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My eBay Listing: Vintage Adjustable Sash Plane, S.E. Farrand, Newark, NJ

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 09:30
Vintage adjustable sash plane, S.E. Farrand, maker, Newark, New Jersey. Please click here to see this listing.

An American made adjustable stick and rabbet plane, with, I presume, a beech body. Fair condition. Fully boxed, 1/2 inch wide ovolo profile, metal screw adjustment. Plane measures 9 1/2 inches long by 2 inches wide. One original beech wedge, the other appears to be mahogany, both have been modified a bit. I bought this from a local tool dealer who claimed that planes made by S.E. Farrand are desired collectibles, I bought it with the intent of making a copy of it. I have never used it. Please ask questions and I can send additional photos if wanted.

Bob Dylan's Guitars

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 11/26/2016 - 15:13
“Johnny's in the basement, 
Mixing up the medicine 
I'm on the pavement, 
Thinking about the government 
The man in the trench coat, 
Badge out, laid off 
Says he's got a bad cough, 
Wants to get it paid off…” 

Maybe if I wrote lyrics like that I would have won a Noble prize? Bob Dylan did!

Bob Dylan - Susie Rotolo on the cover

In the mid 1960’s Bob Dylan wrote many wonderful songs with poetic lyrics which were sometimes very bizarre. Some of his music and some of the lyrics were taken from older folk songs. No worries, as those songs were public domain at the time. But most of Bob's songs were pure genius.

Bob Dylan - Albert Grossman

When manager/impresario Albert Grossman took him on as a client, it seemed like Dylan became famous overnight.

'63 Dylan -Washburn - North Country Blues
Bob Dylan was probably not interested in what guitar he played. He even borrowed guitars on the spur of the moment at major concerts back in the day. Dylan was all about the music and lyrics.  However, he played and owned a variety of very interesting guitars.

I've been a Dylan fan since I was a kid in the mid 1960's, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the guitars that Bob Dylan has used throughout his career.

Bob Dylan in High School with Stella guitar
Bob Dylan’s first guitar was probably a cheap Silvertone Stella. This was not the Oscar Schmidt made Stella model, since the company had been acquired by Harmony Guitars of Chicago in 1939. Bob's guitar was made by Harmony.

Dylan's Silvertone

The next guitar he is said to have owned was a Silvertone Aristocrat 642 Archtop. He played this in a high school talent show. It is currently on display at the Hibbing, Minnesota public library.

 Dylan with '49 - 00-17

Dylan's first decent guitar was a 1949 Martin 00-17 all mahogany guitar. He was probably inspired by his hero and mentor Woody Guthrie.  Guthrie played "00" and small bodied guitars. In pictures and videos of his early concerts Dylan is usually seen playing a small body guitar. This one look like it has been through the mill.

Dylan with Gretsch Rancher

When he was a young man, Bob also made use of a 1950's Gretsch Ranger.

Bob with Washburn 5250

In 1963 Dylan showed up at the Newport Folk Festival with a Washburn model 5250. This guitar had a slightly arched top, with a round sound-hole. The strings went over a wooden bridge, that was held in place by the strings. Then the strings were secured to a trapeze tailpiece.

Dylan with Washburn Tanglewood guitar
In a 1986 concert to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Dylan showed up with another Washburn guitar. This time it was a Washburn Tanglewood. The Washburn 5250 was made in the USA by the Tonk Brothers, who made banjos and stringed instruments in the 1930's. The newer Washburn Tanglewood model was made in Asia.

Dylan with 1950's Gibson J-50N

His next guitar was a late 1940’s Gibson J-50N. It must have been a model made after WWII because it does not have the Only A Gibson Is Good Enough banner. This guitar had a teardrop pickguard and is featured on the cover of “Bob Dylan”. This guitar was lost or stolen.

Dylan with Gibson Nick Lucas Special
After losing the J-50, in 1963 Dylan purchased an early 1930’s Gibson Nick Lucas Special from a shop in New York City called Fretted Instruments. It was originally sunburst, but when Dylan got it, the guitar had been refinished blonde and the bridge had been replaced with one off a Guild guitar.

The original Nick Lucas models from that era had trapeze tailpieces. Later models featured the belly bridge.

Bob's Gibson LG-1

In 2006 a photographer was touring Gibson's Montana facilities when he spied two Gibson LG-1 with tags that had Dylan's name on them. Bob had ordered the custom shop to build them, perhaps because he was so fond of the Nick Lucas guitar, which by the way was based on the LG-1 body with a 13 fret neck.

Dylan -Baez - Martin 0-45

Dylan borrowed a Martin 0-45 from Joan Baez, who he was dating at the time for a performance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival.

