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.
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.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)
Moniker Guitars has just unveiled the new Rival Series, a really unique chambered guitar that is made in the USA and features Seymour Duncan pickups for a mere $879USD. I think this is a great way to offer a certain degree of customisation while keeping costs down: essentially it’s the same basic guitar but with different faceplate and pickup options, and Moniker appears to have put a great deal of thought and care into designing and instrument that will effectively ‘become’ whatever pickup configuration you order. Go for some Duo-Sonics and you’ll have a great indie instrument. Select the Hot Rodded Humbucker option and you’ve got a powerful rock or metal machine. Other options include Strat, Tele, Lipstock or Phat Cat (P90 in humbucker housing) style pickups. I’ll be reviewing one soon, but in the meantime here’s a video and the press release.
Moniker Guitars launches the Rival Series, a unique chambered body guitar, designed to “rival” any other on tone, feel and price.
Austin, TX – October 23, 2017 – Moniker Guitars has launched the Rival Series, a bold electric guitar design intended to “rival” any other on tone, feel and price. In striving to build a guitar focused on those elements, Moniker has reimagined the instrument and how it can be built in the United States at a retail price that is under a thousand dollars.
Rival Series guitars feature an offset body shape made of maple with a matching maple neck and fretboard. The inside of the body utilizes a unique chambering pattern known as “Rival Ribs” to add resonance and warmth to the guitar. The Moniker website allows you to choose one of six styles of Seymour Duncan pickups to dial in the exact tone you’re looking for. On the outside of the body, the maple frames your choice of a colored Reso-acrylic faceplate. This creates a striking visual contrast between the faceplate and the natural wood. The hardness and reflectiveness of the Reso-acrylic top helps to bounce sound throughout the chambered body.
When it comes to feel, the first thing players notice is that the Rival chambering reduces the weight of the guitar to a mere 6.8 pounds. The acrylic top cuts away to allow for a contoured wood arm rest and a contoured neck heel allows easy access to the upper frets. Both body and neck are coated in a thin satin top coat to preserve the natural feel of the wood.
Customized Rival Series can be ordered through the MonikerGuitars.com at a retail price of just $879. The guitars are built in the same shop where Moniker has been building its Customer Series guitars in Austin Texas.
“Our experience with our Custom Series line is what led us to develop the Rival Series.” says owner Kevin Tully. “We’re fortunate in that we’ve had the opportunity to speak to every single one of our customers and learn what they’re looking for. Beautiful finishes are important to many customers and on our Custom Series line, we spend a lot of time working on finish. But most people are just looking for great tone and great playability and they’re on a budget that doesn’t allow us to spend hours and hours on finish work. The Rival Series is the result of of prioritizing the fundamentals of the instrument and marrying them together in a clean and simple modern design. We’re extremely proud of how it has come out looking, playing and sounding.”
It’s the ‘Sorry About My Cold!’ Episode, featuring Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian and Lindi Ortega! The episode should be hitting your podcast catcher of choice right about now, or you can listen in the widget at the bottom of this post. Please leave a review if you’re listening on iTunes, and if you’d like to support the podcast and blog with a couple o’bucks, patreon.com/iheartguitar
Gilby Clarke is heading to Australia for some intimate shows in November and December, hitting Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra! He’ll be at:
Thursday 30th November – Crowbar – Brisbane
Friday 1st Dec – Cherry Bar – Melbourne
Saturday 2nd Dec – The Basement – Canberra
Sunday 3rd Dec – Frankie’s – Sydney
Tickets are on sale now from hardlinemedia.net
Derek Sherinian was one of the very first people interviewed for I Heart Guitar when it started (read that original interview here). As a keyboard player he’s one of the greatest guitarists you’ll ever hear. He has a real understanding of how a guitarist plays, and that’s part of what has made him such a great fit in bands like Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Black Country Communion and his own Planet X. And now he’s in the supergroup Sons of Apollo with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto. Their debut record Psychotic Symphony is out now. Visit their site at sonsofapollo.com.
This is the second time I’ve interviewed Lindi Ortega. The first was for Australian Guitar magazine about two years ago to promote her album Faded Gloryville. Earlier this year Lindi released an EP called Til The Goin’ Gets Gone, and she’s heading down here to Australia for a run of shows including the Queenscliffe Music Festival. Visit LindiOrtega.com/tour for full dates and ticket info.
The post I Heart Guitar Podcast Episode 5: Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian, Lindi Ortega appeared first on I Heart Guitar.
I spend most of my time in the house, where my shop is, hunched over the bench, worried about bumps or awkward curves in my carving, thinking this new batch of varnish really isn't the right color. Sometimes I'm practicing tunes, wondering if I'll ever learn how to play the fiddle.
It's nice to quit for the day, step outside, and see something that just is what it is. Knocks me down a gear or two, and that's a good thing.