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JUly 2015

A N e w B Ay M e d i A P u B l i cAt i o N

So N o r


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NeW AmericANA
Solo Album
THe AllmAN

g u i tA r P l Ay e r .co M


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g u i t a r p l a ye r. c o m

v o l . 4 9 , n o . 7 , j u lY 2 0 1 5

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J U LY 2 0 1 5 | V o L U m e 4 9, N U m b e r 7


We can all use a sense of community.

Share your photos, gear and CD/DVD
reviews, likes/dislikes, favorite amps
stories, and more with the Guitar Player


reader community. Come on join in!


and guitars, tone and technique tips, gig

A thorough examination of a particular style or player.


We get up close and personal with the gigs,

This month: John Fogertys Creedence-era work.


Youre Playing It Wrong

the gear, the guts, and the glory that make

You might think you know how to play

playing guitar the coolest thing in the world.

classic riffs like Immigrant Song by Led

Zeppelin. Heres the absolute real deal.


Under Investigation


Sterling Ball talks about recording his debut

solo album at a spritely 59 years of age, Boz
Scaggs checks in, Joe Bonamassa scores a
well-worn goldtop, a lost Les Paul interview,

Genesis Lesson
Layered 12-string magic from the prog masters.


Rhythm Workshop If 6 Was 12


Fretboard Recipes

Melodic Motifs Pt. 1

another cool excerpt from Jim and Dara

Crocketts amazing GP book, and more!


Warren Haynes
The ever-restless creative soul that is Warren
Haynes discusses his Americana collaboration
with Railroad Earth, the Sco-Mule live sets
with John Scofield, and his thoughts on
playing with the Allman Brothers Band.


Randy Bachman


David Torn

146 T.W. Doyle (from the April 1983 issue of GP)
Cover photo: Jay Blakesberg


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G U I TA r P L A Y e r . C o m / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Peter Finger


Guide to Acoustic Amps


Vintage Excerpt
Tony Rice on Learning to


Roundup! Eight semi-hollowbodies

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Communicate (from the

April 1985 issue of Frets)

New Gear


Two-Rock Akoya and Studio Pro 35


104 Field Test Fishman Fluence Humbuckers


Jason Becker on Creativity

108 Field Test Montys Guitars PAF Humbucker Set


Carl Verheyen on Performance


120 Craig Anderton on Technology

Accessory File Alessandro headphones, Etymotic

Research MusicPRO Electronic Earplugs


Whack Job Squier Pointillism Stratocaster


Classic Gear 1966 Arbiter Fuzz Face

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J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


GP Community
n o I z e f ro m the eD Ito r
And, let me tell you, 90 percent

clearly identified, links to any You-

they mean something. Take this

of those bios are pure excrement.

Tube videos and your website, an

actual example: XXX has trans-

This is extremely sad, consider-

email contact, a phone number,

formed his love for the art into a

ing that bios are one of the critical

and which city you operate out of.

reputable musical flare that bridges

links to seducing the media to buy

Dumb? Sure. And yet, I receive bios

most genres. Ack. Nothing pisses

into your act. Why would an ambi-

every day that dont provide the info

off journalists like flowery crap lan-

tious artistor even a weekend war-

I need to do my job. They go right

guage deluged in self-importance

rior looking to keep the club gigs

into the recycling bin. Its a big pile.

and sprinkled with a hint of vague

comingtotally blow something

Dont scare us. Most media

I t m ay b e t I m e f o r a n

as simple and as important as an

peeps are frazzled by deadlines,

make credits count. People

intervention. Biographies. You

artist biography? Even some expe-

so if your bio is really long, they

dont care about bands they dont

know, those documents that are

rienced publicists send us utterly

probably wont have time to read

know. If you were in Bruno Mars

supposed to provide media people

dreadful prose vomitus. Arrgghhh.

it. Keep it to a paragraph or two.

group, say it loud and proud. But

with the pertinent facts about

So heres my contribution to the

Dont oversell. Hey, were

delete references to acts that never

an artist, and, hopefully, intrigue

bio interventionfive butt-simple

writerswe can see right through

went anywhere. You may think they

the gatekeepers enough to con-

ways to devise a biography that

hype. Calm down the self-congrat-

show you have experience, but, trust

sider the artist for coverage. Here

media folks (or, at least, the GP

ulatory proseespecially if youre

me, forcing us to read about failed

at Guitar Player, the staff is inun-

editors) might actually read, enjoy,

a new artist with no real industry

mystery bands just gets your bio

dated with CD packages and artist

and perhaps be jazzed enough to

credits or impactand give us

tossed in the circular file.

bios every day. We scan hundreds

contact you.

some fun facts.

of bios a montheach one trying

Deliver the goods. We need

Dont say stuff that doesnt

to get us to say, Hey, this is worth

your names spelled correctly, a

say stuff. Your words should mean

checking out.

photo with all band members

somethingnot just sound like


The June 2015 issue was
a good one for mistakes. We misspelled
author Robert Alan Witmeyers name in his fine reviews
of the Z.Vex pedals in our Pedalmania! feature, and we also published the wrong


yessir. rock music is still alive and kicking. according to the

emI music 1 million Interview Database, here are the countries
with the highest percentages of rock lovers amongst their
music-loving populations. (Pop, Country, and Urban were
the other categories.)

photo of the Visual Sound (now Truetone) Route 66

V3. The correct photo is right here for all to see.
And in the May issue, we flunked geography. Reader Mike

literary pretensions. Just sayin



Fitzgeraldwho rubbed it in by saying, Thanks for the chuckle!

alerted us that Estonia is one of the Baltic states. Its not the
Balkans as stated in
our article Country
and Estonian on Laur
Joamets. Our apologies to Joamets, Estonia, the Balkans, and
our high-school world
affairs teachers.

united StAteS, enGlAnd, itAly (tie)


FrAnCe 54%
indiA 43%


Source: InfographIc guIde to MusIc, Graham BettS [octoPuS BookS]


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5





Join the GP community!



h e r e a r e m y m a i n t wo g i tfiddles. On the left is my trusty 1963

Fender Custom Shop Reissue Stratocaster. With its hotter-than-usual front
two pickups, its extremely versatile for
several styles of music. On the right is

MichaeL MoLenda, Editor In Chief

my 1954 Martin D-18which is one of


the best-sounding Martin dreadnoughts

Ive ever played. W I L L L O W E

Facebook court oF opinion

art thoMpSon, Senior Editor


What do you miss most about the allman brothers band no longer
being an active part of our musical lives?

Best jam
band ever.
and Dead.
Roy Clark.





and Derek

The sonic

Madness at
the Beacon.

each night.


phoned it in.

Matt bLackett, Associate Editor


kevin oWenS, Managing Editor









That theyll
never get
Dickey Betts

Sadly, the
road does not
go on forever.


The goosebumps theyd

give me.

Dont miss
got albums.

pauL haGGard, Art Director


j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


Opening Shots

SouTHe rN re el

Center Court
Zac Brown Band on stage at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. The
famed tennis stadium and concert venue is once again hosting music after
having sat silently for over 20 years.


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


R ffs

A Long Time Comin

Sterling Ball Certainly DiDnt ruSh
Making hiS DeBut alBuM
By Mich a el Molenda
you have to dig pretty darn deep

to find something that Sterling Ball doesnt

excel at. Hes CEO of the legendary Ernie
Ball/Music Man companyno small feat in
itselfand he still managed to keep a touring
band, Biff Babys Allstars, together throughout the 80s and early 2000s (he played
bass). Hes currently a traveling professional
barbeque chef with a big helping of cooking
awards pinned to his apron, and he doesnt
just work the grillhis Big Poppa Smokers offers gear, sauces, rubs, and more to


other fanatics. Somehow, he finds the time

to give back, as well. His familys Casey
Lee Ball Foundation has raised more than
$8.5 million for pediatric kidney research.
But when it comes to documenting his
own musical pursuits, the guy is simply tragic.
It took his buddiesbassist Dave Marotta,
drummer John Ferraro, and keyboardist
Jimmy Coxto finally compel Ball into the
studio at age 59 to record his debut album.
The result is the aptly titled Better Late Than
Never, a mostly instrumental record that
showcases Balls deep groove and fierce
respect for a songs melody.

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

The album is also a tribute to a musical family, as Ball performs songs that
resonated amongst his clan: Oklahoma
Hills because his mom sang it (and
who passed away after the sessions),
To You Sweetheart Aloha because it
was performed at his dads funeral (and
his grandfather specialized in Hawaiian
songs through his Ball Music Publishing),
Boom Boom Boom Boom because he
covered it in his the Allstars (which featured Ferraro, Cox, and, sometimes, his
brother Sherwood), and so on.
And, wouldnt ya just know? Better Late
Than Never is no vanity project by someone whos successful in other areas, and
simply bluffs through his day as a rock
star. Balls musicality, phrasing, tone, and
taste really shine bright as he plays various basses and electric guitars (all Music

Man, of course), a Collings 000 acoustic,

and a Collings ukulele.
Ill tell you, says Ball, Ive been very
fortunate to always play with guys who
are better than me, and I think that helps.
Every one of those guys on the record is
better than me. But I think Im better than
everybody thought I was.
So, um, you really were forced into this.

Yeah. Basically, Dave Marotta wouldnt

let up on it, and it got to, Dude, youve
put this off too long. We have the studio
booked. You better get your stuff together.
If somebody gives you an opportunity to
test yourself, you take it. Whats the worst
thing that can happen?
Why did your friends become so insistent about making this album happen?

In 1984, I started a band called Biff

Babys Allstars with Ferraro and Cox
thats how far back we go. It was a band
in which I could play guitar, because Ive
always been a bass player. The problem
was I told Albert Lee about it, and he said,
Well, I want to play. So that put me back
on bass. Steve Morse toured with us, too.
So the guys knew I could play, but what
really triggered it was when I hosted a big
BBQ event, and I wanted to play guitar at

the pre-party. I did a solo version of Im

So Lonesome I Could Cry, and I must have
done it pretty good, because thats when
Dave said, Okay, thats it!
Now, the first day in the studio, I wasnt
very good, and it looked like a friendship
gesture from the guys. So I spent a lot of
time thinking about, Am I going to be
some guy who just dabbles, or am I going
to dig deep? I decided to dig. The second
day in the studio, I think I surprised them.
You woodshedded that hard in one

No. It was about a month, because those

guys schedules are so weird. Wed grab a
day, and then it would be five weeks before
wed grab another day. So thats the time I
figured it out. We ended up with two sessions for basics and five days for overdubs.
Did you do the basic tracks live with
the bass and drums?

Oh, yeah. Of course.

Your phrasing and touch are exquisite on
the melody linesevery note really counts.

Thats the respect for the melody that

I got from my dad and my mom. In fact, it
bothers me when I hear singers who dont
respect the melodywho use the melody
as an exercise. I think that when you have a
great melody, youve got where you should

stay. Solos are different for me. I think great

solos challenge timethats what gives
them that spark. I interpret solos a bit differently. You might not think I end up where
I should, but, in my head, I know where Im
going. I like surprising people.
You also dont use a pick, right?

No. I hate a pick with the guitar

although I use one when I play bass. I just
felt that I could do the things I wanted to
do on guitar better with my hands. For me,
its about being more expressive, and playing with my fingers helps me with that.
I also dont use any effects. My effects
pedal is a cable.
Any of your famous friends review
the record?

I dont want to say much, but I got a

nice note from Steve Vai that was really
beautiful and encouraging. He said, You
communicated who you werethats what
resonated with me.
Despite the fact you finally birthed this
baby, what do you feel is the most surprising element of the album?

I think the ukulele surprises more people

more than anything. Most guys dont solo
on ukulele. But Im a big guy with a tiny
instrument, and I just love everything about
the ukulele. g

Blast from GPs Past

Heres an insight from the pages of Jim and Dara Crocketts new book, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First
Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever [Backbeat/Hal Leonard]a collection of oral histories from the editors, photographers, artists, and advertisers who were in the magazines orbit during that era.

People still talk about and share my Guitar Player interview [March 1973] even today.
I was very comfortable with the interviewer, Michael Brooks [mistakenly credited as
Michael Pierce], which is saying something, because so often I felt challenged by men.
But Michael put me right at ease, and just by the sound of his voice, I knew there was
respect. I appreciated that. And the interview itself, I believe, gave me more respect in
the industry. What? A girl on electric guitar? Yup! For a while, it pretty much felt like
just me, Bonnie Raitt, and Ellen McIlwaine. That was about it. J u n e


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



By Mich a el Molenda
Boz ScaggS knowS what he likeS,

and he likes who he makes records with

which made the sessions for his latest
album, A Fool to Care [429 Records], an
exercise in smooth confidence. And fun.
Who wouldnt have a blast tracking mostly live with drummer Steve Jordan (who
also produced the record), bassist Willie
Weeks, guitarist Ray Parker, Jr., and keyboardist Jim Cox? Recorded in just four
days at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, the
album explores the love that Scaggs and
Jordan have for classic R&B, soul, and
rock, and it features a guest spot by Bonnie Raittwhich Scaggs called, one of
the highlights of my career.
your guitar parts are so in the pocket
on this record. do you work them out, or
just play by feel?

Im a feel player. Im not trying to get

this kind of sound, or that kind of sound. I
have my own style of hearing the material,
and my own style of playing it. Working
with Steve Jordan and the rhythm section, the whole story is right there. All I
have to do is fill in the blanks. Ill try a


few passes, and the tone will tell me what

to do. The vocal is already on the track
either a finished vocal or a roughand
that informs me what to step around with
the guitar. Theres no planit just works
when it works.
what about your vocals?

On some of the songs, I worked out

my vocal approach. Id pick a key, and use
a little rhythm box to make a very cursory
demo to send to Jordanjust so we had an
idea where the vocal would fit in. Tempo
is extremely importantmore important
than most people give it credit for.
what was the main gear you used for
A Fool to Care?

My standard, go -to guitar for the

studio is a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster, but Ive always wanted a onepickup jazz guitar, and I found a Gibson
Custom Shop Herb Ellis model about
five years ago. I promised myself when I
got the time, I would get it set up, and I
used it on just about everything on the
new record. It plays like a dream, and it
has a really wild tone when you put it
through a little distorted amp. I also used
my home guitara 51 or 52 Martin

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Boz Scaggs Lets It Flow

D-28 thats difficult to record because it
has such a big sound. But it worked out
just fine. Then, theres my Gibson J-45
that always records beautifully. Blackbird Studio brought me a beautiful, vintage plexi Marshall that I used for the
live tracks. The plexi will go anywhere
you want it to go. You can get the richest clear and warm sounds out of it, or
you can push it. I guess its my favorite amp in the world. I also have a Suhr
ampan 18-watt, with a 1x12 cabthat
Ive been using at home in my studio for
about ten years now. I use it live, too. It
has a punchy, Marshall-like sound.
i know a lot of care and work went into
the album, but it seems like the sessions
were almost effortless.

Yes, its all very easy and natural. You

want it right, but you also want to have
fun. Steve likes to hear his drums a certain
way, and I like to hear his drums any way he
likes to play them. Its all about the music,
and all about the way the musicians interpret it. Were veterans. Were not trying to
put anything in there thats not us. Weve
been around, we know what we want, and
we know what we like. g

Celebrating Les Pauls Centennial

In 2008, author MartIn M c Quade

leaving. Im going with Bing. He said, I knew

Make room for these fellas. They have to go

a consultant for Bing Crosby Enterprisesinter-

someone was going to grab you. Tell me how

back and get their music.

viewed Les Paul for a planned article on his

it happened. I said, It hasnt happened. Bing

musical relationship with Crosby. The interview

has never heard of me.

That was a subterfuge, was it?

Thats right. When I got into the build-

You had a positive outlook.

ing, I looked at the studios that werent

and, due to other projects getting in the way,

I sure did. I packed the car up, and I headed

being used. So I took Studio B. I set up my

it was never published. Now, to honor what

for California with the idea of somehow get-

trio. I said, At least were in the building.

would have been Les Pauls 100th birthday,

ting to play for Bing. When I got to NBC in

So we set up our music, and we were play-

GP is excerpting part of McQuades interview

Hollywood, I saw where Bing would come to

ing Back Home Again in Indiana. A fellow

for the next few issues. We feel its an excel-

rehearse on Thursdays.

came in, and said, I am the contractor for

produced a transcript that spanned 40 pages,

lent lost discussion, and its a great way to

Was that for the Kraft Music hall?

NBC, and I dont see anybody listed for this

honor two great musiciansLes Paul and Bing

Yes. I had to somehow get into the broad-

studio. I said, Well, I have to level with you.

Crosbyon the occasion of Les centennial year.

casting station so that my trio could play for

We dont belong there. He looked a little sur-

Bing. There was no way. He was surrounded by

prisedand amusedand he said, What is

so many people making sure he wasnt harassed

your purpose? I said, Well, I want to see if

I heard him in 1939. I loved him, and I loved

by me [laughs]. I figured out a way. I got my trio

I could get Bing to hear us. I think we would

[guitarist] Eddie Lang. Who could you pick

to back into the artists entrance at NBC when

be great to be with Bing. He said, Stay here

better than who Bing picked? That was Eddie

the people took a break for lunch. There was

for a minute. And he came back with the

Lang. So, consequently, I carried this love for

quite a commotion with all the people leaving

vice president of NBC, who was an old friend

Bing straight through my career until I ended

to go to eat and drink. I yelled to my bass player,

of mine from Chicago! M a r t i n

up in New York broadcasting with Fred Waring

Did you bring the music? Hed say, No, I left it

five nights a week. One day, I told Fred, Im

on the piano. The guy guarding the door said,

How did you meet Bing Crosby?


