Feed aggregator

The Fender Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic

The Unique Guitar Blog - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 05:40
1951 Fender Esquire
Fender introduced their solid body electric guitar, the Esquire, as early as 1950. This "Spanish-style" electric guitar was made in the style of Leo Fender’s lap steel guitars, with a single slanted pickup placed right next to the bridge and saddles.

'50 Broadcaster
In the fall of that year Fender added an additional pickup and called that guitar the Broadcaster, which didn’t last long as Gretsch had trademarked that name for their drum sets. So the word "Broadcaster" was cut off of subsequent headstock decals.

1951 Fender Telecaster
By the summer of 1951 the guitar was renamed the Telecaster.



1954 Fender Stratocaster

Moving forward to 1954, Fender introduced the Stratocaster. The introduction of this guitar coincided with the year Elvis Presley became popular, which caused an increased interest in the guitar.


By 1956 Leo Fender thought it might be a good idea to introduce a student model to the Fender line up, which would have a shorter scale for small hands and also had a reduced price point.

1956 Fender Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic Guitars
The 3/4 sized Fender Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic guitar guitars were both offered in the spring of 1956. Both guitars featured a 22 1/2” scale bolt on, soft V style maple neck with a maple fret board. The tuning machines came with less costly plastic buttons instead of metal ones found on the strat and tele. The guitars double cutaway slab body was made of either an ash or alder and featured shorter horns than those on a Stratocaster. Both instruments came with a single volume and tone control.

1956 Fender Musicmaster



The Musicmaster featured just one single-coil slanted pickup in the neck position.







'56 Duo-Sonic



The Duo-Sonic added an additional pickup, without a slant, in the bridge position and a 3-way selector switch on the lower horn. The middle position on the Duo-Sonic placed the single coil pickups in series, thus acting like a humbucking pickup.





Bridge for 1956 Duo-Sonic


Both guitars had adjustable bridges which had 3 sections, much like the older Telecaster bridges, with each section doing duty for two strings. This bridge was fastened directly to the body and it came with a bridge cover, which generally was taken off the guitar.



1956 Duo-Sonic

The initial models of each instrument came with an anodized aluminum pickguard done in a gold colour. This provided shielding. The serial number was stamped on the chrome neck plate.

The original run of these guitars came in only one color that Fender called Desert Sand. The suggested retail price at the time for the Duo-Sonic was $149.50.

1959 Musicmaster


This model went unchanged until later in 1959 when a rosewood slab fret board was added to the maple neck. Within a year Fender changed this to the veneer style rosewood fret board. The anodized aluminum pickguard was changed to a plastic one with shielding under the potentiometers.





1959 Musicmaster



1959 was also the year that the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic came in Sunburst which replaced Desert Sand.







1963 Musicmaster



In 1963 the sunburst finish was discontinued and the guitars were available in white with brown plastic pick guards.







1966 Fender Duo-Sonic II


Big changes occurred in late 1964 when the Duo-Sonic and Musicmaster were redesigned. That year the guitars were renamed the Duo-Sonic II and the Musicmaster II.


1964 Fender Duo-Sonic II
Fender had released the Mustang in that same year and this guita featured a larger offset body. The headstock on the Mustang was larger. These features were added to the Duro-Sonic, which became essentially a Mustang without the vibrato. The 3-way switch was also gone, and replaced with two 3 position slider switches, similar to those on the Mustang.

1965 Fender Duo-sonic II
Both pickups were slanted and available with red pearl or white covers. The pickguard was now a 3 ply style and offered in white or red pearloid material. Just like the Mustang, the volume and tone controls and the jack were mounted on a separate metal plate.

1964 Musicmaster II

Similar treatment was done to the Musicmaster, but it had no slider switches.

The bridge/saddle on both guitars were redesigned to have a raised lip on the end to attach the strings. The neck was still available with the 22 1/2” scale, but the guitars were also offered the same 24” scale neck found on the Mustang.




1964 Musicmaster II and Duo-Sonic II

Both guitars were available in Dakota red, white, or Daphne blue finishes.

The Duo-Sonic II lasted until 1969, when Fender determined that the popularity of Mustang sales did not warrant maintaining the “hard-tailed” Duo-Sonic.


1971 Musicmaster



However the single pickup Musicmaster was still kept in the line up.  However the designation Musicmaster II was dropped in favor of just Musicmaster. The Musicmaster was offered by Fender through 1982.





'93 Duo-Sonic

In 1993 Fender decided to reissue the Duo-Sonic. This time it was made in Mexico. The scale was still short, however this time it was 22.7” instead the of 22.5’ length. The neck was now back to maple with a maple fretboard. The twin slider switches were replaced with the 3-way toggle selector on the guitars upper horn. The bridge still had the raised lip. These models were available in black, Torino red and Arctic white. These guitar remained in the line up through 1997. The pickguard was made of one piece of plastic, with no chrome control panel.



