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NAMM Reports


NAMM 2014: Hanson Guitars & Lakland Basses NAMM 2014: Hanson Guitars & Lakland Basses
January 2014


At this year’s NAMM, Guitar Messenger’s Ivan Chopik had a chance to hear from John Pirruccello of Chicago-based Hanson Guitars and Lakland Basses about the careful craftsmanship that’s made Lakland’s basses so well-received, and the years of experience in pickup-wiring and... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Marco Sfogli Interview @ DV Mark Amplifiers NAMM 2014: Marco Sfogli Interview @ DV Mark Amplifiers
January 2014


Marco Sfogli has been blowing the minds of industry veterans like James Labrie for a decade now with his trademark blend of soulful, inflective rock stylings and stunning technique. We first spoke to Marco around the release of his first solo album, There’s Hope, back in 2008, but over... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Samson Technologies (Hotone Skyline Pedals & UHF Wireless System) NAMM 2014: Samson Technologies (Hotone Skyline Pedals & UHF Wireless System)
January 2014


You’ve never seen slide guitar like this. Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer, and guitarist extraordinaire  Larry Mitchell gives us a funk-filled demonstration of Samson’s Hotone Skyline effects pedals that includes his highly unorthodox approach to slide playing. Hotone Skyline... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Ola Englund Interview – Part 2 NAMM 2014: Ola Englund Interview – Part 2
January 2014


In PART ONE of our interview with Ola, he opened up about building his own brand as a high-gain amp expert, playing with bands like The Haunted and living on the road. In this conclusion, Ola talks about how his tone philosophy informed the design of his new signature Randall Satan amp and Washburn... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Ola Englund Interview – Part 1 NAMM 2014: Ola Englund Interview – Part 1
January 2014


Ola Englund is living the dream. The gear-demoing guru and ferociously accurate riff machine from Swedish bands Feared and The Haunted is an incredible example of a musician who replaced his day job by turning his hobby into full-time work. At this year’s NAMM, Ola spoke with Guitar Messenger’s... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Strandberg Guitarworks NAMM 2014: Strandberg Guitarworks
January 2014


Ivan Chopik talks with Ola Strandberg of Strandberg Guitarworks and Astral EXR Systems at NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, CA. Check out the video above and then click on the image thumbnails below to see full-size pictures from our gallery. From Guitarworks.theStrandbergs.com Strandberg Guitarworks is... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Marty Friedman Interview NAMM 2014: Marty Friedman Interview
January 2014


At this year’s winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, I had a chance to speak with guitar legend Marty Friedman, who is known for his lead guitar role with metal pioneers Megadeth, his virtuoso supergroup Cacophony with Jason Becker, and his extensive solo career. Marty revealed some details about... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Kemper Profiling Amplifier NAMM 2014: Kemper Profiling Amplifier
January 2014


LA-based guitarist John Huldt, who spends his time playing for the band Ampora and teaching at the Los Angeles College of Music when he isn’t demonstrating awesome gear at NAMM, shows us a little piece of the power of the Kemper Profiling Amplifier.   From Kemper-Amps.com: The Kemper Profiler... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Christoph Kemper Interview (Kemper Profiling Amplifier) NAMM 2014: Christoph Kemper Interview (Kemper Profiling Amplifier)
January 2014


Guitar Messenger’s Ivan Chopik had a chance at this year’s NAMM to speak with Christoph Kemper, the mastermind behind the legendary Access Virus synthesizers, as well as the revolutionary Kemper Profiling Amplifiers. Unlike traditional modeling amps, which simulate an amp by having a... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Randall Amplifiers NAMM 2014: Randall Amplifiers
January 2014


At this year’s NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA, I had a chance to meet with Mike Fortin of Randall Amplifiers. By the time Mike joined the Randall team two years ago as exclusive design engineer, he was already established in the high gain amplifier world for his cutting edge designs with Fortin... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Tosin Abasi Interview @ Ibanez (Animals As Leaders) NAMM 2014: Tosin Abasi Interview @ Ibanez (Animals As Leaders)
January 2014


Since revitalizing the landscape of instrumental music with their self-titled debut in 2009, Animals As Leaders‘ Tosin Abasi and his bandmates have been busy refining and expanding their unique brand of progressive metal. Fellow guitarist Javier Reyes has added his compositional savvy... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Leonardo Guzman Update (GM / Per Nilsson Guitar Solo Competition Winner) NAMM 2014: Leonardo Guzman Update (GM / Per Nilsson Guitar Solo Competition Winner)
January 2014


