The Guitar Center Sessions is a series offered through DIRECTV on channel 239 via the DIRECTV channel guide. Hosted by Nic Harcourt, a historic DJ with well renowned taste and credited with launching the careers of Adele and Coldplay among others, and currently in its ninth season, each episode of the series features a different band or artist and includes in depth interviews as well as a performance frequently consisting of some of the artists’ newest material. The series is a six time winner of the Telly Awards. A notable aspect of the Guitar Center Sessions is the diversity of the artists that it features. Past episodes have featured classic acts as well as current favorites including Billy Idol, Alice in Chains, Blondie, Joe Walsh, Soundgarden, Slash, Weezer, Wiz Khalifa, Linkin Park, and many more. In addition to era, the featured artists also run the gamut stylistically from alternative, to reggae, to heavy metal, to blues, to rock, to pop, and everything in between. The series will include eighty three episodes at the end of its ninth season.
A recent episode featured Cold War Kids. Host Nic Harcourt sat down with the band and discussed their style, creative process, and future plans. The band then performed and made use of material from their latest album Hold My Home (2014). Cold Ware Kids were featured in the second to last episode of this season. The season finale will feature X Ambassadors.

Where to Find Guitar Center Sessions on DIRECTV

Guitar Center Sessions can be found on DIRECTV using the DIRECTV channel guide to navigate to DIRECTV’s AUDIENCE network on channel 239. The series airs on Fridays at 9PM.
Additionally, previous episodes can be streamed via Qello Concerts and additional clips, artist information and websites, as well as information about host Nic Harcourt, can be found at the website for the series.

Acoustic guitars can be obtained in a variety of shapes, sizes, and woods. Once a size and shape are chosen, whether it be a parlor, grand auditorium, dreadnaught, jumbo, or other, the neck configuration for playing feel and the body and top tonewoods are crucial for the kind of tone your guitar will deliver. For example, the Martin D-18 and the D-45 are both dreadnaught guitars with spruce tops, but will sound noticeably different due to the grades of spruce and, more significantly, the tonewoods used for construction of back and sides.

For tops, Spruce offers the best strength to weight ratio, which allows for the lightest top that will vibrate freely when properly braced, and its sound will improve with age. Sitka spruce is widely used due to its availability, but Englemann, Alaskan, and Appalachian spruce are also favored by a number of luthiers. Cedar, which is more commonly found on classical guitars, is also used for some steel string acoustics, has a mellower and more “broken in” sound and will not alter appreciably over time. Some acoustics’ tops have been known to use mahogany, koa, maple, and ash, although spruce is by far the most ubiquitous.

For backs and sides, mahogany offers clear fundamental notes and some overtones. It is a popular tonewood for many famous guitar models throughout history, from the Gibson J-45 and Hummingbird to the Martin D-18 and many others. It offers a relatively balanced sound across all size and shape configurations. Sapele, or African mahogany, is a less expensive substitute that sounds very similar.

The other primary tonewood used for backs and sides is rosewood. Deeper bass notes, crisp highs with a wide range of ringing overtones make rosewood guitars very popular for building higher end guitars that will deliver a huge, orchestra like sound, particularly favored by fingerstyle players who wish to take advantage of all of the tonal colors that rosewood can offer, although some bluegrass soloists also favor rosewood for the big bass notes and larger than life overtones.

Maple is a harder tonewood with strong emphasis on fundamental notes and a cutting brightness. Maple is often used on big bodied guitars, such as the Gibson J-200 to offset the “boom” from the increased air being moved from the larger and wider top to keep the midrange from getting too muddy. Maple is also favored for jumbo 12 string guitars, again to attenuate the big bass notes while accenting the jangle from the octave strings.

While acoustics utilizing koa, walnut, cocobolo, meranti, zebrawood, and other exotic tonewoods can be found, their respective tonal qualities will usually fall somewhere between the above three. At the end of the day, it is a subjective selection, so there is no right or wrong choice.

Playing the guitar is a fun hobby that many people enjoy. It is relaxing and rejuvenating to pick the strings of a guitar and make your sounds come alive. However, before you can play like Slash or Jimi Hendrix, you’ll need to take plenty of instruction from a professional. The right instructor can make or break your ability to wonderfully play the guitar. It is important that you take the time to get to know more about the instructor that you plan to hire, and never settle for less.

Obviously a quality instructor will have experience playing guitar. It is good to look at their history as well. Have they attended university to learn guitar? Have they played for well-known names? Always look for an instructor who has been at it for a while. Experienced players always make the best teachers.
You want to listen to some of the music the instructor has recorded. This is something that any good instructor will have available upon request, and sometimes on their website. You should like the sound and playing style that you hear. This can also help you learn a little more about their experience.
Look for reviews from others online, and be sure to ask all of your friends and family if they can send you to someone worthwhile. Oftentimes it is these reviews and word of mouth referrals that provide the best results. Reviews online are especially helpful since you can learn so much from actual customers.
You should always like your instructor. Learning how to play a guitar can take some time. There is a lot to learn. It is much easier to learn and enjoy your time playing guitar if you like the instructor. Learning how to play the guitar is a serious process, but it should also be fun. Your instructor should have a good balance of fun and instruction mixed together.
Cost is always of great importance when hiring a guitar instructor. This is also another good reason to take the time to compare. Guitar instructors can charge any rate they’d like. Some charge by the hour. Some charge by the lesson. Tally up the costs, compare, and you can find an instructor that is within your budget.
Use all of the information above to help you choose the right guitar instructor. It is well-worth your time and efforts when you’re playing like a pro!