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Jerry Garcia's Wolf Guitar Is Auctioned For A Record Breaking Price

The Unique Guitar Blog - Fri, 06/02/2017 - 21:49
Jerry Garcia's Wolf Guitar


On May 31st an event auction was hosted by Brooklyn Bowl for Jerry Garcia’s Wolf guitar. The auction was done by Guernsey's Auctions.







Garcia playing Wolf
This guitar, which was first used by Garcia in 1973 at a New York City show, sold to Brian Halligan, the cofounder and CEO of the marketing software company HubSpot for $1.6 million plus a $300,000 premium, bring the total winning bid to $1.9 million.


Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead
Halligan, cowrote the book along with David Meerman Scott, “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History.”

The recipient of the money is the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Wolf Guitar


The bid was then matched by another anonymous donor, making the total gift an amazing $3.5 million. This is the most money generated from a guitar auction.






Joe Russo's Almost Dead

The event also featured drummer Joe Russo leading an all-star cast, which included his own Grateful Dead tribute band known as Almost Dead.






Doug Irwin
Wolf was the first guitar that luthier Doug Irwin designed for Garcia.







The Wolf Decal
Its body was mad of curly maple and purple heart wood. Garcia found a sticker of a cartoon wolf and placed it below the bridge.

Through the years Garcia had several modifications performed on the instrument. The last time Jerry used the guitar was in February of 1993. He passed away 2 years later. He can be seen playing it in the Grateful Dead Movie.


The Wolf guitar in original form
The Wolf guitar was created as a result of Garcia visiting a San Francisco music store. While there he came across a very unusual guitar and inquired about it. He was told it was built by a guy named Doug Irwin. Garcia came back a few days later to buy that guitar.

Irwin tells the story that he was in the back of the store putting pickups on that particular guitar. Irwin says a couple of guys from the store came to the back room and told him that Jerry Garcia wants to buy your guitar. He thought they were joking.

Wolf with 2nd pickup arrangement
The guys came back a couple of times to get him and Irwin finally brought the guitar to the front of the store. Jerry told him that he liked the way the neck felt and he asked him to make another guitar. This Irwin built guitar came to be called The Wolf. Doug Irwin would go on to build four guitars for Garcia.


Irwin had just started building guitars at Alembic. This was a company run by Ron Wickersham, an electronics and sound expert that previously worked for Ampex, Rick Turner, a luthier and guitarist, and Bob Matthews, a recording engineer. The company started in a rehearsal room for the Grateful Dead, so there was an immediate connection between Alembic and the band.

As the story goes, Doug Irwin was recently hired by the Alembic company and was building electric guitars for them and he also built some for himself.

Eagle Guitar
The first one that Jerry Garcia purchased was known as The Eagle. This was the guitar that Jerry found when he came from the music store that where Irwin was employed. This guitar had humbucking pickups. At the time Garcia preferred the sound of his Stratocaster with single coil pickups.

Garcia asked him to build him another guitar. Irwin took a cue from this and created The Wolf, which he sold to Jerry Garcia in 1972 for $850. Garcia played this guitar for more than 20 years. Garcia asked Irwin to optimize Wolf with three single coil Stratocaster pickups.

As stated, this guitar was made of purple heart wood and curly maple. The fret board was ebony with 24 frets; longer than Fenders, which at the time only had 22 frets. The first version had a peacock inlay made of abalone, but in subsequent years Irwin changed this to an eagle.

A blood-thirsty cartoon sticker of a wolf adorned the body. This gave the guitar its name.

Garcia and the Wolf Guitar
In later years the middle and bridge single coil pickups were swapped out for humbuckers. This was an easy change because Irwin configured the pickups on a metal plate.


In fact it was Irwin who created both plates for the guitar. The pickup selector is the five position strat type.

Wolf Guitar Controls
The Wolf guitar features a master volume control and a tone control for the middle and front pickups. Two mini switches on the guitar are pickup coil switches, to choose between humbucking and single coil. There are two ¼” phone jacks. One goes to the amp and the other goes to Jerry’s effects loop.

There is also a mini switch to toggle the effects loop on or off. The electronics are accessible from a plate on the guitars back side and they are shielded. The tuning machines are Schaller’s and made of chromed nickel as is the bridge.

Wolf was the first guitar Irwin built that had the D shaped headstock that he used on other guitars he made as his trademark.

Both Wolf Headstock designs

On the headstock was the inlay of a peacock done in mother-of-pearl. While at a concert the guitar fell about 15 feet off of the stage and this caused a small crack in the head stock.


Doug Irwin took this as an opportunity to replace the head stock with ebony veneer and a mother-of-pearl inlay of an eagle, which by now had become Doug Irwin’s signature.

Garcia with Wolf Guitar
Jerry Garcia used the three single coil pickup plate up until 1978 when he had the single coil neck pickup and twin Dimarzio Dual Sound humbuckers for the middle and bridge position.

Click on the links below the pictures for their sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.

©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)





Categories: General Interest

Unknown Mongrelcaster Offset Telecaster

Guitarz - Fri, 06/02/2017 - 06:17
guitarz.blogspot.com:

I spotted this today on the Facebook page for ugly guitars. The poster calls it the Mongrelcaster. There are no other pictures or information.

