Calling all guitarists – Sky Arts presents ‘Guitar Star’

guitar-star-sky-artsPick up a plectrum and crank the volume up to eleven – Sky Arts have launched Guitar Star, a major new competition to search for a world-class guitarist.

Sky Arts are searching the UK and Ireland for extraordinary guitar players who are willing to jam, strum and pluck their way to victory for the chance to perform on the main stage of major UK music festival, Latitude!

Whether their jam is rock, classical, jazz or acoustic, competing guitarists will be tested on their ability to play both in a range of musical styles and a genre of their choice, and will perform at famous venues associated with their chosen style.

Throughout the process, they’ll meet and be mentored by some of the biggest guitar stars in the world. The semi-finalists will hone their act in a recording studio, where they will work with a global guitar legend to perfect their sound.

All of this will be taking place under the watchful eye of top DJ Edith Bowman, who added “The guitar is the most loved and most played instrument in the UK and I just know there are some fantastic unknown players out there… I can’t wait to get stuck in to celebrating the wonders of the guitar across rock, jazz, folk, classical and beyond!”

Find out more here.

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Fender Celebrates 60 Years of the Stratocaster [Video]

Fender-Logo-RedFender has created a brand new video to celebrate the Stratocaster’s 60th anniversary.

The clip features appearances by some of the Stratocaster’s most famous endorsees, including; Jeff Beck, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Stephen Stills, Jim Root, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Raphael Saadiq, Nile Rodgers, Buddy Guy, Don Felder, Yngwie Malmsteen, Buddy Guy, Billy Corgan, Eric Johnson and many more.

For more information about Fender’s 2014 anniversary models visit and check out their Stratocaster 60th Anniversary page.


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Movember 2013: Bath Guitar School’s Richard Perkins Dons A Tony Iommi Style Mo For Cancer Charity

tony-iommi-mo-movember-2013This November I took part in my second Movember moustache growing campaign – in 2011 I grew a Frank Zappa style Mo!

This year I grew a Tony Iommi style Mo and chose to grow an Iommi Mo because Tony himself had been treated for cancer after he found a lump in is groin in 2011.

tony-iommo-mo-gopro-2013I recorded a dozen video shorts during the final week of November and published a new Black Sabbath riff in the guise of Tony Iommi for the final 7-days of Movember.

I had great fun donning a black wig, silver crucifix and purple tinted shades as I dressed up in the style on the guitar legend.

GoPro MO CAM – Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Check out my playlist of Black Sabbath riffs

GoPro MO CAM – Movember Shave Off

movember-essensuals-bath-tony-iommi-2013Special thanks to Essensuals Bath who shaped my moustache and dyed my golden ginger beard black especially for Movember! Visit:

If you would like to donate to my Movember fund, please follow this link: – Thank you to everyone who donated.

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate and testicular Cancer. Visit:

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Steve Vai to return to the UK this August

steve-vaiAmerican virtuoso guitar player Steve Vai will return to the UK  at the end of August (2013) after the success of his Story of Light world tour and eighth studio album, ‘The Story of Light’.

Vai’s newly announced tour will cover the length and breadth of the UK, including visits to Glasgow, Leeds, Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Bournemouth and Brighton.

Steve recently spoke to top online guitar magazine iGuitar and explained the concept for Story of Light follows the journey of a man “driven mad by grief, intertwining tragedy, revelation, enlightenment and redemption.”

The Story of Light is the second installment of the Real Illusions trilogy, a “multi-layered melange based on the amplified mental exaggerations of a truth-seeking madman who sees the world through his own distorted perceptions” as described in the album’s booklet introduction.

Live Experience: Steve Vai – The Story Of Light Tour 2012

Tickets are on sale now with options for a premium EVO Experience package, which includes a meet-and-greet, Q&A, sound check access and more, available exclusively via Vai’s website.

Steve Vai UK tour

Aug 29 – Belfast Mandela Hall
Aug 30 – Leeds O2 Academy
Aug 31 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Sep 01 – Cardiff St David’s Hall
Sep 03 – Bristol O2 Academy
Sep 04 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Sep 05 – Brighton Concorde 2

Find Steve on the Web


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Happy Birthday to NASA Rover Curiosity: Top songs about the Red Planet Mars

curiosity-nasa-first-birthdayToday NASA celebrates the first anniversary of their roving robot, Curiosity, on the planet Mars. As geeks and boffins rejoice and sing happy birthday for this great scientific and technological triumph, I give you a run down of the top songs that feature the Red Planet!

Life On Mars – David Bowie

David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” was released in 1971 and is featured on the album Hunky Dory.

Ballrooms of Mars – T Rex

Marc Bolan’s T. Rex released “Ballrooms of Mars” in 1972 and can be found on their The Slider album.

Girl From Mars – Ash

The youngest track on this list comes from an indie rock band from Northern Ireland called Ash. Their 1995 single “Girl From Mars” can be found on the bands debut album 1977.

Venus and Mars – Paul McCartney and Wings

Released in 1975, McCartney’s and Wings “Venus and Mars” features a great McCartney melody, and can be found on the album of the same name.

An Ending (Ascent) – Brian Eno

A personal favourite; Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)”, which is featured in the fantastic 1989 movie ‘For All Mankind’ Dir. by Al Reinert, can be found on Eno’s 1983 album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.

Curiosity sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to itself on Mars

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Stuart Ryan releases new tuition book ‘The Tradition’

Stuart Ryan – ‘The Tradition’ – Reels, Jigs and Airs arranged for solo fingerstyle guitar

stuart-ryan-the-traditionGuitar Techniques’ acoustic columnist Stuart Ryan has just released ‘The Tradition’, a new Book/CD of acoustic fingerstyle arrangements. Describing the book, Stuart says “There is a wealth of beautiful music from the traditional canon of England, Ireland, Scotland and America and I wanted to create a resource for guitarists who wish to expand their fingerstyle repertoire, develop their technique and explore some altered tunings.

Whilst these pieces are timeless, I’ve also included some modern techniques so players can explore some new approaches to harmonics and percussive slaps. Creating and recording these arrangements over the last year has been an absolute pleasure!”

The book contains eleven previously unpublished fingerstyle arrangements, full performance notes for each piece and recordings on the accompanying CD.

‘The Tradition’ has already found favour within the acoustic community with virtuoso fingerstylist Thomas Leeb describing it as “An instant classic, it’s well thought – and laid out – and last but not least, the arrangements are gorgeous!”

‘The Tradition’ is £14.99 + P&P, ships worldwide and can be ordered from:

Find Stuart on the Web


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Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World

Check out this fantastic story of the Wah pedal.

dunlop-original-cry-baby-wah-pedalCry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World tells the story of the wah wah effect pedal, from its invention in 1966 to the present day. Musicians, engineers, and historians discuss the impact of the pedal on popular music and demonstrate the various ways it has been used, as well as how its evolution has improved the ability of artists to express themselves musically.

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World

Produced by Joey Tosi
Directed by Joey Tosi & Max Baloian
Executive Producer is Jimmy Dunlop

Cream (Eric Clapton) – Tales of Brave Ulysses (Disraeli Gears) 1967

Frank Zappa (Del Casher) – Willie The Pimp (Hot Rats) 1969

Jimi Hendrix (Eddie Kramer) – Voodoo Child (Electric Ladyland) 1968

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