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02 October 2003 - Issue 13   
In this issue

@ Introduction
@ New Articles on iBreatheMusic
@ JemFest
@ R.I.P. Shawn Lane
@ Essential Listening: Marcel Coenen
@ Eric's Double 'Shred 101-Lick'
@ Member Spotlight: Bizarro
@ Summer's Top Hot Forum Topics


Hello all,

First off, let me welcome all the new pulse subscribers who signed up during the Summer -Great to have you on board! Starting with this issue we will return to our bi-weekly schedule and keep you updated as to what's going on in and around iBreathe.

There were recently discussions about the articles -who writes them, who manages them and whether or not regular members can submit their own to be published.

We welcome any contributions from our regular members and I'm very pleased to present you with the first member contributed article by Bizarro. It's a really cool hands-on lesson about economy picking. Check it out! And to round it off, Bizarro is also featured in this issue's member spotlight.

Happy Reading,


New Articles on IbreatheMusic
Economy Picking Lesson
by Bizarro

I'm sure everyone has heard about economy picking and has seen some neat 'tricks' being done using the technique. I have some examples which show how this technique can be applied in several situations. Continue

NotationSoundTablatureGuitar related

A Closer Look At Sweep-Picking
by Eric Vandenberg

Although I have already written an article about this technique for ibreathe, there still seem to be a lot of questions about the basics of this technique. So let me walk you through the very basics of sweeping once more... Continue

NotationTablatureGuitar related

Originality - When and How
by Tom Hess

Is being original a worthy goal to have? I think most people would answer yes (in theory at least). My answer would certainly not be yes or no, but rather maybe. I say maybe, because it always depends on the situation. Continue

An Introduction to Guitar Chord Melodies
by Peter Simms

A "Guitar Chord Melody" is a solo guitar arrangement similar to many classical guitar pieces. The term mainly applies to those who assemble songs with "idea" of using the melody and the chords together. Continue

NotationSoundTablatureGuitar related

Squeeze it out
by Eric Vandenberg

A lot of people spend way too much time and effort in gathering way too much material, without ever using an exercise to its full potential. Let me show you how to squeeze so much more out of a simple exercise... Continue

NotationTablatureGuitar related



As you have probably already read in the forums and on the calendar, there are two JemFests coming up in October... in the UK on Oct. 11th, and in Germany on Oct.18th (for specific information about schedule and location, check out www.jemfest.com).

JemFest is a guitar-oriented festival which started a few years ago in the States. All proceeds of each JemFest go to the Make A Noise Foundation... which is a foundation set up by Steve Vai. The purpose of the Make A Noise Foundation is to provide musical instruments, music education, and musical culture to young musicians who cannot afford to do these things for themselves. (check out http://www.vai.com/MANF/index.html).

Anyway, I am honored to be part of the very first German Jemfest... Oct.18th in Pulheim, close to Cologne/Germany. I'll be conducting a workshop and also be playing a few of my songs.

And I'm really looking forward to listen to and watch the other artists who'll participate in this: Marcel Coenen (read below), Martin Behr and Ricky Garcia. Those are some serious monster-players, and it definitely is an honour for me to play at that show, and I'm happy to play for charity. So there'll be workshops, concerts and also, a raffle, (most likely) a jam session... and a chance to hang out and have fun!

The German JemFest is being organized by Ricky Garcia... kudos to him for a killer-job (check out his music at www.rickygarcia.com)... great guy, killer-player.

So anyway, I am looking forward to it, just wanted to let you guys know about it, and of course I'd love to meet some of you at the Jemfest... if ya can make it, come watch the show!!!
(And if you're in the States or the UK, try to make it to some of the other JemFests... there are even more coming up in other countries)

Warm regards
Eric Vandenberg

 R.I.P. Shawn Lane

Last week, Shawn Lane passed away in a hospital in TN. He was 40 years old, and he was struggling with a lung disease (which was the cause of his passing away) and other health problems for quite some time.

IMO, Shawn never got the attention he deserved, and he definitely went through some tough times in recent years. I am extremely saddened by the fact that he is gone now. Not only was he an amazing musician (an incredible guitar-player, and a brilliant composer), but also a great human being.

He'll be missed by many. Our condolences go out to his close friends and family.

Shawn, thanks for all the great music and lots of inspiration. Rest in Peace.

Eric Vandenberg, on behalf of the iBreathe-staff

Shawn Lane RIP iBreathe Forum Thread:
Related links:

 Essential Listening: Marcel Coenen

I have heard the name Marcel Coenen mentioned on the web a lot, and when I was invited to perform at the first German JemFest in Oct. 03, I was glad to see him on the list of artists too... that way, I'll get a chance to see and hear him play live and maybe hang out with him.

