General Interest

Glen Campbell - Some History and a Retrospective of His Guitars.

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 17:26
I'm dedicating this one to our own Glenn, my son-in-law. We nearly lost him in a tragic automobile accident on the very weekend I started writing this article. I am so glad you are still with us. You are a terrific father and husband. It will get better. Hang in there buddy.

Glen Campell on TV in 1965

The first time I saw Glen Campbell play was on a television show called Shindig It aired from 1964 to 1966, and it featured some top musical acts of that era.


Some of the Shindogs

The “house” band on the show were called The Shindogs and comprised of some of Los Angeles’ best session players, whose players alternated from time to time.




The band members included Glen Campbell, Joey Cooper, Chuck Blackwell (drums), Billy Preston, James Burton, Delaney Bramlett, Larry Knechtel (on bass), Leon Russell (on piano) Glen D. Hardin and bass player Ray Pohlman.

Glen Campbell rehearsing on Shindig!
Campbell was featured as a solo act on this show, singing and playing an unusual guitar that he seemed to favor. The guitar was a 1960 Teisco model T-60, that featured a set neck, and a hand carved body that had an unusual cut-out on the guitar lower bout and the headstock.

1960 Teisco T-60
It was equipped with 3 pickups that were made by the company, and a three-piece bridge/saddle unit that resembled the one found on early Fender Telecasters.

The metal pickguard covered much of the body. On it was mounted a volume and tone control and a 3 position rotary switch that chose the pickup. It would be a few years before Teisco (the Tokyo Electric Instrument Company) began flooding the US and European market with cheap electric guitars.

Campbell with The Wrecking Crew
Glen seemed to favor this guitar and used it during his days as a LA studio musician, with The Wrecking Crew. When he first made television appearances, he played this same guitar.


Glen was born into a family of 12 children, His father was a sharecropper. He grew up and lived in a town near Delight, Arkansas. He received his first guitar at age 4 and took to it immediately. Since the neck was not adjustable and the strings were high, his father fashioned a capo out of an old inner tube. His extended family included several musicians. He was fond of reminding people that he was the seventh son of a seventh son.

Glen on a Tele with his uncles band

At age 16 Glen dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a guitar player. His first job was with his uncle Eugene aka Boo, at a nightclub gig in Casper, Wyoming.




In 1956 they traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico in a group called The Sandia Mountain Boys, which was led by another Uncle named Dick Bills.

Within a couple of years, Glen Campbell had formed his own band called The Western Wranglers. By 1960 he moved to Los Angeles California and had a daytime job working for the American Music publishing company, writing songs and performing demo recordings. Word got out about this talented singer/guitar player and he was in demand.

Glen Campbell in The Champs
By October of that year he landed a job as a guitarist for The Champs who had recorded the 1958 hit,Tequila. Interestingly, the other Champs members at the time were Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts.

Around this same time, Glen Campbell was hired by several session producers to play guitar with other anonymous back up musicians that later were came to be known as The Wrecking Crew.

Glen Campbell in the Wrecking Crew
Campbell played on recordings for such well-known acts as Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson (Travelin’ Man), Dean Martin (he played on the hit Everybody Loves Somebody), Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra (These Boots are Made for Walking).

He aslo backed up Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean (Surf City), The Beach Boys (he played acoustic guitar on Be True to Your School, Pet Sounds and other recordings), Ronnie Dove, and Frank Sinatra. Phil Spector sought him out to play on some of his hits recorded by the Righteous Brothers.

Elvis, Priscilla, Campbell


Glen Campbell played on recordings for Elvis, striking up a friendship with The King. Both men came from the same humble Southern roots. Glen played guitar on many demo recordings for Elvis and on the album Viva Las Vega.





Campbell goes solo
By 1961, Campbell had left The Champs to pursue a solo career and was signed by Crest Record, which was a subsidiary of the music publishing company where he worked. His first recording, “Turn Around, Look at Me” peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year. It later became a hit for The Vogues.

That same year Campbell formed another band called the Gee Cees with some of the members of The Champs and played at local clubs.

By 1962 he inked a deal with Capitol Records and had a minor hit with the song “Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry”.

He continued to record and write music. However his forte at the time was the session work. He was featured on an incredible 586 recorded songs, despite the fact that he could not read music. He would have someone at the session sing or hum the part and he immediately played it “by ear”.

Not only did he play guitar, but doubled on banjo, mandolin, and bass guitar.

It was in 1964 that Campbell got into television, as a regular on several shows including a California series called Star Route, and the Shindig!, and another California series called Hollywood Jamboree.

Glen Campbell as a Beach Boy
Around this same time, Beach Boys founder and song writer Brian Wilson had succumb to a mental breakdown and quit touring with the band. The Beach Boys hired Glen Campbell to tour with them. For a year, Glen Campbell played bass guitar and sang harmony with the act.

In 1965 Glen Campbell finally had a a solo hit record with a song called Universal Soldier. This anti-war song (the US and allies were in the midst of the Vietnam War) was written by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

The following year, Campbell was hired again by The Beach Boys as a session player for their Pet Sounds album.

Rick Nelson and Glen Campbell 



Later that year he was hired to play bass guitar by Ricky Nelson on a tour of the Far East.




Campbell with Epiphone Zephyr
During his time as a session player, Glen played his Teisco guitar and an Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe.

It was in 1966 Glen finally struck gold when he was paired with songwriters Jimmy Webb and John Hartford.

He shared a friendship with both men throughout his life time.

Glen Campbell & John Hartford
John Hartford wrote and recorded Gentle on My Mind and Glen had heard Hartford's version. Campbell hired fellow session players to come into the Capitol Record studio and make a demo of him singing this song so he could pitch it to producer Al De Lory.

During the session, Campbell shouted directions to the players. He left the rough cut for De Lory to hear.

The next day De Lory listened to it and fell in love with the song and Glen's recording. De Lory immediately went to work on it, removing Glens directions to the musicians, but keeping Glens vocal and the music. Without telling Campbell, De Lory went ahead and released the song. It went on to become a mega hit for Campbell and won a Grammy for John Hartford.

In 1968 Campbell followed up with the song Wichita Lineman, which was penned and orchestrated by Jimmy Webb. Webb says he wrote the song as he drove through Washita County in southern Oklahoma.

The road was straight and seemed to go past endless lines of telephone poles. He saw a solitary lineman that was strapped at the top of one of these poles, doing repair work, causing Webb to think about the loneliness of this job. The phrase “singing in the wires” came from the vibrations induced by the electric current flowing through the lines.

Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell
In his arrangement he tried to mimic this through the droning of the string parts and the sort of Morse code at the end of the verse. Webb had made a decision that Wichita Lineman had a better ring to it than "Washita" Lineman, so the songs working title was changed.

Campbell's recording was also produced by Al De Lory and charted for 15 weeks in 1968. It is listed among Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 500 greatest songs of all time.

By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Campbell followed this up with two other Jimmy Webb songs; By the Time I Get to Phoenix, and Galveston. By the Time I Get to Phoenix was inspired by Webb’s break up with his girl friend. This song was originally recorded in 1965 by Johnny Rivers but failed to chart. Glen added it to his album in 1967.



Galveston
The song Galveston was Campbell’s follow up hit, released in 1969. Webb had written it as a war protest song during the Vietnam War years. During the Civil War the Battle of Galveston took place in 1863. I do not know if this battle influenced Webb. What I do know is that Webb imagined a soldier who had come to the realization that he was fighting for a cause that he felt was disingenuous.

Webb imagined the soldier thoughts and put them into these lyrics; "Wonder if she could forget me, I'd go home if they would let me, Put down this gun, and go to Galveston.

In 1968 Glen Campbell won 10 Grammys, three Hall of Fame Awards, a lifetime acheivement award, and the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award.

Galveston - 45 rpm single
Hawaiian singer Don Ho introduced Glen Campbell to the song. However that profound verse was deleted and changed to; “I still hear your sea waves crashing, While I watch the cannons flashing, I clean my gun, and dream of Galveston.” This made it less of a protest song, more of a love song, and a number one Billboard hit for Campbell. This song came out in 1969.

Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
Due to his popularity 1968 Glen Campbell was asked by CBS to be the summer time replacement host of the successful Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour variety show. The audience loved him and the following year he was invited to host The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

This show debuted in 1969 and ran through 1972.

Jerry Reed and Campbell
Campbell introduced a lot of wonderful musicians on this show, including his friends Jerry Reed, John Hartford, Doug Dillard (the banjo player for the Dillards), and Mason Williams. Toward the end of the show, they would all sit together and play a few songs in the “Pickin’ Pit.


