Jump to Navigation

Feed aggregator

Wooden Straight Edges

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 16:57
It is not advisable and can even be dangerous, to entrust someone else with the search for a fiancee, the purchase of a pair of shoes or the choice of a guitar.

Jose Ramirez III, Things about the Guitar, 1990

I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to get done, but I did get started on a few things.

After morning chores, I took the dogs for a walk through our wonderful backyard, which is part of Arapahoe National Forest, and then started making legs for a router table. I have about ten windows (6-9 pane) to make before the end of December and I am not about to plane all the muntins, rails and stiles by hand, I have an expensive router bit for that.

I got the legs glued up, went for a 2.5 mile run and had lunch. The afternoon, I thought, was going to be dedicated to working on a copy of a 1968 Hernandez y Aguado classical guitar, click here for a post on that guitar, I need to thickness the fret board and glue it onto the neck.

First thing I wanted to do was to check to make sure the gluing surface of the neck was still straight, and, as usual, I once again discovered that my 24 inch long Lee Valley straight edge is too long to check the neck. One end of the straight edge ends up on the guitar body which has dome to it so the straight edge won't sit flat. Duh.

The answer was to make a straight edge. If you don't already have Chris Schwarz's article on how to make such a beast, click here and take a gander at how to make a wooden straight edge.

I wanted to use some mahogany that I have, but it isn't quartered well enough. Once again, it was California laurel to the rescue.

The straight edge that I needed most was this one - 16 inches long to check where the fret board will sit. I should have made it 17 to 17 1/2 inches long.

I had a 10 inch piece left over which will be perfect for checking the other side of the neck.

I love California laurel, I wish had some more. It has a wonderful smell, is very easy to work with and makes incredible sounding guitars. I suppose I ought to order a few laurel boards from Gilmer Wood or Northwest Timber.

The fret board will have to wait until next weekend, tomorrow is back to work at my day job.

Here's another YouTube of Leonora Spangenberger.

Fender & Hurley collaborate for Waves For Water Auction

Guitar Noize - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:17

Press release
LOS ANGELES (October 15, 2014) – Through a unique blend of artists and musicians – including Donald Edward Hardy, Brandon Boyd, Thomas Campbell, Johnny Marr and Shawn Stussy – Hurley and Fender will recognize the unparalleled heritage of the world’s most popular guitar on its 60th anniversary. Twenty American-made, hand-painted Stratocaster guitars will be auctioned off to raise money for Waves For Water, which in turn will save lives through water-based initiatives.

STRAT: 60 Years of the Stratocaster is a collaboration between the two unique brands and pays homage to the iconic Fender Stratocaster® guitar as it embarks on its seventh decade of existence. Each Strat® guitar will include individual designs and artwork by a featured artist and will be auctioned on eBay, October 22 through November 1. Proceeds will benefit Waves For Water, an organization that brings access to potable water to nations in need.

A charity art show will take place at Hurley’s headquarters in Orange County on October 24 to bolster the financial efforts of the project, and will be the only exhibit to see the guitars in person before they’re sold via eBay Givingworks.

The featured artists each designed their own unique guitar – the list includes: Shawn Stussy, Don Ed Hardy, Craig Stecyk, Christian Jacobs, Natalia Fabia, Ryan Adams, Johnny Marr, Brandon Boyd, Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, Wes Humpston, Lance Mountain, Tim Armstrong, Tim Biskup, Dan Smith, Albert De Alba, Russell Crotty, Tokyo Hiro, Cryptik and Thomas Campbell.

“Having had a relationship with both Fender and Hurley for years, it seemed natural to bring them together; both are two seminal Southern California brands that have become leaders in world culture,” said Curator and Participating Artist C.R. Stecyk III.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Waves For Water. To learn more, see the guitars, and place a bid on a one-of-a-kind Stratocaster, visit http://ebay.com/stratauction, and wavesforwater.org.

The post Fender & Hurley collaborate for Waves For Water Auction appeared first on Guitar Noize.

Categories: General Interest

Dave Nassie Talks E Minor Chord in New Lesson

Charvel Guitars - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:26

In a new NextLevelGuitar.com lesson inspired by Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan,”  guitarist Dave Nassie covers the E minor chord.

Said Nassie: “We are going to talk about how we can take some really nice clean-tone E minor approaches to creating an intro in songs, really looking at how this particular artist did it in their context, so we can get some almost scary sounding E minor tonalities. They work great over a pentatonic scale, and it’s another way to experience jamming while we are practicing.”

