1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 


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Tony Iommi

Series: Instructional/Guitar/DVD
Format: DVD
Artist: Tony Iommi

One of heavy metal's true innovators, Tony is the guitarist for Black Sabbath. He covers licks and leads from several Black Sabbath favorites, along with a special fully notated solo section. 33 minutes.

Inventory #HL 00320483
ISBN: 9780634099595
UPC: 073999979534
Width: 5.25"
Length: 7.5"
Run Time: 0:33:00

One of heavy metal's true innovators, Tony is the guitarist for Black Sabbath. He covers licks and leads from several Black Sabbath favorites, along with a special fully notated solo section. 33 minutes. Neon knights -N.I.B. -heaven and hell -children of the sea -voodoo -iron man. TABLATURE

Discover the thundering riffs and ear-bending solos of one of metal's true originals, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath in this unique DVD presented by the man himself!

Learn those great licks, leads and riffs from several Sabbath favourites such as Neon Knights N.I.B. Heaven And Hell, Children of the Sea, Voodoo and Iron Man with a special fully notated solo section.

An accompanying booklet contains diagrams and standard notation to help you learn these blistering and ballsy riffs.

Date Of Birth - 19th February 1948
Place Of Birth - Aston, Birmingham, England
Starsign - Aquarius
Height - 6'2"
Weight - 13.5 stone
Colour Of Hair - BLACK
Colour Of Eyes - Green
Place Of Residence - Warwickshire, England
Cars Owned - Mercedes
Pets - Two Rottweiler Dogs
Hobbies - Cars, Watching Films, Walking
Likes - Having Peace Of Mind
Dislikes - Smoking And Arguing
Favourite Food - Japanese, Indian And Curry
Favorite Drinks - Guinnes, Lager, Vodka and Orange
Favorite Countries - USA & Hawaii for visiting & UK for residing
Favorite Cities - Los Angeles
Favorite TV Programmers - Get Smart & Rockford Files
Favorite Films - The Exorcist and most good horror films
Favorite Actor - Roger Moore and Clint Eastwood
Favorite Actress - No one in particular
Favorite Cars - Ferrari and Lamborghini
Favorite Form Of Travelling - Driving myself otherwise flying
Favorite Sports - Boxing and Wrestling
Favorite Books - Lob San Rampa and Nostradamus
Favorite Animal - Elephant
Favorite DJ's - Alan Freeman and Tommy Vance
Happiest Moments - When I'm getting the communication and feedback from fans at concerts, it's difficult to describe exactly.
Worst Moments - The problems with my ex-management and the divorce from my last wife.
Pet Hates - Getting up too early and having to travel.
If you weren't a Guitarist
what would you have been - Boxer or Wrestler
Early Influences - The Shadows & later on Django Reinhardt
Favorite Bands - Most good 70's bands like Zeppelin, Purple and The Moody Blues etc.
Favorite 80's Bands - No particular Favorites although there are some good ones around

Favorite Guitarists - Brian May, Eddie Van Halen & Joe Pass
Favorite Drummers - Cozy Powell & John Bonham
Favorite Male Singes - Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin
Favorite Female Singers - Anne Wilson of Heart & Barbara Streisand
Favorite Rock Singers - Tony Martin, Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan & David Coverdale
Favorite Instrument other
than Guitar - Piano
3 All Time Favorite
Favorite Acoustic
SABBATH Song - Laguna Sunrise
Favorite News SABBATH Songs - Devil & Daughter and HEADLESS CROSS
3 All Time Favorite
Favorite Own Guitar Solos - Heart Like A Wheel and at the time Lonely Is The Word
Favorite Riffs - Too many to name
Favorite SABBATH Album
Favorite Country to
Perform In - Most Countries

Most Memorable Years for
SABBATH so far - 1973 and 1980
Why - '73 because of the general vibes at the time
and it saw us at a good peak
'80 because it was a new beginning. However,
this excludes the present situation which
is very exciting.
Remaining Goals To Archive - For the band to be back where it should be which is in the top bracket.
Tony Iommi in "BLACK SABBATH Appreciation Society Newsletter Volume 2, 1989".

