A Vacation — and a CONTEST!

I was just in Europe, but I’m heading right back — this time on vacation. We’re going to spend a few days knocking around some fave cities, then embark on a tour of Neolithic cave painting sites in France and Spain.

Our Cro-Magnon ancestors had to contend with such hardships as poor stage lighting, [...]

Double Double MIDI Trouble

I just recorded a solo version of one of my fave film themes: Jerry Goldsmith’s main title to the 1967 spy spoof In Like Flint. I’ve adored the melody since childhood, and I blame it for instilling the love of chromaticism that made possible my extraordinarily uncommercial career.

I’d previously posted another version [...]

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 [...]

Birdmaster: A New Guitar Experiment

Oh, man — I’m flipping out over a new guitar I’ve assembled from Warmoth parts. It was an opportunity to try some new experiments — and amazingly, some of them may have worked!

I had several unrelated goals:

a better instrument to use with my digital rig, with the best possible MIDI tracking and [...]

Odds & Ends & Pixies

Oh man — the gods have been generous this week.

I just received from Warmoth all the parts for my next DIY guitar. I loved testing eight sets of P-90 pickups for Premier Guitar, but I don’t own any P-90-eqipped guitars.I will soon, though!

This one will be a bit of a platypus — [...]

Logidy EPSi Review:
The First Customizable Convolution Reverb Pedal

One of the coolest gizmos from last weeks NAMM show is already in my grubby little hands: It’s the Logidy EPSi, the first customizable convolution reverb pedal. I ordered it the instant I heard about it, and it arrived right before I left for Anaheim.

Convolution (or impulse response) reverbs can mimic acoustic spaces and [...]

A Very Quiet Guitar

After last week’s loudness experiments, and with the sonic carnage of NAMM just days away, I figured it was a good opportunity to dial down the decibels and share an interesting guitar/string combination I’ve been enjoying for a few months.

Last spring I wrote about several oddball acoustic strings I was trying out. [...]

Attenuation Nation:
Loud Sounds at Low Volume?

skrinking-ray

I just tried an interesting tone comparison, one I’ve never seen attempted. It concerns the search for loud amp sounds at low volumes.

Have any of you ever experimented with speaker attenuators — the passive load boxes that reside between your amp output and speaker input, which let you crank the amp while maintaining [...]

Jimmy Page at 13

BBC dumbaas: "What are you going to do when you leave school? Take up skiffle?"

Aha! Now we know why no one has developed a cancer cure! It’s because young James Page took that skiffle thing a little too seriously. Yep — it’s Jimmy Page at 13 in 1957. (He turned 70 this week.) Imagine how different the world would be had he followed his stated goal of becoming a [...]

Bigsby + Vibramate + Les Paul

It’s a holiday miracle! The 30-minute Bigsby tremolo installation.

Sometimes it pays to write for a guitar magazine!

My old pal and Premier Guitar colleague Andy Ellis hipped me to the Vibramate, an adapter that allows you to install a Bigsby tremolo on many types of guitars with no drilling or other permanent modifications [...]