Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Scotty Moore!

Happy Birthday Scotty Moore!!!!!!!!!!!

The man who played guitar on Elvis's "That's alright," has inspired millions to pick up the guitar and play it. His finger picking style was gleaned from Chet Atkins. Scotty Moore is listed by Rolling Stone magazine as #44 of the all time guitarists! Scotty's role in Elvis Presley's band help bring the guitar as a lead instrument to the forefront of the band. Scotty played Gibson ES-295's, Gibson L-5, and then Gibson Super 400's. He employed slapback echo (Ray Butts echosonic) that has become a standard among many players including Brian Setzer.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Reverend Horton Heat Rig Run down

Large and in charge, Rev. Horton Heat runs us through his rig and set up. If the Rev. Horton Heat comes to your town - Go see them. They rock hard and earn your respect. The music is no non-sense good ole' Rock and Roll! Check out his merchandise here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fret Buzzing?

Just another day, nothing new, but the weather is swinging from hot to cold? Has the relative humidity changed in your region?? Ambient temperatures have a significant impact on wood and therefore most guitars are affected by weather. My strat (which I love) suddenly sounds dead. In my region of the world the weather is fairly benign but it still changes with the season. Therefore, since the weather has changed a lot lately my guitar started buzzing and sounding dead. I keep records and found that when the ambient temperature drops about 15 degrees Fahrenheit, while the relative humidity has risen 20 %, my guitar swells and the neck straightens (Tell tale sign is my guitar is out of tune and all of the strings are to the sharp side), while my action drops due to the lack of relief. My quick remedy is to loosen the truss rod. However, I have tools to measure the relief before and after. If I screw up I go back to the position I first measured and start over. Nothing too scientific, you can use automotive feeler gauges to check the gap. I induce more relief and presto - chango my guitar is back to it's non buzzing condition - Until spring when the temperature rise and the counter measure is to tighten the truss rod. BEWARE - ONLY MOVE YOUR TRUSS ROD A SMALL AMOUNT! A half rotation on the truss rod could be too much. Make a quarter turn, let the guitar stabalize for 2 hours and try again >> Adjust, wait, and try - repeat but NEVER OVER TIGHTEN THE TRUSS ROD - YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR GUITAR! 

This is the best list of possible origins of BUZZ by Frank Ford of Gryphon stings

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Keith Richards! Lucky 69!

Happy Birthday goes out to Keith Richards who turns lucky 69 today. (laughing) Many thought you'd never make it to this age Keith and now it seems like, why the hell not..... Rumors of his demise or potential demise have always been greatly exaggerated!


He's looking good and feeling well!

DV Mark Amplifiers - Awesome amps from Italy!

DV Mark amplification hail from Italy! These amps are compact and light weight. They still have the ability to cut through and over a heavy handed drummer. Well engineered products that are known for their durability. A very cool thing is the amps are self biasing. You can install a multitude of tube combinations for tonal experimentation or necessity! Some of their amps feature continuous global power control which allows you to dial in the exact amount of power vs over drive or head room needed - on the fly! Their typical combo weighs in at approximately 45 lbs. which is a significant reduction compared to a Fender Twin Reverb. Part of the way the achieve the weight reduction is by utilizing the neodymium speaker magnets.

The DV Mark company has a nice variety of amplification products. Take some time and review some of their product! Guitar Center is just one of the representatives selling this product in the United States.

DV Mark Home page link!

Paul Riario at Guitar World reviews the entire line!

The Frank Gambale 1x 12" combo

Compressed awesome legato lines via Vlatko Stefanovski and his DV Mark amps

Nat Janof plays the DV 40 2x12" - Really nice clean tones - reminiscent of Fender Twin tone without the bulk.

Simone Gianlorenzi demonstrates the DV Mark triple Six - A very nice amp that makes your decision that much more difficult when you have so many choices in the DV Mark line!

Great clean tones with loads of head room. DV40 with 2-12" speakers. Alessio Menconi

DV Mark Combo head! 

************** But wait! There is more!!! In addition to amplification, DV Mark also selling effects! Yesss, they have a Fuzz pedal that is pretty fuzzy! A boost pedal with controllable EQ - DV-7!

This Italian manufacturer is serious about tone! Maybe that is important to you or maybe not!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Reverend Billy Gibbons!

Happy Birthday Reverend Billy Gibbons! 
That's right, Rev. Billy G was born on this day in 1949. Noted as Jimi Hendrix favorite contemporary guitarist Billy G is one tone monster. His solos are complex in their simplicity often punctuated with pinch harmonics, growling chordal arrangements and just the right note at just the right time.

One little nugget of triva, ZZ Top opened for the Rolling Stones in 1973. The also played on the Stones big resurgence/resurrection tour in 1981. As an already established act, ZZ Top's presence as a opener for the Rolling Stones solidified their play in rock and roll history.

Happy Birthday Rev!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Music Business basics

Wham, it's large and it's in your face. If you don't acknowledge the intricacies of the business it will soon smack you in the face. Think about it like this, the customer (generally the music consumer) as the pinky, the there is the band manager on the ring finger, the middle finger is the agent, the pointer is the act, and the thumb is the promoter. All of them together makes a mighty fist.
Music is a business. You must keep your wits or you will perish. For every hard living fabled rock star that has a tale of addiction and misery there are literally millions of near do well's who perish and their story is never heard.

Do what you say and say what you are going to do. Stick to it. Beware of the fist. As explained above, each finger of the fist wreak havoc.


