In order to choose the “right” guitar, you need to have a basic understanding of what you are looking for. Style of play is tied very closely to the favoured genre a musician plays, but it extends further than that. This is a quick guide to help you match up the characteristics of a guitar, to those that are typified by your favoured favoured style of play.
How rough are you?
If you’re one of those players who like to attack the strings and makes gratuitous use of hammer-ons, or even aggressive slides up the neck, then you’re going to want an instrument that’s up to the punishment. The first thing to look at is your pick-guard, or “scratchplate”. Likely you’ll be using a pick most of the time, and you want to protect the body of the guitar as best you can.
Next look at your fretboard. A rosewood guitar, for example, is going to be much softer. It will take rough treatment, but only if it is cleaned, oiled and maintained regularly. Maple, another common wood for use in the fretboard, is a lot more durable and harder wearing, requiring less maintenance overall. If you have the extra cash to throw around, look at expensive hardwoods like ebony. It’s harder to machine in the shop, so ebony fretboards tend to be hand-laid, but it hardwearing and pairs well with most softer wood bodies.
Do you sing?
It sounds like an odd one, but there is a definite satisfaction in pairing the right guitar with your voice. If you let the instrument do all the singing for you, that’s fine. But if you’re looking to be the next James Taylor, you’re going to want something that compliments your voice.
In actuality, this has very little to do with your vocal range and strength. If you have a mellow tone to your singing voice – think Lily Allen or Neil Young – then an ebony fretboard and a Southern Swamp Ash body (softwood) are simply going to be too percussive and drown out your singing. Look at softer wood necks and fretboards.
If you tend to belt out the tunes like a modern-day Etta James, Steve Tyler, or are prone to a call-and-response method of singing to/playing with your guitar (think Prince), then you need an instrument like the one mentioned above. One that’ll keep up.
How complicated is your fingerwork?
If you like your complicated chord progressions, lots of licks and fills, and pile on the scales in your solos, then pay close attention to the action of your guitar. The action refers to the amount of space between the strings and the frets. Most mass-produced guitars stick to a limited number of standards for this distance.
The basic rule is that the lower the action (or the smaller that distance) the easier your rapid-fire fingerwork is going to be. For an example of high action, have a listen to some early blues music. Mississipi John Hurt is a great example of a guitar with high action being played with rapid or complex fingering. It’s a unique sound and one that appeals to a lot of people. But it can also start to sound really messy if played by a beginner or an intermediate guitarist.
These are all really good things to consider, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. The most important thing to keep in mind is that, unless you’ve been playing for a long time, your style is going to be a mercurial thing. It may be worth getting a nice “middle ground” instrument; average action, not too warm, not too bright and, possibly most important, not too expensive. Once your unique style emerges, try out a few instruments and see which ones work for you, work out why, and then make your decision. You don’t need to be the best before you do, but you do need to give yourself the chance to at least learn what you don’t want.
The Glorious Corner
JESSE L MARTIN — We caught the debut of Jesse L. Martin’s The Irrational Monday night and really enjoyed it. I’ve been aware of Jesse since his role in Broadway’s Rent and he’s really tremendous. He was great on Law & Order as Ed Green (10 years and 9 seasons); and his role on the CW’s The Flash (as Joe West) was simply terrific.
The show, based on the book by Dan Ariely and created by Arika Mittman, certainly reminds one of The Mentalist or Instinct. This first case isn’t wondrous by any means, but Martin’s charisma carries it all through.
Lauren Holly (NCIS) is in it too, thought her one-scene was over and out in a flash.
I hear the third episode of the show is magnificent, so stay tuned. Don Johnson said many years ago that Don Johnson was made for TV … so is Martin!
SWENSON OUT — (per Deadline) Will Swenson will play his final performance as Neil Diamond in Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical on Sunday, Oct. 29, producers announced today.
A replacement for the starring role will be announced at a future date.
“It’s been the thrill of a lifetime to get to stand in Neil’s shoes,” Swenson said in a statement. “It’s been such an incredible honor to get to know Neil, to tell his powerful story, and bring his amazing songs to Broadway audiences every night. I’m immensely proud of the moving, beautiful show we made. I will miss it very much.”
