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  1. Hey guys and in this article I'll be teaching you an 'in the Satch style' solo that works through some of Joe's most lauded and signature techniques such as his liquidy legato, harmonics, pick tapping and whammy bar skills. This is a tricky solo with a lot to digest so, as ever, work slowly and take your time with each of the licks and I wish you luck as we get into Joe's amazing style. Let's start with an overview of the track before we dive into each lick. The solo is based on Joe's awesome tune 'Flying in a Blue Dream which was released on the album of the same name in 1989. The backing track is built around two Lydian chords, Cadd9#11 and Bbadd9#1 I giving us the classic modal sound that Satriani is famous for. His writing often revolves around the use of so called modal grooves so that he can exploit the sound of a particular mode for his melodic writing. The track simply moves between these two chords allowing us to use the C Lydian and Bb Lydian scales as our source of melodic material. Now let's check our each of the licks in turn. Lick 1 — The solo starts out in C Lydian with some classic Joe Satriani melodic motifs based around some slides that are picked fairly aggressively with a raked downstroke. Joe will often play this kind of quick slide into a melody note with a slight pinched harmonic to get a more vocal kind of sound and you can do this by bringing the thumb over the end of the pick as you attack the string with the right hand. There is an element of randomness to this that adds to the vocal quality that is present in Joe's playing. Try to match the phrasing and rhythm for this first lick as closely as possible and really listen to your sound as you play, trying to get the right vibrato and length of notes to mirror my performance. Lick 2 - For the second lick we are still in C Lydian territory, but move up to the 15" fret of the B string for another very melodic phrase. This time we incorporate a pre-bend up a whole step for the first note so be careful with your intonation as Joe is pretty much flawless in this department both in the studio and live. Here again it's beneficial to go for a pinched harmonic as you pick the bend release at the 15'h fret of the high E string. Other than that just watch the switch From the 15" fret of the B string up to that 15" fret high E string bend where the quick shift can cause issues. Lick 3 - Here we are in classic Satriani whammy bar territory where he uses a dipping technique with the bar to add rhythmic interest to a melody. The track moves into Bb Lydian here and we're still in our melodic mode before the next more technically involved lick ramps things up a notch. Each melody note is accentuated with four dips of the whammy bar and here a floating bridge becomes essential to get the right effect. I recommend that you bounce slightly off the bar rather than actually pushing it down in a deliberate motion in order to get the desired effect. Watch my performance video to get a better idea of the technique required. After we've moved this motif up the neck the final motif is slightly different with a half step bend, release, pull off combo that then moves into a couple of arpeggiated pull off licks, culminating in a whole step bend at the 20" fret of the high E. You absolutely want to go for a pinched harmonic on the release of this bend for the most vocal effect possible. Lick 4 - More classic Joe Satriani territory here thanks to this fast, liquidy legato phrase. Joe likens the sound of this technique to a ball of mercury rolling around in his hands and the idea is to get a smooth sound that doesn't necessarily outline any specific sub-divisions but rather floats over the bar line and beats in a textural manner. My best tip here is to use the melodic stopping points where the phrase pauses momentarily as rhythmic marker points in order to develop the phrasing of each line. Listen to the lick as much as possible and stay as relaxed as you can while executing the technique. The lick starts off at the 14" fret of the High E and moves around C Lydian. Notice the small amounts of whammy bar vibrato and the little dip into the note B at the 4" fret of the G string towards the end of the descending section. After finishing at the 2.0 fret of the A string we execute a dive bomb with the bar and a slide up and down the neck to lead into the second ascending phrase that is faster and has an accelerating quality leading all the way up to the Gmaj7 arpeggio at the end. Go for the rhythmic vibe in this section rather than trying to nail the rhythm and note groupings exactly as 1 played them. Satriani will execute these kind of licks differently every time he plays them and you can too. Lick 5 — Joe is also known for his extensive use of 'box shape style pentatonic Blues phrases that offer a great juxtaposition to his three note per string scalar lines such as those in Lick 4. By playing these types of phrase against one another their impact is enhanced for the listener. Check out Joe's self-titled album for a ton of this kind of playing. For this lick I'm using an A minor pentatonic scale that works great with our Bb Lydian tonality giving