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iBreatheMusic.com -- The Pulse
Issue #13 -- 02 October 2003
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

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.


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...


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


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.


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



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

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

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 didnt
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...

     S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S

The full notated example can be found in the html version of this
issue at http://www.ibreathemusic.com/pulse/view_nl.php?id=13

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!

    |---5----|  |---5----| |---5----|  |---5----|
    S S  S S S  S S S S  S S S  S S S  S S S S  S

The full notated example can be found in the html version of this
issue at http://www.ibreathemusic.com/pulse/view_nl.php?id=13

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

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

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,

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

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