What has happened to get to this point? Form selected. Blocks squared and installed. Outline traced onto the blocks. C-bout curves cut into the corner blocks. Curves cut on the neck and end blocks. Ribs thinned to proper thickness and trimmed to starting height. Bending iron fired up and curly maple bent into shape. Glued and clamped into place.
Not shown -- the top and back plates are joined (individually, that is).
I find the other ribs much easier to deal with, so basically this fiddle is moving along into its second trimester. Once the ribs and linings are in place, the outline can be traced onto the plates, and serious carving begins.
This is my Hardanger, so it will have typical Hardanger f-holes -- a new adventure for me.
Note also in the photo, just right of center at the top, the plastic handle of a cheap chisel. Even so, probably older than many of you reading this. I bought it in the 1970s, just out of high school, working as a carpenter. It is not what one would call a good chisel. I had a good friend who would chastise me, if he could, for including such a piece of sh*t in my photo here, but he can't.
And I use this cheap thing all the time. Need to slice some old, gnarly glue out of a mortise? Here you go. Works as an old-glue scraper, too. Split some wood into blocks? Whack! Won't stay sharp for a long, long time, but takes a good edge quickly and is just dandy, in this instance, for working blocks down to the point where my good gouges and scrapers can take over.
What works, works.
Have a well-organized pedal board
The first tip to improve your guitar tone is to use an effects pedal. It helps to develop a unique tonal identity as per your desire. One thing you need to keep in mind when converting pedal board into a sonic playground is that placement of effects matters a lot. There are certain effects that sound better when placed in a specific order. Apparently there is no right way to arrange the pedals but there are many frequency-shifting effects that disturb the signal path and cause clipping when placed in a certain sequence.
You should also consider the true-bypass switching feature of your pedals and how it affects the signals. If the effect pedal with this feature is off, the signal would pass directly from pedal’s input to the output. It won’t pass through any internal circuitry and pretend like there is no pedal in the first place.
When it comes to offsetting signal-chain noise, true-bypass pedals are pretty favorable and offer the maintenance of your original tones. They are also helpful in reducing the treble frequencies that appear when you work with multiple effects units. You can also fix the buffered pedal in the effect chain especially when you are using a larger pedal with a lot of true-bypass effects. It will improve the sound frequency as well as reduce the signal loss.
Crank Up The Mids!
If you don’t know, human hearing is more focused on the mids instead of low and high frequencies. You can simple crank the mids and improve the tones. While drummers and bassists cover the low and high frequencies, guitar is the only instrument that adds the mid tones in the sound and makes it balanced.
It’s necessary for a guitar to produce a clear tone in order to complete the overall sound produced by a band. Go for minor tweaking if the sound is perfectly fine but if it gets lost in the mix, you have to go down to the basics and tune it up for a better and clear sound production.
Sometimes, you will be able to hear your guitar tone pretty clearly in the whole band performance but it won’t be up to mark. In such a situation, you need to deal with it by making some adjustments. Make sure your guitar’s sound is not only clearly hearable but also merges well with the overall band performance.
Many guitarists simply ruin the tone because they have been practicing in their bedroom and tweaking the guitars for countless hours to produce some cool sounds. But when those sounds are played in a band, they turn out to be disastrous as they don’t go well with other low and high frequencies.
Use a Heavier Gauge Set of Strings
You might have always preferred light or ultra-light set of strings that come with a gauge of .08 and .09. They feel pretty good but for a more enhance tone, try using a slightly heavier gauge. A set of strings with a gauge of.10 adds more volume and power to guitar’s tone.
Try playing heavier gauge in the band and you will notice a great difference. It doesn’t only offer a better solo performance but also improved the band performance by producing clear and effective sounds. Strings with heavy gauges are slightly difficult to play but once you will start using them, you’ll eventually find them superb.
Heavy gauges sound much better and offer h3 and detail sounds. So, give it a try and if don’t like it, you can always go back to lighter gauge and look for a good brand.