It's my new favourite offset-tele syle guitar. Congrats on standing out without being too wacky or disgustingly odd. It's somewhat reminiscent of an Eastwood Senn model . Modern and classic.

Does it remind you of another guitar?

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

Sgt Pepper Revisited

Guitar Vibe - Thu, 06/01/2017 - 14:55
It was 50 years ago today, the Beatles' album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was released, ushering in a new sound for the Beatles, but also for rock music in general. For many, Sgt Pepper's is considered a breakthrough... Zack Urlocker
Categories: General Interest

TAYLOR GOLDSMITH BACKSTAGE AT THE RYMAN

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 06/01/2017 - 05:00

American Songwriter caught up with Martin Ambassador Taylor Goldsmith and his band Dawes for the C.F. Martin & Co. Presents: Dawes.

Taylor_Dawes.png

The band performed two acoustic tunes off of their latest album, "We're All Gonna Die." The performances of "Roll With The Punches" and "Roll Tide" took place at the Ryman Auditorium before the band's two night stand on April 28th and 29th.

Martin Ambassador Taylor Goldsmith's Martin guitar of choice is the OM-28E RetroYou can purchase the OM-28E Retro by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.

Categories: Manufacturers

Binding Dulcimers

Dulcimer Binding ToolsDulcimers traditionally did not have binding. Every time I put binding on a dulcimer I am reminded of this; putting binding on a dulcimer is a lot of work!

Putting binding around the edges of the soundboard, especially a soundboard made of a soft wood, helps prevent dings and chips along the edges. To my design aesthetic binding the soundboard is also like putting a frame on a picture.

I usually do not put binding on the backs of my dulcimers unless someone really wants it.  I don’t think it is necessary to bind the back since it is usually made of hardwood. Also, should the dulcimer ever need major repairs an unbound back simplifies removing the back of the dulcimer to gain access to its innards.

In the photograph above are the hand tools I use when preparing the dulcimer for binding.

In the upper left is a shop-made binding scribe. It consists of a scalpel blade glued and taped to a piece of wood the thickness of the binding that is again glued to a piece of wood that serves as a handle. I use this tool to gently score the binding channel on the soundboard. After the channel is scored I deepen the scored cuts with the scalpel and knife.

I use a simple router jig to remove some of the bulk and then finish up the binding rebate with the small chisel and file. I also use the chisel as a scraper, using my fingers as a depth stop to guide the cut.

After taking the photograph for this post I noticed the fingerboard did not look quite right. I realized I had left out one of the fret slots! It has since been cut and all is right with the world.

Forgetting to cut a fret slot is not a big deal as it is easy to add at anytime. What is a big deal is cutting a fret slot where one is not supposed to be.

Guess how I learned that lesson?

 

1961 Hernandez y Aguado Style Guitar, Engelmann Spruce/Ziricote, Nearing Completion

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 05/29/2017 - 10:40
The wood of Engelmann spruce is light-colored, relatively soft, low in resin, and sometimes contains many knots and is more valuable for pulp than for high-grade lumber. It has been used for home construction, pre-fabricated wood products, and plywood manufacture. Less commonly it is used for specialty items such as food containers, and sounding boards for violins, pianos, and guitars. Engelmann spruce is widely used for Christmas trees. Spruce beer was sometimes made from its needles and twigs and taken to prevent scurvy.

USDA Plants Database, Engelmann Spruce


I apologize for not having posted anything on this blog for a while, as all of you know life can get in the way of doing things.

The New Mexico Guitar Festival is next month, June 15-17, and I will be attending as a vendor.

Much of my time these last few weeks has been spent finishing the two guitars that I want to take to the Vendors Expo at the festival: this 1961 Hernandez y Aguado style guitar, with an Engelmann spruce top and ziricote back and sides and a 1963 Hernandez y Aguado style guitar that is made entire from locally sourced wood. I'll post about that guitar in the future.

Tomorrow, I will level and re-crown the frets on this spruce/ziricote guitar, grind down the nut and saddle, attach strings and set up the playing action. I can't wait to hear this guitar!

Here are some photos documenting the building of the spruce/ziricote guitar.









From left to right: spruce/ziricote, redwood/black walnut, redwood/Indian rosewood.

Here's a video of Stephanie Jones, a wonderful young guitarist from Australia. Click here to watch videos of Ms. Jones playing all five of William Walton's Bagatelles!

Re: Expectations

Cape Cod Acoustics - Mon, 05/29/2017 - 08:56
It’s always interesting for me to get a new student who’s taken guitar lessons elsewhere. I have a print out that I give to every new student along with a document that outlines how my lessons are structured, lesson cancellation policy, payments, etc. That print out is what I call my “student profile.” I ask them to fill it out and return it at their second lesson as it helps me quickly assess their interests, experience, ability and most importantly, expectations. Then I can begin the lesson planning process for them, as each student is unique and I spend at least four or five hours every weekend planning individual lessons for the following week or two.
 
Those who have taken lessons before usually understand from the get-go that a commitment to practice is vital to advancing on the guitar. However, it has become apparent that some guitar teachers have a much more casual attitude about lesson planning. In some cases it’s obvious that they did no planning at all, based on the random things the student knows. Or perhaps that teacher subscribes to the square-peg-in-a-round-hole way of teaching, offering a totally linear and rigid course that doesn’t take into account what the student really wants to learn. This really bothers me. What it leads to is frustration for the student (which most likely is why they stopped their lessons) but from my standpoint it sometimes leads to unrealistic expectations. Sometimes I even have to say: If I had a magic wand I could wave over your head and turn you into a fabulous player, I would! But not before I waved it over my own head!
 