A reason for Swenson’s departure was not disclosed, but his planned departure date suggests a year-long contract coming to a close: He and the bio-musical began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre last Nov. 2 (official opening was Dec. 4).
“Making A Beautiful Noise with Will Swenson was a deep and wonderful experience,” said director Michael Mayer. “The true affection he has for Neil’s work and life is palpable in every aspect of his tremendous performance. I will miss him terribly, of course, but will always treasure our time together, and very much look forward to the next show we do.”
Swenson has been one of Broadway’s go-to leading men since his breakthrough performance in 2009’s Hair, and he has since starred on the New York stage in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Little Miss Sunshine, Waitress and Assassins, among many other shows.
In addition to Swenson, the cast of A Beautiful Noise features a principal cast of Mark Jacoby as the aged Neil Diamond, Robyn Hurder and Shirine Babb.
The musical includes a score of Diamond’s hits, a book by Anthony McCarten, direction by Mayer, and choreography by Steven Hoggett.
He’s pretty tremendous as Diamond. I didn’t see the show straight away, but absolutely loved it when I did. His exit of kind of short notice … but let’s see what happens.
SHORT TAKES — How about those snappy new graphics for NBC’s Today Show. Introduced a week ago, they certainly look more relevant and certainly more fun. They did the same for Nightly News a week ago. Per TVNewser:The network said the decision to unveil a new logo and graphics for Nightly was made as a way of appealing to younger viewers who primarily consume news using digital media. It’s safe to assume is true for Today, the youngest-skewing of the linear morning shows that boasts a robust digital presence. Here’s their whole story:
The next Rolling Stones single, “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” is tremendous. Mick hasn’t sounded this good in years and Lady Gaga is an added treat. Magnificent! Take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEJd5xtbEPY …
Donnie Kehr and Cori Gardner’s Rockers On Broadway (their 30th edition) is coming up on Monday, October 16 at SONY Hall.
Joining honoree Melissa Etheridge will be KT Tunstall and Debbie Gibson, Simon Kirke, Dan Finnerty and Ty Taylor … Happy Bday Chuck Taylor!
NAMES IN THE NEWS –— Anthony Noto; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Lester; Ian Harrison; Magda Katz; Pete Townshend; Miko Blanco; Brad LeBeau; Mal Evans; Derek Taylor; Andrew Sandoval; Rick Rubin; Bill Adler; Cory Robbins; Manny Bella; Race Taylor; Scott Shannon; Buddy Blanch; Steve Walter; Benny Harrison; and BELLA!
Global Superstar Fally Ipupa Captivates America with Congolese Music
This is a beat you want to hear!
International music sensation Fally Ipupa has set out to conquer the American music market with the captivating sounds of Congolese music. Rising to prominence since his debut solo album Droit Chemin in 2006, the gold hitmaker reflects on his ignited sensibility to change the face of the American music industry while visiting New York.
“It is really just the beginning of a wonderful journey,” states the renowned artist. “The sounds and beats of the Congo will open doors and unify the planet.”
With millions of fans around the globe and billions of online and social media impressions, the king of the Congo music world has achieved legendary status and sells out stadium-size concerts in countries from Europe, the United Kingdom to all of Africa.
Already a household name across the African continent, Ipupa is an award-winning luminary with acclaim for his distinctive blend of Congolese rumba, modern Afro-pop, and soukous. Now the visionary performer ambitiously has produced an electrifying campaign to ignite the global stage with his unique style and sensational vocals that has led to such mesmerizing hits as “Eloko Oyo,” “Original,” and “Sweet Life.” Prior to his evolving solo career as a performer, producer, and business entrepreneur, he played an instrumental role in the band Quartier Latin International. Ipupa has collectively won the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa. He also has multiple nominations and titles including the MTV Africa Award for best video, and artist of the year. The singer has been nominated multiple times also for the BET Best International Act and he has won two AFRIMMA Awards at the 2023 ceremony in Dallas, Texas.
