Friday, November 28, 2014

Kelly Zullo - Talented Artist!

Kelly is a talented artist that lays fat grooves on her guitar along with thoughtful lyrics. See for yourself. Her style is unique and very captivating.

Being a left coaster I'd love to see her at Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival and/or Outside lands or anywhere in the SF bay area!

This will send you back to the woodshed. Stay at home and practice or just stay at home!

Check her out & buy her music.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Born in Chicago the Documentary

Unfortunately this documentary didn't attain the level of support needed to bring this project to completion. 

Born in Chicago the Documentary

It is sad to see that this project didn't make it to the general public.

Gibson G-Force and Min-Etune

I have already carped about this system in the past. I think that change and innovation is good but now it's being rammed down our throat. If you want a Gibson Les Paul, no matter which model, you will get the new improved Min-E tune which is now called G Force. If you don't want it, then pony up for a reissue Les Paul or a 120 model where the new system has yet to be employed. I am mostly disappointed in the entry & intermediate level instrument line where there is obvious lack of choice between traditional friction tuners as opposed to the electronic auto tune. I don't want to get emotional about this issue because ultimately the most important thing is that the new players receive tools that will enhance their creative ability. I could carp about relying on electricity but SMH (smack my head), we are talking about ELECTRIC GUITARS so what is the point? I guess I am holding on to the the lack of "Choice" as my bitching point. I think everybody should know how to manually tune their guitar. However, there is some very good arguments for installing the electronic tuning that Gibson calls G FORCE.

What is convenient about the tuning system is that the user can change tuning in seconds. This will expand the range of creativity for musicians. The users can install custom tuning and teach the G FORCE  to remember the tuning. The unit is rechargeable thus minimizing the need to buy batteries. Do you recall when guitar effects and/or foot pedals where dismissed as needless props? Conversely, now we see that the effect/foot-pedal market turned into a cottage industry where people are frothing at the mouth over the latest iteration of FUZZ pedals. With the foot-pedal mania somewhat satiated, I can see that the auto tuners could be seen as utilitarian as any famous effect pedal. One must admit that changing from standard tuning to drop D tuning in merely seconds is very enticing.

Like it or not, Gibson is trying to be your guitar company. It's a tough job satisfying the long devoted legions while creating innovations for tomorrows players.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rare Film of Little Stevie Ray Vaughan before he was famous!

In this 1980 film footage, Stevie Ray Vaughan goes up on stage while The Fabulous Thunderbirds (his brothers band) take a brief break. Stevie plays Elmore James song "The sky is crying." If you pay close attention (the film as a brief period where there is no image) you will hear that Stevie walks up and plugs into the amplifier and from that point on he plays the blues with acute surgical accuracy while coupled to raw emotion, which I think is what Stevie Ray Vaughan was all about when he was on stage.

If Stevie were alive today he would be 60 years old as of October 3rd.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Malcolm Young is not well

The other shoe drops as the news spreads that Malcolm Young is suffering from dementia and has been replaced in the AC/DC lineup. Since the AC/DC is a family run organization the effect of Malcolm's health must have been devastating especially in a business where the credo is "The show must go on." Let's all wish Malcolm and his family the best! Let's all welcome Steve Young as he fills in for Malcolm. Rock and roll ain't noise pollution!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Walter Trout is Getting Better

Walter Trout's recovery is nothing short of amazing. Honestly, 6 months ago I worried that we might lose a fine blues player. His story is not for those with weak knees and he has proven he is a fighter and isn't ready to hang up his guitar just yet.

Walter's wife posts updates that are inspirational and give you insight to Walter's good days and bad days. I look forward to seeing Walter put out some more music and inspire more musicians. God knows he has helped a few in his time.

This is a link to Walter's page; you can read all about his progress and buy his new Album or other merchandise. CLICK HERE TO GO TO WALTER TROUT'S OFFICIAL SITE

Click here for a update on Walter!

Click here to buy Merchandise!