Tony Iommi's Guitar

In 1996 Iommi : Now I've got an Eggle guitar. It's a different sort of design. I've been in the factory working to get the shape and feel right. It will be called the Iommi Legend. I wanted them to do an SG originally. We came up with more of a contoured and bigger body so it's similar to a Paul Reed Smith, I suppose. I've got my own JD pickups, which are going to be put on the production model as well.

The pickups specially wound for Tony by John Birch were finally duplicated successfully by Gibson
after being approached by Tony at the 1996 International Music Fair (Musik Messe) in Frankfurt.
They are Gibson pick-ups with the "Patent Applied For" decal and were originally available at
Authorized Gibson Dealers for $145.95 USD (I don't know how much they cost now).
The price of the pickups in 1999 range from $189.99 U.S. List to $94.99 U.S. special Sale price, with $145.95 being the average price as stated.
The pickups are fully wax-potted against feedback, have a four-conductor lead for all wiring variations,
have a closed chrome cover, were backed by
Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 60 day "Guaranteed Gibson Quality" exchange program.
FEB 1999 Gibson to come out with Tony Iommi model SG


Tony Iommi has a regular column in Guitar World, starting with the latest issue, August 1997 (with Foo Fighters on the cover). In the first installment, he explained about his fingers, and then the proper way to play the intro riff to "Paranoid," emphasizing that it is played at the 12th fret, not the 7th.

When Tony Iommi used to work in a factory of some kind, his job was to pass
hunks of metal to someone who used a machine to punch holes in the metal
or cut it up or something like that... One day when the other guy didn't
turn up, Tony tried to use the machine and cut the ends off his fingers -
he took the bits to hospital where they said they couldn't do anything for
him. The possibility that he would not ever play guitar again was very real.
Tony may have tried switching to playing right handed, but it wasn't working out.
Then a friend of his gave him a Django Rheinhardt album. This was a gypsy guitarist
who only had two fingers. This inspired Tony to go home and repair his fingers with molten
plastic from an old washing-up liquid bottle, in true Blue Peter spirit.
He had to do so because playing without the ends of his fingers was too painful.

brother and mother were settled. Here he continued to busk until he opened a shop, where he repaired accordions and gave lessons in their playing. Jackie carried on in this business, achieving fame in Birmingham as a first-rate accordionist. He died in 1994. Salvatore Miele’s family followed a similar pattern. Like the Leos he came from Cassino, where he was born in 1891. He was brought over to England with his family about six or seven years later. The Mieles first lived in Barnstaple, from where they -went busking around Devon and Cornwall as work was unattainable-; and later they moved to Birmingham. Pat Houghton, whose father was Francesco Grego (Greco), brought to mind how important the making of icecream was for many of the families.
-My dad wouldn’t impart it to anyone who wasn’t going to go into the business. He used to say, ‘If you gonna do it, I’ll show you how to make it.’ I remember him doing it in the back of Gran’s house. This was a link detached, big, three-storey house with a big yard for his cart and what they called the brew house which he converted for the ice-cream. -It was like a mini dairy and it was subject to health standards. It had sixinch white tiles from floor to ceiling and he did the first boil up in the stainless steel copper. -In the war, instead of butter, dad had unsalted margarine, then the milk and the sugar and the vanilla flavouring or pods. He used to put this mix into the boil to make a custard. -Then with great big pan ladles, like bed warming pans with a concave bottom and no top, he used to put it into stainless steel two-gallon buckets and leave it to stand overnight like egg custard. There’d be muslin cloths over the top to keep out the flies and held down by weights. -Then it was churned. It went into a freezer, a deep cylinder, with long opposing blades. It would churn like butter and outside it was electrically cooled. It turned from a pale yellow into an even paler yellow.

