85 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 • 57 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.

    Kurt Rosenwinkel Weighs In

    Kurt Rosenwinkel Weighs In

    This time on Wong Notes, guitar legend Kurt Rosenwinkel joins Cory Wong to go deep on all things jazz. The genre has always been a haven for free-thinkers and adventurers, so it’s little surprise when Rosenwinkel reveals that he’s incorporated a Fractal FM9 into his live rig—though it’s still working in tandem with a good ol’ Fender tube amp.
    Rosenwinkel divulges the details on his “softer, darker” attack, which combined with his approach to tone—including a fair bit of top-end roll-off—constitutes a big piece of his signature sound. Rosenwinkel’s forthcoming live record, The Next Step Band (Live at Smalls 1996), captures this sound in the place that formed it: New York City. Rosenwinkel takes Wong back to the halcyon days of the city’s kinetic 1990s “hardcore” bebop and free-jazz scene, where Mitch Borden’s legendary Smalls Jazz Club was an artistic hotbed (and crash pad) for players of all stripes.
    Nowadays, more and more artists are forming their connections online rather in a jazz club. But can TikTok and Instagram replace an all-night jazz joint for up-and-coming players?
    Tune in, and be sure to check out Kurt’s career-spanning new Ultimate Book of Compositions.
    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 Kurt Rosenwinkel: https://kurtrosenwinkel.com/
    Hit us up: wongnotes@premierguitar.com
    Visit Cory: https://www.corywongmusic.com
    Visit Premier Guitar: http://premierguitar.com
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/wongnotespod
    Produced by Jason Shadrick and Cory Wong
    Additional Editing by Shawn Persinger
    Presented by DistroKid

    • 56 min
    Al Di Meola: Friday Night at Olive Garden

    Al Di Meola: Friday Night at Olive Garden

    The legendary shred maestro—best known for his work as a solo artist and as a member of Return to Forever and other high-profile, hot-shot collabs—drops by to chat with Cory about his new epic full-length, Twentyfour. It features “sixteen brand-new compositions and they’re all very involved. I hope I don’t have to do this again.”
    One of Di Meola’s biggest projects is, of course, the guitar trio he shared with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía and their thrilling 1981 record, Friday Night in San Francisco, which elevated the acoustic guitar ensemble to the level of high art. Di Meola shares the behind-the-scenes stories of that tour and the 2022 archival release from the next night’s concert, Saturday Night in San Francisco. He calls the ensemble’s dynamic a “real healthy competition” and explains, “I knew I was up against two guys who were relentless in their delivery of phenomenal ideas. When they finished a solo, it was like, ’Oh my god, what am I gonna come up with.”
    No chat with Di Meola, who famously opened up his kitchen in the post-lockdown part of the pandemic, would be complete without a survey of Southern Italian food. Why is sfogliatelle the maestro’s favorite pastry, and where does he get his? If he’s on tour and there’s nowhere to eat but an Olive Garden, what’s his order? And much, much more.
    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 Al Di Meola: https://www.aldimeola.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...

    • 49 min
    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
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/wongnotespod

    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
    Twitter: a href="https://www.youtube.com/redirect?event=video_description&redir_token=QUFFLUhqbE4zUWVYZWpQSHBlY20yM2plak1kanE2Sk9rZ3xBQ3Jtc0tsRS1TRmRNTEs1WWpQOHMxWG5aMENSd2hMaTZvMUl5Vm5BSEFvb3AxbThEcGI4d2ExaFc3NEN4Uk5Md2pmRnptLXhMQ1JMUVVOdm01dkxsdzZGOU4wemcxUW9VUHpxajlVNWJRekV2Q2w1emlEWVBKMA&q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fwongnotespod" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

MK@in ,

This podcast goes to 11

Good vibes and inspiring, insightful, conversations for present day guitar players. Refreshing, constructive, perspectives on being a musician post 2020.

ABALLAMA ,

Cory Wong

I only just discovered this and I’m hooked 🥳🎉. I’ve listened to your music for the past few years, and it’s always the thing that gets me hooked on me playing my guitar once again, it’s like a bug😂😄😁👍. Keep up the top tier quality show 😁👍

JupiterAAAAA ,

Awesome podcast!

Thank you for sharing, those episodes are so attractive!

Top Podcasts In Music

The Rise and Fall of ...
BBC Radio 6 Music
The Story of Classical
Apple Music
Sidetracked with Annie and Nick
BBC Sounds
Joanna Lumley & The Maestro
Bauer Media
Tape Notes
In The Woods
Defected Radio
Defected

You Might Also Like

Chewing the Gristle with Greg Koch
Greg Koch
Dipped In Tone
Dipped in Tone
The Fretboard Journal Guitar Podcast
The Fretboard Journal
Chasing Tone - Guitar Podcast About Gear, Effects, Amps and Tone
Wampler Pedals
Guitar Nerds
Guitar Nerds
The SBL Podcast
Scott's Bass Lessons