Next month: Does Les plan work out for

him? g

Left to right:
Les Paul,
Donna Day,
and Fred

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Joe Bonamassas Guitar Safaris

The Ragin Cajun
Its tIme to tell another


the store is not only open but

also full of cool vintage guitars and amps.
The first thing I notice
upon entering is a mint brown
1962 Fender Princeton amp.
I am a sucker for these chocolate-colored Fender amps. I
cant get enough of them. (I
currently own 17 of them in
different variations). I quickly
make a deal for the amp and
continue to look around. Mike
shouts out, Hey dude, check
out this goldtop back here!
I go around back behind the
main room and see what
would come to be known as
the Ragin Cajun hanging on
the wall. It was honestly love
at first sight. Being a guitar
of the south, it has that great
greenish patina and checking you only normally see in
high humidity climates. In
terms of my personal taste
in guitar collecting, I love
guitars in mint condition or
really worked over. Because
this guitar was definitely in
the latter category, I immediately grabbed it and plugged it
in. There is usually a reason a
guitar becomes that beat up
over the years. Most of the
time the reason is because
it sounds and plays great! A
five minute chat and a little
chiseling on my part and the
extremely nice shop owner and I reach
an agreement on the price.
I always say if guitars could talk, the
stories they would tell would blow our
minds. The Ragin Cajun could definitely
keep us entertained for years. g

tale of guitar safari goodness:

a story about a much played
and lovedbut not abused
1955 Gibson Les Paul Standard, one of the first batch of
Tune-o-matic equipped Les
Pauls produced in late 1955.
As you can see from the picture, it has been played heavily but miraculously it has
never been cracked, broken,
or repaired in anyway. I think
I was the first person to ever
look at the control cavity, given
the years of nicotine, liquor,
and rust this guitar had accumulated on the screws after
so many years playing in the
bars and juke joints of the New
Orleans area bayou and southern Louisiana.
To set the scene, we find
ourselves having a day off in
New Orleans on a cold gray
Monday. As usual, my tech Mike,
Colin (our bass and keyboard
tech), and I are bored. We do
a quick Google search of area
guitar shops, and were off to
wreak havoc on the local merchants. On this particular day
we hit three shops without any
luck. It is now about 4 oclock
and there is one shop left on
my list but it isnt nearby. Its
called International Vintage
We show the driver the
address and he asks, Are you crazy?
Thats a pretty rough area, fellas. Being
adventurous (and seekers of great guitars and guitar stories) we convince him
to take us over the bridge and into Algiers
Point. As we get closer to the shop, the

neighborhood gets more residential and

a little scarier. Finally we pull up to a little
white house with the smallest blue guitarshaped sign out in front. We head around
back to a small shack behind the house.
Not exactly a prime retail location, but

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


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J u LY 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


callian n e- bac hm an

Who Are You?

Bachman with drummer dale
anne Brendon (center) and
bassist anna ruddick.

RAndY BAchmAn
Delivers Heavy Blues
WitH a PoWer trio
By g r eg P rato

B ac k i n t h e l at e 6 0 s a n d e a r ly 7 0 s , s i n g e r /

guitarist Randy Bachman was on quite a winning streak. As

a member of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bachman had a hand in the creation of such classic
rock staples as American Woman, You Aint Seen Nothing Yet, Takin Care of Business, and more. On his new
album, Heavy Blues [True North], Bachman has gloriously
reconnected with his hard rock side (as evidenced by such
ass kickers as Little Girl Lost, Wild Texas Ride, and the
title track), and is joined by an impressive list of special
guests that includes Neil Young, Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Healey,
and Peter Frampton. Bachman was more than happy to discuss his hard rock rebirth with Guitar Player, as well as his
memories of penning a 70s guitar classic.
how did Heavy Blues come together?

Geoff Kulawick, who is a friend of mine from Canada, had

taken over True North Records, and was interested in signing me to a record deal if I would do something new and
exciting. At the same time, I was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in January of 2014, and Neil Young was
there, because his pedal-steel player, Ben Keith, was inducted
as well. Ben had passed away, so Neil was there to accept for


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

him. I told Neil I had a new record deal, and he said, Great
opportunity. Do yourself a favor: Dont do the same old stuff.
Get a new band, get different guitars, get a different producer.
Do something scary that youve never done before or havent
done in a while. Go into a strange room, challenge yourself,
and see what happens.
Then, I happened to see Tommy the musical, in Stratford,
Ontario, and I was sitting with Pete Townshend. Pete said to
me, The drummer is amazing. The drummer plays like Keith
Moon. We went to meet the drummer, Dale Anne Brendon,
after the show. I said, Dale, I have a chance to do an album.
Do you want to do an album with just you on drums and me
on guitar? Well be like the White Stripes. She said, Great,
Im in. When I told my manager and Geoff, they said, Nah,
we dont want you to copy the White Stripes or the Black
Keys. Thats already been done. Why dont you just add a
third member? Well, BTO got inducted into the Juno Hall
of Fame in March of 2014, and while we were there, we saw
a band called Ladies of the Canyon. They had long, scraggly hair, ripped flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and they did
this blazing country rock, like early Eagles or Crazy Horse.
I thought the bass player, Anna Ruddick, was incredible.
We had lunch the next day, and she showed up with a John


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


randy bachm a n

like Keith Moon. Do you want to come do a

power trio jam album? You can be like John
Entwistle or Jack Bruce, and Anne will be
my John Bonham or Keith Moon. Im writing some new blues songs. She said, Yes.
Sounds incredible.
and you enlisted Kevin Shirley to produce.

He said, Ill do this, but I only have five

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Entwistle t-shirt. I said, How old are you?

She said, 30. I said, You know who John
Entwistle is? She said, Well, I studied bass
composition and upright bass at McGill University in Montreal. We study all bass players, and Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten, John
Entwistle, and Jack Bruce were my favorites.
I said, Well, I have a drummer who plays

days. If youre going to let me produce you,

you have to let me captain the ship. I dont
want any discussion. I want to tell you what
to do and I want you to do it, because Im
going to win the argument anyway. So just
let me win it, save a lot of time, and lets get
these tracks done. He flew into Toronto, we
all had dinner on Saturday night, we started
Sunday, and we cut 12 tracks in the next four
days. We had done them all live and got a
great sound. I used all old guitars and old
amps. And then Kevin called me and said, I
got my neighbor, Joe Bonamassa, to play a
solo on a track. I went, Wow, what a great
idea. I emailed Neil Young, and he said he
wanted to have a solo in there. I asked other
friends of mine, and ended up with seven
great soloists on the album. Each of them
has a real showcase in each song, and they
really did bring a bit of themselves. You can
tell its really Neil, its really Peter Frampton. Its the real guy doing his own thing.
The album has a big, heavy sound.

What really blew me away and made my

life as a guitar player was the late 60s power
trios: Hendrix, Cream, and also the Who and
Zeppelin, who were guitar, bass, and drums at
the core. I wanted to honor that, but I didnt
want to do the standard Les Paul through a
Marshall or a Strat through a Fender amp. I
found a guy in Toronto who collects amps,
and I bought these old Silvertone piggyback
amps, where the bottom is open back with
two ten-inch speakers, a head on top, and a
great built-in tremolo. I used two of those,
and I split the signals with a Roland Chorus
the one everybody calls the Flying Saucer.
It doesnt even have an adapter, just a direct
AC plug-in. I didnt use it for chorus, just
to split my signal. It has a half-watt boost,
so it distorts your guitar a little. I also used
two National lunchbox ampsthey have
incredible distortion. I put all those in a
glass room and threw up about six or eight
microphones. I said to Kevin, I only want
to do one guitar track. I wanted it to sound
huge, like Pete Townshend. Lets just take
one mic and pan it at eight oclock, and then
put the next mic at ten oclock, the next at
12 oclock, and spread it across the stereo
spectrum. So when I track, there are different tones as well as closeness or far-awayness in the microphones giving my guitar a
gigantic wall of sound.
What did you use for guitars?

The guitar I used on every single track


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


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Randy Bachm a n

I didnt even know existed until I started

searching the Internet and did some research.
It was a Supro, called a Val-Trol. Its a solidbody archtopan enclosed archtop. It has
two incredible Supro Valco pickups in it, and
being built in 1959, the bridge pickup had a
piezo in it or something like it, so you can
mix that in. The guitar has one controla

volume controland a three-way switch.

Thats it. And the sound from it is big and
fat. When I start Livin on the Edge, its
gigantic, and its that one guitar. Another
secret weapon we had was a bass like Fred
Turner used to play in Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the single pickup Rickenbacker 4000
bass. Theres something magical about it.

That one pickupand where its placed

gives you the greatest bass sound for what
I want in rock and roll. That changed the
sound of BTO. And then, Rickenbacker started
to make two pickup basses and they were
never the same. When it was one pickup,
it was somewhere about two-thirds of the
way between the neck and the bridge, and
theres a harmonic resonance in the bass
that is incredible.
Lastly, what do you remember about
writing Takin care of Business?

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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

I was on stage, desperate. I had to sing

the last set of a club gig because Fred had
lost his voice. I had no songs to sing. I took
a song I had previously written that I had
pitched to the Guess Who and BTOand they
didnt like itcalled White Collar Worker.
The lyrics were the same, but when I got to
the hook, I sang, White collar worker, just
like Paperback Writer. Everybody hated
the song. On the way to the gig that night,
I heard the DJ on the radio saying, This
is Daryl B on C-FUN Radio in Vancouver, were taking care of business. I went,
Wow, what a great song title. That night
on stage, I threw away the White collar
worker hook and substituted the words
Takin care of business. I took out seven of
the ten chords, made it a three-chord-song
kind of thing, turned around to the band
and said, Follow me. I made the song up
on stage. We played it for 26 minutes that
night! We recorded it two weeks later, and
on that recording, I used my Gretsch 6120,
and when Im playing up high, doing all my
Leslie West licks, you can hear the guitar
going in and out of tune. Those 6120s did
not have a fixed bridge and if you banged
the bridge with your hand, it went out of
tunethe bridge actually moved. I said,
What the heck. This sounds very Keith
Richards-y, very Howlin Wolf-y. Ill just
leave it the way it is. This song will never
be a single. Its just an album cut. And if
you listen to that whole song, it speeds up
and slows down, but its a real party. Were
having a party in the studio. The piano player
was a pizza delivery guy who came in and
said, I think I can play piano on this, so
I gave him one take, he played piano, and
left. We didnt even know who he was. We
had to find him the next day and give him
credit on the album. The whole song was
just a trainwreck that came together to be
a beautiful mess. g

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A Guitar Gods Gear

DAviD Torn Talks Tones
By Mich a el ross
No oNe could accuse david TorN

of grinding out guitar records lately, but 30

years ago it was a different story. Beginning
in 1985 with Best Laid Plans, Torn ripped
through six groundbreaking, guitar-heavy
releases in one decade. Since 1996s What
Means Solid Traveller, however, the master
of ambient looping and fuzz-drenched,
Eastern-inflected soloing has been flying
under the guitar-hero radar.
It is not that the sonic pioneer has been
idle. In the interim, he has lent his distinctive guitar work to a Whos Who of creative musicians, including David Bowie,
k.d. lang, John Legend, Tori Amos, David
Sylvian, and Meshell Ndegeocello, as well
as producing records for Jeff Beck and
Tim Berne. Torn sandwiched those gigs
in between soundtrack work on films like
Friday Night Lights, The Big Lebowski, Traffic, and Three Kings, as well as his Grammywinning score for The Order.
There have been some collaborative
stealth releases over the years with Splattercell and Prezens, but Torn the guitar hero
is finally back with Only Sky [ECM], and it
is everything fans of the whammy (bar and
pedal)-wielding wizard could hope for: a
completely solo effort that showcases the
innovative loops and go-for-broke soloing
that place him on guitar Olympus. Read on,
as the wizard reveals some of his secrets.
Why do a solo record this time?

It started when I got the Avid Pro Tools

+ Eleven Rack. I was doing early morning
sessions in my studio just improvising songs.
I would find two chords or a three-note


melody, do the improv, and record it straight

down. If I didnt like it, I might do another
one. I had a bunch of pieces for my TED
Talkone, called Only Sky, became the
title song on the new record. But, when I
got there, I changed my mind; I just went
out and improvised. That made me think
I should keep improvisingtheres something satisfying about it. I decided it didnt
always have to be a song format. For this
record, some pieces are a bit song-like and
the rest are totally improvised.
Was editing or overdubbing involved?

I edited some of the pieces. If I had to

go pee, I just let the loops run [laughs]. Id
run to the bathroom and then come back
and start where I left off. After 35 minutes of playing, I would get offstage, but
leave the loops going. There were some
processors running that produced sounds
on their own. Id start a really good piece,
and then Id do something dumb like fall
down. Id try to find a natural place to begin
again, and then edit it together. In the mix,
I would edit all the crap out. The music
was recorded live in stereo, so there was
not a lot of other fixing that could be done.
Where did you record?

Some of it was at EMPAC [Curtis R.

Priem Experimental Media and Performing
Arts Center in Troy, New York] at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute. Its a 1,500-seat
theater with 50-foot ceilings. The room is set
up with microphone cabling and remotely
movable mics. I used some mics that were
close to the cabinets, another two mics far
out to the sides, two pairs of stereo mics in
front of the stage about 15 or 20 feet into

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Dav i D To r n

the audience, and two big room mics hanging from the balcony that were super wide.
Some other pieces were recorded at home,
and the challenge of the mix was to blend
them with the ones recorded at EMPAC.

what I believe was the first commercially

available version of what people now call
Shimmer. I started with the first PCM70.
I bring my own reverb with me, but there
are certain rooms that enhance every sound.

worse because everything in my rack can be

sent to everything else [Laughs].

Did you try to reproduce the EMPaC


How did you get the live glitching guitar

effects on the record?

I just used my ear to get close to it. It

was about capturing the coloration of the
room, which was quite a bit warmer than
my original home recordings. EMPAC is like
playing into a beautiful cushion that doesnt
dull things.

All the glitching, stuttering stuff is done

with the original Hexe reVolver pedal.

It is trial and error; sometimes you dont

get it right and you have to deal with it. I set
it up so I have an idea of the pitch range. To
play Theremin-like melodies, I need to know
where my top and bottom notes are. There
is also a PCM 42 sound where I am changing the pitch, the length of the loop, and also
have a square wave LFO going. Ill change the
pitch and length with my foot, and change the
speed of the LFO with my hand until I like it.
Sometimes Ill change the depth of the LFO
at the same timethere are many planned
accidents and manipulations thereof.

What did you use in your studio to reproduce it?

I have a couple of custom reverb patches

I did in Native Instruments Reaktor. I might
have used some digital EQ to empty out the
midrange in certain places to make sure the
overall sound was warmly reverberant.
Do you use reverb in your rig as well, or
is that all delay?

I have a Lexicon PCM80. I programmed


are you controlling the pitch with an

expression pedal?

I was following the reVolver with a DigiTech DT Whammy Pedal. It let me shift the
pitch of those short reVolver loops, but not
the length. I shifted them in a musical way
while I was playing and transposed in my
head as I went. If you hear a loop length
being altered and theres a lot of stuttering within the loop, it could be the Gibson
Echoplex Digital Pro. I use it to build new
rhythmic figures by using its insert and multiply functions. The crazy part is that the
reVolver feeds into the EDP, and I make it

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

in some places it sounds like you are

using the self-oscillating feature of your
signature Trombetta Tornita! fuzz.

How did you sonically separate the loops

from the improvisations over them?

I had a Fryette Sig:X head in the middle as

my dry amp, which isnt actually totally dry.
I was using the THD Hot Plate Attenuator,

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Dav i D To r n

which would send the signal to my rack mixer

for my rack effects, and then to a Fryette
Two/Fifty/Two stereo power amp that fed a
Fryette Deliverance cab on one side of the
stage. On the opposite side I had a Bogner
Goldfinger 2x12. In the middle was a Bob
Burt 2x12 custom pine, V-front cabinet, with
two old Celestion Blues in it.
Which guitars did you use?

I used the pink Ronin Mirari for all the

EMPAC material. At home, I used my DPergo
Strat-style on one track, my Koll Tornado
on one track, and Im pretty sure I used the
Teuffel Niwa also.
is that just amp overdrive on i Could
almost See the room?

I was turning an Empress Effects Compressor on and off. I also used the Chase
Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl. Its a vibrato pedal
with an analog signal and a digital controller attached to the back. You can control it
with LFOs or the envelope of your attack. I
was pushing the amp with it, even when I

wasnt using any pitch changing. Anything

that sounds like a chorus on the guitar would
be that. I used a Caroline Guitar Company
Kilobyte delay on the dry amp. The pedal
has a momentary switch on it to make it go
into wild self-oscillation.
is that where the octave sound on that
tune comes from?

No, thats my Lexicon, unless its on the

direct guitar sound, and then its a Whammy
pedal. The reverbs have something more complicated than just an octave up. Its actually
a series of stereo delay lines with octaves
being modulated at different speeds, in different amounts on each side mixed into a
very huge reverb.
Theres a great distortion sound on
reaching Sparely, Barely Fraught.

It was probably the Trombetta Mini-Bone.

That track was actually recorded with the
Kemper Profiler in my studio.
are you using an auto filter on only Sky?

Theres a kind of envelope-driven filter

from the Kemper thats only on the reverb.

The Kemper has all these envelope driven
effects. Theres a certain set of sonic compromises I accept from digital modeling,
so I can play at the volume I want at four
in the morning. The main compromise is
a lack of animation and multi-dimensionality in the sound and feel. Kemper is the
best modeler Ive had, yet Im always looking for things to make it feel more random,
so I can respond to it.
Whats next?

I did a session that could become a groovy

pop record. Its a Celtic-sounding woman
singer, with very dark lyrics, very simple
drum programming, and a few simple, yet
charming, synth patches. I fill in everything
else. They seemed to like the idea of black
metal guitar. I used my new Basic Audio Fuzz
Mutant pedal and the Fryette Power Station
attenuator with my Fryette Deliverance amp.
It sounded so damn good I couldnt even tell
if I was playing well or not! g



G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Warren Haynes Goes
Americana, Jazzes with
Scofield, and Remembers
the Allman Brothers Band

{ }
L ASt y e A R WAS A S e ASo n o f

monumental change for Warren Haynes.

