Those”pony-tails and suits” will tell you that the secret to a career in music starts with your name:
Those”pony-tails and suits” will tell you that the secret to a career in music starts with your name:
Here’s the most realistically detailed guitar Christmas ornament we’ve seen all year — it even has individually adjustable saddles and proper screw placement on the humbuckers.
A side button plays a shredding version of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Available at Kohl’s for $18.00 (USD)
And once again… no love for the lefties! Bah Humbug! LOL!
Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar dies at 92
A musical icon, one of my personal heroes died on December 11th, in San Diego, California.
As a young musician, I met Ravi Shankar at the Royal Albert Hall, in the early 70’s. I was an American kid in London doing “some piece work” and we all begged our way backstage to see George Harrison and many others, including Ravi, play a benefit concert. For a young musician, it was like going to Disneyland… After the concert, we actually got to meet George and Ravi. Our experience was typical of the experience shared by many others – they were Princes’ among men, and deities among musicians. They talked with us, shared their insights and then, they bid us peace and moved on.
I met Ravi again in the late 70’s when he was visiting an Ashram in Leucadia, Ca. I lived a few miles away in Encinitas and I had heard that he was visiting there. As I often played guitar with some of the residents, I begged entry. His eyes sparkled as he recounted his life, his pleasures and his pains. I remember his recounting the days spent with George (Harrison). When I reminded him of our earlier meeting, his eyes sparkled and then he told me that he remembered meeting me in London, that “fair haired young boy clutching the Telecaster” – he was a beautiful liar…
(I’d brought my #1 Tele along, hoping that I could get George and Ravi to sign it – George did, Ravi refused. He felt like it was something akin to a “sin”. But, he signed my leather guitar strap. I still have it, to this day.)
During that day, all those years later, in Leucadia… I remember him “remembering the glory” and then… when he took a look at my Fender Strat – VoodooCaster… I remember him recounting the horror that was “the Jimi”.
I jokingly asked him to sign the guitar, as before… he refused, but did give me a signature of sorts… he giggled and then slapped me on the back of the head… LOL!
Where some are “wading pools of knowledge”, Ravi was as deep as the ocean. He just “knew” and he shared his insight and life experiences as much as he was able. He was an easy man to admire… many loved his work. I was among them. He loved deeply… and we loved him right back.
I’ve included excerpts from the Salon article written by By Muneeza Naqvi, AP
The musician and one-time mentor to the Beatles was labeled “the godfather of world music” by George Harrison.
Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, has died. He was 92.
Shankar won three Grammy awards and was nominated for an Oscar for his musical score for the movie “Gandhi.” Despite his fame, numerous albums and decades of world tours, Shankar’s music remained a riddle to many Western ears.
The prime minister’s office confirmed his death and called him a “national treasure.”
Ravindra Shankar Chowdhury was born April 7, 1920, in the Indian city of Varanasi.
Shankar helped millions of classical, jazz and rock lovers discover the centuries-old traditions of Indian music.
He also pioneered the concept of the rock benefit with the 1971 Concert For Bangladesh. To later generations, he was known as the estranged father of popular American singer Norah Jones.
As early as the 1950s, Shankar began collaborating with and teaching some of the greats of Western music, including violinist Yehudi Menuhin and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. He played well-received shows in concert halls in Europe and the United States, but faced a constant struggle to bridge the musical gap between the West and the East.
Describing an early Shankar tour in 1957, Time magazine said “U.S. audiences were receptive but occasionally puzzled.”
His close relationship with Harrison, the Beatles lead guitarist, shot Shankar to global stardom in the 1960s.
Harrison recorded the Indian-inspired song “Within You Without You” on the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” helping spark the raga-rock phase of 60s music and drawing increasing attention to Shankar and his work.
Shankar, a serious, disciplined traditionalist who had played Carnegie Hall, chafed against the drug use and rebelliousness of the hippie culture.
“I was shocked to see people dressing so flamboyantly. They were all stoned. To me, it was a new world,” Shankar told Rolling Stone of the Monterey festival.
While Ravi enjoyed Otis Redding and the Mamas and the Papas at the festival, he was horrified when Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire.
“That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God,” he said.
And now, if I close my eyes, I can almost hear Ravi playing sitar with the angels… in a chorus fit only for the ears of G_d.