Listening Post - What is inspiring me this week? October 1, 2014

Charles Mingus - photo by Don Hunstein

Some time has flown by and I haven't really had the time to post my current influences because life sometimes gets in the way and leads us down new roads. So while I have a moment I will post some of the music I have been listening to in the past week or two. Frankly, I am a click scamp and if I hadn't noticed that these posts sort of popped - I probably wouldn't bother. Thanks for looking!

Led Zeppelin II - They remastered it and the companion disc has backing tracks. This makes the album even more appealing~!!
Tom Petty Hypnotic Eye - the first time I heard "You get me high" make me reminisce about the first Petty album. More great hooks from an American icon. 
The Beatles  - Abby Road. Well, I bought a fuzz pedal and cranked up the reverb and played "She's so Heavy" until my brain was cooked, then I played some more!
The Doors - I loved the Doors as a punky kid and only now am I beginning to think I "get it." Late bloomer!
Black Sabbath - Paranoid - I have all the albums! BUT - now I need the CD's. I cannot play the albums in my car - damn it! Ozzy's lyrics are priceless. The sum total of this band kicked butt.
Imelda May - "It's good to be alive, Tribal, Hellfire club are all barn burners. Imelda always seems to tease her public with "The right amount of Wrong." I love this band!
Lou Reed - Everything this guy did is worth listening to because he had a reason behind all of it. Some of the reason he took to the grave while other reason were worn on his shirt sleeve.
The Prentenders - James Honeyman-Scott and Chrissie Hyndes, Johnny Marr, I hadn't really sat down and listened in a few years. I wore out the records. Honeyman-Scott played different than anyone else at the time. 
Iggy Pop and The Stooges - Raw Power. Search and Destroy... Raw power was an understated fact. To think that Iggy was influenced by the Doors just goes to show how people take what they hear and then do their own thing.
Gary Clark Jr - I bought the Live CD. The recording is done well, I heard a lot of tone and this is not washed out like some live CD's. Is Gary the second coming of Hendrix? I think that is a stupid question. Is Gary Clark talented and inventive? I'd say he has his own sound and his tone is thick and he puts on a hell of a show. Spare me the vapid racist Hendrix comparisons. Gary Clark rocks!

There is a lot of guitar centered references above. I've just been in that kind of mood and I've let my bebop slide but it doesn't mean I won't spin Miles or Mingus tomorrow. I guess I get into guitar music as summer closes and Fall begins. Autumn leaves are upon us so let's remember to buy good music and listen to it with good friends. 

Warren Haynes in a beautiful location!

You will learn about music you might not have considered if you listen to Warren Haynes influences. Warren has a huge bag of tricks from which he pulls his licks. Listen and learn.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The incredibly sad news of Robin Williams

San Francisco comedian, actor, genius is no longer with us; Robin Williams was found dead in his Tiberon  home Monday, 08/11/2014. This is very sad news. There are no words. :(

I'll miss Robin Williams. Rest in peace Robin.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Have you heard?????

I'd like to convey that I post on this blog for amusement and to help guitarists expand their musical listening skills. Listening is important as practicing from my perspective. Over the past 20 years the mp3 have cheated our ears. Television technology has grown by the order of a magnitude (and we've bought new TV's) while audio equipment has devolved to thin mp3's with poor audio. It's sad that we can see a clearer picture but we cannot hear the compressed music and be able to differentiate poor quality from clear and rich audio. We've become conditioned to accept crap sound on our laptops and this poor sound isn't even a concern to most. I think we should be concerned with increasing audio quality. We've allow it to be repackaged for convenience but we've done nothing to enhance the reproduction of sound. The last major audio break through was done by  Ray Dolby. This lack of study towards the advance of audio for listening purposes vs stripping the audio for packaging is simply unacceptable in my view.

 Honestly, when was the last time you complained about the quality of a recording? You haven't complained but you haven't learned what is good sound verses what is poor quality. To curb this trend we really need to bring back music programs, starting at grade school through K12 in order to curb this trend. If we don't then one day we could be listening to our music through plumbing pipes. Stop the devolution of music! Be aware!


