Archive for February, 2011

Ok, so this guys name is fantastic for getting big word scores in scrabble as well as being a fantastic guitarist.  Mike plays for the band Incubus who are very lazily labelled as nu-metal. This, of course, is rubbish and the band are much more than this.  I first heard Incubus with their first major label album “S.C.I.E.N.C.E” back in 1998.  Mixing funk, rock, metal, breakbeat and DJ samples, they tore open the whole genre of “Nu-metal” but were often over shadowed by bands like Korn, Papa Roach and Limp Bizkit.  I’m very misty eyed about this album as it showed me that mixing styles and trying something different was ok in terms of playing the guitar. Opening the album, “Redefine” starts with didgeridoo played by the singer before launching into a riff-tastic groove monster of a song. Featuring turntable trickery, slap bass and scat style vocals, this really was a breath of fresh air for the flagging grunge era heavy music scene. Other album highlights include the incredible catchy “New Skin” and the frankly bonkers “Nebula” which shows what kinda things people can achieve when they aren’t afraid to mix styles.

Later releases by the band showed them mellowing out and focusing more on song writing and being less frantic. “Morning View” is a brilliant album from which the single “Wish You Were Here” was released. A full on summer classic if I’ve ever heard one.

Mikes main guitars for most his career are various PRS models (solid bodies and semi acoustics) with some live appearances of an SG.  Amp wise, Mike seems to favour the Mesa Boogie range which help provide his fantastic guitar tones.


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52 Guitarists: Week 4: You!

Ok, so this is a bit of an obvious one for me as a teacher to list.  However, you’d be surprised how many guitarists never listen to themselves.  Many guitarists never hear themselves the same way other people do, simply because they never take the time to record themselves and listen back.  A lot of players bash out chords and solos which are totally out of time and sound like a car crash and that’s ok to do that. However, to improve your playing, you need to know that you are making those mistakes and correct them.  If your timing is all over the place and you don’t notice it, you’ll keep practising that mistake and its much harder to correct it.

Recording yourself is not an expensive business these days either, most PC’s have a microphone with them or you could even use your mobile phone to record.  As long as you can hear yourself clearly, then you’re onto a winner.  If you’ve never done it before, I suggest you try it today!

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