Ravi was… a wonder, a miracle, a profound gift to anyone lucky enough to have heard him play… or to have been blessed with the ability to listen to him recount his life.
PS. To say that hearing of Ravi’s passing has filled me with great sadness. is an understatement.
It’s funny that while writing this, I kept hearing George in my head, singing “While My Guitar Gentle Weeps…”
I’ve played this song every November 29th, for over ten years…
And then, I remembered this;
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
Tribute to George Harrison – Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Prince, Dhani Harrison
2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
If you can spare the bandwidth, watch it in HD.
A lot has been said about Prince “showboating” during this performance. While it’s NOT the greatest solo ever performed (in my opinion the Eric Clapton version of this solo was much better), Prince was having a real time of it while he was playing.
Prince wasn’t really showing the band “his middle finger”… He was simply making Dhani, the son of a dead friend, SMILE, by sharing some love…
Ravi… George… Goodbye guys, wherever you are, I’m sure that you’re rockin the walls down…
It’s not like we’ve been slummin’… We’ve been preparing to build a ranch up in the most beautiful mountains you ever saw. Places where Alder and Ash grow just begging to become guitars. It’s a place where rivers run pure as the clean side of my ’68 Super Reverb, a place that just begs you to grab your axe in the evening and “Mad Dog” the wild moose.
Now, that came as a surprise to me, because I thought I’d get all “purist” but more times than not… I’m letting my axe wail Nugent, Gilmour or Morse with the volume set on “stun”…
While we’ve been plotting and scheming, playing and slaying… we’ve been doing something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time.
That’s right, we’ve been buying and rehabbing old Stratocasters and Telecasters and then sending them to “The Sandbox” to bring some “Lefty Love” to our brave Men and Women overseas. Those folks put their butts in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in.
We’ll tell you more about “The Secret Strat Project” as we go along… It’s been an inspiration to us.
Today, I’m gonna talk about a guy that has inspired me for decades. He’s one old ugly bastard, but he can play like the Gawds came him ALL the talent.
In fact, I’m not gonna talk about him at all. I’m gonna let him do all the talking himself…
Steve Morse – Well Dressed Guitar
If you practice enough, someday you can play like Stevie. But… it’s gonna take a long time. You got miles to go, trust me. This guy has guitar sweat for blood.
Till next time,
I have people ask me how I got started as a guitarist.
After all, to make it big, you have to gain entry into a very small club. I tell them that it’s serendipity at it’s most bizarre application…
Here’s a case in point;
I started out in Rock ‘n’ Roll early. In fact, my first gig was as a walk (crawl) on in a Rock ‘n’ Roll classic called “World’s Greatest Sinner.” My big brother and I were being tended by my mother’s sister (otherwise referred to as “The Commie Aunt” by my father), while both my mother and father (card carrying killers) were out “hunting,” pillaging the landscape in the US Government’s attempt at making the world safe for Democracy. 🙂
We’d been stationed at El Toro, a US Marine Air base that lived in the middle of orange groves that went on for thousands of acres.
El Toro was a weird place. The base’s logo ( a “Flying Bull”) was actually designed by Walt Disney. We actually knew Lee Harvey Oswald, who was stationed there from December of 1958, to the spring of ’59. Supposedly there’s a photograph floating around of him holding me as a baby. We also knew counter-culture guru Kerry Wendell Thornley, who was in the same radar unit as Lee.
My aunt had come to stay with us, due to a “domestic dispute” involving her, her soon-to-be ex, and a butcher knife. Oh yeah, an ambulance and the police were also involved…
But, no charges got pressed, the “ex” healed with a nasty scar, and Ginny came to live with us. She was a 6′ Amazon of a woman allergic to bras, totally caught up in the celebrity of Southern California, and deeply embedded in the surf “Rock” scene. And, as male children, we were enamored by her. (That came later, though…)
She was friends with Frank Zappa, who was a young college kid writing a film music score for Timothy Carey, a Hollywood bad boy turned director, who recorded low-budget films for the masses. Now, we’re talking late 1960 or 61…
I forget, because frankly, I was about 2 or three years old.
One day, she took us to Long Beach, CA, and we got our first taste of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hollywood fame… The cinematographer took one look at us, and stuck us in front of that camera, and our future was revealed… 🙂
I suspect that she did it simply because my parents couldn’t stop her. I suspect that she thought it would give my father an aneurysm. I suspect that she did it because SHE was trying to get in front of that camera. I even suspect that she might have been a “commie.” But, we didn’t care. We loved her anyway.