Check out the lesson after the jump.


Categories: Manufacturers

Monday Music Round Up- 10/20

The Martin Guitar Blog - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:03

You + Me Perform On The Ellen Show

After releasing their debut album Rose Ave., the duo You + Me comprised of Martin Ambassador City and Colour and Pink headed to The Ellen Show to perform their single "You and Me." You can watch the video here.


Seth Avett Performs for Acoustic Guitar

Martin Ambassador Seth Avett stopped by the Acoustic Guitar studio to perform "Souls Like The Wheels" and chat about writing songs and much more. You can watch his performance here.


Hunter Hayes To Perfom on CMA Country Christmas

Martin Ambassador Hunter Hayes is scheduled to perform on the two-hour CMA Country Christmas special. The special will air on ABC on December 1st. 


Dierks Bentley Strips Down "I Hold On"

Martin Ambassador Dierks Bentley performed a stripped down, acoustic version of his single "I Hold On" for a special episode of Front and Center. You can watch the performance here.


Categories: Manufacturers

Gibson USA "BECK: Lucille" Modified (allegedly): see if you can make sense of the item description!

Guitarz - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 05:48
This Gibson Les Paul Classic with faux bullet holes in its top is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $2,427 and with free shipping from Japan where the guitar is currently located. I tried finding out some more information about this "customised" guitar, however, the description in the eBay listing left me even more confused:
Among the artists-modify our Les Paul here which is the work of a different color is: "BECK Lucille" modifier! ! I have made based on the Les Paul Gibson Co., Ltd. is a well-established long-established in about said that this unit Lucille, and people do not know is in the guitar brand.

It is one that can be highly recommended for those who are interested in Lucille, it is beginning the guitar now. You can be able to help playing pounding of course, to enjoy enough even if I decorate! !

Clothed in the body the gruesome anecdotes as if to symbolize the one side of the lock, the unit that appeared in the manga BECK is a vivid shine as one of the icons of modern rock guitar, yet the product of a virtual We alone! !

Reproduces closely vivid singe bullet holes and the Lucille and to failure of the escutcheon and pickguard further as if telling the shock, our shop has built up a single realistic.

It is a relic! Version was manufactured based on the Les Paul of good quality 2000s came out of tiger eye this time further

You do up here also only shop.

If you were looking for one to make eye wacky, please consider as soon as possible.

Visit us, we are waiting for your inquiry.
I think it's safe to say that something has been lost in the translation there.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
Categories: General Interest

Spicetone 6Appeal Analog PolyFuzz. Say what?!

Guitar Noize - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 14:20

Hexaphonic fuzz-overdrive with an active breakout box and modulation effects with full MIDI control. Ok we need to break this down as some of you may not have even heard of Hexaphonic pickups. So if you ever seen a Roland equipped MIDI guitar used usually in conjunction with their MIDI effect unit that can turn your guitar into a synth, you’ve seen a Hexaphonic pickup in action. These pickups isolate each string into its own signal so that the strings can be affected individually.

What Spicetone have created is a unique Overdrive unit that takes advantage of Hexaphonic pickup loaded guitars, you can modulate the sound, applying different modulation rates and types per string. For the modulation, there are two Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO) and a Sequencer. The modulation section can control any pot on 6Appeal.

You can modulate drive and level in opposite phase, and get supernatural tremolo.

There is also a powerful Filter Section on three ¼” jack outputs; modulating the Filter produces autowah style effect.

Everything in 6Appeal can be controlled by external MIDI, including the modulation tempo. It is also an outgoing MIDI controller – you can send MIDI messages from 10 pots and 3 footswitches. “Internally, 6Appeal is high end product with more than 1000 components,” tells Taivo Saarts, Spicetone’s technology head. “It’s costly but you have the power of several stompboxes in one pedal. What I like the most is that all settings can be saved. A guitarist has 144 preset memories for one’s own custom presets. I’m also very fond of how we manage to indicate actual pot positions, using illuminated pots.”

If you’re into digital post processing, 6Appeal works as a Breakout Box for 6+1 channels. You can send all channels separately to you DAW, overdriven or clean. The output signal can be boosted to strong +4dB signal level, so you don’t have to turn up your soundcard’s input level.

6Appeal is currently available is Spicetone’s webshop. The international retail price is EUR450 (USD595). Here’s a 10% discount code valid for Guitar Noize readers until 24 Dec 2014: GuitarNoize14.

