Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition

Epiphone’s 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition is modelled, as the name suggests, on the most famous Les Paul of them all — the 1959 Les Paul Standard. Original Gibson Les Paul Standard’s from 1959 change hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars because it’s regarded by many as being the peak of Gibson’s Les Paul output.

Fifty years later, and just weeks after the death of the man from whom it takes its name, only 1959 of these limited edition guitars are available to buy. The Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition features an authentic 1950s rounded neck profile. Nick-named ‘the baseball bat’ this neck, according to Epiphone ‘feels beefy yet comfortable in your hands while adding warmth and sustain with it’s greater mass.’

The solid mahogany neck is hand-fitted to the body with a deep-set long neck tenon which ‘extends well into the neck pickup cavity creating even more tone and sustain.’ The body itself is solid mahogany, with a carved hard maple cap and AAA grade flame maple veneer on top. One look at the pictures and you can see just what a stunning guitar this is.

The Gibson BurstBucker pick-ups have unpolished magnets and non-potted coils and are designed to recreate the sound of the Gibson humbucker pick-ups on the orginal ‘59 Les Paul. Those pick-ups had coils with a different number of turns which gave the sound more ‘bite.’

There’s a Switchcraft toggle switch, Mallory-150 tone capacitors with metal pointers, nickel hardware, and a blank trussrod cover. The serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock.

The Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Limited Edition comes with a replica brown Lifton-style case with pink interior and a certificate of authenticity. It’s available in two finishes; Faded Cherryburst and Faded Iced Tea.

Five great iPhone apps for guitar players

The whole world seems to be talking about the new iPhone 3G at the moment. And with good reason: I’ve had one for just over a week now and already I’m wondering how I managed without it.

One of the great features of the new iPhone software, which comes with the iPhone 3G and is available as a free uprgrade for older iPhones, is the ability to install third party applications.

Apple’s App Store is already brimming with fantastic applications. So what, you ask, has this to do with guitars, Kenny? Well, it so happens that quite a few of the new apps are music related and a number of those are aimed at guitar players.

That’s no real surprise: the iPhone has a mic, a speaker, and a lovely screen, making it ideal as a guitar tuner. But there’s much more to it than that.

Here’s my list of five great iPhone apps for guitar players.

1. Guitar Tool Kit $9.99/ £5.99
This is a lovely looking app. It has a chromatic tuner with over 40 built-in tunings, a chord dictionary with 260 chord maps, a metronome which flashes so you can keep time by sight as well as sound, and audible tones so you can tune by ear.

2. TyroTuner $2.99/ £1.79
A one -trick pony this one, but it’s a third of the price of Guitar Tool Kit. It uses the iPhone’s mic to allow you to play a note and the rather neat interface displays whether you need to tune the string up or down.

3. OmniTuner $4.99/ £2.99
More expensive than Tyro Tuner, but more sophisticated too. The main screen displays the not you play and its relationship with the note you’re aiming for. There are also fretboard and stave views, and it can be used to tune mandolins, banjos, and other stringed instruments as well as the guitar.

4. Band $9.99/ £5.99
Ok, so it’s not just for guitar players this one, but I just couldn’t exclude it. The sheer ingenuity of building an app for the iPhone which provides a whole bunch of virtual instruments and the ability to record, overdub and mix to your hearts content makes it well worthy of a place here.

5. Karajan$14.99/ £8.99
A sophisticated learning and training tool for aspiring musicians. Karajan teaches you to recognise intervals, chords, scales, pitch and tempo. It’s easy to use and looks pretty good, too. It’s a bit pricey, so if you’re not sure, download the free version, Karajan Beginner, and give that a try first.

The five best guitar teachers on YouTube (Guitar Lessons)

ouTube is a fantastic resource for guitar lessons. Not only are there dozens of highly-skilled guitar players demonstrating chords, lick, styles and songs. But some of the world’s best, and most well-known guitar players, some of them sadly no longer with us, are right there giving lessons.

So I thought that it would be great to put together a kind of video notebook of some of the best lessons I could find on there and keep it so that when I get some time (ha!) I can watch the videos and learn a few new tricks.

And if I’m building a list of great videos for myself, seems kinda logical that I should share it here. So, here are my five favourite all-star guitar lessons from some of the best players ever to pick-up an axe.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

The late, great Texas bluesman talks in detail about the blue that influenced him and the differences in style between the Chicago blues he grew up listening to and the British blues bands of the Sixties.

Eric Clapton

A long-haired, moustached Slowhand, filmed in the late sixties, talks about how he gets those amazing tones, and how he used the Wah Wah to such great effect. Playing a rather funky SG, too.

Slash

The leery grinned one explains how to play Velvet Revolver’s American Man.

Angus Young

Angus the legend unlocks the secrets of those classic AC/DC riffs.

Andy Summers

Has to be filed under dull, but worthy, this one. A pretty disinterested Andy Summers demonstrates some Police riffs while making it clear that that’s not what he does anymore.

 

How To Read Guitar Tab

Learning how to read guitar tab is an essential task for anyone new to the guitar. Most guitar players, unlike say violinists or pianists, are self taught and many have never learned how to read music. For guitarists who are able and happy to learn everything they want to play by ear, that’s not a problem. For the rest of us it makes it very difficult to learn new tunes, or it would if it wasn’t for guitar tab.

At its simplest, guitar tab is a way of representing which strings to play, where to fret them and in what order. The strings are represented by six horizontal lines, running from low E at the bottom to the high E at the top.

e————————-
B————————-
G————————-
D————————-
A————————-
E————————-

Numbers on the lines represent the fret to be played. So 0 would be an open string and 5 would mean pressing your finger on the fifth fret. Chords are represented by numbers aligned vertically, so the diagram below represents the chord of A.

e——–0—————-
B——–2—————
G——–2—————
D——–2—————
A——–0—————
E————————-

And in the diagram below, you would strum the chord of A three times.

e——–0–0–0———-
B——–2–2–2———
G——–2–2–2———
D——–2–2–2———
A——–0–0–0———
E————————–

So far, so good. The one thing that guitar tab doesn’t do is represent the timing of the notes or their length — although some tab writers denote timing using spaces between notes. So when you learn to read guitar tab and want to learn a new song, you should listen to it as you follow the tab to get an idea of timing.

Those are the basics and if that is as far as you ever go when you learn to play guitar tab, then provided you have a reasonably good ear and listen to the track your trying to play, you’ll get along pretty well. However, tab goes much further than that and has conventions for a number of the methods guitar players use to generate different sounds and tones from a guitar. So, for example, there’s notation for bending strings, sliding from one fret to another, hammering on and pulling off, vibrato, and even tapping the fret Eddie Van Halen-style.

Here are some of the notation conventions:

h – hammer on.

So 5h7 would mean play the string fretted at the 5th fret then ‘hammer on’ to the 7th fret.

p – pull-off.

So 7p5 would mean play the string at the 7th fret while also holding the 5th fret and pull-off.

e————————
B———-5h7–7p5-
G————————
D————————
A————————
E————————

/ – slide up.

So 7/9 means play the note at the 7th fret and slide up to the 9th.

\ – slide down.

The reverse of slide up.

b – bend string up.

So 7b would mean play the string at the 7th fret and bend up.

v – vibrato

Play the string at the fret noted and vibrate by rotating your wrist quickly back and forth.

So part of a solo might look like this:

e————————
B——–7v–7/9–9/7
G—-9b—————–
D————————-
A————————-
E————————-

The above is a basic how to read guitar tab guide, if you’d like to see free video guitar lessons, I recommend checking out RiffNinja.com.