Why am I bringing this up, after all these years? Because I just watched it again on late night TCM. I wasn’t aware that any copies still existed! 🙂
Damn, I was a cute kid…
We have a photograph in our family archives, of me being held by the young Frank Zappa, who looks like he’s holding a hostile alien…
The film, just in case you haven’t seen it, is a sorry Timothy Carey tale of a demented “Elvis worshipping” insurance salesman who tires of a traditional life, and wakes up deciding he’s God.
It’s undeniably one of the most bizarre movies ever made, and I’ve gotta tell you that even over forty years later, it’s STILL way ahead of its time! It’s a grotesque parable that’s as innovative and subversive as any film ever made. Carey sticks himself in the lead as Clarence Hilliard, a middle-aged insurance agent who goes insane and decides to become the “rockabilly messiah.” Abandoning his normal life, he changes his name to “God” and stands on street corners, handing out flyers, recruiting white-trash greasers to his fire ‘n’ brimstone “Life is Hell” doctrine.
To raise money for his cause, he seduces old ladies for cash, and performs in an Elvis-like silver-lame suit. He even starts his own “Eternal Man” political party, which promises to make everyone a “superhuman being.” Their creedo is:
“There’s only one God, and that’s Man.”
This is seriously whacked stuff, folks… Carey pulls off one of the most intense, overwrought performances of all time (putting novice scenery-chewers like Dennis Hopper to shame, sorry Dennis!), ranting, crying, dancing, and looking wasted, his eyelids at half-mast throughout. Eventually, Clarence’s followers begin rioting and vandalizing, but that type of social upheaval has to be expected when a new God emerges–especially one promising “No Death.”
When the political machines get wind of his Rock ‘n’ Roll charisma, they run him as an independent candidate for president, but Clarence is corrupted when his dogma takes on fascist overtones and he starts seducing cute, 14-year-old volunteers. Though lacking in little things like coherency, Carey packs this volatile tale with venom toward modern politics, the media, dried-up religion, and the entire sorry state of the human race. It’s even narrated by The Devil, represented by a big snake!
You won’t believe Tim’s performances. He just starts shaking and his hair falls down… He must have watched Jerry Lee Lewis or something. He starts rolling around on the stage, he’s just shaking all over. It’s a live performance and he’s just smashing his guitar, he’s really beating on it real loud. This is one of the greatest rockabilliy movies ever made. If you get a chance to see it, it’ll just change your life.
Carey is dead serious with all this craziness (even the heavily religious finale) and his outrageous direction is beyond belief! Most of the extras were simply pulled off the streets (I know, because my brother and I were among them), and the score was provided by a young musician… Frank Zappa.
See? The post went “full circle.” Remember the “Commie Aunt” connection? 🙂
Even its theme song is hilariously unforgettable:
“As a sinner he’s a winner,
Honey, he’s no beginner!
He’s rotten to the core,
Daddy, you can’t say no more!
He’s the world’s greatest sinner…”
If I ever move to an underground farm, stock it full of big-breasted goth girls, and start a cult… that’s gonna be my theme song… In fact, I should probably have the lawyers start working on the music clearance now, just in case…
There’s more… so stay tuned… because playin off-key really sucks! 😉
I’m gigging in L.A. this week (sessions stuff for a film project), but I was talking to a pal in New Mexico today…
I know what you’re thinking… Who the heck lives in a place like New Mexico? I mean it’s mostly desert, and the seasons “run wild,” and it’s really, really far from L.A.
Isn’t that the place where all the crazy buggers build “Earthships?” Wait, maybe I’m thinking of Roswell… Wait! That’s New Mexico, too! I rest my case.
You know who lives in New Mexico? Artists live in New Mexico.
(Man, I’ve said “New Mexico” so many times, that the State Tourist board should send me a check!) 🙂
And some of those artists build guitars. Artists who build guitars, are called “Luthiers.” Now, when I hear that word, I immediately think of some European looking guy clad all in green felt, with those crazy shoes that curled up and the end and had bells on ’em… Wait… Maybe that’s an elf, or was that a “minstrel?” Geez, I gotta get outta L.A.! It’s starting to affect my brain… again.