Listening Post - What is inspiring me this week?

Two well used guitars....
That is Los Angeles in the background 

Well well.... Thank you so much for spending time reading my list of what I am listening to "this week," as I know you have plenty of important things to do with your time. For me, July went by fast, I spent a little bit of time traveling and the music I heard or wanted to hear was more wacko than usual. So lets's look at some artists I've been listening to! As usual, in no particular order but rather in a random stream of consciousness.

  • Mimi Fox - Mimi's playing is really really good. If she stays on track I'd say she is one of the best. If you like jazz-bebop - hardbop - then spin her music!
  • The Doors - As a punky kid I loved The Beatles, but I also loved The Doors. I remember the first time I heard "Light my fire." I bought the album and still have that album many years later! I think Jim was a genius and the band was great! Listen to Morrison Hotel, The Doors!
  • Johnny Winter - For the last year I was on a Johnny Winter kick. I will be the first to admit that I hadn't listened for years! I saw a interview with a sober Johnny and thought that he was cool and when I heard him play I needed to know more about his history. Seek out Johnny because he did a lot more than kick ass on the guitar. I was traveling when I got a text that Johnny died in Germany, that broke my heart. Listen to Dallas, Leland Mississippi blues, Mean town blues and you'll become a fan too. RIP Johnny!!!!
  • Surf Music - Various bands - I love Surf music and I saw way too many bands to list.
  • Metallica - I broke out my old CD's ...and justice for all and the Black album. They don't need introduction... Any nobody got time for that! I just got a hankering after listening to Lemmy Kilmister which leads me to....
  • Motorhead - We're Motorhead and we play rock and roll! F*ck ewe! Lemmy is one in a billion and hardcore as ever but a little more sober these days. Listen to them and you better like them you c*nt! Damage case has proper lyrics and it a banging song!
  • Walter Trout - Get better Walter! Blistering licks... I fear that each time I hear Walter play that his guitar will suddenly go up in flames due to spontaneous combustion as he works the strings over like he is trying to start a fire in a torrential rain storm. Listen to Come Home, How much do you want.
  • Oz Noy - If you don't know who Oz is then you must live under a rock. Crawl out and check out Twisted Blues volume 1 & volume 2.
  • Carl Verheyen - Shhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone. Carl knows guitar secrets and he shares them. If you can sit still and practice, you too can play just like Carl. But, "How well does Carl play" you might think to yourself.... Remarkably well and he teaches. You have heard more Carl than you realize. Dig in bucko!
  • John 5 - Chicken pickin, rip your head off shredding (cannot believe I am writing this) and blood curdling power chords... Try and find something bad because even his wrong notes sound correct.
  • Charlie Parker - I love playing Parker. One of my all time favorite musicians ever! Working through Yardbird suite. I always try to learn a new Parker head or go back and practice more. Stay at home and practice or stay at home!
  • Thelonious Monk - Blue Monk. Revisiting this song as well. I never grow tired of practicing jazz.
  • Clifford Brown - Joy Spring. I once heard it said that "If, is the middle word in life." Therefore, I believe that IF Clifford Brown wasn't killed in a car wreck, we still have Miles Davis and his genius but Miles might have been even further challenged by Clifford. Clifford was amazing and he died very young. This argument is just my opinion (and pointless) but call it intuition. Keep in mind that Clifford was 25 when he was killed.

I hope to review the following albums soon: Eric Claptons tribute to JJ Cale, Imelda May, and Johnny Winter's new albums.

If you made to this part of this post! You're the best!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Buddy Guy's is 78 today!

Happy Birthday Buddy Guy! Buddy was born on July 30, 1936. The world is a better place with him in it!!

Buddy's guitar faces are not contrived so they are worth the price of admission alone. He means every note - even the fast notes :)

You really need to read his autobiography because it is very interesting as well as entertaining. He always kept at it and never lost sight of his goals.

Yes, he was a janitor, garbage man, bartender but always with a business mind. Read the book and go visit his club. His latest album kicks butt and it also has some surprises!

