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29 minutes ago, IStream said:

My teen son is heavily into guitar, initially playing Tool, Opeth, King Crimson, and similar style music that he loves. He wants to go to music school and become a studio musician (he's not the fame-seeking type).

When he got serious a few years ago, we got him a nice PRS guitar for Christmas, which seems to be a great jack-of-all trades instrument with a very clean but musical tone and he really likes it. He's also got access to his mom's Strat and Gibson SG. Last year he got obsessed with modeling so for Christmas we got him an AX8 and now he can produce damned near any effect or tone he wants. 

He's recently joined the jazz band at school and is really getting into it. It's great to see him branch out but being a teenage boy, he naturally now wants a jazz guitar. I'm inclined to think that he could make his PRS and AX8 combo sound like just about anything but what do I know?

Anyway, he was out with Mom at the guitar store and ran into a used Univox Pro for $500, which is about how much money he's saved up. The Pro is a semi-acoustic copy of the Gibson Super 400. I know Univox had a generally mixed reputation for quality but I've also heard that the Pro was decent. Anyone got any experience with these or alternate recommendations? 

Disclaimer... the only Univox guitars I remember were crap, however the Pro might be great. A quick look at Reverb.com

https://reverb.com/marketplace/electric-guitars?make=univox&query=Pro

shows that $500 might be a bit much, although if it's good good hardware and is set up right, probably not a bad deal.

Of the inexpensive jazz boxes I've checked out, the Epiphones are consistently good to great, Ibanez (spotty, some are great and some are crap), and The Loar, are the ones I'd suggest checking. Washburn also has made some great guitars, and some shit guitars. If you find an old Guild, sometimes they are unloved and just need a little TLC to become stars... I like Guilds almost as much as Gibsons, actually, but they don't have the same brand-name heavyweight punch (and Gibson, hallowed be thy name, has stamped out some less-than-wonderful guitars now and then).

Like buying a boat, you gotta do a lot of footwork.  I used to wander thru music stores and pawn shops and give a quick try to almost everything. Trying to do more of that now but then again I want to SAIL more too.

One of the best lessons is to not rush out and buy something because you got cash burning a hole in your pocket. OTOH it's just a guitar. If he buys one at the right price, and discovers he doesn't like it, sell the fucker and get a different one. You buy it, not marry it!

- DSK

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22 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Disclaimer... the only Univox guitars I remember were crap, however the Pro might be great. A quick look at Reverb.com

https://reverb.com/marketplace/electric-guitars?make=univox&query=Pro

shows that $500 might be a bit much, although if it's good good hardware and is set up right, probably not a bad deal.

Of the inexpensive jazz boxes I've checked out, the Epiphones are consistently good to great, Ibanez (spotty, some are great and some are crap), and The Loar, are the ones I'd suggest checking. Washburn also has made some great guitars, and some shit guitars. If you find an old Guild, sometimes they are unloved and just need a little TLC to become stars... I like Guilds almost as much as Gibsons, actually, but they don't have the same brand-name heavyweight punch (and Gibson, hallowed be thy name, has stamped out some less-than-wonderful guitars now and then).

Like buying a boat, you gotta do a lot of footwork.  I used to wander thru music stores and pawn shops and give a quick try to almost everything. Trying to do more of that now but then again I want to SAIL more too.

One of the best lessons is to not rush out and buy something because you got cash burning a hole in your pocket. OTOH it's just a guitar. If he buys one at the right price, and discovers he doesn't like it, sell the fucker and get a different one. You buy it, not marry it!

- DSK

Thanks for the tips!

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Put any of the guitars, PRS, Strat or SG,  on the amp's clean channel, set it to the neck pickup and roll off the tone a little. Plenty good for jazz band at school. 

Of course, if he simply has a case of GAS, the only cure is another guitar.B)

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25 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Put any of the guitars, PRS, Strat or SG,  on the amp's clean channel, set it to the neck pickup and roll off the tone a little. Plenty good for jazz band at school. 

Of course, if he simply has a case of GAS, the only cure is another guitar.B)

"Cure"? Hah!

Thanks for the suggestion, that's basically what he's doing now. It sounds like sanity has prevailed, temporarily. He's decided not to get a jazz guitar until and unless he gets into Jazz 1. He had to join the Jazz 2 group because he couldn't read music initially (all his lessons used TABs), so nothing will likely happen until the summer.

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2 hours ago, IStream said:
3 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Put any of the guitars, PRS, Strat or SG,  on the amp's clean channel, set it to the neck pickup and roll off the tone a little. Plenty good for jazz band at school. 

Of course, if he simply has a case of GAS, the only cure is another guitar.B)

"Cure"? Hah!

Thanks for the suggestion, that's basically what he's doing now. It sounds like sanity has prevailed, temporarily. He's decided not to get a jazz guitar until and unless he gets into Jazz 1. He had to join the Jazz 2 group because he couldn't read music initially (all his lessons used TABs), so nothing will likely happen until the summer.

Unless his tone is gawd-awful, for whatever reason, CL is right. Until he's getting into more specific and higher-expectation settings, getting a decent basic clean sound... not too much squalling or twanging... he'll be great (says Mr I-Gotta-Get-More-Gadgets-For-Tone).

I love these guys, they recently did a relevant show

Micks has picked up an Epiphone Casino which looks like an ES335 but is quite a different animal... true hollow body although plywood, P90 pickups (well, decent copies) which you can find here in the States for ~ $500 fairly easily (which means you can also get your money back if you buy it right). He's got it hooked up to a more expensive although mass-market amp, a Katana 100. These are nice, I have been in a couple of music stores and put a Katana 50 thru some serious paces. No way he needs anything that f'in loud (although I'm sure he thinks he does). And as Dan shows in this same show, a GOOD speaker cabinet hooked up to a mediocre amp sounds fantastic.

They do a good bit of showing how to get different types of sound (jazzy, rockabilly, metal, etc) in this show but not as much as some of the others. And of course they want to show you how cool lots of pedals are, but ignore that, he's already got an AX-8

- DSK

edit to add- skip to 41:00 for Mick to start playing his set up

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These guys are great, thanks! The Epiphone Casino does look like a good option if he buys new or can find a clean one on Craigslist. 

His PRS really does sound good and I think what cooled his passion for a new guitar was a good long session playing it today. This year's Christmas addition to his rig was a Headrush FRFR -112 powered monitor and it's amazing how much bang for the buck that thing delivers. He tried out a bunch of various more or less clean settings and came out with a big smile on his face and the decision to wait.

I've gotta say, I can't believe how much quality equipment and sound you can get for about $2K these days. Between his guitar, his modeler, and the FRFR monitor, he could go all the way through music school and well into his professional life without needing (as opposed to wanting) anything else. 

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13 hours ago, IStream said:

These guys are great, thanks! The Epiphone Casino does look like a good option if he buys new or can find a clean one on Craigslist. 

His PRS really does sound good and I think what cooled his passion for a new guitar was a good long session playing it today. This year's Christmas addition to his rig was a Headrush FRFR -112 powered monitor and it's amazing how much bang for the buck that thing delivers. He tried out a bunch of various more or less clean settings and came out with a big smile on his face and the decision to wait.