Dylan with Gibson J-200

Dylan also owned several Gibson J-200 guitars that were played in concert. One was a gift from George Harrison. One was custom made by Gibson and it had a double pickguard.

Dylan with Martin 0-18

Bob Dylan was also fond of Martin 0-18’s and 000-18’s and can be seen playing both. In a 1974 concert to benefit the nation of Chile; a country in the midst of a revolution at the time.

Dylan with Martin  00-21

Dylan owned and is photographed here with a Martin 00-21. During the 1960's,

Dylan at '65 Newport Folk Festival
Dylan gravitated to the electric guitar in 1965. His image as the darling of the Folk Crowd instantly became tarnished when he took the stage with an early 1960's sunburst Fender Stratocaster to play Like A Rolling Stone.

Folk singer Pete Seeger became so angry it is said that he wanted to cut the electric lines going to the stage. (Other accounts say, that he was just yelling, "Cut, cut" in an effort to make Bob and The Band to stop playing.)

With a '60's Strat and Ampeg amp

Some black and white photos from the session at the Colombia recording studio A, show Bob playing the Strat.

Fender Jazz Bass - Bandmaster - Jaguar

Possibly from the same photo shoot we also see him with a 1960's Fender Jazz bass, and a 1962 Fender Jaguar.

Dylan playing a Fender XII

In a poster for the Bootleg Series Volume XII, we see Bob playing a Fender XII.

'65 Fender Jazzmaster

In another publicity photo Dylan is seen with a 1965 Fender Jazzmaster.

John Sebastian - Bob Dylan - ? Bass
In another photo from the Bootleg series, Dylan is seated at what appears to be an Italian restaurant playing an off-brand Precision Bass copy while a young John Sebastian plays guitar.

Playing a Fender Kingman
Dylan played some fairly odd guitars, including a 1966 Fender Kingman acoustic guitar. This was designed by Roger Rosmeisl and had a metal bar inside of it that went from the neck block to the end block. Fender discontinued this series of acoustic guitars in 1971.

Martin OM-28

He also received a special Martin guitar through his guitar tech, Cesar Diaz. This was a Martin OM-28 Perry Bechtel model. Bechtel was an entertainer in the 1930's and requested that Martin create the OM style guitar with the neck joining the body at the 14th fret. Note the pyramid bridge.

Dylan with Martin D-28

Dylan also played a Martin D-28 at the Concert for Bangladesh and a HD-28 in the Rolling Thunder Revue.

Yamaha L-6

Bob utilized a Yamaha L-6 for the Budokan Tour.

Dylan with Yamaha L-51
In 1978 he purchase three Yamaha L-51's at the Hong Kong airport.

This guitar had an unusually shaped headstock.

Then later on he used a black Yamaha L-52.

Dylan with Yamaha L-52

The L-6 is a low end Yamaha, while the L-51 is a solid wood guitar with an unusual rippled headtock. The L-52 model has a jumbo body, like a Gibson J-200, only with squared off upper and lower pickguards and a bridge similar to a Gibson Dove. This was a nice guitar, with cloud inlays on the ebony fretboard. Yamaha offered this model around 1972. Paul Simon also used a similar guitar.

2001 Negative Martin

Bob must have liked the look of the black Yamaha L-52, since around 2002 Martin came out with a Negative HD-28, which had a black body and a white neck and headstock. Dylan had one commissioned with twin white pickguards and used it in a 2002 concert.

Dylan with Stratocaster

For as much trouble as the electric guitar caused for Dylan, he did not play it in concert as much as his acoustic guitars. His best known electric guitar would be the 1960’s sunburst Stratocaster that he played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, when he got booed while playing “Like A Rolling Stone”.

The Strat that Dylan used in 1965

It was also featured in some early pictures of him in a recording studio. He only used it a few times and then it went missing.

1965 Dylan with Telecaster

Dylan also played several Telecasters starting in 1965 with a sunburst model with his band called The Hawks.

Tele used with The Band
Later when he played with The Band he used a black model and a blonde model.

One of the more interesting guitars that Dylan is said to have played, but not owned, was Mike Bloomfield's 1963 Fender Telecaster. 

Bloomfield's Tele - before and after
Bloomfield played this guitar before it went under the knife. He used in on the original recording of Like A Rolling Stone, and in the Newport Folk Festival Concert where Dylan went electric and got booed off the stage.

Bloomfield also recording those guitar licks on Highway 61 Revisited with this guitar and Dylan is said to have borrowed it during the recording sessions.

Bob with Kramer Ferrington bass

While in the Traveling Wilburys, Dylan sported this 1987 Kramer Ferrington bass guitar.

The Traveling Wilburys 

He is also seen with the Wilburys posing with this Gretsch Silver Jet.

Dylan with Gibson Hummingbird

Around 1993 Dylan played a Gibson Hummingbird guitar in concert.

