Taylor 150e: An Affordable 12-String Acoustic

Taylor's 150e, an affordable 12-string.

I needed a 12-string acoustic in a hurry for a session, so I picked up a new Taylor 150e for under $700. It wasn’t a review model or anything — I just ordered one online, sight unseen and sound unheard.

This model has been generating much buzz as an affordable yet good-sounding 12-string. It’s […]

Strange, Strange Strings

No longer ridiculously expensive. Now they’re just very expensive.

I spent last week covering the Musikmesse musical instrument trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, for Premier Guitar. I had a blast, and Chris Kies and I posted details and pics of more than 70 new products. (Here’s the short list of our personal faves.) Kies […]

A Lo-Fi Acoustic Guitar Pickup

Part acoustic, part electric—but 100% bitchin’.

This post is inspired by in interview I just did with Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson, a cool dude and a deep player. I’m digging the band’s new album, World Boogie is Coming. (And for better or worse, that praise comes from someone who hates almost all modern […]

Tonefiend Book Week 2013
Wednesday: Repair and DIY

Monday: Theory and Technique Tuesday: Gear Wednesday: Repairs and DIY Thursday: Biography Friday: Fiction

Tonefiend Book Week is simple: I discuss a few titles I’ve found particularly enlightening, useful, or entertaining, and then you jump in and do the same. I’ve organized the days of this week by subject matter. Today’s topics are repair and DIY.

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Tonefiend Book Week is Coming!

Next week at tonefiend we’ll be talking about our favorite guitar/music books. I’ll write about some of the titles I find especially useful, inspiring, or entertaining, and I hope you’ll chime in with some of your recommended reading.

Since there’s so much potential material here, I suggest we focus on a different book category […]

Acoustic Strings Search: Update

Holy crap! Now THAT’S a guitar string!

Man, it pays to curate a blog frequented by smart people!

I wrote last week about my experiment with silk-and-steel strings.

It’s the latest chapter in my ongoing search for the right acoustic strings. Most available options simply sound far too harsh and bright to my […]

Silk and Steel Strings Revisited

Silk and steel — bad-ass, or strictly for wusses?.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve tried silk and steel strings.

I’ve always thought of them as a transitional set for students migrating from nylon to steel strings. At least that’s how my mom used to explain them to me back when […]

The View from Here

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed a recurring pattern: I attend some interesting event and promise to report on it, only to get subverted by work, crowds, jabbering with old acquaintances, and jetlag. True to form, I’ve spend the first two days either demoing TriplePlay, or staggering […]

An Alternate-Tuning Capo

UPDATE, 03.07.13: I should have mentioned a point that several readers noted in comments: The capo only alters the tuning of open strings. Which means that while you can play many harmonies normally available only in dropped tunings, any notes above the capo appear at their usual frets. For example, all barre chords are […]

NAMM I Am

It's that time again, folks.

It’s that time again, folks.

“It’s the most won-der-ful time of the year…”

Oh wait — that was last month. Now it’s January. NAMM time!

I’ll be there for the duration, partly to hang out with my Pure Guitar pals, and partly to meet with Fishman about the upcoming TriplePlay release. But mostly to […]