Use Some Slap Back Delay
You often play guitar in a silence room which allows you to enjoy a louder and clearer sound. In such a setting, you play a lead part and take tones according to your convenience and taste. The venue is complete dull and muted where you are allowed to go as high or low as you want. But when it comes to playing in a band, there will be spots when you have to set back and try harder to go with the mix.
The best way to do that is to slap back delay with one or two repeats that thickens the sound and keeps it alive.
Adjust Your Pick Grip
It might offense you when people say that tone is in the hands and fingers of the guitarist. But whether you agree or not, the pick grip plays an important role in making or breaking the sound. Improving your pick grip is a golden tip to enhance the sound of your guitar. Guitarists who have a very tight grip pick, produce a loud and harsh sound that doesn’t feel subtle at all. And if the grip is too loose, wither the sound will be weak or the pick will slide off.
The best way to decide the pick grip is to hold the pick tight enough that your hand can’t pull it out. Such a moderate pick grip will aloe you to be light with the strings in order to produce a rich sound. Pressure is the key here you need to keep in mind.
Order Your Effects for Tone
It is difficult to order your on-board effects due to no particular sequence. But it’s not something you can leave unhandled as it plays an important role in improving the overall tone. Here are a few guidelines you may consider when ordering the effects. The first tip is to place Wah, compressor and EQ before distortion while overdrive will be in the start of the signal chain. For your convenience, you can put Wah before and after the distortion to see how it sounds in both placements.
Coming to the second tip, modulation effects that include chorus and flanger work superbly when placed after distortion. But it is important to mention here that some analogue pedals work best when modulation effects are placed in front of the distortion.
You should know that delay and echo effects are expected to repeat what has been already played into them hence make sure they are placed in the back of the signal chain. If your guitar has an amp’s FX loop, it would be best to place the delay and echo there to enjoy better results. The easiest and obvious placement is of reverb effects that only work best when placed at the end of the chain, otherwise they make sounds messy and weak.
Less Gain and Less Bass When Playing Louder
You usually boost up the bass and gain when playing at home to enjoy thicker and warmer sounds. When it comes to playing live or in a studio, you need to consider adjusting the bass and gain. It is best to lower both of them as they might feel powerful at home but will turn out to be overbearing in a live situation. High bass frequencies and increased gain don’t serve best in a loud band situation.
By simply lowering the bass and gain, you can improve the tones of your guitar. Once your tones are mixing well with band, you may increase the bass and gain fractionally.
Ignore Amp Setting “Advice”
You might have heard many amp setting advices from experts and maybe have also followed some of them but never enjoyed your desired tones. The problem is that every amp is different hence the adjustments differ as well. So, there can be no particular advice that might help you in achieving the best settings. The only solution is to understand your amp before you continue to set it.
You should not be afraid to try extreme setting on your amp. To understand it well, it’s necessary to explore it. Set bass, mid and treble to extreme zero and then take them as high as 10. Then you can start exploring it more by turning one to 0 and the other one 10. This is how you will get to know what type of tone you will with which setting.
Know the Difference between Treble and Presence
It is hard to believe but many guitarists don’t know the basic difference between treble and presence. Both play an important role in improving the tone of a guitar and understanding their difference will help you make right adjustments. Presence and treble work on different frequencies. On certain amps, the former covers the larger area while on other amps; the latter handles the larger portion of tone. You should set treble to a moderate level and then adjust the presence to check the quality of sound. Repeat vice versa and set presence to the moderate and adjust treble to identify the sounds. This way you will be able to enjoy desired frequencies.
Turn a Valve Amps Master Up to ¾
Your amp must have a valve that can improve the sound pretty impressively. You should know that they sound quite rough when not turned up. Let the amp valve produce a master volume of sound by setting it up to ¾. Don’t forget to wear earplugs to listen the sound carefully as it will be quite loud. With amp valve turned up, you can enjoy great tones.