This show introduced a lot of people to Country Music that would not have listened to it otherwise.

Campbell also turned his talent to the movies, making appearances in one flick called Norwood, and the John Wayne movie, True Grit.

Rhinestone Cowboy
While touring Australia Campbell heard a tune by Country Music writer/singer Larry Weiss, called Rhinestone Cowboy. Campbell related to the song and upon returning to the United States took it to Capitol Record and recorded his version. It charted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. (For those not familiar with Nashville, Tennessee, Broadway is the street where you can find all the music clubs.)



Allen Toussaint Southern Nights
New Orleans pianist and song writer Allen Toussaint has left us with some incredible music. In 1975 he wrote a song based on the childhood memories of the evenings he spent with his Creole grandparents on the porch of their home.

He called the song, "Southern Nights".

Toussaint’s version was down tempo, thoughtful, and the lyrics are just plain beautiful. Songwriter Jimmy Webb loved the song and brought it to Glens attention. With the help of his friend, Jerry Reed, they came up with the guitar introduction that featured the treble strings playing a descending two bar passage, while at the same the bass strings played an ascending passage. Glen’s version was uptempo, and cheerful, and was another hit for him.

Later in his career Campbell continued to tour, had three failed marriages, a fling with Country Music singer Tonya Tucker and had battled substance abuse. Most of this occurred during the mid 1970’s,

Glen and Kim Campbell


Glen finally got the help, discipline, and understanding he needed when, in 1982, he remarried for the last time to his wife Kim.


Campbell recording with
The Stone Temple Pilots

During the 1990’s he became a successful performer, owning his own Goodtime Theater In Branson, Missouri. He still toured the world giving concerts, sometimes with symphony orchestras.

In 2008 Glen decided to record a project called Meet Glen Campbell. This featured some songs by Green Day, The Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, John Lennon, Lou Reed and others. Backing him on this recording were Wendy Melvoin, who played keyboards for Prince, Tom Petty, Rick Neilsen, and Danzig guitarist Todd Youth. In addition to others that sang background, were Campbell's own children.

Glen and Ashley Campbell
The Last Tour
In 2010 his doctor gave him the dreadful diagnosis that Campbell was in the early stages of Alzheimer disease. The following year, 2011, Glenn, his wife, and the three children from his marriage to her, embarked on his farewell tour. His three children comprised most of his back up band.

The tour was filmed and the results showed his regression as the disease ravaged his brain. Though he could no longer remember lyrics to songs, he did not forget how to play guitar.

Sadly, he went into the studio and recorded one last song called I’m Not Going To Miss You. The recording was backed by several of his friends that played in The Wrecking Crew.

Campbell passed away last week on August 8th when the disease robbed his brain of the ability to control his central nervous system. Throughout his career Glen Campbell used a vast collection of guitars. One of the first guitar companies to have a relationship with Campbell was The Ovation guitar.

Ovations similar to those that Glen played

Ovation guitars were a fairly new comer to the guitar market, having its start around 1965, with the development of an acoustic guitar with a round fiberglass back. Glen Campbell like the rugged concept of the guitar.



He encouraged the company to produce a model with an acoustic pick up, since he did not like to have a microphone stand in front of him.

He also did not think the guitar was loud enough. CEO Charles Kaman took his advice and obliged by having his engineers develop one of the best under-saddle acoustic transducer/pickups that was ever designed.

In a meeting with Campbell, Mr. Kaman gave him one of the first Ovation acoustic-electric Balladeer guitars. Campbell used this guitar, and many other Ovation guitars on his Goodtime Hour televsion show.

Campbell with
Ovation Glen Campbell model
Among those guitars were the Ovation Balladeer (this one was redesigned especially for Glen and designated The Glen Campbell model 1627), an Ovation classical acoustic electric model 1613, an Ovation acoustic electric 12 string model 1615.


Campbell playing an Ovation Toronado


He also several Ovation electric models, including a Tornado electric guitar.





Ovation Viper models



Campbell played an Ovation six and 12 string Viper models in a blue-burst finish that were referred to as Bluebirds.







Ovation Toronado
The Tornado guitar that Glen can be seen playing on his TV show is an interesting guitar. Ovation did not build the bodies. They were manufactured in Germany by the same company that made bodies for some Framus guitars. The pickups were made by Schaller, another Germany manufacturer. The bodies and parts were sent to the Kaman factory in Connecticut for assembly and bolt-on Ovation necks were added. Even after the TV series ran its course, and late into his career.

Campbell with Ovation Breadwinner
Glen also played an Ovation Breadwinner. This was a uniquely shaped guitar that essentially looked like a battle-ax. The body was made of mahogany, the neck was bolt on, and the electronics were active.

Campbell continued to play Ovation guitars at his concerts throughout his career.

Campbell with Mosrite
12 sting
I do not know how much of a relationship Glen had with Semie Moseley, the creator/builder of Mosrite Guitars. I know that Glen played several Mosrite guitars, including a 12 string electric, a Mosrite hollow body Ventures 12 string model, and a custom Mosrite Californian resonator guitar that had 2 pickups.

Semie Moseley of Mosrite took over the Dobro operation from the Dopyera brothers in 1966. Their factory was based in Gardena California.

The first instruments that Mosrite made were assembled from original Dopyera parts in the Gardena factory.

Campbell with Mosrite Californian Dobro
Later on Semi phased in his own components and concepts. This guitar was made with Dobro parts and a Mosrite neck and pickups. Glen's name is inlaid on the fretboard.

He owned two other Mosrite electric guitars and one rare Mosrite acoustic guitar.

1966 Mosrite Celebrity

One was a Mosrite Celebrity model. The body was made by Framus, the neck, pickups, and electronics were by Moseley. The vibrato was made by Framus.



Plainsman Dobro 



The other was a 1966 Mosrite Plainsman Dobro electric guitar. This one was made by Dobro. Semie Moseley added the pickup, electronics, and added a Mosrite neck.






Campbell with Mosrite Seranader
The acoustic model is a 1965 Mosrite Serenader. The body is solid spruce, the back and sides are solid mahogany. The dove tailed neck has the Mosrite headstock. The unique pickguard has a tortoise-shell appearance. Glenn owned two of these guitars.

Campbell with a Fender Bass VI


Campbell played a Fender Bass VI on Wichita Lineman, and Galveston.







Campbell with a Stratocaster
Much later in his career he routinely played a dark blue Fender Stratocaster. On one of the forums that I used to visit, a guitar tech said that one of Glen's guitar techs brought it into his shop for some quick repairs and adjustments. He commented on the forum that it was a great guitar. Glen also owned a Lake Placid Blue stratocaster, a black stratocaster, and a red strat with twin humbuckers.


Campbell 1956


You can see from one picture towards the top of the page, Glen started out playing a Telecaster that was equipped with a Bigsby B5.

This Tele had the Bigbsy as an add-on, longer before Fender offered this option in 1967. The photo is from around 1956. He is playing at a store that sells house paint.



Glen with a G&L Comanche


Glenn also owned and played a G&L Comanche, which was a strat-style guitar that had split pickups.



Campbell with his guitars
Glen owned and played so many guitars, it is difficult to mention all of them.

Glen owned several Martin guitars, one was a Martin N-20 classical model.



Campbell with Martin




The other was probably a Martin D-28, since the sides appear to be rosewood.







Campbell's Ovation Vipers
(Blue Birds)



Glen loved 12 string guitars. He played his is can be often seen playing his Ovation Viper 12 string.








Campbell with Hamer 12 string

Later played a beautiful Hamer 12 string electric guitar that he used in concert when he played Southern Nights.


Glen was an amazing guitarist and vocalist. In fact he is one of the most versatile guitarists ever.

As a session player he played on many of the Beach Boys songs, and also played on Frank Sinatra's classic recording of Strangers In The Night. He loved his family, and made a life with his music that many of us can only dream about.

He remained an incredibly talented man right up to the end. He will be missed.

Click on the links under the photos for sources. Click on the links in the text for more information.
©UniqueGuitar Blog (text only)

Glen plays an incredible solo on a vintage late 1950's Stratocaster in this video










Categories: General Interest

IK Multimedia announces iRig Keys I/O

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 02:37
 
IK Multimedia has just announced iRig Keys I/O, a keyboard controller with a built-in audio interface. I love this! Personally I find that one of the biggest impediments to my recording projects is having to set everything up and deal with cramped spaces while trying to feel free and creative. With iRig Keys I/O, IK Multimedia has packed together a keyboard controller with 25 or 49 full-sized keys, line/instrument/mic input with phantom power, eight MIDI-assignable drum/sample pads, assignable control knobs (actually they’re in two banks so there are effectively eight plus a volume/data one. Assign them to your AmpliTube 4 amp knobs!), balanced stereo and headphone outputs, transport controls for your DAW, two assignable touch strips and more. Imagine the possibilities: with just an iRig Keys I/O and an iPad or laptop you can take care of all your keyboard, drum pad, instrument and mic inputs in a single device when you’re out and about. At home, just plug the outputs into some powered monitors and you’re ready to rock. I have to get one!
 
