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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Albums of 2011?

Hey gang,

The year is ending and its been a musical one. Here's a few albums that I thought stood out in 2011:

Devin Townsend: Ghost and Deconstruction - Another masterpiece from the ever growing and maturing Devin Townsend. Over the last few years you can tell Devin has been taking his meds. His writing is more focused, but like any great album, seems fresh and new with every listen.

Alice Cooper: Welcome 2 My Nightmare - A great return to form for Alice. Alice's albums through out the last two decades have been hit and miss, but with the help of the original Alice Cooper band members and Bob Ezrin, W2MN delivers a variety, classic rock, smart lyrics with better production than previous albums.

Whitesnake: Forevermore - Just as good, if not better than "Good to be Bad". A real solid hard rock album that shows more of a band effort. Granted the band is who it used to be, nut that s to be expected. A great listen for fans of rock guitar.

Scorpions: Comeblack -  I had my doubts and reservations about this release. Half re-recordings of Scorps classic and half cover tunes. Hmmmm... well, the new versions of Wind of Change, and Rhythm on Love are good updates on the originals which seemed a bit slick production wise. The covers are fantastic, and my favorite is their take on the Beatles "Across the Universe".

So what are your top 5 albums of 2011? Tell us below!

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit: 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Green Eyed Lady

Hey folks!

So a few years ago I recorded my own version of the Sugarloaf classic, "Green Eyed Lady". This track appears on my album, "King Friday". I had started playing this song in my band when I was in college in Pittsburgh. I always liked the riff and thought the original version, as cool as it is, could be done a little more "rocked out." I remember seeing a video of 80s artist David Drew (who?!) doing a cover of Green Eyed Lady when I was a young kid... and liked it. However, the lyrics always seemed strange if not as cool as the actual riffs. When I finally got a band together in college, this was one of the first songs I thought we'd tackle as an instrumental. To me the riff stands very strong on its own. Since then (1994-ish), its been in the set list.

After moving to Los Angeles and starting a band here (song still in the set), I was recording my 2nd CD, "King Friday". In 2001 I worked at SWR bass amps and met Dennis Noda, bassist for the Classic Rock All Stars, and former bassist for Cannibal and Headhunters. He came in the office and we were discussing our music, when I mentioned my cover of "Green Eyed Lady." He said, "I know the guy that wrote and played on the original, his name is Jerry Corbetta. You should have him on your record!".... to which my answer was probably, "Sure, but why would he want to do that, he doesn't know me?" Dennis insisted that I call Jerry right then and there, so I did. I told Jerry who I was, and that I was recording a version of Green Eyed Lady, and that Dennis thought he'd play on it. To my surprise, Jerry agreed to play organ on my version.

I called Jerry Corbetta again later that week, and we set up a time to have me come over with the ADAT tape, which had the drums and bass tracks, with a guide track of guitar on it. Jerry lived right up the road here in San Fernando Valley, so later that week, on a rainy Friday in LA, I drove to his house. Jerry invited me in and showed me to his small home studio/keyboard room. Jerry looked a little like Gene Wilder to me, with curly blonde/brown hair. Jerry was very nice and as we listened to the tracks, Jerry played along with them, explaining that the idea for the two main riffs came from some piano finger exercises that he developed in college.

The arrangement of Green Eyed Lady that I recorded was based off of the radio edited version, that clocks in at about 4 minutes. I learned the song when I was about 20.... so perhaps my ears weren't that great back then. It turned out, Jerry explained, that the opening chromatic run was played wrong on my tracks. He played the correct line on his keyboard for me to hear the difference. Woops! I never considered re-listening to the original recording to see if we were playing it right all these years! There was no iTunes or Youtube back then to find the song and listen. If I remember correctly, I recorded Green Eyed Lady off the radio on to a cassette. Anyhow, Jerry asked if I could have the bass and guitar re-tracked to sound correct, but I explained that on my budget, I couldn't get the bassist (Philip Bynoe) back in the studio to redo his part. Jerry, bless his heart, agreed to learn the opening line the way I mistakenly rewrote it, and the rest of the song's keyboard parts were tracked in under an hour. In effect I may have rewrote history.