-He would fetch it into a similar container in an ice-cream cart, packed with ice, and he’d stay out till he sold it. It was the most wonderful ice-cream the world has ever known.- Unlike the Leos and Verechias, the Tavoliers partly moved away from making ice-cream. By the turn of the 20th century they were renting 39 Duddeston Row. This was a confectionery shop as well as their home, as was noted in 1916 in Kelly’s Directory for Birmingham. The publication also recorded an N Barlone as a greengrocer’s in the same street. In Bartholomew Street it went on to mention Lewis Saracine, who was an ice-cream vendor; Mrs Maria Facchino, a shopkeeper; and Antonio Farina, a lodging house keeper. Unlike these people, some other local businesses were not noted in the directory. They included the boot repairer Catullo; the Frezzas and Secondinis who hired out barrel organs and ice-cream carts; and Pip Mattiello the tinsmith.

Nearby in Banbury Street, Frank Iommi made ice-cream and sold it from his house in Buck Street; while Clement Albericci had a small factory, where he -made barrel organs for the Italians and also retuned them and remarked them-. By 1919, Birmingham’s Italian community was concentrated in two streets: Duddeston Row and Bartholomew Street, close to the modern Millennium Point.

Clement Albericci’s son emphasised that -it was a marvellous atmosphere living in Little Italy, everyone knew each other and helped each other - financially, and reading and writing as some Italians could not read or write.- The members of that Italian Quarter were settled in family groups, most of who came from a defined part of southern Italy. A sizeable proportion of them were self-employed, and the rest were engaged in various occupations. Though small in numbers, these Italians made a significant contribution to the social and economic life of Birmingham and its people. Still, they were distinguished by their names, by their looks, by their language, by their Catholicism, by their dominance of the ice-cream trade, and by their concentration in one area. Iris recalls that the Leos had a close relationship with the Italian families in Birmingham and that they used to go on trips with them to Holywell in Wales, to visit the shrine of St Winefride and bathe in the supposedly healing waters of the well. The Leos and families like them in Wolverhampton and Walsall also made their mark on their towns. If anyone has any memories about other Italian families in the Black Country I’d be keen to hear from you.

Devilish affair of Merry Hell
MR. Norman Robins of Turney Road, Stourbridge, has written to me about the winter of 1947. He informs me that -I was demobilised at the end of February and had come down from Scotland. There had been some snow but the weather was bright and sunny and we were able to get about. -On arriving home in Quarry Bank I found the roads blocked and everything frozen. -Regarding the digging of coal, one night I was in the Fountain Inn in Victoria Road talking to a neighbour who said he was going up to Coppice Lane to get some coal and I could go with him. -We went to a field on the corner of Coppice Lane and Merry Hill, where years ago there had been a pit. There were already several men digging holes. We went to one which had been dug by Mr Fellows, a miner from White City Road. This was a mine pit about 3ft square and left deep coal seams. -The continual frost had frozen the ground right to the bottom. The seam of coal was about two feet thick and very hard. Within a few minutes we had dug out as much as we could carry. -Over the next few weeks I dug out a large amount of coal. -About this time the council employed anyone with a lorry to clear the snow from the roads. It was taken to a field in Mill Street, Brierley Hill. Some of the snow was still there in May. -Today this field is the entrance to the Merry Hill Centre. -As the roads were cleared, cars and lorries came from as far away as Birmingham to buy coal. By now the thaw had set in and some of the holes started to fall in, with several men being trapped. The police came and stopped all digging. -Going back to 1928, when I was five years old, my great grandfather, J T Abbis, would take me with him on his walks and would tell me stories of the area. Unfortunately I only remember one. -We now go back several hundred years. The area of Coppice Lane was lived in by a people who were ruled by the Druid priests. When the people got unruly and wouldn’t do as they were told, the high priest would call a meeting. This took place on the coal site mentioned at dusk. -The priest would threaten them that if they didn’t behave he would cause the devil to bring fire to devour them. While he was talking, some of his priests hiding down the hill were scraping soil from where the coal came to the surface. Oxygen -It was now dark and the high priest would tell them to look down the hill. Smoke would start to appear and the ground would glow, followed by flames. The Priest would send them away telling them to behave in future. After they had gone, the coal seams would be covered over and without oxygen the fires would go out. -This place was named Merry Hell, eventually to become Merry Hill. -Most of the coal seams in this area had been on fire for many years. During the early 1900s, the local council dug out hundreds on tons of red ashes from an area in Pedmore Road, which was used to make footpaths. This area is now a factory estate. Houses have been built on Coppice Lane.

