83 episodes

Hi, my name is Cory Wong. This is my podcast. I'm going to talk to your favorite artists as they discuss their personal tricks of the trade, never-before-heard stories, and the proper response when Sinatra wants to peep your master tapes.

Wong Notes Premier Guitar

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 61 Ratings

Hi, my name is Cory Wong. This is my podcast. I'm going to talk to your favorite artists as they discuss their personal tricks of the trade, never-before-heard stories, and the proper response when Sinatra wants to peep your master tapes.

    Marcus King and the Medicine of Music

    Marcus King and the Medicine of Music

    Marcus King has already been through the wringer, but he’s on the come-up. His hotly anticipated third LP, Mood Swings, drops this Friday, April 5, and on this episode of Wong Notes, the earnest, honest 28-year old South Carolinian goes deep on his career with Cory Wong.
    The two shredders open by swapping notes on how touring has changed post-pandemic. Costs are way up, but they’re managing to make it work. King reveals to Wong that on his upcoming tour, he’s wrangled a few sizeable, must-have creature comforts into the trailers—tune in to find out what King brings on the road.
    King walks us through his custom amp and cabinet setups, detailing why he prefers 10" speakers to 12", how he became friends with Orange Amplifiers founder Cliff Cooper, and the family history that led to his signature Gibson Marcus King 1962 ES-345, complete with sideways vibrola.
    He and Wong get down to the nitty-gritty, too. Marcus talks about pressure to conform to certain genre communities, his struggles with self-medicating, and how sometimes, music feels like the only medicine we’ve got on hand.
    Get 30% off your first year of DistroKid by going here: http://distrokid.com/vip/corywong

    Visit Marcus King: https://www.marcuskingofficial.com/
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/wongnotespod
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    Produced by Jason Shadrick and Cory Wong
    Additional Editing by Shawn Persinger
    Presented by DistroKid

    • 49 min
    Respect, Psychedelics, and the Future of Bluegrass With Billy Strings

    Respect, Psychedelics, and the Future of Bluegrass With Billy Strings

    The ascendant roots shredder shares intimate details from his musical upbringing and gets philosophical on the past and future of bluegrass.
    Millennial folk philosopher Billy Strings joins this episode of Wong Notes. The Grammy-winning acoustic picker is an open book—nothing is off limits with Billy, from recounting his days selling magic mushrooms in exchange for passing grades in math class, to an emotional drunk-driving revelation that might have saved his life.
    Now, Strings can recount war stories of playing with his heroes in the bluegrass scene, and learning important lessons from the greats about respect while onstage. Strings is at the intersection of the old and the new, often stuck between the traditionalists and the new era of American folk music. He says he doesn’t belong to one or the other; his music is more of “a goulash of all the things put together.” Speaking of which, Billy and Cory connect for a brilliant mashup of Cory’s funk stylings and Billy’s bluegrass flatpicking, proving that music really can be a universal language.
    Get 30% off your first year of DistroKid by going here: http://distrokid.com/vip/corywong
    Visit Billy Strings: http://billystrings.com
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/wongnotespod
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/wongnotespod

    Produced by Jason Shadrick and Cory Wong
    Additional Editing by Shawn Persinger
    Presented by DistroKid

    • 50 min
    Joe Dart Talks Bass Philosophy and the Benefits of High Action

    Joe Dart Talks Bass Philosophy and the Benefits of High Action

    This time on Wong Notes, Cory is joined by his Vulfpeck and Fearless Flyers copilot Joe Dart. Wong doesn’t waste any time, diving in by asking Dart, by now renowned as a modern bass wizard with flawless fundamentals, how he developed he signature “voice” on the bass. As Dart explains, it came from listening to players who had their own distinct “voice,” who sound like “they’re singing a part within the song,” he says. These “philosophers of the low-end,” like Flea, imprinted the value of total intention and feeling in every note, as if any single one could be your last.
    Dart throws it back to his first bass—a Samick—and remembers how it’s ridiculously high action was like weight training for the rest of his career. He still likes his strings suspended up higher than most, which allows his “brute force” slapping. Wong and Dart trade notes on practice regimes, and Dart offers advice for young players: Learn your scales, sure, but most importantly, “play with as many different people as you can.” Plus, Dart breaks down his differing approaches to instrumental and vocal tracks.
    Later on, the bandmates ponder the mental trap of the social media comparison game, and wonder at how algorithms impact which music rises to the top of the heap. What does Dart hope to remembered for? With any luck, he’ll have works as iconic as his grandfather’s, Israel Baker, whose violin playing you’ll recognize not just from collabs with Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, but some of the most famous film scores and TV show theme songs.
    Listen to the full episode here: https://bit.ly/WongNotes
    Get 30% off your first year of DistroKid by going here: http://distrokid.com/vip/corywong

    Visit Joe Dart:
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/wongnotespod
    IG: a...