Interestingly, I often find that self-taught players more readily accept a direction-based course of study catered to their interests than those who have tried private lessons for a period of time. This may be because those with experience with another teacher are so used to a teaching method that differs from mine that they have a hard time accepting that I have different ideas about technique and focus than what they originally learned.
 
The “balance” is a huge part of my lesson planning. For a newer student with previous experience that means factoring interests and expectations with challenging them to the point that they see advancement as soon as possible. There are plenty of other things I must consider too of course like physical ability, how to present the material in a way that they can understand – something that varies widely; even “smart” people can be flummoxed by things like music theory – and even the quality of the guitar they are using. But a student who has previous experience with another teacher is with me instead because he or she hopes I can advance their playing faster or better than their previous teacher. I won’t deny that this is intimidating for me at times! But in a way, it feels good too because I like a challenge.
 
I’ve found over the years that it’s very important for me ask questions.
 
Are you playing for personal enjoyment only, or do you hope to perform?
 
Do you think you want to play with other people?
 
Are you willing to try to sing while you play? (This is a tough one – many people are fine with that but some are terrified at the prospect. I explain that the most timid singer or even someone who’s never done it outside their shower can always lock their bedroom door and try it! Value judgements are not allowed, ha!)
 
Do you listen to current music, older stuff, or some combination?
 
What I’ve found is that most people really haven’t considered those things all that much except in a very general way. But those elements of learning the guitar are VERY important. I don’t fault them for being that way. After all, playing the guitar is supposed to be fun and qualifying one’s expectations in terms of what is required can sound more like work than fun. That is another part of my “balance” that I mentioned earlier.
 
Years ago when I was in the retail world I had a boss who instructed me early on to NEVER diss the competition. It only makes YOU look petty and egotistical. It was a valuable lesson and I try to live by it, even when a new student shows up with random material given to him or her by a previous guitar teacher. Although I always want to know who their previous teacher was, I never ever bad-mouth that person. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that when this happens, it is vital to explain exactly why we will be doing things differently and how what I’m proposing will make them a better player.
 
As with most things in life, it comes down to keeping an open mind.
 
Peace & good music,
Gene

Categories: Acoustics

Greg Allman; His Life and Guitars

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sun, 05/28/2017 - 19:38
Greg Allman


Greg Allman passed away today due to complications from liver cancer. As a member of The Allman Brothers band, he was mainly know for playing the Hammond organ, but even when his brother Duane was alive.





Melissa on a Washburn guitar


Greg occasionally took up a guitar for a few songs. Perhaps the most notable of these was called Melissa. This song was originally performed on an acoustic guitar that belonged to Duane that was tuned to open E.





Duane and Greg Allman




Greg and his Duane started life in Nashville Tennessee, but grew up in Florida.







The Escorts


Their first real band was called The Escorts. The band was good enough to be the opening act for a Beach Boys concert.





The Allman Joys


The Escorts became The Allman Joys, which mainly played cover songs. During this time Greg purchased a Vox Continental organ.






Hour Glass

In order keep the band together and avoid being drafted into the armed services, Greg Allman shot himself in the foot. In 1967 they were renamed Hour Glass.




Allman Brother's Band


In 1969 the group was finally named The Allman Brother’s Band.




Allman's motorcycle after the crash


Tragically Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971. Following this, the bands bass player Berry Oakley also died in a motorcycle accident.




Brothers and Sisters
Greg and the remaining members carried on and in 1973 had a hit record called Brothers and Sisters. The Allman Brother's Band broke up in 1975.


Greg Allman and Cher


Greg Allman went on to form the Greg Allman Band. He also married Cher and remained with her for a decade.




I'm No Angel


Allman recorded several albums and had a hit single called I’m No Angel. The Allman Brother’s Band regrouped in the early 1980’s. In 1989 The Allman Brothers Band got back together and continued to perform through 2014.




Low Country Blues


Greg Allman released a solo album called Low Country Blues in 2011, and his final album, Southern Blood, will be released this year.





Greg Allman

Allman is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and is on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.



Greg Allman Autobiography

In 2012 Greg Allman published his autobiography called My Cross To Bear. Though Greg was mainly known as the singer and organist for the Allman Brothers Band, he did step up front and play guitar. Much is written about Duane’s guitars and equipment, but not so much is written concerning Greg’s guitars.




Greg Allman with Les Paul Custom



One of the earliest photo of Greg Allman playing a guitar is from 1975. In it he has a black Les Paul Custom.






Greg Allman with Gibson SG


The Allman Brother's Laid Back album came out around 1973 and it had a song called Queen of Hearts. From about that same time he is shown here with a Gibson SG, that may have belonged to Duane.



Greg Allman with an SG


Here is a 1974 picture of Greg playing a different Gibson SG. Butch Trucks was the drummer for the Allman Brothers Band. His son is Derek Trucks. I'm sure Duane and Greg's fondness for SG's must have influenced him.