I distinctly remember how fast he tracked his parts. He's been playing this song in so many variations for over 30 years, he could have tracked it in his sleep. The solo section is a trade of Jerry's organ playing and my guitar. For the whole song, Jerry's keyboard sound was a straight organ sound/patch from a 80s era Roland... D50 perhaps. I do remember adding leslie afterwords to get a livelier rock organ tone.

Over all I think my version turned out great, and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to have the man who wrote, sang, and played organ on the original Sugarloaf recording play on mine.

On a side note, as I was jogging my memory, researching online, I found out that bassist Dennis Noda passed away in May of 2009. He died of a heart attack and a stroke - he was just 60. I had lost touch with him after SWR closed its doors in Sun Valley in 2003, but I just want to say thank you again, Dennis. Some of the best musical memories we have are of playing with those we admire, and Dennis facilitated that.

Here's Dennis Noda on bass and Jerry Corbetta on organ and vocals doing Green Eyed Lady for real:

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit: 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Adrian interviews fellow guitarist Carl Verheyen

Carl Verheyen has made a name for himself as a first call session guitarist in Los Angeles for the last 25 years, having played on hundreds if not thousands of sessions for records, television, movie sound tracks and commercials. When he isn't in the studio or playing guitar in the legendary band SUPERTRAMP, Carl is often on the road fronting the Carl Verheyen Band. 
I met Carl over 12 years ago, when we were both guest clinicians at the Summer Guitar and Bass Workshop in Pittsburgh, PA. We hit it off, and when I moved to Los Angeles in 1999, he was very generous with his time and advice, letting me tag along with session calls and witness him in action. Besides Carl playing on two of my CDs ("Ventura Blvd." on King Friday, and "Terrestrial Races" on Earth Tones), and sharing the stage at various venues in town, we had a short lived, but great blues band a couple years ago called Blue Band, which included Joey Heredia on drums and Philip Bynoe on bass. 

Adrian: When did you start playing guitar? How old were you?

Carl: 11 years old. I got a guitar and my 1st lesson on my 11th birthday. Lessons were $2.50.
Adrian: Do you remember what prompted you to pick up the instrument?
Carl: It was definitely George Harrison and Roger McGuinn.
Adrian: Did you take lessons and were your parents supportive?
Carl: Yes and very!
Adrian: When did you know that you wanted to pursue music professionally?
Carl:  I knew immediately that it was what I wanted to do when I grew up. 

Adrian: What’s your philosophy or approach toward the role your instrument plays in a band performance? And does your approach to playing live differ than when tracking in the studio?
Carl: I play in a few different bands and musical situations in the studio, so my approach changes with each situation. But while tracking a record I believe in making the definitive version of the song FOR ALL TIME. Then later in rehearsals I'll worry about the live version, which may be an approximation of more than one guitar part. 
Adrian: Who are your top 5 musical influences? 
Carl: Hendrix, Bloomfield, Clapton, Zawinul, McCartney.  But it might be different tomorrow. 
Adrian: I know you do a lot of session work. I imagine every session is different, but gear-wise, what do you find yourself bringing to every studio?
Carl: I usually have a Stratocaster of some kind along. I have 5 different pedal boards and one of them will be there, too. 
Adrian: Some people imagine that session musicians can be "a jack of all trades or a master of none", however you certainly seem to be able to play many different styles, very authentically, AND you still have a very unique identity on guitar. How do you explain this? What steps did/do you take to be able to emulate various guitar styles and develpe our own identity? 
Carl: I divide my career into 2 completely different paths: the artistic solo career and the "craftsman" career. I did all that homework many years ago, figuring out the different styles and understanding the "ornamentation" of each style. But what I continue to work on every day is my own style. And everything I learned over the years about bluegrass, jazz, metal, country, rockabilly, finger-style, classical and rock informs my own musical identity, too.
Adrian: What artists have you been digging/listening to currently? 
Carl: Sax player Bill Evans, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Herbie Hancock and John Scofield (who I just shared a double bill with in Holland. 
Adrian: Can you share a career highlight?  What made it so special?
Carl:  In July I played a festival in France with Supertramp for 77,000 people. It was the last show of the tour and a very large audience. There were people as far as I could see in almost every direction. Those only come around about every 7 years or so. Last month my band played in Graz, Austria for the first time and it seemed everyone knew the words to my songs!  Those highlights are very recent, but they're the things that keep me going!
Adrian: Most people have a “Spinal Tap” moment in their careers, any strange or funny road stories?
Carl:  I had a dude throw a soaking wet t-shirt on stage and it wrapped around my guitar neck during a solo. My band pulled up to an Italian hotel that we were booked into for the night, only to find it was completely under construction, not taking reservations until 2014. I flew to Detroit to play a concert and my guitar went to Honolulu. But here's the worst: I got hired to play at my friend's big sister's wedding when I was 17. I planned on reading the sheet music to the very sappy tune "Love Story."  I was in the choir loft and it blew off the railing right at the big bridge. I had to make up words, chord changes and the melody for the entire bridge and play the rest from memory. Needless to say, I packed up and split before getting paid and resolved never to show up unprepared again!
Adrian: What projects are you currently working on, and what/where can we expect to hear from you in the near future?
Carl: I just finished some instructional videos for Truefire and have touring plans with the CVB for March and June in 2012. My band will play the Canyon Club on December 1st and All Star Guitar Night at NAMM in January. 
For more information about Carl please visit:

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit:

Adrian Galysh: King Friday

Adrian Galysh: Earth Tones

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Guitar Lesson and Radio

Hello gang,
As you may know, my book "Progressive Guitar Warm-ups and Exercises" is now available for sale at . The book presents intermediate and advanced guitarists with a progressive series of strength, dexterity, finger independence, and left & right hand coordination exercises that can be used before any practice, recording, or performance session. Below you can see a video demonstrating the book's first exercise. 

Also, you can listen to me and all your favorite artists on JANGO Free Internet Radio. You can customize your own radio station and discover music you will most likely enjoy. Click here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yngwie Malmsteen at Club Nokia

Last Saturday, the band and I opened for Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. I grew up listening to Yngwie, starting with my brother's Malmsteen albums "Marching Out" and "Trilogy" - both classics. Saturday, October 29th was the 2nd time I have opened for Malmsteen. The first time was about 7 years ago at the Key Club in West Hollywood, with George Lynch also on the bill. That show was sold out, 700 ppl.

This past Saturday's gig was at the new-ish Club NOKIA in down town LA's entertainment block dubbed "LA Live". The club is pretty amazing, holds 2300, and has a million dollar sound system. This sound system was helmed by uber-sound man about town, Rob Gainey, author of the fantastic pro audio bible "Rockin' Your Stage Sound".

Upon our designated 5 o'clock load in, we arrived to find Yngwie still sound checking... to some Black Sabbath tunes and a couple of his own. The stage/sound check was closed to anyone but the band. No worries our plush dressing room had a large flat screen TV where we could watch the closed circuit camera catching the sound check unfold. Yngwie's stage set up was a little lop sided, as he brought 9 full Marshall stacks... all on his side of the stage. The rest of the band was relegated to a few feet of stage left.

Anyhow, by 6:20pm we were able to set up and sound check till about 7:05... Rob dialing in the front of house, and us getting our monitors right. Club Nokia's crew and staff were all very kind and accommodating. Meanwhile the wife and some friends were getting Sushi before having to hold down fort at the merch table.

The band, Philip Bynoe (bass), Charlie Waymire (drums), and Maureen Baker (keys), and I had a 30 minute set. We rehearsed a very tight set, cramming as much as possible into the half hour we were allotted. Hitting the stage at 9pm, we put on a good show. The audience was responsive with a pit full of general admission ticket holders pressed up to the stage. In what seemed like just a couple minutes, our set was done.

Soon after clearing the stage of our gear, metal god, Tim "Ripper" Owens came by to introduce himself to the band and paid us a few compliments. He seems like a good, down to earth guy! I walked out front to help with the merchandise table and meet the fans. It was great to meet so many new guitar fans, as well as a number of familiar faces. The next 2 hours were spent listening to Yngwie tear it up in front of a rabid audience. Waiting till the end of the night proved to be a good idea, as we ended up meeting with more fans on their way out and selling more merch - always a good thing.

I'd like to thank the club, JR, Michelle, and Eric for all their help! Till next time!