    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Rich Musical World of Louis Cato

    The Rich Musical World of Louis Cato

    Multi-instrumentalist Louis Cato has had a lot on his plate since taking over as bandleader for Jon Batiste on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in late 2022, but has been enjoying every minute of it. "I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, with exactly the people I'm supposed to be there with," he tells Cory on this episode of Wong Notes. Of course, given his role there is a fulltime gig, the release of his second solo album, Reflections, last August was kind of a big deal. Its music was largely inspired by things Cato was forced to confront when the pandemic hit, including "self-analysis, putting on the mask, the egotistical parts of attraction and love songs, and things of that nature," he shares.
    Early on in the conversation, Louis answers Cory's question about how his approach to chord voicings is so different from the norm. A lot of it comes from his childhood influence of Ron Kenoly's praise and worship music, featuring Abe Laboriel Sr. on bass. His first guitar was from a yard sale and had just four strings, and his experience learning Laboriel's bass lines on it still informs how he approaches voice leading on the guitar today. There was also his mother, the pianist, from whom he absorbed into his guitar methods the piano style of playing octaves in the left hand and triads in the right.
    After Louis shares about what makes his creativity tick as a multi-instrumentalist, he and Cory get into the meat of the biggest mistakes a guitar player can make. A lot of it, for Cato, has to do a lack of dynamics and inflection, or playing 10 notes where you should just play two, he says. Towards the end of the ep, Louis hops on a drumset in the room to illustrate how drummers can also create a "jerky" beat if they don't stick with just straight or just swingin'. Listen to the full ep to get a deep dive into the mind of the Late Show bandleader.
    Visit Louis Cato: https://louiscato.com/
    Get 30% off your first year of DistroKid by going here: http://distrokid.com/vip/corywong
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
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    • 52 min
    Aaron Sterling’s Pedalboard Approach to the Drums

    Aaron Sterling’s Pedalboard Approach to the Drums

    Session drum ace Aaron Sterling might have fusion roots, but his bread-and-butter work lives at the top of the charts, where’s he’s featured on tracks by artists such as John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and Lana Del Rey. He tells Cory what brought him to Los Angeles, why he’s “meant to be in the studio” instead of the stage, and he shares the surreal story of playing with EVH in a florist’s parking lot for Tracy Morgan.
    Sterling defines his approach to recording in his studio as a “pedalboard approach” and explains:
    “When guitar players started getting more pedals, in the old days, and then they started getting a pedalboard. And then there’s the rack. This was this evolution where you guys started controlling more and more of your sound and it was less waiting for a mixer to do interesting things later. And you were just like, ‘Here’s the sound.’ You have your own plugin, you have all this stuff that you’re doing to control your sound so that there’s less work later.I got inspired by that concept when I started recording, even before I had my own studio, to give an engineer the most amount of stuff that’s done. So that when I started recording myself, my philosophy was always the pedalboard philosophy, which is I’ll give you the sounds, I’m not just gonna play the drums and let you do stuff later. I don’t wanna think of myself as a drummer. I’ll think of myself as a creator using drums to give you sounds that hopefully are the right thing for the song.”Stick around for the drummer’s opinion of the Beatles’ “Now and Then” and learn why he prefers large cymbals.
    Get 30% off your first year of DistroKid by going here: http://distrokid.com/vip/corywong

    Visit Aaron Sterling: https://aaronsterling.com/
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/wongnotespod
    IG: a...

    • 1 hr 3 min
    How Bruce Lee Inspired Margaret Glaspy’s New Record

    How Bruce Lee Inspired Margaret Glaspy’s New Record

    Cory Wong sits down with indie-rock bandleader Margaret Glaspy for an in-depth dialogue on artistry, celebrity, and the wisdom of Bruce Lee.
    Glaspy shares how she cut her latest record, Echo The Diamond, live off the floor, with most of the “homework” happening beforehand and studio performances happening in-the-moment. “It really felt like air blew through the studio and then the record was made,” she says. “What you’re hearing is mostly what happening.” The songs are like photographs of a particular moment, rather than an essential, unchanging thing; Glaspy says she values the “dying art” of taking risks in music.
    Glaspy runs down how she and husband Julian Lage work on each other’s projects, and highlights one of their key criteria in assessing performances: are you your best guitar player right now? “Would you hire yourself or fire yourself?” poses Glaspy.
    The conversation turns to Glaspy’s rig on the record—she played through a Magic Amps rendition of a black-panel Fender Princeton, plus a Fender Champ combo—before revealing that these days, she’s bypassing her tuner pedal and letting the audience hear the process between songs. “Let’s not hide what’s needed to make this actually go,” she laughs.Wong and Glaspy swap notes on Bruce Lee’s winning combo of talent and work ethic (and how one of his quotes inspired Glaspy’s record) before finishing with a fascinating philosophical dissection of artistry, pop culture, and celebrity. “The business of celebrity intertwines them in a way that’s hard to escape,” says Glaspy, who sees a clash between surface-level fantasy and bone-deep darkness in pop culture.
    Tune in to the episode to learn all the gems from Echo The Diamond.
    Listen to the full episode here: https://bit.ly/WongNotes
    Get 30% off your first year of DistroKid by going here: http://distrokid.com/vip/corywong

    Visit Margaret Glaspy: https://margaretglaspy.com/
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
    Twitter: a...

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
61 Ratings

61 Ratings

Hobsonaw ,

Astonishingly good podcast!

Cory Wong is a high energy, exceptional guitarist with a unique style and sound to his playing. One of the best guitarists out there today he has a unique perspective on the life of a top musician and musicians around him open up to his great questions and playing. He is at the top of his game yet grounded and humble. His episodes are like getting together with a couple of buds and talkin’ shop! Can’t wait for the next episode to come out! So come along and be a fly on the wall…

Leo Homem ,

Best guitar podcast ever!

I love Cory’s energy, contagious, but the best in this podcast is that his questions to all these legend guitarists are ALL the questions I’d like to ask! This is a gift to all of us interested in all aspects of music from a guitar POV.
Dig it!

jj0606060606 ,

Love It

Cory is the best! I love It! We need more guitar podcasts

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