I've gotta say, I can't believe how much quality equipment and sound you can get for about $2K these days. Between his guitar, his modeler, and the FRFR monitor, he could go all the way through music school and well into his professional life without needing (as opposed to wanting) anything else. 

 

I had never heard of this... 2,000 watts?  Dang, dude, leave some amplification for the rest of us!

Thanks for the info, I have some catching up to do

- DSK

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48 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

I had never heard of this... 2,000 watts?  Dang, dude, leave some amplification for the rest of us!

Thanks for the info, I have some catching up to do

- DSK

Well, I'm sure that's bullshit, since it would be equivalent to about 18A from a 110V circuit but it can probably do it for a few milliseconds. The really remarkable thing isn't just that the unit can get loud, but that it sounds very flat and neutral even at low volumes. Just noodling around at "Mom and Dad won't complain" levels it sounds great. 

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I play classical and I have a Yamaha nylon string silent guitar that I take when I travel. I can't get a tone anywhere near resembling a classical acoustic. I think I may need better headphones. It would be nice to find something small enough to fit in the guitar bag. Any recommendations?

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1 hour ago, Dog said:

I play classical and I have a Yamaha nylon string silent guitar that I take when I travel. I can't get a tone anywhere near resembling a classical acoustic. I think I may need better headphones. It would be nice to find something small enough to fit in the guitar bag. Any recommendations?

I don't know about headphone amps if that's what you mean. You said you did not like the Yamaha THR5 which I think is one of the best mini amps but I can see how it might not be the best for a classical guitar tone. What you want is an "acoustic" amp which is intended to mimic the resonant frequencies we hear in an unamplified acoustic guitar.

Unfortunately I don't know of a GOOD mini acoustic amp

The mini amps I do know about, suck. A rare few of them suck a lot less than others. The two I use for traveling are the Vox AC2

https://voxamps.com/product/ac2-rhythmvox/

and the Blackstar Fly 3 (which may be getting a little too bulky to fit in a gig bag)

https://www.blackstaramps.com/uk/products/fly-3

Anything else in this size category is going to 1- not be as loud and 2- tend to sound like some kind of power tool running inside a trash can (one of those big old galvanized ones). Aficianados will then argue about what KIND of power tool and exactly how loud you want. Most of them will point to some blues guy if not an outright heavy metal music to say "This is a GREAT sound!"

Laney makes a mini amp that is slightly bigger than the Blackstar and has a bit more cleanup

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/laney-mini-st-lion-2x3w-stereo-mini-guitar-amp

Then there's ukelele amps. I don't know of one that doesn't sound trash-can-y even when considerably bigger than this, they seem to put priority on looking like a 1930s suitcase for that vaudeville appeal. Let's also dispense with the mini Fenders, mini Marshalls, mini EVH, etc etc which probably won't appeal to you anyway being modelled for rock 'n roll, but they sound awful and they don't produce any volume of sound. Don't bother with a Roland Micro Cube, which is a great little amp for anything except acoustic tones.

The 3 I mentioned above are ones I've kept, I've bought and then gotten rid of Danelectro, IK Nano, Johnson, Crate, Peavey, plus the ones mentioned, plus a few more I've mercifully forgotten. It's been kind of a research project over the past few years to find a decent mini amp. feel I've earned the right to call them crap.

I'm tempted to order one of these just to check it out, Joyo makes some good stuff

https://reverb.com/item/25147399-joyo-ma-10a-portable-acoustic-guitar-amp-mini-10-watt-normal-bright-dual-channels-speaker-amplifier

Still too big to fit in a gig bag

If bigger is OK I'd suggest a Fishman Mini, a Vox Mini3 (I have a Vox DA-5 which is a grandparent of the Mini5, a great amp and it does have decent-but-not-wonderful acoustic tone), and going further up a Roland AC-33 (which is what I'd like to get one day). These are getting to be bigger than a shoebox, so they are travel-able. I've played them all extensively and they do quite good acoustic tone especially the AC-33 which also gets gratifyingly loud (feedback will be a problem).

I shamelessly lowball people on Ebay and Reverb when I see a piece of gear I want, so I've picked up most of this stuff at half the price you see, or less. Which is good because 90+ % of it is crap. Sci-Fi writer Theodore Sturgeon formulated a law to cover this: "99% of everything is crap" but then he played pretty serious jazz guitar and had higher standards.

Now for something completely different. I have not tried one of these however AGITC seemed to like it

https://www.tonewoodamp.com

So, finding something good for your needs/wants is obviously a journey

I apologize for the length of this rant/post. I needed to get it out, though. Thank you!

- DSK

 

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3 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I don't know about headphone amps if that's what you mean. You said you did not like the Yamaha THR5 which I think is one of the best mini amps but I can see how it might not be the best for a classical guitar tone. What you want is an "acoustic" amp which is intended to mimic the resonant frequencies we hear in an unamplified acoustic guitar.

Unfortunately I don't know of a GOOD mini acoustic amp

The mini amps I do know about, suck. A rare few of them suck a lot less than others. The two I use for traveling are the Vox AC2

https://voxamps.com/product/ac2-rhythmvox/

and the Blackstar Fly 3 (which may be getting a little too bulky to fit in a gig bag)

https://www.blackstaramps.com/uk/products/fly-3

Anything else in this size category is going to 1- not be as loud and 2- tend to sound like some kind of power tool running inside a trash can (one of those big old galvanized ones). Aficianados will then argue about what KIND of power tool and exactly how loud you want. Most of them will point to some blues guy if not an outright heavy metal music to say "This is a GREAT sound!"

Laney makes a mini amp that is slightly bigger than the Blackstar and has a bit more cleanup

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/laney-mini-st-lion-2x3w-stereo-mini-guitar-amp

Then there's ukelele amps. I don't know of one that doesn't sound trash-can-y even when considerably bigger than this, they seem to put priority on looking like a 1930s suitcase for that vaudeville appeal. Let's also dispense with the mini Fenders, mini Marshalls, mini EVH, etc etc which probably won't appeal to you anyway being modelled for rock 'n roll, but they sound awful and they don't produce any volume of sound. Don't bother with a Roland Micro Cube, which is a great little amp for anything except acoustic tones.

The 3 I mentioned above are ones I've kept, I've bought and then gotten rid of Danelectro, IK Nano, Johnson, Crate, Peavey, plus the ones mentioned, plus a few more I've mercifully forgotten. It's been kind of a research project over the past few years to find a decent mini amp. feel I've earned the right to call them crap.

I'm tempted to order one of these just to check it out, Joyo makes some good stuff

https://reverb.com/item/25147399-joyo-ma-10a-portable-acoustic-guitar-amp-mini-10-watt-normal-bright-dual-channels-speaker-amplifier

Still too big to fit in a gig bag

If bigger is OK I'd suggest a Fishman Mini, a Vox Mini3 (I have a Vox DA-5 which is a grandparent of the Mini5, a great amp and it does have decent-but-not-wonderful acoustic tone), and going further up a Roland AC-33 (which is what I'd like to get one day). These are getting to be bigger than a shoebox, so they are travel-able. I've played them all extensively and they do quite good acoustic tone especially the AC-33 which also gets gratifyingly loud (feedback will be a problem).