This year at NAMM we had the pleasure of running into Leonardo Guzman, the fleet-fingered Colombian guitarist whose entry in our Guitar Solo Competition earned him gold from master judges Per Nilsson, Jeff Loomis, Ola Englund, and Ralph Santolla. Leonardo caught us up on his projects since the contest,... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Caparison Guitars NAMM 2014: Caparison Guitars
January 2014


Ivan Chopik chats with Jeff Williams of UK thrash metal band Onslaught about Caparison Guitars at NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, CA. Check out the video above and then click on the image thumbnails below to see full-size pictures of some of Caparison’s finest guitars! From CaparisonGuitarCompany.com:  “Caparison... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Jake Bowen Interview @ Ibanez (Periphery) NAMM 2014: Jake Bowen Interview @ Ibanez (Periphery)
January 2014


  It would be difficult to overstate Periphery’s impact on modern metal, and guitarist Jake Bowen’s contributions as a composer and riffmaster have been an integral part of the three-guitar powerhouse since their self-titled first release. Fans are given a chance to hear just what he... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Ibanez Guitars (Jake Bowen, Kiko Loureiro, Tosin Abasi) NAMM 2014: Ibanez Guitars (Jake Bowen, Kiko Loureiro, Tosin Abasi)
January 2014


This year at NAMM, Ibanez’s Mike Orrigo hosted a reveal of three new formidable signature models for three of their artists: Periphery’s Jake Bowen, Angra’s Kiko Loureiro, and Animals As Leaders’ Tosin Abasi. Check out the videos of each artist below along with specs, pictures,... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Bohemian Guitars NAMM 2014: Bohemian Guitars
January 2014


Ivan Chopik talks with brothers Adam and Shaun Lee about their company Bohemian Guitars at NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, CA. Guitarist Brandon Massey demonstrates some of the sounds these guitars can create! Check out the video above and then click on the image thumbnails below to see full-size pictures... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Ernie Ball Music Man NAMM 2014: Ernie Ball Music Man
January 2014


From musiciansfriend.com: Featuring laser-etched maple that’s finished to resemble carbon fiber, the Majesty guitar boasts a super-lightweight body with unparalelled fret access, DiMarzio voicing and a rosewood fretboard with the Majesty logo (for Dream Theater’s original moniker)... Read More →


NAMM 2014: TronicalTune NAMM 2014: TronicalTune
January 2014


TronicalTune is a retrofit robotuning device that tunes your guitar at the push of a button and strum of the strings. From Tronical.com: The TronicalTune is a revolutionary device for electric and acoustic guitars alike that seamlessly self-tunes your guitar in a matter of seconds, all the while... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Vigier Guitars NAMM 2014: Vigier Guitars
January 2014


Guitar Messenger’s Ivan Chopik visited the Vigier Guitars booth at this year’s NAMM to talk to the friendly DJ Scully and find out what master luthier Patrice Vigier has in store for 2014. Check out the video above for the interview with DJ and a great demonstration of the new Vigier... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Fender Stratocaster 60th Anniversary NAMM 2014: Fender Stratocaster 60th Anniversary
January 2014


At this year’s NAMM convention in Anaheim, California, Guitar Messenger was invited to an exclusive media event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster. Ivan Chopik had the opportunity to speak with Fender product specialists Allen Abbassi and Stephen Jackson about Fender’s... Read More →


NAMM 2013: Ibanez Iron Label Series NAMM 2013: Ibanez Iron Label Series
August 2013


From ibanez.co.jp: “Built on the ‘chassis’ of our famous RG and S-Series models… with metal and nothing but metal in mind, we modded and tweaked until we got to the heaviest sounding metal axes ever built. For the ultimate in playability we took our legendary super-thin,... Read More →


NAMM 2013: Strandberg Guitarworks NAMM 2013: Strandberg Guitarworks
March 2013


From strandbergguitars.com: “Strandberg Guitars is committed to innovation. We continuously strive towards new solutions that address the needs of guitarists today. The global musician community is engaged in the design process. Ola Strandberg The process is public and documented on-line.... Read More →


NAMM 2013: Ibanez Artstar Series NAMM 2013: Ibanez Artstar Series
March 2013


From ibanez.com: After decades of building guitars for legends like George Benson, John Scofield, and Pat Metheny, Ibanez has proven its dedication to jazz guitar luthiery. That dedication is now expressed in Ibanez’s latest hollow and semi-hollow body line, Artstar. “Our slogan... Read More →