I've seen Buddy's show and he gives 100% effort and is just downright sincere. 

Links to Amazon and Buddy Guy's book - click anywhere on this line!

I liked his album so much I bought it twice!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Johnny Winter RIP (February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014)

Sad news to report: Johnny Winter passed away - RIP!

Diego Tucson_agence France presse - Getty images

Jeff Daley assoc press

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Johnny 5 - A Telecaster nut

I've heard some goofy cheesy music. This isn't goofy or cheesy as Johnny could probably play anything he wants. Those that think he's limited in skill, ya'll better think again as this guy is great and his bag of tricks is seemingly endless. I think he's spent many hours in the woodshed.... Here he shows us why "time" is important. Simple but precise picking coupled to excellent rhythm.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Walter Trout on the road again! The road to recovery!

It was touch and go for way too long. On May 26th, Walter underwent surgery to receive a donor liver. His life has been saved by another human who was self conscience enough to place themselves on the organ donor list in case of their untimely demise. Because of that gift, Walter Trout should be able to soon live a normal life for the remaining days of his life.

As a fan, it was hard to see Walter's pictures that showed his ill nature. But at the same time his status wasn't candy coated and it made many people see the grim reality that could face anyone. It reminds us of the importance of filling out the donor card at the DMV. Your gift is yourself.

I am sure recovery will not be easy at first but considering how hard Walter had to fight to stay alive, this new battle will be one where Walter will be able to face with a certainty that perseverance and strong will can overcome the obstacles.

This is all long awaited fantastic news! Get well Walter!

Happy 99th Birthday Les Paul !

If Les Paul was alive today he would be 99 years old. Les Paul was born Lester William Polsfuss otherwise known a Les Paul. Les Paul is famous for many things but probably the most common association is with a Guitar, a namesake guitar called "Les Paul," which he help design and he endorsed until his death.

We miss you Les! Hope you are playing with all the greats!

Les Paul: The search for new sound!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fishman Prefix acoustic guitar pickup and over heated 9 volt batteries

I make mistakes often but usually I don't admit it. But I thought others could learn from my mistake and maybe avoid a guitar disaster. Here is my story...

I was preparing for a small gig, this usually requires replacing my strings, batteries, and tighten things down. Months if not years had passed since I changed my 9 volt battery in my Taylor 514e acoustic and since I had the battery in stock, I thought, let's be safe and change the battery. The lighting in the work room was dim as the sun was going down and I was using ambient sunlight to illuminate my small project. I didn't pay close attention to replacing the battery and since it fit in fine I (wrongly) thought I had completed that aspect of my preparation. Then I replaced my strings like I've done a thousand times before. Everything was fine and I was excited with anticipation of my fresh new guitar set up and new battery.

Now it was time for me to test out my guitar and hear the new set up. I plugged the guitar into my amp and strummed it and found that there wasn't any sound coming out of the amplifier speakers. I checked my guitar lead, the amp, made sure my pedals were plugged in and the volume was up on the Fishman controller as well as my amp. After doing some brilliant deductive reasoning, I managed to check my 9 Volt battery that was in the Fishman control panel. Here, I learned that I had a surprise in-store for me because when I touched the battery located inside the Fishman Prefix control unit, I found that the battery was heating up - That heat or condition is called Thermal Runaway. My mistake was that I installed the 9 volt battery in backwards where the battery negative side was in contact with the Fishman controller positive side.

It is difficult to clearly see the polarity signs - Even with a flash!

I broke some of my own rules during this set-up. The following are a few common sense rules to follow.

  • Always have a Battery powered flashlight handy and use it to illuminate things you cannot see well.
  • Never put in a battery without being overly cautious about the proper polarity.
  • Make sure the battery is new. Buy batteries from a store that had high traffic.
  • Make plans and prepare in advance so that you will have enough time to do a proper set-up.
Which side is positive or negative? Use a flashlight to help you see your work piece.