1998 Squier Affinity Duo-Sonic
In 1998 the Duo-Sonic was produced as a Chinese made Squier Affinity model. The biggest changes on this version was the the pickups, which looked more like strat pickups with the pole pieces showing. The two knobs were plastic strat-style versions instead of Mustang or Tele style knobs. This guitar was dropped from the line up in 1999.



2008 Squier Classic Vibe Duo Sonic
In 2008 the Duo-Sonic resurfaced under the company’s Squier brand as part of their Classic Vibe series. This time the guitar attempted to be a recreation of the 1956 version, including the Desert Sand finish, the gold anodized pickguard and the maple neck/maple fret board.

There were a few changes. The body was made of basswood and the neck was a 24” scale with a C-shape. The frets were updated to medium jumbo ones and the bridge pickup was moved 3/4’s of an inch further from the bridge compared to the original. This model was discontinued in 2011.

2016 Fender Duo-Sonics



In 2016 Fender offered two updated versions of the Duo-Sonic under the Fender brand name. Both guitars came with 24” scale necks.






2016 MN


The Duo-Sonic MN featured 2 single coil pickups with a slanted neck pickup and a bridge pickup that was parallel to the bridge/saddle. This guitar appears to be fairly close to the original model, but for the scale and the six-section adjustable bridge with the strings going through the body and anchored in the back of the guitar.





2016 HS


The other model was the Duo-Sonic HS, which featured a single coil slanted pickup in the neck position and a humbucking pickup in the bridge position that featured coil tapping. The bodies are made of alder wood, while the necks are maple and offered with either a maple or rosewood fretboard. Both instruments are manufactured in Mexico and remain in the Fender line up at present.




Bronco Set

A close cousin to the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic was the Fender Bronco. This was another student guitar that was initially sold as a student package along with the Fender Bronco amp, which was actually a very nice Fender silverface Vibro-Champ amplifier. The only difference in the amplifiers was the colour of the logo. This amplifier came with red lettering that stated Bronco, instead of blue lettering stating Vibro-Champ.



1967 Fender Bronco
The Bronco guitar was introduced in 1967. The guitars body was the same as the Mustang and Duo-Sonic of that era. The C-shaped neck had a scale of 24” and included a large headstock, similar to the one on the Mustang.

The fretboard was of the Fender laminated rosewood variety with dot position markers. Like the Musicmaster, the Fender Bronco has only one pickup, but it was placed In the bridge position. This was a slanted single coil pickup with no exposed pole pieces.

1967 Fender Bronco amplifier
The 3 ply pickguard was was white or black plastic and included a section for the volume and tone controls and jack. The Bronco came with an unusual vibrato system that Fender never used on any other guitars.

The Bronco stayed in the Fender line up until 1981. It was then replaced by the Fender Bullet 1.

1981 Fender Bullet 1
The Fender Bullet 1 was another unique Fender instrument marketed to students or players looking for a low cost Fender guitar.

This first version of the Bullet included an anodized pickguard with controls for tone and volume.. The distal end of the metal pickguard had a lip that held the six adjustable bridge saddles.

The guitars body had a shape more like a Telecaster than a Mustang. The twin single coil pickups were done in the same manner as the original Duo-Sonic; the neck pickup slanted downward and the bridge pickup was parallel to the bridge saddles. The bolt-on maple neck was topped with a laminated rosewood fretboard and a Telecaster style headstock. The 3 position blade switch was very similar to the one used on early Stratocasters.

'81 Bullet Deluxe


Later models, known as the Fender Bullet Deluxe, were produced with a plastic pickguard and a metal plate that housed the bridge/saddle unit. By 1982 the Bullet was redesigned and this version bore no similarity to the Duo-Sonic.

Fender Swinger





One other very interesting Fender student guitar worth mentioning;The Fender Swinger.






Babe Simoni
Vigiliio “Babe” Simoni was hired at Fender when he was a 16 year old kid. He rose up the ranks and became the product manager. Simoni stayed on with Fender after CBS purchased the company.

Swinger body routed for Bass V pickups

The new bosses gave him instructions to find something profitable to do with leftover parts. Simoni was not a designer, but he was skilled in shaping bodies, necks and routing.

He came up with two very unique guitars and one of them was the Fender Swinger, which was fashioned from leftover Musicmaster, short-scale necks, and Fender Bass V bodies.

Fender Swinger
Babe had workers saw a curve section into the bottom end of the body and then the sawed off a portion of the upper horn. He also had them cut the end of the headstock on the the 22 1/2” Musicmaster necks into a sharp point.