The post Spicetone 6Appeal Analog PolyFuzz. Say what?! appeared first on Guitar Noize.

Categories: General Interest

How to Become a Creative Badass

Guitar Player Zen - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 00:09
If you have stumbled across this site, there is a good chance that you might be interested in becoming a creative guitar badass.

Well, today you are in luck.

Although I no longer update this blog, I have started a new website all about creativity & innovation, learning & development, and positive psychology.

My journey as a musician and guitar player has taken me towards these topics in an effort to better develop my own creative badassness.

If you are interested in taking your creativity to the next level (and applying these 9 principles of the creative process to become a better guitarist), please visit my new site, and sign up to receive your free copy of How to Become a Creative Badass today. 

Thanks so much for your support!


Categories: General Interest

Advice for an Aspiring Classical Guitar Maker

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 17:13
I shall start off by stating something that could sound rather surprising coming from a guitar maker: a guitar is not a work of art - it is almost fundamentally a technical opus.

Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990

The following advice is for those who want to make a classical guitar in the Spanish tradition. I do not make steel string guitars, I am not interested in them, but, perhaps, some of this advice can be used to help you succeed in making a steel string guitar.

#1: Buy the following books:

Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology, by Cumpiano and Natelson, click here;

Making Master Guitars, by Roy Courtnall, click here;

The Guitar Maker's Workshop, by Rik Middleton, click here.

And you must buy every book written by Roy Underhill. You will learn so much about hand tools from him!

Read them from cover to cover several times before you start to make a guitar or buy any tools.

#2: Buy The Naked Woodworker with Mike Siemsen (click here).

Buy all the tools needed to build his version of Nicholson's work bench. This DVD will also help you when you go to purchase other tools for guitar making. Remember, you will need a work bench on which to build your first, second, third, etc., guitar!

This DVD is another "must" for your education!

#3: Keep the tool list simple.

Buy only what you need.

Stick with hand tools for your first guitar or two, hand tools are much quieter than power tools, but can bite as badly.

Safety should always be your first concern.

Click here to read about my list of tools for guitar making.

#4: Pick a guitar to make.

Click here to see some plans that are available from the Guild of American Luthiers.

I suggest that you make the guitar in Guitarmaking for your first guitar.

Do not deviate from the instructions in the book, you can do that on your second or third guitar.

Or you can pick a historic guitar, such as the 1912 Manuel Ramirez guitar that was used by the great Andres Segovia (click here for a video), and use the instructions in Courtnall's book to build it, but no matter which method you chose you must follow the method to the letter and remain true to whatever guitar you pick!

#5: Here is where I am going to get into trouble from the cyber wood working world.

Do not visit any forum on guitar making!

Forums are a waste of time, you should be in your shop making a guitar.

Do your own research on guitar making! Read every thing you can get your hands on and then spend time in the shop working on guitars!

Many would be guitar makers express their opinions on guitar making in those forums and that is just what they are - opinions. Then the professionals weigh in and it gets messy.

Remember this: your goal to is make a guitar that a guitar player will play and use. Very few professional guitar makers are professional musicians.

Tico Vogt playing one of my guitars

#6: After you have made two or three guitars start researching how the traditional Spanish guitar was/is made. Or maybe you will buy into the school of making where every guitar should have a double top with lattice bracing.

#7: When you have completed your first guitar, do not take it to a professional guitar maker for a critique! A guitar maker will not buy your guitar, only a guitar player will buy your guitar!

Players/performers are the ones who will tell you if the action is too high, if the guitar is too quiet or too boomy, they are your best critics!

#8: Perhaps the best piece of advice I can pass along is produce, produce, produce.

#9: You can ignore what I just said and hie yourself to the nearest guitar making school.

I know that Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado has a great program, click here to learn more. I know that there are other such programs through out the nation.

One reader told me that he was able to find a guitar maker who was willing to teach him how to make a guitar, that is another great avenue to proceed on!

Better yet, get a grant so you can go to Granada, Spain and study with Antonio Marin or John Ray or Antonio Raya Pardo! Learn how to make a truly Spanish guitar!

A guitar is a romantic creation.

#10: You must live, eat and breathe classical guitars! That means you must love them and that is all you want to make! Money should be of no concern to you, think not of making a living at making guitars! The only thing that matters is that you make them!

#11: If it were easy then everyone would be making guitars...

Now, turn off your computer or other device and get yourself into the work shop and make something!