I shamelessly lowball people on Ebay and Reverb when I see a piece of gear I want, so I've picked up most of this stuff at half the price you see, or less. Which is good because 90+ % of it is crap. Sci-Fi writer Theodore Sturgeon formulated a law to cover this: "99% of everything is crap" but then he played pretty serious jazz guitar and had higher standards.

Now for something completely different. I have not tried one of these however AGITC seemed to like it

https://www.tonewoodamp.com

So, finding something good for your needs/wants is obviously a journey

I apologize for the length of this rant/post. I needed to get it out, though. Thank you!

- DSK

 

Thanks but I'm not looking for an amp. I plug the headphones directly into my Yamaha silent guitar and I can play without disturbing anyone. I don't expect it to sound like my classical but the tone I get now is disappointing. I'm thinking maybe better headphones. Earbuds would be even more convenient if there are any that would sound ok.

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47 minutes ago, Dog said:

Thanks but I'm not looking for an amp. I plug the headphones directly into my Yamaha silent guitar and I can play without disturbing anyone. I don't expect it to sound like my classical but the tone I get now is disappointing. I'm thinking maybe better headphones. Earbuds would be even more convenient if there are any that would sound ok.

Beats?  I use my beats for everything...listening to music, youtube, even for playback in the recording studio...and they fold up compactly

https://www.beatsbydre.com/

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On December 30, 2019 at 6:22 PM, IStream said:

These guys are great, thanks! The Epiphone Casino does look like a good option if he buys new or can find a clean one on Craigslist. 

His PRS really does sound good and I think what cooled his passion for a new guitar was a good long session playing it today. This year's Christmas addition to his rig was a Headrush FRFR -112 powered monitor and it's amazing how much bang for the buck that thing delivers. He tried out a bunch of various more or less clean settings and came out with a big smile on his face and the decision to wait.

I've gotta say, I can't believe how much quality equipment and sound you can get for about $2K these days. Between his guitar, his modeler, and the FRFR monitor, he could go all the way through music school and well into his professional life without needing (as opposed to wanting) anything else. 

The Beatles had 2 Casinos, one was George Harrison 's #1 for a while. I've seen Robben Ford playing a vintage one.

There are 2 Casinos, the standard built in China, and the Elitist built by luthiers in Japan. The Elitist is the choice of a lot of pros, including Gary Clark, Jr. They've never built one lefty, which makes me sad.

i have an older lefty Elite Les Paul, an excellent guitar, better fit, finish and playability than my Gibson USA SG, which was so frustrating that I simply gave it away. If you can find an Elitist Casino at a decent price, it's a lifetime guitar.

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Thanks, I'd noted that the Elitist Casino was built in Japan but wasn't sure if that was just marketing to, well, elitists or whether the Japanese instruments truly justified their higher prices. I appreciate your real-world experience.

I'm gonna start trolling Craigslist and see what pops up...There's always next Christmas.

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Higher-end Japanese guitars are the best value and quality you can get.

My only electric for the last 34 years playing professionally is a Fernandes "The Revival" '52 Tele replica. Wear and tear has left the body, neck and strap buttons as the only original bits, minus quite a lot of the original finish.

I've played  good '52 and '56 Teles, and prefer mine. It cost me $900, refrets and replacement parts over the years probably another $1500. 

Just did a NYE gig with it. A bunch of older experienced pros hanging out backstage chatting, these guys NEVER talk about gear (unless it's just broken on stage). Guitarist comes up and wants to know "how the hell do you sound like that with a Tele?" Ten minutes of talk about fine old Japanese Sen swamp ash, the glory of Joe Barden pickups, the importance of a perfect neck pocket fit, and on and on and on...…..

 

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47 minutes ago, Happy said:

Higher-end Japanese guitars are the best value and quality you can get.

 

That's interesting, my experience is similar. My high end Japanese classical is in every way superior to my high end Spanish made Ramirez.

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Japanese culture places a very high value on craftsmanship and pride in one's work. Apprenticeships of 15 years or more are common.

The guys making top-end guitars have the same approach and work ethic as the guys who hand-make the world's finest sword blades.

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  • 2 weeks later...

NGD. I was in New England for the holidays ,one of the three major Lefty Only shops is there so I went by. He had three lefty (obviously) 2019, 60th anniversary '59 Les Paul reissues or R9s. Two of them had great tops, but didn't really speak to me. The third played like butter with that thick, liquid tone. Weight just under 8-1/2 lbs, which is nice for a Les Paul. The best Gibson I've ever played. The top was not my favorite but the tone and playability turned me into a sucker.

Interesting thing with these VOS custom shop guitars, you expect the tarnished hardware, especially the aged nickle pickup covers, and the non-glossy finish. I didn't expect the screws on the tuners to exhibit just a little rust on each guitar. 

IMG_1116.thumb.jpg.e1a00560fdcce4e4748be7fe60a326bc.jpg  

 

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On 2/11/2017 at 10:15 AM, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

Tommy is a bad ass, I have seen him twice.

 

The strat is the electric you get if you only can get one solid body and you want to play everything. I play mine mine all the time in the house through the luker tiger and a tone tubby 12 but have a les paul out in the office I can play through a fender twin with jbls when I want to reorganize my brain cells. The strat is very versatile and easy to play ergonomically, for me anyway.

A friend of mine studied under Tommy Emmanuel.  I would say he learned a thing or two.

 

Cive wrote this song for his daughter some years ago.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
6 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Like

Serious like

- DSK

Maple back and sides spruce top 

the resophonic cone is tres loud but still I had a fishman pickup installed by my local shop for gigs when I sound halfway decent ;-) 

 

working on rolls and intonation now. It may take a while to sound mediocre but another arrow in my quiver. 

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  • 2 months later...

Zen and the art of guitar playing....

Sometimes I play pretty well and often not so much. The difference I attribute to my frame of mind. I'm thinking of revisiting “The inner game of Tennis” and applying it to playing the guitar. Please share any experiences, thoughts, rituals wrt. getting your head right. Add pharmaceuticals if you want but I'm not into that.

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Are you talking about practicing, as in developing new vocabulary and skills, or playing - trying to sound good with skills and vocabulary you already have and have practiced the shit out of? There's a huge difference. I practice alone.

When playing - trying to sound good, I'll rarely attempt it after more than 1 glass of wine. Before Covid, I considered it to be unfair to the guys I was playing with. They're make an effort to make the whole thing sound good, and I owe them my best. I don't consider that other stuff a performance enhancing drug, but that's everyone's individual choice.

 

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2 hours ago, Dog said:

Zen and the art of guitar playing....

Sometimes I play pretty well and often not so much. The difference I attribute to my frame of mind. I'm thinking of revisiting “The inner game of Tennis” and applying it to playing the guitar. Please share any experiences, thoughts, rituals wrt. getting your head right. Add pharmaceuticals if you want but I'm not into that.

If I'm doing a show, I try to run thru the anticipated setlist 2-3X before I even get to the venue.  That way - I'm loose, songs are fresh, and I can respond better to ad-hoc requests, better interact with the crowd, and recover more easily when I screw up.  Inevitably, the last set will be the best.  I don't drink more than 1 before I play a show, 'cause I get sloppy.   I try to engage with each person in the audience, making eye contact, smiling, making a face, kicking a dance step their way, anything that I can think of at the moment to make 'em feel noticed and appreciated.  That goes a long way towards keeping 'em smiling thru my mistakes. 