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit:

Adrian Galysh: King Friday

Adrian Galysh: Earth Tones

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Guitar and Bass Workshop

I had the pleasure of teaching and performing at the 25th annual Summer Guitar and Bass Workshop at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA on July 24-29.

This is the 6th or 7th time I have taught there, and was excited to see fellow Alumni (I graduated in '97) as well as all the familiar staff and instructors, including my old guitar teacher, Mark Koch, adjunct professor Ken Karsh, music technology chair, Bill Purse, and all the others.

The weather wasn't as bad as planned, but the humidity did get bad towards the end of my week.

Besides performing, meeting and interacting with all the great students, highlights of the week for me, were hanging out with guitarist and special guest Rob Marcello (Danger Danger) and sitting in on "Handyman" Joe Negri's jazz guitar classes. He truly is a Pittsburgh treasure, and sounded as great as ever. So much, I picked up his recent CD, I highly recommend it.

My trip to Pittsburgh was sponsored by SIT Strings. I would like to thank them once again for their support. If you are not already familiar with this excellent brand of guitar strings, check them out at

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit: 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Guitarist, former candidate for State Senate, and now... Author?

I have been writing a guitar instructional book, called, "Progressive Warm-ups and Exercises". It presents both beginning and advanced guitarists with a progressive series of strength, dexterity, finger independence, and left & right hand coordination exercises that can be used before any practice, recording, or performance session.

Unlike other exercise books that tend to overwhelm the reader, and may repeat scale material found in many other publications, these warm-ups, developed, collected, and used by me in my 18 years of teaching, deliver a concise routine, with no filler, and gives the reader maximum results in minimum time. Whether the guitarist has just 2 minutes or 30 minutes, these 25 progressive exercises will give them the improved strength and coordination they require.

Cost: $15.00 + $2.68 (postage) = $17.68

Click here to purchase with Paypal:

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit: 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It was bound to happen.

Two weeks ago, I played in San Diego, opened for Alcatrazz featuring Graham Bonnet. The venue was large, and a good amount of people filled the 1400 seater. I have had pretty good luck, gigging at venues with decent management and staff for over 15 years. The bad news about this gig? The owner decided, contrary to the contract he signed and agreed to uphold, that I, nor my band would get water, food, towels, a guest list, nor the total money/payment we agreed to. After a frustrating long drive, no lunch, and a late dinner (after finding out we wouldn't be fed, and grabbing a couple slices of pizza across the street), we did end up having a GREAT performance.

Essentially, I KNEW that I was in a bad mood, distracted, and frustrated with the venue. I made a commitment right before playing the first note of the set, to make my performance a memorable one. There were many moments, one in each tune, where some musical inspiration and the occasional transcendence occurred. The energy was great on stage and off. I guess the audience felt the same way, because after the performance, I was greeted with compliments and praise by audience member after audience member... after which I sold a lot of merchandise (CDs & T Shirts)... from what I gather, more than Alcatrazz sold. I felt vindicated as the club's sound man showered a ton of compliments on the band and I. Very flattering. The moral of the story, was that every performance should one where the band and I play like we have "something to prove". Focusing on putting on an inspired performance translated to the audience and ultimately to merch sales and a healthy addition to my mailing list.

Woops, also, having a great supportive band made up of friends always helps - thanks Maureen Baker, Charlie Waymire, and Mike Talanca!

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit:

Adrian Galysh: King Friday

Adrian Galysh: Earth Tones

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Handed Tapping - Pentatonic lick with bending

I recorded a couple new videos demoing some two hand tapping guitar licks.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uli Jon Roth week in review.

Well, last week was a busy, whirl-wind experience. San Diego's Brick By Brick had a great responsive audience, but seemed to serve as the band's rehearsal/warmup show. After the 2-hour show, Uli and the band met with the audience, who were very glad to see us. Some driving up from Mexico, and some brought old Scorpions albums to autograph as well as a couple guitars floating around for Uli's signature as well. This was my first time in San Diego - I've never been! The band stayed at a hotel near the Old Town "Gas-lamp District". Ate dinner at Casa Guadalajara with the band - great food and margaritas.