Lastly, I generally prefer acoustic guitars without pickups because  when recording there is no substitute for a high end external condenser microphone by Neumann or AKG. However, if I must use an on-board pick up, I prefer a unit that leaves the guitar body unmolested or without holes. The pictures on this page are of a Taylor 514 circa 2000-2001 and it's a fine instrument and the Fishman does work well, so well that I prefer it to the newer electronics on the latest Taylor Expression system.

In conclusion, if your battery is heating up then it is extremely probable that you have installed it backwards!  Learn from my mistakes and be cautious when installing batteries in anything!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Listening post - What is inspiring me this week? April 2014

Don't have much time as life, work and practice eat away at my time bandwidth.

This week I get a little nostalgic and a few old favorites. I blow the dust off some records you might recognize and unwrap a few new albums you might like to try. The selections this week aren't too too eclectic but might be some that you've haven't heard in a while. I hope you enjoy this weeks choices!

UFO  - Strangers in the night. Really one of the best live albums of the 80's. Michael Schenker plays well and is even playing better now!

The Beatles - Revolver - Taxman, Good Day Sunshine, Eleanor Rigby, and She said She said - Nothing on this album sucks.

Howlin Wolf - Self taught, went back to school to learn to read, natural business man and surrounded himself with people like the wonderful and talented Hubert Sumlin. Buy the Chess recording! Listen and learn as this is paradoxical music in that it's old but sounds brand new.

Yes - Classics album - Starship trooper, Long distance runaround, And you and I, Wonderous Stories, and I've seen all good people send very positive messages in their virtuous music.

Tommy Castro and the Pain Killers - The Devil you know, Greedy, Second Mind songs make for a rockin blues album that is probably one of Tommy's best. Tommy is a real time hard working blues guitarist. I've witnessed his playing first hand and one of the best things about his shows is that you feel like you are a part of the band and not just a member of the audience. The Bay Area is proud of Tommy Castro!

Los Straight Jackets - Yeah, so they wear wrestling masks and have moves like ZZ Top. This is a great band. To me they are sort of TruckerSurferBluesbilly music. They play music you've heard before but not as an eclectic amalgamation. Listen to: The Casbah, Pacifica, Wrong Planet, Tsunami, Cavalcade and you will not be disappointed. They have cool guitars as well!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Rosetta Nubin) - Born 3/20/1915

Happy Birthday to The Godmother of Rock and roll who was born today 99 years ago. Whew! Seems like yesterday to some people. Part sermon, part gospel, part rock and roll. Rosetta was immensely popular and successful. Go to the biography channel to read up on her life. By all means watch her biography if you have the chance. Or check out wiki here.

Rosetta must have known guitars well as I've never seen a picture where she was holder a inferior instrument. I think she might have been able to run circles around some guitar aficionados.

Sadly, diabetes took Rosetta at an early age of 58.

She certainly played expensive guitars! Here she plays a 1952 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top.
You need to check out songs like; This train, It didn't rain to name a few. See here playing a 1963 Les Paul Custom.
Happy Birthday Rosetta!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Listening post - What is inspiring me this week?

What inspiring music am I listening to this week? Well, let me tell you! If I haven't told you before then I'll tell you now! I am all over the musical map! I have been working more on chord melody while also banging me head... Can't help it. Sound and tones are just too much fun and infinitely interesting. The fascination with music is never ending and every thing I hear is essential tuition.

So, enough of the blogger poetry. What is spinning on my player?