With a Gibson Black Dove

A year later Bob was using a Gibson Dove.

Dylan with Gibson J-45

Dylan also owned a Gibson J-45 with twin pickguards.

2016 Nobel Prize

In 2016 Bob Dylan was honored as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in literature.

Categories: General Interest

Great looking Hayman 3030 appears to be all original.

Guitarz - Fri, 11/25/2016 - 05:55

The internet is killing me today.

Look at this Hayman 3030. This beauty is in great shape and to my eye appears to be all original too. I have a 3030 that i picked up last year, but wouldn't it be nice to have 2?

This auction is ending in 10hrs as I write this so you have only that long (or as long as my resolve to not click on bid can last) to get in on one of these for a very reasonable price in my opinion.

R.W. Haller (backing away slowly from the internet for the rest of the day)

© 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

Rare Burns Steer from the early 2000s. Possible prototype.

Guitarz - Fri, 11/25/2016 - 05:41

Thanks to Bill Lovegrove on the facebook Burns Guitars and Amplifiers page for posting this Burns Steer

This rare and possible prototype guitar looks like the love child of a regular Steer and a Brian May signature Red Special. Burns was producing both models at the time so the intermingling was quite likely. 

Though the body, neck,  and headstock are those of a cutaway Steer, the floating tremolo, Burns Trisonic pickups, and switching are very much Brian May. I wonder if the pickups are wired in series as on the Brian May model.

Currently listed in South Africa. 

I wonder if the seller will ship to Canada.

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

Heartfield RR-59 Made by Fender in Fujigen Factory 1992

Guitarz - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 06:31

We looked at Heartfield guitars once before with this RR-58 and I mentioned that I would love to see it in green ( it's kind of a thing for me, green guitars ) and lo and behold here we have a green Heartfield RR-59.

I think it looks incredible.

I've yet to get my hands on a Heartfield guitar but given the quality level of guitars coming out of Japan at the time I can only assume it plays as good as it looks.

Currently on eBay for $699 U.S.

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

Shredfest ’93

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 00:02

Mr Big

I’m a daydreamer. I always have been. One of my current favourite hobbies is going to zillow.com to check out super-expensive homes for sale or rent in Laurel Canyon, then kinda just blissing out over the idea of waking up there, making a coffee, strolling out to the deck with an acoustic guitar and tweedling out some licks while while taking in the aroma of the eucalyptus trees. I’ve met people who don’t daydream at all, or who mistake daydreaming with goal-setting. I’d bloody love to live in Laurel Canyon but I’m not actively working towards it and I’m not fussed if it never happens: it’s just nice to go there in my head for a bit. Anyway, while pondering the nature of daydream recently, I remembered one of my favourite daydreams.

It was in December 1991. My family used to go to the seaside town of Bermagui every year right after Christmas. The seven-hour drive was always pretty brutal, but by ’91 I had a kickass tape deck that fit right behind my seat in dad’s four-door Ford F-150. Jam some headphones in that sucker, crack open a MAD Magazine and zone out until the next pee/snack break (my favourite was the town of Adaminaby, with its giant Rainbow Trout sculpture. Seriously, you’ve gotta go see that thing). That year my brother Steve gave me Mr. Big’s Lean Into It album for Christmas, and I brought it along for the ride, along with a few of my other favourites at the time: Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare, Metallica’s ‘Black’ album, Van Halen’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

img_0161So here’s where the daydream comes in. I remember this as clear as if it happened yesterday. As I listened to Lean Into It‘s opening track “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” I started to think about how awesome it would be to record a song with Paul Gilbert. I could picture it all so clearly. It would be an instrumental shred duet. We’d both be playing Ibanez PGM models because Paul would totally have given me one because we’d be best mates of course. Our song would start with a driving riff then kick into an awesome call-and-response verse. Then badass harmony chorus. An even wilder call-and-response second verse. Badass harmony chorus again. Then we’d each take extended solos. Paul’s would be really cool. Mine would utterly wipe the floor with him. I mean it would slay that dude. Poor Paul. And he’d be cool about it, of course, because he’s such a nice guy. And we’d make a video for it. It would be Paul and I, walking along a highway (the highway we happened to be driving along while I was having the daydream), kickin’ dirt on the side of the road. The camera would focus on a nearby snake before re-focusing onto me and Paul shredding on the road in the distance. We’d do some takes of us shredding in the middle of grassy fields. Maybe put a foot up on a fallen tree for a killer rockstar pose.

And the name of the track would be “Shredfest ’93” because I was a realist and I figured I wouldn’t be good enough to wipe the floor with Paul Gilbert within one calendar year, but I’d probably be able to do it by ’93.

Of course part of the thing about daydreams is they’re allowed to be impossible.