Greg Allman with Veleno Guitar



Here is another picture of a young Greg Allman playing a Veleno guitar. Those guitars were made of metal and had a mirrored finish.





Allman with Veleno guitar



Here is another photo of him tuning the Veleno up. Note the unusual headstock and metal neck.








Greg Allman - Stratocaster


Allman is seen here with a black Fender Stratocaster. It is possibly a late 1960's model.







Allman and Cher - Ovation acoustic

Here he is seen singing with Cher and playing an Ovation acoustic. In the mid to late 1970's Ovation's were the go-to stage guitars, since the piezo pickups were the best.

Gibson SST 12 string guitar



Here Greg is seen singing Melissa and playing a Gibson SST 12 string.






Allman with a Martin D-35

He can be seen from this video playing a Martin D-35. Click on the link under the picture and you will see that Greg Allman was an excellent Blues guitar player.




Allman with a Guild



This clip from a TV show show Allman playing Come and Go Blues on a Guild D-40.






G. Allman Washburn signature models

Greg Allman had an endorsement deal with Washburn guitars. Here are the two models the company produced. The black guitar has "Melissa" inlaid in mother-of-pearl on the fretboard.

Greg Allman with Gibson J-200




In recent years Greg Allman used a Gibson J-200 at his concerts.

Greg Allman struggled for years with addiction to alcohol, heroin and other drugs. He spent many years in rehab and became sober. In 2007 it was discovered he had hepatitus C. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

He died at his home in Savannah Georgia surrounded by his family and friends.

Please click on the links below the pictures for the sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications 2017 (text only)







Categories: General Interest

James Jamerson's 1961 Fender Precision Bass Auction

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 10:21
1961 P Bass


A bass guitar owned and played by Motown legend James Jamerson will be up for auction later this month. This is the instrument was not the original that Jamerson played during his years with Motown’s Funk Brothers, as the label’s go-to session bass player. It is apparently a second bass that he owned. It is a 1961 Fender Precision Bass.

'57 Black Beauty


Jamerson’s first electric bass was a 1957 Precision Bass, refinished in black, with a gold-anodized pickguard and maple fretboard, which he nicknamed "Black Beauty". That bass was a gift from his fellow bass player Horace "Chili" Ruth. It was eventually stolen.





Jamerson with '62 Funk Machine
His most famous bass guitar was the 1962 Fender Precision Bass which was he dubbed "The Funk Machine." This Fender bass had a three-tone sunburst finish, a tortoiseshell pickguard, rosewood fretboard and chrome pickup and bridge covers. The bridge cover contained a piece of foam used to dampen sustain and some overtones, which was standard to the models of that era.

Jamerson with 1962 Fender P Bass

Jamerson had carved the word “Funk” on the the heel of the instrument. He typically set its volume and tone knobs on full. Sadly this bass was also stolen sometime in 1983 at a time when he was in the hospital and dying.


1961 Fender P Bass
Jamerson had lent his second 1961 bass to his aforementioned friend, Horace “Chili” Ruth sometime in 1967 or 1968  at a time when Ruth needed a bass. Jamerson never asked him to return it, so it has been in his procession ever since.

Jamerson left Detroit and moved to Los Angeles when Motown Records moved their headquarters to California. Apparently the bass was forgotten by Jamerson.

This bass is being offered by Heritage Auctions, with bidding starting on May 29th. The official dates are June 17th and 18th. There is a $12,000 premium. Click the link to register.

The bass is completely original. Only one of the La Bella strings has been replaced.

Jamerson is one of the best known and most influential electric bass players of all time. He was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. His playing can be heard on at least 30 Number 1 hit recordings and more than 70 R&B hit recordings.

Jamerson's bass



Jamerson started his career by playing in Detroit clubs and later found session work with the Motown Record Company. He began by playing string bass, but switched to electric bass during the 1960’s.





Funk Brothers, Jamerson  in the back

As mentioned before, James Jamerson was part of a core group of Motown Session player that came to be known as The Funk Brothers. In addition to session work, he sometimes toured with the artists. Though the musicians did not receive credit on the singles or albums for their work until sometime in the 1970’s,

Jamerson with Marvin Gaye

Jamerson’s playing can be found on such hits as Just Like Romeo and Juliet, You Can’t Hurry Love, My Girl, Shotgun, For Once In My Life, I Was Made To Love Her.



Jamerson in the studio

That is him playing the bass lines on  Going to a Go-Go, Dancing In The Street, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, What’s Going On, Reach Out, I’ll Be There, and Bernadette. When Motown ended in 1973, Jamerson performed on such songs as Neither One Of Us, Boogie Down, Boogie Fever, You Don’t Have To Be A Star, and Heaven Must Have Sent You.



Jamerson's Obituary
James Jamerson played on albums by Robert Palmer, Dennis Cofey, Al Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Ben E. King and many others. When bass styles changed, Jamerson, who was a pioneer, found himself out of work. His 1983 death was attributed to liver failure, resultant from alcoholism.

Jamerson with '62 Funk Machine
On his Fender Precision bass, Jamerson favored La Bella heavy-guage flatwound strings (.052 - .110). He never replaced these strings unless they broke. He did not take particularly good care of his instruments. In fact he once said, “The gunk keeps the funk.” He believed this improved the quality of the tone.

