As a budding guitarist, Billy Gibbons was one of my earliest idols. Every last lick on all of ZZ Top’s first nine albums was ingrained so deeply into my memory, that to this day I could sing along with most… Continue Reading
This is the one instrument besides guitar that I actually do practice. A few years ago, I began getting calls from students wondering if I taught banjo. I figured that by learning the instrument, I could satisfy my lifelong curiosity… Continue Reading
We’ve heard this in plenty of country tunes; and thanks to indie artists like Beck and Cake, it’s been represented in the rock world. Here it is in the hands of a guy who can play jazz: To me, steel… Continue Reading
It’s not a string instrument; but it’s so cool, I couldn’t resist its allure. I tried picking it up for a few weeks, then felt overwhelmed by the demands it made on my lungs. Jazz is a snob’s art form… Continue Reading
If you’re thinking, “But I already play guitar,” you have no stinking idea. Flamenco guitar is a whole different instrument. Even studying classical guitar doesn’t prepare you completely. A flamenco guitar is built to resonate more loudly than a classical… Continue Reading
Early in my college career, I spent many hours mining our music lab for interesting LP’s, one of which was a compilation of pipa music. Prior to seeing it in the album cover, I didn’t even know what a pipa… Continue Reading
Musicians tend to not be content specializing in their chosen instrument. Anything new that seems to draw upon a musician’s existing skill set beckons with reckless seduction. This benefits the industry. For example, thanks to saxophonists who also dabble in… Continue Reading
Check out this debate from a 1986 episode of Crossfire. Today, I find it bewildering that rock music censorship was ever on the table.