Sometimes you try everything to improve the tone of your guitar but fail in every attempt. This is the point when you should consider changing the pick. For different types of guitars, different sizes of picks are used. For instance, if you have an electric guitar, 0.8 or 0.9 picks would be perfect. Other than guitar type, playing style also matters. Thinner picks of 0.7 size are best for strumming acoustics while 0.9 is ideal for hybrid picking on acoustic guitars. As picks are not expensive at all, get a few different pieces and see which one suits your style and guitar type the best.
Talk to the Other Members of the Band
When it comes to improving your guitar tone in a band performance, you can always discuss the issues with other members, especially the bassist. The thing is that bass player competes with your guitar’s lower mid-range and holds more control over it. Many bassists want to be heard and understand the significance of mid frequency. You should give them space to set up to enjoy their sounds and once they are happy, you can ask them to lower their amps in the mids if they are burying your guitar tone in the mix. Bass amps can be quite h3 in the mids to destroy your guitar tone in band performance.
Replace Your Guitars Potentiometers
You can always improve the guitar tone by replacing the wiring and potentiometers. What matters here the most is the pot’s resistance valve. Different models of electric guitars sound different when played with 200k, 300k and 500k pots. You need to check which one allows you the sound you are looking for. Pots are totally worth trying as they are highly effective and h3 in producing potential sounds. Replacement of standard potentiometers will surely result in a great difference and totally worth the money as well.
Get a Professional Set-Up
Beginners usually face guitar tone issues because they don’t know how to set it up. You can always take help from a pro who knows each type of guitar and understands the basics of setting up the guitars. There must be someone in your neighborhood that is often sought out in such matters. Go to someone who is capable of teaching you some crucial details of setting up a guitar. From pickup height to intonation settings, a pro knows it all and sets your guitar accordingly.
Purchase High Quality Leads
Another thing that plays an important role in improving the guitar tone is the lead. Aim for high-quality leads that might cost more than cheap ones but last longer and sound pretty rich. Whether it’s for recording or live performance, guitar lead should be high-quality to enjoy better sounds. Low-quality lead ruins the perfect tone and destroys the overall band performance. Imagine spending thousands on the other setup but you cut cost on a lead and disturbed the whole tone.
Also aim for a lead with a length that you need because too much longer leads disturb the sound and weaken the high ends. A lead with capacitance of less than 100pf/meter is ideal for brighter tones while cable of 140pf/ meter or higher is perfect when you need to tame the highs.
Adjust the pickup height
Pickups play an important role in creating a good sound. We cannot change their influence unless we adjust them entirely. You can always adjust the pickup height to create a fine quality of guitar’s output. With a screwdriver, ruler and careful experimentation, you can do it every time you want to enjoy better tones. The key tip to remember is that the higher you will set the pickup, the more output your guitar will generate.
The post 15 Powerful Quick Tips To Improve Your Guitar Tone appeared first on Best Beginner Guitar, Best Acoustic Guitar.
In its December issue, U.K.’s Guitarist magazine pretty much confirmed what we already knew about the Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature HSH Caramelized Ash model — it’s the pinnacle of the electric luthier’s art. When it came to designing his signature axe, Govan set stringent standards, resulting in an instrument that just notched the magazine’s 2017 “Prestige Electrics” Gear of the Year award.
Guitarist magazine was massively impressed by the complete package offered with the Charvel signature guitar, writing, “the key is Guthrie Govan and in collusion with Charvel, he has produced a guitar that’s ridiculously dialed in and designed for his high-level pro use as a touring musician.”
This isn’t the first time that Guitarist has raved over the Guthrie Govan Signature HSH.
“Guthrie Govan’s vision for an all round workhouse that’ll stand up to the rigors of professional touring is superbly realized in this signature,” gushed reviewer Dave Burlluck in Guitarist’s October issue. “Every detail is wonderfully considered: the over-sized strap buttons, the Strat-like dished output jack placement, the hugely intuitive drive, that secret ‘single coil’ switch, the impressive tuning stability (and startling range) of the vibrato, not to mention the wood choice, graphite reinforced neck and a really unposh working player’s vibe. Is there anything Guthrie hasn’t considered?”
