Pete Madsen

Pete Madsen

Pete Madsen is an acoustic blues, ragtime and slide guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He's the author of Play the Blues Like..., an essential guide for playing fingerstyle blues in open tunings.

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four portrait illustrations in a side-by-side grid depicting Booker White, Memphis Minnie, Robert Johnson, and Elizabeth Cotten all playing acoustic guitars

Learn to Play in Open G

A lesson on how to play fingerstyle blues in this popular open tuning, using examples from classic songs by Elizabeth Cotten, Robert Johnson, and more.

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Beard A-Model Odyssey resonator guitar

Gear Review: Beard A-Model Odyssey

With its mixture of vintage and modern appointments, the Beard A-Model Odyssey resonator guitar has a stunning look that is certain to captivate the audience at any gig.
An A7 shape played at the 9th fret yields an E7 chord.

Video Lesson: Using the CAGED System with the 12-bar Blues

The study of prewar blues includes a heavy amount of time playing in first position—between the nut and the first four frets of your guitar. However, as you learn more and more songs, you might be asking yourself, “What comes next?”
National Reso-phonic M-14T Thunderbox resonator guitar

Gear Review: National M-14T Thunderbox

Although known for its steel and brass instruments, National also offers many wood-bodied guitars, both tricone and single-cone biscuit bridge style. The M-14T Thunderbox is the most recent addition to National’s M series of single-cone mahogany resonators.
guitar slides

Video Lesson: How to Play Bottleneck in a Range of Styles

Slide/bottleneck guitar can evoke flavors ethereal and lyrical or aggressive and bombastic. From Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” to Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom” and on to Debashish Bhattacharya’s Indian slide musings, this approach delivers a wide spectrum of sounds, emotions, and cultural touchstones.

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MagSlide magnesium acoustic guitar slide

Gear Review: MagSlide Magnesium Guitar Slide

The most common materials for bottleneck slides are steel, brass, glass, and ceramic. I have also seen slides fashioned from copper tubing and plastic cylinders. Now comes the MagSlide, made of magnesium, the eighth most abundant element, as well as the lightest structural metal on earth.
KLOS acoustic-electric travel guitar

Gear Review: KLOS Carbon Fiber Acoustic Electric Travel Guitar

There has been a revolution of sorts in guitar making over the past 15 years. RainSong, Blackbird, Composite Acoustics, and now KLOS have developed carbon-fiber instruments that can withstand the elements of extreme heat, cold, and moisture without suffering damage.

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Alvarez-Yairi Honduran DYM60HD acoustic guitar

Gear Review: Alvarez-Yairi Honduran DYM60HD

The partnership between Yairi and Alvarez goes back several decades, with the Alvarez-Yairi stamp reserved for Alvarez’s finest instruments. While much of Alvarez’s line is manufactured in China, the Yairi-branded guitars are made in a small shop in Kani, Japan, where modern power tools are eschewed in favor of hand tools, like spokeshaves for carving necks, and hide-glue construction is standard throughout.

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