November 2009 (Issue No. 203)

AG 203 November 2009

Blues Guitar Special

Learn to play like Robert Johnson. Profiles of "acoustic underground" instrumentalists James Blackshaw, Sir Richard Bishop, and Sean Smith. A visit to the National Reso-Phonic Guitar factory. Lessons on blues forms, swing lead, and playing guitar and harmonica at the same time. R. Taylor Style 3 and Walden Concorda guitars reviewed. How to adjust your truss rod.

National Reso-Phonic Guitars

National Reso-Phonic Guitars

Sir Richard Bishop

Sir Richard Bishop

Featured Songs

Black Water - The Doobie Brothers

About a Girl - Nirvana

Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson

No Pain Blues - Andrew DuBrock

Swing Guitar Blues - Scott Nygaard

Africa - Toto, arranged by Andy McKee

In This Issue

ROBERT JOHNSON–STYLE BLUES LESSON

Learn the techniques, including powerful bottleneck slide, thumb-driven melodies, and piano-style voicings that made Robert Johnson a blues guitar icon. By Scott Ainslie.

ACOUSTIC UNDERGROUND
James Blackshaw, Sir Richard Bishop, and Sean Smith are part of a thriving solo acoustic movement that fuses postpunk, minimalist, and experimental attitudes with Takoma-style fingerpicking, raga, and Gypsy styles in forms that range from the reverent to the radical. By Charles Saufley.

HOW A NATIONAL GUITAR IS BUILT
Founded in the 1920s, National makes guitars that have been prized by generations of blues and slide players. We visited the National Reso-Phonic factory to see how they're built. By Teja Gerken.

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC
Black Water. Words and music by Patrick Simmons.

CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC
About a Girl. Words and music by Kurt Cobain.

PRIVATE LESSON
Richard Gilewitz. The zany fingerstyle guitarist talks about finding inspiration in strange places. By Doug Young.

NEW GEAR
R. Taylor Style 3 Review. R. Taylor's new dreadnought impresses with with stunning looks and versatile tone. By Andrew DuBrock.
Walden Concorda CG670TB Review. Affordable grand auditorium with elegantly understated style, a slim neck, and versatile, full-bodied tones. By Paul Kotapish.
Trace Acoustic TA200 Amp Review. A powerful amp with punchy midrange, lots of tone-shaping options, and lush effects. By Pete Madsen.

HERE'S HOW
Guitar and Harmonica Lesson. A basic harmonica lesson for guitarists who want to add some harp sounds to their songs. By Gary Lee Joyner.

THE BASICS
Blues Forms Lesson. Learn the common chord progressions that drive most blues guitar songs. By Andrew DuBrock.

SHOPTALK
How to Adjust Your Truss Rod. A properly adjusted truss rod is key to making your guitar play its best. By Dan Erlewine.

WOODSHED
Swing Blues Lead Lesson. Learn to play the blues like early swing and jazz guitar soloists Lonnie Johnson and Charlie Christian. By Scott Nygaard.

SONGBOOK
Africa. Words and music by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, arranged by Andy McKee. 

GREAT ACOUSTICS
1928 Gibson Nick Lucas. By Charles Saufley.

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