old Markie what cha' think.

As well, Dee who is my consultant here on Guitar-Player,grew up with John Lee Hooker's son Robert and John Lee Jr. who plays regularly. Most likely in California

Dee Curtis belts out his own brand of originals blues in the USA

Blues News grover writes " Friend and ex-Canadian based frontman for The Dee Curtis Trio has been honing his blues craft back home in Detroit for over the last two years. This singer/Guitarist as he likes to be known as, is going to finally come out with a CD of some brand new, and old material done with Musicians Dee has waited along time to play with.

This includes keyboardist and Dee's brother, Vincent. The first track "Red House” Mixdown" is belted out with a solid backing of walking bass lines and Dee's attention to taking his voice to new heights. The inclusion of Vincent on keyboard's adds a smooth harmonic element to Red House, and as a result gives it a new melodic twist.

"You been Had" is an instrumental taken from Dee's old days with, Thee Horizon in Canada. Dee has literally fused this track into an R&B track laced with definite Jazz leanings, and believe it or not, just a small presence of rock in this mix.

This last track "Carribia's Dream," is an electronic based Guitar instrumental, that I did like, but felt it would have gone over better with drums or bass included to hold the fort down on the rhythm. Look for Dee playing in Michigan and Southern Canada in the new year, along with a new CD to boot. As well, Dee will still be a senior adviser to Canadian Guitar Player.

Dee's guitar and amp rig will be in a future article.

Dee Curtis -- A Look Back at John Lee Hooker
By Mark Grove (A Back issue Article)

Dee Curtis is one of the USA’s strongest rhythm guitar players and blues cats, and originally from Detroit. Dee is well known as an R&B artist when he was an up and coming touring musician in the 70’s and 80’s. One of Dee's closest friends and fellow musicians was one of John Lee Hookers son's and quite an accomplished keyboard player. His name is Robert Hooker, and Dee went to public school with Robert in Detroit. They were both in the same choir.

In 1968 when Dee was 16 he was asked by Robert to be a singer in his group. Now at this point John Lee Hooker was the last person on Dee's mind, and at this time in John Lee's career, he wasn't doing that much. He was mainly living off the records he had done in the 50's, and not playing on the club circuit in a big way at all.

Just shortly after Dee joined Robert in his band, Canned Heat came to town and watched John Lee play in a suburban Blues club in Detroit. Canned Heat's management liked John Lee's Blues style so much, he was asked to come out to California and open up on a regular basis for Canned Heat. Just opening up for Canned Heat was a moving force in John Lee's career and moved John closer to the Blues he loved dearly. Because at this point he was playing a lot of rock due to the movement away from your basic roots music and being with Canned Heat gave him that inspiration back to the Blues.

At this time in music, a number of well known artists such as Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and other artists with signature sounds were doing a lot of session work and doing a lot of Blues based work as well. This brought fans back to Blues but still had that hard edged rock appeal, mainly for whites. Dee Curtis was spending a lot of his time at John Lee's home on Anadon St. in Detroit, practicing and doing sessions backing up John Lee's band as well. On weekends at Robert's it was one big jam session all day long, and John Lee's wife was known for putting out big spreads of food for the boys. This was quite a learning experience for Dee to say the least. Dee moved on in 70' and went into the armed forces for a stint. Dee hasn't seen Robert in many years since Dee went out to California and played with Horizon and the Hughes Corporation who came out with the song ("Don't Rock The Boat"). Robert is now a minister in California and doing his thing. Dee always said what a great keyboard player Robert was, and if things were different they may have done great things in music.

Dee did one thing though, on one of John Lee's albums in '69 which was a chart topping song regionally for a song called "Mr. Penguin". Dee played rhythm guitar on that track and John Lee did the main vocal line, which was, "Hello I'm Mr.Penguin". Now anyone who knows John Lee or his voice would automatically know it's his voice.

Mr. Penguin is mainly a funk based track where Dee got his affliction for being a funk master on guitar. The major R&B stations in and around Detroit were going nuts over that song because it was based on a dance called The Penguin. The major urban stations probably still have it somewhere in their catalogs. Dee Curtis is currently a solo artist in Detroit, with his Blues Band; The Dee Curtis Trio. Dee is working with drummer Paris, who is Dee’s brother, and has a revolving bass chair in his blues band.

Curtis has played with many top performers over the years including The Temptations Eddie Kendricks, avant-garde musician Bill Laswell, and many other fine blues artists while Dee was a blues artist in Canada up until 2004. Dee has high regard for those he played with in Canada, such as blues and classic rock bass player Vinny Trad who knew how to keep the rhythm section in the pocket Dee loved so, along with Rock session drummer Carlos LaTorre. Dee has a penchant for playing blues his way and always includes a proper dose of R&B along with his very tasteful rock blues tracks that take people back to a time in the 60’s when great blues was rare.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blues Guitar Jamming Lesson--How To Play Better By Just Listening

By Mark Grove

"Blues Jams are the most important aspect of playing with other musicians and gaining the feeling you get from no other thing in this world, and that's connecting with other players."

