Reblog: The Real Value of a Guitar

I was shown this great video and story, and just had to share:

Frank Ford and Richard Johnston explain their passion for the guitar.

gryphon-logo“Our goal is to promote the good feelings that we’ve gotten playing music ourselves” Frank Ford says, “if we could make more musicians we’d like to do that.“ He and Richard Johnston began Gryphon Stringed Instruments from their Palo Alto garage in 1969, but for the duo music is only part of the draw. Ford and Johnston view the instruments as a connection to history, both personal and musical. Filmmaker Mike Collins goes inside their guitar shop (no longer located in the garage) to see what drives the guitar-makers to continue building and refurbishing guitars more than 40 years after the birth of their business.

True story — back in 2010 I bought a Martin D-28 from (gulp) Guitar Center. The salesman rushed me out of the store and didn’t bother to tune the guitar, let alone set it up properly. When I got home, I felt immediate buyer’s remorse — remorse not that I had bought the Martin, but that I hadn’t bought it from the best little guitar shop in the San Francisco Bay area, Gryphon Strings. The next day, I did the right thing. I returned the Martin to GC and re-bought the same guitar from Gryphon. I lost a few bucks in the process. But the guitar was set up just right. And I felt unburdened. Lesson learned.

Nowadays, I stop by Gryphon weekly for lessons and occasional salivation sessions, and I get to see firsthand what this video by Cinema Mercantile lets you see all too briefly. The care, craft and emotion (note the poignant chin quiver at the 2:22 mark) that goes into working with guitars … if you’re doing it for the right reasons. In Silicon Valley, there are very few places where business isn’t the main reason for being. Gryphon offers a good escape from that sometimes soul-deadening reality. That’s why I will be heading back there tomorrow. – Dan Colman

Credits by Paul Rosenfeld by Dan Colman

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Steve Stevens teases fans with Flying Bulls Theme

steve-stevensGrammy Award winning Guitarist Steve Stevens, best known for his 30 year career as a guitarist and songwriter for Billy Idol and in-demand touring and session guitarist, including recording with Michael Jackson on the track “Dirty Diana”, has released a teaser trailer entitled “Flying Bulls”.

You can watch the teaser trailer on Steve’s Facebook Fan Page. The world premier will be at the Scalaria Air-Challenge, 2013:

Stevens’ has once again teamed up with Harold Faltermeyer; the pair recorded the Grammy Award winning theme song (Best Pop Instrumental Performance, 1987) “Top Gun Anthem” for the soundtrack to the all action drama movie “Top Gun” (1986) starring Tom Cruise.

“Top Gun Anthem”

Find Steve on the Web


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Rockschool Launch Hot Rock Guitar 4 & 5

rockschool-hot-rock-4-5Rockschool have launched the highly anticipated Hot Rock Guitar 4 & 5 transcription books adding to their Hot Rock Guitar 1, 2 and 3 series of guitar books that accompany the 2012-2018 Rockschool grade syllabus.

Each transcription book packs 8 classic rock tracks complete with two versions of each track (1 edited exam version for use in the grade exam and 1 full-length transcription) and play along backing tracks. Plus fact files, walkthroughs and introduction to tone.

Hot Rock Guitar Grade 4 includes:

The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy
For Whom The Bell Tolls – Metallica
Before I Fall To Pieces – Razorlight
Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
Edge of Darkness – Eric Clapton
Whole Lotta Rosie – AC/DC
Iron Man – Black Sabbath
Ice 9 – Joe Satriani

Hot Rock Guitar Grade 5 includes:

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynryd Skynyrd
Surfing With The Alien – Joe Satriani
The Crying Machine – Steve Vai
Fall Tp Pieces – Velvet Revolver
The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Radioactive – Kings of Leon
Sad But True – Metallica
Back in Black – AC/DC

Hot Rock Guitar – Grades 1-5

The books are available now to pre-order from All pre-orders get exclusive video walkthroughs of 6 of Rockschool’s favourite tracks:

AC/DC – Back In Black
Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Razorlight – Before I Fall To Pieces
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back In Town
Metallica – Sad But True
Joe Satriani – Ice 9


Find Rockschool on the Web:


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Ricky Gervais Launches ‘Learn Guitar With David Brent’

david-brent-guitar-series-youtubeBritish Comedian Ricky Gervais has brought back his character David Brent in a video teaser to promote a new series of online guitar lessons on his YouTube channel: The Ricky Gervais Channel –

The series is due to launch on Monday 20th May, 2013. You can watch the teaser below.