Here is a wonderful phenom, Leonora Spangenberger. She is only 11 years old!

Hurley And Fender® Present “Strat: 60 Years Of The Stratocaster”

I Heart Guitar - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 15:56

ryanadamsmainPRESS RELEASE: Through a unique blend of artists and musicians – including Donald Edward Hardy, Brandon Boyd, Thomas Campbell, Johnny Marr and Shawn Stussy – Hurley and Fender will recognize the unparalleled heritage of the world’s most popular guitar on its 60th anniversary. Twenty American-made, hand-painted Stratocaster guitars will be auctioned off to raise money for Waves For Water, which in turn will save lives through water-based initiatives.

STRAT: 60 Years of the Stratocaster is a collaboration between the two unique brands and pays homage to the iconic Fender Stratocaster® guitar as it embarks on its seventh decade of existence. Each Strat® guitar will include individual designs and artwork by a featured artist and will be auctioned on eBay, October 22 through November 1. Proceeds will benefit Waves For Water, an organization that brings access to potable water to nations in need.

“As forms of creative expression, music and art have always been closely linked and ride the same cultural waves,” said Justin Norvell, vice president of product marketing for Fender.

“A musician’s desire to express themselves has often led to their guitars and basses being painted – like Jimi Hendrix’s Monterrey Strat, Joe Strummer’s Stenciled Telecaster guitar, or art commissions like Eric Clapton’s guitars painted by CRASH. This collaboration is an exciting and natural fit – we have tons of crossover between the musician, skate and surf communities, and are stoked to get together for a great cause.”

A charity art show will take place at Hurley’s headquarters in Orange County on October 24 to bolster the financial efforts of the project, and will be the only exhibit to see the guitars in person before they’re sold via eBay Givingworks.

The featured artists each designed their own unique guitar – the list includes: Shawn Stussy, Don Ed Hardy, Craig Stecyk, Christian Jacobs, Natalia Fabia, Ryan Adams, Johnny Marr, Brandon Boyd, Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, Wes Humpston, Lance Mountain, Tim Armstrong, Tim Biskup, Dan Smith, Albert De Alba, Russell Crotty, Tokyo Hiro, Cryptik and Thomas Campbell.

“Having had a relationship with both Fender and Hurley for years, it seemed natural to bring them together; both are two seminal Southern California brands that have become leaders in world culture,” said Curator and Participating Artist C.R. Stecyk III.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Waves For Water. To learn more, see the guitars, and place a bid on a one-of-a-kind Stratocaster, visit ebay.com/stratauction, and wavesforwater.org.

Categories: General Interest

Bogner enter the pickup market

Guitar Noize - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 02:37

Bogner Pickups
Bogner Amplification has partnered with renown and highly respected Arcane Pickups for our exclusive line of PAF vintage style humbuckers.

“Designed by Bogner and built by Arcane Pickups here in Los Angeles, each pickup is hand wound and features the finest quality components. Our PAF’s deliver clear, balanced and sweet cleans. When pushed hard, you’ll hear and feel dynamic, articulate and harmonically rich overdriven tones.”

More pickup styles and models to come soon. Available direct at http://www.bogneramplification.com

I actually think this news is a little sad, as I did when Bogner announced their first effect pedals as it means that they are not selling enough of their $3500 amps to concentrate solely on these products that made the company legendary among guitarists. Also Bogner are outsourcing the pickup building to to another company which to me dilutes the brand? I’m not saying the pickups don’t sound good, just listen to the demo below the combination of these pickups with the Bogner Helios sound amazing, it just makes me think Bogner must be struggling?

The post Bogner enter the pickup market appeared first on Guitar Noize.

Categories: General Interest

Zane King plays the Jackson Steel SlideKing Bass

Guitarz - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 02:10

I believe that this footage is currently going viral in guitar-related blogs and Facebook pages, but unlike a lot of the viral nonsense, it is worth viewing. Although the Jackson Steel SlideKing Bass looks like a slide guitar or a console guitar (seeing as it's on legs), it really falls under the category of pedal steel as it has four pedals to change the pitch of the strings.

The SlideKing Bass retails for $1,995.00 + $250 for a case (apparently they won't ship it without a case, so I don't know why they have separate pricing as if it's an option).