The hitmaker’s latest album Formule 7 topped charts and the rumba maestro continues to successfully blend African music with Congolese sounds and international beats. Creating lyrics in French, as well as his native language, Lingala, he masterfully expresses the beautiful culture to growing American fans with love lyrics and thrilling dance beats.
The popularity of the beloved international performer is more than ever attractive across the Atlantic and he is deeply appreciated for the music as much as his business skills and highly acclaimed work as a philanthropist. In partnerships with UNESCO, UNDP, and UNICEF, he serves as an ambassador to support the fight for women and children’s rights. Since 2017, Ipupa has collaborated with UNICEF in the fight against malnutrition and to aid in providing clean water.
His performances world-wide help bring light to his philanthropic mission and keep the connection between his fans and him through his music. The next rendezvous with his European and African fans will be in November 25th, at the U-Arena, Paris where Fally Ipupa is expecting an audience of 43,000 people to sing with him, before heading to play at OVO Arena, London on December 8th.
Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For October
The question would be, what to pick to go see, out of the multitude of offerings. Here are our picks for October
92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 10/1: Dr. Jane Goodall in Conversation with David Rubenstein; 10/4: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis: Martha Stewart; 10/9: “Gutenberg! The Musical!”: Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells in Conversation with MTV’s Josh Horowitz; 10/10: Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conversation: BE USEFUL: Seven Tools for Life; 10/12: Audra McDonald: Musings through Music with Andy Einhorn and 10/28 – 30: Tale as Old as Time: The Songs of Howard Ashman
Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; Every Saturday at 7pm Eric Comstock with Sean Smith (Bass) & special guest Barbara Fasano (Voice); 10/2: A Collective Cy Jeff Harner sings Cy Coleman; 10/9: The Unprecedented Amanda Green & Friends; 10/16: Maude Maggart: “Here Come The Dreamers” and 10/23: Jamie deRoy and Friends and 10/26 -28: Karrin Allyson: “Brazilian Nights And Beyond” Feat. Vitor Goncalves, Rafael Barata & Harvie S.
Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 10/2: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band; 10/18: A Very Good+ Night of Comedy with Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer & Ronny Chieng
Special Guest D-Nice and 10/27: The New York Pops with Hailey Kilgore, Derek Klena, Javier Muñoz and Ali Stroker
Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 10/20: Marieann Meringolo
Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 10/28: Quinn Lemley
The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.
54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 10/2 The New York Pops Underground; 10/2, 17, 28 and 30: Norbert Leo Butz Sings Torch Songs for a Pandemic; 10/3, 7 and 11 Linda Eder; 10/5 -6 Mauricio Martínez: 5’11” Based in NYC, feat. Linedy Genao & more!; 10/8: Little By Little Reunion Concert, feat. Darrin Baker, Liz Larsen, and Christiane Noll; 10/12: Lee Roy Reams: Uncensored! For Adults Only!’ 10/14 -16 and 23 -25 and 30: Marilyn Maye; 10/20 – 21: Lorna Luft; 10/22: A Gentleman’s Guide 10th Anniversary Celebration and 10/ 26 -28: Jai Rodriguez: A Thousand Sweet Kisses
Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 10/4:Daniel Nardicio presents Witch Perfect An all live-singing parody of Disney’s Hocus Pocus feat. Emmy-winning stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Scarlet Envy, Tina Burner & Alexis Michelle and 10/16: Rockers on Broadway 30th Anniversary
Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. 10/14 and 28: Mark Nadler – CRAZY
The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 10/10: A Not That Fancy Conversation and Performance with Reba Mcentire and 10/11: Alec Baldwin’s Here’s The Thing Live With Michael Wolff
The Glorious Corner
STRIKE UPDATE — As we went to press on Sunday, a tentative agreement had been worked out between the AMPTPand the WGA. Of course, it now has to be ratified. Per TV Line: Once the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed on the Writer’s Guild of American’s tentative new deal with the AMPTP, the words “Live, from New York!” might symbolically signal the end of the WGA strike, which spanned a near-historic 146 days.
“We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA (Minimum Basic Agreement),” the WGA posted in a message to its members late Sunday night, “which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.” The tentative deal now needs to be “papered,” and formally recommended by the WGA negotiating committee to the WGA Board and Council for approval, and then ratified by WGA membership — a process that could take up to two weeks.
