Afrobeat Forever

Orlando Julius Super Afro Soul

The first good band I ever played in was led by Nigerian singer/saxophonist Orlando Julius Ekemode. I was an obsessive African pop fan, astonished to find myself playing afrobeat, highlife, and juju with a bunch of West African expats in Oakland, California. The crew included the great African music scholar C.K. Ladzekpo and Kwasi “Rocky” Dzidornu, [...]

The Pagey Project, Phase One!

C'mon kids — you're never too young to mod your guitars!

Hey kids! You’re never too young to mod your guitars! Now get off my lawn.

As promised, here are a demo video and tech notes for the first phase of the Pagey Project, which recreates Jimmy Page’s original Les Paul wiring scheme. (The upcoming Phase Two will expand on the idea with even more [...]

The Pagey Project: Prelude

You too can double the sounds available from your axe!

Double the sounds available from your axe!

Man, preparing the Pagey project has been a real eye-opener! Expect some surprising results! (Hint: There’s much of interest, even for players who have zero desire to sound like Page.)

I’ll be posting the first video and tech walk-through after the weekend, but in the meantime, I [...]

This Charming Riff

Weird — back when I wrote this GP cover story, I never even noticed the Hello Kitty guitar!

Weird — back when I wrote this GP cover story, I never even noticed the Hello Kitty guitar!

Maybe it’s because of the crescendo of chatter about a Smiths reunion, but I’ve had Johnny Marr on the brain lately. (Full disclosure: I am a total, drooling fan.) I keep coming back to how deceptively [...]

The Ultimate Mongrel Strat? (with Obsessive/Compulsive Tone Control!)

Not for everybody: The sickest mongrel strat yet.

Not for everybody: The sickest mongrel strat yet.

Okay, I lied.

In the previous installment of our ongoing mongrel strat series, I experimented with a version of Gibson’s oddball Vari-Tone circuit. I said it was too fussy and complex, and that I wanted to experiment with a simplified version.

So naturally, I built a [...]

Nut Case

Better tools than I deserve: The Stew-Mac Essential Nut Making Tool Kit

Better tools than I deserve: The Stew-Mac Essential Nut Making Tool Kit

Not something I’d recommend to everyone, but…

…as part of an ongoing series on mongrel/hybrid Strats, I’ve built a new Strat from parts to house all the cool little tricks and quirks I stumbled upon during the series. (Wait till you hear [...]

Join the Pagey Project — If You Dare!

True fact: While Jimmy Page is most often pictures with a Les Paul, he recorded many of Led Zeppelin's greatest tracks with a Fender model. [Artist's Conception.]

True fact: While Jimmy Page is usually pictured with a Les Paul, he recorded many of Led Zeppelin's greatest tracks with Fender guitars. (Artist's conception.)

All aboard, mateys! Join our ship of fools as we sail the fiercest seas of guitar electronics: Yes, the legendary Jimmy Page wiring scheme. There will be NO QUARTER [...]

The Workbench & Rehearsal Room iPad:
My Top 10 Apps

iPad: Your pathway to a more productive and better organized workspace!

iPad: Your pathway to a more productive and better organized workspace!

It’s not as if Apple needs more free publicity, but IMHO, the iPad is the greatest workbench and rehearsal room innovation since the Mesopotamians perfected beer.*

Seriously — I find myself reaching for the thing as often as I reach for the soldering iron. [...]

The World Just Got a Lot Quieter

jm_in_memoriam

Sad news: Jim Marshall of Marshall Amplification has passed away at age 88. More info here.

He was a nice guy. I once ran into him, of all places, in a elevator in Tokyo.

Credit Where It’s Due — Please!

No credit

Move along — there's nothing to see here.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t publicize “causes” on this site, but this one has special relevance for musicians and music fans.

My pal Count, a producer/mixer who’s done work for Radiohead, DJ Shadow, New Order, the Stones, No Doubt, and many other artists, is launching an online campaign [...]