us the 7th, 9'h, 3d, #11th and 13'h of the chord, in other words — all the juicy notes. This lick works its way up to the 20th fret with a slide from the 17th into a whole step bend before coming back down the neck with a classic Batch pick tapping phrase. WS important to stay as relaxed as possible while tapping with the edge of the pick at the 22" fret or this phrase will sound forced and awkward. I also mute the lower strings with my first and second fingers of my left hand on my way down the neck as my right hand is tapping. Lick 6 — Now we're into classic Satch harmonics territory, using the natural harmonics on the G string to outline a G major arpeggio against our C Lydian tonality. I recommend chat you pick near to bridge and bounce your left hand finger off the string after executing the harmonic for the maximum sustain. The last three harmonics occur in-between frets and are much harder to perform, varying slightly in placement from guitar to guitar, so cake a bit of time to find out where exactly they are best located for your instrument. The last harmonic is followed by a slow dive bomb before releasing the bar back up and with a well-executed open string pinched harmonic on the G String. This is a big part of Joe's sound and is a really cool, vocal sound but requires quite a lot of distortion to achieve the desired amount of sustain so don't be afraid to crank up that gain control on your amp or pedal. Lick 7 — Here we are back into our melodic territory to finish the solo with more raked melody notes and very vocal phrasing. Watch out for the position shift into the bend at the 106 fret of the high E string. You have to think ahead a bit in order to not miss the bend at this important point in the solo. Lick 8 — The solo finishes over a static C Lydian vamp with an ascending two string pull off motif that recalls a phrase from earlier in the solo. The phrase is built from an E minor pentatonic scale, outlining the 31", 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th of the Lydian scale. You want to slide into the first note of each phrase, so a bit of target practice is required to execute this well. Once you reach the 22" fret you're going to do a whole step bend and release, again trying to go for a pinch harmonic on the release if possible. We finish the whole solo with more whammy bar dips at the 22"" and 20th frets of the B string with a cool rhythm that 1 recommend you use your can to get down. So there we have it folks! I really hope you enjoy this solo and that it gives you an insight into some of Joe Satriani's techniques and approaches. His style is both unique and innovative and many of today's greats owe a big debt to his sound. Good luck with the solo guys and I'll see you all soon. Written by Joe Satriani Publish by thebestbeginnerguitar.com
  2. "Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar" was released into a very expectant audience of people brought up on Melvyn's first release, "Make Your Own Electric Guitar". The volume of content is a magnitude greater than that of his already-comprehensive book on solidbody building without being either overwhelming or redundant. Drawing on over thirty years of experience, Melvyn informatively details the full range of information one could require on the subject; a brief history of acoustic guitars, design choice and reasoning, the ins and outs of material selection through to building techniques and the tools used. The core of Melvyn's books are his demonstration builds. These serve to bring together the concepts and ideas which form the majority of the information presented, walking the reader through a real-world set of design characteristics and working situations. To cap off this already excellent subject coverage, Melvyn describes his visit to the Martin factory demonstrating how the same acoustic building concepts translate through in a manufacturing setting. Acting as a very suitable segue, one demonstration build covers the assembly of a Martin kit guitar. Melvyn's writing style is friendly, pragmatic and engaging. Subjects are built from the ground upwards avoiding presumption of existing skills or knowledge, whilst Melvyn's light approachable tone to the comprehensive nature of the information presented makes it a great read for the experienced builder wanting to broaden or consolidate their existing skill set. Hundreds of intelligently composed full-colour photographs complement the textual content, building an excellent visual parallel to each chapter's narrative. Flicking through the book to let the eye choose a random section is just as pleasurable as reading the book chapter-to-chapter. Like its predecessor, "Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar" works perfectly as a self-contained read, taking anybody with zero knowledge of instrument making to the point where they could confidently complete their own unique guitar with informed choices in design, material selection and building processes. Both "Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar" and "Make Your Own Electric Guitar" are readily available via Amazon, IPG Publishers in US/Canada or directly from Melvyn via his website for those of us UK/EU-side.
