Museum of Lost Effects:
Maestro Rhythm ’N Sound for Guitar

Well, I’m not sure it’s fair to call it a “museum” when there’s only one exhibit so far. But it’s a really, really good one…

I bought this Maestro Rhythm ’N Sound for Guitar for a pittance back in the ’90s. It’s a primitive multi-effect unit from 1968, with a cool octave-down bass tone, auto-wah, […]

Guitar Lessons, Great and Otherwise

This clip from the short-lived British sketch-com Snuff Box made me think about great guitar teachers — and not-so-great ones.

I was lucky — I had some truly memorable teachers, starting with my mom, who taught me her coffeehouse folk. When she decided I needed a more advanced instructor, she recruited Larry, a friend’s […]

My Sad Little Amp

My amp has a sad.

Thank heaven I became a guitar geek shortly before my 12th birthday. If I hadn’t, I probably would have requested a minibike for my bar mitzvah present a year later, instead of my first electric guitar. And today I’d be an over-the-hill biker instead of an over-the-hill guitarist.

My […]

Synth Guitar:
Did They Finally Get It Right?

Anyone here ever owned a synth guitar? Not a Keytar, but a guitar fitted with a hexaphonic pickup that transmits MIDI data to external devices? And if so, do you readily admit it?

The synth guitar has had one of the most checkered histories outside of, well, checkers. Since the ’70s, many brilliant minds […]

Tempo-Synched Effects: Cool or Crap?

Does music groove more when all the effects are in sync?

What’s better: synchronizing your modulation and delay effects strictly to tempo? Or “freewheeling” it, and letting the effects wobble and drift a bit?

I eagerly embraced tap-tempo stompboxes when they appeared — how liberating to re-clock your effects without stooping over and fumbling […]

Do You Ever Give It a Rest?

I got out of the studio for a few days…WAY out. Welcome to Metropolis, Nevada, population zero.

Do you ever find it beneficial to put down the damn guitar and get out of the house?

Usually, my answer is “no” — I like hanging out in the studio, and am immensely grateful that I […]

Name that Guitar Cliché!

Are drummers smarter than guitar players?

I’m not a huge fan of drummer jokes. I know plenty of smart drummers, and it seems to me that we should accord them every bit as much respect as if they played an actual musical instrument.

Still, I bridle at the notion that they are more verbally […]

Octave Fuzz Overdose!
Seven Classic Circuits

These funky homemade pedals represent all the leading octave-fuzz circuits.

I had no idea I had so many octave fuzz pedals! I had no idea they sounded so different! And after spending way too much time auditioning and recording them, I have no idea when I’m ever going to be able to stand listening […]