Sam Coulson is widely regarded as being at the forefront of rock guitar in the UK. The characteristics of his playing are lightening fast picked pentatonics as well as searing bends and vibrato. His fiery playing retains maturity and taste due to his deep understanding of the blues and flare for melody. 

Picking up the guitar at age 16 Sam spent the rest of his teenage years practicing as much as humanly possible. Since then Sam has been playing in various bands all over the globe, from his native England as far a field as China and Canada. 

Sam can often be seen rippin’ it up in the Charvel booth at the NAMM show. Over the last year Sam has begun working with jamtrackcentral in London. His maiden package is available via there website. During July Sam performed along side Gurthie Govan, Andy james and Alex Hutchings at the instrumental guitar festival MonkeyFest in England. Furthermore he is currently recording his debut album ‘Sleight of Hand’ which will boast the best guitar playing he has ever produced.


Scotty Johnson is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of music in Boston and has toured the world a few of times with a guitarist named Paul Gilbert. He can also be heard on three of Paul’s releases: ‘Bee Hive Live’, ‘Alligator Farm’, and ‘11,000 Notes’. Scotty is presently working with Steve Vai as the co-author and instructor of the Berklee online course “Steve Vai Guitar Techniques”. 

After being signed to Mike Varney’s heavy blues-rock label Blues Bureau International in the mid nineties, Scotty has never looked back having toured and recorded with Robben Ford ‘Fords and Friends’, The Ford Blues Band, and The Blindside Blues Band. 

As an active pit musician, Scotty has well over 30 theater credits to his name including “The Lion King”, “Memphis”, “The Color Purple”, “Legally Blonde”, “Chicago”, and many others. Scotty brings a unique ‘real world’ perspective to his students with an emphasis on stylistic diversity and musical literacy.

Born and raised in Norway, blues guitar player Chris “Kid” Andersen moved to California to pursue a career in the blues in 2001 at the age of 21. He quickly became a staple of the thriving West Coast Blues scene, just as he had been a vital part of the Scandinavian Blues scene for years already. He spent three years with The Terry Hanck Band, four years touring with harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. He is currently the lead guitar for Rick Estrin and The Nightcats, a spot he took over for the legendary Little Charlie Baty. 

Kid has 5 CDs out, ‘Rock Awhile’ , ‘Guitarmageddon’ (with Junior Watson and Vidar Busk), ‘Greaseland’ (nominated for a Norwegian Grammy), ‘The Dreamer’ and his latest ‘Christmas at Greaseland’ is, you guessed it, a Blues Christmas record featuring Rick Estrin, Paul Oscher, Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth, Terry Hanck, Rusty Zinn and Mark Hummel. Kid played on Musselwhite’s acclaimed latest CD, ‘Delta Hardware” (winner of 4 BMA awards), and appeared on Elvin Bishop’s Grammy nominated 2008 CD ‘The Blues Rolls On”. “Twisted” by The Nightcats garnered them 4 BMA nominations, including Band Of The Year. 

Fans of Blues guitar, Swing, Surf, Rockabilly and wild Rock’n’Roll cannot go wrong with Kid Andersen and the endless array of tricks he has up his sleeve

The name Tony MacAlpine is synonymous with modern musical virtuosity. Whether performing as a solo artist, band member, session player, touring hired-gun, or as a producer, Tony MacAlpine continues to prove that he truly is one of rock’s most amazing and versatile musicians. He incorporates classical, jazz and fusion influences into the hard rock/metal genre on both guitar and keyboards. 

In his 25 year career he has produced, written and arranged eleven solo instrumental studio albums. Tony has also released four albums with his jazz-fusion band CAB, three albums with his progressive rock band Planet X, and a number of other band projects. In addition, MacAlpine has contributed both guitar and keyboards to a long list of records by other artists. Tony was born and raised in Springfield Massachusetts, and in his early years was a classically trained pianist and violinist. He began his musical education at age 5 as a piano major at the Springfield Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the direction of Marion Jensen for twelve years. Tony furthered his studies at HARTT College under the tutelage of Professor Raymond Hanson at the University of Hartford, Connecticut. 