" Idyllic setting for an outing " Antonio Tavolier selling ice-cream at the Lickey Hills from his splendid cart

Italians on a pilgrimage to Holywell, recalled by Iris Hodgkiss, one of the Wolverhampton Leos




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Here is the follow-up to Eric’s classic instructional DVD Total Electric Guitar. Building on that DVD, Eric goes on to show you: tempered tuning, pick and finger techniques, his famous 'Koto' technique, slide guitar, volume swells for lead and slide plus a host of technical tips including multi-amp setup, action and string tension adjustments. The DVD also includes several exclusive live performances by Eric playing with his band! It all adds up to the ultimate electric guitar lesson! IN ITALIANO
SUBTITLES: English / French / German / Italian / Spanish




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Famed for his obsessive love of guitar tone and the search for the perfect sound, Eric Johnson's unique style spans the worlds of blues, country-picking and psychedelic modern rock. In this lesson Eric gives a master class in advanced picking, techniques for speed and accuracy, left and right handed muting, blues bends, pedal steel-style bends and unique chord voicings. Running time: 91 minutes.
Language: English / French / German / Italian / Spanish

A classic Hot Licks title available once again! An incredible video from an amazing guitarist. For the advanced player, Johnson teaches picking techniques, speed and accuracy, left and right hand muting, blues & pedal-steel bends, unique chord voicings, harmonics, vibrato, and much more. DVD extras include a new introduction by Jeff Golub, on screen note/tab, slow motion segments in standard pitch, artist biography, discography, more. Includes note/tab booklet. 91 min.



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Series: DVD
Artist: Eric Johnson
In this DVD, Eric shares his 10 must-know musical concepts in an intimate one-on-one format in his recording studio. Discover the techniques that have contributed to the genius of this guitar legend in his own words and detailed demonstrations. Eric covers his unique perspectives on improvisation, chords, lead guitar, songwriting, and much more. The second part of the DVD features a full-band performance as Eric, Chris Maresh (bass) and Tommy Taylor (drums) take you on a musical journey through eight never-heard-before songs! The fantastic audio and widescreen multi-camera visuals bring you right into the creative realm and mind of one of the world's top guitar talents! 1 hour, 19 minutes.

One of the most intriguing, thoughtful and distinctive of today's modern guitar masters gives you an in-depth guide to his approach, style and perspective in this very special DVD presentation.

Eric Johnson took the guitar world by storm with the release of his albums Tones and Ah Via Musicom. His style combines all the technical skill of the Los Angeles MIT generation, but with a delicacy and taste that simultaneously mirrors such legends as Hendrix, Chet Aitkins and Dave Gilmour.

This DVD tutorial brings you two products in one! Part 1 features Eric sharing his 10 'must know' musical concepts in an intimate one-to-one format. Discover the techniques that have contributed to his remarkable style , including his unique perspectives on chords, lead playing, improvisation and song writing.

Part 2 is something very special - a full performance of eight never-before-heard songs alongside Chris Maresh and Tommy Taylor! Multiple widescreen camera angles and fantastic audio get you closer than ever before to the jaw-dropping guitar playing of this unique star.