Queens of the Stone age - Like clockwork! This is beyond description. Sortof progpunkbluesfolkmetal!
Queens of the Stone age - Songs for the Deaf! See above
Eric Clapton - From the Cradle - Eric's version of a lot of old blues.
Buddy Guy - Rhythm and Blues. Fun fun fun with lots of guest. Buddy plays fast!
Duff Mckagan's Loaded  - Dunno if Duff realizes that he is a game changer?!
The Beatles  - "Re-release" Yellow Submarine, With the Beatles, Beatles - Past masters, Hey Jude, and Help! - It's THE BEATLES FOR GOD SAKE!
North Mississippi Allstars - World Boogie is coming! Some of the best musicians around.
Wes Montgomery - Smokin at the Half note! Buy it. This album is a classic. Just like Kind of blue by Miles Davis.
The Eagles - Yep, these guys make hits and the girls love their music! Besides - Joe Walsh is in the band!
Neil Young - Neil could hang it up and rest in our historical collections but he has brass balls and is going to fight injustice and bad tone! Go Pono!
Bill Monroe - They said he died but his music is immortal and Blue Grass has some of the fastest pickers ever.
John Mayer - Born and Raised. I didn't want to like this album but I surrender! Though he fights hard to be a huge DB there is no denying his talent. But John, ghetto passes aren't transferable.
The Stooges - I can't lie. The sudden death of Scott Asheton inspired me. I love Search and Destroy. But you really need to view Iggy Pop and the Stooges at Austin City Limits!

RIP -Scott Asheton!
The Bang Girl Group Review - I got their first album. Totally reminds me of Motown. Check them out!

The Rides - Can't get enough - And I can't. This a great album. Steven Stills shows why he is badass and Kenny Wayne Shepherd absolutely slays Muddy Waters - Honey Bee.

Blues Breakers John Mayall with Eric Clapton - Classic album. If you play guitar you need to listen.

Paul Butterfield Blues band - Michael Bloomfield rips it up. Another tragic loss..

Now. Shut up and play your guitar!

Buying Guitars; take your pick!

Finding a inexpensive, well made, rare wood guitar is no longer possible and similar to finding the perfect wife/husband - Smart, Good looking, rich - pick two! So pick two and consider yourself lucky if you obtain those objective: well made, rare wood is fine BUT you can bet the instrument will not be inexpensive!!!! That is no longer possible with the economics of modern instruments where the production cost, material cost, shipment cost, and other untold miasma controls the end product of a fine instrument.

On a positive note; low cost guitars are well made and help students advance quickly.

On a personal note: my parents wouldn't buy me a good guitar until I proved that I was interested and that this hobby wasn't just another one of my brief learning experiences. I received a classical guitar for Christmas and was given lessons. It was my responsibility to practice and take care of my instrument. Obviously I am still smitten with the instrument.

Walter Trout Needs a New Liver!

** Update: Walter received a transplant. He is doing better but he was seriously ill; recovery is slow, complicated, and just plain tough. Please put some positive thoughts out to Walter as he fights his way back to good health. Thank you for reading this post and doing what you can! 

Most working musicians do not have health insurance. Most. However, Walter Trout does have health insurance but due to his the nature of his illness he cannot work and his insurance will not cover all the costs of recovery. He cannot tour currently so he hasn't any income but while he is in the hospital - money is being drained from his family. He needs the musical community to help. I don't know Walter but I doubt he would ask for help but if he doesn't get help then the music will stop and a lot of people will suffer. I am donating what I can and you might want to do a good deed and throw down some cash yourself!
I think most of us do not think about our own mortality until it's too late but when you get sick, the bills, collectors show up before you are out of the hospital. Unfortunately, health is a business just like show business. The hospital is a great place to leave but facing ever mounting bills sucks.

Please donate! Go here to donate!

Thank You!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gibson releases Government Series

Gibson finally got it's wood. The bottom line is that Gibson did something illegal and that fact is public knowledge. Ultimately Gibson paid a $300,000 settlement. Innocent or not, you be the judge. Their story was that they were unfairly targeted by a hostile anti business oriented government. This recent raid wasn't the first, the first raid was in November of 2009.

So, in a sort of thumb their nose move; Gibson has released a Government series of guitars. The idea proved to be successful, I doubt you can find one of these instruments at any shop currently and the asking price will probably be greater than most can afford, especially since the primary caveat is that the fingerboard is made with recovered rosewood that was seized by but later returned by Federal Customs agents. Nevertheless, it's a part of history and some people will covet these instruments.