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At age 12, Tony picked up the guitar. He was later “discovered” in the pages of Guitar Player magazine by Mike Varney in 1984, and became a leader in the neoclassical guitar virtuoso movement of the mid to late 80s. MacAlpine was possibly the first new rock guitar instrumental artist of the 80s to break 100,000 units in the USA. His debut album Edge Of Insanity (1986) and sophomore release Maximum Security (1987) are cited by countless guitarists as major influences. Tony performed guitar and keyboards on Edge Of Insanity (with Billy Sheehan on bass and Steve Smith on drums), and all instruments (with the exception of drums by Deen Castronovo and Atma Anur) on Maximum Security, highlighting his musical dexterity. 

MacAlpine continued his extraordinary output into the 90s, with critically acclaimed releases Freedom to Fly (1992), Madness (1993), Premonition (1994) and Evolution (1995), which all remain among his discography’s best sellers. 

In the late 90s, Tony joined forces with Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol) and Virgil Donati (Steve Vai, Scott Henderson) to form progressive rock band Planet X, regularly touring Europe and South America. In 1999, bassist Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock) tapped MacAlpine to join his jazz-fusion band CAB, along with drummer Dennis Chambers (John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana) and keyboardist Brian Auger (Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix). This lead to the release of their self-titled album in 2000, and their GRAMMY-nominated CAB2 album in 2001. Two further CAB albums followed and the band toured the world, including Europe, Asia and Russia. 

Shortly after, Tony was invited to join the band of fellow guitar virtuoso Steve Vai (along with Billy Sheehan on bass) where he played both guitar and keyboards, often doubling Vai’s formidable leads on both instruments. Tony performed and toured the world with Vai for seven years, playing to hundreds of thousands of people, and appearing on the certified double-platinum DVD Live At The Astoria, London, along with the G3’03 Live In Denver and G3 Live In Tokyo DVDs. 

In 2006, Shrapnel Records celebrated Tony’s 20 year career with “Collection – The Shrapnel Years” – an album containing some of his hottest musical moments — comprised of aggressive rock and fusion compositions which highlight Tony’s incredible technique and melodic flair. These tracks contain standout performances by some of the greatest musicians in progressive music, including drummers Steve Smith and Deen Castronovo as well as bassists Billy Sheehan and Tony Franklin and other world class players. 

In 2007, Tony was the featured guitarist for French pop legend Michel Polnareff’s highly successful comeback tour in France, playing to over half a million people during the tour’s three month run. A special performance of this event was televised across France. He also appeared in the 2008 award-winning motion picture Crazy: The Hank Garland Story making a cameo as Wes Montgomery. 

His new self-titled album is due out on June 21, 2011 and marks a highly anticipated return to solo work. It features 12 blistering tracks of MacAlpine on 7 and 8-stringed guitars, keyboards, bass and programming, along with appearances from drum legends Virgil Donati and Marco Minnemann. Described by MacAlpine as his best work to date, the album is destined to again set the bar for guitarists everywhere. 

Tony endorses Ibanez guitars, Hughes & Kettner amplifiers, DiMarzio pickups and cables, Ernie Ball strings, Source Audio pedals, and Toontrack software. Tony likes motorcycles. He lives in Pasadena, CA. 

Guthrie Govan has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember: he played his first gig at the age of five, appeared on UK national TV four years later and subsequently went on to win the 1993 “Guitarist of the Year” contest sponsored by the leading UK magazine Guitarist. (More recently, the July 2011 issue of Guitar Player magazine ran a cover story on Guthrie’s playing.) 

He has recorded and toured extensively with acts ranging all the way from melodic rock (Asia) to jazz fusion (The Fellowship) and electronica (The Young Punx.) 