Govt Muleformed in 1994 by Haynes
and the late bassist Allen Woody as a
side project to their membership in the
Allman Brothers Bandcelebrated its
20th anniversary with a series of archival live releases, including Sco-Mule [Evil
Teen], a recently rediscovered 1999 performance that captures oodles of intricate dialogue between Haynes and John
Scofield. Brian FarmerHaynes longtime
guitar tech and close friendpassed away

By Jimmy Leslie
Photographs by Jay Blakesberg

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Cover Story


on August 24, 2014. A few months later,

the Allman Brothers Band ended its epic
run with a final bow at New Yorks Beacon
Theater on October 28, 2014.
As 2015 unfurled, the creatively restless
Haynes decided to let his fans experience
some changes by releasing an acousticoriented Americana solo album, Ashes and
Dust [Concord/Universal]. Backed by the
bluegrass-jam band Railroad Earth, Haynes
showcases his tasteful and tuneful playing
against a backdrop of fiddle, mandolin,
bouzouki, banjo, piano, and other acoustic instruments. Although Haynes is one of
the most powerful, gritty-piped singers on
the planet, as well as a monster guitarist
whose tone and intensity upholds the true
meaning of guitar hero, its mostly his
sensitivity and subtlety that holds court on
Ashes and Dust. That said, his earthy electric tones blend well with the folky vibe,
and his slide playing sounds particularly
poignant on tunes such as Wanderlust
and Is It You or Me. Haynes even dons
a DAngelico jazzbox for several tunes,
adding class and grace to the sonic tapestry. A nod to the past occurs on Spots
of Time, where fellow Allman Brothers
Oteil Burbridge (bass) and Marc Quinones
(percussion) join in for some inspired
Those who have come to cheer on Haynes
meaty and snarling Les Paul tones and
bluesy jam explorations will get a different
kind of thrill by hearing how he negotiates
the folky side of the music world. But, of
course, following Haynes has always been a
joyous exercise of expecting the unexpected.
What inspired you to pick up the archtops
and acoustics for Ashes and Dust?

I was looking to express myself with a

sound that fit the musics overall picture,
which is very different than anything Ive
done before. I played a lot on a DAngelico
New Yorker strung with GHS flatwounds
that Ive had for about 15 years. Its from
their first series of reissues, I believe. I also
played my 61 Gibson ES-335 some. I found
myself playing a ton of slide stuff on my
signature Gibson Les Paulwhich is my
go-to guitar for that. I recorded through
small amps, going after a sound that fit in
with the acoustic instruments. I did play
quite a bit of acoustic, but, in the long run,


I think Im still playing much more electric.

Where does the acoustic guitar fit into
the landscape of your life?

Im always sitting around playing acoustic guitar. I always keep one close at home,
and I play my signature Washburn a lot on
the tour bus.
There are two Washburn Warren Haynes
Signature Solo Deluxe guitarsthe 5249
and the 5240. Is the former essentially the
Cadillac, and the latter akin to a Chevy?

Thats a good description. They re

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

similarly based on the 1937 Washburn Solo

Deluxewhich I felt offered a bit more
midrange that was good for slide guitar
and single-note melodic playing.
How did this Americana project come

More than five years agobefore I

recorded Man In MotionI was supposed to
make an album at Levon Helms studio with
Levon playing drums, Leon Russell playing
piano, and T-Bone Wolk playing bass. But
T-Bone passed away, and everything changed.

Then, Levon passed away, and I realized it

was not meant to be. So I switched from
an Americana style to a soul-meets-blues
approach for Man In Motion. A lot of songs
on Ashes and Dust date back to that record
I never made, while some are brand new,
and some go back decades. We recorded 30
songs, so were looking at this as a work in
progress. Were going to continue releasing material from the original sessions, as
well as continue recording more material.
There are a lot of great bluegrass bands.

What attracted you to Railroad Earth?

A few years ago, I did a solo-acoustic

show at DelFest. Railroad Earth was on
the bill, too, and I had them join me for a
few songs, because its much more exciting
when you add more pieces to the puzzle. It
was loose, but in a good sort of way. You
could sense the potential. I eventually invited
them to do it again at the Capitol Theatre
in Port Chester, New York. We rehearsed
a bit more, and we took it a little further.
It felt great to marry the songs with that

instrumentation. Our chemistry clicked, so

we decided to go in the studio.
I knew that I wanted to play a lot of
electric guitar in addition to some acoustic, so we took it song-by-song, experimenting with different arrangements and
instrumentation. Its very folk-centric, but
we didnt intend to sound traditional. We
wanted certain elements to be true to the
spirit of the songs, but we also wanted to
take them wherever they wanted to go. It
was a very organic process.

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Cover Story


A few of the Railroad players are multiinstrumentalists. Who ended up playing

what on Ashes and Dust?

Tim Carbone only played fiddle. John

Skehan played mandolin, bouzouki, and
piano. Andy Goessling played acoustic guitar,
banjo, and a National steel. Andrew Altman
played mostly upright bass, although he
played electric bass on a couple of songs.
Carey Harmon played drums. Todd Sheaffer sings harmony on a lot of songs, and
he played acoustic guitar on one we wrote
together thats called Word on the Wind.
Where did you record?

We recorded at a studio I wasnt familiar with called the Barber Shop. Its in New
Jersey, which is fairly close to where most
of them live. I commuted each day from
my home in West Chester, which is about
an hour north of New York City.
Did you track the musicians simultaneously?

Yes. If theres electric rhythm, I played it

on the basic track. If theres electric rhythm
at the same time as an acoustic, then Andy
played the acoustic. Andy played acoustic
guitar on most of the material, and, sometimes, we both played acoustic. It varied
from tune to tune. John, Andy, and I were
together in the main room. Tim, Carey,
and Andrew were in isolated rooms, but
we could see them while recording. I overdubbed the majority of lead vocals, but there
are several that were cut live.
How did you set up your amps?

We set three amplifiers upstairs in an

isolated rooma 65 Fender Super Reverb,
a 63 Gibson Falcon, and a Carr Mercury. I
had the option to play through one, or all
three. I could blend them together, or leave
it until later to decide which one sounded
the best. Each amp was close-miked with
either a Royer R-122 or a Shure SM57.
They were all side-by-side, but with gobos
in between, so we could get some separation if we wanted, or achieve a more ambient overall vibe. It was cool, because we
could roll with whatever felt good, and not
have to start from scratch on each song.
Eventually, the Carr got replaced with a
Homestead amp.
We also had a pair of Homestead amps
located downstairs in a small room where I
did a lot of overdubbing. I would plug right
into a 50-watt 2x10, or a 100-watt 2x12.


I played a ton of slide on the smaller one,

and I used the bigger one for clean, jazzysounding stuff. There would be usually be
a Royer R-122 and a Shure SM57 up close,
and, sometimes, we used a Shure SM58
placed three or four feet away. My experience with room mics is that wherever you
put them, they sound good. You can always
work them into the mix somehow.
Whats the background on the Homestead amps?

When [amp builder and Stevie Ray

Vaughan tech] Cesar Diaz died, Peter McMahon took over his amp company, and he
continued building stuff for me that was
considered Diaz Amplification. Recently,
he started incorporating some of those
ideas in different directions with his own
line of Homestead amps. Many were built
specifically for me. They are works in progress. Were tweaking and changing stuff
all the time.
What are you homing in on?

My main Diaz CD-100 head that Ive

used for so long has such a signature sound.
Cesar built it for me, and its one-of-a-kind,
so the first step was trying to get back to
that. It has two power transformers, which
is odd. It sounds basically like a Fender, but
it has a unique character. In Govt Mule, I
alternate between the Diaz and a Soldano,
which sounds more like a Marshall. Were
trying to come up with different amps for
different occasions. Im looking for a sound
thats classic, but not generic.
Lets dig into tones on specific tracks,
starting with the opening ballad, Is It
Me or You.

Thats the oldest song on the record. I

wrote that on acoustic guitar decades ago,
but I had never recorded it. With mandolin, fiddle, and banjo, the song took on a
character Id never thought about before.
I tracked it playing the DAngelico with
a semi-clean/semi-dirty rhythm sound. I
overdubbed slide guitar with my Les Paul
through the Homestead.
Did you use your customary slide, the
Dunlop 210?

Yesthe hand-painted one. The paint

on the inside serves a dual purpose. It looks
psychedelic and weird, but it also sticks to
your finger better.
What kind of pickup is in your DAngelico?

Its a stock mini-humbucker. It will

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

feedback if you turn it up too loud with

too much gainwhich is why it was nice
having amps upstairs.
How did you cop such a convincing
violin sound while playing slide on Coal

The slide was recorded mostly with the

midrange boost engaged on the small Homestead. My main Diaz CD-100 has one as
well, and I use it from time to time. Its a
different sort of sustain. It boosts the mids
so you get more gain, but its not the same
as turning the gain up. Its just boosting
the mids, and that was key to the fiddlelike sound. When the tone sounds cleaner
and more transparent, the mid boost was
not engaged.
Are you somehow playing in a fiddlelike way, or utilizing certain controls on
your guitar?

Im mostly maneuvering the volume pot

on my Les Paul, trying to find the sweet
spot. If I want less top end, I usually get it
by turning the volume down, as opposed
to the tone. But, sometimes, Ill roll the
tone back, as well. The fiddle was recorded
live, and the slide guitar was an overdub.
I had the headphone volume up loud and
listened intently to the fiddle. I tried to do
counterpointteam up sometimes, stay
out of his way sometimes. I wanted it to
sound as if we were standing next to each
other playing live.
It sounds a heck of a lot like two fiddle
players trading licks. You give Dickey Betts
violin tone at the peak of his Jessica solo
a run for the money.

Dickey loved twin fiddles. Bob Wills

music was a big influence on him.
Stranded In Self-Pity is a standout
track with a great story and stellar tones.

That was written by my friend Larry

Rhodes, who is a fellow songwriter from
Asheville, as is Ray Sisk, who wrote Glory
Road, and Billy Edd Wheeler, who wrote
Coal Tattoo. Billy has written tons of classic songs, including Jackson for Johnny
Cash. I largely patterned my rendition of
Stranded In Self-Pity after Larrys solo
version. Once it started falling into place,
we felt good taking it in a New Orleans
I played the DAngelico on the whole
song, mostly using the Super Reverb. I
played some of the lead live, cutting the

track while Andy played an archtop acoustic. We overdubbed the end section. Andy,
Tim, and Johnwho played pianoall got
in the main room with me and traded improvisations.
Your licks come from a jazzy place on
that song.

I always let the song dictate what I play.

I dont want to challenge the chord progression. As I started out as a singer, the melody
is always in my head, and I tend to phrase
more like a vocalist when playing guitar. I
also made a point of listening to horn players and piano playersanything other than
guitartrying to push my head in a less
obvious direction. Also, Ive been listening
to jazz since I was 13 years old. When I was
a teenager, I played in bands that did songs
by Chick Corea, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and
Billy Cobham. I still listen to Sonny Rollins
as much as I listen to anything. I never did
study jazz full time, but it has always influenced me, and I utilize that influence when

the song is right.

Do you know your theory and your fretboard well enough to pinpoint scale and
chord tones when you hear them, or do
you get around by patterns, shapes, and

Its a little bit of both. I studied theory,

and my ear can readily discern a lot of whats
going oneven in complex situations. But
at the same time, Im more of a gut-instinct
player. I try not to think too much. I tend to
enjoy it more when I dont, and it sounds
better when I listen back.
Glory Road, Beat Down the Dust, and
Blue Maidens Tale sound entirely acoustic.

Those three are entirely acoustic. I used

Rockbridge acoustics, my signature Washburn,
and a 64 Epiphone Triumph borrowed from
my tech, Eric Hanson, for one of the overdubs. Beat Down the Dust has two or three
different acoustics on it. I played the Spanish-sounding parts on the Washburn and the
Epiphone. They are panned more to the right.

Andys acoustic is panned more to the left.

The only overdub on Glory Road was my
slide guitar, which I played on a 74 Guild.
What was your miking strategy?

I used two mics. One was a Neumann KM

84, and I believe the other was an old Sony. I
pointed the Neumann towards the fretboard,
and the other mic towards the soundhole.
How did you get the sound on Gold
Dust Woman?

I played an Epiphone 12-string hollowbody electric tuned to dropped D. I turned the

volume down so low that it almost sounded
like an acoustic guitar. I played the slide live
on the take. Andy played a National steel,
and John played bouzoukiwhich is awesome. We didnt change the arrangement that
drastically because I love everything about
Fleetwood Macs original. But our version
is weirder and more experimental. We use
a b5 and a minor 3rd here and there. Its a
live performance thats a little bizarre, but
it turned out great.








J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Cover Story


The ensemble on Spots of Time really

shines, and you cop a cool jazz-meets-Jerry
Garcia vibe at the end.

I wrote Spots of Time with [Grateful

Dead bassist] Phil Lesh. The Allman Brothers Band has played the song live in recent
years, so I brought in Oteil and Marc. We took
some of the Allman Brothers arrangement,
and then applied a new treatment to fit the
rest of the instrumentation. Its very stretched
out and improvisational, so it was bit different each time we did a take. The one we used
was the final attempt, and its a full, live take.
I played the DAngelico, and the lead singlenote stuff is mostly the Super Reverb. Some
of the vibrato stuff is the Falcon.
Will you be touring with Railroad Earth?

Were going to do some stuff this summer,

later in the fall, and maybe next yearwhatever fits into our schedules.
Youre currently touring with Govt Mule,
and you recently did a run of shows featuring John Scofield celebrating the Sco-Mule


album. Is he your favorite jazz player?

that sort of thing.

Yeah. I love the fact that he thinks so

entirely differently than I door than anybody else does. He has a unique brain and
musicality. I love hearing Sco play in different contexts, because even when hes playing straight blues, its simultaneously so real
and so different.

Scofields Whammy-induced, pseudo

record-scratching solo that follows yours
is insane. What went through your head
when he did that?

Yesin honor of us getting together.

It started out as a Whammy-scratching

thing, and it turned into what sounds like a
violin solo. As it was going down, I remember thinking, Not only does that sound
like a violin, it sounds like Jerry Goodmans
violin. As with any cool sound, its what
you do with it that counts.

The first solo on that track is spectacular, and there are moments when you get
very Sco-ey.

What do you remember about writing

Charlie Parker-inspired Kind of Bird, of
which there are two versions on Sco-Mule?

Did you write the song Sco-Mule specifically aimed at Scos groove-jazz wheelhouse?

I guess so. When in Rome, you know?

Can you explain some of that in musical theory terms?

No, because he uses all modes and all

approaches. There are certain things that
only he does. I havent quite figured out
what they are yet, because hes brilliant at
superimposing one key onto another and

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Dickey [Betts] and I worked on that song

every afternoon for about a week. We were
rehearsing with the Allman Brothers at the
time, and wed show them a little bit more
each night. That was for Shades of Two Worlds,
so the year must have been 1991.
You hadnt been in the band very long
at that point.




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The 1st Real Advancement In Pickup System Design In Over 80 Years.

Cover Story

True, but Dickey and I had worked together

prior. Dickey hired me to play in his band
around 86 or 87. We spent three years playing together, writing, recording, and touring. Then, it appeared that cycle had run its
course. When I got a call saying, Were putting the Allman Brothers back together, it
came as a total surprise, because every time
that subject got brought up the answer was
always, Thats never going to happen.
What went through your head when you
got the call?

I appreciated and respected that they

let me sing, and they brought me into the
songwriting fold right from the very beginning. That was enticing. We soon figured
out that the only way the new incarnation
could tap into its potential was if we patterned new music after the 69-71 era. It
was an equal playing field as far as live performances were concerned. Everybody had
to be 100 percent involved all the time.
Dickey totally afforded me that opportunity, and it changed my life.
What was the most important lesson
that Dickey taught you?

I needed to learn how to translate what

I did on a small stage to a big stage. It was
a challengeemotionally and sonically. You
cant just go up there with the same sound

you had in a 100-seat club and expect it

to work. Its not simply a matter of bigger
amplifiers. Some people get a worse sound
out of a big amplifier than a small one. Its
a matter of adapting your tone, as well as
what you play and how you play it. Its hard
to explain. Many conversations with Dickey
helped me focus on a voice that works in an
arena, and he helped ease my nerves about
playing in front of a huge crowd. When
youre first thrown into that situation, its
impossible to relax.
Can you offer some tips?

Make sure you can hear yourself onstage,

but, more importantly, make sure you can
hear everyone else, and that youre playing
with everyone else. Dont feel like you have
to play everything you know in the first ten
minutes. Dont be in a hurry. The stage is
not on fire. Relaxing is the biggest challenge,
and the hardest thing to do.
Which Betts-penned tune is your favorite to play?

In Memory of Elizabeth Reed is always

fun, because its so experimental. I always like
playing Back Where It All Begins and Blue
Sky. I love Seven Turns. But my favorite is
still Jessica. Thats Dickeys masterpiece.
Is Little Martha Duane Allmans best

Well, he didnt have a lot from a compositional standpoint. Little Martha is gorgeous.
What is Duanes best slide song?

He stepped outside of the blues influence

and captured his own voice on Dreams.
Nobody played like that before. His playing
on Dreams really makes you wonder what
he would have sounded like a year later, and
then two, five, and ten years later.
Do you feel that Duanes blueprint on
Dreams was the jumping off point for where
Derek Trucks took the Allman slide style?

Perhapsexcept that Dreams is in standard tuning. Dreams was an eye opener

for me, because I play mostly in standard.
Im sure it was for Derek, as well, but he
translated it to open E. Duanes slide playing was always in open E with the exception of Dreams, and the little bit he did
on Mountain Jam.
Dreams was the lone Allman Brothers tune you played with Govt Mule in February at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. What
are your thoughts on carrying on the ABB

We may do more if it feels right, were

having fun, and if theres a special guest in
the house, like Scofield was that night. Some
of that stuff needs to be played for the future,
so well see how it goes.

Haynes with John Scofield.



G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5






Cover Story



G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

How do you feel your relationship to slide

playing has changed since you first joined
the Allman Brothers Band?

sure love to have you back. It was an altogether unfortunate set of circumstances that
brought me back.

When Dickey and I played together in

the Allman Brothers, I played all the slide
parts. I played less slide with Derek Trucks
in the fold. I dont play a lot of slide guitar
in Govt Mule. When the band was a trio
with bass and drums, I felt my options for
playing slide were limited. Now that Govt
Mule is a quartet, I can play slide a bit more.
Im glad to be playing a lot of slide on Ashes
and Dustnot only because its fun, but also
because its something you have to stay on
top of as a guitarist.

That must have been personally weird

being that Betts originally brought you to
the band.

Theres less harshness in your high end

than in the tones of the other three ABB
guitar players. Your tone definitely snarls,
but its also creamy and more refined. Its
not the same as Duanes overblown harp
tone, Dickeys sweet country sound, or
Dereks speaker-ripping sound.