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
Categories: General Interest

Totally Guitars Weekly Wrap Up October 17th, 2014

On The Beat with Totally Guitars - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 16:14
Learn to Play Guitar with Totally Guitars TG Podcast After all these years I’m sure everybody knows I am prone to tangential detours at any moment. Occasionally these lead to breakdowns that might be signs of OCD tendencies. I am never too far from my own personal Ragtime Revival and last week’s events became a [...]
Categories: Learning and Lessons

Corina & Neil play You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand

Acoustic Snapshots - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:34

Learn to Play Guitar with Totally Guitars

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers was really the song that got Corina into singing, at the suggestion of her father. It was a song they played together for a few years before he passed away.

We played this a few times at our 2014 International Guitar Camp and I never felt like I quite had it the way she wanted to hear it. This was probably our 5th time through the song over the last week and I think we were finally on the same page.

Categories: Acoustics

Randy Rhoads and His Very Unique Guitars

The Unique Guitar Blog - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 05:41

Randy Rhoads is another on the list of the most influential rock guitars that ever lived. And yet he is another guitarist that, tragically, left us when he was way too young.

Randy and his Mom's school
Rhoads grew up in a family that was very musical. Both of his parents were music teachers and pianists. His parents divorced when he was quite young. His mother raised her kids on her own. She made her living teaching music at her own school.

Randy began taking classical guitar lessons there at age 7.

He soon became interested in the electric guitar and took lessons from his mother's friend, Scott Shelly, right up to the point where Scott told her that he could no longer teach Randy since Randy had become a much better player than he would ever hope to be.

Kelle & Kelly Garni & Rhoads
Randy met Kelly Garni in middle school. Both boys were considered outsiders since neither fit into any definable category of high school groups. Randy taught Kelly how to play guitar and the two formed a band.

They spent their summers playing at high school parties and local shows doing covers of songs by Mountain, Alice Cooper, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie songs.

Rhoads and Garni had an "ah-hah" moment at an Alice Cooper show when the realized what could be done with their talent.

Rhoads was a bright kid. He began teaching guitar at his mother's school and playing gigs at night. He was also able to continue school and was fast-tracked to graduate.

In 1972 Rhoads and his friend Kelly Garni recruited singer Kevin Dubrow and drummer Drew Forsyth and put together what would become one of the first neo-classical metal groups known as Quiet Riot.

At the time Rhoads was playing a cream coloured 1972 Gibson Les Paul Custom that his band mates had purchased for his use. Rhoads was only 16 years old! This became the guitar that he used throughout his career.

This guitar was a unique instrument as the body was actually made of four pieces including two layers of mahogany with a thin layer of maple in the middle and a carved maple top.

When it was new it was white, but over time the paint oxidized and took on a cream patina. Rhoads made a few changes to the guitar by replacing the original brass switch-plate and adding Grover tuning machines.

Gibson T-Buckers
The standard humbucking pickups on this guitar were known as T-buckers, named after the T-shaped tool that produced the forward bobbin.

During most of the ‘70’s Rhoads played guitar with Riot, but he also played in another band called Xciter which featured guitarist George Lynch. Both men were interested in guitar techniques and equipment.

George Lynch & Karl Sandoval
Lynch had acquired a handmade V shaped guitar with one pickup and a tremolo bar. The neck radius was flat. Rhoads decided he needed a guitar similar to the one Lynch was playing. This guitar was built by a California luthier named Karl Sandoval. At this time Karl Sandoval was also a guitarist playing music similar to what Rhoads and Lynch were playing.

Wayne Charvel
Sandoval had learned his craft by working with Wayne Charvel.  What was interesting about the guitars that Sandoval was making was that the necks were actually Danelectro necks that were bolted to the V shaped bodies that he had designed. By experiment, Sandoval determined a player could pull a high E string up with a tremolo on a Danelectro neck and it would not go out of tune.

This was due to the fact that Danelectro necks were almost flat. The fretboard radius of a Danelectro was 14". This was at a time, when most Gibsons had a 12" radius and some Fenders had a 7.25 - 9" radius.

Sandoval with unfinished V
Sometime in the summer of 1979, Rhoads visited Sandoval and shared ideas of his own guitar based on the one Lynch were playing. Rhoads did not want a bolt-on neck. He wanted the guitar to share characteristics of his Gibson. He also wanted a Stratocaster tremolo. He wanted HIS instrument to have a different headstock, a unique colour and above all; an identity. Oh yeah, he wanted polka dots.

So Sandoval set about locating a Danelectro neck. Danelectro guitars have stood the test of time and a lot of this has to do with the i-beam truss rod that is glued in the neck, just under the fret board. Not only does this give the neck strength, it gives it sustain as well. It also contributes to the weight of the guitar.

