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Guitar Moderne Festival VIII

Thanks to Nasjonal jazzscene we have a couple of amazing sets for this version of the Guitar Moderne Festival. One, a new set from the amazing duo of Stian Westerhus and Sidsel Endresen, and a second from the Hedvig Mollestad Trio. Add full concerts from from Ava Mendoza, Marc Ribot and Fred Frith and you have a great way to end the summer.

Stian Westerhus and Sidsel Endresen

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Adrian Belew’s Flux

This is not the cool new Flux processor iPad app (which also involves Adrian Belew), but new music from the modern guitar master in a totally new form. One of the most interesting features is that info on gear used will be available as part of the app. He has an open-ended  Kickstarter campaign with some cool perks. Check it out

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Spotlight: Eric Quach (thisquietarmy)

Performing as thisquietarmy, Eric Quach may start softly, but his performances soon rise to an epic symphony of sound. With dozens of releases in the last five years, Quach may get the gold medal for modern guitar overachiever, but in this crazy market his game plan seems to make sense. His interview too offers quantity, as well as quality.

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EHX Nano Looper 360

As the manufacturer of one of the earliest digital looper pedals on the market—the legendary 16 Second Delay—it was only a matter of time before Electro-Harmonix came up with their own version of the mini-loopers that have been flooding the market. Joining the TC Electonic Ditto, DigiTech JamMan Express XT Phrase Sampler/Looper, and the tiny Hotone Skyline Wally Loop Station Pedal is the new EHX Nano Looper 360. Leave it to EHX to come up with a twist: theirs is the only pedal of this size that lets you store 11 pre-recorded loops. Check it out.

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Spotlight: Adam Coney

Adam Coney joins a coterie of young (ish) British guitarists, like Chris Montague and Leo Abrahams  (name-checked here by Coney) who comfortably straddle the line between session work and more personal creative endeavors. In Coney’s case these projects might include the prog‑jazz group Morviscous, Acland & Sydney, Calibos (with Jonny Fryer), City Shepherd, and Noon, all represented on Trestle records, a label he helps run. Coney’s solo debut record, entitled The Fall Of The Flamingo Gardens comes out today.

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Summer NAMM 2014

The new Nashville Music City Center hosted Summer NAMM for the second year in a row. Though the summer version has become a very guitar-centric show, it normally skews pretty traditional. This year offered a surprise, though. In amongst the usual din of metal, blues, bluegrass, jazz, and country licks, a duo took the stage at the sizable Earthquaker Devices booth to perform a set of ultra-modern musical noise. Guitarist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos) and bassist Jonathan Hischke demonstrated the unusual, cutting-edge tones that can be extracted from this company’s product line. Look for an upcoming interview with Reinhart. In the meantime, here are some things from the show that might be of interest to modern guitarists.

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QRD The Guitarists

I don’t normally do CD reviews at Guitar Moderne. If something truly cool comes across the transom, I try to get an interview with the artist. QRD—The Guitarists is different. I’m sure you all understand that it can get lonely out here in modern guitar world, among the thousands of guitarists playing the same old rock, jazz, country, blues, punk, and so-called alternative stuff. So, imagine my joy at receiving this recording of 55 solo, modern guitar performances, 53 of them by artists I have never heard before (Bill Horist I have covered a number of times, including here , I am aware of Robert Poss from Band of Susans)

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Tuning the Guitar

Paul Guy, a guitar repairman in Sweden has issued a wonderful treatise on tuning the instrument. I have written about this myself, but I learned a couple of new things from this. I imagine you will too. If you want to skip the theory, go straight to Intonation. One thing he doesn’t address, that I have experienced, is some guitars just “sound” more in tune than others. My theory is that the vibration of some guitars, as it is transferred to the strings, contains more “harmonious” overtones than other guitars. Has anyone else had this experience?

Tuning the guitar by Paul Guy

Tuning has always been a bugbear for guitarists. Every guitar player – and every guitar builder and repairer – is familiar with the problem. No matter how good the instrument, and how well tuned and adjusted, it never sounds perfectly in tune in all positions and keys.

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4E Dual Axis Expression Pedal

Dual axis pedals are not new—they just haven’t been around for a while. The db Instrument Amp company has revived the concept with their 4E Dual Axis Expression Pedal ($259.00) to let the user connect up four individual expression enabled effects to a single pedal. Based on the ergonomic platform of their M440, the 4E contains four high quality 10k linear Mega pots, two on each axis. And looks like it is built to last.

Check out Pete Thorn’s demo.

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