Thats a good description of the sound I

chose in the Allman Brothers. There are times
when I miss some of that snarling top-end,
and I feel like I want to use it more. But I was
always looking for tonal contrast in the Allman
Brothers Bandoriginally between me and
Dickey, and then later between me and Derek.
It must have been wild for you to come
in playing opposite Dickey Betts, and, then,
because of Dereks very Duane-like open E
style, switch towards the Betts side of the
classic Allman Brothers Band equation.

The sonic side of that big challenge is to

have two guitars that sound similar enough
to belong in the same band, but different
enough to not step on each other. If the
two guitars sound too similar, the midrange
becomes completely overblown. You have
to be able to distinguish between the two.
Thats why we always make a point of panning the guitars a little more left and right
than most recordings. It makes it easier to
hear the call and response.
What are your thoughts looking back
on the whole Dickey debacle that left him
out of the ABB?

Well, that decision was made when I

was out of the band. Allen Woody and I left
in 97 to pursue Govt Mule full time. Over
the next few years, the guys decided they
couldnt work with Dickey, and they parted
ways. When Woody died, I was suddenly
faced with the possibility of Govt Mule not
existing. Gregg called me and said, Wed

It was. Derek and I have always felt weird

about an Allman Brothers Band without
Dickey. Once you move past that, and take
on the challenge, you do your best, but Derek
and I both look at the essence of the Allman
Brothers Band being 69 to 71.
You and Derek made a joint statement
in early 2014 about your intentions to leave
the Allman Brothers Band by the end of
that year. It seemed you made that decision together. Is that how it went down?

The way it actually went down is very

confusing. During several meetings over
about a three-year span, the band decided
to call it quits after the 45th anniversary. As
it got closer and closer to fruition, at least
one band member started getting cold feet,
but keeping it together wasnt a possibility
for Derek or me. We had already made plans
well beyond the next year or two. It all came
about when Butch [Trucks] accidentally on
purpose told a small group of people on a
Jam Cruise that Derek was leaving the band,
which was not true. Writers from Relix and
Rolling Stone were on the boat. They called
ABB manager Bert Holman, who claimed he
didnt know anything about it.
Well give you a few days to sort it out,
they said, but were going to have to write
I feel like Ive got to make a statement
either way, Derek told me on the phone.
For five or six years weve been saying
that if one of us left the band, then we would
both leave, because neither wants to be there
without the other, I responded.
So we decided to make a joint statement,
even though it convoluted the truth that
it was a group decision to stop in 2014. It
turned into an interpretation that he and I
made that decision. People eventually saw
so many different statements that nobody
knew what to believe.
Well, congratulations on a hell of a run
with the ABB, 20 years and counting of
Govt Mule, and a new solo record.

Thanks. Im proud of Ashes and Dust. Its

very different for me, but my followers know
to expect the unexpected, and this is as big
a part of what I do as anything. g
J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


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A Guitar Player SpeciAl AcouStic Section

Guide to
tony RiceS
1985 debut



cRAzy! the GeRmAn

buildS A GuitAR FoR
eAch SonG!
J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Cov e r Sto ry


Peter Finger takes D.i.Y. to a new LeveL

By te ja G e r k e n

For thoSe in the know, the name oF

Germanys Peter Finger has long been synonymous with some of the most engaging
fingerstyle guitar music ever played. Growing up in a musical householdhis father was
an orchestral conductorFinger started out
as a violin prodigy, winning competitions
and being groomed to become a classical
musician. But as a teenager, he found his
way to the guitar, in part to go against the
formal view on music hed been exposed
to. Clearly, his background gave Finger a
serious head start, because by the time he
was 19 in 1974, he found himself recording
his first album, Bottleneck Guitar Solos, for
the American Kicking Mule label. Fingers
debut was heavily rooted in blues fingerpicking styles, but it didnt take him long to
begin fusing the guitar styles he was discovering with the classical sense of composition he grew up with. When his 1977 album
Acoustic Rock Guitar was released, he was
fully formed as a highly individual voice on


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

solo steel-string guitar.

Even though Finger is not a classical guitarist, his love for impressionistic and modern
composers is heard throughout his playing.
A highly dynamic player, Finger has chops
that are second to none, yet they always
serve the music. Playing almost exclusively
in E, B, E, G, A, D (low to high) tuning and
using metal fingerpicks, he gets a unique
sound that is part of his highly identifiable
sonic picture.
Being a total badass who commands
the respect of his peers isnt where Fingers accomplishments end, however. He is
also the founder of Acoustic Music Records,
publishes Germanys Akustik Gitarre magazine, started the annual International Guitar
Night tour (which inspired the North American counterpart), and owns and operates a
cultural center that includes a performance
venue as well as a guitar store and recording and video studios. In other words, the
guy has a lot going on, and anyone who


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Pet e r Fi n ger

complains that their day job is getting in

the way of their playing ought to take some
inspiration from Fingers ability to multitask. Amazingly, in addition to everything
else, he also builds his own guitars.
Fingers first steps into lutherie came
because he lacked the funds to buy a
good ax. Even though he describes his
maiden effort as looking like an egg with
a neck attached, he still managed to use
it to record that first Kicking Mule album.
Finger built several more guitars over the
next decade, getting advice from the late
German luthier Roland Oetter along the way.
He used his guitars to tour and record, but
then, Acoustic Music Records kept him too
busy to make sawdust. For many years, he
played guitars by Lakewood, Lowden, and
Kevin Ryan, but in 2004, be began building again. Since then, Finger has built more
than 20 guitars, most of which could be
described as OM-ish, and all using Brazilian rosewood backs and sides. Examples of
these second period instruments already
made an appearance on his 2010 album
Flow, but now, Finger has done what may
be a first: His latest album, Made of Rosewood (Acoustic Music Records) uses a
different guitar he built for each one of its
ten tuneswhich, naturally, are all original
compositions. Make no mistake, Made of
Rosewood would be an impressive album
regardless of what guitars were used, as it
continues Fingers knack for writing with
incredible depth and dimension, as well as
featuring the chops to realize the music.
But having all the tunes played on guitars
built by the artist himself takes it over the
top and makes it a stunningly impressive
accomplishment. If youre curious, head on
over to acoustic-music.de, where youll find
an online version of the CDs lavish booklet, which includes color photographs and
descriptions of each guitar used.
What does it feel like to have recorded an
entire CD using only guitars you built yourself?

First of all, with every CD I make, Im never

sure whether I should actually release it until
the very end. I could have done the whole
album with one guitar, but since I enjoy the
building so much, I wanted to put the concept of using the different guitars a little more
front and center. I wanted to express my
love of building instruments, and Im pretty
proud of the fact that I managed to do it.


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Early in your career, you built your own

guitars because you couldnt afford to buy
a good one. But what attracts you to it now?

Ive always had the urge to build something. When I was five years old, I wanted
to make my own record, so I cut out a piece
of cardboard and put it on the turntable.
Ive always wanted to do things myself,
and the idea of building instruments just
fascinates me.
Do you feel that you can build a better
instrument for your way of playing?

I tell myself that, but I also know that

a guy like Kevin Ryan is pretty good at
what he does [laughs]. It really is mostly
about the urge. I just finished four guitars: three to sell, and one for me. They
turned out great, but Im also happy that
there are areas where I know I can still do
better. Its what keeps pulling me into my
workshop. I love working with wood, but
to build an instrumentone that Ill have
a real relationship withis just amazing.
Ive had endorsement deals with Lakewood, Lowden, and other companies, but
at some point I lost the relationship to the
guitars. Then I realized that I really want to
express feelings with my instrument, and
ever since I started giving some blood and
sweat to get a new guitar, its been a completely different relationship.
How much do you think about the music
that youre going to play while you build
a guitar?

Its not really about that. I do everything

myself, and its important to me that its
done by hand. Sanding by hand is like a
meditation, which is really what the whole
experience of guitar building is for me. Of
course I look forward to playing the guitar,
and I try to achieve certain things that Ill
then also realize with the music. It doesnt
always work, but Ive had some success.
How about the other way around? How
does the guitar influence the music?

It influences it a lot! Every guitar is

unique. For example, one might not have
much sustain on a high C note, so if Im
writing on that guitar, I probably wont be
inspired to use that high C for a long, sustaining note. I compose a lot to tone and
sound, rather than according to a system.
Ive written a lot of things in my head that
didnt end up sounding good on the guitar,
which is why I like to write with the guitar.
The oldest guitar featured on the CD is

Bill Frisell
and Collings Guitars

Bill Frisell at the Village Vanguard with his Collings I-35 LC

Serious Guitars | www.CollingsGuitars.com | (512) 288-7770

Pet e r Fi n ger

Te Ayudamos en tu Idioma

VT16 Triode Head

a dreadnought from 1988, which is a guitar

you toured with for years.

Yes, I used that guitar for a long time

because after I built it, I started Acoustic Music Records, which meant I was too
busy and just didnt have the headspace to
build guitars for several years. That was the
first guitar I built after Roland Oetter, from
whom I got most of my wood, passed away.
You didnt build for more than a decade.
What was it like to come back to it?

V3M 50w 3-channels

It was wonderful! Its so different from

working at a desk, and also different from
practicing guitar. When youre practicing,
youll spend weeks working on just one lick,
and then you might still blow it on stage.
When youre building a guitar, you sand a
piece of wood, and when youre done, its
smooth. You have an immediate result.
You started out just building for yourself,
but now youre taking a few orders?

Very fewthats a whole other thing. I

didnt do it for a long time, because I wasnt

interested in building for anyone but myself.

But I ended up with more than 20 guitars,
and I really only play on whichever is the
latest instrument. Since the others started
gathering dust, Ive slowly started selling
some of them. Its not supposed to become
a business. Im happy to sell a guitar, but I
also want to have the luxury of saying no.
What does your new album represent for
you as a guitarist and composer?

There are a lot of influences on the

album, from Chet Atkins-style boom-chick
to South American styles. Ive recorded
players like Yamandu Costa and Guinga,
and its impossible to not be influenced
by experiences like that. If you work with
as many different guitarists as I do, you
end up absorbing a lot. I had a lot of fun
allowing all the various influences to flow.
Sometimes its good to listen to a lot of
music, but there are also times when its
important to stop and listen to your inner
self for a while. g

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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Where the pros shop, since 1969


Ge a r i nt el

Acoustic Amp Guide

Choosing the right amplifier for your acoustic guitar can be a
challenging proposition, especially since so many of them offer
a forest of controls, stereo speaker systems that involve woofers
and tweeters, and more DSP effects than anyone in their right
mind needs to get their game on with a flat-top. An acoustic
amp is like a mini P.A. system in many waysor at least it should
bebut the devils in the details with these things, and its really
important to focus on how well a prospective amp translates
the natural acoustic sound of your guitar rather than how many
dials and buttons it has.
Its easy to get sucked into looking over a specs list and think,
Wow, this amp has so many features, how can it not have a
sound Ill like? And that might be true, but it definitely pays to
audition any acoustic amp by dialing up its least effected sound

and listening carefully to how it responds to picking and strumming dynamics across the volume spectrum. Some amps do a
better job than others of handling the transient spikes that piezo
pickups can put out, so playing one quietly in a showroom can
lead to a much different impression once you get the thing out
on a bandstand. That leads to the question of power rating too,
and since most acoustic amps are solid-state, youll routinely
encounter models with seemingly enormous wattage for their
size and weight. Once again, use you ears to determine whats
enough for the gigs you plan to do. Headroom is a virtue with
an acoustic amp, and, quite honestly, it seems you can never
have too much when it come to amplifying an acoustic guitar.
Ready to throw down? Heres a sample of the many acoustic
amplifiers currently on the market. Good hunting! A r t t h o m p s o n

acoustic a1000
2 x 50 watts of stereo power. 2 x 8" full-range Neodymium co-axial speakers. Two channels.
3-band EQ with sweepable midrange on each channel. Dual digital FX processors. 20 Preset
programs/20 User programs. Automatic feedback elimination circuit (12 filter, DSP-based,
each channel). Bluetooth connectivity. XLR direct output with ground lift, pre-post EQ and
Level (each channel). Effects loop.
$499 street

aer alpha Plus

Single channel, two inputs (line and mic/line)
Dynamically controlled 50-watt power amp.
AER 8" twin-cone speaker. 3-band EQ.
Digital reverb.
$999 street

Behringer Ultracoustic aCX900

90 watts of power. 2 x 8" dual-cone speakers. Two channels (instrument and vocal)
with independent controls. Two integrated 24-bit digital FX processors, each with
16 programs including reverb, modulation, delay, and various effects combinations.
FBQ Feedback Detection System. Individual 7-band graphic EQ on each channel.
CD/mp3 input. Balanced XLR line out with ground lift. Dual footswitch included.
$279 street


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

Fishman Loudbox Mini PRO-LBX-500

60 watts. 6.5" low-frequency driver and a 1" tweeter. 2 channels (instrument and mic). 3-band instrument EQ (low, mid,
and high). 2-band microphone EQ (low and high). Digital
reverb and chorus. Feedback suppression. Phase switch.
Balanced mic-level XLR direct output. Auxiliary input for
mp3/CD player or metronome.
$329 street

Fender Acoustasonic 90
90-watts. 8" cloth-surround low-frequency woofer and highfrequency tweeter. Instrument and microphone channels
with independent tone and effects controls. Smart feedback elimination circuit with on/off switch for each channel.
Studio-quality effects, including reverb, echo/delay, chorus,
and Vibratone. XLR line output with ground lift. Auxiliary
input for CD/mp3 player. Brown textured vinyl covering.
Weighs only 18 lbs.
$299 street

Vox AGA150

Roland AC-33
Battery-powered acoustic guitar amp. Two channels (guitar
and mic/line). 30 watts (15W + 15W) through twin speakers.
Advanced anti-feedback function. Reverb, chorus, and new
ambience effects. Phrase looper with 40 seconds of record
time. Stereo auxiliary input. Headphone output. Built-in tilt-back
stand. Runs on AC power or eight AA batteries.

150 watts. 1 x 6.5" speaker plus tweeter. Two channels with

independent 3-band EQ (Bass, Mid, Treble) and Color controls that let you tailor the frequency response to suit your
guitar and your voice. Chorus and reverb on each channel.
Tube-powered Pre channel. Instrument input and XLR mic
input with 15V phantom power. Tube Pre channel. Aux in,
Direct out, and Tuner out.

ZT Lunchbox Acoustic
200 watts. Custom high performance 6.5" speaker. External speaker output. Two channels (instrument and mic). Ultra-low latency circuit for player responsiveness. Pure, Hi-Z
analog Instrument front-end. Plate-style reverb with independent channel controls.
3-position Anti-Feedback Control with bypass. Variable headphone/DI output. Aux
input. Effects loop with active send for multi-amp setups. Direct Power Amp In option.
Anti-clip limiting circuit. Phantom power.
$399 street

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


V intag e e xce rpt


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

From the original Frets, April 1985

on a


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Under Investigation

John Fogerty

Clearwater Revival
By Jesse G ress

They had soul, BuT They werenT an r&B acT; They were folky, BuT They werenT a folk Group;

they played country and blues, but they werent a country or blues band; and they certainly could rock, but were more
than a rock-and-roll bandall of which confirms Creedence Clearwater Revivals designation in music history (along with
the Band) as founding fathers of what has long since become known as roots rock and Americana.


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

K eN Se ttl e

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M



Jo h n Fo g Erty

Ex. 1

 = ca. 114

Proud Mary
Words and Music by John Fogerty
Copyright (c) 1968 Jondora Music
Copyright Renewed
International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation




Born on the Bayou

Words and Music by John Fogerty
Copyright (c) 1968 Jondora Music
Copyright Renewed
International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved
Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation



let ring throughout




 = approx.    

*tremolo speed

green river
Words and Music by John Fogerty
Copyright (c) 1969 Jondora Music
Copyright Renewed
International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation

Ex. 2

 = ca. 140





















The groups original lineupJohn Fogerty

(lead guitar and lead vocals), Tom Fogerty
(rhythm guitar and vocals), Stu Cook (bass
and vocals), and Doug Clifford (drums and
vocals)rocked concert halls, festivals,
and ruled the airwaves from 1968 up until
their demise in 1972, spawning such timeless additions to the Great American Songbook as Bad Moon Rising, Lodi, Green
River, Down on the Corner, Wholl Stop
the Rain, Lookin Out My Back Door,
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?, and, of
course, the immortal Proud Mary.
John Fogertys guitar parts were not
only catchy ear-candyhis concise and
fairly easy-to-decipher signature instrumental hooks offered a great point of entry for
fledgling guitarists of the period (like yours
truly) trying to get a handle on a roots-rock
vocabulary and learn some great songs in
the process. So, if you havent done so
already, its never too late to start.


In addition to that voice, a big part of CCRs



unique sound was due to John Fogertys

unusual choice of gear for the time period.
While Fender Strats and Teles and Gibson
Les Pauls cranked through big Marshall,
Fender, Hi-Watt, or Vox rigs were all the
rage, Fogerty initially opted for the offthe-wall combination of a Rickenbacker
325 guitarmodded with a Bigsby vibrato
and Gibson rear pickupand a solid-state
Kustom K-200-A4 amp for live work. He
eventually switched to a Gibson ES-175,
and ultimately to a pair of black Les Paul
Customs (one of which was highly modified
with a short-scale neck and Bigsby), and
employed small Fender amps in the studio.
(Brother Tom opted for a Guild Starfire IV
and a Rickenbacker 360 6-string.)

Album titles like Bayou Country and Green
River conjured up images of verdant swampscapes, and were filled with songs that lived
up to the imagery. Ex. 1 depicts Fogertys
tremolo-infused broken E7 rhythm figure
that sets a deep groove for the intro and

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5


verses to Born on the Bayou. Note the

hybrid picking and feel free to brush more
than one string when playing those sixthfret G#s. (Tip: Every fourth bar of the verse
figure, Fogerty adds a partially pinky-barred
D/E chord hit on the and of beat two, followed by a full E7 strum on the and of
beat three.)
Ex. 2 is the intro to Green River, another
swampy groove with more than an air of
familiarity. Fogertys four-bar rhythm figure
begins with a short hit on the E root (plus
its 5) followed on beat two by a half-step
slur into four minor third intervals consisting of the 5 and b7, which are reprised
a beat earlier in bar 2. A grace-note slide
from B to A, and syncopated G-to-D complete the first half of the phrase. That last
D serves as a pickup to bar 3 where Fogerty
hammers the E root on the downbeat, plays
it again on beat two, hammers A-to-B, and
syncopates D-to-E. Bar 4 is identical except
for the low open E on the downbeat. Put
it all together and youve essentially got
a reimagined Muddy Waters riff recast as

Ex. 3a

Ex. 3b








Ex. 4a

Ex. 4b

 = ca. 144 (E7/5)

 = ca. 144 (E7/5)






Ex. 4c


Ex. 4d

 = ca. 144 (E7/5)

 = ca. 144 (E7/5)






the songs signature hook. But how did

these deep Louisiana Bayou grooves manifest in the music of four kids from California? And why do those last two bars
sound so dang familiar?