NAMM 2013: Ibanez Meshuggah M8M Signature Model NAMM 2013: Ibanez Meshuggah M8M Signature Model
March 2013


From musiciansfriend.com: “The Ibanez M8M Meshuggah 8-String Electric Guitar is perfectly balanced to deliver a truly great 8-string experience. Martin and Fredrik of Meshuggah worked with the Ibanez Custom Shop over a period of years on this instrument and in their own words: ‘This... Read More →


NAMM 2013: Ibanez Tosin Abasi TAM100 Signature Model NAMM 2013: Ibanez Tosin Abasi TAM100 Signature Model
March 2013


From musiciansfriend.com: “The Ibanez TAM100 Tosin Abasi Signature 8-string Electric Guitar is made in Japan to the specs of the progressive guitarist. It has a basswood body with a gorgeous quilted maple top and features a 5-piece wenge/bubinga neck reinforced with KTS TITANIUM rods for... Read More →


Stories From the Road


Auditioning For Lady Gaga Auditioning For Lady Gaga
by
June 21st, 2011

Dear Fellow Musicians, In January 2010 I had the opportunity to audition for the guitarist position on Lady Gaga’s international arena tour. I made it to the final 15 guitarists and learned a few valuable things about the music business, particularly the music world outside of Berklee. I think it is definitely worth reading this because the experience was fascinating. The audition opportunity fell... Read More →


Tour Survival 101 Tour Survival 101
by
June 30th, 2010

I remember it perfectly. It was 19 weeks ago that I arrived in Manhattan, guitar in hand, frantically looking for Chelsea Studios. Chelsea is one of the larger theatrical rehearsal studios in New York City and while I’d played in a number of pit orchestras before, I’d also never had any reason to find the place because I wasn’t an actor. Today was different. Today I’d be meeting... Read More →


Contests

Guitar Messenger Solo Competition Guitar Messenger Solo Competition
April 22nd, 2013


CONTEST WINNERS (TOP 5)   #1 Leonardo Guzman   #2 Benjamin Ellis   #3 Plini   #4 Ramiro Gamarra   #5 Morgan Reid FINALISTS (#6-10, Alphabetical – Last Name)   Keegan Donovan   Juan Carlos... Read More →


CONTEST: Answer Trivia Questions & Win A Copy Of INTERVALLIC FRETBOARD Book CONTEST: Answer Trivia Questions & Win A Copy Of INTERVALLIC FRETBOARD Book
October 24th, 2012


Pêle-Mêle Works’ instructional book, Intervallic Fretboard – Towards improvising On The Guitar, offers guitarists a different take on the fingerboard, with improvisation as the underlying motivation. Shapes and patterns are widely used in teaching the guitar, be it for scales, chords, or arpeggios.... Read More →


Joe Bonamassa Guitar Give-Away Contest (Closed) Joe Bonamassa Guitar Give-Away Contest (Closed)
July 1st, 2008


Win an Epiphone Les Paul Special II Guitar signed by Joe Bonamassa! Made with a basswood body, bolt-on mahogany neck, smooth 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, and dot inlays, this baby is every bit as handsome as its uptown cousins. It features 2 open-coil humbucking pickups that deliver long, singing sustain... Read More →


Artist Spotlight


Spotlights of upcoming artists that we believe will go on to do great things in the music industry!



Artist Spotlight: DAVID MAXIM MICIC Artist Spotlight: DAVID MAXIM MICIC
May 2011


Name: David Maxim Micic Age: Just turned 21! Hometown: I was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 5th, 1990, but I live in Belgrade, Serbia, and don’t really remember Dubrovnik because I was really young when we moved to Belgrade. But I am planning on going to visit the town where I was born – I’ve heard lots of good stories about that place. How did you started playing guitar and what was the first song you learned? I started taking private lessons when I was 15 years old with Petar Jelic who showed me pentatonic scales and other basic stuff, so he really opened me up to a whole horizon... Read More →


Artist Spotlight: DANNY DODGE Artist Spotlight: DANNY DODGE
April 2011


Name: Danny Dodge Age: 19 Hometown: I was born in Ottawa, Canada. I lived there for 5 years before moving to the States. I plan on moving back one day. How did you get started with playing guitar and what was the first song you learned? I was in 7th grade when I started playing guitar. It was a very negative time for me, and when it was at it’s lowest point was when I met my soon-to-be best friend. He was in high school, and through the connection of our parents, he become my guitar teacher. He exposed me to metal, and introduced me to something that became more than music, more than an escape,... Read More →