Thursday night was in Ventura at the Majestic Ventura Theatre. This is a large venue, an old theatre, similar to LA's Wiltern in size. This night featured a triple bill of my solo band, then Alcatrazz, and then Uli Jon Roth. Huge dressing rooms, back stage food and drinks - a taste of the rock star life.... all too brief. By tonight, I had finally gotten my act together, as I was having trouble learning the unison harmony solo part in "We'll Burn The Sky". While the stage sound was strange, the show went well - though the band would still love to have a set list. Big stage, big lights... always fun.

Uli likes to "free flow" every night. Calling out tunes as he goes, so sometimes it feels like a game of follow the leader. Keeps us on our toes!

The best thing about his gig is getting to play along side my favorite guitarist, favorite singer, favorite drummer, and new comrade, Bjorn Englen.

Alcatrazz put on a top-notch performance, and I have never heard Graham Bonnet sound better. Howie Simon, Tim Luce, and Glen Sobel were great, very tight.

Friday night, brought us to the Blue Cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. At first entry, the club seemed small compared to the previous night, no dressing room, towels, etc... BUT, this night proved to be our best. My band opened for Uli hitting the stage at 10pm. We played great. Having Kevin Chown back on bass felt good. He and the rest of the band, Maureen Baker on keys, and Glen Sobel on drums, really delivered. The audience grew throughout the night and was REALLY excited to be there. By the time Uli and the rest of us got on stage after 11pm, the audience was pressed up to the stage. Tonight, the band was really in sync. The intimate stage and size of the club had such a great energy, and the band could really hear each other well up there. Hands-down the best performance of the week, the 2.15 hour set was loud, hot, and sweaty, and the audience couldn't get enough. We finished up at 1:30am , met with the audience, sold some merch then headed home... My wife and I got back to the house around 3am - just in time to get 5 hours of sleep before having to teach guitar the next morning.

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit: 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Uli Jon Roth Rehearsal

Today the band had their first rehearsal, with out Uli. He doesn't arrive to SoCal till tomorrow, and with the NAMM convention, it would be difficult to coordinate any other rehearsal before Monday's.

The drummer, Glen Sobel, you may know is my regular drummer for my own gigs, and as always was uber-prepared, and luckily our notes/charts seemed to line up. This, however, is the first time meeting, let alone playing with Bjorn Englen, the bassist for these dates. Bjorn has been Yngwie Malmsteen's bassist for the last 4-5 years and has a strong feel for the tunes. Mark Boals, of course, also known from Yngwie's classic "Trilogy" album and others, was on hand for vocals.

Comedy ensued as Mark kept asking whether I would sing backup/harmony parts for every Scorpions song we ran through... I obliged with mixed results though better than I (and I hope the others) expected.

Overall we did pretty well, and it sounded rather tight. What you would expect from seasoned musicians, I guess.

These SoCal tour dates will feature a number of classic Scorpions songs, some Jimi Hendrix, and a couple Electric Sun tracks.

On Monday, we rehearse with Uli.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Uli Jon Roth Mini-tour Diary

I received the set list last week. I sorted through the recordings I have, then bought the songs I didn't have from itunes. I then sorted the recordings and put them into the order of the set list... some tracks, though, have chnaged over the years and Uli has asked that we learn the songs as they have recently been performed - youtube recordings are our reference.

The set includes a good number of classic Roth-era Scorpions songs, a handful of Jimi Hendrix and some Electric Sun. The plan: learn the songs in groups... Scorps first, Hendrix, then Electric Sun.

Today, I began to sit down with the Scorpions tracks - the difficulty with these, is dicerning/differenciating my rhythm guitar parts, as the original recordings/mixes can make it hard to hear individual harmony/guitar parts. I plan to make notes of the parts/sections in question and perhaps ask Uli about them over Skype.

Adrian Galysh and Uli Jon Roth

I will open for legendary ex-SCORPIONS axeman Uli Jon Roth and ALCATRAZZ (featuring Graham Bonnet) in January. I will also perform in Uli Jon Roth's band for these Southern California dates.

The details are as follows:

* Jan. 18 - Brick by Brick - San Diego, CA (Uli Jon Roth only)
* Jan. 20 - Majestic Ventura Theatre - Ventura, CA (Uli Jon Roth, Alcatrazz, Adrian Galysh)
* Jan. 21 - Blue Cafe - Huntington Beach, CA (Uli Jon Roth, Adrian Galysh)