A guy walks into my guitar lab, looks at a few tweed cases and then…

18 04 2014

… he goes off on this big jag about how rosewood is superior to maple and  “real players have dark necks” and it’s because of “foolish wood crimes” that Gibson lost all their fretboards… waaaaaaaaaaaaah!

I thought about stabbing him with a Charvel or an Ibanez neck (I mean, it’s the only thing that ‘pointy headed necks’ are good for if you ask me), but…

Oh just stop it! I’ve made my opinions about “pointy headed guitars and the people who play them” quite public. Check THIS out.

And yeah, yeah… I know. Now I’m gonna get hatemail from Joe (Satriani) and Steve (Vai) for that crack …  🙂

I just don’t like rosewood necks and I don’t like them for the same reason that a lot of great guitarists (like Buddy Guy or Eric Clapton) don’t like ’em.

buddy-guy… who I guess aren’t “real guitarists” because they favor Maple in a major way.

Eric_ClaptonRosewood FEELS funny, resistant, rugged, like it’s got more friction. It makes bending harder. It feels “different”.

Maple may sound a bit brighter, but you know what? I’ll work with it.

And for the record…

Gibson Fretboards

Gibson got caught in a political crossfire because they made some people in a certain political administration mad. It had nothing to do with  exotic wood, guitars or even music. Anyone who says otherwise is full of crap.;)



They’re selling them by the pound, I kid you not!

2 04 2014

Eric Clapton Brownie Tribute Axe - 15000 bucks limited edition to 100 unitsI spent some time recently in an airport listening to a bunch of idiots talking about guitars.

Now, as a musician, you just kinda hear “familiar words in the distance” and then you home in on the conversation.

The  debate (over beers in the VIP lounge) was as to whether or not a Fender Eric Clapton Brownie Tribute Stratocaster was worth selling a Custom Harley to acquire.

Apparently one of the participants of the conversation stumbled onto a guy who’d bought one and the guy was looking to flip it for a big profit.

I never understood paying thousands of dollars for a COPY of a classic guitar. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Speaking strictly about guitars and not artist/rock gawds… I understand the “bond” we get from seeing that same iconic axe over and over again singing to our souls, but…

… let’s be real, huh?

First, it’s a very expensive COPY. Different body wood (different trees, grown in different conditions), different neck (same “difference” thing) wood, different electronics reassembled and all trying to work together to be “similar”.

Any luthier worth a crap will tell you that you really NEVER know what a custom guitar is going to sound like until you assemble and string it. I guarantee you that  ALL of those expensive copies sound a little bit different and very few of them, if any at all, actually sound like “Brownie”.

I’d rather find that same guitar (a real one) or something real close and then tweak it a bit, rather than spend thousands on a fake with 40 hours of “aging” thrown in ala dremel.

You want a “relic’d” guitar? Buy a new one and then PLAY it. Go earn your scars, like the rest of us. Having a beat to hell guitar, fresh out of a Custom Shop case doesn’t make you a guitarist… it makes you a collector of a copy of an incredible piece of Rock History. I doubt very seriously that out of the  hundred of these axes that were built, more than ten are actually being played.

And let’s not forget that you’re going to be substantially poorer – tens of thousands of dollars poorer after you pay for your “Brownie”.

But even more than that, should you decide to play that beautiful copy… how in the world do you make a guitar like that your own?

While it’s quite playable, these aren’t guitars  that you PLAY. These are guitars aimed at collectors who will hang them on the wall under very expensive lighting.

You want to get into that tone range? Save your money and then get one of Fender’s Master Builders to build you “the axe of a lifetime”. You’ll get killer tone and you’ll save thousands of dollars.

I have a modded ’57RI MIJ Sunburst Strat that I travel with that looks and sounds pretty damned close to the tones that we all love about Eric’s “Brownie”.  The difference?

About $13,500.00 US.

And unless you can inject yourself with Clapton’s soul and cut off his fingers and graft them onto your hands, you’re NEVER going to sound like him.

“Excuse me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”

Gimme a break.