It was suggested to Jamerson that he switch to brighter sounding roundwound strings, but he declined.

Jamerson with Funk Machine

In an interesting 2015 article from the Talkbass forum titled, James Jamerson's Funk Machine - Wrong Year, the editor of Bass Magazine and a reader discuss the fact that the famous Funk Machine may not be a 1962 Fender Precision bass, but rather a model created between 1964 and 1967, based on the transition logo decal, created in 1964, and the pearloid dot fret markers.


Bridge Cover Foam Mute
Another indicator that it may be a bass made later than 1962 is the foam mute pad under the bridge cover. These were not introduced until 1963. Prior to that the mutes were made of felt.

Jamerson on upright bass




When playing upright bass, he used his index finger to pluck the strings. On electric and acoustic bass, he favoured utilizing open strings. This technique helped give his playing a fluid feel. He subsequently got the nickname; The Hook.



On studio recordings James Jamerson plugged directly into the mixing console. He adjusted the console so his sound was slightly overdriven. The tubes in the mixer gave him a little compression. 

Jamerson with Ampeg B-15 amp

When he played in clubs he used an Ampeg B-15 amplifier with an older Kustom speaker cabinet loaded with twin 15” speakers and covered in blue Naugahyde. He always played with the volume control turned up fully and the treble control turned only half way up.





Categories: General Interest

Totally Guitars Weekly Wrap Up May 26th, 2017

On The Beat with Totally Guitars - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 15:02
Learn To Play The Guitar with the online guitars lessons from Totally Guitars! Totally Guitars News Podcast
Categories: Learning and Lessons

THE GOLDEN THREAD: ADD SOME PERSONALITY WITH INLAY

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:00

revised The golden thread.jpg

When you want everyone to know that Martin is yours, you can do so by adding some personality of your own to it. Just like a favorite tattoo or the quirky clothes you wear, you can do the same for your guitar.

You may not know this but you can add almost anything you want to personalize your instrument in the Martin Custom Shop. From something as simple as having your name inlaid into the fingerboard, quoting a favorite verse, to full blown artists’ renderings inlaid with gems and gold. If you dream it, we can make it.

How is this all possible? We have to ask the inlay specialists. There are two employees working in the Martin Custom Shop, Sean Brandle and Brent Williams, who specialize in producing the inlay work. Whether creating their own artwork from scratch or recreating works given to them, these guys can do some amazing things when it comes to inlaying guitars.

Sean and Brent have both been working at Martin Guitar for six years. Sean was formerly a graphic designer before he started working with the Martin team. While at Martin, Sean first learned rim assembly operations and then moved into the Custom Shop where he was able to get his creative juices flowing. Sean has designed several art pieces of his own that are being made right now. Brent also learned other operations throughout the facility, including rim assembly and pearl inlay, before transferring into the Custom Shop. One of the reasons these guys love their jobs is because every day is different.

Each guitar they work on is like creating a piece of art. One of our esteemed dealers said, “They are making the museum pieces of the future." I have to agree, some of the work they are doing is really amazing! Sean and Brent said the most rewarding part of their job is when a customer comes to the factory to pick up their guitar. They get to see their vision come to life and witness the extreme gratitude the customer has. It’s not every day you get to meet the artist that created your piece.

Sean and Brent have been working with many new materials to inlay guitars. The most traditional inlay has been mother of pearl. But Brent’s favorite material to work with is wood. He uses many species of wood to create his scenes. He discovered a special sand shading technique that he applies to each piece that really brings his projects to life. Other inlays that are used include reconstituted stone, blue and green paua pearl, rare coins, and even a request for the owners’ ashes to be turned to diamonds. Below is a fingerboard inlaid with many exotic woods to create a desert scene.

Desert Fingerboard.png

Many people have asked Sean and Brent how these amazing pieces are made. They can’t give away all of the secrets, but they said some are done the old way by hand with a coping saw and a pencil grinder, a small type of dremel tool.  While some are now using today’s technology with finely tuned CNC equipment to assist in making very intricate cuts. Sean and Brent’s vision for the future is to help design products that will become cherished customs. Some other pieces that they have worked on recently include this:

Eagle Inlay.png

Custom Eagle Inlay

Ace Spades.png

Ace of Spades Fingerboard Inlay

Lion Head.png

Custom Lion Head

Ornamental Bridge.png

Custom Ornamental Bridge

Ready to get started on your own piece of art? Contact your local authorized Martin dealer to begin the custom guitar making process.

Steve Hess is a twenty-three year veteran who has had guitars around his entire life. Steve is a third generation employee of Martin Guitar, having his father and grandfather both retire after many years of service.  Steve has worked with guitars throughout his life. Steve spent six years at Martin learning the fine art of customer repair work. He then moved into the Quality Assurance department and has held several management roles. Steve is currently the manufacturing manager of the Custom Shop. He enjoys travel, meeting new people, and getting to share the Martin brand with guitar enthusiasts. Steve said one of his favorite things is when a person asks where he works and can proudly say, “Martin Guitar!" People are instantly blown away and jealous.

Categories: Manufacturers

Stone Sour Reveals New Music Video for ‘Song #3′

Charvel Guitars - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:29

Stone Sour’s new single “Song #3″ recently cracked the Top 25 on Billboard‘s Rock Airplay chart, and now comes an accompanying music video.