Since Rhoads wanted a Fender tremolo bridge with a sustain block, this guitar had to be thicker than most V shaped guitars.

To mount the Danelectro neck to the body, Sandoval came up with an extension of the neck that would be underneath the neck pocket to support the Dano neck. The extension and the neck were glued and clamped into place.

The next problem would be the Gibson pickups that Rhoads insisted should be on the guitar. Rhoads also wanted the Fender Strat-style tremolo. The problem was Fender’s string spacing was wider than Gibson pole pieces. The solution was to use a DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup in the bridge position and a PAF in the neck position. The wiring on these pickups was similar to Gibson and allowed for two volume and two tone controls.

Randy Rhoads other request for his guitar would be to have a harpoon-shaped headstock. Sandoval accomplished this by using the existing Danelectro headstock and using dowels on its sides to graft on pieces of wood then cutting them to produce the harpoon shape. The resulting V shaped guitar had a 25.5” scale and a neck radius of 17” and a very unique headstock.

Within three weeks of receiving the Sandoval V,  Rhoads had broken the guitar. During a show, the strap came loose, the guitar crashed to the floor and the neck broke. He felt bad, but took it back to Karl Sandoval who repaired it for $75. Randy Rhoads to the guitar to England and soon after left Quiet Riot to play in Ozzy Osborne’s new band.

By Christmas time of 1980 Randy Rhoads had come up with an idea for a new guitar. Wayne Charvel had just sold his business to Grover Jackson. Karl Sandoval was moving away from luthiery and developing his own business. And Randy Rhoads had an idea burning in his mind for a new guitar. He sought out Grover Jackson for guidance.

Grover Jackson
Just before Christmas on 1980 he met with Jackson, who had just taken over the reigns of Charvel Manufacturing. The two men talked for hours. Rhoads had brought a sketch showing how he wanted his guitar designed. A few changes were made and then the meeting ended. What Randy Rhoads was looking for was a V shaped guitar with a neck-thru body design, however the bottom wing of the V should be shorter than the top wing.

The first Concorde
This guitar should be decked out with pin-stripes (instead of polka dots.) Rhoads said this guitar would be called The Concorde. The impetus of the name occurred following a trip home from the U.K. via that huge, fast jet airliner that was gracing the skies at the time. Ozzy Osbourne had paid for the flight ticket. Rhoads hated flying and this would be a quick way to get home.

There was no question in Grover Jackson’s mind that this request was do-able. But at the time, Jackson was concerned about the look of the guitar and how his new company would be represented.

1970's Charvel
Charvel was producing Fender style guitars with bolt-on necks. That was the image the company was presenting and sales were good.

Jackson just spent a lot of money to acquire Charvel and he was not going to do anything to hurt the business.

Grover Jackson

So Grover Jackson called Rhoads and asked if he would mind putting a different name on this guitar.

To his surprise Rhoads said that would be alright. Rhoads had always admired the Gibson Explorer and wondered if an Explorer head could be modernized and made to look more aggressive. Grover Jackson went to work on building the guitar shortly after the holidays. Randy Rhoads returned to England.

The body was cut using the technology of the day, which consisted mostly of pin routers. Charvel at the time was building B.C. Rich guitars and applied the beveled edges to the Rhoads instrument.

Once a prototype was built on a piece of Baltic birch, it was time for the real build. This was done with a maple center block that was glued to two maple wings. It was a heavy instrument. The neck joined the body at the 14th fret. There were 22 frets on a compound radius ebony fretboard. This fretboard was shaped by hand to achieve a 12” radius at the necks bottom, which tapered off to a 16” radius.

The fret wire was very narrow. The neck featured pearl block inlay and binding. The nut was 1 11/16th inches. This guitar had a tremolo, but it was not made by Fender, it was handcrafted by the company’s metal smith Bill Gerein.

The bridge was made of brass with a heavy brass sustain block. The pickups consisted of a Seymour Duncan Distortion model at the bridge and a Jazz model in the neck position. The output jack was placed on the outside edge of the lower wing.

The pickup selector switch was located on the upper wing along the outer edge. The guitar was painted white with black pinstripes and undercoated with polyester and finished in polyurethane.

Apparently once the guitar was shipped to Randy Rhoads in the U.K. there were some problems. For on thing, it was too heavy; it was too big. Due to the guitar joining the body at the 14th fret, Rhoads was having trouble accessing the upper register.

