Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lucciano Pizzichini and Tallan Latz: 8-Year-Old Guitar Prodigies

I read this article about complaints against an 8-year-old guitarist playing in clubs. Apparently, someone thought he was too young to play according to state child labor laws. His name is Tallan "T-Man" Latz, who is by the way a very good guitar player specially for his age. I mean, he can play lots of blues songs that I don't even know yet! He even employs a mean blues vibrato in solos that you couldn't resist a feeling of awe for this kid.

While I was amazed at this kid Tallan, my amazement wasn't nearly as much as when I first saw this other 8-year-old kid Lucciano "Lucchy" Pizzichini.

I saw him first at youtube when he was but a 6-year-old playing a classical piece. I was like "How can he do that?!". Then I saw this video of a show in an open field where Luchy played Santana's classic tune "Samba Pa Ti". It's riveting how he looked so confident on stage, at some point even swaying to the tune and feeling the groove. He wasn't even looking often at the guitar's fingerboard! He was a mere 7-year-old at the time. Here's the video:

There was even a TV show (shown in youtube) where the man himself, Carlos Santana, was there to bear witness to the small boy's prowess. Santana could not help but pay homage to the young Lucchy.

Both these prodigies are very talented and I salute their parents, who I'm sure are very proud of their kids.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wanna Hear The New Single "C-lebrity" from Queen + Paul Rodgers?

Queen + Paul Rodgers will be releasing their first collaboration with the upcoming album entitled "The Cosmos Rocks". The legendary group's highly anticipated work is set to reach the stores in the EU and the UK on 15th September and to the US and Canada on October 14th.

It's a general concensus that no one could ever replace the great Freddie Mercury. But really I feel that Paul Rodgers, who's a great vocalist in his own right, really meshes well with Brian May and Roger Taylor. For me, this is a different group altogether. They're still carrying the band name though, despite the fact that original members Brian and Roger represents just half of what the group used to be, with John Deacon retiring already. Nevertheless, with Brian May still manning the lead guitar spot, the band has more than enough juice to rock on until the next century or so!

For a preview of what to expect from the supergroup, here's a video of their rockin' new single "C-lebrity" shown in official Queen youtube site! Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Metallica Announces Release Date For "Death Magnetic"!

Finally, 5 years after the release of their previous album "St. Anger", Metallica will be releasing their ninth album entitled "Death Magnetic", which will be available this coming September 12, 2008!

I'm one of them old-school Metallica fans that loved all their 4 albums in the 80's, namely: "Ride The Lightning" (1983), "Kill 'Em All" (1984), "Master Of Puppets" (1986, in my opinion, their best ever!) and "...And Justice For All" (1988). I didn't really took much notice of them in the 90's. However, I'm still feeling that excitement as the date approaches and find myself looking forward to hearing the songs in the album.

There's a video I've seen in youtube showing the photo shoot of their upcoming single "The Day That Never Comes", a song which is shown in an Iraq War setting. This is what Lars Ulrich told MTV News about it:
It’s a story about human beings who don’t know each other, in a particularly tense situation. It could be a contemporary war setting, but it’s really about forgiveness and redemption and understanding what goes on in people’s minds. We really feel that this was such a beautiful and epic way to treat the song in something that was really radically different than the specificity of the lyrics.

I hope that the guys will remain true to the spirit of Metallica and make this album as kickass as possible. If they do, then it's going to be quite a treat!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How To Keep Your Guitar's Neck, Fretboard and Strings Clean

Some time age, I was rocking my guitar and jamming with my band when I took a little breather. Our bassist then took my guitar and played songs to which our drummer jammed with. After a while, he (bassist) commented how difficult it was to play my guitar! He said that the strings and neck weren't smooth as he expected. I've been playing it long enough to notice. I thought it was normal. But it shouldn't be! It turned out that the culprits were the accumulated sweat and dirt in the neck and strings of my guitar.

I've always been conscious about the guitar body. I always keep it clean and avoid scratches as much as I can. However, this incident spurred me to think about how I, a life-long guitar aficionado, have been inadvertently neglecting my beloved guitar's neck area to the mercy of dirt and grime!

Mind you, it's not only for aesthetic purposes. Three months ago, I went through a harrowing episode of indescribable pain in my left hand and wrist that forced me to stop playing guitar, and caused limited mobility for my left hand, for a couple of months. It was one of the longest 2 months of my life! Now, I made a connection between my wrist pain and the condition of my guitars' necks. It's indeed a factor that causing this discomfort in my left hand while playing. After this realization, I made a vow to myself to be aware of guitar neck care if I want to keep playing guitar. I need my hands to play, right?

After a little research, I found some different ways to make sure you keep you guitar's neck area clean:

1. Wash thoroughly, and then dry your hands before playing the guitar.

2. After playing, wipe the neck, strings and fretboard with clean cloth to remove sweat.

3. Use a guitar string/neck cleaner product. There are various products for this: Fingerease, GHS Fast Fret, Dunlop 65, etc. Each has their own supporters and naysayers, but it's only natural. As they say, one man's wine is another man's poison.

4. Use WD-40, but maybe just in very small quantities as this lubricant is 50% solvent based. Who knows what damage it'll cause to our beloved guitars and to our skin. I read about how other players have been using WD-40 to clean their strings, fretboard and neck. There were some who vouched for it while there were other who discouraged it.

5. Use lemon oil or almond oil to clean the guitar's fingerboard and keep the strings dust-free.

Actually, I did try WD-40 on my guitar after I read about it. What I did was I sprayed a little on a piece of cloth. Then, I used the cloth to wipe off the dirt from the neck, strings and fretboard. I actually liked the result. The strings became easier to bend and make vibratos with. Fast runs on the fretboard was easier to do with less friction. The neck became smoother and playing was more relaxed for my hands.

Nowadays, I'm using almond oil to keep my guitar's fretboard and strings clean. As usual, it's done in moderation. Just a few drops on a clean cloth then slow wiping off the dirt from the fretboard and the strings. Every now and then I swab the back of the neck to keep it smooth. It is very important to wipe the almond oil off so the neck won't feel "oily", but still be smooth and fast!