These guitars  utilized left over 1969 pick guards that had been cut out to allow space for the metal control panel. This guitar came with a single slanted neck pickup. The 3 section bridge/saddles were the same ones used on Musicmasters and Duo-Sonics that were made during the 1964-1969 era.

1969 Fender Swinger
Swinger bodies were offered in various colours, including Olympic White, Daphne Blue, Dakota Red, Black, Lake Placid Blue, and Candy Apple Red.

Logos on the Headstock


The tuning keys had white plastic buttons and the Fender logo decal (in black font) was put on the headstock. On some models to the right of this was “Swinger” in a similar black script. Most models deleted the guitars name.





Back of the Swinger body



Though the Swinger was an inexpensive 3/4 sized guitar at the time it was offered to the public, its scarcity has made this guitar very collectible and commanding thousands in today’s vintage market. 





Another variant of the Duo-Sonic and Musicmaster guitar was the Fender Musicmaster bass guitar.

1966 Fender Mustang Bass
Fender had launched the Mustang guitar in 1964. Two years later Fender produced the Mustang Bass. This was a short scale bass with a 30" neck, split single coil pickups, somewhat like the ones on a Precision Bass, but with rounded corners, and a body just like the one on the Fender Mustang guitar.

This bass came with a plastic pickguard and a metal control section similar to the one on the Mustang guitar. The bridge/saddle section consisted of a chrome plate with a raised lip at its end and 4 adjustable saddles.


1971 Musicmaster Bass
In 1971 Fender introduced a budget version of this bass and called it the Musicmaster bass. The body was similar. This instrument was made of surplus parts of other guitars.

The controls and pickup were mounted on the plastic pickguard, which was much smaller than the one on the Mustang bass. The bridge/saddle was different from the Mustang bass.



The strings attached to the lip of a chrome plate and passed over two adjustable sections, much like the saddles found on a Telecaster.

1972 Musicmaster Bass


This bass had one single coil pickup with a cover that did not expose the pole pieces. If you removed it, then you would find six pole pieces, as it was actually a Stratocaster pickup. This led to a common criticism that the Musicmaster bass sounded thinner than other bass guitars.




1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass

Most Musicmaster bass guitars came with a white or black pickguard, while some had a pearl design. The 30” scale maple neck was capped with a rosewood fretboard. The headstock was smaller than the Mustang bass. The tuning keys were triangular.

Original models came in black, red, or white. Later models were available in other Fender finish options.

The Fender Musicmaster bass was in the line up until 1981. It was reintroduced as the Squier Musicmaster bass in 1997.

1997 Squier Musicmaster Bass
There were several differences in this model, aside from being made off shore.  This version had four exposed pole pieces. The bridge was still mounted on a screw in chrome plate, but it had four adjustable saddles instead of just two.

The control knobs on the Fender Musicmaster bass were made of plastic, while the Squier version had metallic knobs.

Squier Bronco Bass


The Squier Musicmaster bass was produced for less than a year, when Fender introduced the Squier Bronco bass. This was a simlar bass, but utilized a covered pickup that had 4 pole pieces. The bridge/saddle reverted back to the two section type.




2002 Fender Mustang Bass MIJ

The Fender or Squier Musicmaster bass never resurfaced. The Fender Mustang bass was reissued in 2002. It remains in the Fender line up.



Squier Bronco
The Squier Bronco Bass is now part of the Squier Affinity series.

Unfortunately, the vintage Fender Musicmaster bass, though no longer available, is one of the least collectible Fender instruments.

The links under the pictures will take you to their source. The links in the text will take you to more interesting information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)






Categories: General Interest

Inspiration for the Day

Guitar Gear - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 08:59
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” ~ Jack London I was watching a documentary on the great Raiders quarterback, Ken “Snake” Stabler. In one segment, the narrator mentioned that Stabler was well-read, and an […]
Categories: General Interest

Pedals You Never Get Tired Of…

Guitar Gear - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 07:51
For me, it’s overdrive pedals. Transparent, amp-in-a-box, tone-coloring, you name it, I love it. To me, overdrive pedals are a lot like guitars. They all have their own unique sounds. And like guitars, when your wife or significant other asks you how many overdrive pedals do you need, for me, the answer is always: Just one […]
Categories: General Interest

THE GOLDEN THREAD: ELECTRONICS

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 05:00

revised The golden thread.jpg

What do you think of when you hear acoustic/electric mentioned in guitar specifications? Years ago, you may have thought of that slightly quacky sound that is often associated with older piezo pickups or maybe that feedback that you may have ran into when standing in front of a microphone on stage.