Personally, I'd like to see the Gibson Les Paul Custom fret board to be made of Ebony. Now the finger board is made of Richlite which I  do not prefer (you might like it - test and determine!). Some Gibson Les Paul standard fingerboards are torrified maple. Custom Specification link. Try out the guitars before and judge for yourself. We have to be responsible when harvesting wood. Rare wood will drive up the cost. So beware, gone are the days of rosewood and ebony at reasonable prices.

I am glad Gibson is moving past this hiccup in otherwise a hallmark trade name that has been one of the most enduring trademarks since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Effect Pedals & Trap doors

Face it, whether you are a boutique amp snob or not, you've probably bought an effect pedal. The cost to performance value is often low and therefore you get more for your money. It would be nice to have a quiver of amplifiers to call on for each song but that is not practical nor inexpensive. The economy changed in 2008 and is slowly recovering, as a consequence of the world financial disaster, we all started buying effect pedals. Why? You can get a refreshing new sound for $150.00 instead of mortgaging your future with the purchase of a $3000.00 amplifier. The primary proof of this phenomenon is the big box Christmas catalogs that grew from 5 pages of effects to a swath of 40 pages of effects. Enough history; where's the cool stuff??

Enter the trap door. Some pedals, though not all pedals, have niffy adjustments under the panel. Some of the adjustments are obvious and others not. Look up the specifications for your specific pedal or look under the hood yourself.

Some things to beware of:

  1. You might need to use a plastic screw driver.
  2. Using a proper ground lead is prudent.
  3. Note the initial settings on something that can be retrieved easily. 
  4. Know your home position.
  5. Know that each guitar, amp and multi-effect combo will react independently with your adjustments.
  6. Keep notes - Amps, guitars, likes, dislikes and yes - indoor temperature and % R.H. (look up germanium transistor gain drift as germanium performance has some temperature dependence compared to silicon transistors).
  7. MODIFICATIONS - BEWARE! - Even the most reputable modification house can screw up and the original manufacturer will not warranty a pedal that has been modified - Nor should they warranty a modification. Be smart.
  8. See #3 through #7 and due diligence. 
Modified EXH Memory Man

Modified poorly soldered Ground wire
Nice job!
Cool Trap door adjustments!
Insult to injury - The modifier crushed the pot shafts. NEVER TRY TO FIX in the manner depicted. The shaft will fracture when pried open

Unmodified Cool Trap door pedals!

Front Plate

MXR Carbon Copy Face Plate

Trap door!

  Trap Door - Blue square trim pot!

****Take notes and remember that changing guitars, pickups, amps, foot pedal chains will affect your tone. It would be unrealistic to think you can make changes; then swap out pedals like light bulbs without some affect to the end signal. 

! Don't make adjustments with the pedal plugged into the wall because you can be electrocuted and you can die!

Have fun and hope have fun chasing tones!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Listening Post - What is inspiring me this week?

Hey now!

There is nothing better than listening to some great music to get your creative juices flowing. It's been a while since I posted what I am listening to but I'll do that in the next few lines. First of all; my taste is; for the benefit of those reading my blog for the first time; my taste is all over the map. This eclectic often eccentric taste gives me the eargasmic experience that sparks my synopsis which eventual ignite my fingers. Without further adieu.......... My current listening list:

Queens of the Stone age - Like Clockwork (who isn't listening?)
Nick Curran and the Nitelifes - Doctor Velvet (you don't know who he WAS - Shame!@@#$#)
Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu (my CD player is black and blue now from playing his stuff a million times)
Cream - They were that good. No wonder they didn't get along - monster talent!
The Rides - Steven Stills is over rated? No way. Great Album!
Muddy Waters - We miss him still and owe him a lot.
Johnny Winter - How did he fall off the map. SRV was great no doubt but JW was great before SRV was stealing Jimmy Vaughan's guitar. Johnny is back with a new album (guest appearance galore!) and he rips it up!
Joe Pass - If you don't know who Joe Pass was; fine. You better get your #@$$%T$ together and learn about him now. He might be one of the greatest players to ever pick up the instrument. He was that great!

Be diversified and open because it will benefit you. I learn more from listening than reading music. Afterall, music is fundamentally about listening. Enjoy!