If we're sitting around the campfire on the riverbank?  I avoid drinking so much that I might think tossing the guitar onto the fire is a good idea. 

If we're talking about practicing new stuff?  I gotta SLOW DOWN  way more than I want to, concentrate,  deconstruct. 

A lot of times sitting on the sofa after 4-5 glasses of wine, I get an idea, get up, go into the music room, turn on the recorder and noodle 'til I get what I thought I heard or get frustrated and go get another glass of wine. 

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1 hour ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Are you talking about practicing, as in developing new vocabulary and skills, or playing - trying to sound good with skills and vocabulary you already have and have practiced the shit out of? There's a huge difference. I practice alone.

When playing - trying to sound good, I'll rarely attempt it after more than 1 glass of wine. Before Covid, I considered it to be unfair to the guys I was playing with. They're make an effort to make the whole thing sound good, and I owe them my best. I don't consider that other stuff a performance enhancing drug, but that's everyone's individual choice.

 

Trying to sound good when I'm playing. Sometimes, not often, it's like I'm watching myself play. I want more of that.

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51 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

If I'm doing a show, I try to run thru the anticipated setlist 2-3X before I even get to the venue.  That way - I'm loose, songs are fresh, and I can respond better to ad-hoc requests, better interact with the crowd, and recover more easily when I screw up.  Inevitably, the last set will be the best.  I don't drink more than 1 before I play a show, 'cause I get sloppy.   I try to engage with each person in the audience, making eye contact, smiling, making a face, kicking a dance step their way, anything that I can think of at the moment to make 'em feel noticed and appreciated.  That goes a long way towards keeping 'em smiling thru my mistakes. 

If we're sitting around the campfire on the riverbank?  I avoid drinking so much that I might think tossing the guitar onto the fire is a good idea. 

If we're talking about practicing new stuff?  I gotta SLOW DOWN  way more than I want to, concentrate,  deconstruct. 

A lot of times sitting on the sofa after 4-5 glasses of wine, I get an idea, get up, go into the music room, turn on the recorder and noodle 'til I get what I thought I heard or get frustrated and go get another glass of wine. 

I'm not a performer beyond family and friends.

I appreciate the slow down, concentrate and deconstruct thing. I think you have to get your fingers educated as well as your head. In my case I think it's the mental side that's holding me back.

 

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23 minutes ago, Dog said:

I'm not a performer beyond family and friends.

I appreciate the slow down, concentrate and deconstruct thing. I think you have to get your fingers educated as well as your head. In my case I think it's the mental side that's holding me back.

 

Seeking a Zen state is good. The problem is, music is an emotional expression. You have to become good enough to be comfortable with chord forms and scales and theory to play while NOT furrowing the brow in fierce concentration on technical playing, but to just do it and go for feel.

I can't, most of the time. Which is why I also don't try to play in front of groups of people. Open mike nights at small local bar is about as far as that goes for me.

Here's my quarantine project. It's going excruciatingly slowly

1324928258_GuitarPedalBoard03mini_dsk.thumb.jpg.e0db83d58b47acabde3b01a9ca8f466d.jpg

the real thing so far

DSCN0068sm.thumb.jpg.ca4f41767d62961843877fd769f28f44.jpg

testing out the ergonomics

DSCN0069sm.thumb.jpg.9a38ba02d7b926f9327ac13ca0fcbeca.jpg

Won't be finished today but soon... real soon, I keep saying...

-DSK

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2 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Seeking a Zen state is good. The problem is, music is an emotional expression. You have to become good enough to be comfortable with chord forms and scales and theory to play while NOT furrowing the brow in fierce concentration on technical playing, but to just do it and go for feel.

I can't, most of the time. Which is why I also don't try to play in front of groups of people. Open mike nights at small local bar is about as far as that goes for me.

Here's my quarantine project. It's going excruciatingly slowly

1324928258_GuitarPedalBoard03mini_dsk.thumb.jpg.e0db83d58b47acabde3b01a9ca8f466d.jpg

the real thing so far

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testing out the ergonomics

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Won't be finished today but soon... real soon, I keep saying...

-DSK

Go you....I have enough trouble without adding that kind of complexity.

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3 minutes ago, Dog said:

Go you....I have enough trouble without adding that kind of complexity.

Nah, you got backwards. Makes it easier! Step on a pedal, let it make fancy gnarly sound, play simple stuff.

They even have little lights you don't don't even have to remember which one is on!

-DSK

 

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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Seeking a Zen state is good. The problem is, music is an emotional expression. You have to become good enough to be comfortable with chord forms and scales and theory to play while NOT furrowing the brow in fierce concentration on technical playing, but to just do it and go for feel.

I can't, most of the time. Which is why I also don't try to play in front of groups of people. Open mike nights at small local bar is about as far as that goes for me.

Here's my quarantine project. It's going excruciatingly slowly

1324928258_GuitarPedalBoard03mini_dsk.thumb.jpg.e0db83d58b47acabde3b01a9ca8f466d.jpg

the real thing so far

DSCN0068sm.thumb.jpg.ca4f41767d62961843877fd769f28f44.jpg

testing out the ergonomics

DSCN0069sm.thumb.jpg.9a38ba02d7b926f9327ac13ca0fcbeca.jpg

Won't be finished today but soon... real soon, I keep saying...

-DSK

Looks like an awesome start. If you dont mind an unsolicited suggestion? Spend the $200 and get a power supply with isolated outputs for each pedal. Daisy chained power adds AC noise that you cant filter out. 

You've got the most important pedal ever made - the Tube Screamer.

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2 hours ago, Dog said:

Go you....I have enough trouble without adding that kind of complexity.

In my office I play a good Japanese Les Paul copy from the 70's I bought at a garage sale in 1980 for $13. It has new machines and new electronics. Tuners are grovers that look just like the originals and the electronics are an upgrade total kit including pickups. The system has two pull pots that convert the guitar to single coil operation by pickup so you have 7 modes just switching around on the pickups before you mess with the tone controls. Pretty cool system. I play through a 70's Fender Twin which I rebuilt recently and converted the wiring to blackface but with a master volume. The pull switch heats the whole thing up but with JBL K120's in it the distortion is not so good. But the whole thing is clean and super loud. I almost never use effects though when I played the flute through it I used a studio quality digital delay. Hauled the thing around for years to play electric flute in garage and barn sessions. Never an issue with being heard! Got too heavy so now my portable rig is a custom fender deluxe head called a Luker Tiger and play through a Tone Tubby hempcone ceramic 12" speaker in a separate cab. Much easier to move around and is still plenty loud. It also has far better natural distortion. Only use the digital delay and a good digital reverb unit for both the flute (tube preamp for flute) and the guitar. I play primarily rhythm guitar or power chord stuff so I don't need anything else.

 

I can see where if you are playing primarily covers with very specific lead sounds that a big pedal board would be useful. Plugging my Les Paul directly into the twin and using a little reverb has to be heard to be believed in terms of dynamic response. Super lively and fat. Its addicting and whenever I stuck an effects box in the chain it lost that dymamic.

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1 hour ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Looks like an awesome start. If you dont mind an unsolicited suggestion? Spend the $200 and get a power supply with isolated outputs for each pedal. Daisy chained power adds AC noise that you cant filter out. 