Get your copy of Guitarist HERE to check out the full feature.
One of my favourite albums this year is The Church’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity. It’s a beautiful, deep, swirling, emotive record that represents everything great about the band’s psychedelic, atmospheric melodicism. They’ve just released a live video for the track ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why,’ which the press release describes as…
‘…A psychedelic dip into the complex consciousness of lead singer Steve Kilbey, the video highlights the latest single’s shimmery tones and experiential ambivalence on life’s purpose. With a video that transports the viewer to a rainbow coloured utopia, ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ stands true to the church’s signature exploration of existence.
‘Flowing through with the inherent theme of water, their latest single exemplifies Kilbey’s explanation of the mind’s uncontrollable influence. “I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain…The way I write lyrics is very stream-of-consciousness. I never question them until we perform live” Steve says. Producing ten songs spanning 45 minutes of pure sonic bliss, their latest record Man Woman Life Death Infinity came in strong at #1 on the 100% Australian Independent Record Labels Association independent albums chart.
Filmed on their recent USA tour and edited by Eden Mullholland, the music video offers fans a taste of what to expect on tour. No strangers to the live stage, following a sold out run of Australian shows in 2015 and having previously pulled a 20,000 strong crowd at Primavera Sound, the church embark on a killer eight date national tour, tomorrow – barely touched down from 29 cities across the USA. Joined onstage by special guest, former Remy Zero (UK) guitarist Jeffrey Cain on keys, additional guitars and vocals, the tour will blend almost 50 years of classics with a burst of new songs off their latest record. The band’s Newcastle shows are nearly sold out with the church’s Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne shows set to sell out in the next week. With under 50 tickets left for each show, fans are encouraged to move quick if they want to see this seminal Australian outfit for their first local dates in two years.
Snatch up last minute tickets for the Man Woman Life Death Infinity tour NOW.
Man Woman Life Death Infinity vinyl is available here.
MAN WOMAN LIFE DEATH INFINITY TOUR
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
FRI 17 NOV | ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, NORTH PERTH WA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
SAT 18 NOV | DUNSBOROUGH TAVERN, DUNSBOROUGH WA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
THU 30 NOV | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
FRI 01 DEC | 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC (18+)
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets
MON 05 DEC | LIZOTTES, NEWCASTLE NSW SOLD OUT
Tickets available from www.lizottes.com.au | 02 4956 2066
The post The Church share new video for ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ ahead of tour appeared first on I Heart Guitar.
An old task for me, but in a new context. For the Hardanger, I'll go as I generally do with violin ribs. For the viola, about 10% thicker. So 1 mm and 1.1 mm! Not much, but a difference.
This 1906 Martin Model America is somewhat of a mystery to me. I've done some quick searches and have found mostly links to pinterest posts. That, and the page I got these pictures from.
What I cannot find is the "why'.
I have no idea what the advantage would be to having a double bod in such a way.
Does anyone know?
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So many variables here. What type of music do you play and how do you play it, with a pick, your bare thumb or with nails, flat pick, finger and thumb picks? Do you play unamplified, in front of a mic, or via onboard electronics – or some combination of those things?
Then there are physical aspects related to judging tone. How good is your hearing? How’s your finger strength and are you able to vary how you attack the strings?
I don’t have the answers for those questions because we’re all different. I can only relate my own experiences in trying to attain what I consider the best possible tone. And the thing is, my standards have changed and evolved many times over the many years I’ve played the guitar. So here goes.
It’s important to state right off the bat that I don’t play big venues anymore; mostly I play coffee shops, galleries, private functions, wedding ceremonies and the like. When I’m home I play in my studio most of the time and it has quite good acoustic qualities in spite of having a vaulted ceiling and lots of junk (my wife’s term!) hanging on the walls. Sometimes I enjoy playing outside if the weather is right. If I was still playing large venues and festivals like back in the days when I toured with fiddler Marie Rhines, things would be different. Banging away on my Martin D-28 of the time produced the tone that I needed; loud and percussive, the rest was up to the sound man. But now I totally control my sound wherever I play.