Directed by Ryan Valdez, the clip begins with lead singer Corey Taylor walking onto a movie set. After donning a Wayne’s World looking long blond wig, Taylor hops onstage with his Stone Sour bandmates, who are all dressed in white.  Several more wardrobe changes occur throughout the performance of the soaring track, which will appear on their upcoming June 30th seventh studio album Hydrograd.

Check out the video below …

Categories: Manufacturers

Awesome Headless Scorched Wood Sankey Guitars Bast

Guitarz - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:33
guitarz.blogspot.com:








Though this Sankey Guitars Bast model is far from my usual taste, I find that I'm drawn to it's looks. It could be that they scorched and burnished to body, which is made of douglas fir, and then when the reliefs were carved the true wood is exposed.

The seven piece neck is made of layers of ebony, cocobolo, and purple heart. This was done for stability in the Californian desert climate, but it also looks fantastic.

The Bast also sports a polyphonic pickup and preamp allowing for strong piezo acoustic sound and hexaphonic midi. On top of that there is a standard magnetic pickup as well.

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

MARTIN MONDAY: BACKPACKER 25TH ANNIVERSARY

The Martin Guitar Blog - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 06:57

In 1994, the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle STS-62 boldly went where no guitar has gone before with the launch of a miniature Backpacker “Space Guitar” which was sent to orbit around the earth. 

BACKPACKER.png

Now in 2017, Martin Guitar is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Martin Backpacker! Available only in 2017, the limited edition Backpacker is constructed with sapele top, back, and sides. The Martin Backpacker is strung with Martin Acoustic strings and is the perfect for summer travel.

Explore the 25th Anniversary Martin Backpacker here. You can also purchase it by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.

Categories: Manufacturers

MARTIN AMBASSADORS NOMINATED FOR CMT AWARDS

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 05:00

The 2017 CMT Music Award nominees have been announced and three Martin Ambassadors are nominated!

cmt music awards.jpg

Nominations include: Dierks Bentley and Elle King’s “Different For Girls” for Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year, Thomas Rhett’s “Star Of The Show” for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year, and Thomas Rhett along with Nick Jonas and Danielle Bradberry for CMT Performance of the Year.

The CMT Music Award show will air on June 7th.

Martin Ambassador Dierks Bentley's Martin guitar of choice is the D-28, while Elle King opts for the OMCPA5 Black, and Thomas Rhett reaches for his Custom Martin guitar.You can purchase these guitars by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program. 

Categories: Manufacturers

Free-Form Dulcimer Making

Bartione dulcimer soundboard layoutI have basic patterns for my dulcimers but the the exact shape and size of each dulcimer varies slightly from one dulcimer to the next. I have embraced a fairly free-form style of building and use very few jigs, forms, and fixtures.

By building free-form I feel like I am sculpting a dulcimer rather than making a bunch of parts and assembling them. The frame of the dulcimer (sides and end blocks) and the fretboard become the reference points for laying out the rest of instrument. I can make small changes to the shape and size of the dulcimer by feel and eye and work with it until everything seems right to me.

The thickness of the top and back and the bracing pattern are determined in a similar manner.

Free-form building is not the most efficient way to make dulcimers in a timely manner. If I made all the parts to a set pattern and assembled them in fixtures I would make more dulcimers in less time but I wouldn’t enjoy the process very much.

Laying out position markers and soundholes on a baritone dulcimer These photographs are of a baritone dulcimer in progress. The final shape of the dulcimer is traced on the soundboard and the soundholes are laid out using a template. I have also laid out the placement of the position markers on the fingerboard. A scraper serves as a short straight edge for drawing the layout lines.

Making sure everything is where it belongsAlso important are notes to myself to make sure everything goes where it is supposed to go. There is a reason I do this. Guess what happened the last time I didn’t do this!

B.C Rich Guitars

The Unique Guitar Blog - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 16:50
Bernardo C. Rico
One of the most unusual guitars that I ever played was also one of the best guitars I’ve ever played. This was an original B.C. Rich Seagull built back in the mid 1970’s when Bernie Rico and his staff were making them in his Los Angeles shop. That guitar was expensive, but it played and sounded like a dream.

Bernardo Chavez Rico aka Bernie learned about guitars from his father. Bernardo, or Bernie, was an accomplished Flamenco guitarist.

His father, Bernardo Mason Rico had purchased the store from Candelas Brothers guitar shop. The Candelas Guitar store is a legend all to itself. The store was re-christened Bernardo’s Guitar Shop.

Although Bernardo Senior was not a luthier, he was a business man. And he hired luthiers and craftsmen to do the work. It was from these men that Bernie learned his craft. The shop offered Flamenco and Classical guitars along with other stringed instruments.

'71 Rico acoustic
Many of their original guitars were made of bodies imported from Mexico which the workers sanded, finished, stained, and painted before offering them for sale. As the years rolled on, The Folk Music Craze of the early 1960’s changed the focus of the shop from nylon string instruments to steel string acoustic guitars. These were handmade using choice materials such as Brazilian rosewood, Sitka spruce, Honduran mahogany, and ebony.

Around 1968 Bernie made his first electric solid body guitar and topped it with a Fender neck.