Here’s the press release…

 
August 24, 2017 – IK Multimedia is proud to introduce iRig Keys I/O, the new breakthrough keyboard controller range featuring a built-in audio interface. It will be available in October 2017 and is now open for pre-order. The only keyboard controllers with 25 or 49 full-size keys to integrate a professional high-definition audio interface, iRig Keys I/O features 24-bit audio up to 96kHz sampling rate, a combo input jack for line, instrument or mic input with phantom power, balanced stereo output and high quality 1/8″ headphone output ideal for use with the latest Apple® devices like the iPhone® 7. iRig Keys I/O also includes all the controls users would expect from a premium keyboard, including velocity sensitive multicoloured pads and programmable touch-sensitive sliders, buttons and knobs in an ultra-portable package that includes everything needed to create complete music productions and is unmatched for speed and simplicity to connect and set up.
 
Built-in professional audio interface
iRig Keys I/O is the only controller range currently available on the market today featuring a professional 24-bit, 96kHz capable audio interface. This keeps cabling to a minimum and makes setting up as fast and easy as just plug and play. For recording the combination input handles 1/4″ or XLR sources and provides the best possible audio quality with a Class A preamp for dynamic and condenser mics (including 48V phantom power), to line instruments along with guitars and basses. When used in live performances the 1/4″ balanced stereo output allows for long cable runs directly to a PA or mixer which is perfect for keyboard players and DJs. All of this makes iRig Keys I/O the ideal creative tool for studio or live use, in any situation, providing a solution that is more convenient and affordable than having to buy a controller and audio interface separately.Control with touch
Starting with a fast synth-action keybed that improves on all previous IK keyboards, iRig Keys I/O includes all the controls expected from a premium controller and more. Both models feature a volume/data push knob, 4 touch-sensitive knobs on 2 banks (acting as 8 total controls) and 8 multicoloured LED velocity sensitive pads. There are also 2 fully programmable touch control strips acting by default as Pitch and Modulation controls. A complete touch sensitive transport and button section rounds out the controls available. All knobs, sliders and buttons are touch-sensitive using capacitive technology for ultra-fast action and immediate feedback, displaying the related parameter value just with a simple touch.

True plug-and-play
Being certified Apple MFi hardware (Made for iPhone and iPad) and thanks to the on-board audio interface, iRig Keys I/O works out of the box with all iOS devices with a Lightning port, including the latest generation iPhone 7 that does not have an audio output jack. The included Lighting cable allows for easy plug-and-play operation with Apple iOS devices and the USB cable connects Mac and PC computers. iRig Keys I/O also works seamlessly with popular Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software like GarageBand®, Logic®, Ableton® Live™ and more.
 
Goes anywhere
iRig Keys I/O 25 and 49 key versions are the smallest controllers with full-size keys on the market today. This is a great advantage when working in studios or environments where space is at a premium and ideal for the travelling musician, not only for their ultra-compact size but also because they are 25% lighter than the nearest competitor. Furthermore, iRig Keys I/O can be powered by USB, an optional external power supply (that simultaneously charges an iOS device) or with 4 AA batteries for mobile music production anywhere.
 

Full suite of software included
With over $/€550 (in the 25-key version) and $/€750 (in the 49-key version) worth of IK software and apps, iRig Keys I/O includes an unrivalled selection of software allowing for complete productions when combined with a DAW or free composing and recording software like GarageBand. Included in both 25 and 49 key versions is Ableton® Live 9 Lite™ digital audio workstation, SampleTank 3 sound and groove workstation with over 43GB and 5000 sounds, T-RackS 4 Deluxe mix and mastering suite with 9 EQ and dynamics processors, and the Syntronik Pro-V vintage synthesizer. Plus, iPhone and iPad users receive the full version of SampleTank. Additionally, the 49-key version comes with Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE orchestral workstation for Mac/PC and the mobile edition for iOS.Pricing and availability
iRig Keys I/O will be available in October 2017 and can be pre-ordered now from the IK Multimedia online store and IK authorised dealers worldwide for the remarkably affordable price of only $/€299.99* for the 49-key version and $/€199.99 for the 25-key version. In addition to the massive bundle of included software, iRig Keys I/O also comes with 4 x AA batteries, Mini-DIN to USB and Mini-DIN to Lightning cables and a device stand for iPhone and iPad.

* All prices excluding taxes

For more information, please visit:
www.irigkeys.io

For a video of iRig Keys I/O, please visit:
www.irigkeys.io/video

The post IK Multimedia announces iRig Keys I/O appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Jim Dunlop Geezer Butler Cry Baby Wah!

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 03:19

Geezer Butler wah wah

I don’t know a single bass player who has plugged into a wah wah pedal and not immediately played Geezer Butler’s N.I.B. intro licks. Geezer knows what he wants from his wah sound, and now he’s got it in the form of his new signature Jim Dunlop Cry Baby. It has several very stageworthy features: you bring it out of bypass simply by putting your foot on the pedal; you can set the effect ring-out time (ie: how long the effect remains engaged after you return the pedal to its heel position); and there’s an internal Q control. Rotate it clockwise for a narrower frequency range and more pronounced wah effect or counterclockwise for a wider frequency range and subtler wah effect. 

Order yours from Musicians Friend.

The post Jim Dunlop Geezer Butler Cry Baby Wah! appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Star Wars Is Def Leppard

I Heart Guitar - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 00:33

Ok, so if you follow me on Twitter you know I’m a huge Star Wars fan. Even the prequels. Yeah. Come at me if you wanna fight about it. Anyway, something just hit me while listening to a (subscriber-only) Steele Wars podcast where fans called in with their ideas about the possible Obi Wan movie or other non-saga Star Wars movies:

STAR WARS IS DEF LEPPARD.

Def Leppard is a huge band, right? There was a time where they were selling tens of millions of albums (Hysteria alone has sold over 25 million copies). They have die-hard fans the world over who know every song from every album. Every B-Side. Every little piece of trivia. They collect pressings from different countries, etc etc etc. These are your real hardcores. 

Now, here’s the thing. Go to a Def Leppard concert (seriously, do it. They’re awesome) and you’ll see 15,000 people in the audience. Among them are probably, like, 500 people who know every single song. Then there are another 14,500 people who only know the big hits. If the band was to drop in some deep cuts to please the hardcores, you have 14,500 people going “Uh… what’s this? Let’s go get a beer.” Throw in enough of those songs to satisfy the super-intense fans – the B-side collectors – and guess what: the reviews will suck. “Oh they played a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know. What a waste of money. Nobody ever heard Lady Strange on the radio at work.” And next time Def Leppard comes to town they’ll be playing to just those 500 people – but they won’t because the machine is too big. They’re a business with employees. They have staff to pay. They have ongoing costs to cover which the touring cycle takes care of, and you can’t just take a business like that and say “Y’know what? Let’s make 95% less money on the road this year!”

What I’m saying is, some of us may really really want a Star Wars movie that fills in some piece of obscure timeline trivia or would just be, like, totally cool, but instead we’re gonna keep getting Pour Some Sugar On Me.

They’re saving Ded Flatbird for the novels and comics.

The post Star Wars Is Def Leppard appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Jethro Tull at Interlochen

Guitar Vibe - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 16:51
If you grew up in the '70s Jethro Tull was a band that was hard not to notice. They had a slew of FM radio hits and a distinct flute-driven sound ranging from blues to hard rock to prog to... Zack Urlocker
Categories: General Interest

The Squier Bullet Strat project – part 4

Lone Phantom - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:00

The Squier Bullet Strat project is getting closer to how I wanted it to look like and play, but there’s a bit more work to be done. First up, the stock tuners had to and I wanted to try and get some decent locking tuners that didn’t break the bank. The whole point of this project was to take a cheap guitar, and increase its playability with a modest budget.

