Acoustic issue 46 oCToBEr 2010
Since he hit the scene a few years ago Jim has done everything on his own terms. He talks to Acoustic.
AlSO aCousTIC 14 This month: Retune Your Ears 18 Have a listen
42 Paco Pena 38 Mark Chadwick 29 C W stoneking
We take five with the legendary flamenco stylist. The Levellers front man goes solo and tells us he’s still an angry young man at heart.
24 samantha Gibb
Carving her own niche out of her father’s shadow.
to something new
An Australian who plays a mean blues.
26 Bombay Bicycle Club 40 Los Lobos
We get the scoop on why the indie-rockers have gone totally acoustic.
22 Nicky swann
With the likes of Phil Beer, and Brooks Williams singing her praises Nicky is one to watch.
uK luthieR CorNEr
The multi-Grammy award winning band are back and stronger than ever. 6
A luthier with an impressive list of players.
acoustic keeps you up to date with what’s hot and what’s not in our gear reviews section.
46 Ehlers Parlor
Small body doesn’t have to mean small volume and tone.
cHecK out ouR HuGe tecHNiQues sectioN!
With 18 pages of level specific techniques, whether you’re a novice or an expert our columns have something for everyone.
As well as being the UK’s leading mandolinist, Simon is also a very accomplished musician. If he’s not teaching, writing, composing or arranging, he - along with his band The Mandolinquents - will be playing at a venue near you.
Simon mAYoR Mandolin Afficionado
Skill level: Advanced
The Cherokee Shuffle
Techniques Skill Level
Suitable for intermediate to advanced players
A bluegrass standard to get to grips with
acquainted yourself with scales and arpeggios. Many people have an instinctive feel for chord changes, particularly the common shifts from tonic (1st) to dominant (5th) and subdominant (4th). The more you play the easier this gets, and your musical ear can be trained if you don’t have a natural feel. Unlike jazz, bluegrass uses much simpler and often predictable harmonic progressions, and as an improvisatory genre it offers a much simpler framework within which to take your first steps. So with all that in mind, let’s glance through the second version and note some of the important building blocks of basic bluegrass improvisation so we can use the techniques elsewhere: suitable arpeggios over chords (bars 5, 17, 19, 23, 31, 32), simple runs following the diatonic progression of the scale (bars 27, 30, 35), the flattened 3rd note of the scale (bars 3, 6, 9, 11 etc), and the flattened 7th (bars 11, 18, 28, 29, 30). Add to this left-hand techniques such as hammer-ons, slides and pull-offs and it all begins to Guitarist Skill level: sound quite authentic…I hope! Suitable for all
50 Lowden F Ltd.
Tennessee based Doyle Dykes is one of the world’s leading fingerstyle acoustic guitarists who has been heavily influenced by Chet Atkins and Duane Eddy. As a master clinician, Doyle has performed workshops and concerts with his trusty Taylor Signature Model all over the world.
One of the most interesting tunes of the bluegrass repertoire, the ‘Cherokee Shuffle’, has the rather addictive quality of sporting an uneven number of bars: eight in the first half of the tune and ten in the second. This really took me by surprise the first time I heard it: just when I expected it to end…oops… another two bars! Like most traditional tunes it has umpteen variants, and a brief search around the Internet brought as many versions as I found people playing it. Mine is dragged up from somewhere in my youth, when I first got excited about bluegrass and discovered how many wonderful musicians lurked The Cherokee Shuffle
within that idiom. Try the first version – the basic tune – noting that each half repeats. You can swing the melody a little; most players would. It’s all in first position and has no real technical difficulties. The second version is a typical bluegrass improvisation, or at least it was when I played it for the first time. I touched upon this back in issue 22, and here we have a similar thing. Whole books have been written on how to do it, but if you want to embellish a tune, you absolutely must know its harmonic progression – its chord sequence. You must also have done your boring homework and
The most portable rock band or orchestra in the world!
The Acoustic Guitar
World renowned for quality guitars, is this limited edition something special?