The post Shredfest ’93 appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest


The Martin Guitar Blog - Wed, 11/23/2016 - 06:56

Members of the US Fish & Wildlife Service visited Martin Guitar last week to help assess the impact and compliance requirements of recent CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora)  on our business and the music industry in general. The largest changes result from the listings of Rosewood and Bubinga species on CITES Appendix II, which take effect on January 2, 2017.  Although the USFWS is still determining exactly how the changes will be implemented, there are some things we do know.

All imports and exports containing any wood from the listed species, from raw materials through finished goods (guitars), will require a CITES permit of some sort. There are some minor exceptions for non-commercial transports, one lesser-used rosewood species (cochinchinesis) and shipments with both woods and goods originating in Mexico.


Manufacturers will need to invest time and money to establish CITES Master Files/Clones, Single-use permits and augmented inventory reporting to comply with import and export regulations. Effectively every instrument shipped internationally will incur an additional expense.

Retailers looking to ship product internationally will have to become familiar with the new regulations and to determine whether or not it is worth their time and effort to ship instruments containing these woods.

Ultimately this may move the needle on the types and volumes of woods used on musical instruments as well as consumers’ perceptions and buying habits. 

These recent changes caught most of the Music Industry, and some of the CITES Authorities, unaware. As a result, folks on all sides are scrambling to comply. This points to the need for more direct monitoring of, and interaction with, the parties involved in the CITES species proposal and listing processes at all levels. 

The good news is that the USFWS seems eager to work with companies to implement in a manner that works for all sides while still complying with the spirit of the regulations. Martin Guitar is thankful for this considered approach.

Categories: Manufacturers

Framing the New Workshop, Day One

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 19:04
When you work primarily with hand tools you don't need a lot of space or infrastructure.

Jim Tolpin, The New Traditional Woodworker, 2010

I am building an new workshop/studio on the exact spot and using the same footprint as the old garage that I dismantled early this month.

Working in the upstairs of our house has been a great joy, but I need to move on to another space and allow my wife and I to enjoy our house as a house again.

The original garage was built in 1964, (I was born in 1962!) by some very capable carpenters, as I discovered when I took the building down, but it had no real foundation and no look outs on the eave elevations which was causing the roof to sag.

After searching on the Internet, I found some wonderful plans for a shed building which I have adapted to build my own space. Those of you who have been following my blog know that I was a framing/finishing carpenter for many years, it is nice to frame again, but at my own speed without nail guns and air compressors filling the air with 21st century noise.

The floor joists are 2x6's on top of ground contact rated 8x8's.

The original footprint was 14'x 20', more than ample size for me, my hand tools and guitars

One thing I learned from an old time carpenter is to layout the roof rafters on the flooring deck, do all the work on the floor and not in the air. This afternoon I realized that I had failed to account for the shear thickness on the walls, I will have to add 7/16th's of an inch to each end of the the other rafters before I fly them.

I am working by myself, this wall was framed in two sections, one was 12' long and the other 8'. Much easier to lift a short wall than a long wall. This wall is 7'6" tall, the south elevation will have a 10'4" tall wall with lots of windows. I was hoping to frame that wall tomorrow, 11/22/16, but the forecast is for snow and I ran out of 8d nails today, which are used to attach the OSB shear to the framing. The tall wall I will have to build in three different sections, again, I am working by myself and I don't own any wall jacks.

Stay tuned, more pictures of the framing process!

“…You feel the plants if you are quiet enough…” Linda Hogan

wilbeau - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 13:46

A couple of weeks ago a guitarist asked his friends what their preferred warm-ups were. This question brought in a flood of responses with various things from scales to right hand arpeggios to studies cited. I find this kind of thing problematical because it seems more important to warm up the brain and soul. In thinking exclusively of the body we create and maintain an artificial schism.

The musical process starts with imagining the sound as richly as possible. One’s own sound includes the particular instrument, preferred touch and articulations as well as various volume levels. These elements are in addition to the rhythms and pitches that make up the music one is playing. In warming up the hands one tends to look for speed and physical ease.


This division started during the enlightenment, as teaching methods started to reflect a step-by-step process. Reading about J.S. Bach’s approach to composing for students we have an account of him beginning a piece for a pupil, demonstrating the first few bars, before the master went on to finish the piece in a flurry of inspiration. Teaching always included the musical experience. The step-by-step process posits a division between physical and musical learning. Now have music exams where the time one has to allot for scales exceeds the time needed for repertoire. We have studies that are not considered as musical as repertoire for they are allotted only a minimal number of marks.