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JOHN 5, THE DEVIL KNOWS MY NAME, Instructional Guitar DVD

Series: DVD
Medium: DVD
Artist: John 5

This DVD has been called the most shocking guitar instruction and performance DVD of all time! In this first-ever DVD from John 5 you will not only take a journey into his twisted mind, but you will also learn some of the techniques that have set him apart from guitar players everywhere. Included here are full live performances of four songs as well as exclusive lessons and instruction on techniques such as: banjo rolls, behind the nut bends, tapping, arpeggios, double stops, country bends, chicken pickin', pedal steel bends, and more. This DVD is not for the faint of heart and is unlike anything you have seen before! PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT CONTENT



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JORDAN STANLEY, MASTER SESSION. Fenomeno del tapping a 8 dita! Suonare la chitarra come un pianoforte. TAB. DVD

Discover the secret to Stanley's perfected two-hand tapping with this DVD. Learn how to: improvise melodies that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats o utilize a full range of dynamics to develop a rich, colorful sound o use electronics to create unique, alluring sounds o develop practice techniques to minimize mistakes and maximize your performance potential o increase your flexibility and dexterity for two-handed tapping. 79 minutes. Booklet 27 pages.

by Stanley Jordan

THE TOUCH, OR TWO-HANDED TAPPING TECHNIQUE can provide limitless possibilities for exploration on the guitar. The earliest documented guitarist using this approach was Jimmy Webster in the 1950s. It has now begun to enjoy considerable use among guitarists. The essence of tapping is this: By hammering the string against the fretboard with your finger, you can produce a note with one hand. You don't need to pluck or strum, because the impact of the string hitting the fret causes the string to vibrate. Either hand works, and you can even use both hands tapping simultaneously on the fingerboard, performing independent parts.

Producing the sound in this way is easy. But mastering its awesome and unexpected possibilities is another matter! It gives you a level of musical and orchestral complexity previously possible only on keyboard instruments. You can create bass and chord accompaniment to your own leads as a self-contained soloist. You can also perform complex counterpoint, such as Bach two and three-part inventions. With a band, you can use your hands together to play leads with undreamed-of speed and agility.

Many of your first experiments are likely to be expansions of what you already do on the guitar, and adaptations of pianistic possibilities. But you'll soon learn that you hold in your hands a whole new instrument with its own unique and unlimited potentials.

Chances are, you can apply the touch technique to your own guitar with just a few minor adjustments. I have used it successfully on Fender Stratocasters, Gibson Les Pauls and ES-175s, Travis Beans, and others. I have even used it on various brands of acoustic steel-and nylon-string guitars. Ideally, an instrument used for touch playing should be an electric with an accurate neck, frets in good condition, strong pickups, and good sustain. Of all these characteristics, the neck and frets are the most critical.

The lack of proper adjustment is the main reason people say to me, "I tried it on my guitar, and it didn't work." The most important single factor is low action; the strings should practically touch the frets. This is absolutely crucial for ease of playing, clarity, and sustain. If you have tried tapping with normal action, you probably heard a weak, dull tone, because a large portion of the attack was the sound of the finger hitting the string. But with low action, a very light tap unites string and fret immediately, giving you a crisp tone.

How low must you set your action ? Extremely low! If the distance between a string and the 12th fret is greater than the thickness of a penny, it is probably too high. After you become more proficient with tapping, you may decide to bring your action back up a bit for a fuller sound. But for now, get it as low as possible.

The fingerboard and the height and contour of the frets must be accurate to get the required action without buzzing at certain points. If you have a problem, sight along the neck to check the straightness. The instrument may need a truss rod adjustment. [Ed. Note: If you aren't sure how to adjust a truss rod, take your instrument to a repair person. Incorrect adjustment can result in permanent damage to your guitar.] However, electric guitars have an advantage, because some buzzes aren't picked up and therefore don't reach the amp. Check the condition of your frets; if they are unevenly worn, you won't be able to get the required action. Consider getting a fret job. If the frets are worn, it may be a good idea anyway--regardless of how you play. It could make all the difference in the world for setting your guitar up for the touch technique. If you decide to get a fret job, ask around to find out who does the best work in your area. Then explain to the repair person about your special requirements, because this fret job must be more accurate than usual. Set the action where you want it, take your instrument to the shop, and say, "I'd like to be able to tap with my action this low without buzzing."

