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Learn Guitar From A Legend: Uli Jon Roth Brings Sky Academy To Reggie's

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 31, 2015 5:00PM

One of the great guitar players in rock history, Uli Jon Roth, will be hosting a guitar workshop at Reggie's Sunday afternoon, which should be a cool opportunity to awaken the inner artist in us all.

When Uli Jon Roth joined Scorpions back in 1973, the band had just lost its lead guitarist, Michael Schenker, and found itself in a bit of jam. With the help of Roth's skills at soloing and songwriting, Scorpions became a worldwide sensation. He left Scorpions in 1978 after the release of one of the great rock live albums, Tokyo Tapes, as he became disinterested in the more commercial direction of the band. At least, that's how the story goes.

During his stint with the Scorps, Roth's writing and playing propelled some of the band's best work with releases Fly To the Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killers (1976) and Taken By Force (1977). There are some great rock songs in this collection of albums, before Scorpions started writing corny diddies like "Rock You Like A Hurricane" or "Winds of Change."

Roth not only was skilled, but innovative as well. He began incorporating classical scales into his writing and soloing which helped him stand apart from his contemporaries who didn't stray from the blues box. His post-Scorpions career focussed more on classical music, and Roth even commissioned a six-octave Sky Guitar to imitate the higher register sounds of violin strings.

His Sky Academy workshops are designed to tap into the more ethereal aspects of guitar playing. There is less emphasis on technique and exercises, but rather delves into more inspirational concepts to bring players to a new level. The four-hour workshop includes a bunch— oh, and the chance to learn from Uli Jon Roth!

Players of all skill levels are welcome and they are encouraged to bring their own guitars.

Roth will perform at Reggie's Rock Club later that night as part of the XG Extreme Guitar Tour. The show also includes a performance from Vinny Moore and Black Knights Rising which features Craig Goldy on guitar, Vinnie Appice on drums and singer Mark Boals. Canadian metal act Old James rounds out the bill.

Roth has rediscovered the Scorpions catalogue. He is releasing a double album of "re-imagined" versions of his favorites songs from the band, and has been playing some of those classics on the tour. He's also been wailing a killer version Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing." Check it out here.

Uli Jon Roth's Sky Academy Clinic runs from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday at Reggie's (2105 S. State St.). $115 - $140. The XG Extreme Guitar begins at 6 p.m. Sunday at Reggie's. $25 - $75. 17 and older.