Scouring through eBay, there was a range of locking tuners at all different price points. I wanted to upgrade on a budget, but I didn’t want to risk going with a super-cheap no-name option and being let down. The established players were a bit too expensive for this build, so I wanted to find a good middle ground. Jinho was a brand that came up with options that were a nice middle ground for price, so I did a bit of reading up on them. Turns out that Jinho are an OEM option for a range of big-name guitar brands, and the feedback on their locking tuners was generally positive. I ordered a set of these, and some roller string-trees, since they were very cheap. They were less of a loss if they turned out to be rubbish.

To continue the black theme I ordered some black pickup covers to match the stock single coils to the IBZ/USA pickup, as well as some black pickguard screws. A lot of these things weren’t really necessary to the playability of the guitar, but I wanted to achieve a bit of a tuxedo look, and the overall cost wasn’t too much.

The Jinho locking tuners were the first item to arrive. Like most modern tuners, the shaft diameter is 10mm, and I’d need to enlarge the tuner holes in order to fit the new units. The safest way to open up the holes without chipping the wood is to use a hand-reamer, but I didn’t have one, so I decided to try and to it with a hand drill and a range of drill bits that would gradually bring the holes to the desired 10mm diameter.


Unfortunately, drilling the holes out gradually resulted in chipping, but thankfully most of the damage was covered up by the tuners themselves. Now that I think about it, masking off the areas may have reduced the chances of chipping, but it’s too late now. It’s not really the end of the world since it’s a cheap guitar.

The stock tuners use two screws to hold each tuner in place. These holes didn’t quite line up with the 45 degree angle mounting on the Jinho units, so I decided to fill the holes to tidy up the back of the headstock. I used maple toothpicks, trimmed to size, and a bit of superglue to stick them in. Trimmed to be flush with the headstock, the holes aren’t nearly as noticeable as they would be if left alone.

I put the Jinho tuners into the newly enlarged holes, and lined them up against a straight-edge so I could mark the spots to drill for the screws that hold the tuner in place. To drill the pilot holes the correct length I placed the screws to be used against the drill bit, and marked the correct depth with a piece of tape. By doing this you don’t risk drilling too far, through the headstock. Once the holes were drilled I installed the screws and tightened up the retaining nuts.

Once the guitar was strung up and strings stretched sufficiently I went about testing the guitar. I was pleased to find that the guitar stayed in tune pretty well, even with some whammy bar work. The string trees were causing some string binding issues, as was evident by the pinging noise on some strings when tuning. The roller trees were on their way, so it would be interesting to see if they improved the issue.

The next batch of parts to arrive were the black pickup covers and pickguard screws. I mistakenly figured that the Squier pickups would have had the same pole-piece spacing to save costs, so I only measured one pickup and ordered the covers in the same spacing. The cover fit the middle pickup, but the neck was off. I ended up widening the holes by scraping around them with a Stanley knife until I could fit the cover over the pickup. The modification wasn’t too noticeable since the pickup bobbin was black. The guitar was pretty much coming together visually now, with it’s black and white theme.

The string trees finally arrived, and unfortunately I was a bit disappointed with them. They were supposed to be black, and they were closer to the nickel colour of the stock string trees than black. The heads of the screws snapped off during installation, so I had to use the stock string tree screws. To top if off, the tolerances on the rollers were a bit sloppy, so it feels like there is still a little bit of string binding going on. My first pick for trees was the Graphtech Black TUSQ XL Sleek String Trees, so I think I may order some of these soon.

With the installation of these parts the guitar is not only starting to play better, but come together in a visual way too. I want to continue replacing any screws on the pickguard to black to finish the look there, and most likely switch out the string trees for part that not only look the part more so, but perform better too.

I took the Bullet out for it’s first gig during this time, and whilst it performed admirably, the IBZ/USA single coil in the bridge wasn’t quite pushing as hard as I would have preferred. I’m looking at a couple of pickups that may give me the bigger, fatter sound that would be comparable to my humbucker equipped guitars, but still retain a single coil vibe. The Bullet may be a cheap guitar, but it plays so well, so it’s worth considering throwing some nice pickups in. This project has definitely been a lot of fun, and has demonstrated that a cheap, budget guitar can be a great player with a little work and a small budget.

Categories: General Interest

The Top 10 Best Musical Notes In The History Of The Universe, Ever

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 06:19


10. C
9. Eb
8. G
7. Another G but, like, higher up on the neck
6. B
5. A
4. C#
3. D
2. E
1. F# That’s right, F#.

Is your mind blown by my controversial choice for #1? Did I shake up your buttoned-down, F-natural-lovin’ little narrow-minded world? Well suck it, monkeys. That’s how we roll here at I Heart Guitar.

The post The Top 10 Best Musical Notes In The History Of The Universe, Ever appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 06:51

Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 was so revolutionary that its notes are still reverberating today. On that day, Jimi changed so much about what we believed a musician could do and the sounds a guitar could make (whether blasting out ear-shattering feedback or shrieking its last breaths as it smashes against the stage floor in a hail of flames and parts). Fender has now released a limited edition Stratocaster in tribute to that iconic performance and the instrument that met its firey death on that stage. Here’s the press release. 

FENDER® RELEASES LIMITED EDITION JIMI HENDRIX‘S MONTEREY STRATOCASTER® IN HONOR OF MONTEREY INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL’S 50th ANNIVERSARY

2017 Artist Signature Series Model Pays Homage to Hendrix’s Breakout Performance,
Painted Stratocaster Famously Burned During The Storied Musical Gathering

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (August 15, 2017) – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the launch of its newest addition to the Artist Signature Series: the Jimi Hendrix™ Monterey Stratocaster®; it honors the late and great rock icon, whose persona and legacy is not only synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster, but also rock ‘n’ roll at large. Jimi Hendrix took the world by storm with his incredible 1967 Monterey Pop Festival performance, which he concluded with the sacrificial burning of his now-iconic, hand-painted Stratocaster. First revealed at Summer NAMM 2017 in Nashville, Tenn., and available only for the remainder of this year, the new limited edition Jimi Hendrix™ Monterey Stratocaster® celebrates the 50th anniversary of this milestone in music history.

“Jimi created something amazing, embodied in Monterey with his now legendary hand-painted Fender Stratocaster,” said Janie Hendrix, CEO/President, Experience Hendrix LLC and Authentic Hendrix LLC. “In many ways, it was a representation of who he was. We wanted Jimi enthusiasts from all walks of life to be able to enjoy the magic of his art in this form. Making it beautiful and attainable is a wonderful way to celebrate the anniversary of an incredible moment in time.”

Jimi Hendrix wholly embraced the Fender Stratocaster as his preferred instrument. Like no artist before or since, his imagination and unparalleled skill as a guitarist created seemingly infinite possibilities for the Stratocaster. Successive generations of musicians have recognized this unique bond between artist and instrument. Iconic performances at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock have inspired generations of guitarists everywhere to embrace the Stratocaster more than ever.   

The Jimi Hendrix™ Monterey Stratocaster®, priced at $899.99, captures all of the energy of his unforgettable set-ending finale at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. An homage to the spectacular performance that quite literally burned its way into our pop culture conscience, the Jimi Hendrixä Monterey Stratocaster faithfully replicates his hand-painted psychedelic artwork on the body of the guitar. A trio of vintage-style single-coil Stratocaster pickups give this ‘60s-style, Fiesta Red Strat® its classic Fender sound. Bell-like and articulate, it has plenty of singing sustain for soloing. The “C”-shaped maple neck bears a vintage-style 7.25”-radius pau ferro fingerboard with 21 vintage-sized frets for a playing feel just like the original. The six-screw synchronized tremolo is perfect for unleashing dive-bombs and other sonic expressions. Fully authorized, the Stratocaster features an exclusive etched Authentic Hendrix™ neck plate.

“It’s an honor to celebrate such an iconic musical moment and Jimi Hendrix’s legacy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival,” said Justin Norvell, SVP, Fender Products. “The Stratocaster was at the heart of countless, iconic Hendrix performances, but Monterey marked his arrival in the United States as a musical force – and Fender is proud to have been a part of that moment. The fiery culmination of Hendrix’s set went down as one of the most-iconic images of the 20th century. Although little of the guitar remained afterward, a detailed examination of photos and video from the performance helped us develop our version of the original guitar, down to the detailed nail-polish artistry.”

In true tradition, Fender’s Artist Signature Series models honor popular and iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists. A showpiece for any music-lover’s collection, the limited-edition Jimi Hendrixä Monterey Stratocasterâ  not only preserves the memory of one of the most visually and sonically spectacular performances in all of rock history, but it also allows fans worldwide to have a true Jimi Hendrix experience with detailed artistry and craftsmanship – all at an accessible price point.