To these ears, it all harkens back to CCRs
self-titled first album and their cover of
Dale Hawkins Susie Q (which ran over
eight minutes on the LP). Hawkins 1957
version features James Burtons classic
guitar riff, which itself is derivative of


many Delta blues licks, and begins to clarify the lineage between Muddy Waters,
James Burton via Dale Hawkins, and
John Fogerty.
Examples 3a and 3b show the raw materials that comprise both halves of the classic, two-bar Q riff. The first half uses a
descending root-b7-4-b3-root motiflike
Muddy meets Don Nixs Going Down
while the second motif is spelled root-45-b7-root. By applying Burtons rhythmic
motif to these notes, we arrive at Examples 4a and 4b, where the last two beats

in each measure are syncopated in exactly

the same manner as bars 3 and 4 of the
Green River riff. (Hmm, I think were
on to something here.) Next, we get even
closer to the authentic J.B. lick with the
addition of Ex. 4cs staccato phrasing on
beats one and two, and b5-to-4, gracenote pull-off on beat three (which could
also be a slide), as well as Ex. 4ds staccato downbeat and A-to-B hammer-on.
(Tip: For the absolute real deal, substitute a low open-E for the first note in Ex.
4c and omit the first E in Ex. 4d.)

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M



Jo h n Fo g Erty

Ex. 5a

Ex. 5b

 = ca. 126 (E7/5)

 = ca. 126 (E7/5)









Ex. 5c

Ex. 5d

 = ca. 126 (E7/5)

 = ca. 126 (E7/5)






grad. B1/4



Ex. 6a


Ex. 6b

 = ca. 126 (E7/5)

 = ca. 126 (E7/5)










let 1 ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Ex. 6c

 = ca. 126 (Em7)

 4  () ()          ( ) ( )( )( )      



grad. B
hold - - - -R



14 (16) (16)14 12

grad. B1/4 1/2 3/4 - -


preB R

12 14 14 14 14 14 (15)(15)(15) (16)14 12

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5




Though half identical to Green River,

Fogertys take on the Q riff changes up
both measures from the Hawkins version. Ex. 5a shows how he omits the last
note in bar 1 (E), but leaves the E downbeat in bar 2 ( Ex. 5b), where he eliminates the syncopation and adds a low G
on beat four. Ex. 5c fine tunes bar 1 with
appropriate staccato phrasing, while Ex.
5d adds a D pickup hammered to E on the
downbeat, the same A-to-B hammer-on, a
bluesy, gradual quarter-step bend on the
G. Add it all up with the same low-E sub
from the Hawkins/Burton version, and
youll hear a pretty close approximation
of the Fogerty version. Now, go back and
play Green River. Aha!
Precede the pickup to the variation of
the Q lick in Ex. 6a with a staccato open
E (first string) on beat two, and a 3rd-fret
G on beat three, and then do the same with
the ringy mix of open and fretted notes
in Ex. 6b, adding a quick zip up the E
string after playing the G, and open-E-toG eighth notes on beat four (tying the last
one to the downbeat of Ex. 6b) to create
a pair cool, Fogerty-style Q solo licks.
Contrast these with Ex. 6c, which shows
the kind of spontaneous pentatonic-minor
outbursts Fogerty was prone to during
early-era CCR. Dig the combination of
triplets and quintuplets, and practically
tremolo-picked gradual bend that leads
into bar 2 and psyche out!


Its probably the most covered pop song
of all timea very short list includes, in
chronological order, recordings by Eddie
Floyd, Della Reese, Arif Mardin, Leonard
Nimoy, Solomon Burke, Conway Twitty, Jr.
Walker & the All Stars, Tom Jones, Elvis
Presley, the Shadows, and, of course, Ike
and Tina Turner (not to mention countless undocumented bar band cover versions)but John Fogertys original guitar
parts on CCRs classic Proud Mary feature many subtleties that often get overlooked. The songs opening chordal figure
illustrated in Ex. 7aits first two chords
were allegedly inspired by Beethovens
Fifth Symphonyutilizes in order all five
open-position major chord shapes from the
C-A-G-E-D template, except the E shape
has been transposed up a half-step to F.

Ex. 7a

= ca. 120



G6 A




( )
0 0
1 1
0 0
2 2
3 (3)



( )

( )














( )

( ) ( )








X 2
X 3
X 2
X (0)

( )



X 2
X 3
X 2
X (0)

Ex. 7b

 = ca. 120




m or m







Ex. 8a

 = ca. 120




Ex. 8b

Ex. 8c

 = ca. 120





= ca. 120








Very cool. Additionally youll find a crucial, almost inaudible component of the
CCR rhythm machine scattered throughout in the form of open-string, all-purpose
passing chordslets call them G6sused
to buy a half beat when changing chords.
When the progression hits its D target and
settles into the groove (bar 4), another
Fogerty Brothers trademark emerges in
the muted-string chucks played on the
two and four backbeats in tandem with the









10 10 10
11 11 11

snare drum. Ex. 7b paraphrases the songs

chorus hookdiatonic sixth intervals
played on the fourth and second strings
embellished with grace-note slides on
beats one and two with identically shaped
major sixths, and a combination slide-andhammer-on to switch from a minor sixth
to a major sixth on beat three.
The next three examples are one-bar
snippets in the style of Fogertys guitar
solo. Ex. 8a depicts a simple but effective

10 1010 8
11 1111 9

D-pentatonic-major-based 3-5-6-root+5
motif that combines three single notes
and one double-stop, Ex. 8b adds gracehammered D-to-G triads on beats three
and four, and Ex. 8c features slurred and
syncopated 5-over-3 minor-third intervals on beats one and two, and a reverse
reading of Ex. 8a on beats three and four.
Mix and match them at will, for instance
by playing Ex. 8b followed by Examples
8c and 8a.

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M



Jo h n Fo g erty

ex. 9

= ca. 120
Gtr. 2
Gtr. 1





or 4

Finally, ex. 9 portrays the last four bars

of Fogertys Proud Mary solo (Gtr. 1),
as framed by Brother Toms chooglin
A-to-Bm rhythm figure (Gtr. 2). Utilizing
what can best be described as a stuttering
Porky Pig rhythm motif, Fogerty plays an
ascending and descending root-2-3-4-32-3 motif to outline the A chord in bars
1 and 2, and then adapts the same motif
to Bm (root-2-b3-4-b3-2-b3) in bars 3 and
4. The trick is to displace/delay the first
and third beats in each measure by one
sixteenth-note, and to play the second and
fourth beats as straight eighth-notes. Its a
simple, elegant touch thats often ignored.
Th-thats all, f-folks! g

Creedence in 1968: (from left) tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and John Fogerty.


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5


Youre Playing It Wrong

The Immigrant Song
Mystery Chord
by Jesse g ress

Led Zeppelin III. Questioned about the chord,

Page once described it as a block chord
that people never get right, and seemed
genuinely delighted that its a chord that
nobody could work out.
Until now.
The chord in question has, to my ears,
always been a stock C9 (ex. 1a), a standard
b5 substitution for the songs relentless
main F# octave riff, that was used for, as Page
described it, putting a massive brake on this
machine. But more recent scrutiny had me
questioning the inclusion of the chords 3
(E), so I became convinced this was essentially a third-less C9, or a second-inversion
Gm triad played over a C bass, as shown in
ex. 1b. Once again, I was loud, proud, and
wrong! But I wasnt alone. There are also
claims that the chord is a straight C# (dead

Weve been mining a Whole lotta

Led Zeppelin gems here in YPIW, but why

not? Between odd timings, altered tunings,
and off-the-beaten-path harmonic structures,
the Zep catalog is bursting with potential
candidates. For instance, there is apparently
quite an ongoing debate regarding the chord
Jimmy Page inserts into the outro section
of Immigrant Song, the opening cut from
ex. 1a

ex. 1b

ex. 2

C9(no3) Gm/C
or or or
C9 C9C9 Gm/C
Gm/C plays



2 1 3 32 31 23 13 3 3 3 2

3 32 3 23 3 3 3 3



3241 2 13 4 3 4

ex. 3

 = ca. 112

(F )

wrong), a fully-barred, third-position Gm

(closer, but still no cigar), and so forth.
Enter the fine folks at Alfred Music and
their Platinum Edition series of Led Zeppelin transcription folios, which were produced with direct participation from Jimmy
Page himself. Alfreds Aaron Stang looked
into his files and found documentation confirming that the transcription of Immigrant
Song found in the Platinum Edition of Led
Zeppelin III portrays the exact chord voicing
that Page approved for the book. Hallelujah!
As it turns out, Page had all of us fooled.
The actual chord is indeed a Gm, but with a
much different voicing than expected. ex. 2
shows his four-note voicing spelled G-Bb-BbD (root-b3-b3-5) from the bottom up and
played on the sixth, fifth, third, and second
strings. Perhaps the biggest revelation here
was Pages confirmation that bassist John
Paul Jones was the only one playing a C.
Enlist a bass player to double the F#
octave riff and cover the low C, drop this
voicing onto beat four of every other measure in ex. 3 for the long version, and beat
four of every bar of ex. 4, and enjoy the
exhilaration of playing it right for the first
time! Mystery solved!! g
Special thanks to Aaron Stang and Brad





Play four times




2 2

ex. 4

 = ca. 112

2 2

2 2

(F )


2 2

2 2



*Bass plays C.

(F )





Play seven times




2 2

2 2



G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

2 2

2 2

immigrant song
Words and Music by JIMMY PAGE and ROBERT PLANT
INC. All Rights Administered by WB MUSIC CORP.
Exclusive Print Rights for the World Excluding Europe
Administered by ALFRED MUSIC
All Rights Reserved
Used by Permission of ALFRED MUSIC


Decoding the 12-String Tapestry of Early Genesis
By Vinnie DeMas i

for two 12-strings and based on White

Mountain, a track from the 1970 album
Trespass. Here in ex. 1, Guitar 1 plays a rolling three-note figure based on a Dm(9),
while Guitar 2 sounds high-voiced block
chord inversions of a Im-bVII-bVI chord
progression. In bar 4, both parts effortlessly dovetail on a melodic line suggesting an A (V) chord.
Recalling the lushly orchestrated Entangled from 1976s A Trick of the Tail album,
ex. 2 finds Guitars 1 and 2 arpeggiating
different inversions of a G#m(11) chord.
Although the high-string melodic line is
harmonized in diatonic thirds, Genesis was
more likely to base chord inversions on
sound and feel than on theoretical dictum.

tracks like Suppers Ready, The Musical

Box, and Stagnation generally started
with rolling arpeggio inversions on multiple acoustics before Banks switched
to keys and Phillips or Hackett to electric, leaving Rutherford to hold down the
fort on rhythm guitar and bass pedals
and/or wield his custom Rickenbacker
bass/12-string doubleneck. So unique
and seamlessly blended was this soundscape that its often hard to pick out the
individual parts, much less identify what
instrument(s) are responsible for them.
(For years I was under the impression
that the beginning of Suppers Ready
was played on Pianet!)
Lets begin with an excerpt transcribed

Mention Genesis to Most Guitar-

ists and they ll likely effuse over the

bands one-time lead ax-grinder Steve
Hackett who, among other sonic innovations, helped popularize the use of fretboard tapping. Conversely, speak of rocks
finest 12-string players and the names
McGuinn, Page, and Harrison are apt
to dominate the conversation. Truth be
told however, despite Hacketts brilliance
as a lead player, the blueprint for Genesis signature sound of the early-to-mid
70s was created by the ingeniously layered 12-strings of guitarist/bassist Mike
Rutherford, keyboardist/guitarist Tony
Banks, and, Hacketts predecessor, guitarist Anthony Phillips. Epic multi-section

ex. 1
= 82-90



B (11)/D




Gtr. 1
standard tuning


let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -























10 11







Gtr. 2
standard tuning







G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5




6 7

As a result, 2nds, 4ths, 9ths, and 11ths

ring against each other, creating a hypnotic tapestry of sound. For the E and F#
chord changes in bars 5 and 6, hold the
initial chord shapes down but switch the
bass notes. (Hint: use your fretting-hand
thumb to grab the F# bass note that Guitar
1 plays in bar 5.)
Based on the intro to 1973s The
Cinema Show, Ex. 3 sounds like two

is, making the entire 12-string tuning

dD, gG, aD, eG, BB, EE (low to high). The
lick itself descends through some smooth
voice-leading in D minor, before resolving
on a Baroque-styled Dsus4 to D cadence.
Layered 12-strings are among the most
compelling yet under-explored guitar
sounds. The early music of Genesis should
provide you with a largely untapped wellspring of inspiration. g

guitars but is playable on just one thanks

to Rutherfords clever 12-sting tuning. The
sixth and fifth string pairsor courses
are kept in octaves, but each is lowered a
whole-step. For the fourth course, what
would normally be the high-octave string
is tuned down a fourth to A, and on the
third course, what would normally be the
high-octave string is dropped a minor third
to E. The top two string pairs are left as

Ex. 2

 = 70-78

G m9

Gtr. 1
standard tuning

E( 11)

F( 11)




Gtr. 2
standard tuning

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ex. 3

 = 70-78




Gtr. 1
altered tuning


let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

17 17



let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

13 13




let ring - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

13 13



10 10







j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M




Rhythm Workshop If 6 Was 12

By jesse G ress
Wait a minutedidnt We just do

this? Well, yes in a way, but this is different. The May installment of Rhythm Workshop dealt with how to create overlapping
6/4, 12/8, and 4/4 meters, primarily in
a blues-rock context la Hendrix, but
this month were revisiting the concept
as applied to Healer, a typically quirky
Todd Rundgren tune thats been rhythmically on my mind ever since I played it on
our 2010 Todd/Healing tour.
We begin with ex. 1, which illustrates

outer thighs while walking in tempo to

internalize them.)
ex. 2 assigns the notes of arpeggiated
open D and Dsus2 chords to the motifs in
both meters, as heard during the songs
intro ostinato. Again, the 12/8 version
has a flow that brings out the Irish, while
the 6/4 notation feels much more urgent.
Both are totally cool, but I always gravitated towards the 12/8 feel. As it turns
out, the joke was on meafter the tour
was over, I found out that Todd had always

two ways to play the rhythmic motif used

during the songs intro and verse figures.
The top stave is written in 12/8, which
imparts an almost Irish jig feel, with accents
on every dotted-quarter-note downbeat,
while the bottom stave maintains the same
accents, but recasts the same eighth-notes
in 6/4. Feel the difference? In 12/8, the
eighth-notes are divided in four groups of
threes, while 6/4 divides the same eighthnote pulse into six groups of twos. (Tip:
Practice slapping both rhythms on your

ex. 1

 = 360)





= 120



= )

ex. 2

= 120

 = 360)







let ring throughout









= )



let ring throughout




G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

envisioned the figure in 6/4! (Oh well,

its all good.)
As the verse begins, Ex. 3 adds four
game-changing bass notesa T.R. trademark. These appear over the course of
seven bars as half-notes in 6/4 and dottedhalves in 12/8, and in the process redefine

the D and Dsus2 chords as E9sus4-E7sus4,

D/F#-Dsus2/F# (3 in the bass), Gmaj9-G6/9
(no 3), and D/A-Dsus2/A (5 in the bass).
The crowning twist comes with the
songs off-kilter verse drum beat depicted
in both meters in Ex. 4. Here, open and
closed hi-hat eighth-notes (grouped in

threes in 12/8 and twos in 6/4) provide a

metronomic pulse for the unusually placed
bass- and snare-drum hits. Program both
beats, play along with the intro and verse
figures (using either meter, or better yet,
randomly swapping them), and dig the
rhythmic (and harmonic) genius of Todd! g

Ex. 3

= 120

 = 360)








 8  () 
( )


let ring







Dsus2 Dsus2/F







 4  () 


= )


Ex. 4

bass drum

= open;





= 120




= )








let ring


= closed

j u LY 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Fretboard Recipes Melodic Motifs Pt. 1

By Jesse Gress

G r e at m e l o d i e s d o n o t h a p p e n

simply by playing ascending and descending scales. They happen by putting scales
to work and exploring their many melodic
Any melody can be represented numerically. A melodic motif is a short pattern
of notes whose numerical interval structure has been adapted to a given scale. In
the following examples, 1 represents the
root, 2 represents the 2nd scale degree,
3 the 3rd, and so on.
ex. 1a illustrates a four-note 1-2-3-5 motif
applied to a C major scale. Any melodic

motif may be attached to any rhythmic

motif as shown in ex. 1b.
Each of the three-note melodic motifs
in ex. 2 is applicable to any seven-note
scale. Apply them to the major scale and
its modes while experimenting with various harmonic backdrops, and then try
them with other scalesyoull be surprised by the number of familiar melodies
that emerge. (For pentatonic or hexatonic
scales, omit the motifs that use inappropriate scale degrees.)
Any three-note motif will generate six
(1x2x3) permutationsfor example, 1-2-3,

ex. 1a

ex. 1b


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

1-3-2, 2-3-1, 2-1-3, 3-1-2, and 3-2-1and

any numerical scale degree can be sharped
or flatted to correspond with a given scale
or mode. For instance, 1-2-3-4 translates to 1-2-b3-4 in a minor scale, or
1-2-3-#4 in a whole-tone scale. Use any
rhythmic motif from the past year or so
of Rhythm Workshops to jump-start any
melodic motif. (Next: Four-Note Motifs.) g
Jesse Gress is the author of The Guitar Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Rhythm,
Melody, Harmony, Technique & Improvisation [Backbeat].

