November 2009 (Issue No. 203)
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
Sir Richard Bishop
- The Doobie Brothers
About a Girl
Cross Road Blues
- Robert Johnson
No Pain Blues
- Andrew DuBrock
Swing Guitar Blues
- Scott Nygaard
- 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.
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.
Black Water. Words and music by Patrick Simmons.
About a Girl. Words and music by Kurt Cobain.
Richard Gilewitz. The zany fingerstyle guitarist talks about finding inspiration in strange places. By Doug Young.
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.
Guitar and Harmonica Lesson. A basic harmonica lesson for guitarists who want to add some harp sounds to their songs. By Gary Lee Joyner.
Blues Forms Lesson. Learn the common chord progressions that drive most blues guitar songs. By Andrew DuBrock.
How to Adjust Your Truss Rod. A properly adjusted truss rod is key to making your guitar play its best. By Dan Erlewine.
Swing Blues Lead Lesson. Learn to play the blues like early swing and jazz guitar soloists Lonnie Johnson and Charlie Christian. By Scott Nygaard.
Africa. Words and music by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, arranged by Andy McKee.
1928 Gibson Nick Lucas. By Charles Saufley.