Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jason Becker Endorses the Guitar Wheel Music Theory Teaching Tool

Music Master Publishing is pleased to announce a new endorsement for the Guitar Wheel coming from musician Jason Becker.   Legendary guitarist Jason Becker has endorsed the Guitar Wheel as an educational tool for music theory.  Jason told us he loves the Guitar Wheel.  This is a quote he gave us, “The Guitar Wheel is great! I could have used it for teaching guitar students. I can use it now for composing. Very cool.”

Jason Becker is without a doubt one of the most influential guitar players of all time and many are familiar with his story. If not, read a short version here - last paragraph.

At present Jason continues to compose music.  His new album “Jason Becker Collection” will have guest guitarists Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani, Michael Lee Firkins, Matt Bissonette, Dave Lopez of Flipsyde, Steve Hunter, and Greg Howe, playing on it.  The album will be out October 2008.  

I was introduced to Jason in June by his friend David Kline. I have had the pleasure of speaking with Jason a few times on the phone in the last month. Jason is totally amazing. Even though the disease ALS has taken over his body, I can tell you he has a terrific spirit that is evident in his music and in his positive and often humorous attitude.   Visit these links to his website and Myspace profile. Read his Myspace blog where he posts updates on his life and music periodically.

In the near future there will be a tribute concert for Jason Becker (an exact date is not defined yet). Little news has released about this concert yet.  But we’ve been told world class guitarists will show up to pay tribute to Jason by playing his music for him and fans.  We don’t know how big the event will be or if it will be open to the public.  We will have more news on this, keep checking back.  In 1989 Jason was diagnosed with ALS and was told then that he had 3 years to live.  Though his condition slowly got worse and worse, it has remained stable since 1997, with no further updates.  He’s a living guitar hero.

Paradise Guitars USA is making a Jason Becker Signature Guitar Model per Jasons exact specs.  Pro Tone Pedals is making a Jason Becker effects pedal emulating Jason's sound he got from using his gear, and featuring the artwork of Jason's Dad, Gary Becker.  Gary Becker is an amazing artist.  More of Gary's paintings and drawings can be appreciated and purchased from his website.

Here is a short summary of Jason Becker’s past story: From age 16 Jason Becker was a wiz kid on guitar, playing under the Shrapnel Record label along with Marty Friedman in Cacophony, touring and recording albums.  At the age of 20, he had just landed the ultimate gig playing lead guitar for the David Lee Roth Band, replacing Steve Vai when the devastating news came.  At age 20, he was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) which is a disease that attacks nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement.  Jason recorded “A little Ain’t Enough” with David Lee Roth” but was not able to go on the subsequent tour.   ALS slowly took away his ability to play guitar, to walk, and even talk.  Jason has remained a champion at heart, and still mentally sharp, despite it all, and he has even found spiritual peace with God.  He is able to speak through a system his dad invented where he can spell words with his eye movements.  Through the aid of and advanced computer, he can compose music with his eye movements; and through the help of other musicians he has released the album "Perspective" (1996), which has received much great critical acclaim.  

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