1974 Rico Bass
This guitar and subsequent attempts had Les Paul shaped bodies. He also made bass guitars with a design based on the Gibson EB-3.

1974 B.C. Rich Seagull

Within four years Rico and a fellow employee named Bob Hall came up with the original Seagull design. By 1974 this became their first offering. Another employee named Mal Stich, inadvertently answered the phone one day by saying, “B.C. Rich”, instead of “Bernardo’s Guitar Shop”. The name stuck. Bernie Rich’s goal was to make a production line guitar with custom shop quality.


By 1977 the retail price was just under $1000 USD. But they were scarce.

The music store I frequented back in those days had 2 B.C. Rich guitars; the Seagull and the Mockingbird. Both guitars were excellent.

'74 Seagull
Oddly enough the Seagull was based on a wooden toilet seat. The body and neck were made of mahogany with neck-thru construction. The body had an exaggerated cutaway that ended in a sharp point. On the top side of the body between the upper and lower bouts was a sharp point. Rich used a Badass bridge/saddle unit. The guitar had twin humbucking pickups and the electronics were designed by Neal Moser. These included an active preamp, a Varitone control, a phase switch, coil taps, and master volume and tone controls.

'74 Seagull with Gibson pickups

At first the pickups were made by Gibson. This is because B.C. Rich guitars were originally distributed by L.D. Heater, which was a subsidiary of Gibson. This allowed them to obtain Gibson parts. However due the fact that Rich was utilizing coil taps and phase reversal on each model each Gibson pickup needed to be dissembled to be reconfigured to use four wires then put back together.

Eventually Gibson realized their pickups were being used by a competitor and put a halt to the practice.

Later models used Guild pickups, until Rich contacted Larry DiMarzio and asked if his company could produce a four wire model. From that point on B.C. Rich guitars and basses used DiMarzio pickups.

1976 B.C. Rich Eagle
The next instrument was the Eagle, which also had the neck-through-body construction and was made entirely of mahogany.. Early models included the three-on-a-side headstock, an unbound neck with rosewood fret board and inlaid position markers. The Eagle included an onboard preamp with a separate volume control and all the bells and whistles that were to be found on the Seagull. The body was more Strat-like with a double cutaway. Later models were stripped down, with a single humbucking pickup, a six-in-line headstock, and a vibrato unit.

'77 B.C. Rich Advertisement
On some instruments the body was painted with a custom colours. By this time, electric players were simplifying the guitars and relying more on pedal boards. Although the newer Eagle had the same shape, the only built-in effect was the on-board preamp, a switch to activate it, and a separate volume control.

1977 Mockingbird
The BC Rich Mockingbird was based on a shape by a guy named Johnny “Go-Go” Kessel and named by Neal Moser. The double-cutaway shape is like nothing else out there. The guitar was popularized by Joe Perry of Aerosmith. The original models were, once again, neck-through-body, and made of mahogany. The original models were gorgeous and featured twin humbucking pickups with coil tapping capability, and a built-in preamp. The six-on-a-side headstock topped the unbound neck, which had a rosewood fret board with mother of pearl inlays.

1982 Rich Bich
The Rich Bich, was another guitar based on a drawing by Johnny “Go-Go” Kessel and designed by Neal Moser. This guitar was originally offered in 1978 and like the Mockingbird, it was a truly original design. The upper bout featured twin offset pointy cutaways on the instruments neck-through-body. What set the guitar apart was the large V-shaped wedge cut out of the lower section of the guitars bottom nearest the player, The remaining section after this house the larger control section which had a small ovular cutout..

Rich Bich Electronics
Once again the guitar housed an active pre-amp and all the features found on the previously mentioned guitars. Like most of the vintage B.C. Rich guitars, this featured the three-on-a-side tuners, a rosewood neck with mother-of-pearl inlay, a Leo Quan Bad Ass bridge.

1978 Rich Bich 10 string

The reason for the large V shaped cutaway was due to the fact that this guitar was offered as a 10-string model. The wedge was designed to hold four Grover tuning pegs so that the upper four strings had double courses. These four strings had their end pieces strung into 4 metal grommets in the center of the headstock that were then attached to the pegs on the bottom of the guitar.


Bottom view of '78 Rich Bich

This upside-down concept was copied in later years by Steinberger (although his design was much different) and other manufacturers.




Trey Azagthoth Ironbird

The B.C. Rich Ironbird was designed by Joey Rico in 1983. It was in-my-opinion, a heavy metal version of the B.C. Rich Mockingbird. This instrument had a small cutaway on the upper bout and an exagerated, and pointy cutaway on the lower bout. The bottom of the guitar had two offset and pointy terminal points. The headstock was made rosewood. This guitar was popular endorsed by Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel.


Trey Azagthoth's
personal Ironbird
His personal instrument included a Dimarzio X2N in the bridge position, which was the company’s highest output pickup and a Dimarzio twin blade minihumbucker in the neck position. The strings attached to a Floyd Rose tremolo. The original Ironbird had a reverse headstock. The guitar was available with a variety of pickup configurations.





B.C. Rich Acrylic
The B.C. Rich Acrylic guitar was based on the Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite guitar concept. B.C. Rich took a number of their models, including the Mockingbird and the Warlock and used acrylic material for the bodies instead of wood. While the Dan Armstrong model only came in a clear transparent model, the B.C. Rich transparent models had different colours for their guitars. These guitars were manufactured in Korea and did not have all the features of the earlier B.C. Rich models.