There is an advantage to having a bridge with individual height-adjustable saddles for all six strings: It allows you to set each string where you want it, to compensate for differences in string tension and volume. (There is also an advantage to the bridge with just two height adjustments, one at each end: It allows you to change your action quickly, facilitating a single guitar's use should you employ both conventional and touch techniques on the same gig.)

Intonation is also critical because your new freedom allows you to play at opposite ends of the neck simultaneously, thereby spotlighting any inaccuracies in the intonation. Your two-handed harmonies will sound much sweeter and the voices of your chords will sing more clearly if the intonation is properly adjusted.

As if there weren't enough to think about already, here is yet another problem to overcome. With "normal" techniques, you rely on the energy from right-hand plucking or strumming to sound the notes, while your left hand merely holds down strings. You probably employ left-hand fingers to mute strings not in use, preventing accidental extraneous sounds. But with the touch technique, that can be hard to do. Because of the low action, you can easily hit notes on strings you don't want to play: All it really takes is a touch. I recommend bringing the fingers straight down, trying to touch only the strings you want to play.

Even with clean, direct fingering, you will still get sympathetic vibrations in the strings you're not touching, so you will probably need some kind of damper near the nut to prevent vibrations in the untouched strings. On the stick, for example, this is accomplished by a strip of felt permanently attached to the fingerboard, lying under the strings at the 1st fret. You may want to experiment with a similar attachment, or if you want something quicker and less permanent, you can put a loose-fitting capo at the 1st fret to act as a damper. Not just any capo will work, though, because you must be able to put it on without pushing the strings all the way to the frets. I get good results with Jim Dunlop 14 FD and 14 CD capos, as well as the Golden Gate GC-8. Also, you might get good results with the George van Eps or Kleen-Axe String Dampers. When choosing a capo, it must match the contour of your fingerboard, so take note whether it's curved or flat. Incidentally, if you do happen to use an acoustic, the damper is essential to prevent string vibrations between your finger and the nut.

Before you try the touch technique, change your strings; old ones can be more debilitating with touch than with other techniques. Prepare to increase your budget for strings. They must always be clean and true to tuning. As far as their gauges are concerned, use some discretion. When I first started, I used .008 and .009 high E's. Now I use .010s on my Travis Bean and .009s on my Vigier. Sometimes I'll take a set of .009s but replace the .009 with a .010 for more punch and sustain in my leads. There is a tradeoff here, because lighter strings and lower action make the technique easier, but the sound is less full and the dynamic range is reduced.

It is also a good idea to wash your hands and trim your fingernails before playing. When your fingers come straight down onto the strings, fingernails really get in the way. I recommend warming up with conventional techniques before attempting touch, and if you happen to be a keyboardist, it may help to do a keyboard warmup. Naturally, the spacings are different, but the strength and agility you develop playing keyboards can be a big help. Since the touch system results in a certain amount of volume loss, electric guitars tend to be more suitable; strong pickups are also helpful. Turn up your volume, and learn to play sensitively in order to increase your range of dynamic control. If your pickups have pole pieces, screw them in, and/or move the pickups as close to the strings as possible for maximum sensitivity.

So, here you are with your guitar set up for the touch technique. Your strings are adjusted and your hands are clean. You're ready to get down. How should you hold the guitar? Start with whatever you're used to, whatever feels most comfortable. You can stand up, sit down with the guitar on your left or right leg, or you could even set the guitar on a stand. A very important thing to remember: Stay relaxed, especially in your hands. The key to relaxing your hands is keeping your thumbs loose. Both hands are stabilized on the neck by means of the thumbs. However, in time you will learn to not always stabilize your right hand in this way, depending on what you're playing.

Your fingers should come down between the frets in the same places they would using normal techniques. Your right hand is more nearly perpendicular to the neck, and therefore you may want to hold the guitar with the nut tipped up so that you don't have to bend your right wrist too much. Moving your right elbow forward a few inches can help straighten your right wrist. To avoid tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, try not to bend your right wrist more than about 10 degrees. Make sure to keep your right shoulder down to minimize shoulder tension and to keep your overall posture in balance.