Guthrie has worked as a transcriber for Guitar Techniques magazine since 1994, covering the playing of pretty much everyone from Hank Marvin to Shawn Lane. He has also taught at various noted guitar schools in the UK, such as ACM and BIMM, and his clinic tours for Suhr guitars and Rotosound strings have taken him to all manner of unusual locations. (He’s particularly proud of the Kazakhstan work permit in his passport…) 

Guthrie’s debut solo album Erotic Cakes was released in 2006. This eclectic collection of guitar instrumentals was widely acclaimed – inspiring Joe Satriani to deliver the verdict “freakin’ awesome!” 

He regularly works with the sample recreation company Replay Heaven, as a result of which his guitar and bass work has graced hit singles by the likes of Sonny J, the Sugababes, Cee Lo Green and Dizzee Rascal. He has also toured extensively with Dizzee, performing in arenas and festivals throughout the UK. 

Guthrie was recently invited to appear on Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory project: his re-working of the track Fives (featuring Vinnie Colaiuta, Tal Wilkenfeld and Larry Goldings) is featured alongside contributions from the likes of Steve Lukather, George Benson and B.B. King.  

He is currently touring and recording with The Aristocrats, new a rock-fusion power trio featuring bassist Bryan Beller (Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (UKZ, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Belew, Necrophagist.) 

Another solo album is rumored to be in the works, though no one seems quite sure when it might actually be released. Watch this space!

From platinum album sales and number one chart success as a founding member of MR. BIG, to frightening the guitar community with new levels of ferocious picking technique with shred-pioneers RACER X, to exploring punk, pop, classical, blues, jazz, and progressive instrumental styles in his solo career, Paul Gilbert has recorded a massive amount of stunning guitar music, all while circling the globe to play sold-out arenas from Japan to Jakarta. 

Paul’s style stands out for it’s rare combination of accuracy, creativity, and power – all which are balanced with Paul’s sense of humor and pure love of music. 

Although Paul is best known for his work with MR. BIG and RACER X, he has also toured with Joe Satriani’s G3, played in a host of tribute concerts with legendary drummer Mike Portnoy, and been integral in the design of his signature Ibanez PGM and Fireman guitars. 

Paul’s legacy as a guitar instructor began when he was eighteen, when he was hired to teach at Hollywood’s Guitar Institute of Technology. Paul’s groundbreaking “Intense Rock” videos and DVDs have inspired legions of guitarists to improve their accuracy, speed, and phrasing. Years as a columnist for Guitar Player magazine, and most recently, Premier Guitar magazine, along with giving countless clinics, private lessons, and serving for five years as the dean of MI Japan, have given Paul deep experience in the art of communicating music to all levels of guitarists. 

Over twenty-five years in the music business have only increased Paul’s passion to explore the possibilities of music and the art of playing the guitar. Whether he’s playing to 10,000 fans or jamming one-on-one with a student, Paul is living his childhood dream of taking the sounds in his head and bringing them into reality – on the electric guitar.

Menelusuri NHK Sampai Ke Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi park terletak diperbatasan shibuya dan harajuku. kalau dari arah shibuya, sebelum masuk ke yoyogi park, kita harus ngelewatin kantor NHK (stasiun tv jepang). di sepanjang jalan yang terletak di depan kantor NHK, banyak banget band2 indie, penyanyi2 solo indie, penyanyi2 iseng, penyanyi2 gadungan, pesulap, penulis shodo (kaligrafi jepang), pelawak, dancer, dsb.

Di sepanjang jalan yang terletak di depan NHK ini, banyak banget band2 tetap yang setiap minggunya selalu nge-band, tapi ada juga yang cuma sekali2 aja. makanya gw sendiri ga pernah hafal siapa2 aja yang bakal manggung minggu ini atau minggu depan. yang jelas, penampilan2 seniman2 ini biasanya dimulai siang (ga tau deh pagi udah ada yang mulai juga atau blom, tapi biasanya rame-nya siang-sore). aliran musik yang dibawain sama band2 yang tampil disini juga macem2, ada jazz, rock, pop, ada yang cuma nyanyi dengan gitar atau piano, ada yang nyanyi pake minus one, ada juga yang ngebawa band-nya. selain itu, penulis kaligrafi kanji juga cukup banyak disini, yang paling terkenal adalah bapak2 yang memakai topeng pringles (tau logonya pringles, kripik kentang itu kan? pake kacamata & berkumis). banyak juga pelawak2 yang kadang2 gw ga ngerti lawakannya hahaha.