You've got the most important pedal ever made - the Tube Screamer.

Thanks. It's going to have a rechargeable power supply, which has 8 independent outputs, tucked under the upper deck. I learned early about daisy chain power to pedals. Cheap and convenient but not good for the pedals and definitely a crap shoot for sound.

I actually have an original Tube Screamer from around 1980, which I bought when in the Navy. Betweem the original and the mini, there's perhaps a tiny difference in harmonics using a big amp and good cabinet; playing at 60% and up in a big venue with my Roland JC-77 I can hear a very slight difference. Nowadays I almost always play either a ZT Lunchbox (220 watts but lunchbox size) or a Vox DA-5, there's no difference. I have it almost always on, and have practiced enough that I can keep unity volume dialing it up or down for more or less tube scream. I'm also using two digital delays to stack, so that's why I want the larger number of pedals.

- DSK

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14 hours ago, Dog said:

Zen and the art of guitar playing....

Sometimes I play pretty well and often not so much. The difference I attribute to my frame of mind. I'm thinking of revisiting “The inner game of Tennis” and applying it to playing the guitar. Please share any experiences, thoughts, rituals wrt. getting your head right. Add pharmaceuticals if you want but I'm not into that.

Timothy Galloway(?) was on to something with the Inner Game of Tennis’, though he painted only part of the picture. He was revealing a way of learning technique that involved displacing the ego...that is...he very ably illustrated how the mind gets in the way when it tries to tell the body what it (theoretically) already knows what to do. The premise depends on the notion that ‘monkey see monkey do’ is central to learning technique, as opposed to the breaking down into parts and building back up notion of building technique. 

The missing part of the equation, as I see it, is that inane fucking notion that 10 000 hours is somehow a quaint surprise in the quest to build and strive towards actually owning expertise in a given field of performance.

Without a certain amount of bedrock technique built up over years and years, you could park your ego in Iceland and it wouldn’t make a fuck of a lot of difference.

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16 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Looks like an awesome start. If you dont mind an unsolicited suggestion? Spend the $200 and get a power supply with isolated outputs for each pedal. Daisy chained power adds AC noise that you cant filter out. 

You've got the most important pedal ever made - the Tube Screamer.

Caline makes isolated output power supplies for under $50 that work fine. I've got an expensive Voodoo Labs on my main board, a Caline on my smaller one, both work fine. 

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9 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Caline makes isolated output power supplies for under $50 that work fine. I've got an expensive Voodoo Labs on my main board, a Caline on my smaller one, both work fine. 

Thanks - I’ll check that out.  I’ve got a 12 port truetone Spot - big difference between that and the daisy chain.

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13 minutes ago, Al Paca said:

I play drums. But I watch a lot of   These things. This one is great. What’s a 1/2 way decent acoustic guitar to start with? Used ok ?

Definitely used. There are a bunch of good instrument maker out there; I've always been fond of Gibson but unless you want to pay extra for a guitar that the guitar nerds will say "OO-ooh!" when you pull it out, I would just go to a music store and try to play every single one they'll let you. And if none of them strike you as perfect, just wait. The right one will come along.

One thing I just learned about, it's easier for beginners to put on gut (nylon) strings, such as those for classical guitar. It's much easier on your fingertips and you'll still build up calluses but not as painfully. A neighbor/friend just decided to take up guitar and he came home with a nice flat-top acoustic guitar (he'd gone out determined to buy an electric & amp) and nylon strings, which he said the guitar-store-guy (whom I know fairly well, a good scout) could be changed back to steel strings when he felt up to it.

Couple years ago, I wanted a cheapo guitar to travel with. I'd intended to get a 2nd-hand beater but got a brand new $200 Ibanez TCY-10E "Talman" acoustic with an electric pick-up and built-in tuner (not worth a shit for concert sound, but gets you in the ballpark). Plays sweetly, stays in tune quite well, doesn't really sound great but fukkitt I got more expensive canoe paddles than that.

You do keys? I know a lot of drummers that are real musicians and play several instruments, have a keyboard they'll pull out just to shock people

- DSK

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1 hour ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:
1 hour ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Caline makes isolated output power supplies for under $50 that work fine. I've got an expensive Voodoo Labs on my main board, a Caline on my smaller one, both work fine. 

Thanks - I’ll check that out.  I’ve got a 12 port truetone Spot - big difference between that and the daisy chain.

I've gone to rechargeable power supplies. Caline makes a good one, the one I'm putting into the pedal above is Joyo. It has 8 outlets, of which 3 are 500mA, 4 are 100, and one is switchable from 18V or 12 or 9 out, 100mA. Digital pedals generally use more than 100 so this is something to look at.

There are a bunch of birds to kill with one stone, here, which is why I'm going to so much effort for a pedalboard. It needs to be small so I can carry it around easily, also many of the places I play don't have a big area to spread out "stuff" and other musicians like to clutter it with their stupid music stands & chairs & shit like that. Outlets are at a premium, and so having self-contained power is very handy. It also needs to be strong enough to stand on. I'm sick of having stuff break! It needs to be both isolated and ground-able, so there is copper foil interwoven with the fiberglass over the ply (I know, I know, I just said it needed to be light weight).

I think one of the biggest improvements over a "real" pedalboard will be the toe rail across, in front of the pedals. I can rest my foot ON it, toes just ready to hit the button, and not have to either balance on one foot or stomp the stomper at the wrong instant.

One of the keyboard players I practice with actually suggested this configuration, to make it more compact. Looks like it's going to work!

- DSK

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18 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

In my office I play a good Japanese Les Paul copy from the 70's I bought at a garage sale in 1980 for $13. It has new machines and new electronics. Tuners are grovers that look just like the originals and the electronics are an upgrade total kit including pickups. The system has two pull pots that convert the guitar to single coil operation by pickup so you have 7 modes just switching around on the pickups before you mess with the tone controls. Pretty cool system. I play through a 70's Fender Twin which I rebuilt recently and converted the wiring to blackface but with a master volume. The pull switch heats the whole thing up but with JBL K120's in it the distortion is not so good. But the whole thing is clean and super loud. I almost never use effects though when I played the flute through it I used a studio quality digital delay. Hauled the thing around for years to play electric flute in garage and barn sessions. Never an issue with being heard! Got too heavy so now my portable rig is a custom fender deluxe head called a Luker Tiger and play through a Tone Tubby hempcone ceramic 12" speaker in a separate cab. Much easier to move around and is still plenty loud. It also has far better natural distortion. Only use the digital delay and a good digital reverb unit for both the flute (tube preamp for flute) and the guitar. I play primarily rhythm guitar or power chord stuff so I don't need anything else.

 

I can see where if you are playing primarily covers with very specific lead sounds that a big pedal board would be useful. Plugging my Les Paul directly into the twin and using a little reverb has to be heard to be believed in terms of dynamic response. Super lively and fat. Its addicting and whenever I stuck an effects box in the chain it lost that dymamic.

I've heard of hemp fiber cones but never heard one played.

Sounds like an excellent rig. Dynamics are really important. The ZT Lunchbox is a great little amp, dual-class power stage and very fancy speaker (but small) in it. There's no port I can see.