The actor’s strike persists and from our sources we hear it’s still a tough go. But not to minimize anything, this is a step in the right direction.
McCALLUM PASSES AT 90 – David McCallum -along with Robert Vaughn- were two of the coolest dudes on TV, ever. Vaughn passed in 2016 and McCallum passed on Monday. Starring as Illya Kuryakin, he literally electrified the screen. I’m an Man From U.N.C.L.E. fan, always have been and per Jon Heitland’s terrific The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Book: Behind the Scenes Story of a Televison Classic (1987) it turns out that McCallum was literally the key to its success. Not only did he become quite the chick magnet, but viewers just loved the character.
McCallum was also ‘Ducky’ on CBS’ NCIS and certainly was their secret weapon too. His character was everyone’s uncle (no pun intended) and possessed a rather quixotic, yet mesmerizing ambiance on the show. Part-doctor, part-therapist, part spy.
Michael Weatherly, also on the show for its greatest years, said “He made every second count.”
I’ll never forget the episode (Meat Puzzle in 2005) when Kate asked Gibbs what Ducky would have looked like as a younger man. Gibbs answers Illya Kuryakin, too funny.
Actually, with Harmon long-gone from his role on NCIS, McCallum, in my opinion, was the glue that still held it together. Huge loss for sure.
Here’s a great look at McCallum’s storied career from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2023/09/david-mccallum-dead-ncis-actor-1235555770/
SHORT TAKES — I don’t know Robert Menendez, but with wild tales of cash stuffed in envelopes in jackets; gold bars; and kickbacks; it sounds like he’s had a pretty interesting run. As more than one has said, where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there does seem to be a lot of smoke … Congratulations to Andrew Sandoval on his marriage to Natasha Rubin …
On Tuesday, September 26, WBGO Studios launched As We Speak, a new podcast hosted by David Sanborn, who interviews major figures in the world of jazz. Kicking off the series are episodes with vocalists Kurt Elling and Cecile McLorin Salvant. Future guests include Sonny Rollins, Terri Lyne Carrington, John McLaughlin and Maria Schneider. The award-winning and influential saxophonist shows his interviewing chops with in-depth conversations with his fellow artists about their creative process and their singular journey in jazz …
Micky Dolenz was interviewed by Mojo Magazine’s Ian Harrison from the U.K. Tuesday and heads to Houston Thursday for the Days of the Dead comic-con (https://www.daysofthedead.com/houston/) in Houston …
Look for keyboard-man Benny Harrison to debut his forthcoming solo album Pages at the Bitter End. Harrison is interviewed for Medium today … Could The Office return to TV? Per items on Tuesday, a re-boot is almost guaranteed …
Netflix is sending their last ever DVDs out this week in those red envelopes. The service ran for 25 years! My, we’ve come a long way … It looks like Robert DeNiro will not be playing off his scenes in Taxi Driver for his new Uber commercial after all. Take a read: https://deadline.com/2023/09/taxi-driver-commercial-featuring-robert-de-niro-draws-comment-from-paul-schrader-1235554798/… (Via Deadline) For the love of Maddie Hayes, look what’s coming to Hulu: Moonlighting. For the very first time, all 67 episodes of Moonlighting will be available to stream on the platform beginning October 10. Hulupromises that each episode of the 1980’s comedy starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd has been remastered in HD from the original film source. It even will feature the original Grammy-nominated title track recording from Al Jarreau … Happy Bday Melissa Davis.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Bob Merlis; Brad LeBeau; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Jodi Ritzen; Dylan Ritzen; Jane Blunkell; Glenn Gretlund; Ian Harrison; Bert Schneider; Jason Elzy; Les Schwartz; Duane Blitzer; Jean Psaki; Chris Hayes; Randy Alexander; Lee Jeske; Chuck Pulin; Race Taylor; Tyrone Biljan; Robert Funaro; and CHIP!