Mark Grove--Canadian Guitar Player Online

Okay, you've been honing your blues rock chops on your Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul at home, or with your garage band. And for the last number of years you said you would always hit the blues jams in your city. But, you’re afraid of looking foolish on stage if you make mistakes.We all go through that. Before you do go on stage, go to a jam and listen to other players, really listen and write down the name of the band or musician hosting the jam.Take notes of songs being played, especially the best blues guitarist in town who’s up there.

If your blues chops aren’t up to his level, don’t worry, and go with the songs you know how to play and ask if he would be willing  jam on your requested tune. I know, you’re scared up there, but if you don’t take that step you’ll never do it, it’s that simple. Chances are they’ll ask you to lead the song so practice the song until you kill it. I know it fly’s in the face of blues improvising on the fly.  But you at least have to know the material even if it’s just one song.

You’ll learn how to jam in a pressure situation that way. Then the best players will want you up on stage consistently. Blues players will also help you more than most rock players. Even though it’s your song, listen to the other players and their techniques which will give you some in sight, into how to use little new variances in your chording technique.

Don’t try and play above everyone else or in your own little virtuoso world either. Even if you or someone else makes a mistake, play through it and in sync with every one else. Even if it is your first jam try and pick out someone in the crowd to play to and connect with. Don’t worry about being a shred king, Blues is about simplicity.

You’ll get fans you never knew you had playing that way. So play tunes you know, and save improvising for later, until you’ve started playing jams regularly with other musicians. You’ll know the right time to fly on the frets if you do that. Don’t just listen to and copy guitarist’s, get your own style and include just little snippets of the Blues Masters, or top players in your town. Listen to drummers, Bass players, singers and harp men. Apply their techniques to yours so you can get beyond your own chording and improvisation techniques. It’s not about being the baddest and best blues guitar cat on the planet.

Jamming and playing with others better than yourself is key, to glom some chording tips and even a wild blues lick or two, from a newbie like yourself. Blues jamming, It’s all so beautiful man.

Mark Grove

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why You Don't Really Need That Vintage Guitar---Just A High Quality Axe That Serves Your Music Well

I was just reading an article in the blogs section. A UK based player and new writer on Guitar World--William Baeck talked about the guitar you own and if it truly serves your purposes, especially if its a vintage or high end guitar. In my comment on Guitar World to William's article, I mentioned the fact that its great to have a vintage guitar and what you can get for it possibly. But if its so great why don't you ever play it? Other than you don't want to damage it or have it depreciate in value.

Unless you have boatloads of cash and can have many vintage guitars sitting around waiting to be sold at auction to collectors. I say, don't bother. Just buy a solid Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul that serves your playing purposes for live work and studio sessions. Believe me you can find a solid axe for 500 or less and have it sound better than your "lovely vintage" Strat.

Wiiliam has some great insight into why players are literally being held in a captive state with their vintage guitars they can't play or possibly damage which would take the value of their beloved guitar down a fair bit.

What I want to do as well is interview William and get some more insight from on how he can help you determine the right guitar for you, and not worry about playing it. Isn't that axe you love meant to be played?

You can't worry about blemishes and damage to it. Even if you can't play it anymore, isn't it better to have played it, than leave it sitting. It was meant to be used guys. Create great music today!!

Okay, here's the link to William's article. Hit him on Guitar World and tell him Markie sent ya.

Jimmy Page Interview---Golden Nuggets Of Info On Gear, Session Work And Becoming A Better Musician

Why Musicians Should Learn From Jimmy Page
I was reading a lengthy interview in the 1977 issue of Guitar Player. Steve Rosen, a well known GP writer from that era was interviewing Jimmy.
As you know I like to learn from many musicians and areas in life, and Jimmy Page is no different. There are so many golden nuggets of information musicians can use for composing music, setting up equipment to tips on playing live or recording albums in this interview. Even how to spot and take advantage of opportunities if you're a session player or full band. These are the types of things I talk about on my blog---Creating Value For Other Musicians And Bands!
As well, a tip on why doing sessions even for free kept Jimmy's playing level high, and his desire and demand by others high as well. All it takes is learning from others, and Jimmy did that in spades. Just because he was Jimmy Page, doesn't get you a shot just like that. I personally like what Jimmy did production wise versus any live work. And Mr. Page helped many a band in the studio, and I wish that books and interviews would delve into that more. But this interview is jam packed with solid info you can use as a single player or with your band. So Take notes and apply those techniques. It would be well worth it.
So here's the link to the interview. Much success to you and your band.
Digital Edition