By contrast, I have discovered that improvisers depend on mental flexibility to begin working. Robert Fripp [league of crafty guitarists] and Karl Berger [creative music studio] both employ rhythmic games to create alert players who can readily adapt to any musical need. The late Paul Bley once credited selling his piano as a significant learning experience: he had to come up with simpler ideas to work with because he couldn’t hide behind a nifty lick


I like to think that creating music brings us closer to how the composer feels. There is evidence to suggest that while improvising [or composing] a different part of our brain is activated specifically the medial prefrontal cortex. While doing this, the judging brain [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex] quiets down. This would explain that when students listen to each other’s compositions they listen to them differently – they hear music as if it were a brain storming activity.*

DSCF9254As we judge we also tend to censor and the more we do this the further we move away from the creative act. In a world that demands faster-louder-higher-longer we lose the joy of music. Play with your guitar and play with the music, simple joys really matter.

One day returning from his vineyard with sacks full of ripe grapes on his donkey’s back, Nasrudin came upon a group of children who asked if they could have some grapes. Nasrudin gave each child one grape and when they complained about his stinginess were met with the reply: “All grapes taste alike, so it is of no interest to taste more than one – you have one and you might as well have sampled them all.”

  • notes for this paragraph come fromhttp://www.bulletproofmusician.com/why-improvisation-should-be-part-of-every-young-musicians-training/




Categories: Learning and Lessons


The Martin Guitar Blog - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 11:27

Martin Guitar's 16-Series is adding three new guitars to the lineup! These guitars will officially be unveiled at the 2017 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California January 19th through the 22nd.


The new 16-Series guitars include:

  • D-16E – The D-16E is a Dreadnought, with a 000 depth, constructed of a Sitka spruce top and sycamore back and sides. It features silver binding and heelcap, an ebony bridge and a silver bound ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl diamonds and squares inlay. A modified low oval neck with a high performance taper make this guitar easy to play up and down the fingerboard. This model is also equipped with Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance electronics. (MSRP: $2699)
  • DC-16E This acoustic-electric cutaway Dreadnought, with a 000 depth, is crafted with a Sitka spruce top and sycamore back and sides. It features silver binding and heelcap, a multi-stripe orange top inlay and rosette, an ebony bridge, a silver bound ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl diamonds and squares inlay and Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance electronics. This is a great all-around guitar for players of any style. (MSRP: $2899)
  • OMC-16E - A cutaway Orchestra Model that features a Sitka spruce top paired with cherry back and sides. This FSC® Certified model features a modified low oval neck with high performance taper, simple dovetail neck joint, silver binding and heelcap, bone nut and saddle, ebony bridge, a silver bound ebony fingerboard with diamonds and squares inlaid in mother-of-pearl and Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance electronics. A great sounding guitar that has a rich, dense, clean and articulate tone with great sustain and clarity. (MSRP: $2899)

You can view all of the new 16-Series guitars here

Ready to experience a Martin Guitar? Find an authorized Martin dealer near you here.

Categories: Manufacturers

Let’s Talk About Stratocasters

I Heart Guitar - Sun, 11/20/2016 - 01:04


Stratocasters have been on my mind a lot lately. Part of it is that I just had my Strat set up by the wonderful Joseph ‘Soxy’ Price, who does incredible work. Part of it is that I’ve barely been able to let my Strat out of my sight ever since, because it’s just such a joy to play. And part of it is probably the new Seymour Duncan Jimi Hendrix Signature Strat Set, which I’ve got to get into my guitar ASAP. Whatever it is, I’m daydreaming about Strats a lot at the moment. 

When it came time for me to choose my personal Strat, I had a few great models to choose from in the price range I was looking at. If I was buying now I’d add to that the incredible American Elite Series. But I decided to go with an American Vintage ’62 Reissue. That model isn’t available any more but the American Vintage ’65 is a very fine guitar with a lot of similarities.

So why did I go for that particular model when I could have had an American Deluxe or an American Standard? Well for me it came down to authenticity. The Stratocaster is a design that has adapted very well to modern improvements in playability, sound and stability, but for me personally I wanted a really ‘Stratty’ Strat: true single coil pickups, old-school tuners, 7.25” radius fretboard. Basically I wanted a Strat that would capture the feel of some of the really great ‘60s Strats I’ve been lucky enough to play. I wanted a Strat that would put up a bit of a fight and make me earn it.

That’s not to take anything away from more modern Stratocasters. An American Elite gives you really great playability upgrades like a compound-profile neck (a modern “C”-shape at the nut, morphing along the length of the neck to a modern “D”-shaped profile at the updated neck heel), locking tuners, compound radius fingerboard (9.5″-14”), noiseless pickups… it’s basically exactly what a Stratocaster for 2016 should be. And yet that’s where Fender gets it so right: if you want a modern Strat, there are plenty out there for you. If you want a vintage-style one, that’s available too. And if you want something that falls somewhere in the middle, there are lots of guitars across the range that will do what you need.