I would like to have 9 or 10 pedals, I am REALLY fussy and have gone thru over a hundred to find the 15 o 16 that I keep and use. The ones I'm trying to pick for this p-board: fuzz, tremolo, wah, OD/tube screamer, octaver, chorus, delay, delay, reverb, looper. This gives a wide variety of sounds for different styles, I don't copy anybody's sound but it's nice to dial up a wah-octave-slapback for funk, tremolo-reverb for ballads, and of course I like to put fuzz in a lot of tunes too. My wife is trying to convince me that less fuzz is better.

- DSK

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52 minutes ago, Al Paca said:

I play drums. But I watch a lot of   These things. This one is great. What’s a 1/2 way decent acoustic guitar to start with? Used ok ?

I'm gonna mostly agree with Steam Flyer. It's about playability, so the used vs new question isn't nearly as important as where/how you buy. Go to a proper music store (NOT Guitar Center) that sets up their instruments or at least gives them minimum attention. They will likely have both new and used. The number one reason people stop playing is because their instrument doesn't play well -  they think it's their fault and they get frustrated. A good store can help you even if you've never touched a guitar before. I think it's worth picking them up and "playing" even if you have no idea what you are doing. Don't be embarrassed. 

A short-scale length and a small body can go a long way to playability. As an example of this and the above, I picked up a Taylor GS-Mini from Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto last year. The one I picked (I was in there like 4 hours) came fresh off the bench and was absolutely perfectly set up. If I was a new player that's exactly what I'd want. This is one of the friendliest & easiest playing guitars I've ever picked up, and the sound is stunning. A guitar that eggs you on and makes you want to play is priceless.  

Another important factor is that the quality of imported instruments has gotten so much better in the last few years and you can pick up a really nice guitar even in the $200s. Even cheaper on sale, but just remember the lower you go the more things like fret work get neglected. 

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29 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I've heard of hemp fiber cones but never heard one played.

Sounds like an excellent rig. Dynamics are really important. The ZT Lunchbox is a great little amp, dual-class power stage and very fancy speaker (but small) in it. There's no port I can see.

I would like to have 9 or 10 pedals, I am REALLY fussy and have gone thru over a hundred to find the 15 o 16 that I keep and use. The ones I'm trying to pick for this p-board: fuzz, tremolo, wah, OD/tube screamer, octaver, chorus, delay, delay, reverb, looper. This gives a wide variety of sounds for different styles, I don't copy anybody's sound but it's nice to dial up a wah-octave-slapback for funk, tremolo-reverb for ballads, and of course I like to put fuzz in a lot of tunes too. My wife is trying to convince me that less fuzz is better.

- DSK

My friend who plays lead through the same rig I do ended up with a Carl Martin Plexitone 5 years ago or so and never looked back. He just uses that, the wah and some sort of small but super versatile amp top effects box for the combo of delay/chorus/reverb. Don't know what it is off hand. Seeing David Gilmore use the wammy pedal is cool. He certainly knows how to use effects :)

I'm just more of an acoustic guitar guy who gets to play around with amps so as far as effects go I can't get our of my own way.

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2 hours ago, Al Paca said:

I play drums. But I watch a lot of   These things. This one is great. What’s a 1/2 way decent acoustic guitar to start with? Used ok ?

Al Paca,

A couple hundred bucks and something that stays in tune should do. Even new, you can get a half decent guitar for not a lot of money. Go to the store and try out a bunch and do your best to find a down to earth sales guy/girl(sometimes tricky in a music store). Or grab a used beater guitar at a pawn shop for a hundred bucks.(one that at least looks/feels like its got a shot at staying in tune and sounds ok, you don't need to be picky really). Best acoustic I ever owned was a Washburn but it got ripped off.  Best I've ever played was a '58 Gibson and maybe a Martin from around the same year but those were prob worth 5k ish. Apart from a couple electrics that my bandmates leave lying around as 'house guitars', my main guitar is an Epiphone replica of the Paul McCartney bass. It was given to me when I was jamming with a buddy in Omaha who insisted that I take it with me...and eventually couldn't refuse.

2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

You do keys? I know a lot of drummers that are real musicians and play several instruments, have a keyboard they'll pull out just to shock people

- DSK

Steam Flyer,

I'm new to this thread( I think...its a bit of a blur)...so some background. I grew up playing classical piano and switched to blues and jazz at age 12. Had my first live gigs at 15 and went on to play many and do some session stuff in my early 20s. After that a combo of live bands playing either keys or bass and later on, a lot of electronic composing(combo of loops, live session etc.).  I can mess around with the guitar but there never seems to be a shortage of better than me guitar players floating around. These days, I mainly play drums in a power trio rock'n'blues band with some latin flavour here and there. If I'm playing anything at all, its drums.

I got into electric keyboards just as the MIDI (Musically Integrated Digital Interface) revolution was getting started. I was one of the first few guys to get customized the old KORG CX-3 drawbar organ(one rack Hammond replica) with MIDI outs at the factory in Montreal. Nowadays that once custom version is sold widely in most music stores.

I would combine the CX-3 with an outboard digital effects unit made by EMU (Emulator) called Vintage Keys to very good effect. Various other keyboards came into play that are still lying around, most notably the Yamaha S-90 being the workhorse. But these days I really only play keys here and there, if the song needs it etc. Most of the keys I've played in the last few years were to sit in with my Dad's band (he's in his late 80's and at this point, and at least up until two years ago, not able to gig anymore), which played old jazz standards and the like and they would go play at shelters and old age homes to cheer people up...so I'd sit in with those guys once in a while. I had more fun and gratification doing that than playing a small club/bar etc.

So the interest in guitar sounds, effects, amps etc. is just more of a whole band thing or studio thing. I can sit there and listen to my guitarist (s) (two guitars no bass in the trio) go on and on about OCD this and tube screamer that and never really get bored. I've always been keen to tweak the most I can out of an amp that's lying around, play a few riffs to get the sound I want, and then hand the guitar off to the player. Most don't mind, and I know when to not go with in a ten foot pole of other players set ups(i've got a few amps  that I can mess with).

But enough about all that. As this is Guitar Anarchy, I present you guys someone who basically defines the term for me, Tom Morello.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

One thing I just learned about, it's easier for beginners to put on gut (nylon) strings, such as those for classical guitar. It's much easier on your fingertips and you'll still build up calluses but not as painfully.

I'm extremely craptacular on guitar and sample size one. So, chances are I'm wrong on this. That said, as an adult learner with reasonably tough hands I didn't find steel (or bronze [allegedly] strings) hurtful enough to limit my practice time. I tend not to wear sailing gloves either. Maybe it's just me.

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1 hour ago, fufkin said:

You do keys? I know a lot of drummers that are real musicians and play several instruments, have a keyboard they'll pull out just to shock people

 

Played a little glockenspiel in high school band. I read music (then) too. 

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1 hour ago, Al Paca said:

Played a little glockenspiel in high school band. I read music (then) too. 

That was not my quoted question, it was Steam Flyer's. But hey that's pretty cool to be able to play a vibraphone type instrument. One of my favourite albums a long time ago was of a Trinidadian steel drum orchestra doing Gershwin. Wish I could find it.

