Johnny Winter, Blues Guitar Legend, Dead at 70

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Johnny Winter Dead

According to the American Blues Scene, sources close to the man have confirmed that Johnny Winter has passed away at the age of 70. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

John Dawson Winter III — better known as Johnny Winter — was widely regarded as one of the greatest blues guitar players in music history. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and ’70s, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues legend Muddy Waters. Since his time with Waters, Winter has recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums and continues to tour extensively. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

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Come See Us at Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night Tomorrow Night in Nashville!

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We host Muriel Anderson’s bi-annual All Star Guitar Night at the NAMM shows every year. Come out and see us!


Now in its 19th year, Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night is NAMM’s longest running, most widely recognized, and most successful sponsored event. ASGN is a unique, guitar-centric event bringing together talented musicians for a night of both acoustic and electric music.

This year’s participants include Muriel Anderson, Bryan Sutton, Jack Pearson, Brent Mason, Adam Levy (guitarist for Norah Jones and others), John Corabi (Motley Crue), Anderson Osborne (Government Mule) Brian Grilli, Courtney Jaye, Johnny Hiland, Dave Pomeroy, and surprise guests.

While the evening celebrates the guitar and entertains audiences, it also raises money and awareness for a very important cause – music education for children. The artists donate their time and talent and the sponsors generously fund this event so that disadvantaged children can have access to instruments and music instruction in their schools.

For more info, tickets, and videos from previous shows, visit

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Why Do Major Chords Sound Happier Than Minor Chords?

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This post comes via reddit user Yeargdribble – see the original post here.

happy major chordsIt honestly probably has more to do with how we’re socialized into music. The trope of minor being used for sad things and major being used for happy things is sort of an artificially created thing to an extent.

In fact, not even all very young school children will agree about this until we tell them so (my wife used to teach elementary music). Other cultures with less overbearing exposure to Western music are even less likely to always correctly identify these.

To get more complicated, if you look into Arabic maqams (essentially scales for the sake of simplicity) they sound quite different with a bit more microtonality compared to Western ideas of tuning and such. The thing is, when we hear them, they all just sound semi-foreign. The ones that sound most like a major scale or maybe a lydian scale sound happier to us. The ones closer to a minor or locrian scale sound sadder.

But in the cultures to which these are native, the great variety of maqams hold much more subtley of meaning and even the ones we might equate with sadness are not thought of as such where they are actually commonly used.

Below we go into ELI have a basic understanding of theory:

Music TheorySo major and minor are very black and white for us, but if you just wanna talk about chords, what about bigger chords? Start with something like a CMaj7. It’s a C on the bottom with an Em on the top. Does it sound happy or sad? Are you hearing the C major of the primary triad, or the minor triad when ignoring the root? You can obviously grow this idea out like crazy. A Cm9… what do you hear? The EbMaj7 ignoring the root? The Eb major chord in the middle ignoring root and 9? The Gm on top? The Cm on bottom?

Is this a happy or sad sounding chord? I think most people would call it “dreamy, sleepy, or ethereal,” but once again, that’s likely more to do with how we most often hear it used.

Also, context counts. You can revoice a complicated chord for a different sound. But you can also revoice a simple chord and depending on the context and character of the piece, it might throw you off. Have you ever been listening to something and couldn’t quite tell if a given chord was major or minor in context on the fly? What if you have a C major triad and suddenly the bass moves away from the C up to E and the E and G are sustained in the upper voice. Is this implying an Em without the 5th? Is it still implying the C major but in root position? You probably need context to tell you.

How about a C7. This one is great for context. Do you hear the Edim or the C major? Or hell, do you just hear it as a dominant chord because it’s followed by an F or even Dm?

TL;DR – Because someone told you so.

This post comes via reddit user Yeargdribble – see the original post here.

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Participate in Our Summertime Blues Americana Student Jam and You Could Win Big!

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Americana Jam

How It Works:

1. Check out the video below of Mike Zito’s “Subtraction Blues” solo for a bit of inspiration.

2. Download the jam track, craft your own solo and record a video or audio file.

3. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo or audio to SoundCloud, then post a link to it in the comments on the contest page.

4. Make sure “TrueFire Americana Jam” is in the title and put a link to the contest page in the description.

5. Share this contest with friends and like your favorite performances by others!


1 Grand Prize: The person with the most ‘likes’ on their post in the comments on the contest page will win a LIFETIME Pro Student Plan!

10 Runners Up: 10 randomly-selected people who post a link to a entry in the comments on the contest page will win $25 Gift Certficates!

TIP! Share this contest with your friends and family to garner more likes!

Winners will be announced on July 31st.

Mike Zito’s Performance:

This is for inspiration purposes only – when you record your own, feel free to use as much creative license as you would like!

Download the jam track >>

Pre-Order Now!

Use code “AMERICA10″ to save an *extra 10% off! *Combine with TrueFire Cash & Student Discounts for savings up to 40% off.

Pre-Order Instant Download – $19

Pre-Order Disc + Download – $39

Quick Guitar Tips: #4 Transpose

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Quick Guitar Tips is a free video lesson series by Adam Levy. Be sure to check out Adam’s 2 courses, 50 Low-Down Rhythms You MUST Know and Rhythm Makeover.

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