↓mr.pringles, tampak belakang↓

Daerah ini ga pernah sepi, bahkan malem2pun masih ada beberapa band yang tampil. foto dibawa ini adalah salah satu band yang kita temuin, kita sempet kenalan & foto2 bareng mereka hehehe. mereka udah punya album indie & video clip sendiri.

Setelah jalanan panjang itu lewat, kita akan ngeliat ada sebuah panggung besar di sebelah kiri kita. panggung itu biasanya dipakai untuk acara2 yang terorganisir, bukan kayak band2 indie yang konsepnya lebih ke arah “ngamen”. band yang tampil di panggung didukung dengan sound system yang bagus, sementara kalo band2 “ngamen” itu cuma didukung sama amplifier kecil (rata2 warna kuning, ga tau knapa). kadang2 panggung ini juga suka dijadiin arena rave party. dan yang uniknya, bukan cuma malem, siangpun jadi! hahaha

Nah di daerah panggung besar ini, kalau musim gugur biasanya ada flea market (semacam bazaar utk jual2 barang2 pribadi). kalo lagi ada flea market suasananya seru banget & super rame!

Setelah ngelewatin daerah ini, kita harus naik tangga penyebrangan untuk masuk ke daerah yoyogi park. di yoyogi park, lebih banyak atraksi2 non-band-nya, kayak misalnya atraksi perkusi ala afrika, atau ada juga pelukis yang ngelukis sambil ngedance, ada orang2 yang ngebawa anjingnya yang didandanin dengan baju2 yang modis bahkan lebih modis daripada majikannya, ada aksi tap-dance, dan yang paling terkenal adalah aksi “elvis”, yaitu segerombolan orang2 yang punya rambut ala elvis & memakai baju2 ala elvis. mereka biasanya akan nge-dace dengan background lagu2 elvis, john travolta, dsb.

Aksi elvis ini adalah penutup dari keseluruhan aksi yang ada di yoyogi park, krn tim elvis biasanya beraksi di pintu keluar yoyogi park (arah harajuku). pas di pintu keluarnya, ada sekitar 10 jejeran yatai (kayak gerobak2 yang ngejual makanan) yang menjual sosis bakar, ikan bakar, mie goreng, kebab, dsb.

Setelah ngelewatin jejeran yatai ini, kita akan langsung ketemu sebuah jembatan yang banyak “orang2″ anehnya, artinya kita udah sampai di harajuku. sebenernya banyak banget atraksi2 menarik di yoyogi park yang ga bisa gw bahas satu persatu. jadi kalau lagi berlibur ke jepang jangan sampe ga mampir ke sini ya untuk ngeliat seluruh atraksi yang ada di dalem lingkungan taman ini!

3. Angelic
Apa coba bisa menggambarkan salah satu style visual kei yang satu ini? Jawabannya Pure, saintly, dan adorable. Baju yang serba satin berwarna putih dengan wajah serba pucat dan sayap adalah ciri dari style ini. Pada era Le ciel, Gackt, dan Malice Mizer sempat menggunakan style ini.

2. Lolita
Dari katanya saja kita sudah bisa nebak ya, style ini terinspirasi dari gaun anak-anak pada jaman victoria, yang dimodifikasi agar terlihat lebih dark dan sangat digemari oleh para J-rockers dan cosplayers. Seperti yang kita kenal, Mana (mantan gitaris Malice Mizer dan sekarang gitaris Moi Dixmois) berhasil membawa image ini di dunia J-rock.

1. Gothic
Seperti namanya style ini memang mengusung sesuatu yang dark, tapi jangan salah lho! Gaya gothic nggak selalu identik dengan  pakaian serba hitam, bisa aja warna hitam digabungkan dengan warna merah dan putih atau warna-warna gelam lainnya. Contoh band yang setia menggunakan style ini adalah Malice Mizer dan Moi Dixmois.