So what about you? What’s your idea of the perfect Strat? Here are a few of my favourites from the current line.

American Elite Stratocaster

eliteOkay, so I’ve already talked this one up, but here’s what Fender has to say about it: “Externally the American Elite Stratocaster has Fender’s timeless style, but under the hood it’s an entirely new breed of guitar designed for 21st-century players who constantly push the envelope. With over a dozen new innovations, each guitar is a true performer with eye-catching style, exceptional feel and versatile sound from the very first moment you plug it in and play.

Jason Smith Builder Select Garage Mod Stratocaster

jason-smith-builder-select-garage-mod-stratocasterThis Strat has a a 9.5”-12” compound radius fingerboard and a mid-‘60s Oval “C” shaped neck, a Seymour Duncan Custom Shop ’78 humbucker and Sperzel locking tuners, along with a two-point Classic Player vibrato. I dig the stripped-back electronics and narrow jumbo frets too.

Buddy Guy Stratocaster

buddy-guyI’ve had the extreme honour of interviewing Buddy Guy several times and he once told me a really beautiful story about how this guitar’s finish came to be. He said his mother used to wear a black dress with white polka dots, and he always told her that if he became famous he’d buy her a Cadillac to match her dress. She passed away before that could happen, so he uses this colour scheme on his signature gear as a tribute to her. Isn’t that beautiful? Every time I step on my Jim Dunlop Buddy Guy Crybaby wah, I think of that story.

Dave Murray Stratocaster

dave-murray-stratocasterThis is a great one. Floyd Rose vibrato, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails and JB Jr pickups, 9.5″-14″ Compound Radius fretboard but still the traditional 21 frets. It has a real ‘ultra-hot-rodded-but-vintage’ vibe.

Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex Strat

jimmie-vaughan-stratocasterI set up quite a few of these in my guitar store days because they seemed to sell really well, Jimmie Vaughan fan or no. Alder body, specially shaped tinted maple neck, medium jumbo frets, single-coil Tex-Mex neck and middle pickups, extra hot Tex-Mex bridge pickup, single-ply white pickguard and vintage-style hardware. Nice.

The post Let’s Talk About Stratocasters appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Totally Guitars Weekly Wrap Up November 18th, 2016

On The Beat with Totally Guitars - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 18:25
Improve Your Guitar Skills with the online guitars lessons from Totally Guitars! Totally Guitars News Podcast This week we rolled out a few new things, including a beginning vocal course on DVD by our voicemaster Jim Bruno, and a 7-pack of Eva Cassidy songs. I also finally got around to finishing the lesson on Bicycle […]
Categories: Learning and Lessons

New top for an old fiddle, part 3

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 14:52

Plunged through and cut the f-holes.  The terminal holes on each end are drilled first, and you're committed at that point.  Then, using a deep-throated fret saw, cut out the stems.  A little more thinning of the top, then trim up the f-holes.  This is nearly there.  Done for today, but will look at again tomorrow (on Monday) and finish up before fitting the bassbar.

New top for an old fiddle, part 2

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 11:12

Making a new top for an old fiddle. The old top fairly badly damaged, and not really worth repairing. This is also probably not worth doing, financially, but I am using it as an excuse to try new things.

For example, I am not finishing the edges nor installing the purfling until after the top is attached to the body. So, instead of being able to use the edge or purfling for assistance in laying out the f-holes, I have to try to get them in the right places with less to go on.

Conifer Species

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 08:19
The trees of the West are a benign presence, mighty and healing...

Donald Culross Peattie, A Natural History of Western Trees, 1953

The postage stamp that I live on has only seven species of conifer trees and one species barely grows big enough to be called a tree. The Continental Divide is about seven miles as the crow flies from our meadow, we don't get the howling winds that you find when you live closer to the Divide, but the winds do limit the height of trees and since this is the east side of the Rocky Mountains we live in a rain shadow. Not much moisture makes it to the ground.

Twice a day, I walk our dogs across our neighbor's property to Forest Service land and we squeeze through a narrow gulch to reach the upper slopes. In this gulch there is enough moisture to allow white fir and Engelmann spruce to grow. The tall tree in this photo is an Engelmann spruce, one of five that live in this gulch.

Ponderosa pine live on the very fringes of the gulch, the scientific name for the variety that inhabit this part of the Rockies is pinus ponderosa, scopulorum, which means "among the rocks". I understand that some of the old timers in this region called these pines "rock pines".

Ravens have a nest on this rock and magpies, too, usually raise their young in this part of the gulch.

The snag in this photo is a dead Douglas fir, an older gent said to me "35 years ago the spruce bud worm came in and killed most of the Douglas fir around here. That was after the pine beetle came through."

