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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
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Performing, Honing Your Craft, guitar

Mar 3, 2016 09:00 AM

Jim Kelly

How to Get Mick Ronson’s Guitar Tone on a Budget

Photo by Jim Kelly

The start of 2016 landed on music fans like a ton of bricks with the unexpected passing of David Bowie on January 10. While Bowie was famous for being a musical shape-shifter, often ch-ch-ch-ch-changing personas and music styles over the years, it was his early '70s glam-rock work, especially The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album, that first made him a mega-star.

As the guitarist in the Spiders from Mars band, Mick Ronson’s throaty leads and caustic, mind-searing riffs undergirded and punctuated many of the great Bowie songs of that era – "Starman," "Ziggy Stardust," "Suffragette City," "The Jean Genie," and "Panic in Detroit," to name a few.

So you want to get some of that Ziggy Stardust guitar sound? Obviously, the best way to get Ronson’s sound is to get some vintage gear like the stuff he used and crank it up. But most of us don’t have the dosh for that, so here are some suggestions for how to get that quintessential Ziggy-era Ronson tone without the rock-star budget.

The 5 Best Festivals and Showcases for Emerging Bands to Play in Toronto This Year

Rich Aucoin at Canadia Music Week 2015. (Photo by Rick Clifford)

Toronto is one of the premier music cities in North America, hosting a wealth of top-notch music events every year and home to a thriving and extensive music scene, both in terms of producing recent chart champs – Drake, the Weeknd, Shawn Mendes – and in terms of independent artists.

For emerging bands, there are ample opportunities for getting industry exposure, from large, eclectic music festival showcases to more genre-specialized grassroots events. Let's take a look at some of Toronto's best festivals and showcases for emerging artists in 2016.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, guitar

Dec 28, 2015 09:00 AM

Jim Kelly

How to Craft a Killer Guitar Solo

Image via morguefile.com

For guitar gods like us (amiright?), the crown of our creation is the killer guitar solo. It's our chance to step into the spotlight and show what we've got – not to show off, but to come up with a solo that elevates the song to another level.

Easier said than done? Maybe. But here are a few things to think about if you want to craft a guitar solo – whether onstage or in the studio – that will make ears perk up and take notice.