The basic finger action to sound a note is tap and hold. Your finger comes straight down and taps the string against the fret, holding it there for as long as you want the note to last. To cut off the note, lightly pull your finger straight off the string with as little side-to-side motion as possible. This movement must be very light. You barely even try to release your finger; mainly relax it, and let the string push it back up.

This hammering action should come primarily from your fingers--not your wrists. If you get into the habit of using your wrists too much, your fingers may get stiff and you will never develop much speed. You can use all four fingers on both hands. You can even use your right thumb, but I recommend starting with just the fingers.

And now for a big surprise: The words "tap" and "touch" are oversimplifications, because we're really talking about a whole cluster of related techniques. You'll need other techniques to make your articulation more interesting and to add some real expression to your music. One useful technique is the "slide," which is used to create glissandi (glides between notes on a single string; see bar 11 in the A section of "Touch Of Blue," which follows). Tap the string and slide your finger along it while holding it down. Make sure your finger comes straight down on the string, avoiding adjacent strings.

Slurs and legato lines (hammers and pulls) are easiest when all the notes are on the same string (example: the opening figure of two sixteenth-notes and a quarter-note in the first bar of the A section of "Touch Of Blue"). To play an ascending line, tap the first note normally, but after that, tap each note without releasing your finger from the previous note. Just hammer each note in turn, leaving all the fingers on the string.

To descend along a string, use pulloffs. Again, the first note is tapped normally, but before you release it, have the finger for the next note already down. Then pull the releasing finger off sideways, so that it plucks the string on its way off. Generally, right-hand fingers pull off toward the sixth string, and left hand fingers toward the first string. As always, be careful not to hit adjacent strings.

When crossing from one string to another, whether ascending or descending, release the first note late so that it overlaps the next one for an instant (see bar 3, first beat, part A). This eliminates gaps of silence between notes, and blurs differences in timbre and volume between strings. The overlapping technique takes practice. After all, it's hard to make perfectly seamless legato runs, because crossing strings is still different from playing along a single string. For a legato run to be as smooth as possible, all of the notes must be located on the same string.

The lower your action, the less you need the overlapping technique, because differences between strings are reduced and there is less time between hitting the string and hearing the sound. This reduces the likelihood of gaps between the notes, and single-string legato techniques become easier. When your strings are really down low, you can play runs with great speed and fluidity.

If a legato run involves more than four notes in either direction or contains wide interval skips, you can use both hands together, "handing off" the series from one hand to the other or back and forth, as necessary. This opens up a wealth of cool possibilities.

One more thing before we start playing: Although you can use the touch technique with any tuning you please, most guitarists will probably want to start with standard tuning. However, I usually tune in fourths: E A D G C F, low to high. The first and second strings are raised a half-step higher than standard tuning. Thus, any pair of adjacent strings is a perfect fourth apart. I find that this simplifies the fingerboard and makes it more logical--an advantage that can really be appreciated when you have two hands going all over the neck. The exercise and song that follow are written in standard tuning, but as you'll see, it is easy to convert to the fourths tuning if you are feeling adventurous.

There is a lot more to the touch technique, but now you know the basics. The exercise should get your hands working. Both hands play the same thing an octave apart. Practice the exercise until you feel comfortable with it and are producing clear tones with even dynamics.

A few words on notation: The exercise and song are written at actual pitch on double staves employing both the treble and bass clefs, in order to accommodate the extended range facilitated by the technique. (Most guitar music is written an octave higher than it sounds.) The top staff is for the right hand, while the lower staff is for the left hand. Numbers next to the notes indicate fingerings using standard Arabic numbering for both hands. The numbers in parentheses show the fingerings you would use in fourths tuning.

Under the double staves is a tablature staff written for standard tuning. If you want to try the fourths tuning, simply retune your first and second strings up a half-step and play one fret lower on those strings (subtract one from all the numbers on the top two tablature lines). The exercise demonstrates the advantage of the fourths tuning, since both hands play exactly the same patterns, merely transposed to a different part of the neck.




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