Ex. 2

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M



8 Semi-Hollow Electrics
T esTe D By Th e GP sTa ff

The iDea Of Re-DesigNiNg aN aRchTOP

volume much better than a standard archtop, but

an instrument that performs much like a solid-

guitar to better take advantage of the instruments

gave the player a more resonant experience than

body, but has more of the resonant qualities of

electric abilities was something that guitar compa-

anything with a body of solid wood.

an acoustic-electric. Modern semi-hollow guitars

nies put considerable R&D into as higher volume

Semi-hollow guitars continue to be highly

do differ in how well they pull off this balancing

rock-and-roll became popular in the 1950s. Gretsch

popular for the same reasons that they were

act, and its always smart whenever possible to

had its chambered-body Duo Jet by the mid 50s,

in the 50s, and nearly every major manufac-

try a few instruments out to see how well they

but it was Gibsons Ted McCarty who spearheaded

turer has one or more in its line. Semi-hollows

measure up to your tonal expectations.

the development of the then-radical ES-335, a

can be of the chambered variety, where a slab

This roundup focuses on eight new semi-

guitar that used traditional hollow construction

of wood is routed out to form a hollow body,

hollow guitars that range in street prices from

but also incorporated an internal block of solid

which is then capped with a top of maple or

less than $400 to over $4,000. We tested these

maple running through the center of the body

other wood. Many others, however, still follow

guitars in the studio and at rehearsals and gigs

that made it sort of a solidbody within a hollow

the ES-335 template, where a body of lami-

using a variety of amps that included a Fender

shell. Launched in 1958, the semi-hollow thin-

nated wood (typically maple) is built around a

Deluxe Reverb, a Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25,

line ES-335 was a true hybrid that could handle

solid piece of wood. Either way, the end result is

and a Vox VT20+. a r t


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Dream StuDioS riverboat 3

I v e a l w ay s b e e N a g e e k f O R c R e at I v e c R O s s -

I could strap it up and stand for three-hour band rehearsals with minimal

pollinations and hybrids of all types, so I was intrigued by Bill Ryan and

fatigue. The guitar is also such a joy to play that I often got lost practic-

his Apple Valley, California, guitar company, because it was birthed from

ing riffs, licks, solos, and songs. From an ergonomic standpoint, every-

Ryans other firmSupercross Industries, a maker of high-tech BMX

thing simply fits just right.

frames and other parts for the motocross crowd. Guitar music and BMX

When unplugged, the Riverboat 3 produces a sparkling midrange

events often go hand-in-hand, and when some BMX stars asked Ryan if

jangle with very nice highsits definitely good enough for miking it up

he could make them some awesome guitars, he took up the challenge.

when you need an acoustic sound when your actual acoustic is MIA. The

What began as a few one-offs eventually became a full line of aggres-

fun really begins when you plug in, however, because this sucker uncorks

sive rock machinesall based on classic shapes, but wonk-ified to strut

a bazillion tones. You can turn each of the three humbuckers on or off,

some modern, race-culture attitude.

blend sounds via the three dedicated Volume controls, get interesting

The Riverboat 3, for example, evokes an ES-335 that was melted

timbres from bridge/middle and neck/middle positions, and blast into

into something resembling a Benny Bufano sculpture. The striking metal-

solos and riffs by using the well-positioned mini toggle for the Seymour

lic copper finish is flawless, and the cosmetic design is made even more

Duncan Firestorms 20dB boost. Whew! If youre into tonal explorations,

stunning with black bindings (a few slight imperfections here) and half-

there are a lot of subtle variations to discover. But even if you just like

moon fretboard inlays (perfectly seated). All controlsand there are a lot

raging full up, the on/off mini toggles for the individual pickups still pro-

of themare easy to reach in mid performance, and although the River-

vide excellent tonal options.

boat 3 aint a lightweight at more than 8.5 lbs, the body feels so good that


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Overall, the Riverboat delivers great aggro bridge soundstheres


RiveRboat 3



$1,795 direct

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S





Ebony, 24.75" scale,

13.75" radius




Grover Sta-Tite, 18:1 ratio


Mahogany with maple top


Tune-o-matic style. Bigsby

B-50 Tune-o-matic style


Seymour Duncan Seth Lover

SH-55 (neck), Seymour
Duncan Custom Custom SH-11
(middle), Seymour Duncan

a steely attack to the mids with just enough low and high end to round

Alternative 8 SH-15 (bridge)

things out. Go to the neck and knock back the master Tone, and theres
enough blossoming bass to Barry White your way to sensual single-note


Three Volume, master Tone,

lines. Honestly, I didnt find a style that I couldnt dial in a useable tone

three pickup on/off toggles,

forfrom metal to funk to pop to soul and beyond. Even the feedback is

Seymour Duncan Firestorm

musical. So many sounds

pickup booster (+20dB),

3-way selector switch

For the most part, the hardware is tight and toughwhat youd expect
from makers of BMX partsbut the mini toggles do require rather con-

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario XL, .010-.052

stant tightening, or else the switches rattle. The internal wiring also peeks


8.58 lbs

through the lower f-hole (the tape didnt hold). On the other hand, the



fretboard offers a huge landing strip for the strings. Theres so much


Super versatile. Tons

of great tones. Easy to

room that youll never edge out when bending or pulling off the low-E

play. Looks amazing.

and high-E strings.

The Riverboat 3 is quite a find. Its a gorgeous semi-hollow with three


Some minor cosmetic

pickups, a Bigsby, and a smorgasbord of awesome sounds. It appears

glitches. Mini toggles need

that BMX bikes and guitars can find some real kick-ass common ground!

to be kept screwed down.

Michael Molenda

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



EpiphonE Wildkat
R e s P l e N D e N t i N i ts t Ra N s lU c e N t W i N e R e D f i N i s h

Playability-wise, the Wildkat gets off to a good start with its wide-

over a flamed maple top, the Wildcat is a low-cost entry into the semi-hol-

ish C neck shape, which fills the hand well but isnt overly deep. The

low scene. Unlike many all-maple thinline guitars, the Wildcat prowls a

jumbo frets have a nice polish and feel quite smooth on the tips, and

different path by using a CNC routed-out mahogany bod and a laminated

the comfortably low action makes for easy string bending. The Bigsby

top. Cream binding accents the top and the f-holes, while the maple set

stayed in tune quite well once the strings were stretched out, and sus-

neck sports a bound rosewood board, dot inlays, and a 60s-style Epi-

tain is assisted by the hardware being mounted to an internal mahog-

phone badge on its black-faced headstock. Strings are guided to the

any block. I expected the Wildcat to have a pretty bright amplified tone

nickel-plated, 18:1 ratio Grover tuners over a synthetic bone nut that has

courtesy of its P-90s, but these alnico-powered pickups were mellower

been rounded on the edges to prevent nicks. Chrome-plated P-90s and

sounding than the plastic-covered dog ear units on an ES-330 from

a Bigsby vibrato with a LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge give the Wildkat

Gibson/Memphis or the P-90 on my 63 Les Paul Junior that was also

plenty of 50s rockabilly chic, and the control layout also nods in a vin-

used for comparison. The kats smoother voice was cool for country-

tage direction by featuring Volume knobs for each pickup, master Tone,

swing tones on the dual pickup setting though a Fender Deluxe Reverb

a master Volume on the lower bout, and a 3-way switch.

and having a master Volume to ride shotgun over the neck/bridge mix


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5





$399 street

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S


1 11/16"


Hard maple


Rosewood, 24.75" scale




Grover die-cast


CNC routed mahogany body.

Laminated flame-maple top.


LockTone Tune-o-matic with

Bigsby vibrato tailpiece

proved handy in that scenariobut when going for fiery blues-rock grind
through the same amp with a Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive driving the


Epiphone Alnico V P-90s

front end, the bridge pickup sounded more humbucker-like, and didnt


Two Volumes, master Tone,

master Volume, 3-way switch

give the kind of fat bite that you get from a revved-up P-90. Cranking up
the 805s Treble control and tinkering with the Mids and Bass unleashed

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario, .010-.046

more single-coil snarl, and some players may find the Wildkat has enough


7.96 lbs

of that character as it stands in stock trim.




Killer look. Plays well.

The Wildkat has so much going for in terms of its looks, playability,

Excellent quality.

and build quality that its a bang-for-the buck champ in the semi-hollow arena. The modest investment level makes it a great hot-rodding
platform too (aftermarket P-90 in the bridge slot perhaps?), which


May not have enough P-90

zing for some players.

is just one more reason why you might think about adopting this kat.
art thompson

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Godin Montreal PreMiere SuPreMe

CaNaDiaN gUitaR makeR gODiN has aimeD fOR a sUbtle

Tune-o-matic bridge and nut, GraphTech Ratio Tuned tuners, and a

elegance in the new Montreal Premiere Supreme, and even a cur-

pair of Seymour Duncan pickupsa Jazz II in the neck, and a hotter

sory glance tells us they have really hit the mark. A figured maple top,

Custom III in the bridge. The electronics are kept simple with a 3-way

back, and sides in high-gloss Lightburst Flame finish sets the tone,

selector and Volume and Tone controls.

complemented by bound top and back, fretboard, and headstock.

The Montreal Premiere Supreme played smoothly right out of the

Demure celluloid dot inlays and chrome hardware help keep the flash

case, with a thin but comfortably rounded C neck profile and a lively

from going overboard. The balance of the body laminates are Cana-

setup, although I did hit some slightly snaggy edges on the fret ends

dian wild cherry, with a vented spruce center block, and the glued-in

while sliding up and down the board. Played unplugged, the guitar

24" scale neck is mahogany with a fretboard made from Richlite, a

produced more than enough volume for late-night practice, with an

composite material made from paper fibers. The use of a trapeze tail-

acoustic tone that had plenty of snap and jangle. Tested through a

piece and the single-cutaway body hints at jazzbox intentions for this

Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 1x12 combo, the Montreal Premier Supreme

thinline semi, although its feature set should enable anything youd

straddled a surprising duality between pummeling rock and purring

steer a standard ES-335-style semi at as well. Godin has equipped

jazz tones. The bridge pickup had a thick, midrange-y crunch even on

the Montreal Premiere Supreme well with a GraphTech Resomax

clean amp settings, and plenty of bite when I dug in. Players seeking


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Montreal PreMiere



$2,095 street

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S


1 11/16 GraphTech


Mahogany, slim C profile


Richlite, 12 radius


22 medium-jumbo


GraphTech Ratio Tuned


Semi-hollow, made from

laminated wild cherry with
flame-maple outer veneer
and semi-solid core


GraphTech Resomax Tune-omatic and trapeze tailpiece


Seymour Duncan Jazz II

(neck) and Custom III (bridge)

classic semi-acoustic tones might like to swap in a lower-output vin-


of blues or full-on rock from a deceptively elegant weapon will dig it.

Volume and Tone,

3-way switch

tage-wind humbucker here, but anyone chasing the more sizzling side

FACTORY STRINGS Godin High-Defintion E-10

Nickel Regular Light,

The neck pickup sounded significantly warmer, as youd expect, but not


solely a deep jazz voice, as it has plenty of articulation and a surprising amount of snap. It retained good clarity with a J. Rockett Blue Note


7 lbs

overdrive pedal engaged for some more traditional bluesy excursions,



while alsowith the overdrive offeasing comfortably into speedy


An elegant and well-made

semi-acoustic that strad-

western-swing hybrid picking without muddying out in the slightest.

dles a wide range of tones.

Given the bridge pickups wallop, the dual-pick position stayed pretty
gritty throughout, but with a funky roundness that worked well for lively


Some slightly rough fret ends.

rhythm playing. All said, the Montreal Premiere Supreme is a potentially

fun ride for players looking to cover several bases in a streamlined yet
visually impressive semi-acoustic. D a v e


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Guild Starfire iV St Maple

T h e G U i l D b Ra N D h as c h a N G e D h O m e s m O R e T i m e s

tells us that this Starfires body is constructed from laminated maple with

than the NFLs Rams, yet remains a beloved American alternative, making

a spruce centerblock (60s guitars were also available in mahogany, as are

guitars that still find their way into the hands of major players. Guild seems

several reissue models) and the neck retains the traditional Guild three-

to have found an understanding new overseer in the Cordoba Music Group

piece mahogany/maple/mahogany construction. The headstock logo and

of Southern California, though, who acquired the company from Fender in

Chesterfield inlay are in mother-of-pearl, and open-back Grover Sta-Tite

2014. They proceeded to re-introduce a lineup of traditional electric designs

tuners give another nod to Starfires of old. The multi-ply body binding and

split into two groups: one manufactured on these shores, and the other

single-ply fingerboard binding is immaculate, the finish is faultless, and

in Asia. Our Korean-made Starfire IV ST Maple from the Newark St. Col-

the frets in the Indian rosewood board are beautifully dressed. The neck

lection is of the latter. The first Starfire IV arrived in 1963 on the heels of

has a Vintage Soft U profile that Guild has often used on its Starfires,

the single-cutaway Starfire I, II, and III models of 1960, and in both looks

and while not a favorite shape of mine, its playability was superb and the

and feel, the review sample appears an accurate re-creation of the origi-

action low and fast even with the .011.049 strings on this 24"-scale

nal with just a few changes. The stopbar tailpiece (the ST in the name)

guitar. It all heads for home through a pair of Guilds LB-1 mini humbuck-

replaces the originals trapeze unit, and a Tune-o-matic bridge stands in

ers via a traditional 4-knob control section and 3-way switch.

for the clunkier Guild model with a floating base. The Maple in the name


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Tested through a Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 1x12 combo, this 2015


Starfire iV St Maple



$1,099 street

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S

1 11/16" bone


Three-piece mahogany/
maple/mahogany, Vintage
Soft U profile


Indian rosewood, 9.5" radius


22 narrow-jumbo


Open-back Grover Sta-Tite


Laminated maple
back, sides, and top


Guild Tune-o-matic with

stopbar tailpiece

Starfire IV ST Maple was immediately reminiscent of two vintage Starfires


Two Guild LB-1 humbuckers

Id owned in the past, with the seemingly contradictory blend of semi-


Independent Volume and

Tone controls, 3-way switch

hollow snappiness and roundness familiar to players of good 335-style

guitars. Theres an upper-midrange bite that is characteristic of these low-


Wound, .011-.049

wind humbuckers, and with the amps gain ramped up for moderate dirt,
the neck pickup was thick and creamy with just a little edge to help notes


7.8 lbs

stay well definedvery reminiscent of tones Buddy Guy used to achieve



on similar guitars. The bridge pickup has some sting to it with more mid-


Faithful to the 60s Starfire

range sizzle, but provides good top-end clarity too. It wasnt a heavy rocker

IV in spirit, look, and feel. A

in this position, but it sang and wailed sweetly through a J. Rockett Blue

versatile semi-acoustic that

Note overdrive, and proved adept at anything in the classic rock, roots, and

makes a great alternative to

an ES-335.

more gnarly country veins. The Starfire IV is a cool homage to an alternative classic, and if it didnt entirely nail the depth and texture of a vintage
model, it presents a good value at the price. D a V e




J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Ibanez JSM10 John ScofIeld SIgnature

T h i s m O R e a f f O R Da b l e v e R s i O N O f T h e J a Pa N e s e -

Five: 25, the JSM10 dished out sounds that were crisp and detailed with

made JSM100 VT (which streets for around $2,800) is a sweet looking

plenty of sustain afforded by the mahogany center block (upon which the

guitar that sports gold hardware, beautifully figured maple top and back

bridge and tailpiece are mounted). One of the cool things with this gui-

with multi-layer binding, bound f-holes, and split-block fretboard inlays of

tars otherwise standard electronics is a Tri-Sound switch that works only

abalone and mother-of-pearl. The ebony fretboard and black-faced peg-

on the neck pickup to give you the option of running its coils in series, par-

head are trimmed in ivoroid, and topping things off are a wooden trussrod

allel, or split mode, which effectively turns it into a single-coil. Not avail-

cover bearing Scofields signature and a nice fitting bone nut. The JSM10s

able on the costlier JSM100 VT, the Tri-Sound setup greatly expands the

medium-jumbo frets have a light polish and rounded tips, and combined

range of sounds achievable from this guitar: fatter and louder in series,

with the wide-ish neck, the playing feel is excellent.

crisper with slightly less output in parallel (ideal for those times when a

Despite being a little on the heavy side at 8.24 lbs, the JSM10 has a

neck bucker is a little too wooly), and slimmer still in split, which hap-

lively and resonant acoustic sound. Its intonation is tuneful in all reaches

pens to be a great option for clean rhythm playing when paired with the

of the neck, and when played through a Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue

bridge humbucker. All of this really enhances the JSM10s sonic flexibil-

(with handwired circuitry by George Alessandro) and a Mesa/Boogie Mark

ity, and thanks also to the nicely voiced Tone controls, which are useable


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


JSM10 John Scofield




$1,099 street

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S


1 11/16" bone


Sapele, set


Ebony, 24.75" scale




Gold die-cast


Laminated flamed-maple
back, sides, and top


Gold Ibanez ART-1 with

stopbar tailpiece

throughout their entire rotation, you can dial in tones that rule for jazz,


Ibanez Super 58 humbuckers

blues, funk, rock, and the list goes on.


Two Volume, two Tone,

3-way selector, mini Tri-

The JSM10 also has excellent resistance to feedback, which is great

Sound switch for neck pickup

because its overdriven tones really come to life when you give it some amp

(series, parallel, split coil)

volume. The Super 58 bridge pickup has a PAF-level output (i.e. not overly
hot), and its fat, bright sound is just great for solos and grittier rhythm work

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario XL 140, .010-.052

when driving into a distortion pedal or high-gain channel. Much like Sco-


8.24 lbs

field himself, the JSM10 is a guitar that can groove in a variety of situations.



Its as adept at delivering burnished jazz sounds though a clean amp as it


Great look. Excellent playability. Wide tonal range.

is in kicking out jangly pop tones or buttery high-gain distortion. A classy

reminder as to the innate flexibility of the dual-humbucker semi-hollow,
the JSM10 is something worth checking out if youre looking for a guitar
that can cut it for a wide variety of gigs. a r t


Wish it was a bit

lighter in weight.


