What’s Your Favorite Note?

duke_dollars

No, I don’t mean like, “What’s better: B-flat or F-sharp?” Rather, is there a single note from a great recording or performance that haunts your dreams?

Here’s what go me on the topic: One of my Premier Guitar colleagues, Gary Ciocci, recently turned me on to El Twanguero (aka Diego Garcia), a brilliant Spanish-born, Argentina-based […]

Ultimate Lipstick-Tube Guitar (with experimental tone control & onboard overdrive)

Screenshot 2015-04-05 12.43.36

Okay, it’s not the ultimate lipstick-tube guitar for everybody, but it probably is for me. It’s my third lipstick-tube pickup experiment — and definitely my favorite.

You may have heard some of these parts before: I used the neck for all my Mongrel Strat projects, and the Strat-sized Seymour Duncan pickups appeared in my previous […]

A Cool Wiring Diagram Worksheet

Check it out! Reader Mike Taylor tried to share this cool wiring diagram worksheet in the forum, but sadly, my meager WordPress forum plug-in doesn’t support uploads. It’s so handy and nicely done that I present it here. (Right-click to download.)

It’s an MS Word file, with the graphic elements for pickup wiring […]

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 — […]

Happy Humbucker-Sized P-90s!

Just in time for the single-coil holiday season: my comparison review of 16 humbucker-sized P-90 pickups is live at Premier Guitar. This heartwarming holiday fun-fest has it all: Mouth-watering adjectives. Freshly baked audio clips. Irate manufacturers. Don’t miss it!

This was a fun, if challenging project. Comparison pickup reviews are such cans […]

Blood on the Workbench

Small puncture, big pain.

I was trying to decide which self-indulgent experiment fascinating project to demo this week when my hand slipped, driving a sharp soldering iron tip into the meat of my fretting-hand index finger. It didn’t hurt all that much—until I tried to play. Ye-OWCH! (No, of course I wasn’t using the […]

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 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 […]

Grüße aus Musikmesse

It’s wet. Will it be wild?

Howdy from Frankfurt, where I arrived this afternoon to attend Musikmesse. United Airlines was its usual scuzzy self, though a nice flight attendant found a place for me to stow my guitar. And my pedalboard seems to have arrived in fine shape, even though I had to checked […]

Demo: Fishman TriplePlay Wireless MIDI Guitar System

I’ve installed TriplePlay on the homemade strat.

For the last few months I’ve been working with Fishman on the documentation for TriplePlay, their long-awaited wireless MIDI guitar system, which will finally ship this quarter. I had a blast demoing TriplePlay at MacWorld a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to doing so again […]