Up until just a few years ago you probably would have been spot on with those thoughts, but today that way of thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth! In fact, today's electronic systems offer a very natural sound while giving the volume you need to be heard amongst the banjo players and drummers of the world without that annoying feedback of a microphone.

I have been fortunate enough to be included in many electronic system sound tests and have been able to play almost every electronic system we have offered over the past twelve years. With that in mind, I want to delve into a few of the most popular electronic systems we get requests for in the Custom Shop.

Our most requested system is the Fishman Matrix Infinity system. This system is one of our least invasive options that offers a very natural sound with the added convenience of volume/tone control on the inside edge of the sound hole for easy adjustment during your performance.

We also have a version of the Fishman Matrix with an added bridge plate transducer that will help bring out some more of the body warmth and percussive sounds that some players may want. This system is called the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance. This has an added enhance knob in the soundhole which will adjust the level of the bridge plate transducer signal.

vt-Ecard.jpg

We also receive a lot of requests for the Martin Thinline Gold Plus which is another non-invasive system that has a very natural sound but doesn’t have the volume/tone knob; this is a great option for someone who prefers to adjust volume & tone from the amplifier/board they are plugged into.

Sticking with the lesser invasive options we offer; for the player that uses a preamp to adjust their tone and drive their signal to the PA, we offer the passive Martin Thinline 332. This system is very similar tonally to the Thinline Gold Plus but isn’t powered so it requires the use of an out board preamp.

This is just a sample of the electronic systems we offer in the Martin Custom Shop. If you are interested in adding electronics to an existing Martin Guitar model or building a completely custom guitar, please contact your favorite Martin Guitar dealer and they will help you order the guitar of your dreams!

As a twelve year employee of Martin Guitar, Jimmie has had a love for what he does since day 1.  He started his career working on X-series instruments.  Because of his enthusiasm, he moved on to final inspection and learned everything from polishing, to running the Plek machines, to all other aspects of final setup.  Jimmie spent a few years in customer service because he’s so gosh-darn friendly! Now-a-days, Jimmie spends his time as a custom shop administrator where he helps people build their dream guitars.  He’s a guitar nerd but also a true music fan and listens to everything from the Beatles to Black Label Society to Brad Paisley. 

Categories: Manufacturers

Seymour Duncan Releases Mark Holcomb Alpha & Omega Signature Pickups

I Heart Guitar - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 14:59

 

IMG_0210

SANTA BARBARA, CA March 1, 2017 – Seymour Duncan, a leading manufacturer of pickups and pedals, announces the over-the-counter release of Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb’s Alpha and Omega pickups in 6, 7 and 8-string versions.

“The Alpha/Omega set has been the heartbeat of my sound for the past several years,” Mark Holcomb says. “Since we developed and released the first 6-string set in the custom shop, I’ve had the same pickup set in every one of my 6, 7 and 8-string guitars, live and in the studio. It has remained one of the few components of my rig and setup that I haven’t even thought about tweaking.”

“The Omega bridge pickup came out super cool,” Holcomb continues. “It’s very, very aggressive and snarling, with that percussive quality that I like in the low mids. My style is based on really big chords with a lot of voicings, and I didn’t want to sacrifice any of that in the bridge pickup. And the Alpha neck pickup has lots of pick attack – probably the most pick attack of any neck pickup I’ve ever played. But it’s still very fat and glassy.”

“The 6-string Custom Shop release of this pickup was very popular and we heard a lot from Mark and Mark’s fans who said they wanted extended range versions of that same pickup and the ability to buy it over the counter,” says Seymour Duncan SVP of Products & CRO Max Gutnik. “We’re excited to make them available to more players, with more variety.”

Available as a set, or individual neck or bridge pickups.
6, 7 or 8-string options.
Trembucker option is available for 6-string.

Seymour Duncan Mark Holcomb Alpha/Omega pickups are made in the USA and will be available on March 1, 2017.

About Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan celebrates a rich history as the world’s leading pickup and pedal manufacturer. Since 1976, Seymour Duncan has helped the world’s artists develop their own unique, signature sounds. This is accomplished through a dedicated team of craftsman at their Santa Barbara, California office. For more information, please visit seymourduncan.com.