Believe it or not, Rhoads was also concerned that his guitar playing fans may think that he destroyed a Gibson Flying V to build this guitar.

Rhoads sent word to Grover Jackson that he would like to build a second guitar. His aim was for the new model to be narrower and slightly more radical. In the fall of 1981 Randy and Grover got together again. Grover was prepared with three neck-thru-body sections with headstock already cut. The wings were separate. As if they were working on a puzzle, the men moved the wings here and there; sanded off some wood, and drew on the wood until they got it right.

Jackson took a block of wood and cut it on a band saw and carved out the body. Then the building began. Randy Rhoads had to go back to begin the Diary of a Madman Tour with Ozzy Osbourne. By the time the tour had reached the United States, Ozzy’s tour manager Sharon Arden (now Sharon Osbourne) had upped the ante by investing in full stage production. The rehearsals were being held at studios in Hollywood before the opening night in San Francisco. Jackson had the second Concorde guitar completed. This time the shorter, lower wing made the upper wing more pronounced.

It was odd that Randy was somewhat hesitant about fully embracing the new guitar. He would play it through portions of the show, then put it down and play a different guitar. He seemed to be warming up to it. We will never know if Randy Rhoads would have put away his other guitars and played this new model exclusively. For two months later he was killed in a plane crash.

Randy Rhoads was only 25 years old when the news broke that a rockstar had tragically died in an airplane accident. For it was on March 19, 1982 despite having a phobia about flying, Randy Rhoads perished in a fiery crash after taking a joy ride in a Beechcraft Bonanza. Ozzy Osbourne and his touring company had spent the night in the mansion of Country singer, Jerry Calhoun. Adjacent to the mansion was an airstrip. Tour bus driver Andrew Aycock held an expired pilots license and without permission apparently offered to fly Calhoun’s private plane.

During the flight made three passes over the home in an attempt to buzz the other band members. On the third pass, the plane clipped the bus and nose dived into the home. The plane burst into flames, killing Aycock, Randy Rhoads and 58 year old Rachel Youngblood, the tour’s seamstress and hairstylist.

Karl Sandoval maintained his business known as Sandoval Engineering. He is still building guitars and teaching luthiery. He currently offers the 30th Anniversary Sandoval V; the guitar based on the original design he built for Randy Rhoads.

Grover Jackson eventually sold the Charvel/Jackson brand name to Japanese music conglomerate IMC and left the company in 1990. In subsequent years he worked for Washburn Guitars.

In 1996 he joined RIC Rickenbacker Guitars  helping them to develop use of the CNC routers. About a year later he went on to work at some other firms including G&L, Tacoma and Sadowsky guitars. In 2010 he worked on that years models for B.C. Rich. The late Bernie Rico was one of his friends.

Since 2012 he is building and selling his own brand known as GJ² Guitars.

Categories: General Interest

Friday thoughts - recording, a new guitar!

Cape Cod Acoustics - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 05:32
Well, it’s Friday so time for my usual end of the week random bits.

Also as usual, I will be doing my regular Saturday morning gig tomorrow at the wonderful Daily Brew café in Cataumet. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been there pretty regularly for almost four years. It was a gig I kind of fell into – my friend Dave Peros and I were having coffee there one morning and he called the owner over to the table and convinced her she should have me play. At that time I was just beginning to explore doing all-instrumental gigs, something I’d wanted to do for a long time. I do sing (I was a voice major in college, for what that’s worth… not much if the truth be known!) but I felt it was time to challenge myself with learning a variety of tunes that incorporated bass lines, chord comps and the melody. I now have a nice little bunch of tunes with my own arrangements and while some of them are relatively easy, some require my complete attention and quite frankly I never really know when I launch into those just what will happen. I love it!!

The upshot is that my playing is probably better than it’s ever been, which is gratifying. Plus, having a regular gig inspires me to learn new songs and I’ve gotten to know most of the regulars at the Brew, some of whom have become friends and others have decided to take lessons. I sell a few of my CDs from time to time too, a nice little bonus. I hope my time at the Brew continues and I am sincerely grateful to owner Kathy Hickey for keeping me on board for all this time.