Big winds, with gusts up to 120mph, often visit us in December and January and these pines are victims from such a storm last January. We often get big wind storms in November, but so far this month it's just been "breezy"!

What are the conifer species in my backyard?

Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, limber pine, white fir, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce and Rocky Mountain juniper.

Trees are life.


The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 05:57

Shortly after Martin Ambassador Thomas Rhett's CMA Single Of The Year win, he debuted his new music video for "Star Of The Show."


This is the fastest rising single of the Martin Ambassador's career so far! The new music video prominently shows Thomas Rhett's 000-14 Adirondack spruce custom Martin Guitar strung with SP Lifespan strings. The single is from his new album "Tangled Up Deluxe" which you can purchase here. You can also watch the music video for "Star Of The Show" here.

Ready to experience a custom Martin guitar? You can find an authorized Martin dealer to make your custom Martin guitar dream a reality here.

Categories: Manufacturers

Al Caiola, One of New York Cities Most Prominent Session Players Has Passed Away.

The Unique Guitar Blog - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 19:58
Al Caiola with his Gretsch model G6210DSW
One of the greatest guitarists and most prolific recording session players passed away last week. Al Caiola was 96 years old when he died on November 9th of this year.

In addition to being an influential guitarist, he was a composer and arranger. His work spanned a diverse array of styles.

Caiola worked with many, many famous artists including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Mitch Miller, Tony Bennett, Buddy Holly, Percy Faith, Steve Lawrence, Bob Crosby, Tony Mottola, Bobby Darin, and others.

One of Al's albums
The list of recordings that feature his guitar are almost too numerous to mention. If you have heard Darin's recording of Mack The Knife, you've heard Caiola's guitar. If you've heard Buddy Holly's True Love Ways, you have heard Caiola. If you've heard Petula Clark's Don't Sleep in the Subway, yes, that was Caiola on guitar.

He has played guitar backing King Curtis, Perry Como, Glen Campbell, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Paul Anka, Petula Clark, Burt Bacharach, Louis Armstrong, Benny King, Rosemary Clooney, Dion, Mary Robbins, Del Shannon, Barbara Streisand, Jackie Gleason, Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, Andy Williams, Joe Williams, Tom and Jerry (Simon and Garfunkle before they were famous), Julie London, Solomon Burke, and so many others.

In the Marine Corps Band

During WWII he played in the Marine Corps 5th Divsion Band. During the 1950’s he became a studio player and arranger in New York City.

Squeeze Play

Early in his career, Al recording on Dot Records on an album called Squeeze Play that featured John Serry. Caiola moved on to the United Artists label where he recorded the theme to The Magnificent Seven and the Bonanza theme.

Early recording with Tony Bennett
Caiola teamed up with arranger Don Costa and made at least 36 albums featuring his guitar playing with a large and lush orchestra. He also released singles that received air play back in the 1960’s. Other albums were based on the Western TV themes that were popular at that time, including Wagon Train (Wagons Ho), The Ballad of Paladin, The Rebel, The Gunslinger, Bonanza, and others.

James Bond Themes - Al Caiola

He also performed on albums based on movies such as From Russia With Love.

Al and fellow guitarists
He was a member of The Manhattan Guitar Club, which was a collaborative of New York City studio musicians that paid dues into this organization for use of Ampeg amplifiers that were kept in various recording studios. This amplifier had a lock on it in place of an of/off switch. Each member was given a key to the amp to use it when the played in that studio.

'65 Caiola Custom

In 1963 Epiphone guitars, which was then owned by Gibson/CMI introduced the Al Caiol guitar. It was designed in the Gibson ES double-cutaway shape and called the Al Caiola Custom.

Although this instrument was semi-hollow, there were no f-holes. The 7-ply bound maple body was 16” wide and slightly less than 2” deep. The instrument came with a deluxe 5-ply pickguard. The bound neck was of a 25 ½” scale and the rosewood fretboard came with pearl block markers.

The open-book headstock was inlaid with an “column” design done in pearl and elongated, as are Epiphone headstocks. It came with a zero fret.

This guitar had two mini humbuckers, with volume controls for each pickup.  It also came with an unusual feature; 5 “Tonexpressor” switches. The pickups were turned off and on with two slide pickup selector switches.

Al Caiola Custom 
The guitar was offered with 3 different finishes; shaded, walnut or cherry. The strings were attached to a trapeze tailpiece with a walnut block that said “Al Caiola.”

Al Caiola Standard

Three years later Epiphone introduced the less fancy Al Caiola Standard model. This came with twin dog-ear P-90 pickups.

With Epiphone Archtop

Earlier in his career Caiola can be seen playing Epiphone archtop electrics.

Al with Gold Gretsch Guitar

He  was also well known for using a gold-coloured Gretsch guitar.