I’m not going to get into the intricacies of electronics as they relate to tone. That is a huge and separate subject. No, I’m talking about the player’s perception of sound from an acoustic guitar as he or she plays. I will relate one bit about the use of electronics though. One of the things that I’ve found quite astounding in the last few years at my weekly gig at the Daily Brew Café is that my sound seems to get more muffled or “mushy” the more I play. It took a while but I finally figured out that this is because I play with the pads of my fingers (not nails) and as the playing progresses I think those finger tips soften up. I fix this by boosting the treble control on my RedEye pre-amp (a wonderful little device by the way, highly recommended) that gives my guitar that is equipped with a K&K pick-up a bit more bite in the high strings.
This same obvious change in my fingers takes place while I’m teaching too, when I hardly ever play amplified. My guitars sound quite different the first couple lessons of the day compared to later. I thought this was just my perception but I’ve been able to confirm it via the CD recordings that I do during each lesson. The same song, played the same way, sounds much muddier later in the day. Seeking that crisp sound again, I sometimes run the side of my thumb across the string instead of the tip and the difference in sound is remarkable. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to actually PLAY that way but you get my drift. I’ve begun pointing this out to students who complain about not getting clear tone and are working hard on finger picking. Not much you can do about it I guess, but at least understanding why that guitar sounds better when one begins practicing than later on – even if the mechanics of playing have improved over the course of the practice session – seems to help a bit with their frustration.
Ah, the mechanics of playing. That’s what we think about all the time when we practice, and rightly so. Buzzes, muffled notes, scratchy sounds…. many of those things can and should be corrected with good technique. Let’s assume you’re OK in that department or at least you know what’s causing those annoyances.
Another thing to consider in searching for good tone should be quite obvious but is almost always overlooked by players: you’re sitting BEHIND the guitar when you play! Acoustic guitars are designed to project their sound AWAY from you! So it can be very difficult to truly judge whether or not your overall tonality is good from that perspective. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tuned up a student’s guitar at the beginning of a lesson and played it a bit, to hear them say: wow, I wish my guitar sounded that good when I play it! Sometimes this comes down to my playing experience versus theirs but in some cases, they sound just as good as I do. This is especially true with students who own very nice guitars. I have a few students right now who own very expensive Martin, Taylor and Gibson guitars and when they play and I listen the glorious sound of those guitars comes through just fine. But they have trouble hearing it. This assumes those nice guitars don’t have dead strings of course. Buy new strings for those nice guitars!!!
To counteract this I sometimes urge them to play a few feet directly in front of a wall in their house. The reflected sound can be much more gratifying and pleasing compared to playing in a wide-open space. I discovered this a few years ago in my studio when I was figuring out songs I had on my computer, which is on a desk against a wall. Suddenly a guitar that didn’t sound all that good took on a whole new personality. Try it!
So what do I consider “good tone”? I seek a combination of clarity, resonance, a kind of melding of the sound of the strings with no one register overpowering another. With a well-made guitar a player should be able to accentuate any of those attributes as needed. Unfortunately the guitar that gives me all those things perfectly hasn’t crossed my path just yet.
Maybe it never will. Because our perception of sound is just too changeable. That’s my conclusion anyway! And one final note. Never discount the emotional aspect of the perception of sound from a guitar. Here’s a prime example. A few weeks ago I put down my Eastman AC422CE, which I’ve been using at playing engagements for about two years because I thought the tone was not satisfying anymore, or at least not as much as it used to be. I’d been feeling that way for a couple months and I have to admit it affected how well I was playing. I began using my Martin D-35 at gigs. It sounded great, my playing was better, and I felt better about my playing. But dreadnoughts are big and to me at least, much more unwieldy than they were in my younger days. So today I brought my Eastman to my regular Daily Brew gig and you know what? It sounded GREAT, played like butter (which it always has) and the result was I played better than I have in while, and damn, that felt good! I think the Eastman is back in the rotation. For now, at least.
