Posts Tagged “Scales”

Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth “K.K.” Downing spoke to Midland Rocks about his shocking April 2011 announcement that he was leaving the band prior to their “Epitaph” world tour.

Downing, who recently started a career as a rock promoter under the banner The Future Of Heavy Metal, says that, contrary to popular belief, he didn’t retire from the music business.

“I’ll never get away from this retirement thing, but what happened was that I quit,” Downing explains. “Retired implies that I am not physically able to do it. I am able to do it, but I didn’t want to do it; I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore

“A lot of things had changed. I think I counted about thirty reasons why I didn’t want to do it at the time, and that is an awful lot of reasons.

“In all honesty, I think that in so many respects it had run its course.

“If you’re part of a songwriting team, you get the recognition and reward for creating something, but for me, PRIEST became about going out and playing live and replicating exactly what people had enjoyed ten, twenty or thirty years ago. The fans would be just as happy if they could see us bin all of the modern guitars we now play and take them on a walk down memory lane, because I think that’s what people enjoy most. And I understand that, because if I could go out now and see Eric Clapton with CREAM, then I would be the happiest person in the world.”

He continues: “One of the beautiful things about being in the industry was the ability to continue to invent and create, constructing songs and making good records. You do feel the need to be creative, and that was taken away with the downloading thing, and as you get older, the balance of the scales starts to tip. So if you can’t be creative, why would you want to continue to dedicate the time into something?

“I suppose if the industry was still healthy and people still had to spend their hard-earned money buying a record, it would be different, but if you give something away, then it has no value.

“We used to buy an album and think, ‘Well, it’s not that good, but I’ll play it a million times [and] I’m sure I’ll get into it, and now it doesn’t really get a second chance.

“In the past, there was always the opportunity to create a record like ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ [PINK FLOYD] or ‘British Steel’ [JUDAS PRIEST] or ‘Back In Black’ [AC/DC] that would be one of those albums that would be indelible and people will always come back to. And I think that opportunity has gone now, and I think it would take a miracle for one of those to happen again.

“If you consider an album like [JUDAS PRIEST‘s much-maligned conceptual effort] ‘Nostradamus’, then if that had been released in 1978, then it would have been another ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’, but it is all about the timing.

“When you think about it, in the early days, we had the opportunity to write great songs, play great solos and have great vocal performances, but people get used to it and it is hard now to get the reaction of, ‘Wow, have you heard the new PRIEST album?’

“The industry has changed so much… I see companies that are repackaging and rehashing, and that started happening to us, and that was not a pretty thing to be a part of. It’s kind of duping the fans a bit, because there are fans around the world that have got to have everything to complete their collection, so even if there are only a few thousand of them, if you put out a box collection, it might be $100, which is a lot of dollars, and so for me, that is something that I didn’t get into music for.”

Downing‘s place in JUDAS PRIEST was filled by new guitarist Richie Faulkner.

JUDAS PRIEST is currently writing and recording material for a new studio album, to be released sometime next year.

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Megadeth frontman talks essence of guitar solos, claims Chris Broderick is the best guitarist he’s ever played with.

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Richard Bienstock of Guitar World recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine and guitarist Chris Broderick. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Guitar World: You’ve stated publicly that you feel Chris is the best guitarist you’ve ever played with.

Mustaine: He’s such an enigma. What Chris is capable of doing and what he does are two totally different things. He could do a mind-blowing, over-the-fretboard seven-string solo for six minutes. But he can also play something incredibly melodic. You need to be able to play what fits the song. And that’s the cool thing about the journey we’ve been on together: we’ve learned a lot about each other as people and learned a lot from each other as players. And when it comes to solos, especially for a band like this, you gotta think about it. You gotta really think about where you’re going. You can’t just do scales and sweeps. That said, the guy can do 800 notes in four bars if he wants to.

Guitar World: Chris, how does it feel to hear Dave say things like that?

Broderick: It’s always very humbling, because he’s worked with a lot of incredible guitarists. Every past player in MEGADETH has brought something great to the table, and I think I’m lucky to be counted among them. But as far as how I work with Dave, in a way he makes it easy. The type of personality I am, I like to have a direction and a path and to know what I’m doing. And Dave has such a clear idea of what he wants that I don’t have to deal with a lot of decisions. I just pick up my guitar, put it on and play the songs.

Guitar World: As much as the band explores new territory on “Super Collider”, there are also some vintage MEGADETH moments. [MEGADETH bassist] Dave Ellefson has said that parts of the new record reminded him of “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!”, and you can certainly hear that on something like the second half of “Dance In The Rain”.

Broderick: Definitely. When I hear a rhythm like the one at the end of “Dance In The Rain”, I start thinking about songs like “Rattlehead” [from “Killing Is My Business…”] and all of that older stuff that has so much angst to it. I definitely draw from that. I think there’s a direct line to those parts. They have that same mood. That same aggression.

Mustaine: But you know, when I’m writing stuff, I don’t think, This sounds like it’s from this era. I don’t have the ability to think like that. I wish I could. God, I’d go back to “Rust In Peace” and write another one! Because I was listening to it the other day and I thought, Man, what the fuck was I thinking when I wrote that? Because I know my limitations and shit, and I listen to the title track and I think, That was a lucky day!

Guitar World: Along those lines, you’ve been doing some of the old albums onstage for a few years now, first with the “Rust In Peace” 20th anniversary tour and more recently for a similar celebration for “Countdown To Extinction”.

Mustaine: It’s like a big giant circle. We were actually mixing the “Countdown” live DVD at the same time we were doing “Super Collider”. And the interesting thing is, I was listening to those songs and thinking they’re just as relevant today. Take “Psychotron”, and think about all the stuff that’s going on now with drones [unmanned combat vehicles]. So I don’t feel that there’s such a big stretch between then and now with this band. The only time I experience the passage of time is when I try to sing some of those songs. My voice doesn’t go that high anymore!