Learn Guitar With David Brent | Teaser

Find Ricky on the Web


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Commander Chris Hadfield’s Top Guitar Space Videos!

chris-hadfieldCanadian Astronaut and Commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield returns to Earth today (13.05.13) after a 133 day stay aboard the multi billion dollar ISS.

The social media savvy Astronaut has been a world-wide sensation since his return to space; Hadfield flew on two space shuttle missions in 1995 (STS-74) and 2001 (STS-100).

Chris has been thoroughly enjoyable to follow on both Twitter (@Cmdr_Hadfield) and Facebook; posting amazing space pictures, quirky science videos and answering questions from space fans!

To celebrate the astronaut’s safe return to planet Earth I have compiled Chris’s Top guitar related videos – Enjoy!

Space Oddity – David Bowie [LATEST!]

Chris Hadfield and the Barenaked Ladies

Music Monday Comes To Space

Guitar on Space Station Mir (1995)

How To Play Guitar In Space

If you interested in the acoustic guitar that Chris Hadfield plays while on board the ISS check out Larrivée Guitars on the web:


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Metal Legends Black Sabbath Announce December 2013 UK Tour

British metal giants Black Sabbath have announced a UK tour in December 2013.

black-sabbath-13-coverThe band begin their long awaited tour at London’s O2 Arena on 12th December, before visiting Belfast, Sheffield, Glasgow and Manchester finishing up with a homecoming show at Birmingham’s LG Arena on 20th December.

The tour supports Black Sabbath’s brand new album ’13’, which is due to be released on 10th June. This album is the first album Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have recorded together in 35 years (since 1978’s ‘Never Say Die!’).

The metal legends recorded the album in Los Angeles with producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Metallica, System Of A Down) and features Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk on drums, replacing original drummer Bill Ward.

Black Sabbath 2013 UK Tour Dates

London O2 Arena – Tuesday 10th December
Belfast Odyssey Arena – Thursday 12th December
Sheffield Arena – Saturday 14th December
Glasgow Hydro – Monday 16th December
Manchester Arena Wednesday 18th December
Birmingham LG Arena – Friday 20th December

Tickets for Black Sabbath’s UK arena tour go onsale on Friday 12th April (priced £45-£55) at 9am. Visit Ticketmaster.

Find Black Sabbath on the Web


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HMV saved by Hilco in rescue deal worth ~£50m

hmv-logoThe troubled music store HMV has today been saved by restructuring company Hilco for a estimated £50m.

The music and DVD retailer, which is the UK’s last surviving music store chain, first ran in to trouble back in Jan 2013; although the company had seen signs of strain months in advance due to tough competition with online rivals, supermarkets and digital downloads.

The Hilco takeover secures 132 HMV stores (66 were closed during administration), 9 Fopp branches, and saves up to 2500 jobs in the UK.

HMV posted a message on Facebook at 14:00hrs:

“Great news – we’re officially out of administration and now under the new ownership. 

The whole team here is working hard behind the scenes to bring you a new and improved hmv – a new website and digital service, a rebooted Pure rewards scheme and a fresh approach to our stores are all in the works.

We’ve got some exciting stuff in store for you, but all of this is going to take us a little time to perfect. For now, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date as we get everything ready to come back with a bang later in the year. 

So a big thank you for all your support and patience during the past few months. We really appreciate it and it makes us even more determined to provide you with a better hmv experience.

To sign up for email updates or to locate you nearest hmv store please visit

Finally, we’d also like to thank and acknowledge the valued contribution of all our store, distribution centre and head office colleagues, past and present.

Thanks, team hmv”

Find HMV on the web


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