Peace & good music,
On Sunday, November 19th, 2017, the Fine Musical Insturments department of Skinner Auctions, will be offering the remaining guitars and musical instruments from the estate of J. Geils.
|The New Guitar Summit|
Though he is best known for his guitar work in the J. Geils Band, Geils went on to play Jazz guitar in the Boston area. He was part of the New Guitar Summit with Duke Robillard, and Gerry Beaudoin.
|J Geil's Italian sports cars at KTX|
In addition to his musical career, Geils also owned and operated KTR Motorsports, a business that serviced Italian sports cars. He also had a degree from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in mechanical engineering.
The upcoming auction at Skinners features some of J’s favourite guitars; including a beautiful 1940 D’Angelico Excel Archtop model, that is expected to fetch between $6,000 to $8,000.
|Stromberg Master 400|
Also featured is a rare 1940 Stromberg Master 400 archtop guitar, that has a price tag of $8,000 to $12,000.
|1954 Fender Stratocaster|
An original sunburst 1954 Fender Stratocaster (the first year this guitar was offered) is being offered at a price of between $25,000 to $35,000. This guitar is in pristine condition.
|1952 Les Paul|
A 1952 Gibson Les Paul gold top guitar that has the original P-90 pickups and trapeze tailpiece is among the items being sold. This guitar is expected to fetch between $8,000 and $12,000.
|Gibson Nick Lucas|
Geil’s 1929 sunburst Gibson Nick Lucas Special acoustic guitar is being offered for $5,500 to $6,500.
|Ignacio Fleta guitar|
His rare handmade 1976 Ignacio Fleta classical guitar is being offered for $20,000 to $30,000.
|Lloyd Loar Mandola|
J. Geils also owned an original 1924 Gibson Lloyd Loar H-5 Mandola. This is the larger version of the F-5 mandolin. It is being offered at between $35,000 to $55,000.
While they are not guitars, the upcoming auction also features a fine Italian violin ascribed to maker Annibale Fagnola that has an estimated worth of between $10,000 and $15,000.
For those of us that would like to own a guitar that belonged to a music legend, but can’t ante up a lot of money, do not despair. Some of J’s less valuable instruments are on the block, and the bidding for these instruments starts at just $20 USD.
This 1950 Vega Duo-Tron electric archtop guitar is being offer for a bid starting at $20. The volume and tone controls are mounted on the guitars trapeze tailpiece.
|1940 Vega Electric guitar|
Also offered is a 1940 Vega electric archtop with a unique slanted pickup. This is reminiscent of a similar Gibson model of the same era.
A 1955 Harmony Monterey archtop guitar, with an added DeArmond pickup is offered as well.
A 1965 Harmony Stella guitar is also offered, that will certainly sell in a low price range.
|Gibson EH-150 Lap Steel|
J’s 1937 Gibson EH-150 lap steel, along with its original case is being offered. It is in pristine condition.
|Broken 1977 Les Paul Double|
I’d love to know the story behind this next guitar being offered. It is a 1977 Les Paul Special. The neck is broken in half, and all the parts are gone.
Two vintage guitar amplifiers are also on the block.
|Epiphone Electar Amp|
One is a gorgeous 1939 Epiphone Electar Zephyr that has a stylized wooden cabinet, with a large wooden E design over the grill.
The other amplifier up for bid is a 1949 Supro model 1600U amplifier.
|J Geils Estate Auction|
There are many other items offered at this auction, that include Senhheiser and Beyerdynamic microphones, a group of speaker cabinets and amplifiers, guitar cases, speakers, awards, photographs, gold and platinum records, road cases, recording equipment, tour jackets, and tee shirts.
And trumpets; J played the trumpet and collected them.
Check out the online catalog.
Click on the links below the pictures for sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
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