Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas Time = Musical Gifts

Every year around this time I get alot of questions for parents and significant others about what to get their loved ones for Christmas. I get that so much this time a year I decided I should write a little bit on it. For someone just getting interested in music I would recommend on of the Strat, ESP, Banjo, Acoustic and Bass "packs" that we carry. They are packs that range from $99-$200 that have the guitar ( or whatever instrument), amp, strap, picks, cords etc. that you would need to get started. They are a great idea! A Fender Mustang amp is a great step up for the guitar player who is ready for that next step up amp or someone looking for a great practice amp. We got them for $99 for the smaller one. Instrument stands, Rock Bottom T-Shirts and stools are great. Some great "stocking stuffers" are strings, harmonicas (everyone should have one), guitar polish and fast fret, guitar slides, the snark clip on tuner and metronomes. For the gigging musician you could never go wrong getting them the TC Electronics "Polytune" floor tuner for only $99, mic stands are great (you always seem to need one ), a nice new guitar strap and a string winder\string clipper tool sets. These are all great ideas! For the parent who needs some peace and quiet we have the 800 TV Headphones that plug right into most amps. They let the player here what they are playing without everyone else hearing them! These are some of the items i recommend. There are tons of ideas for every price range to keep your musician loved one rocking out and happy. Another great idea is gift certificates for lessons for the budding musician or for a loved one who just wants some new licks. I will be glad to accommodate anyone with a lesson gift certificate! So get on down to Rock Bottom Music and get that Holiday shopping done !

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spotlight Licks: Michael Baideme

This "Spotlight Lick" is one from local guitar hero Michael Baideme. He has played in a ton of bands for years here in Augusta.He has won countless Lokal Loudness "Favorite Guitarist in Augusta" awards too. He is currently in Sibling String, The Endalls and Famous Last Words. He is a salesman at Rock Bottom Music during the day. He regularly plays 3-5 gigs a week here in town. Check him out on Mondays at the Loft with Famous Last Words and Wednesdays at Joe's Underground. His week end gigs are at various places. He is an encyclopedia of licks. Here is a bluesy lick that is one of his favorites based in E. Click on the tab to make it larger.

Dear Rock Star: Stacey Blades

This is a new thing I am doing. When ever I get to work with a "real" rockstar I am going to ask them a couple questions to help inspire and guide up and comers. The first one that I am doing is the lead guitar player from L.A. Guns. While he is filling Tracii Guns , the original guitarist and founding member of Guns, he has also [played in alot of other bands like Super Cool ans Smack(amongst others). He is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has played on the last three L.A. Guns releases and has toured the world with them since becoming a member in 2002. He also released a book in 2009 called "Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar." He has been a go to guy for many a 80's metal band as a replacement guitar player. He and L.A. Guns were just in our little Augusta, Georgia this past friday, November 19, at Coyote's. Rock Bottom Music brought them here. Rob Boggs, from Quest Sound, mixed them. I got to be the right hand man to both Rob and Jonathon on this show (which is no easy task) and provide the amps that both Phil Lewis (lead singer and rythym guitar player) and Stacey Blades used. My amps have been used by many a rockstar but this was heads and tails above all the rest for excitement for me! After getting everything set up, and before soundcheck, I got to shhot the breeze with Stacey Blades.

Me: What got you into music?
Stacey: I come from a musical family.Everyone was way into piano and always played it.

Me: Did you take any lessons?
Stacey: I took piano lessons at age 9. I got my first guitar, an acoustic, for christmas when i ws 11. I started taking guitar lessons at age 15. After that it was on!!

Me: Who is your guitar playing hero?
Stacey: Randy Rhodes. He was my guy and still is.

Me:Did you ever get to see him play live?
Stacey: No I didn't. I wish I did.

Me:You have any advice for any up and coming guitar players?
Stacey: Listen to as many different players and styles as you can and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!!

Me: What advice would you leave a musician wanting to be in a band?
Stacey: Love what you do. Give it hell> there is absolutely nothing you can't accomplish if you try.

Stacey Blades and all of L.A. Guns were a joy to work with. World class pros with a great attitude. They tore the roof off the place. The musicianship was amazing. If you get a chance to go see them do it. here is a video of one of my favorite songs, Rip and Tear

here is some of stacey rippin it up

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Learn From.............. Led Zeppelin

This edition of "Learn From" is on the band Led Zeppelin. In the history of music there is not too many bands as influential and important as them. They combined blues, folk, heavy metal, jazz, country and every other type of music....and did it flawlessly. Every single album sounded different. Every song sounded different. They did that all the while sounding like Led Zeppelin. The members- John Bonham on drums, John Paul Jones on bass, keys, mandolin and a host of other instruments, Robert Plant on vocals and harmonica and the guitar god Jimmy Page. While they have admitted they "borrowed" alot of their songs, it does not diminish how great they are. You can start by just learning Jimmy's guitar parts. You can work your butt off learning every riff and every note of every solo. You can do that for years and one day you will be listening to a Zep song and hear a part you never heard before. Their songs are perfect examples of how dynamics work. Light and shade. I can't really tell you how to learn it. Just that you should learn it. They have some of the greatest songs- Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown, Whole Lotta Love, Rain Song.....basically everyone of their songs is a classic. They have influenced so many bands- Tool, Rush, Black Eyed Peas, any band that has come along has been touched by them musically. Go get some of their cds, don't just download single tracks. Led Zeppelin 1, Led Zepplin 2, Led Zeppelin 3, Led Zeppelin 4, Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti, Presence,In Through The Out Door and countless live ones. Not only is the musicianship something to learn from, learn from the guitar tones, song writing and structure, the production and just the presence of such a great band. Led Zeppelin was not only a force in just the music scene they were a force( and still are) in popular culture. Go out and get yourself started on a Zep album. I did and it made me not just a better guitar player but a better is some zep for you to check out !

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spotlight Licks : Brian Thrift

This week's "Spot Light Lick" is a Jake E Lee inspired lick from Rock Bottom Music's very own Brian Thrift. Brian is an Augusta music scene veteren guitar player. He has played in countless bands and is a great player. He is a premeire salesman too. He has worked at many an Augusta music store. His lick is based on the 4th position of the A minor pentatonic scale. It is a great example of pull offs. Just click on the tab picture to blow it up bigger. Have fun!