Peter

The post Seymour Duncan Releases Mark Holcomb Alpha & Omega Signature Pickups appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Ultra Rare1967 Bigsby Condor Prototype. One of only Only 3

Guitarz - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 06:30
guitarz.blogspot.com:







There's a lot that can be said about this 1967 Bigsby Condor Prototype. But, like the seller, I really don't know where to start. He has this information though, which is a bit more than I could muster up:

"1967 Bigsby Condor Prototype Experimental Guitar, only 3 made, was to be called the Condor, one was given to Barney Kessel, the other was given to Howard Roberts, this one sat in Milwaukee since then, Paul Bigsby may have worked on this-no way to know, the pots are 1967, Paul died in 1968, Hammond was contacted for the electronics, and the work was contracted out to Gibbs Electronics in Milton Wisconsin, Natural finish, Rosewood fretboard, the guitar weighs 11 lbs. - 0.9 oz., biggest volute & headstock on Earth !!, huge neck profile, the guitar has been sitting for almost 50 years, it has not been tested, everything is in very good condition, don't miss this once in a lifetime chance to get an extremely cool & unique collectors item, has the original fancy heavy duty hard case."




The first thing I noticed was the way the strings break at the bridge at a sideways angle. I've never seen another guitar do that. I wonder how effective it is.

Currently listed at $3295 U.S.

R.W. Haller

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
Categories: General Interest

Greenchild G777 Overdrive

Guitar Gear - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 17:04
No, sorry folks, but this isn’t a review of the pedal. However, it does seem promising. Not just a regular overdrive that’s patterned off the TubeScreamer or Klon, but something with an entirely different voice. On top of that, it has two independent overdrive channels that can be run in parallel or stacked and it […]
Categories: General Interest

Gear Gods Explore What’s New with Charvel for 2017

Charvel Guitars - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:33

Gear Gods visited the Charvel booth at the 2017 NAMM show to learn more about the brand new models in the lineup.

In the clip below, Charvel Product Manager Peter Wichers gives a detailed look at the Joe Duplantier Signature Pro-Mod San Dimas® Style 2 HH, the Guthrie Govan Signature HSH Flame Maple, the Guthrie Govan Signature HSH Caramelized Ash and the all-new Pro-Mod Style 2’s.

Check out the video below to discover more.

Categories: Manufacturers

Is There a Viable Alternative to Rosewood?

Guitar Gear - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 11:57
Before I share my own thoughts, I’d like to share an email I got this morning from MusicTrades.com. It’s a trade rag magazine that puts out email digests. I normally ignore them, but the title of the article caught my eye, and I thought I’d pass it along after I read it. Here it is […]
Categories: General Interest

MARTIN MONDAY: STING PERFORMS AT THE OSCARS

The Martin Guitar Blog - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 07:58

The big event that the 2017 Oscars did right was asking Sting to perform!

Sting_Oscars.jpg

The singer, songwriter, and Martin player took the stage at the award show to perform "Empty Chair" from JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY. The song was one of the nominees in the Music (Original Song) category. This was Sting's fourth Oscar nomination. His heartfelt, acoustic performance was definitely a favorite of the night.

You can watch a clip of the performance of "Empty Chair" here.

Sting performed at the Oscars with his beloved Custom Martin guitar. You can learn more about creating your own custom Martin guitar and the new Platinum Experience here. You can also find an authorized Martin dealer in your area here.

Categories: Manufacturers

Larry Coryell, The Godfather of Fusion Guitar, Dead at age 73 - A Retrospective of his guitars

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 07:53
Larry Coryell playing his Hagstrom Swede guitar
Larry Coryell passed away of heart failure this past Sunday at age 73. Larry was best known as a Jazz-Fusion player and even dubbed the “Godfather of Fusion.”

He was born Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III in Galveston Texas and grew up in Richland, Washington when his mother re-married. Larry took his beloved stepfather’s surname, Coryell, at this time. He attended the University of Washington and played in some club bands.

Coryell with Chico Hamilton Quintet


In 1965 Coryell moved to New York City and attended the Mannes School of Music where he got his first big break by joining drummer Chico Hamilton’s jazz quintet.





Coryell in the Gary Burton group


A few years later he recorded with Jazz vibraphone player, Gary Burton.




The Free Spirits



He was also part of a Jazz-Rock group called The Free Spirits and recorded with them.







Larry and Julie Nathanson Coryell


It was during this time period he married Julie Nathanson, a writer-actress and released a solo LP entitled Lady Coryell. This and subsequent LP’s featured his wife’s photos on the cover as well as her poetry.




1970 Album Spaces



In late 1969 he recorded Spaces, the album for which he is best remembered. It was a guitar blow-out that also included John McLaughlin.





Larry Coryell 1971 Barefoot Boy


In the early 1970’s he was in a group called Foreplay, Albums from this era include some of his finest, including Barfoot Boy, Offering and The Real Great Escape.





 Coryell at Long View Farm


After Foreplay disbanded Coryell briefly turned to the acoustic guitar. He returned to the acoustic guitar for albums with the Brubeck Brothers and Mouzon.






The Guitar Trio

By 1979 Coryell formed The Guitar Trio with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. The group toured Europe. Sadly his addiction lead to him being replaced by Al Di Meola.