For an image of Jimi Hendrix burning his original Stratocaster® at the Monterey Pop Festival, click here. For additional high-resolution product images, please click here.

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

 

# # #

 

JIMI HENDRIXTM MONTEREY STRATOCASTER® – $899.99

It’s been 50 years since Jimi Hendrix took the world by storm with his incredible Monterey Pop Festival performance, which he concluded with the sacrificial burning of his now-iconic hand-painted Stratocaster. Destroyed during the fiery culmination of his set, this one-of-a-kind guitar survived only in photos and film. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this milestone in music history, Fender created the limited-edition Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster. A trio of vintage-style single-coil Stratocaster pickups give this Strat® its classic Fender sound. Bell-like and articulate, it has plenty of singing sustain for soloing. The “C”-shaped maple neck bears a vintage-style 7.25”-radius pau ferro fingerboard with 21 vintage-sized frets for a playing feel just like the original. The six-screw synchronized tremolo is perfect for unleashing dive-bombs and other sonic expression. An homage to Hendrix’s spectacular Strat, right down to the hand-painted nail-polish artwork that burned its way into our memories, the Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster also features an exclusive etched Hendrix neck plate.

 

ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.

 

ABOUT AUTHENTIC HENDRIX, LLC:

Founded by Jimi Hendrix’s father, James “Al” Hendrix, and owned and operated by his personally chosen members of the family; Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. and its wholly owned subsidiary Authentic Hendrix, LLC, manage the globally recognized Jimi Hendrix copyrights and trademarks.  Their administration of the exclusive right to Jimi Hendrix’s music and lyrics, plus an extensive photo archive, helps create a legacy of products that mirror Jimi’s own creative vision. Visit us online at http://www.jimihendrix.com 

The post Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

PRS Introduces Vernon Reid Signature Model

I Heart Guitar - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 21:24

Vernon Reid is one of my favourite guitarists, and a damn nice guy as well. He’s been playing PRS Guitars for a few years now and has solidified his partnership with the company via a new limited edition signature model, the S2 VR Vela. I love so many things about this guitar, from the Floyd Rose to the pickguard to the choice of colours. And I can’t wait to hear it in action on Living Colour’s new record, Shade, out next month. Here’s the press release. 

(STEVENSVILLE, MD) August 8, 2017 – PRS Guitars is pleased to announce a new limited edition model in the S2 series of US made electric guitars: The S2 VR Vela. Developed with Living Colour founder, Vernon Reid, the VR Vela is a commanding instrument with a cult personality and tons of tonal textures.

Initially attracted by the Vela’s offset body shape, Vernon took the S2 Vela to another level through a unique set of appointments. Loaded with two HFS pickups, the S2 VR Vela has an aggressive sound with clear highs and strong mids and bass. The Floyd Rose 1000 Series tremolo adds new sonic options for players and provides the confidence to dive bomb without going out of tune. The S2 VR Vela also features a “V-shape” neck that feels full and strong in your hand and a unique pickguard designed by Vernon himself.  

“I love the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it sounds. I think it’s really meant for the player that is prepared to go all different kinds of places. It’s the kind of instrument that invites people to experiment and just have a good time. Whatever kind of music you want to play…whatever you want to plug the guitar into.” Vernon Reid

There is no limit to the number of S2 VR Vela guitars that will be made, but the order window is open from August 8 – September 30, 2017 only through authorized PRS Dealers.

To explore the S2 Series and to see the new S2 VR Vela, please visit www.prsguitars.com.

About PRS Guitars:

Paul Reed Smith Guitars is a leading manufacturer of high quality instruments in Stevensville, Maryland and has provided some of the world’s most renowned musicians with instruments since 1985. The PRS team of highly skilled craftspeople design and build a wide variety of musical instruments and gear for worldwide distribution, including electric, acoustic, and bass guitars as well as boutique-style guitar amplifiers. The PRS SE line of products complements the Maryland-made PRS line by offering highly approachable and more affordable electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, John McLaughlin, John Mayer, Linkin Park, Orianthi, Blake Shelton, Mark Tremonti, Zach Myers of Shinedown, Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, David Grissom, Martin Simpson, Tony McManus, and Derek Trucks are among the artists currently playing PRS instruments and/or amplifiers.

PRS Guitars Info: www.prsguitars.com

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Categories: General Interest

The Squier Bullet Strat project – part 3

Lone Phantom - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 15:00

The Squier Bullet Strat project has been coming along nicely. With the aid of the Wilkinson bridge’s full size sustain block, Hantug Custom Guitars brass saddles and titanium spring claw, the guitar sounds great unplugged. The DiMarzio made IBZ/USA stacked single coil, in conjunction with the stock Squier pickups are sounding pretty sweet, and the upgrade to the Graphtech Black TUSQ XL nut means the guitar is staying in tune better than it previously did. The next step was to get the bridge mounted properly on all six screws, and shield the pickup and control cavity.

Filling and drilling holes to mount a vintage-style 6 screw Strat bridge is a bit of a daunting piece of DIY work, even when there’s only two of the six holes that need to be taken care of. The holes need to be lined up perfectly, and drilled perfectly level, a job best done with a bench drill. I don’t have one of these, but I decided to give it a go with my hand drill, using a clever trick to try and get the hole drilled as accurately as possible. But first off, the original outer holes needed to be filled.

To take care of the holes I picked up a dowel joining kit, as well as some wood glue from my local hardware store. I measured the existing hole depth using a bamboo skewer, marking the depth on the side of the skewer. I then lined up the guide on the dowel kit drill bit to ensure I didn’t drill too far. I then drilled out the holes, ready for the dowels to be inserted.

After cleaning out the holes I placed a bit of wood glue into holes, followed by the dowels. Once the glue started to set I realised that I stupidly forgot to trim the dowels to suit the hole depth, making my life a lot harder than I really needed to. Upon the glue setting, I had to cut the dowels close to body level, taking care not to accidentally mess the body up. I then taped of the body around the dowels and started sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper, until the dowels were level with the body. A Dremel would have been super handy to take care of cutting and sanding the dowels, but unfortunately I didn’t have one on hand.

I got onto shielding the pickup and control cavities while I had the pickguard off.  I used aluminium foil tape to take care of the shielding duties since it’s easy to cut to size and apply, and you don’t have wait anything to dry, as you would if you applied shielding paint. I also put some tape on the pickguard so I could minimise any interference.

Once all of this was done I was ready to properly install the bridge. I put the bridge back in place, using the four inside screws to line it up. I then carefully marked where the new holes were to be drilled with a small tipped hole punch.  I removed the bridge and got ready to drill the starter holes for the screws.

I wanted to see if I could find a way to accurately drill the holes with a hand drill since I didn’t have a drill press on hand. A quick google search found a good hack to getting a hole drilled as straight as possible, by using a CD or DVD. Basically You sit the disk on the surface to be drilled, data side down, and use the reflection to line the drill bit up. Since I  was drilling into fairly soft timber, and the Strat bridge uses wood screws, I just drilled starter holes, and then used my electric screwdriver to drive the screws in. I brought the strings back to tune and stretched them again, and was pleasantly surprised by how well the guitar stayed in tune after a bit of work on the whammy bar. Even with the stock tuners, the guitar was capable of staying in relative tune.

It was great to see that I could install the bridge properly with only the most basic of hand tools, and a bit of clever life-hacking. The shielding will help with noise-related issues, and is a cheap upgrade that anyone can do at home. The next upgrades will be replacing the nasty stock tuners with some better quality units, string trees, and finishing off the white to black transformation.

Categories: General Interest

Dweezil To Tour Australia & NZ In 2018

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 04:24
I am so utterly, utterly excited about this. Dweezil Zappa is returning to Australia and New Zealand in February to not only play shows but also present a series of exclusive guitar masterclasses too!
 
PRESS RELEASE: David Roy Williams in collaboration with Principal Entertainment present Dweezil Zappa, son of the legendary Frank Zappa, celebrating 50 years of Zappa with a series of concerts and exclusive guitar masterclasses in Australia & New Zealand in early 2018.
 
Sheik Yerbouti next February, 2018 as the legendary music of Frank Zappa is celebrated live on stage by the man’s prodigiously talented son Dweezil Zappa and his band The Others of Intention.
 
Freak Out to some of the most inventive and wildly original music ever committed to tape! Discover Who Are The Brain Police as Dweezil conducts immaculate explorations and excavations of Frank’s 50 year old debut album.  Take a drive with the Muffin Man along the Inca Roads in the Orange County Lumber Truck as Dweezil digs in for a suite mined from one of Frank Zappa’s most acclaimed albums, Joe’s Garage.  
 