The Glorious Corner
SUNDAY DEADLINE — As we go to press, the AMPTP has submitted it’s last, best offer to the WGAto resolve this strike; now heading into 145+ days. Strikes are meant to be settled, but the damage may have already been too much. Governor Gavin Newsom estimates a 5 billion dollar take-down for Hollywood and the state in general. As we mentioned last time, thousands of below-the-line workers have already been let go or furloughed during the strike and even if it is resolved by later-today, it will take a full 10-12 weeks for everything to be up and running again. By my count, that’s mid-December. Stay tuned … it can only get better.
WAKEMAN’S OPUS —(via Prog) Rick Wakeman has announced that he has released a massive 32-disc box set entitled The Prog Years 1973-1977, which features his studio albums from 1973’s The Six Wives Of Henry VIII through to 1976’s No Earthly Connection, plus his film soundtracks for 1975’s Lisztomania and 1977’s White Rock. You can watch a video trailer for the box set here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nER9BgLka1w
Each album is represented by four discs, either CD or DVD, featuring the original album plus rare live material, demos, alternative mixes and live film footage all from the era. These include live performances of Six Wives… and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth from Melbourne, a DVD of The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table performed on ice at Wembley, the full films of both. Lisztomania and White Rock, and more.
The Prog Years 1973-1977 also features a 60-page hardback scrapbook, 10 x postcards, 8 x full-size replica promotional photos and 4 x A3 posters, plus reproduction press kits for the relevant albums. The first 500 copies of this extremely limited box set will also come with a numbered certificate signed by Rick himself.
He may wear the cape and be a bit old school, but Rick Wakeman is the real deal. He rocked Yes and his solo albums were simply terrific. When Yes did The Apollo several years back, when Wakeman left the stage and went up and down the aisles with his keyboard strapped on, there was sheer joy. He’s amazing. Bravo!
SHORT TAKES — Robert DeNiro shilling for Uber? That’s what a divorce does to you. Actually, it should be great commercial, although it was filmed in London as opposed to NYC, which is odd. Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader was quoted in Deadline as saying: “Ouch,” he wrote. “Why Bob would do this is beyond my reckoning. But I haven’t seen it. If I’m lucky I never will” I’m sure he asked Driver-director Marty Scorsese …
Micky Dolenz’s SRO show Friday night in LA (at the ACE Theatre)
was sensational and he debuted the live version of his new single, R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People.” Seen at the show were Randy Lewis; Roy Trakin; Tyrone Biljan; Ken Sharp and Nederlander’s Lisa White …
On Friday’s Today Show, Savannah Guthrie interviewed someone who told you how to pack during a move, quickly. They said to put all personal items in a lock box with a label saying to be moved by owner only. Savannah quipped that all the personal items in your nightstand belong there begging the question, what does she have in hers? … A report on NY1 about the ongoing migrant crisis in NYC called The Roosevelt Hotel – where the migrants have been housed – the new Ellis Island … Say what you will about NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s been a key area in NYC for decades.
For me, when the Film Center Cafe disappeared, it was a tragedy. And, remember the fabulous restaurant Memphis? Here’s a great look into images from there: https://w42st.com/post/hells-kitchen-photographers-karla-james-murray-book-vanishing-mom-and-pop-stores/?utm_medium=email … George Clooney selling his Lake Como retreat he’s had for 21 years? Could go for 100 million … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor at Shalom Japan in Williamsburg Sunday night … Usher headlining Super Bowl 2024? Wonder where that choice came from as he hasn’t had a hit in 20 years …
Watched Jean Psaki on MSNBC Sunday. She didn’t bowl me over, but was good. She had stories on Rupert Murdoch and FOX and an interview with Hillary Clinton, who bashed Trump and Putin again … and HAPPY BDAY Mark Bego and Cory Robbins!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Sara Gore; Andrew Sandoval; Pat Prince; Mark Bego; Jim Clash; Cynthia Rowley; Barry Zelman; Christopher Gilman; Barry Manilow; Joel Diamond; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Gary Gershoff; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tony King; Donnie Kehr; Kimberly Cornell; Lush Ice; Barry Fisch; Eppy; and BELLA!
New York Film Festival Begins
Barry Manilow’s and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony Meets The Press Part 2
The Glorious Corner
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