Larry stated that he sought help for his problems and became sober, but attended counselling most of his adult life.

1967 Super 400


Throughout his career, Larry Coryell played a variety of interesting guitars. He seemed to be most fond of archtop, hollowbody electrics and even states in an interview that his favorite guitar was his 1967 Gibson Super 400.





Younger days with the '67 Super 400



Interestingly, he views guitars as "wood and metal"; Coryell was all about the music.




Coryell with his first Super 400


In his younger days he played a different Gibson Super 400. This one was blonde and had a single floating pickup mounted on the pickguard.  This guitar was stolen.


With Hagstrom Swede



For a long time he played a Hagstrom Swede.  This was a solidbody guitar that he says he received when his manager made a deal with the company and he used it for nearly 12 years.





Coryell with Ovation Adamas


Coryell also liked the older Ovations that were made in the 70’s, as they were durable road guitars, had great piezo pickups, and had the feel of electric guitars. At one time he even played an Adamas 12 string.



With Matthews Telecaster
Coryell has been photographed playing Martin guitars, classical guitars (actually a Rodriguez Flamenco guitar that was a gift), a white Les Paul guitar, even a Stratocaster and a Telecaster.


Coryell with Parker Guitar

Larry Coryell is well known for playing a blonde Parker semi-acoustic hollowbody guitar. He also played a similar model with a sunburst finish.



Coryell with Parker Event Series acoustic

Coryell must have been fond of Parkers, as he also owned and played a Parker Event Series acoustic steel string guitar, that was made by Washburn.




Larry Coryell Cort model



At one point Cort Guitars offered a Larry Coryell model.






Coryell with his SF Twin Reverb

For much of his career Coryell relied on Fender Twin Reverb amplifiers. Later in life he only used this amp for loud gigs, instead relying on a Jazz-Kat BluesKat amp or a Henriksen amplifier.

With Hamer Monaco III



He said that used little or no reverb, preferring a touch of delay and chorus to get his sound.







The Original Eleventh House
Larry Coryell has collaborated on stage with so many great artists, from Herbie Mann to B.B. King and others too numerous to mention. Larry was still touring the world right up until his passing. He had played two shows at the Iridium in New York city on February 17th and 18th.


He was planning an extensive 2017 summer tour with a reformed the Eleventh House.

He is survived by his wife, Tracey, his daughter Annie, his sons Murali and Julian, and his daughter Allegra, as well as six grandchildren. Both of his sons play guitar and have their own trios





Categories: General Interest

On the Bench - Redwood/Black Walnut Classical Guitar

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 15:06
Redwood forests were California's second Mother Lode, and like Sierra Nevada gold they are inextricably linked to the state's history.

John Evarts, et al, Coast Redwood, A Natural History, 2011

Today, I glued the back onto a redwood/black walnut classical guitar that I named Luisa, after the flamenco bailaora, Luisa Maravilla.

The top is redwood that I purchased from Paul Carroll at Redwood Bears and Burls in Gasquet, California.

The back and sides I re-sawed, by hand with a Disston D-8 rip saw, from a board of black walnut that I purchased at a flea market in Longmont, Colorado.

The neck is Port Orford cedar, the top braces are from a 50+ year old white fir 2x4, the back fillet is sycamore, the back braces are black cherry. All of these species grow in Tehama County, California, which is where I am from, either as naturals or exotics.

It is a "green" guitar, meaning that all the wood comes from sustainable sources.

Here are some photos of building this guitar.


Joining the top pieces.



Preparing to rout out the channel for the rosette.



Laying out the top bracing. This is similar to the bracing pattern used by the great guitarrero, Feliz Manzanero.



Glueing on the transverse braces.



The sides are next...



and the top blocks are glued in one at a time.



The sides are attached to the top and the neck.



Back linings attached along with all of the pillarettes to support the back braces.



The back is ready, with my label, to be glued on.



The Cumpiano/Natelson method for clamping the back onto a guitar, a cut up inner tube.

It was a lot of fun work to reach this point!

Rick Nielsen's 1959 Les Paul Replicated

Gibson Electric Guitars - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 05:27
Gibson Custom is proud to announce the Limited release of the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard, a precise replica of the 'Burst that has been Rick's favorite stage and studio guitar since he acquired it over a quarter of a century ago. From the start, the foundation of one of rock and roll's most lasting legacies has been Rick Nielsen. The guitarist, writer and seemingly endless source of energy is known to the masses for his songsmith's prowess and guitar skills on stage and in the studio...
Categories: Manufacturers

THE GOLDEN THREAD: THE PLATINUM EXPERIENCE

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 05:00

revised The golden thread.jpg

The world-renowned Martin Guitar Custom Shop is able to make your guitar dreams a reality. 

platinum 1.jpg

Martin invites guitar enthusiasts purchasing a custom shop or limited edition model priced over $15,000 to our factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania for the unforgettable Platinum Experience. 