According to Wiki:
The craft of lutherie is commonly divided into two main categories: stringed instruments that are plucked or strummed (like a banjo, a guitar, or a harp), and stringed instruments that are bowed (like a cello, a violin, or a double bass).
According to ME… A Luthier is a guy who has dedicated most of his life to:
Although I like working with wood, I’ll stick to building popsicle stick birdhouses with my son.
Real Men build guitars. Great Guitars. Guitars that can make you cry and beg for the chance to caress their necks, to fondle their bodies, and… um… er… never mind. If I’m not careful, this’ll turn into “guitar porn!”
Where was I? Oh yeah…
Enter Rick Canton. Rick is to guitars, what Henry Ford was to production lines. That means; he’s a visionary bent on progress. Now, unfortunately, Henry Ford’s contribution to the Industrial revolution led to things like the “massed produce Hell” where “modern guitars” have ended up. Places like China, and Korea, and even Japan have become the number one importers of guitars into America. Blah! 😦
But Rick… man, Rick is a purist. Luckily for us, he “sees” guitars as something other than just wood and plastic. He sees them as something ethereal, mystical icons that sooth the souls of mortal men. Rick doesn’t just build guitars one at a time, he breathes life into them… Just being around him makes you want to hock your car, to beg a chance at owning one of his “children.”
Now, I always say that; “You shouldn’t cry over a guitar that won’t cry over you…” Rick’s guitars will make you weep. Uncontrollably.
But, this post isn’t solely about Rick, although it could be. When it comes to guitar lore, Rick is as deep as the Pacific Ocean.
It’s also about Rosewood. Brazilian Rosewood, to be exact. Now everybody that knows anything about guitars knows that the best ones are made out of this stuff. But Brazilian Rosewood is a rare commodity. Since the 70’s, it’s been illegal to bring it into the US, because of embargoes. They have this CITE litigation in place, to make certain that Luthier’s cry.
And that brings me to the POINT of this post.
I have this big tabletop. It’s a behemoth of a slab of wood, that used to be a really nice “rustic” dining room table, before some neanderthal dropped it off the back of a freight truck. Now, it’s just a slab, and some broken legs and spreaders.
The guy I got it from swore up and down that it was just “oiled redwood,” but even a cursory glance told me that it was more. Much more. I know guys who make their living dealing in exotic hardwoods. And a few of them lately, have been offering me a pretty fair amount of cash, for this slab of wood. Why?
First, it looks like this.
Because it’s a hunk of 50+ year old Rosewood. Brazilian Rosewood, to boot! How do I know? Well, it’s like this;
The family that I got it from brought it back from South America in the 70’s.
(Now, I didn’t get it directly from them, but that’s another long story, filled with 8″x10″ glossy pictures, with circles and arrows draw all over them.)
Here’s the “Reader’s Digest Condensed Version:” The people that brought the “slab” back were working for “United Foods” offshore, they got tired of Brazil, and they headed back to sunny Southern California. And naturally, they brought their stuff back with them.
And then, they died. And, their greedy kids, who grew up with the furniture, hated it. So they sold it to a consignment guy, and HE’s the idiot I got it from.
(I’m not telling you THAT story, there’s far too much profanity, threats of physical violence, and attempted calls to “911” involved!) 🙂
Anyway, like I said, I verified my suspicions by calling in “exotic wood experts.” (Ever seen a “wood broker” cry? I saw them do just that, and even salivate, too!) It’s Rosewood. Brazilian Rosewood, legally imported into the United States, in the early 1970’s. How do I know that? Well, because it came into the country as “furniture in a crate.” that’s how. In the 70’s. Duh! Were you not you paying attention?
When I first saw the tabletop, I though it was” bullnosed.” That’s when a craftsman puts a big piece of molding on the edge of a surface, to make it look thicker. But, I was wrong. It’s a solid slab, almost 5″ thick. Actually, it was a solid 10″ slab, cut in half, an then glued together, to make a “wider” slab.
There is a strip of Ebony inlayed into the middle of the table, to hide the “joint.”
It measures as follows;
The tabletop is 8′- 1 1/2 inches long x 3′ 7 1/4″ wide x 4.75 inches thick. Remember it’s “rustic” so the measurements vary by about 1/8th to 1/4th inch, throughout. It has a rough edge.
According to my calculations, that means I have … lemme see… carry the three, multiply by the square root of Alien Tech, and divide by the circumference of my cranium (at the point) and you get;
In 1960, you could buy Rosewood for 10$ a foot, I’m told. Today, if you can find it, it goes for over $100 a board foot.