  3. This is my first rodeo guys, but I am quite proud of the results. I have no training in guitar repair other than watching several youtube videos. I have proven here that anyone can either flip a guitar for a profit, or pick up a nice instrument for themselves to play on an extreme budget! Let me tell you the short version of the story and show you how I did the work. I picked up a new Alvarez AD60CE acoustic electric guitar from a music store for only $70.00 because the soundboard was cracked. I took it home and fixed the crack, and now I have a nice mahogany guitar that I picked up for a song! I bother to give the model number of the guitar so you can look them up online. Last I checked they sell for around $450.00 retail. The crack is now stable, but still visible so I would guess the value of it now at around $275.00. It would be more of course if I could have made the crack disappear completely. I'll do invisible crack repair in another life. I photo documented the process fairly well ( I missed a couple of shots ) but I think you will get the idea here. First off lets have a look at the extent of the damage. Here is a closer view. The first thing I did was to cut a couple of pie shaped cleats to be glued on the inside of the guitar body at the location of the crack. The cleats in the photo below are shown in the approximate location I glued them in. But before installing the cleats you have to work a little glue into the crack by hand. Just smear a generous amount of wood glue over the crack and sort of mush it into the crack using your fingers. It helps to push down on alternating sides of the crack with one hand and push the glue in with the other. Just work in as much glue as you can, anyway you can, as quick as you can. Then wipe off all excess glue with a wet cloth. Next you have the daunting task of placing the cleats inside the guitar and clamping them in place. I do not own the proper sort of clamps to do this so I decided to use 4 powerful rare earth magnets I purchased from Stew Mac. Below is a view of the cleats and two of the magnets. To place the cleats in the proper position I removed all the electronics from the guitar. This left a hole about 1 1/2" X 2" at the bottom of the guitar where I could insert a stick of mahogany cutoff I had laying around with a magnet and the cleat on it. First I placed the stick on top of the guitar with the magnet and cleat directly over the crack. Then I marked the stick at the location where it hit the guitar body. This mark would tell me later, when I could not see the cleat, how far to insert it into the guitar body. Now you can see the hole I was talking about. And I have to digress a bit back to the beginning and point out that I placed newspaper inside the guitar to keep glue from dripping onto the bottom and making a mess. Now, you are ready to proceed. First tape a magnet to the top of the guitar where you want the first cleat to be. I used painters tape so as not to destroy the finish. Take a tiny piece of double sided tape and use it to keep the magnet from slipping off the stick. Use another piece to keep the cleat from sliding off the magnet. Now we are almost ready to insert the stick into the guitar up to the mark we made earlier so it is set to be raised up and marry with the other magnet taped to the top of the guitar. But! we need to check one thing! it is subtle, but if you fail to check it now you have a 50 50 chance of really causing some aggravation! And I'm not talking about putting glue on the cleat (although duh! that would be a problem as well). Think about it and I will give you the answer in the notes section. So lets move forward. You place some glue on the cleat, insert it using the guide mark on your stick. When you raise this stick and get about an inch or so from the target area you well hear a thummmmp! because the top magnet will pull your magnet on a stick up fast until it hits the soundboard. Then just repeat for the second cleat and you are done until the glue dries. Notes: If you have not figured it out yet, here is the answer to what you need to check before putting glue on your cleats: do a dry run and make sure that the magnets are placed so that they attract each other NOT so they repel each other. You should know which side is which before you tape the first magnet to the top. But you should also do a dry run because it would be aggravating to have to flip you magnet after the glue is on. When inserting the stick into the guitar with the cleat and magnet on it, hold the stick loosely so the other magnet can pick it right out of your hand. Trying to grip the stick tight and fight the magnetic force is not a good idea. Let the magnets work for you and the alignment will be fine. Depending on the type of glue you use, work fast when pushing glue into the crack. If the glue starts to set up on you while your working it in clean up will be much harder. How many cleats to use?? I thought about (and still might) using 3 cleats. The crack is very stable now compared to before I put 2 cleats in but I sometimes think I could add a smaller one right at the bottom of the bridge plate. I say smaller one because there is not much room between a brace and the bridge plate. If you have any experience on this topic please chime in and set the record straight!
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