Your journey begins with transportation provided by Martin Guitar to our factory. Upon arrival, you will be treated to a private behind-the-scenes tour after which our Custom Shop team will present you with your instrument. You will be introduced to the skilled Custom Shop craftspeople who built your instrument and speak with a professional tech who will answer all of your questions.

Your visit will include lunch and, if scheduling permits, a meet and greet with Chairman and CEO, Chris Martin IV. You will also be sent home with a Platinum Experience gift bag!

Ready to take the leap? Learn more about the Platinum Experience here and find an authorized Martin dealer to begin your Custom Martin guitar here.

 

Categories: Manufacturers

Late 60s ES 335TD

Gibson Electric Guitars - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 05:13
Late 60s ES 335TDLimited edition of Gibson's flagship semi-solid guitar features narrower nut width, slim neck, larger f holes, period correct peghead inlay, chrome hardware and trapeze tailpiece. MHS pickups are designed to complement the semi-solid body construction and are calibrated for balanced output.
Categories: Manufacturers

Alex Lifeson Signature

Gibson Electric Guitars - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 02:26
Alex Lifeson SignatureGibson Memphis honors the world renowned guitarist of Rush with the popular new Les Paul-meets-ES-335 hybrid, made to the specifications of Alex Lifeson himself. Premiere tone is produced thanks to quarter-sawn, thermally engineered Adirondack spruce bracing and a thermally engineered Mahogany centerblock, two PAF-like MHS humbuckers, matched potentiometers, historic truss rod, titanium bridge saddles, a bone nut and more, while rolled neck binding delivers a sublimely comfortable playing fee...
Categories: Manufacturers

Who is Mel Bay?

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 07:32
Dodd's Music was in the white building


I started taking guitar lessons when I was 13 years old; first at the YMCA in a group setting and then at Dodd’s Music Store, in Covington, Kentucky.






One of the acts on WLW radio

My teacher at Dodd's was an old guy named George Olinger. George made a living playing guitar in Country groups around town as well as being a staff guitarist on WLW radio, back in the days when the station played live music.

George taught me the basic chord patterns mainly from the books he had me purchase, which seemed to all be written by one man; Mel Bay.

Tommy Flint
Last week I learned that a fairly well-known guitarist named Tommy Flint had passed away. It seems that Mr. Flint was not only an excellent finger-style guitarist, in the style of Chet Atkins, but also an author of guitar instruction books that were published by Mel Bay.

This got me to wondering, who was Mel Bay?


Mel 1928 with National Triolian

Mel grew up in a small Missouri town in the Ozark Mountains. He bought his first guitar at the age of 13 from a Sears and Roebuck catalog. Within months of acquiring the guitar, he was playing in front of people. Mel Bay never had a guitar teacher.  He watched other guitar player perform and memorized their fingering on the fretboard.


That is the way I learned to play guitar.  I stood in front of bands and watched the lead guitar player and copied his fingerings. I am certain many of you reading this article honed your skills in much the same manner.

Bay was not satisfied to just learn the guitar. No sir. He went on to learn fingerings on the tenor banjo, mandolin, ukulele and Hawaiian slide guitar. This was all back in the 1920's when he was still a young man.

D'Angelico with "Melbourne Bay"
engraved on the pickguard
Mel Bay became hooked on playing in front of audiences and decided to make a career out of being a professional musician. So he moved to St. Louis in 1933 and joined numerous local and traveling bands. He also was hired by several radio stations as a staff guitarist.

He put together The Mel Bay Trio, which consisted of him, a bass player and a drummer. And this became his steady gig for the next 25 years. His career was briefly interrupted by a stint in the US Army during WWII.

His custom D'Angelico New Yorker
As a working musician he had extra time and was able to teach guitar to others. In fact Mel Bay taught as many as 100 students a week. During those years he found out there was not a lot of instructional material available at the time.

He determined some of the material availabe was flawed. It only offered students chord patterns; not the ability to learn notes on the guitar.

So Mel began writing his own instruction books. These books became the basis for the Mel Bay Publication House.

Mel Bay's 1st Book
After getting out of the Army, he published his first instruction book in 1947 and called it The Orchestral Chord System for Guitar. This book was the first of many to be published it under his own business; Mel Bay Publishing Incorporated. Amazingly this the book is still in print, but now it is titled The Rhythm Guitar Chord System. This book has been used by countless students to learn how to play guitar.