An interesting feature of the Acrylic guitars is the neck joint. This was called IT (invisibolt technology) which allowed the neck to be bolted inside the body, to give it the appearance of a neck-through, however the neck was actually a bolt-on type.

BC Rich Warlock prototype
The B.C. Rich Warlock was designed by Bernie Rico in 1981 and based on the Bich. The original model came with a mahogany body and neck, which was topped with a three-on-a-side headstock.

1988 BC Rich Warlock
Some models did have a six-on-a-side reverse headstock. This was later changed to a unique headstock design. The neck was bound on the rosewood fretboard and topped with mother-of-pearl inlays. Some models came with a Floyd Rose Trem system. All came with twin Dimarzio humbuckers.

Warlock II


The Warlock II came out the following year.




BC Rich Wave




The BC Rich Wave guitar was designed by Martin Evans and made for only a brief period of time. It was reminiscent of the Mockingbird, but with exaggerated features such as a small wave-like cutaway on the instruments bottom.




BC Rich Stealth 7


The unique B.C, Rich Stealth guitar was designed by Rick Derringer. It featured twin Dimarzio pickups, a reverse headstock and the usual features found on earlier models. Subsequent production Stealth guitars deleted most of these features and came with only a bridge humbucking pickup.




Widow Bass


The B.C. Rich Widow bass was designed by Blackie Warless. It resembled an insect with its twin symmetrical upper and lower horns. The bottom section of the body needed an additional block section to hold the bridge saddle unit.

Some significant events for the company occurred in 1984.



1984 BC Rich US Series Mockingbird

The Korean connection led to the introduction of the U.S. Series. These were essentially Korean manufactured guitar kits, with bolt-on necks, that were shipped to California for assembly.



Condor



This was the year that the Condor was also introduced. This was a lovely guitar with a flamed maple top on a mahogany body. It was made in Japan.







BC Rich Fat Bob bass and guitar
The bizarre Fat Bob guitar and bass were introduced this same year. This guitar may have been a product of Bernie Rico’s love of motorcycles and motorcycle embellishments, as it resembled the flamed design decals found on hot-rodded motorcycles.

This guitar had an odd triangular shape, with a single Dimarzio pickup, a six-on-a-side headstock, and a Floyd-Rose tremolo.

Mel Stich
It was in 1984 that Mel Stich left the company. The following year Neal Moser left.

In 1987 Bernie Rich entered into an agreement with Randy Watuch’s company called Class Axe. This allowed Class Axe to market and distribute some of Rich’s guitar lines, thus leading to some foreign made models.

By 1989 Rich had turned over all of the licensing rights.

That year B.C. Rich guitars moved from California to New Jersey. The guys that were working at the L.A. shop continued to make handmade guitars under the logo LPC Guitars. This venture failed.

BC Rich Virgin Guitars and Basses
Though the majority of Class Axe made B.C. Rich guitars were outsourced, the company did produce The Virgin, which was handmade. Dealers and customers were begging for handmade products.

In 1993 Bernie Rico returned to making handmade guitars when the licensing agreement ran out. Ed Roman of Roman Guitars of Las Vegas purchased the left over stock from Class Axe.

He relocated the shop to Hesperia California.

By 1995 Bernie returned to making acoustic guitars, including the B-41C.

The Ignitor




In 1995 the Ignitor and the V were added to the line up.







1998 Victor Smith Commemoritive

In 1998 the Exclusive, the Victor Smith Commemorative Model, and the Beast were added.

The following year, B.C, Rich added a seven string version of the Warlock.

On December 3rd of 1999, Bernie Rico died of a heart attack.

The company was taken over  to his son Bernie Jr. Under his direction control of the company, B.C. Rich, was sold given to the Hanser Music Group in 2001. They began making guitars under the Rico Jr. name.

Bernie Rico Jr.
Bernie Rico Jr is still involved with some current B.C. Rich custom-shop guitars. In 2014, JAM Industries of Quebec Canada took over Hanser Incorporated, aka Davitt and Hanser.

Asian manufactured B.C. Rich guitars are still being distributed by Davitt and Hanser, as a subsidiary of JAM Industries.






Categories: General Interest

Watch the New Miss May I Video for ‘Shadows Inside’

Charvel Guitars - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 16:43

Metalcore heavy hitters Miss May I have dropped another new official music video, this time for the title track of their upcoming June 2nd album, Shadows Inside.

Along with multiple shots of hands reaching towards an evil looking mask, the footage primarily features live performance by the band and is often dark and jarring.

“Not only does this song open up our new record, it also sets the tone for the record,” explains singer Levi Benton. “This album is all about changes throughout life, good and bad. It’s about the past that lives within everyone; their ‘Shadows Inside.’ The lyrics talk about how great new things can give light to your past and put you in a better place.

“We have quite a few videos and we’re always trying to change things up. With this video for ‘Shadows Inside’ we not only wanted to recreate the cover of the record in real life, but we also wanted the performance to be abstract. We had black lights and used old lens effects from the ’90s to achieve a very classic look and something totally different for us.”

Watch the clip below and pre-order the new album here.

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