Anyway, Lion Music sent me his new release 'Guitar Talk', I didnīt know what to expect, and was positively surprised. The music actually consists of remastered demoes Marcel has done throughout the years, but they blend together very well. We're talking about instrumental rock here, a mix between neoclassical rock and rather radio-friendly tunes (think Satriani).

Now, lemme tell you, Marcel is a killer-player and has chops-a-plenty. But, he also has a great tone and a very good sense for melodies. Also, although neoclassical might sound a bit outdated, these songs don't... yes, there are some rather typical neoclassic-isms, but Marcel never forgets about musical content, melodies and such.

When he goes for a solo, it never sounds like 'Look what I can do', the playing sounds very fresh and 'from the heart'. And the 'recorded in one take' ballad 'Inner Alchemy' is worth the price of the CD by itself IMHO.

So, check this out... a player who's influenced by guitar music from the last 30 years, merging them into something unique, with a very nice tone and great melodies.

In case you're wondering how this album blends in with the other selections from 'Essential Listening'... my intention with EL wasn't only to point out some essential, classic records, but also to introduce you to albums you might not have heard about that I consider interesting... or simply really good!!

More info at:

 Eric's Double Shred 101

1) Chromatic lick from Steve Vai's 'For The Love Of God'

'For The Love Of God' from Steve's 'Passion and Warfare' album is one of my all time-favorite guitar ballads. In the solo-section he plays a really cool chromatic (almost bluesy-sounding) lick, which is shown below. This one works well with both picking and hammer ons/pull-offs. Play it till your hands fall off! These kinda licks are great to add some 'dirt' to your solos...

2) Mr. Gilbert's harmonic minor string skipping lick, played legato

This is a really cool string-skipping lick by Paul Gilbert. He used it in his guitar-solospot on Racer X's 'Extreme Volume 1'. The scale would be C# Harmonic Minor. Paul plays this one with a combination of picking and legato, but he picks most of the notes. Well, I'd play it with hos and pos, picking only when switching strings, like in the TAB below. It's a great legato-exercise, and sounds pretty neat. Bring it up to speed, try to incorporate other strings as well, make sure you make a mean face when playing it… ROCK!


 Member Spotlight: Bizarro

Member name: Bizarro
Location: Seattle, WA
Instrument: Guitar, other stringed instruments and some keys

How and when did you get started with music?
I played piano for a couple of years when I was very young. Later when I was a teenager I borrowed a cheap Sears guitar from my cousin and the rest is history!

How did you come across iBreatheMusic.com?
One of my bandmates was trying to learn more about theory and music and stumbled across iBreatheMusic. He told me about it and I've been hooked since then. It's a great place for everything guitar related.

What styles of music do you play?
I'm mainly a rock and blues guy with some funk influences. I've been playing for a long time so I went through my shred, jazz, classical, fingerstyle, and other assorted phases through the years.

Who are your biggest influences?
I think Van Halen, Jake E Lee, and SRV have had the greatest impact on my playing and I try keep a real raw sound like those guys. I'm a huge fan of all accomplished guitar players, including Steve Morse, Satriani, Vai, Gilbert, Eric Johnson, etc. I'm also a sucker for pop music.

What formal training have you had?
I had great teachers for classical and rock training, plus a couple years of college music theory and jazz improv performance classes.

What were some of the biggest breakthroughs you had in your learning of music theory?
Music theory, in a classical sense, has always made perfect sense to me. Intermediate/advanced jazz theory is much tougher and I don't really get into that stuff anymore. It's too much work! I used Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry to learn my jazz fundamentals and it got me on track. There's a lifetime of work in that book!

What practice technique you use do you feel has paid off the most handsomely in its effect on the way you play?
I feel that fingerstyle guitar playing helped me the most. It helped me understand how bass lines, chords, and melodies all fit together. I used this as a springboard to create my own interesting guitar lines.

How long did you play before you had your first paying gig?
I played for about 4 years before I played a bar gig while I was in high school. I was shredding and tapping like a fool! There wasn't much in the way of taste back then but I had loads of fun.

What gear do you use?
I like Fender tube amps and I have a Hot Rod Deville 4x10. For guitars I have a USA Custom Strat-style guitar that I built and a hot-rodded Mexi-strat. I use a Boss TU-2 Tuner and Crybaby Wah pedal. This is my stage gear and I keep it simple and dependable.

What are you up to at the moment?
I play in a classic rock band that plays 1-2 times per month and my home recording projects which never end. Recording is very challenging and it has shown me just how far my chops have fallen!

Do you have any interests (apart from iBreathe of course!)?
I'm a family guy. I like home improvement projects, landscaping, woodworking...

 Summer's Top Hot Forum Topics

Looking at the fretboard

Share Your Personel Improv Ideas

Extreme shred licks

Licks 'n Runs 'n Riffs

Unsung Heroes- Underrated or unknown players

guitar as a job

  Send suggestions and comments to: ThePulse@iBreatheMusic.com

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