March 2012 (Issue No. 231)

231 Cover

Issue Highlights

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy discusses songwriting strategies. Innovations in contemporary guitar building. Songs with notation and tab, including a fingerstyle arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” New guitars by Alvarez and Stonebridge reviewed. The history of Froggy Bottom Guitars. Lessons on playing Celtic backup, blues rhumba rhythms, and hammer-ons.

Featured Songs

Someday Soon - Judy Collins

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? - Carter Family

I Might - Wilco

Billie Jean - Michael Jackson, arranged by Gareth Pearson

In This Issue

JEFF TWEEDY
The Wilco front man on fingerpicking, dynamics, and the intense craft behind his songwriting.  By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.

FROGGY BOTTOM GUITARS
Luthier Michael Millard builds high-end flattops in his Vermont shop.  By Adam Perlmutter.

21st CENTURY GUITAR DESIGN
How innovations such as bevels, double tops, and soundports have contributed to the evolution of the contemporary guitar.  By Teja Gerken.

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC
Someday Soon. Words and music by Ian Tyson. 
Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Words and music by A.P. Carter.

PRIVATE LESSON
Celtic Backup Lesson. Jordan McConnell of the Duhks on accompanying Celtic tunes in D A D G A D tuning. By Doug Young.

NEW GEAR 
Stonebridge OOM33SR Review. A 00-size 12-fret flattop with a long scale and pre-aged spruce top made in the Czech Republic. By Doug Young.

Alvarez AP70 Review. Affordable spruce and rosewood parlor guitar with a solid top. With video. By Danny Carnahan.

Godin MultiOud Review. A unique take on the traditional Middle Eastern 11-string oud. With video. By Teja Gerken.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
Tom Russell. On Mesabi, the singer-songwriter pairs songs about fallen idols and drug violence across the border with a rich, cinematic mix of Tex-Mex guitar and exotic instrumentation. By Céline Keating.

HERE'S HOW
Diminished Chords. Learn how artists like James Taylor and the Beatles have used diminished chords in their songs. By Adam Levy.

THE BASICS
Blues Rhumba and Ballad Rhythms. Learn two great non-shuffle rhythms commonly associated with the blues. By Orville Johnson.

SHOPTALK
Binding and Purfling. All about the wood, plastic, or abalone that protects and beautifies your guitar. By Charlie Hoffman.

PLAYLIST
Anthony Wilson, SeasonsBy Mark Small.
Darrell Scott, Long Ride HomeBy Derk Richardson.
Kathleen Edwards, VoyageurBy Kenny Berkowitz.
Various artists, Everybody's Pickin' On Leiber and StollerBy Julia Crowe.

WOODSHED
Hammer-On Technique. Create fluidity and varied texture with this essential legato technique.With video and tab. By Alex De Grassi.

SONGBOOK
Billie Jean. Written and composed by Michael Jackson, arranged by Gareth Pearson.

GREAT ACOUSTICS
2006 Buck Curran ButterflyBy Teja Gerken.

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