Al Caiola with Epi model gold finish

He did use his Epiphone signature model during the sixties.

Al Caiola with Heritage Guitar

Most recently he played a large bodied single cutaway Heritage guitar.

Though many modern readers may not know about Caiola, he was an integral part of modern guitar history.

Click on the titles under the pictures to view sources. Click on the links in the text for more information about Al Caiola.

Categories: General Interest

The New Tool Shed

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 08:32
All sheds take longer to build than you may think.

David and Jean Stiles, Sheds, 2006

The new tool shed is finished - siding, roofing, windows and doors. It is 10'x12' in size, just barely big enough to hold what it needs to hold.

With the exception of the sub flooring, roof rafters and metal roofing, all material used to build this shed was recycled from the old workshop that I dismantled.

It's a shed because I didn't want to spend the time making a "standard" roof and I had a limited budget for materials. No lookouts on the "gable" sides, no soffit, no fascia boards, just a simple building to store tools and some lumber.

The sashes are made out of redwood, and yes, I know I didn't clean my fingerprints from the glass! It's an outbuilding, not Independence Hall, it doesn't have to be perfect. The wind and the snow this winter will clean the glass!

I made three shelves from 2x10 construction grade white fir boards and a workbench from 2x12 construction grade Douglas fir boards. Today or tomorrow I will start making some basic drawers for the workbench so I can store all the little tools, pliers, air hose fittings, etc., that will live in the shed.

This is also a good time for me to sort through many of the tools I acquired when I was a framing and finish carpenter, there are some tools in the tool boxes that I haven't used since 2005 when I walked away from the construction trade.

The lumber for the new workshop arrived yesterday. I am very excited to get started on framing "the old workshop", it will be the same size as the original, 14'x20'. It will be a shed with a 2/12 roof, fully insulated with a propane heater to keep the winter chill off of me and the tone woods.

I would start framing today, but the weather forecast is calling for 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow. I don't have to frame in bad weather anymore! Friday will find me in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, talking to Colin McAllister's classical guitar students about classical guitar construction.

The wind is quite noisy today, mostly just a nice Continental Divide zephyr. Those of us who love living in the Colorado Rocky Mountains hardly ever refer to the wind as wind unless it is gusting to over sixty miles an hour.

Now, turn off your computer and get into your workshop!

The BEANO official merchandise Dennie The Menace Guitar from John Hornby Skewes

Guitarz - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 12:14
Ah, seeing this Dennis The Menace official licensed BEANO guitar takes me right back to my junior school years, where I spent many happy hours reading comics, of which The Beano was my favourite. This BEANO guitar has been issued by John Hornby Skewes, they of UK budget brands Encore and Vintage. The headstock is the same shape as used on Vintage branded Les Paul style guitars. Very cool indeed. I've seen it priced as high as £180 but this example I found on eBay is a very reaonable £115 including free postage within the UK.

For confused Stateside readers, I'd better quickly explain that the UK and USA both have their own completely separate cartoon characters called Dennis The Menace. Coincidentally both cartoon characters made their comic debuts in the year 1951.

G L Wilson

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Categories: General Interest

1960 Mosrite – Hand made by Semie Moseley

James Roadman Instrument Repair - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 09:21

I recently finished restoring this Mosrite guitar made in 1960 by Semie Moseley. It appeared on the Antiques Roadshow a while back with a replacement head plate, pickguard, and had the back of the headstock painted black to hide several breaks and repairs.


After removing the head plate and the black paint from the headstock it revealed that a fair amount of wood had been removed and filler added to disguise the break. While it was holding adequately there was a more movement to the headstock than I was comfortable with. I decided to add a backstop to the headstock extending down into the neck. A layer of wood was removed and replaced with 3 separate layers steam bent to the angle of the neck. The grain of the replacement layers is continuous making it very strong compared to the original wood which is cut across the grain. This greatly improved the strength of the headstock and covers most of the previous repairs. I used a little pigment to disguise where I added wood across the previous breaks.

Luckily the original head plate and pickguard were saved and I was able to copy them.

The original electronics were saved as well and I was able reinstall them. The lower pot of the stacked pots was broken but I managed to replace the conductive material inside with that from a modern pot. I had to guess about the original control arrangement.

To finish up I made a set of knobs for the stacked pot using 60’s Standel knobs as a model.

This guitar has many similarities to the Joe Maphis and Rose Lee guitars made by Semie Moseley. I have seen one other guitar that resembles this one. If anyone has more information or knows of other similar instruments I would like to hear about them.

A special thanks to Rick Yancey at Custom Shop Guitars for the high quality photos!

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The post 1960 Mosrite – Hand made by Semie Moseley appeared first on James Roadman Instrument Repair.


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