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30 minutes ago, Meat Wad said:

Any of you guys or gals try any of the online courses?
I've seen the Ultimate Guitar or Guitar Mastery??

Just curious.

Truefire. Trufire. 

For blues, courses by Robben Ford, Larry Carlton,  Kirk Fletcher, Josh Smith. slide courses by Sonny Landreth.  Many of the very best guitarists of all genres have courses. Stuff for anyone.

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18 hours ago, fufkin said:

 

Fuf, I showed my wife that years ago. She still loves the part where he just casually kisses his 1958 Les Paul. 

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1 hour ago, Meat Wad said:

Any of you guys or gals try any of the online courses?

Really depends on genre, ability, and goals. Key factors in your ability to get better or even good are to believe in yourself and be willing to work. I've played for 40 years but never really focused in part because I (being an idiot) thought I'd never get good... you need natural talent they say. Hogwash. 

I've had a few pivotal "level ups" but one of the most significant was Tony Polecastro's "Tony's Acoustic Challenge". His basic approach is to break things down into manageable chunks and to keep you practicing. Oh believe me, I was super skeptical. I'm not someone who needs to be baby sat. But that kind of consistent practicing with intent in a positive environment made a huge foundational difference in my playing. I'd struggled with books and online lessons for years but TAC gave me the basic skills (some of which I thought I had already.. wtf?) to make the best use of books and other online lessons. I was hardly a beginner but I was missing so much of that foundation. Now for the harder stuff I rely on Ryan Kimm and sometimes Banjo Ben Clark (wife uses him for mandolin, but he does banjo, guitar, and mando). I also use books by Fundamental Changes to build more of that foundation - the complete blues compilation is excellent. 

Ultimate Guitar is a scam, btw Just republishing tabs. Those are not lessons. 

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That Mark Knopfler video is great, thanks. There is some very good Tommy Emmanuel stuff on YouTube also.

I am huge fan of "That Pedal Show" although rarely have the time to watch a whole episode. They're not really so much teaching, officially at least, just fiddling around with really cool toys, but there is a lot to be learned especially when they show how different gear responds to differing techniques, and how you can dial up bad sound out of anything. I like the way Dan (who seems very conversant with electronic signal processing and physics) talks about how different gimmicks accomplish the sound they make.

But most of all, Samurai Guitarist.

 

He does have on-line lessons which I have not done, but I can't imagine they're not at least as good as his videos. This guy is awesome at everything. Shorter videos for just the right amount of time I have available. And he's funny. He's the guitarist version of "An Engineer's Guide To Cats" only with a lot more & better follow-up.

- DSK

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For decent,playable inexpensive acoustics?   I like Ibanez and Yamaha.  I’ve got a Yamaha I bought new for $200 - it has survived numerous river trips, being left out overnight, hot boat decks, everything you’re NOT supposed to do.  It isn’t as nice as my Martin or my artist series Ibanez, but it still plays fine - low action, straight neck, stays in tune and for a ply guitar has excellent tone and sustain.  I see decent used acoustics like that offered for between $100 - 200. 
 

the most important things are NOT brand and price, it’s getting the guitar properly set up, and how the guitar feels to YOU.  The $60-75 you spend for a good setup is money very well spent, and can make the difference between a guitar that fights you, and one that invites you to play more.  

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On 4/12/2020 at 9:20 AM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

The $60-75 you spend for a good setup is money very well spent, and can make the difference between a guitar that fights you, and one that invites you to play more.

This is incredibly true! Since I live in the boonies and own way too many guitars, I invested in some basic kit - mainly to do fretwork. Not only has this saved me tonnes of money but resurrected old guitars and made crappy ones very decent. I picked up a D'angelico "Premier Gramercy" grand auditorium for around $250 online that went from "holy shit send it back" to one of my main rides. The difference in sound and sustain swapping out the saddle was f'in amazing. 

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On 4/13/2020 at 3:10 PM, DustyDreamer said:
On 4/12/2020 at 12:20 PM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

The $60-75 you spend for a good setup is money very well spent, and can make the difference between a guitar that fights you, and one that invites you to play more.

This is incredibly true! Since I live in the boonies and own way too many guitars, I invested in some basic kit - mainly to do fretwork. Not only has this saved me tonnes of money but resurrected old guitars and made crappy ones very decent. I picked up a D'angelico "Premier Gramercy" grand auditorium for around $250 online that went from "holy shit send it back" to one of my main rides. The difference in sound and sustain swapping out the saddle was f'in amazing. 

I'm very lucky to have had a series of good guitars... better than I deserve as a player; although since settling down I have tried to take better care of them than I used to.

DD you could probably have saved this baby

post-30927-0-72250700-1430831255_thumb.jpg

which was an Alvarez copy of the Gibson J-200. My father bought it for me, when I was home on leave, and I dragged it around for years. It was a really good-playing, good-sounding guitar. Eventually the saddle (I did not know what it was, at the time) started coming unglued and it lost the nice bass & resonance but it still had nice action and tuned up nicely. I ended up giving to a Russian mechanic in upstate New York who did some very  needed work for me; since then I keep fantasizing about buying a real J-200.

Meanwhile back at the quarantine project.

DSCN0308sm.jpg.16fff3fa5ec14818eb92e46cf439cb16.jpg

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not 100% sure of the pedal choice, or order, although I've been playing with this combination of a dozen or so mini-pedals on my desk for a couple of months. I couldn't decide between the octaver (TC Electronix Mini Sub'n Up, great pedal) and the chorus (Joyo JF-316) so I put them both in. I have a Mooer tremolo, which I use a lot, and the lit-up blue pedal on the upper deck is a Valeton Moon digital delay with a dozen or so modes including a reverse. It's nothing like my beloved legacy Boss DD-5 but good enough to go with. I want a second mini digital delay for stacking delays, but this feeds into the black Joyo JF-317 reverb on the lower deck.

The final pedal, the little red one on the lower left, is a looper. THis is a fairly new pedal to me, and one I don't have as much playing time on. It's awesome though, it's basically a digital recorder you can click on/off with very precise timing. Play a chord progression, stomp the button on the upbeat of 1, play it through, then stomp it again on the upbeat of 1 for the next time thru.... it goes and goes, and never muffs a chord (unless you did) and never loses count.

Yes it's playing with yourself! So?

You can see that there's no power chord... rechargable power supply in the engine room, 8 isolated supply outs although it needs more amps... these digital pedal eat up power. But this thing can get played for at least 2 hours, because I've done that. I gotta get in enough playing time to be able to pull up the sounds I want without a lot of diddling around.

I was going to put a finish of paint and varnish on it, but I think I'm just going to leave it raw. I'm going to stomp on it, who gives a fuck what it looks like?

- DSK

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16 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I'm very lucky to have had a series of good guitars... better than I deserve as a player;

I like to say the better one gets the less guitar you need. And the fewer - you can get more tone out of each guitar rather than "needing"  a bunch of different instruments to cover all those bases. So of course I buy a couple of guitars a year :) Would love a Gibson or two, (S)J-200 or Hummingbird or L-00. Alas, really out of my price range. 

Quote

Eventually the saddle (I did not know what it was, at the time) started coming unglued

A relatively easy fix! And Japanese-made Alvarez's (which I assume yours was) are might sweet and much sought after now. 

