Ask the Expert: Vintage vs. Modern Instruments—Do Blindfold Tests Really Work?

Over the years, a number of blindfold test have been conducted, including a pair of widely reported tests administered by a trio of researchers in 2010 and 2012. In the first experiment, 21 contestants from the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis were asked to rate six violins: two Stradivaris, a Guarneri del Gesu, and three violins made by highly regarded contemporary luthiers.

Video Lesson: Express Yourself Through Slurs, Bends, and Vibrato

One of the best ways to add an expressive character to your playing is through the use of slurs (slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs), bends, and vibrato. So much of the vocal quality guitar players like to emulate comes from the fret-hand manipulation of the strings. In this lesson, you’ll take the A minor pentatonic scale and use it to create musical phrases that allow you to manipulate the strings using these various techniques.


Martin 00L-17 full body shot

Review: Martin’s 00L-17 Recalls Depression-Era Flattops

The 00L-17 sounds every bit as awesome as it feels. It’s got a lovely, uncluttered sound, heavy on fundamentals but with shimmering overtones and a nice natural reverb. The string-to-string balance is excellent, as are the projection and sustain. It’s definitely a more powerful instrument than would be expected of one of its size and scale length.