  1. Be to your gig early
  2. Check your gear long before the gig
  3. Have back up gear
  4. Keep back up supplies, strings, sticks, tape, zip ties, bubble gum
  5. Never miss a gig
  6. Present a professional image
  7. Don't show up loaded (drunk, high, or hung over)
  8. You never have a bad day on stage - Get it? You never project your anger (Billy Jo?)
  9. Leave your personal life at home
  10. Have fun!

This is the best guitar in the world!

Yawn! This is the best and that sucks. An argument that will continue long past my stay on this planet. What IS the best might be completely subjective to what song you play and what amplifier is projecting your noise. There isn't a correct answer to this problem but I love listing to the futile arguments and their creative sources.
 Whether you are talking acoustic or electric instruments - there are going to be differences and besides the design, material, craftsmanship, glue, lacquer, Polyester, Urethane, and date of birth. The most important factor is that YOU, yes YOU, like it and feel comfortable with the tool of your desire.
 To me the most important part is that I am not having trouble with the instrument. It isn't a source of distraction or an annoyance. Your focus should be on the music and the fun you are having.

It's not about the instrument. The more involved you are in finding the perfect instrument the less time you spend practicing. Time goes by and you could spend more time in your quest for the guitar grail than you do playing. But hey, whatever makes you happy.

Pick your instrument based on the tone and songs you like. Look and listen to the players of your favorite music and get the basics. Tone is in your hands so don't spend too much time obsessing over the materials or composition of the parts. Some of my favorite guitars are Frankenstein guitars!

A $68,000 dollar guitar doesn't mean it will play well. The price is based on the rarity of the instrument and not the tone.

Some of the best guitars are ugly ducklings. I really like the Martin 000-15SM series. In no way do I mean to imply that the aforementioned model is the best - I just like the size, feel, tone, and look of that guitar.

Practice makes perfect. Do it while you can because otherwise you are betting against time that you will be able to do it later. Sometimes later never arrives. Now go practice!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some new pedals....... Bogner! Ecstasy Red and Blue

I ran some of the following pedals through a Fender Deluxe 65 reissue and found the Bogner Red to be a very dynamic pedal that give you the heavy metal sound. The pedal is adjustments are very interactive and distinct. The variac was very interesting, yielding tone reminiscent of the famous brown sound. The Variac gave the pedal a very forgiving spongy feel as outlined in the video. The follow video is very accurate as to the tone this pedal is capable of producing. As mentioned above, I was using a very clean amp and the pedal  gave me thick tones and yet cleaned up well. If I had to sum up the tone it is very much like a Supercharged VOX AC30 class A tone. I used a Stratocaster and a Les Paul for my testing which by chance happens to be what they used in the video below. Nevertheless, these guitars are the standard baseline guitars I use for rock regardless of what type of equipment I am using. The Bogner pedals will leave a significant dent in your wallet but they are productive. Try out the Ecstasy Red and see if it is for you!

The Bogner Ecstasy Blue is similar to the red but has a bit less modern tone. True, this is subjective to the listener. To me this pedal yielded a tone similar to class A/B. Afterall, that is they have Plexi modes and such so they are going after what most will associate with the late 60's and early 70"s classic rock overdrive. The Ecstasy Blue is the same price as the Ecstasy Red  but if you think about it this way, as least you don't need to go out and buy a Plexi and a AC30 for arsenal - buy a clean sounding amp and these two pedals and save yourself truckloads of money! Check out the video's and or go to your local dealer and test these for yourself. One of these or both of these models might be the pedals you've been looking for in your quest for the ultimate tone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck has passed away

You have got to love Dave Brubeck! He made the song "Take five" famous which was written by Paul Desmond (Alto sax). Really don't know where I should start with Dave as he is a California native and grew up in the bay area. For me Dave was the catalyst that hipped me to odd time signatures.

Dave wrote Blue Rondo a' la Turk in 9/8 time and it's a brilliant piece of work. At 91, one damn day before his 92 birthday his number finally came up! Somehow somewhere he is laughing about that odd timing......... December 6, 1920 to December 5 2012.

Use the embedded links to read more about Dave Brubeck who was hailed as a living legend. Here's a nugget of trivial knowledge, Dave was drafted into world war II and was a member of General George Patton's third brigade! Prior to his military service, Dave thought he would help his father on their farm whereupon he attended what is now University of the Pacific to study veterinary science but transferred after the head of zoology told him to his mind is not here, it's across the lawn in the conservatory. Then he was nearly expelled when his professor learned that he could not read music. So many wonderful stories surround Dave Brubeck. He did wonders for jazz and for me in terms of learning.

Rest in peace Dr. Brubeck!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Led Zeppelin will appear on David Letterman

(Getty Images)
That is right; Led Zeppelin will appear on David Letterman on Monday night. Fresh off their appearance at the 2012 Kennedy Center honors event, Led Zeppelin will appear on David Letterman Monday December 3, 2012. Hopefully, they will announce a tour at last but don't hold your breath because in the arena of entertainment publicity they are both cagey and clever. Look for David to ask the questions that would make most squirm in their seat while the soft spoken Jimmy Page will more than likely tantalize us with current events and historical reflections.
(Kevin Wolf/ap)

In addition, don't look for the band to perform as another musical guest is scheduled to appear - I hope this other act uses this organic publicity to their advantage as I am certain the amount of people tuning in will be copious at the least.

Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) received their honors along with Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman and Natalia Makarova.

And here is a taste of the interview and from all accounts - Everybody had fun!