My own solution to the pedal situation was to admit defeat and get a Boss Katana, which has roughly a million pedals built in. I still have a few others of course, and use a looper a lot. Best practice aid ever. 

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11 minutes ago, DustyDreamer said:

I like to say the better one gets the less guitar you need. And the fewer - you can get more tone out of each guitar rather than "needing"  a bunch of different instruments to cover all those bases. So of course I buy a couple of guitars a year :) Would love a Gibson or two, (S)J-200 or Hummingbird or L-00. Alas, really out of my price range. 

A relatively easy fix! And Japanese-made Alvarez's (which I assume yours was) are might sweet and much sought after now. 

My own solution to the pedal situation was to admit defeat and get a Boss Katana, which has roughly a million pedals built in. I still have a few others of course, and use a looper a lot. Best practice aid ever. 

Well, it's certainly true about tone but no amount of skill will give you a country-ish sine wave tremolo just slightly slower than the beat, or a fast square-wave tremolo for pop-metal-ish sound. Or the difference between metalic distortion and 60s-funk fuzz. Or maybe if you're really REALLY good!

The Katana is an awesome amp

- DSK

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59 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, it's certainly true about tone but no amount of skill will give you a country-ish sine wave tremolo just slightly slower than the beat, or a fast square-wave tremolo for pop-metal-ish sound. Or the difference between metalic distortion and 60s-funk fuzz. Or maybe if you're really REALLY good!

The Katana is an awesome amp

- DSK

The katana is spectacular for the price.  Just got the new MK 2 one or whatever it's called and the sound is great for a cheap solid state amp.

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4 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, it's certainly true about tone but no amount of skill will give you a country-ish sine wave tremolo just slightly slower than the beat, or a fast square-wave tremolo for pop-metal-ish sound.

Absolutely. I suppose I was speaking reflexively as primarily acoustic player. I'm having boatloads of fun with the Katana (a 100w Mk II) and it's opening a whole new world for me. It really is an amazing amp - I plan to build out an arduino-based foot pedal for it and have that hooked into OnSong on an iPad via bluetooth so I can change the amp presets for each song. In my copious free time...

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21 minutes ago, DustyDreamer said:

Absolutely. I suppose I was speaking reflexively as primarily acoustic player. I'm having boatloads of fun with the Katana (a 100w Mk II) and it's opening a whole new world for me. It really is an amazing amp - I plan to build out an arduino-based foot pedal for it and have that hooked into OnSong on an iPad via bluetooth so I can change the amp presets for each song. In my copious free time...

I was very old-school until about 4 or 5 years ago. Then I wanted a better small-ish amp to tote around, and of course both good sound and loud enough to drown out complaints about my crappy playing was necessary. The digital sound processing has benefitted both from generations of engineers tweaking and faster, greater-bandwidth processors.

But I've also played with a couple of those all-in-one pedal boards. My main objection is that apparently the guys who build them either don't like fuzz or they have no concept of the difference between fuzz and distortion. They tend to muddy the flanger/phaser/chorus effects quite a bit too IMHO. A row of pedals is both easier to handle and sounds better, until you get up to the big fancy expensive ones.

The built-in sound effects for the Katana seem great, the ones I've tried. A pedal controller to dial them in, and switch between songs, would be awesome. Could you program it to recognize chord progressions, and pull up the sound you want for a certain song just by playing it?

- DSK

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Could you program it to recognize chord progressions, and pull up the sound you want for a certain song just by playing it?

I suppose you could but you'd likely need something more like a Raspberry Pi to do the audio processing. There are pedals that will do backing bass and percussion that are like that. But I'm hoping I can use a set list in OnSong to trigger an amp preset change when I go to a song. So tap the "next song" button on the foot switch and OnSong pulls up the next song in the set (OnSong can be controlled with foot pedals that use midi over bluetooth) and tells the amp to go to a pre-assigned amp preset. But this is just a fun idea - I'd be happy just to have more extensive control over the amp than the Boss footswitch gives you. An example: https://github.com/SteveObert/KatanaUSB_Midi_controller 

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If you had sufficient programming skills, serious computer power and a massive bank of samples, you could eliminate the guitar altogether. Avoid all that tedious practice and sore fingers, learning to lock in with other players, and that whole wood-string-magnet-mechanical old school stuff. Make guitar noises without having to play the damn thing.

 

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5 hours ago, Happy said:

If you had sufficient programming skills, serious computer power and a massive bank of samples, you could eliminate the guitar altogether. Avoid all that tedious practice and sore fingers, learning to lock in with other players, and that whole wood-string-magnet-mechanical old school stuff. Make guitar noises without having to play the damn thing.

 

Look up the Kemper profiling pre - amp. It's been done, and damn well done too. 

Well, ya still need someone with fingers on the guitar.

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1 hour ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 

Well, ya still need someone with fingers on the guitar.

It's only a matter of time before they develop a program that replaces the fingers and the actual guitar............

I do a fair bit of recording for  a local guy who uses Logic Pro. The amp models vary from crappy to very good. I like a really simple model like a blackface or tweed Fender Champ or Deluxe, but with T-M-B tone controls and separate pre-amp gain, through a simulated 4x12. Depending on the music, sometimes I'll also run a fatter dirtier Dumble or Marshall model, and blend the two tracks.

For quieter tracks where I want an intimate close-up clean tone, I sometimes run a  big condensor mic picking up the acoustic sound of my Telecaster, and blend some of that in. (Obviously you need a quiet room, no jewellery, shoes off, don't tap your feet or sneeze!)

I would never use any of this type of stuff live, it's gtr> compressor ($80 Mooer Yellow Comp, very good)>tubescreamer>Boss Reverb> Boss Delay> old Roland Cube 60 or '84 Mesa Boogie SOB for loud rooms.

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Happy, I think I'd enjoy an evening of libations and licks - my focus is live performances and reducing the amount of gear I have to jump out if a place at 02:00 to make that happen. 

I suspect you're close to a former bandmate and Berklee student in sound design/production.  

Good all around, and the appreciation of objective might make for some good stuff to go down. 

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Thanks from over here too.

That Kemper looks like an astronaut's guitar amp! I almost bought a Quilter MicroPro last fall after playing with one on a couple different occasions, it's amazing. Next time I go to the Big Citytm, I'll bring along two of my own guitars to test one with and see if they play well together. But it's pretty complicated.

So far I have not quite been able to figure out compression, I've gone thru a couple of ones that are reported to be good, but not the Mooer Yellow... right now I have a TC Elex Hypergravity but I don't love it enough to put it on the working pedalboard.

- DSK

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Quarantine escape module.  Ain't nobody in this house wants to hear me do what I need to do and headphones just don't cut it!  Computer backup battery for the amp works a charm.  

IMG_6830.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Upthread there was some talk about drummers and multi-instrumentalists...so I figured I'd throw this 'former' drummer who now mainly plays guitar on the thread. I stumbled upon his newly formed band almost a couple of decades ago, when he was opening for Mike Watt. Some band called the Foo Fighters and apparently he was playing guitar. Turns out that the 'live' drummer couldn't cut it in the studio on their first album so Dave Grohl had to basically play most of the drum parts (in addition to guitar, vocals and writing), until he found his still current drummer.

Enjoy a great live studio take from many years later.

 

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