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



ReveRend TRicky Gomez 290

W h O a m O N g U s D O e s N t lOv e t h e g U i ta R W O R k O f

knob as well as the Tone control. The Tone pot has a lot of nice grada-

the great Tricky Gomez? Gomez is the guy Reverend used as the inspi-

tions as you roll it down, but the cool thing is when you go from 1 to zero

ration behind this awesome model that was itself inspired by a famous

you get a wah-like wow. You can definitely get excellent Danny Gatton-

semi-hollow guitar with the initials T.L. This dual-P-90 Gomez looks

style faux-wah, meow, and train sounds with it.

amazing in its Satin Emerald Green get upI dont think Ive ever seen

No discussion of a Reverends tonal options would be complete

a finish quite like it. The sharp Florentine cutaways look great and the

without mentioning the Bass Contour control. This is an uber-musi-

single apostrophe shaped f-hole is super cool. Add a Bigsby to the mix

cal low-end rolloff that can not only brighten up both pickups, but

and you have an incredibly hip instrument that sounds big and punchy

also influence how hard you hit the front end of your amp. Sure,

before you ever plug it in.

you can do that with a Volume knob too, but this is different. On

Through an amp, Tricky really comes to life, with robust, fat P-90 tones.

the neck pickup, for instance, turning the Bass Contour all the way

The bridge position is sort of a single-coil on steroids: all the clarity and

off gives you a killer neck single-coil sound that isnt skinny just

focus you would expect, but with more weight and body. The neck pickup

skinnier. With a Mesa/Boogie amp set for light distortion, this cleaned

is a joywarm and full, with a very vocal quality to it. Both pickupsand

it up nicely, perfect for coming down just a touch under the vocal

the combined middle positionbenefit from the perfectly tapered Volume

in the verse of a tune. Then, turning it back up just gives you more


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Tricky Gomez 290




$1,329 retail

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S

1 11/16"




Rosewood 24 3/4"
scale, 12" radius

bottom and slightly more output for a perfect contrast. Likewise with


22 medium jumbo


Reverend Pin-Lock


Semi-hollow korina
with solid maple top

the bridge pickup. I liked rolling the Bass Contour off for rhythm and
cranking it for solos.
The Tricky Gomez is a lot of fun to play. The neck has a comfy shape,
the action is low but not buzzy, and the deep cutaways make it easy to


Bigsby B-70 with roller bridge


Two CP90 single-coils


Volume, Tone, Bass Contour, 3-way toggle

reach all the frets. Some bends felt a little scritchy as I pushed the string
across the frets but they sounded just fine through an amp. The Bigsby

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario, .010-.046

feels great thanks to Reverends Soft Touch Spring, and adds tons of vibey


7.6 lbs

shimmer to chords and vibrato to single-notes. And the other strings dont



go flat when you bend oneyes!


Unique look. Great

tones. Super vibey.

If you want to add some semi-hollow magic to your life, Tricky Gomez
would make a great friend. This guitar doesnt look or sound like anything
else out there, and yet it can cover all the ground of the well-known models
with style, flair, and tone. m aT T


Some bends feel a

bit scratchy.


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



SadowSky Semi Hollow

WheN I DesIgNeD thIs gUItaR, I Was NOt lOOkINg tO

Island, NY). Subtle pearl dots are all you get for positional reference, but

make another 335; there are plenty of those type guitars, and the world does

theyre in keeping with the SHs streamlined ethos. Hardware includes a

not need another one, says Roger Sadowsky. I designed a small body, light-

Tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece, along with two Sadowsky hum-

weight, semi-hollow that would be able to get a traditional jazz tone from

buckers, which feed a 3-way switch and Volume and Tone pots that are

the neck pickup, yet be able to perform in big band or high volume situa-

topped with smooth ebony knobs. One small complaint: The output jack

tions without feedback. The end result on review here is the aptly named

is very close to the strap button, which means that any cord with a straight

Semi Hollow, a lightweight and nimble guitar that plays beautifully and

plug will get crushed when you lean the guitar against an amp.

certainly owns up to the versatility that Sadowsky intended. While not an

The Semi Hollow sounds warm, lively, and more acoustic than any

overly flashy instrument, the Japanese-made Semi Hollow is a showcase

guitar Ive heard with a log in it. Theres not a trace of honkiness in its voice,

of fine craftsmanship. The body is given a light sunburst finish that beauti-

and everything sounds even and balanced with ample lows, nice mid-

fully highlights the figuring in the maple, and perfectly executed multi-layer

range color, and silky highs. These qualities are revealed when amplified

bindings surround the top, back, heel cap, and the ebony-faced headstock.

too, as the Semi Hollow has an inspiring sense of dimension that makes

The mahogany neck has an ultra-comfy shape and its bound rosewood

it a joy to play cleanly or with a moderate amount of distortion for some

board arcs to a generous 12 radius and wears 22 carefully worked medium

bluesy texture. The bodys lightweight spruce center block (which has

frets (fretwork and final setup are done at Sadowskys workshop in Long

been carved to remove mass where its not needed) helps to mitigate


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Semi Hollow



$4,275 street

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S


1 11/16"




Amazon rosewood,
24.75" scale




Gotoh with ebony buttons


Laminated 5-ply maple with

carved spruce center block

any howls at higher volumes, and it also contributes to the guitars easy
transition into singing sustain and controllable feedback when you dig


Tune-o-matic with
stop tailpiece

in a little through a gained-up amp or overdrive pedal. The sweet tones

of the Semi Hollow make it a natural choice for jazz and styles such as


Sadowsky humbuckers

country swing, where its clear and articulate voice brings out the nuances


Volume, Tone, 3-way switch

in complex harmonies and melodic lines. Its also a cool guitar for blues,

FACTORY STRINGS Sadowsky Nickel Plated

Steel, .011-.048

roots rock, and pretty much anything else that youd point a semi-hollow
at. The light weight of this instrument makes it easy to shoulder for long


6.78 lbs

stretches, which is something I cant say about a certain Gibson ES-335



that I have. The Sadowsky is closer to a hollowbody ES-330 in heft, which


Excellent quality. Plays

beautifully. Amazingly

makes it a real bantam in the world of semi-hollow guitars!

resonant tone.

What a hip guitar, and one that deserves a life of making music for a
dedicated owner. Yes, its expensive, but the Semi Hollow is a high-end
instrument for discriminating players, and to that end it earns an Editors
Pick Award. A r t


Wish the output jack was

moved down a few inches.


J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



Washburn hb-45
I f yO U R e l I k e m e , w h e N yO U s e e a s e m I - h O l lOw

dont own a single white guitar, but I want one now.

guitar with no f-holes, you think B.B. Kings Lucille. That conjures up tones

This guitar has a loud acoustic strum that belies its lack of f-holes. It

that are bluesy but ballsy, with throaty midrange and sweet, singing sus-

feels big and resonant. The playing feel is silky smooth. The frets are pol-

tain and musical but controllable feedback. The Washburn HB-45 you see

ished and the action is low and easy. Big bends fret out just a bit acous-

here delivers on all fronts. At the risk of spoiling the ending, it is a beauti-

tically, but overall the HB-45 plays great. Personally I go for a slightly

ful looking, smooth playing guitar that intonates like a dream.

chunkier neckthe HB-45s is on the slim sidebut thats a minor point.

There is elegance and then there is black-tie formal elegance, and

Amplified, there are no surprises with this guitar. It gives you everything

the HB-45 resides comfortably in the latter category. The tuxedo-grade

you would expect from a two-humbucker guitar with a 3-way switch. The

white finish with tasteful black appointments is an instant classic. The

Washburn humbuckers have a medium output and good detail. The HB

gold hardware only accentuates this vibe and, miraculously, does not take

excels at bluesy single-note lines and double-stops, especially if you ride

it into gaudy-land. It just looks gorgeous, but it would not be out of place

the Volume knob B.B.-style. You can also get great jazz and fusion tones

on a sweaty bar gig. Nice. The whole package simultaneously screams

on the neck pickup or by blending the twoand, on that subject, these

class and quality as well as solid dependability. In my entire collection I

pickups do play very nicely together in the middle position, with lots of


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5





$699 street

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S

musical sounds to be found. What I like best about this Washburn, though,
is the gorgeous feedback that it produces so easily. At even mellow volumes I was able to get notes to sing in an awesome, Europa fashion.
Part of the HBs tonal sweetness undoubtedly stems from the fact that
it intonates so well. Washburn was the first major manufacturer to adopt


1 11/16"




Rosewood 24 3/4" scale




Gold Grover Exclusive 18:1






Dual Washburn Humbuckers


Two Volume, two

Tone, 3-way toggle

the Buzz Feiten Tuning System, and although this guitar does not feature
that system, it definitely reflects Washburns awareness of and commitment

FACTORY STRINGS DAddario, .010-.046

to playing in tune. Complex chords, played with distortion way up the neck


8 lbs

sound beautiful, with nice overtones and zero garbled harshness. Bravo!




Sweet looks. Great sounds.

This is a tremendous amount of guitar for the money. Its got eye-

Excellent intonation.

catching cosmetics, excellent tones, and solid construction. Blues cats

and jazzersnot to mention rockers and punkers tooowe it to themselves to plug one of these in. M at t




J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M



T eST d r i V e

Two-Rock Akoya and Studio Pro 35

TeSTe d by daVe Hu n T er
Fou n d e d i n 19 9 9 by b i l l K r i n a r d


into play. The Akoya is tube rectified, and uses

and Joe Mloganoski, Two-Rock aimed from the

Just unveiled at Winter NAMM 2015, the Akoya is

two 5AR4s to keep the current flowing. Unlike

start to marry Fender-style cleans and Dumble-

Two-Rocks first effort to produce an amp with

most Two-Rocks, the FX loop is passive, although

inspired drive tones in amps rendered with opti-

unashamedly 60s-Fender inspirations, while

with tube-driven tremolo and spring reverb

mum attention to detail and component quality.

retaining undeniably contemporary breadth and

onboard, many players wont need much from

The heart-stopping price tags that this ven-

versatility. The 4x10 combo version thats also

it. The Akoya also employs a new footswitch-

ture entailed didnt prevent major names like

available has drawn inevitable comparisons to

able Tone Boost deployable on both channels,

John Mayer, Carlos Santana, and Matt Scofield

the classic Fender Super Reverb, but this head

which adds beef to the tone stack rather than

from flying the Two-Rock flag, but the company

and vertical 2x12 cabinet pigeonholes the over-

bypassing it (as on the Studio Pro 35). The 2x12

spread its umbrella wider a few years ago with

all design a little less, giving the dual-6L6-based

XL extension cab has a tuned oval rear port,

the introduction of a more affordableyet still

50-watt powerhouse plenty to work with. The

and carries a pair of Celestion G12-65 speakers.

handmadeseries aimed at the working musi-

Clean and Overdrive channels share a 3-knob

Tested with a Fender Telecaster and a Gibson

cian. On review here are two models from the

tone stage, but have independent Master and

Custom Shop 1959 Les Paul reissue, I immedi-

line: the Akoya and its matching 2x12 XL cab

Reverb controls; note that Clean cascades into

ately tapped into superb clean tones, truly some

and the Studio Pro 35 1x12 combo.

Overdrive in OD mode, so all four knobs come

of the most bountiful Ive experienced in quite


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5





$3,495 head, $995 cab

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S


Treble, Middle, Bass, Clean Gain,

Master, Reverb, Overdrive Gain,
Master, Reverb, Tremolo Speed

and Intensity, Presence


50 watts


Five 12AX7s and one 12AT7, two

6L6 output tubes, two 5AR4 rectifier tubes


Passive effects loop, preset

Tone Boost on both channels,
3-button footswitch (for Tone
Boost, Overdrive, and Tremolo)


2x12 XL Cab with Celestion

G12-65 speakers


Head 46 lbs, cab 50 lbs




Outstanding build quality. Enormously bold, rich clean tones.

Sweet reverb and tremolo. useful
Overdrive channel.


Balancing both channels Gain

and Master controls in Overdrive
mode takes some getting
used to.

a while, with a full voice and punch more rem-

Overdrive brought in a slightly rugged, hard-edged

iniscent of a vintage Twin than a Super Reverb

lead tone that was more pushed Hiwatt than

(understandably, given the speaker complement).

the smooth, Dumble-style OD to which Two-

With either guitar this channel sounded good with

Rock players have been accustomed. Again, I

the Master reined in, but it really wanted levels

felt I really needed to push Overdrive hard and

at or near top-whack to reveal its full poten-

loud to hit the sweet spot, but it was a mighty,

tial. In other words, youre pushing some air by

mighty voice when it got there, capping off an

the time you disrobe the Akoyas full beauty!

impressive package for the professional player

Plump and juicy yet spanky and snappy, with

who performs at big venues.

Studio Pro 35
1x12 Combo

$2,695 list/street



Treble, Middle, Bass (pull for

Bright, Boost, Deep), Gain,
Master, Reverb Send and Return,
Contour; Pickup Loading switch
and FX Return Level (like a final

a broad, blooming, three-dimensional sound-

master volume) on back panel

stage and superb clarity, this was a great sonic

Stu d io Pro 35

foundation all on its own. Add a watery vin-

To call the Studio Pro series a budget line would

tage-voiced reverb and tremolo and, phew, it

be misguided; lets just say that the simplified

was a tone to be reckoned with. Stomping on

feature set and commensurately reduced price


35 watts


Four 12AX7s and one 12AT7, two

6L6GC output tubes


Tube-driven reverb, half-buffered FX loop (on return) with

Return Level control, 5-way
Pickup Loading switch


12" Celestion G12-65


39 lbs




Compact and extremely well

built. Sweet sounding cleans.
Versatile reverb. Excellent
crunch tones when pushed


The interplay between Gain,

Master, and Return Level con-

The Akoyas hand-wired circuit features high-grade components and has

tube-driven tremolo and reverb. It makes 50 watts from two 6L6s with a pair of 5AR4
tubes for rectification.

trols can be confusing, but they

prove extremely versatile once
you get the hang of them.

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


T wo- Ro ck

has helped it become a company best seller since

its release a few years back. The ethos here is to
sacrifice the overdrive channel for a single-channel clean platform with a wealth of tone-sculpting features hidden in and around the seemingly
traditional EQ and gain structure (see spec box
for control details). The Studio Pro 35 generates
35 watts of fixed-bias (class AB) power from a
pair of 6L6s, with tube-driven spring reverb and a
half-buffered FX loop (on the return), and a Level
Return control that also governs the amps overall output level. On top of these, a Contour knob
controls an active wide-band sweep to tweak
the amps overall voicing, and a Pickup Loading
switch on the back panel has four settings (plus
bypass) to load your guitars pickups to varying
degrees. The goal is reducing inductive ringing in
the coils and the potential high-end harshness
that results, providing a smoother, rounder tone
and a little less gain. All of this fits in a superbly
compact cab, with an oval-ported back and a
Celestion G12-65 inside.
I tested the Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 with a


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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

WA L R U S A U D I O . C O M



Tung-Sol 6L6GC STR

Genelex Gold Lion KT88

Mullard EL34

Built to the same Special Tube Request

specs of leading amplier manufacturers
of the 1960s, the 6L6GC STR is a rugged
and reliable power tube for use in the
most demanding guitar amplier circuits.

After extensive research and engineering

the famed Genalex Gold Lion KT88 is
available once again. Recreated down to
the nest detail, featuring gold plated
grid wire, carbonized screen grids, and
a tri-alloy clad plate structure for exceptional performance and sound quality.

One of the most renowned tubes in

guitar amp history. Easily handles the
signicant plate voltages of todays modern amps while faithfully recreating the
classic British sound. Discover why tone
connoisseurs regard Mullard as The
Master Valve.

also available:

12AT7/ECC81 12AU7/ECC82
12AX7/ECC83 12AX7/ECC803s Gold Pins
5AR4 5751 5881 6EU7 6L6G
6SL7 6SL7 G Gold Pins 6SN7GTB
6V6GT 6550 7027A 7581 7591A
EL34B EF806s Gold Pins EL84/6BQ5
KT66 KT120 KT150

also available:

also available:

12AT7 12AU7 12AX7

6V6GT 6922 KT66 KT77
N709/EL84 PX300B U77/GZ34

12AT7 12AU7 12AX7/ECC83

6L6GC 6V6GT CV4004/12AX7
EL84 GZ34 KT88


T wo- Ro ck

Gibson Custom Shop 1959 Les Paul reissue, a

Fender Telecaster, and a range of pedals in the
front end and in the loop. Its worth pointing out
straight up that it behooves the newcomer to spend
some time playing with the balance between the
Gain, Master, and Return Level controls to achieve
an understanding of how the Studio Pro 35s
gain structure works, and where available ratios
of clean-to-drive tones exist, since these three
controls interact a little differently than on most
amps. Once I got there, I was mightily impressed
with not only the bold, rich, blackface-leaning
clean tones achievable at reasonable club vol-

The Studio Pro 35 generates 35 watts of class AB power from a pair of 6L6s,and has diode

umes, but also with the juicy, tactile crunch to be

rectification, a tube-driven spring reverb, and a half-buffered FX loop (on the return).

had by pushing the front end just a little harder.

Get it singingor add an overdrive pedal for even

a little unrefined for some applications. The sound

cab. A compact and versatile package, the Studio

more driveand this amp issues a sweet, vintage-

and performance of both the reverb and the loop

Pro 35 earns an Editors Pick Award.

like dimension enhanced by contemporary clarity

were outstanding, with a usefully subtle taper on

Taken together, the Akoya and the Studio Pro

and texture, none of which I was expecting from

the formers dual controls that helps you avoid

35 reveal a manufacturer adept at satisfying dif-

this clean platform. Pulling the Middle control

that all-or-nothing wetness that so many amps

ferent ends of the broadening boutique market,

to bypass the tone stack elicited a further bump

deliver. And, if the small combo format lends just

as well as one that achieves impressive classiness

in gain and a raw, somewhat gnarly voice that

a touch of boxiness to the Studio Pros sound, the

of tone and build quality at whichever end of the

sounded great for garage-y leads, but was maybe

amp opened up beautifully through the 2x12 XL

ranges you find it. g


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

t est d r i v e

Fluence Classic Humbucker Set


Fluence classic
Humbucker set

teste d by a rt t Hompson




$249 street, pair

S P E C I f I C AT I O n S

H av i n g a l r e a dy st i r r e d u p t H e

While the Classic Humbucker Set on review

replacement pickup scene with its Fluence

here comprises pickups with alnico V bar

Single-Width units (reviewed in the May 2014

magnets and adjustable poles, other choices

issue), Fishman has introduced the Fluence

include 6- and 7-string Modern Alnico and

Classic Humbuckers, which are designed to

Ceramic Humbuckers, which are also available

deliver PAF-type sounds via a unique construc-

separately or in matched sets. If youre handy

tion process that uses stacks of thin printed

with a soldering iron, the installation is reason-

coils instead of the wire-wound bobbins of tra-

ably straightforward. However, Fluence pickups

ditional humbuckers. Fluence pickups are com-

do require a change to 25k audio-taper pots,

pletely analog, and they utilize active circuitry

which, along with push-pull tone pots for switch-

thats powered by a 9-volt battery or an optional

ing between voices on each pickup, are included.

rechargeable battery pack ($99 street). Playing

We tested the Classic Humbucker Set on a

time is specified at 200 hours. The reasons for

new Gibson Les Paul that was sent to us by Fish-

using active circuitry include immunity to cable

man with the pickups already installed. Conve-

ers with the option of instant

losses and loading issues, and ability to deliver

niently, we also had it in time to use along with

switching to a hotter second-

higher output without the primary drawback

a 59 Historic Les Paul reissue for auditioning a

of traditional overwound humbuckers: loss of

wide variety of stompboxes for the Pedalma-

high-end response.

nia cover story in last months issue.