Try the MP3 at www.mandolin.co.uk/ pickin’! acousticmag.html…and happywidely known that the t is www.mandolin.co.uk
Simon Mayor_BC.indd 1
98 Lin Flanagan
A look at exam syllabuses
to a different level. Before I played acoustic guitar is now one acoustic as I do now I was primarily of the most popular musical an electric player, but never got instruments in the world today, so much attention as I did when I with the guitar in general as the started playing the acoustic guitar. most popular. This is largely due Bob Taylor had a lot to do with that to its portability, as well as the fact because of the playability of his that it can be very percussive, giving guitars. Today, there are even more you the ability to strike out drum great acoustic guitar builders and rolls and riffs, while all along having manufacturers than there were back actual notes, giving the singer or then. We have no excuses when it musician a proper foundation with comes to playing acoustic guitars, which to support free expression. It because these days they’re as good would stagger us to know how many or better than any time in history. songs have been created using Something I’ve done differently these 6-stringed boxes with their from the electric side was not only delightful voicings. I once heard how picking out the bass notes with Harlan Howard, a famous songwriter my thumb (I use a thumbpick) in Nashville, Tennessee, went into selectively, but while framming the a music store and said to Richard daylights out of the thing playing Cotton, the owner, ‘Richard, I need rhythm, I would control the notes, a guitar with some new songs in it!’ like the tonic and subtonic in the Sometimes even a new guitar will bass, using my left hand to mute perhaps inspire you in other ways the notes I didn’t want to hear. This than you’ve been inspired before. way, you can have a ton of energy, Recently I was onstage with a since your right hand is striking out number of really fine electric players on all the strings at once. I realise a such as James Burton, Brent Mason lot of you probably already do this, and Vince Gill. I’ll have to admit, I but a lot of people don’t. I can be love the sounds these guys get out rocking out on the ‘U2 Medley’ and of their guitars with their ‘chicken hitting riffs on the higher strings and pickin’’ and wailing solos. I have a keeping my rhythm going at the couple of these old Teles myself same time. In fact, I use a drop-D and which strings I’m picking (except, and they’re fun to play. In fact, I -G tuning on that particular piece, so well, just all of them). With my left used one in my show last night on I can have my tonic and subtonic (or hand, I’m muting the 6th string with a couple of tunes. But honestly, I the 1 and the 5 in the bass, being the my thumb and then alternately didn’t feel all that encouraged to G on the 5th string and the D on the muting the 5th string by leaning my pick up a guitar like that in front of 6th string) being D,G,D,G,B,E. hand and touching the 5th string those boys that night, although I had When I’m playing a song like and allowing the 6th string to ring no problem playing my acoustic. ‘How Great Thou Art’, the big out. This is using the left hand and When it came to my turn to play crescendo at the end of the song the right hand together in a way that in this sort of round-robin-style is really created by using this same is all for the dynamics and expression 17/08/2010 15:00 stage set-up, I didn’t step back like I method of playing, except thinking for the biggest sound you can probably would’ve done a few years more ‘orchestra’ than ‘rock band’. In achieve from the instrument. ago. I actually stepped up and dug other words, I’m actually thinking Well, this is one little trick that in with the rest of ’em! People have timpani rolls and striking the A normally causes some attention complimented me on the fact that chord using the open 5th and 6th when I play. The only thing is, the I brought the acoustic to a different strings respectively in the 1-5-1-5left hand is just as involved in the level (in their eyes, that is!). I sincerely 1-5 pattern like the timpani would process of the dynamics. You can do appreciate that, but the fact is, the do. While striking the strings firmly this on the electric guitar but, in my acoustic guitar has brought me up with my right hand, I’m not choosing opinion, not with the same effect as
54 Breedlove stage D25-sr
American design. Korean manufacture. Top quality? We find out.
‘‘When it came to my turn to play in this sort of round-robin-style stage set-up, I didn’t step back like I probably would’ve done a few years ago. I actually stepped up and dug in with the rest of ’em!’’
far as dynamics are concerned. I would encourage you to try this on an open A chord in quarter notes (1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4), and just strike all of the strings with your right hand and control the A and E strings being heard by muting them with your left hand. In other words, hearing the bass notes with the chord that is ‘not’ muted with your left hand. This is only one simple way of expressing your music with bigger dynamics that our favourite subject, the acoustic guitar, can easily handle. Happy picking. Doyle Dykes
58 simon and Patrick sP6 Woodland spruce and Cedar
A long-standing favourite guitar for many generations of guitar players is now released with the aid of modern technology. Does the acoustic spirit live on?
Doyle Dykes_BC.indd 94 17/08/2010 16:42
64 aNue Nue ukuleles
100 David Price
A piece inspired by The Beatles
108 Doyle Dykes
You can make the acoustic as upfront as the electric.
‘aNueNue’ is Hawaiian for ‘rainbow’. Are these allsolid ukes a pot of gold?
70 ultrasound DsX amp
102 Keith Murray
How to learn the notes on the fretboard
110 Gordon Giltrap
Another slice of vintage Giltrap
The Ultrasound may sound like a Mancunian superlative, but is it really ‘sound’ enough to compete with the big brands?
104 stu Norman
Delve into open G tuning for better blues
114 simon Mayor
A bluegrass standard that every player should know
72 roland aC-33
Are you regularly cursing the weight of your PA system for live gigs? Is Roland’s latest oﬀering a one-stop solution?
106 Duck Baker
A traditional tune from North East England
116 Maartin allcock
Three Irish reels to get your fingers around
74 shadow NanoMaG
A new mandolin pickup from Shadow.
Subscribe - Details on Page 44 Special Features
16 Classic album
Pink Moon by Nick Drake
77 Lace acoustic Bronze
Huw Price continues his series of pickup tests
88 Glastonbury report
86 Legends of acoustic
The Blues Legends
We report in from the UK’s biggest festival
90 acoustic Festival of Great Britain
A dedicated festival with a dedicated following
The emergence of the steelstrung guitar.
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83 History of Guitar