Dweezil will be whippin’ up a G-Spot Tornado, as he explores everything from the deepest album cuts through to the cult favourites that have made Frank Zappa and his music such an indelible influence on our musical culture.
 
Before you ask Is That All There Is? Dweezil will be holding exclusive and strictly limited guitar master classes and Q&A session before each show, exploring exciting new approaches to guitar that he has employed to play his dad’s most sophisticated and challenging melodies.  So you can Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar, and take a step closer to mastering The Black Page, these masterclasses provide theories that destroy the boundaries that confine music creativity.
 
So don’t be a Zomby Woof, move like the Teen-Age Wind and grab a ticket before they are all gone, as The Son Of Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar shows you how it’s done. 
 
DRW ENTERTAINMENT IN COLLABORATION WITH PRINCIPAL ENTERTAINMENT PRESENT
DWEEZIL ZAPPA
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF FRANK
Pre- Sale 16th August 12pm until 10am 17th
General sale 17th August 10am
 
TUESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY AUCKLAND BRUCE MASON CENTRE
THURSDAY 22ND FEBRUARY BRISBANE TIVOLI THEATRE
FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY SYDNEY ENMORE THEATRE
SATURDAY 24TH FEBRUARY MELBOURNE FORUM THEATRE
SUNDAY 25TH FEBRUARY ADELAIDE THE GOV
TUESDAY 27TH FEBRUARY PERTH ASTOR THEATRE

 
For tickets visit:
http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/dweezil-zappa/
 
 

The post Dweezil To Tour Australia & NZ In 2018 appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

ESP Responds To CITES Amendments

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 04:05

ESP Guitars has announced its plans for moving toward sustainable materials in guitar/bass design and manufacturing in response to the changes to CITES regulations, and while their various manufacturing facilities gradually begin the switch to new materials, they are far enough along in the process that they have made their first public statement about the new materials to be used, on a series-by-series basis.

Here’s the statement.

ESP Guitars has always been a company who takes seriously our responsibility as a manufacturer of wood-based instruments. With the most recent amendments to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), all instrument manufacturers face increased scrutiny to ensure that the raw materials used in their products meet the requirements as designated under this international treaty.

Particular to the current version of CITES is the use of the wood genus Dalbergia, with several species known commonly as rosewood, which has been overexploited in the wild. To remain compliant with CITES, ESP has researched a number of replacement materials for use in some of our products’ fingerboards. Note that in some cases, the replacement materials are a running change via our various manufacturing facilities, and as stock is depleted on earlier versions, the use of new materials will go into effect.

LTD “200 SERIES” & “400 SERIES” INSTRUMENTS
Moving ahead, fingerboards on this series of instruments will use jatoba to replace rosewood. Jatoba is a wood found in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America that is commonly called “Brazilian cherry” due to its appearance. Some of the current 200 Series instruments have replaced rosewood with Blackwood, an engineered wood made from sustainable pine. Both materials have been tested by ESP’s specialists for tone and aesthetic appearance, and meet all of our standards for high-quality instruments.

LTD DELUXE “1000 SERIES” and LTD SIGNATURE “600 SERIES” INSTRUMENTS
ESP is making two changes to these instrument series. First, most of the guitars in these series formerly offered with rosewood fingerboards will soon be manufactured with Pau Ferro. While Pau Ferro is colloquially referred to as Bolivian rosewood, it is not actually part of the rosewood genus that is restricted via CITIES regulations, and is an excellent, high-quality substitute for rosewood on guitar and bass fingerboards. Second, on certain models that had been previously offered with rosewood fingerboards, we are making a design change to offer them with Macassar ebony. We are also changing current models in these series being offered with African ebony to using Macassar ebony instead. This is a wood native to Indonesia, and is much less vulnerable than true Rosewood or African ebony as a sustainable material.

LTD ACOUSTIC GUITARS (AVAILABLE ONLY OUTSIDE THE USA)
For all LTD acoustic models that previous used rosewood for fingerboards and bridges, the guitars have been manufactured since January 2017 using Blackwood, and beginning in July we have started to produce them with jatoba as described above. Any model that previously used rosewood for its back and/or sides will now make use of black walnut.

LTD “10 SERIES” INSTRUMENTS
For our instruments designed for beginning musicians and to be made available at the lowest possible cost, the fingerboards of LTD 10 Series has been switched to a manufactured wood material that will act as an acceptable rosewood substitute. This is a running change that is still in progress, and we will announce the specific material at the earliest opportunity.

We are sure that you share ESP’s commitment toward staying in compliance with the current CITES regulations, as well as our enthusiasm for helping to conserve these important natural resources for the planet.

The post ESP Responds To CITES Amendments appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

"Rumble" Is A Blast!

Guitar Vibe - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:54
The indie rock flick "Rumble" has been hitting some of the film festivals this year and I managed to catch a showing up in Traverse City. It's a great film for those who like music, especially rock and blues. The... Zack Urlocker
Categories: General Interest

Eastwood 1975 Morris the Cosy Mandolin shaped guitar

Guitarz - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 06:30
guitarz.blogspot.com:






I was drawn to the look of this Blueberry guitar when it was posted back in 2014, but I always thought that it was a bit too much, as a lot of the Blueberry is. A bit too ornate and flashy. The thought of a well proportioned mandolin shaped guitar has interested me since.

This Eastwood 1975 Morris the Cosy doesn't exactly fit the image I've had in mind, but it is certainly worth a gander. 

Modelled after a 1975 Morris Custom Mano Mania guitar best known as  one of the main guitars for Pete Cosy from Miles Davis' band, the Morris Cosy looks like a nice take on a semi-hollow 2 pickup design. It would be nice to see one in an non sunburst or even bare wood design to look like an old Gibson mandolin.

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

The Squier Bullet Strat project – part 2

Lone Phantom - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 15:00

The Squier Bullet Strat has been a rather surprising guitar. I had heard that the “COB” Chinese-made Bullets were quite the bargain find, but after cleaning it up, installing the Wilkinson bridge, the Hantug brass saddles and titanium spring claw, and stringing up the guitar, it has really surprised me. Not only does the neck feel great, but the guitar has a fantastic acoustic tone and resonance. The only real downfall was the tuning stability. The stock Bullet tuners are known to be a bit rubbish, and looking at the nut, it was obvious that the slots weren’t cut the cleanest.

Since I was on a roll I figured a trip to my local music store, Better Music, was in order. The plan was to pick up a new Graphtech Black TUSQ XL nut nut, and start collecting parts to transform the look of the guitar. In line with the black Wilkinson bridge, I wanted to change the rest of the hardware, controls and pickup covers to black. While getting the nut I grabbed a black jack plate, volume and tone knobs and pickup selector switch tip.

I also remembered that I had a DiMarzio made IBZ/USA hum-cancelling single coil pickup stashed away in my parts drawer. From what can be gathered on these old pickups, it’s based on the DiMarzio HS-2, which is a low-output single coil. I figured that while it was low output, the hum-cancelling part of the design would make it a good fit for the bridge for now, since most of my playing would be on the bridge pickup.

The new Graphtech nut had string slots that matched the existing nut, but the overall width was a little wider than the neck. I got started on filling the sides to bring it a little more in line with the neck width, but I was wishing I had pulled the stock nut before I got started on the filing. The Graphtech nut was a curved base, while the stock nut was a flat base. It was a bit late to take the nut back, so I figured I’d try and fit the nut, despite the nut shelf being flat. I filled in the shield with a bit of super glue and lined up the nut with the strings to get the placement right. Once the glue had set I was happy to find that the nut set nicely, and the action was all good. The edges sit a little over the edge of the nut, but not in a way that is a detriment to its playability.

One thing that s certain, if you have a guitar that has tuning stability issues you’d be hard pressed to go past upgrading the nut with a Graphtech TUSQ nut. When it comes to bang for buck this is one of the best things you could do to your guitar. This $12 upgrade got the guitar holding tune far better, even with the rubbish tuners and string trees still in play.

The problem with the stock tuners and trees is that the tuners have a lot of play in them, and when tuning the guitar you can hear pinging occasionally when the strings bind on the trees. However, even with these issues, the guitar stayed in tune pretty well. The downside of the sloppy tuners and binding trees, combined with the switch to black hardware will mean that I will upgrade the tuners with locking tuners and roller string trees.