Mel Bay's 2nd Book



By 1948 another book was published called Modern Guitar Method. Through the years Modern Guitar Method has sold more than 20 million copies in its original version.






Mel teaching guitar to
high school students

By the mid 1950’s Elvis Presley's career was the talk of the nation, and this caused the guitar to experience a surge in popularity. During these years Mel Bay traveled around the country talking to guitar teachers and their students about his publications with the goal of selling them as texts.

In doing this he came to know most every guitar teacher in the United States on a first name basis. Guitar Player Magazine dubbed him as The George Washington of Guitar.

Mel Bay playing a mandolin


Since first publishing guitar instruction books, his company has branched off into publishing method books for violin, banjo, mandolin, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, harmonica, folk instruments, and accordion. His books for guitar include methods for differing styles, including folk, jazz, classical, rock, blues and jazz.


Mel Bay Book by Tommy Flint
Getting back to Tommy Flint, who I mentioned early on; Mr. Flint was the author of Mel Bay’s books on Finger Style guitar, Chet Atkins style picking, as well as Bluegrass Guitar and Christmas Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar.  In all, Tommy Flint wrote over 40 books for Mel Bay Publishing

Mel Bay received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guitar Foundation of America from the Retail Print Music Dealers Association and he also received the Owen Miller Award from the American Federation of Musicians.

Bay received a Certificate of Merit from the St. Louis Music Educators Association, as well as a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives honoring his achievements. He ever was sent a letter of commendation from President Bill Clinton, and was honored by St. Louis mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. Making October 25, 1996 “Mel Bay Day” for citizens of that fair city.

Mel's D'Angelico New Yorker 
I often wondered about the image of a D’Angelico guitar on the cover of the Mel Bay instruction book that I purchased so many years ago. A similar guitar image also shows up on the cover of other Mel Bay guitar instruction books. It seem that Mel used to sell D’Angelico guitars and kept a half a dozen D'Angelico guitars at his home that were for sale to perspective students.


One of Mel's personal guitars was a New Yorker model with a cutaway and a slightly thinner neck custom made for him.

Mel Bay



Mel Bay kept playing guitar every day until his death at age 84 in 1997.






From St. Louis WOF Inductees
On June 30 of 2011, the city of St. Louis, Missouri honored him one more time by inducting him into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. There is also a Mel Bay Jazz Festival held annually in DeSoto, Missouri; the town where he grew up. The music center at the town’s high school is named in his honor.

Ode To Mel Bay

A song was written by Michael “Supe” Granda of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils called “Ode to Mel Bay”. It is featured on the album by Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins called The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World. It sort of makes fun of Mel’s instruction books.



Mel Bay Books
Today Mel Bay Publications offers hundreds of books for a variety of instruments that were written by many different authors including Mel’s son, William Bay, who is a very proficient guitarist as well as an author and runs Mel Bay Publications

.



Categories: General Interest

DEAR EMILY: THE TONEWOOD EVERYONE OVER LOOKS

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 05:00

dear_emily_blog_header1.jpg

 

Let’s talk about Walnut for a second.  Let’s talk about how poor Walnut is often overlooked.  Everyone has seen English Walnut, Claro Walnut, all the beautiful looking Walnuts.  But what about boring old Black Walnut?  A little lack luster in appearance, it’s often passed by as a mediocre tonewood.  And it isn’t harvested in some exotic location like Central America. It’s from Eastern USA, right in Martin’s backyard.  Don’t be fooled though, Black Walnut kicks some serious butt and will surprise you. 

Walnut.png

Every year, we take some of our favorite in-house builds to the NAMM Show.  In 2017, my favorite was a Black Walnut Dreadnought that we’ve been calling the “Clarence Walnut."  Inspired by the humongous sound of the Clarence White model from years ago, this thing is a boomer!  The Adirondack top paired with forward shifted Golden Era braces, a large soundhole, and Black Walnut all add up to an amazing, huge sounding guitar. 

What I like so much about this guitar is that its a cannon but its balanced.  That can be hard to find!  Sometimes huge sounding guitars quickly lose balance and complexity in the search for sheer volume and power.  If you’re strictly buying with your ears, this might be your new favorite. 

Emily has worked at Martin Guitar for 10 years. She has been cross-trained in every aspect of guitar building and currently serves as the Martin Guitar Custom Shop Administrator. Dear Emily is an advice column that will appear bi-monthly on the Martin Guitar Blog.

Categories: Manufacturers

Classical Guitars for Sale, 15% Off All Guitars in Stock!

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Wed, 02/15/2017 - 07:48

I am extending my 15% off sale through March 2017!

Now's your chance to own one of my handcrafted guitars!

Please contact me for details!

Pages

Subscribe to Norse Guitars aggregator