The (2) “spreaders” that held the legs to the table measure;
90″ long x 6″ wide, and they go from 2″ to 3″ thick in a slow taper. There’s a tenon at each end, and two holes drilled into each center, presumably to secure the middle legs to the table. That yields about;
Remember that there are two of them.
I’d forgotten that there are also (2) short spreaders, that spanned the width of the table. They measure:
31″ long x 6″ wide x and 2″ thick, with a tenon on each end..
That means that the table will yield;
The (3) legs that we salvaged, unfortunately are NOT Rosewood. The grain is quite cool, and the wood is noticeably darker. The inlay strip in the middle of the table married the whole thing together…They appear to be Brazilian Ebony, as near as we can figure. They measure;
5″ x 5″ at the top, 3″ x 3″ at the bottom, with a slight flute to them… Height is 28 1/2″, with a 3/4″ deep mortise in 2 sides to accept the spreader tenons.
Even if you cut them down to 3″x3″ … that’s over 5 board feet of really nice wood. They’d probably make cool guitar necks… and those “slices” you took off to square them up… well, I bet that they’d make a pretty good looking fingerboard or three… Or, you could use them as “accent” wood, inlayed into the Rosewood…
But it’s the Rosewood that’s important, here.
If I sold the slab to those “wood brokers” they’d cut it up into really thin slabs called “veneers.” That stuff is used to make cabinetry, decorated boxes, and even (gasp!) flooring. And, they’d pay me a pretty penny for the pleasure of doing exactly that.
SACRILEGE! A Pox on them! Hawwwk! Patoo-ie!
This Brazilian Rosewood is gonna get a new life, just like G_d intended when he made those heavenly trees. Rosewood was meant for guitars. Beautiful, dark sounding babies with sustain time that rivals Michael Jordan’s “hang time” on his best day! And although I already have children, I think I’m about to have a few more… A pair of beautiful daughters not directly affected by my lousy genes. A six-stringed and twelve-stringed pair of semi-hollow bodied “Goth Prom Queen” sisters with voices so dark that you’d swear you were hearing Africa cry…
I’m sorry I’ve been away for a while. Besides gigging my butt off, I’m in the middle of a new project.
It’s a project that every musician dreams about. It’s a project my family and I have always aspired to. And it’s happening as we speak.
Take two chunky little warehouses, build a box to connect them together, and add about all the money you ever saved (plus all the money that you can borrow), and voila! Instant “land of dreams.”
Well, not exactly “instant.” More like a YEAR from now. Man, these babies take a long time. After I figured out hard it is to build a studio, I finally bit the bullet and placed the call.
You know the one where get down on your hands and knees and grovel at the feet of the “Sound Box Gods” and beg for attention... I mean, you can play in the forums, but sooner or later, you’ll just start going crazy.
But, the music gawds were smiling, and I got the help I needed! Praise the powers that be! I mean, I don’t want to learn how Steven Hawkin does ‘rithmatic! I just wanna play! So… I have an acoustical designer on the team, now! Finally, I have somebody to share those “Excedrin headaches” with! 🙂
Where was? Oh yeah…
I was going to start “teaching lessons” this week, but I have another idea. It came to me on the plane back from Miami, in the form of a little boy who wandered up to my seat, and asked me what kind of guitar and amplifier I was playing. Seems that he and his mom were seated a few rows back, and they overheard me talking to my partner about the next gig, in LA. And that little tyke told me that he’s always wanted to play the guitar, and end up on VH1. He said;
“I’m not a Guitar Zero, man! I’m a Guitar Hero!”
If he’d have said “MTV,” I’d a ignored him. But, since it’s “VH1…” His birthday is coming up, and I know a kid who’s gonna get a guitar in the mail. I’ve got this Yamaha APX500 FM Thinline Electric Acoustic in the back of a closet I picked up for free, at NAMM. He’ll have to grow into it, but it should just about do the trick. Whaaa? You thought I’d send him a Taylor Koa? Nope. You wish.