I got onto installing the IBZ/USA pickup and swapping over the black hardware. I hadn’t really played the guitar plugged in yet. I was curious to see how the remaining stock Squier pickups would sound too. First up, the IBZ/USA single coil gave a fairly typical vintage Strat tone. The highs are slightly rolled off on the older hum-cancelling DiMarzio designs, but that traditional Strat “sound” is mostly there. The vintage output required me to push the dirt a bit harder to get the sounds I typically like, but that’s not too difficult to take care of. What was really surprising was the stock Squier pickups. The neck pickup with some dirt provides a really sweet lead tone that works well for heavy blues up to metal shredding. The split and middle pickup combos are pretty standard Strat fare, nothing brilliant, but plenty serviceable for those on a budget. Of course there is the hum expected from single coils, maybe a little more than what you’d get from better quality units, but again, if you’re on a budget they’ll do.

I want to get the bridge set up for whammy bar usage, so I’ll need to get the bridge mounting holes sorted next. This is a new level of work for me, so hopefully it’ll all come together nicely. This, alongside some decent locking tuners and better string trees should allow for the Bullet to handle a bit of whammy bar abuse,while still staying in tune for the most part.  Cheap guitars aren’t generally shielded very well either, so I may get onto sorting out this with some aluminium shielding tape while I’m at it.

Categories: General Interest

Superb Bulgarian Vintage Orfeus Electric Guitar

Guitarz - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 06:02
guitarz.blogspot.com:








Luckily, I was able to save some pictures of this wonderful specimen before it was sold. This Orfeus checks a lot of boxes for me as it's odd, yellow, and has the kind of curves that could make a schoolboy blush.

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

The Peavey HP2 In The Flesh

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 02:25

By far the most talked-about guitar at the Melbourne Guitar Show this past weekend was the Peavey HP2. If you haven’t heard yet, this marks Peavey’s return to USA-made electric guitars, and it’s very, very similar to the old Edward Van Halen Wolfgang models. Word has it that these are actually made using New Old Stock bodies that had been sitting around unpainted since Eddie departed, and that this first run has already been completely sold to dealers. 

If you’re in the USA, you can keep an eye on Guitar Center’s Peavey guitar inventory (including used Wolfgangs) here. If you’re here in Australia, Galactic Music is our Peavey distributor and you can find your nearest dealer here.

I checked the HP2 out up close and was instantly taken back to how great the Wolfgang was. There are a few subtle changes that separate this from the Wolfgang though. The pickups cosmetics are now standard zebra, instead of one zebra and one reverse zebra, and the pickups are tweaked a little to allow them to sound better in single coil mode than the originals did. The Peavey logo on the headstock is bigger, and there’s a range of new finishes including the beautiful Deep Ocean. It was hard to judge the sound on the crowded and very noisy show floor but initial impressions are that the tone is everything it should be, with maybe a little more detail in the high end. 

Obviously it goes without saying that EVH’s Wolfgang guitars are phenomenal quality, and the range hits a lot of different price points that Peavey isn’t hitting. I know a lot of completists who will want an HP2 to go alongside their army of Peavey Wolfgangs, EVH Wolfgangs and Striped Series, Ernie Ball Music Man Edward Van Halen guitars and various Kramers. 

The post The Peavey HP2 In The Flesh appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Codtone Big Muff Civil War Era Clone

Guitar Tone Overload - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 21:13

Codtone is a very cool one man boutique manufacturer based out of northern New South Wales in Australia.

Not only does he craft killer pedals often based on well known circuits, he also offers something quite unique: custom etchings on his pedals.

I was after a compact Muff after selling my (too) large Big Muff Pi reissue so after trading some gear I custom ordered a Big Muff clone from Codtone. Here is a little demo of the beast which sports a Civil war era circuit and is etched with the coat of arms of my native region in France:

Categories: General Interest

How To Write A Press Release For Music Media

I Heart Guitar - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 18:56

I see a lot of press releases in the course of my day. A lot. Many of them are absolutely perfect. They’re usually written by professionals like Maric Media, ArrowAgency, Deathproof PR, Josh Vittek or any number of other folks whose job it is to get your band’s music in front of the right people, with the right accompanying information. 

Then I get press released written by the band themselves.

These are never good. 

If you don’t have the budget to enlist the services of a pro, you need to know how and why to write a press release. It seems like this is a big SEO topic because there are lots of articles about this online, but they all seem really generic and mostly seem to be rewrites of each other. Most don’t even have actual example. Pfft, that’s stupid. So here’s what I’m going to do. At the end of this article I’m going to give you an example of a press release, but before I do that I’m going to tell you why you’re writing a press release at all, and what not to do.

Why Are You Writing A Press Release?

You’re writing a press release because you want media to cover something. It could be: 

* A local gig.
* A tour.
* A new video on your YouTube channel (yes, it’s totally, very appropriate to send out a press release for this).
* An EP.
* An album.
* A new band member.
* An award you just won.
* An award you’re hoping to win.
* An opinion on some current news or music industry issue that you feel you can contribute to.

How Will Your Press Release Be Used?

Most media outlets will basically copy-and-paste your press release, tweak it for their audience, and hit ‘Publish.’ They don’t want to rewrite it from the very beginning, and they don’t want to spend 20 minutes editing it for you. It’s not that editors are lazy, it’s just that they have a lot of emails in their inbox vying for attention, and they’re more likely to run your unsolicted news item if they can do it efficiently then move on to the next article. 

What Bad Stuff Do You See, Peter?

I’ve seen some unmitigated horrors in press releases. For example: 

* Terrible grammar and spelling.
* Capitalising words that don’t need to be capitalised.
* Omitting the last names of the band members, as if you’re all friggin’ Madonna or something. 
* Trying too hard to write something evocative and flowery, when all the editor wants is the information. Don’t go overboard with “Since the dawn of time, humanity has sought the ultimate metal band, one that would rise forth from the flames and…” etc. It just doesn’t make for good media copy, which is what a press release is really for. 
* Using the press release to direct the editor to check out your information elsewhere (website, Facebook, Bandcamp, etc). Don’t do this. Just don’t. 

What Should A Press Release Include?

Relevant information, formatted so the press can release it. Easy. NEXT!

How Should A Press Release Be Sent?

You can use a mailing list client like Mailchimp to send out your press release, but I prefer just a straight text email. Here’s the thing: yes, you should send your press release as an attachment in Word or as a PDF. You should include some images (preferably your album cover if you have one, and a professional-looking live or promo shot). Include web resolution and print resolution (300dpi) versions, or link to a dropbox that contains these. But most importantly, include the entire press release in the body of the email. Remember, you want the editor to see your press release and decide to run it. This is much easier for them if it’s really, really easy to understand what it’s saying and to then copy and paste for further editing, formatting or to use as the basic for an original article. Again, editors aren’t lazy. They’re overworked and jacked up on coffee and probably underpaid and a little bit hangry, and they just want to get the article out there because that’s their job. 

So with that in mind, here’s an example of a press release. 

Guitarist Peter Hodgson Begins Recording Album

AUGUST 7, 2017: Australian guitarist Peter Hodgson has begun recording his debut instrumental album, Synesthesia, due for release in late 2017.

Synesthesia will include progressive rock/metal instrumental tracks that have been performed live with the Peter Hodgson Trio at the Melbourne Guitar Show and on TV’s Guitar Gods & Masterpieces, as well as other compositions.

“I’ve been sitting on these songs for a long time,” Peter says. “Some of them date back almost 20 years, but I’m always tweaking and changing them. I figure now is as good a time as any to give them a pat on the bum and send them out into the world.”

The album title is taken from a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Peter has written about Synesthesia for a number of publications including Guitar World, and how he uses it to influence his guitar playing and songwriting. 

About Peter Hodgson

Peter is known as senior contributor and columnist for Australian Guitar magazine, where his instructional column Soloing Strategies can be found. He is also a contributor to Guitar World and Mixdown, in addition to his role as metal columnist for Beat Magazine. And his I Heart Guitar blog [iheartguitarblog.com] has been one of the world’s most visited and highly regarded guitar news sites since 2008. 

Peter is an endorser of Seymour Duncan guitar pickups and pedals. He uses Kiesel guitars, Ernie Ball strings, Marshall amplifiers and IK Multimedia software.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact: 

Peter Hodgson
peter.j.hodgson@gmail.com

Web: iheartguitarblog.com
Twitter: @iheartguitar
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peterhodgsonguitar/
Instagram: @iheartguitarblog

The post How To Write A Press Release For Music Media appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

The Guitars of Roger McGuinn

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 19:09
Roger McGuinn
Roger McGuinn was born in 1942 and grew up in the Chicagoarea. His parents were journalists. They loved to read and were devoted to literary charities, even going so far as to have a book published.