Having said that, I’ve been feeling the need to get back to some singing and I’m still actively seeking a playing partner for other gigs. This might be easy in a more metropolitan area but here on ol’ Cape Cod it’s a bit of a challenge. Yes, there are players around but I’ve gotten kind of picky (cranky?) about the music I want to put in the effort to rehearse and play. My ideal playing partner would have reasonably decent chops (both rhythm and lead) on guitar and/or perhaps mandolin, bass, ukulele, keys, whatever. He or she would need to sing of course but I don’t expect the next American Idol. Professional experience would be nice but is less important than enthusiasm and empathy. Guitar Heroes need not apply! An interest in and knowledge of swing jazz, blues, country, singer/songwriter material, bossa nova, or any combination of those things is required. Finding the balance between jamming and focused rehearsal is also very, very important. So – are you out there??

My quest over the next couple of months is to delve into the world of computer based recording. My first three CDs were done on my Tascam DP-04 and while the results were satisfactory, it’s become apparent that using some decent recording programs and my computer may be a better option. Another aspect of that is moving into cloud storage of my students’ weekly practice material. I now use a portable CD recorder to make recordings of what each student will be practicing but that technology is rapidly disappearing. I’m a bit concerned that some of my older students will be somewhat challenged by retrieving their lesson music electronically but it’s looking more and more like this technology will offer many more options, things like the students playing along and recording their efforts for review – and the option of then forwarding their efforts to me so we can examine them and work on the songs.

On a related subject, I am going to download a program called The Amazing Slow Downer, which purportedly allows you to isolate parts of songs (or the entire song) and then play it back as slowly as 20% of its normal speed – without changing the pitch. I think this will be hugely helpful when I want to learn a particularly challenging solo or chord sequence. Very psyched to work with this program and I will post the results in this space in future entries.

Finally…. I made a totally silly purchase this week, a brand new Martin 000-18. Martin has redesigned this long-standing model with scalloped braces, bone nut and saddle and a 1 ¾” nut width. One of my students recently purchased the similarly redesigned D-18 and it impressed me so much that I thought I’d try out the 000-18, a model I’ve always liked. It is gorgeous and although it needs some playing time to “open up” it already sounds great. I will have my favorite guitar tech, Fran Ledoux of Bay Fretted Instruments install a K&K pick-up and will put the new 000-18 through its paces at my Brew gig. It joins my stable of a Martin M-36 and a Gibson J-15, both of which are different in many ways but equally great guitars. We all love new toys, right?

Peace & good music,


Categories: Acoustics

Bogner Enters The Pickup Market

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 23:17


Bogner is known for massively high quality amps (there was also the Bogner Alchemist line, now discontinued, which sounded great but had a few quality control problems, if the emails I received from people who read my review are anything to go by). Their pedal line with Rupert Neve Design transformer has just made it to stores, and now they’re entering the pickup biz with a PAF-style humbucker. They’re available in bridge and neck versions (Bridge – Alinco II at 8.5k;  Neck – Alnico III at 7.9k), in Traditional or F Spacing. They have 4-conductor wiring and a Bogner “B” etched into the cover. These are actually being made by Arcane, which is an interesting choice: Bogner’s a pretty small operation so I guess they don’t have the capacity to do these in-house. I imagine folks would be pretty excited about these if Reinhold Bogner himself was winding them in the brief moments in between designing incredible amp after incredible amp. Speaking of Bogner, this has always been one of my dream amps. Some day, Bogner, some day…


Categories: General Interest

Awesome Storm Trooper Ibanez 8-String

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:00

Man, the stuff ya see on eBay. This Ibanez RG8 has been customised with Seymour Duncan active Blackouts and Star Wars Storm Trooper inlays. Cool! Check it out here.

Star Wars Ibanez guitar Star Wars Ibanez guitar

Categories: General Interest

Nadaka: Raga Guitar

Guitarist.com - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:56

Categories: Classical

Factory Fiddle Scroll

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:28

Nothing special about this.  It's a typical ca. 1900 "factory fiddle", probably from Germany.  Labelled "Antonius Stradiuarius ... 1736".

I liked seeing the facets.  Hastily carved, by someone who had carved a few, and was just trying to make a living.  After that, the scroll itself has seen some use over the years.

Interesting character, I'd say.

Go Inside the Studio with Guthrie Govan and Steven Wilson

Charvel Guitars - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:24

Charvel signature artist Guthrie Govan is back in the studio with prolific prog rocker Steven Wilson to work on a new album.

Check out a behind-the-scenes video at AIR Studios in London that offers a taste of new music!

Categories: Manufacturers


Subscribe to Norse Guitars aggregator

Main menu 2

by Dr. Radut