I get asked all the time about which guitar is the best. There really isn’t a “right” answer for that. Guitars are like girls, when you find the right one, you’ll know. Everybody is different, and we all have desires of a different color. I mean, I love Japanese, but I wouldn’t want to eat it every night…
Now, amplifiers. That’s an entirely different matter. Although there are tons of good amps out there, some just stand out, doing what they do, better than the rest. And, you have to pick them by category. There’s no such thing as a Rock/Jazz/Heavy Metal amp…
For instance, I just got back from Miami, where we spent a few days recording some serious Jazz licks, with a little “Mikosukee” flair. Sounds odd, I know, but it’s a project that will make you sit up and take notice, I promise. Tasty licks, and rich enough to let you close your eyes and feel it wash thru you!
Recording studios make it a point to have just about any amp they need, but no Studio can have everything. So, you call ahead and tell them what you want, and they make sure they have it.
We’ll start this out by talking about Amps for Jazz guitarists, since my favorite 335 is sitting right here.
Guitar amps are really about “tone.” Making your jazz guitar sound “so sweet and tasty” obviously requires more than the right amplifier and guitar.
It requires you to make a choice. And that first choice is between tubes, or electronics.
Before you go anywhere near that music store to buy your new amp, you need to know the answer to this question;
Here’s the “Pros” of choosing that tube amp:
If you’ve attended events like NAMM, you already know that great strides have been taken in incorporating recent technology innovations to make it possible to emulate the sound of a tube amplifier in a solid state amp. (The Roland Cube 60 and its Cosm amp emulation are real good examples).
But, Tube Amps have “Cons” too:
Here’s the ABC’s of amp selection (plus or minus a few)…
Combo or head and cabinet? That separate head and amp look and sound great, but combination amps are way easier to haul around. If you’re still gigging out of a van, you choice is made. If you have a tractor-trailer… well… it’s on! Who cares if the roadies howl? 🙂
Are you a control freak? If you’re like me, you like to tweak and shape your sound, so a control panel with a lot of knobs and “dohickey’s” is exactly what you want. If you don’t like fiddling with knobs (you’re not a “real” guitarist :)), go look for a simple control panel.
Digital modeling: Can you believe it? They have “Star Wars Amps,” now. Some amplifiers can actually switch from say… a Fender to a Marshall type amp with the flick of a knob. And some of these amps are loaded with “goodies!” Some of these boxes have just about every classic and modern guitar amp that you ever heard of, already built in. If that wasn’t enough, they have a ton of effects, a veritible “who’s who” of speaker cabinets and even a few microphones.
Now, these amp models don’t sound exactly like the originals, but they come pretty darn close in my opinion. Some guitarists go “ga-ga” over digital modeling, and some like the real thing. I’m kind of a “purist,” so I’m not impressed by ’em. Your mileage may vary.
Headphone connection: Look, if you have roommates or “in-laws” that share a wall, you’ll probably need this. I never did. I actually liked making them mad! It was “sport.” There’s nothing quite like “Eruption” played full tilt, at 4am! 🙂
Low volume: This is the alternative to “wearing headphones.” Does that amp you’ve been lusting after sound good at low volumes? I think that this is a real important point to consider, as you may end up playing little intimate gigs, where that low volume clarity is a huge plus. Plus, it will double as a practice amp! That’s a “two-fer…”
Get the right amp the first time, and you don’t need a practice amp like this! That’s more bucks for pedals! 🙂
Portability: Look, unless you’re “the Incredible Hulk,” size and weight becomes an issue if you’re gigging all over town.
Power: Duh! Your amp needs enough volume to be heard during concerts. I don’t touch one that can’t be heard all the way to the International Space Station, but that’s just me…
Reverb: Okay, it’s test time. Do you prefer spring reverb or digital reverb? Spring reverb sounds way more natural, but sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. If you’re really a Jazz musician, you can tell. For you rock guys with “buzzing eardrums,” that may pose a challenge! 🙂
Tone: what kind of tone are you looking for? Some guitar amps are more suitable to producing the darker tones sought out in traditional Jazz recording. And if you listen to Pat Metheny (in fact, I’m listening to Pat’s album; “TRIO 99–>00” right now) you want to look for amplifiers that produce brighter tones. Of course, some amps claim that they can double up and do both, but they rarely deliver. You may find yourself with both “light and dark meat…” , to make sure you get a good vibe when you need it…
XLR connection: Look, if you’re really a pro, you need an XLR connection on your guitar amp to run through the PA. It’s just part of playing “big gigs.”
Next time, we’ll look at some of the more popular amps, and pick a winner or two…