Read the entire interview at Guitar World.

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The Father of Shock Rock, Alice Cooper, and the world’s easiest guitar to play, Fretlight Guitar, have launched Quitters Anonymous, an online community for “tried but quit” guitar players.

80 percent of people who start to play the guitar give up within 90 days. Fretlight and Alice Cooper seek to reverse this trend, making it possible for anyone to learn to play the guitar, even if they have tried and quit in the past.

Quitters Anonymous serves as a welcoming online community for people to share their own personal journey to learn to play the guitar. Members receive exclusive video lessons, tips, tricks and more from guitar experts to help them stop quitting forever, plus chances to win autographed Alice Cooper memorabilia, concert tickets and exclusive meet-and-greets during Cooper‘s U.S. tour, which kicked off June 1 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Cooper is featured in a series of satirical videos as a therapist helping recovering guitar quitters face their fears and embrace the guitar, a notoriously difficult instrument to play. As someone who initially struggled to learn the guitar, Cooper jumped at the opportunity to partner with Fretlight, which Guitar World magazine has coined “the fastest and most effective way to learn how to play.”

Fretlight Guitars are premium acoustic and electric guitars that include the world’s only built-in LED learning system. Fingering positions for chords, scales, songs and riffs light up where players need the information most, right under their fingers. The Fretlight Guitar and learning system uses interactive instruction and video lessons to enable guitar players at every level to learn up to 10 times faster than ever before possible.

“The first step to overcoming quitting is admitting you have a problem,” said Alice Cooper. “You aren’t alone. Millions of us have struggled to learn to play guitar, clumsily looking back and forth between chord and scale books, our fingers and the neck of the guitar. It can become a house of horrors.”

“Unfortunately, new beginner players are at a disadvantage when learning to play guitar in the traditional manner. It’s very difficult. But really, it’s not their fault. They have been set-up for failure,” said Rusty Shaffer, inventor of the Fretlight Guitar and founder of Quitters Anonymous. “Quitters Anonymous is a place where recovering guitar quitters everywhere can come together and encourage one another that learning with a Fretlight guitar is very different. We set you up for success the instant you put your hands on the Fretlight.”

By connecting through a PC or Mac, the Fretlight Guitar and learning system uses a combination of software and video instruction to dramatically simplify and accelerate the process. The video lessons can be slowed to a desired tempo, and looped so fingerings can be practiced at a comfortable pace, building muscle memory, retention and confidence.

Fretlight Guitars, including the complete learning system, start at $299.99 for the FG 507 Fretlight acoustic. The FG-500 series also includes five electric models: Standard, Traditional, Vintage, Classic and Pro, ranging in price from $399.99 to $899.99.

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“Letters To Stallone”, the new video from the Los Angeles-based experimental heavy rock band IWRESTLEDABEARONCE, can be seen below. The clip features live, backstage and road footage compiled from the group’s recent European tour.

“Letters To Stallone” comes off IWRESTLEDABEARONCE‘s third studio album, “Late For Nothing”, which was released on August 6 via Century Media Records. The CD was recorded, mixed and mastered by the group’s guitarist/programmer Steven Bradley at the band’s home studio in Los Angeles. It also marks IWRESTLEDABEARONCE‘s first record with their new singer Courtney LaPlante, who joined the band with only a day’s notice during last summer’s Vans Warped Tour.

Newly recharged with the addition of LaPlante, Bradley and cohorts John Ganey (guitar/programming), Mike “Rickshaw” Martin (bass) and Mikey Montgomery (drums) are set to keep their fans guessing with “Late For Nothing”. While the band’s signature, avant-garde style is well intact on the new album; their style has progressed immensely. By far their boldest and most accessible release to date, “Late For Nothing” rips and roars with blunt force intensity, incorporating their brain joggling breakdowns with a unique blend of electronics, jazzed-out time signatures and break neck riffage.

“The entire album came together as a result of us wanting to do something different,” affirms Bradley. “We didn’t want to make another weird IWRESTLEDABEARONCE album or whatever people were expecting. We set out to make something different and better than anything we’ve ever released. It’s a more evolved version of the band. We explored new styles and genres as well — especially in terms of the more spacey, epic, and beautiful parts. It’s got the most melodic moments of our career as well as the heaviest.”

Featuring the schizophrenic first single “Thunder Chunky”, “Late For Nothing” scales the summit of heavy rock/metal with twelve teeth gnashing tracks that find a happy medium between crushing metal and beautifully orchestrated melody. The album’s opener, “Thunder Chunky”, sets the tone for the album as they slash their way through songs like “Letters To Stallone” that showcases LaPlante‘s incredible balance of full throttle screams and melodic choruses, and “Carnage Asada”, which features a guest solo from the legendary Steve Vai.

“Late For Nothing” track listing:

01. Thunder Chunky
02. Letters To Stallone
03. Snake Charmer
04. Boat Paddle
05. Firebees
06. Mind The Gap
07. Carnage Asada
08. The Map
09. That’s A Horse Of A Different Color
10. I’d Buy That For A Dollar
11. Inside Job
12. It Don’t Make Me No Nevermind


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Roger Scales of recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE vocalist Geoff Tate.

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Roger Scales of recently conducted an interview with BLACK STAR RIDERS drummer Jimmy DeGrasso.

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48 tone cards feature chords/scales and aid in learning the language of music quickly and comprehensively.

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Roger Scales of recently conducted an interview with legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO).

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The pentatonic scale might be the most versatile of all scales. It weaves its melodic way through heavily distorted power chords or heavy-handed jazz chords with sevenths flying around everywhere.

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