James Joseph McGuinn, his given name went to The Latin School of Chicago. He became bitten with the music bug after hearing Elvis Presley sing Heartbreak Hotel.  

He begged his parents for a guitar.

Other childhood influences include Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and the Everly Brothers. 


Old Town School of Folk Music


In 1957 McGuinn enrolled in Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. It was there that he learned to play the five string banjo and got serious about playing guitar. By his graduation he was playing solo at various Chicagocoffeehouses.  




The Chad Mitchell Trio

His influences included several trio vocal groups including the Limeliters and the Chad Mitchell Trio, a group which he would later become a member.
Bobby Darin

McGuinn got a job playing guitar and singing background in Bobby Darin’s band. This job lead to him relocating to California and the Los Angeles music scene. It was in Los Angeles that he met future members of the Byrds.




The Brill Building


In 1962 Darin hired McGuinn with the thought in mind that Darin wanted to add some folk music to his career. These were the years that Folk Music had significantly gained in popularity. By mid 1963, Darin’s health began to fail and he retired from singing. He opened a songwriting and publishing office in New York City’s Brill Building and hired Jim McGuinn. 

McGuinn also found work as a studio guitarist and that same year was backing up Judy Collins and Simon & Garfunkel on their recordings.

The rumblings of Beatlemania and the British Invasion were about to take place. Within less than a year the Beatles American tour would commence. 

The Troubadour

McGuinn traveled back to Los Angelesand took a job at Doug Weston’s The Troubadour. Jim McGuinns act included folks songs that were played in a rock style. 

This caught the attention of Gene Clark. Clark befriended McGuinn and thus was formed the beginnings of the Byrds.

Eventually the duo found other like-mined folk/rock influenced member, Chris Hillman, David Crosby and Michael Clarke. The quintet began to perform at Los Angeles clubs. In January of 1965 they recorded the monster hit, Mr. Tambourine Man. 

The Byrds' version was much different than what the songs writer, Bob Dylan, had put down on vinyl.


Their version began with an amazing four bar guitar intro and outro that was played on a Rickenbacker 12 string guitar. This was a fairly recent instrument at the time and provided a very unusual sound. Part of that sound was dependent on the engineers use of compression technology. 

Members of the Byrds were dismayed by the fact that the only group member playing an instrument on the recording was McGuinn. 

This was typical of most major recording sessions. Studio time was expensive and record companies wanted ‘product’ out as soon as possible. And this track was being done at Columbia Studios.  


'65 McGuinn and producer Terry Melcher
Members of the Wrecking Crew, including Bill PIttman on guitar, Hal Blaine on drums, Larry Knechtel on bass, and Leon Russell on piano, backed up Roger McGuinn, who played his 12 string guitar on Mr. Tambourine Man. 

The other members of the Byrds sang back up.

Members of the Wrecking Crew were hired to play on the hit instead of The Byrds members. The Byrds did their own vocals with McGuinn singing lead. 


Rickenbacker 360/12 string
In McGuinn’s words, “The Rickenbacker 12 string by itself is kind of thuddy. It doesn’t ring. But if you add compression you get that longer sustain. I found this out by accident. 


Teletronix LA-2A Compressor
The engineer, Ray Gerhardt would use compression on everything to protect his equipment from loud rock and roll. Two Teletronix LA-2A tube based compressors and the guitar signal was sent directly to the board. 

"That is how I got my ‘jingle-jangle’ tone. I was able to sustain a note for three or four seconds.”


The Byrds Eight Miles High

This came in handy with the Byrds next hit, Eight Miles High. It was in this song that Jim McGuinn attempted to emulate John Coltrane’s disconnected jazz riffs. He didn’t think this could be accomplished without such sustain.




Rickenbacker 360/12
McGuinn goes on to say, “I practiced eight hours a day on that ‘Ric,’ which worked out well. Acoustic 12 strings have wide necks and thicker strings that were spaced farther apart and were hard to play. But the Ric’s slim neck and low action let me explore jazz and blues scaled….I incorporated more hammer-ons and pull-off into my solos. I also translated some of my banjo picking techniques to the 12 string. 

By combining a flat pick and metal finger picks…I discovered I could instantly switch from fast single-note runs to banjo rolls and get the best of both world."



The Byrds
As a group the Byrds lasted two years, but played and recorded with other members and other differing names. The actual band officially called it quits in 1973. McGuinn went on to maintain an electric guitar band until 1981 when he decided to be a solo artist.




Roger McGuinn 2014
When James Joseph McGuinn started with the Byrds, he used his given nickname ‘Jim.’ Sometime in the mid 1960’s he started exploring spirituality and became involved with the Subud Spiritual Association. In 1967 the groups leader suggested if he was going to vibrate with the universe, he should consider a new name. 

Jim sent in a list of ten names that had to do with airplanes and science fiction

As Roger was the one actual name and the 18th letter of the 
alphabet that air pilots use when talking on the radio, that was the name McGuinn chose. 


Camilla and Roger McGuinn


Since then Roger and his wife Camilla have become Christians.





370/12RM

McGuinn’s first Rickenbacker was a two pickup model 360-12 that had a beautiful blond finish. He was fascinated by the guitar George Harrison played in Hard Days Night. Harrison’s guitar was bound on the front and the back of the body. It was done in a yellow-to red sunburst finish that Rickenbacker calls Fireglo. 

McGuinn could not find a Rickenbacker 12 string that had the pointier cutaways and top trim. He purchased the only available model and used it through his Byrds career.

This guitar was stolen and when he replaced it with a similar instrument. He states that in later years it showed up at an auction and sold for $100,000.

JangleBox Compressor
As he states, much of his sound is based on compression, for years Roger McGuinn was unable to replicate that sound on a live stage. 

Paul Kanter of the Jefferson Airplane suggest using a Vox Treble Booster. This was one of the first generation sound enhancers. The unit was small and plugged into a guitars input. 


McGuinn took the booster apart and installed in internally in his Rickenbacker. He states he tried other compression units, but could not get his sound until the Jangle-Box was invented.


Rickenbacker 370/12RM
McGuinn states that he has since he currently has a built-in compression unit onboard his triple pickup Rickenbacker 370-12RM that was designed by engineer, Bob Desiderio. As an aside he states that John Hall, the owner of Rickenbacker, allowed 1000 370-12RM models to be built and will not produce anymore to preserve their value.





Roland JC 120 Jazz Chorus

McGuinn currently uses the Jangle Box and a Roland JC120 amplifier to achieve his sound. 







Rickenbacker 360/12

McGuinn does his own string changes and set up on his guitars. Changing strings on a Rickenbacker 12 can be an all day task. McGuinn has produced a video to show how he changes strings and also how he makes neck adjustments.


Martin D12-42RM
Besides the Rickenbacker 370-12RM, McGuinn has other guitars he carries with him on tour.  The Martin Guitar Company has produced and provided two Roger McGuinn models. The first is a D12-42/RM 12 string guitar. This is an exquisite 42 model Martin with all the bells and whistles. Alas, it is no longer in production.


Martin also came out with a very unique model for McGuinn called the HD-7. This is a historic dreadnought style 45 Martin that has 7 strings. The unusual thing about this instrument is that an octave ‘G’ string is added to give the sound of a 12 string guitar, but the ease and convenience of a 6 string guitar.  

Roger frequently utilized single string runs to get his sound and this guitar does the trick.  It too is no longer in production, but is still available through some major music stores.

He was using a Fender Mastertone banjothat was given to him by Fender guitars when they were about to be acquired by CBS. He traded it to a friend for an old banjothat was made using Vega and Ode banjo parts.





During his days with Sweethearts of the Rodeo, he used a Gretsch Country Gentleman. He did not think the Rickenbacker 12 would fit into Country Music.


He states that he owns two Rickenbacker ‘Light Show’ guitars, but no longer takes them on the road. He owns a number of Rickenbacker guitars. He also owns a Martin 00-21.


Now in his 70’s, McGuinn only tours to theaters and performing arts centers stating they are well equipped facilities. He travels with his wife and enjoys getting in touch with fans all over the country.


The Rock Bottom Remainders
Roger is also part of a novelty band called the Rock Bottom Remainders. This is a group of writers, who would like to be musician and musicians and all are having a great time. 

The band was established by writer, producer and literary agent Kathi Kamen Goldmark.  

Over the years the Remainder has included among its members Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Cynthia Heimel, Sam Barry, Matt Groening, Greg Iles, Maya Angelou and Al Kooper.
 

Click on the links below the pictures for the sources. Click on the links in the text for more information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications




Categories: General Interest

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