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Alnico V bar magnets with poles

(neck and bridge)


Nickel (also available in black,

gold, and brushed stainless)




9-volt battery or optional USB

rechargeable lithium-polymer


Two selectable voices via the

included push-pull Tone pots.




Sound like classic humbuck-

ary sound. Ultra quiet.



F is h m a n

Not surprisingly, the two guitars sounded some-

going for grungier straight-into-amp tones. The

what different when plugged directly into our ref-

Voice 2 selections might be thought of as more

erence ampsa Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25 and a

active sounding, and with the ability to choose

Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb reissuehowever, they

a different voicing on each pickup, the Fluence

both sounded very good in their own right. The

system offers a more expanded tonal palette

Fluence-equipped Les Paul was slightly cleaner and

than you get with a standard dual-humbucker

brighter sounding in its Voice 1 PAF setting with

setup. It is worth noting too that Fluence pick-

the Tone pot down. The 59 Historic LP sounded

ups can be configured for other popular switch-

a little browner and had a bit less output. Both

ing options such as split-coil, series/parallel, and

guitars exhibited excellent touch-sensitivity and


dynamic responsiveness, and while the subtle

Fluence Classic Humbuckers definitely bring a

sonic differences between them were discern-

welcome option to the modern PAF scene, which

able when testing delay and reverb pedals, it was

focuses heavily on creating exacting replicas of

essentially moot when playing though boosters,

late-50s Gibson humbuckers. Fluence pickups

distortion pedals, and fuzzboxes. In fact, the gui-

have little to do with Eisenhower-era technology,

tars different neck profiles probably had more

but their ability to remain ultra quiet in noise-prone

to do with making one or the other more prefer-

environmentsbe it the fluorescent tubes in your

able to our testers.

garage or a blizzard of radio frequencies at an out-

Putting the Fluence pickups into their Voice 2

door arenais impressive, and the flexibility they

mode with the Tone pots pulled out elicited more

provide courtesy of dual-sound switching could

sparkle and ring from the neck pickup (nice for

make them an attractive option for anyone who

funky rhythm tones), and a stronger response from

wants a guitar that speaks with a vintage voice,

the bridge bucker, which proved addictive when

but has 21st century power under the hood. g


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5



t est D r i v e

Montys Guitars PAF Humbucker Set

teste D By Dave hu n t er
British pickup maker montys

Harris (of Londons Harris Hire gear rental) and

Guitars was founded a few years back by

those of other British prosGleeson has set

Matt Gleeson, who cut his teeth as a repair

loose his PAF Set, shipping them in an elegant

tech working at Chandlers Guitars in Kew in

wax-stamp-sealed box that, I must say, really

southwest London for several years. Working

heightens the buying experience!

in the repair shop alongside tone nuts such as

Tested in a 2013 Gibson Custom Shop 1959

Brinsley Schwarz (now back at his gig playing

Les Paul Reissue through a Komet Aero, 3rd

guitar with Graham Parker and the Rumour) and

Power British Dream MkII, and tweed Fender

Montys Guitars PaF set

Charlie Chandler himself, Gleeson developed a

Deluxe amps, I quickly found these pickups to



particular interest in the sonic enigma behind

be superbly accurate in tone and feel to some


$379 per pair, including covers

many of the great vintage pickups, and set out

of the lower-wind original PAFs Ive had the

to crack the codesa venture that seems to

pleasure of experiencing. The most powerful

be having plenty of success at Montys. Having

impression was made by the way they nailed


Alnico V neck, Alnico II bridge

played, studied, and measured every original PAF

that elusive mix of lively, cutting attack and

DC resistanCe

7.12k neck, 7.74k bridge

and all the best repros that came through the

toothsome compressionthat touch factor

door during years of servicing many of Londons

that makes a great PAF so playable. Gleesons

A-list musicians, Gleeson compiled a knowledge

fat Tele thing was there in spades in the bridge,

base of the specs and characteristics behind the

complemented by a rich, deep, vocal tone in the

pickups he liked most. All the ones I liked had an

neck position that never lost its detailed articu-

almost single-coil, fat Tele thing going on, he

lation. Both pickups cleaned up beautifully when

tells us, and all of them had similar resistance

the guitars volume was turned down, which is


Black, white, or zebra available.

readings and mismatched readings between

another essential characteristic of original PAF


Extremely articulate with excel-

the coils. Now, after acquiring the best origi-

pickups. All considered, Montys PAF set nails

nal-composition materials he could source and

all the key construction and sonic elements

putting in a full two years of testingwith close

of a late-50s Gibson humbucker, earning an

comparisons to an original burst owned by Phil

Editors Pick Award in the process. g


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


S P E C I f I C AT I O n S

(can be ordered 5-10% hotter)


Nickel (chrome, gold and agednickel also available)

LeaD Wire

Traditional braided shield/

single-conductor supplied;
four-conductor also available.

lent depth, characteristic PAFlike bite, and playing feel.




For the bulk of his 2014 tour with the Winery Dogs and
his recent solo tour, Richie Kotzen was spotted using a
mysterious red pedal by Tech 21. Countless photos and
questions were posted on the internet by fans craving to know
more. A gifted player known for his unique style, Richie is also
highly respected for his tone, so who could blame them?
Not just another version of the Fly Rig 5 simply bearing his name,
the Richie Kotzen RK5 Signature Fly Rig was a close, year-long
collaborative effort. Meticulous about every facet of his playing, singing,
songwriting and tone, Richies attention to the details of this pedal was
nothing less. What distinguishes the RK5 from the Fly Rig 5 is Richies
Signature OMG overdrive. Tuned specically to Richies ear, the OMG section

brings in the organic Class A-style distortion, but with a tighter, snappier
response. It is designed to articulate every nuance of Richies dizzying playing

photo by greg vorobiov

style for all modes and moods, from clean to aggressive and from rhythmic
chords to innite sustain when its solo time.
The RK5 offers the same other essential features as the Fly Rig 5: the all-analog
SansAmp, reverb, delay with tap tempo, and a powerful boost. For y gigs across
the globe, jamming at the local hang, and running off to last minute sessions, just pop
your RK5 into your guitar case and head for the door.

Actual size: 11.5l x 2.5w x 1.25h Weight: 18.6 oz.

The Richie Kotzen OMG Signature

Overdrive is also available as a
stand-alone pedal.



ACC esso ry Fil e

Music series one
Hand built in Brooklyn by Grado Labs, the Music
Series headphonesincluding models One
(original and 2009 model as tested), Two, and
Threefeature voice coils that are wound from
ultra-high-purity, oxygen-free copper for clear


sound transmission and lowest possible coloration. They also employ high-power neodymium

Drones, robots, AI, the Terminatorif youre into

magnets to give a cleaner and more dynamic

the ultimate manifestation of a sci-fi dream

sound. The Series One phones on review here

world, it would appear the machines are very

($110 street) are lightweight and have slider-

close to ruling mankind. As far as a musicians

adjustable foam pads that press comfortably

hearing goes, however, such a tech takeover is

are no compressor-style clamp downs or

against the ears. An important element of these

a blessing. Case in point: The adaptive, robot

pumping and breathing. The sound is so natural

passive phones is their use of a vented polymer

processing of the MusicPRO earplugs ($299

that I wondered whether the plugs were work-

diaphragm with a large air chamber in order

direct) automatically reacts to high sound-pres-

ing. A walk into a few brutish cymbal crashes

to reduce distortion of the diaphragm, while

sure levels to prevent those decibel blue mean-

assured me the electronic guardian was on the

also extending bass response. The result is a

ies from damaging your hearing, or even from

job, however, as the searing impact was almost

full 20kHz bandwidth without any noticeable

making your live performances uncomfortable.

imperceptibly reduced to a comfortable level.

distortion at lower frequencies. Ive used the

Normal mode provides 15dB of sound reduc-

Enhanced mode is nice for clarifying soft con-

Series One phones for everything from casual

tion when the MusicPros perceive a danger-

versation on the bandstand, though, with my

listening to critical analysis of recorded mate-

ous volume level, and Enhanced mode (read:

rock act, I kept to Normal mode to avail myself

rial, and they get high marks for their excellent

Hearing-Damaged Musician Mode) increases

of the added protection. Thanks to these mira-

clarity and stereo presentation. Factor in their

low-energy sounds by 6dB and kicks in a 9dB

cle machines, I now have a (slight) hope of still

ability to maintain an open and linear sound

signal reduction when hazardous levels appear.

being able to hear music in my 60s and 70s.

at any volume, and its no wonder that Music

The MusicPRO kits comes with batteries,

Series phones are endorsed by artists such as

a cleaning tool, a neck cord, a case, filters (for

Kudos Saves your hearing while not interfering

Eric Johnson, John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz and

keeping earwax out of the plugs and smooth-

with your music.

Warren Haynes. A r t

ing frequency response), and enough ACCUFit

Concerns Pricey.

Kudos Ultra clear sound.

eartips to fit all but the most unique ear canals.

Contact etymotic.com

Concerns None.

In Normal mode, the processing is so fast you

Contact allessandro-products.com

hardly notice it while performing onstage. There



G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Whew! m i c h A e l


The 15 inch Fullback

Classic Celestion sound. Supersized.

For guitarists who like their tones big, the 100-watt Fullback with its large 15" cone and extended low end
effortlessly delivers huge, smooth and expressive sound. Check out the big new thing in guitar speakers.


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wh ac k J o b

2011 Squier Pointillism

by te rry ca rleton

I fIrst met robbIe burger when I commIssIoned hIm to

replicate George Harrisons Rockythe psychedelic Fender Stratocaster
seen in the photo pages that accompanied the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
album. When I received the replica, it was not only painted with almost absurd
attention to detail, it also played and sounded great. While Robbie does a good
business recreating the artwork of famous, hand-painted guitars such as Rocky,
Eric Claptons The Fool Gibson SG, and Jimi Hendrixs psychedelic Gibson Flying
V, he also offers some amazing original designs like Pointillism, the subject of
this months Whack Jobwhich I also bought from him.

Wei r do Fac to r
Lookno pickups! Nah. Its simply excellent camouflage. The pickups were lowered until they were flush with the pickguard, and they are practically hidden in
plain sight by the Pointillism art motif. If it werent for the polepieces, you might
still be looking for them. Its a weird and delightful combination of an artists
expression and a magicians skilled misdirection.

P laya b i li ty & Sou n d

Robbie offers to paint your guitar, or hell supply guitars depending on how much
you want to spend. When I arranged to buy Pointillism, I opted for the cheapestpriced Strat, because I thought, Hey, its going to be a wall hanger, so who cares
if its actually playable or makes a decent sound? Well, the surprise was on
me, because Robbie supplies guitars that are set up well and sound good. For
example, Pointillism Strat produces loud and bright toneseven with its pickups brought down so lowand I play it all the time.

Va lu e
Back in the summer of 2012, I paid $330 (including shipping) for Pointillism.
Considering that a reasonably nice used Squier Strat goes for $150 or $200 these
days, I like to think that I paid around $150 for a stunning custom paint job. And
that, my friends, is one hell of a bargain!

Why i t ru l eS
Pointillism looks exceptionally artsy and cool. Its not the same old factory paint
job, and it broadcasts your individuality. Some players are most comfortable playing a plain-Jane Telecaster, and I get that. But its also a wonderful thing when
a guitar is seen as a blank canvas awaiting your own unique statement. After
all, Harrison, Clapton, Hendrix, and many others did it. Perhaps you are next
For more information on Robbies guitar designs, click to burgerguitars.com. g


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Qu i c k hi sTo ries o f Th e rooTs of Gu i Tar lusT

1966 Arbiter Fuzz Face

by DaV e huNT er

Three caps, four resistors, and two

germanium transistors define the classic
fuzz face circuit.

T h e f u z z b ox was a p r i m e au ra l

the best known and most iconic, thanks largely

anywhere from jagged and nasty to downright

delight in the psychedelic rock of the late 60s,

to two words: Jimi and Hendrix.

dull and lifeless. And, since its such a simple cir-

and has been a mainstay of heavier styles of

We often think of fuzz as an extreme, in-your-

cuit, the right transistors, and the right biasing

guitar music ever since, but it had its origins in

face, brick-wall kind of an effect, but a good Fuzz

thereof within the circuit (a job done by other

very different realms. The fuzz pedal was first

Face isnt by any means restricted to such per-

components with broad tolerances that are

developed to reproduce the clipping-distor-

formance. Played right, that jolly sonic discus

occasionally wildly off-spec) make all the dif-

tion sound on Grady Martins bass track when

can sound surprisingly rich and organic, con-

ference. Other than the two germanium sweet-

a mixer channel broke down during the session

tributing to a broad range of tonal colorations.

hearts, the tiny circuit board inside the die-cast

for Marty Robbins 1961 hit Dont Worry, and

Or, that is, the right Fuzz Face can, since they

housing contains just three capacitors and four

many early iterations were thought to be pri-

tend to be inconsistent. The two germanium

resistors. Done. Legend has it the round design

marily useful in helping guitarists to replicate

transistors at the heart of the circuit are where

was inspired by the base of a mic stand. The

the sounds of saxophones and trombones.

all the magic liesyielding a sweeter, warmer,

pedal didnt need an enclosure nearly as big

Maestro bottled and sold that busted-mixer

rounder and more tactile form of clipping than

as this, but hey, the shape made a splash and

tone in the U.S. as the Fuzz-Tone pedal in 1963,

the silicon transistors that would replace them

helped to get the thing seen. Marketing, right?

and by 1964 adventurous artists on the other

in 1969but they are also notoriously inconsis-

A good Fuzz Face meant different things

side of the pond were already probing the won-

tent components. Two good transistors, which

to different players, too. They could be jaggedly

ders of fuzzpurportedly first heard via a fuzz

will also play nicely together, can sound sub-

bright or warm and brassy, all of which might

built by effects pioneer Roger Mayer, and used

lime; two bad or poorly matched ones can be

sound superb in the right application. In addi-

Keith Richards legendary use of a Fuzz-Tone on

the Stones (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction riff.


tic moments, Hendrix would also tame it by

winding down the guitars volume, often keep-

In many tone freaks estimation, though, fuzz

Controls for Volume and Fuzz

ing it engaged to thicken up his clean tonea

really came into its own with the release of the

Sturdy, disc-shaped enclosure

nifty trick that many other great guitarists have

round, smiling Fuzz Face. Introduced by the Arbi-

Simple hand-wired circuit

used through the decades. A fussy circuit with a

ter Electronics company in mid 1966 (later Dal-

Two highly prized germanium NKT275

low input impedance, the Fuzz Face works best

transistors (units with AC128 transistors

when placed first in your pedal chain, where it

are also popular)

also interacts most smoothly with your guitars

las-Arbiter), the Fuzz Face wasnt even the first

British fuzzboxthat honor goes to the Solas-

ound Tone Benderbut it has become arguably


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

volume control. g

Courtesy o f Cam at royalBrit musi C

tion to using a Fuzz Face for his more bombas-

on P.J. Probys 1964 hit Hold Me, a year before

Mini Monsters

The Peavey Classic 20 MH, 6505 MH , and ValveKing MH Mini Heads authentically
produce the legendary tones of their iconic big brothers in a small, portable package.
These amps boast modern features like the USB record output, a plug and play port
that allows the amps to be used as an audio interface into your favorite recording
software. Stop by your authorized Peavey dealer or visit us online to learn more today!


Jason Becker on Creativity
Steve hunter, pt. 1
I l e ft CaCo p h on y when

I was 19. It was kind of a scary

decision to make, but I really
needed to explore all of my musical ideas without any distractions.
In addition to the modern classical stuff, I was writing more
poppy, guitar-heavy songs, in
which I could have my personality and style come through.
Mike Varney loved them and got
me in David Lee Roths band.
Although I had been limping
for a few months, even while
touring with Cacophony, it was
a fantastic time.
When I first moved down
to Southern California, I didnt
have a place to stay. Sometimes
I would stay in Daves condo
above Tower Records on the

Sunset Strip, sometimes at my

grandpas (actor Wayne Heffley) house, and sometimes at
my dear friend Mikos house.
Producer Bob Ezrin (Pink
Floyd, Kiss) introduced me to
Steve Hunter, who I had never
heard before. Even though I
had always loved blues players, and had my own style, I
needed some blues lessons to
bring me back down to earth.
I went to Steves apartment
in Hollywood. (You could see
the Hollywood sign from the
street.) At first I think we were
both a little cautious, because
we wondered if the other was
going to be a snob. He said, I
dont know what I can teach
you. I liked that! I played some

guitar for him. I never got nervous playing guitar, but now I
was shaking. We started talking, and we found a common
love for Stevie Ray Vaughan.
He got excited and put on
the Albert King vinyl album,
Years Gone By. A few years prior,
my uncle Ron had taken me
to see B.B. King and Albert
together in concert. Albert
must have been off that night,
because B.B. grabbed me way
more than Albert did. But this
Albert album from 1969the
year I was bornwas killing
me! Steve got off on how emotional I was about it. The way
Albert yanked the strings and
made little melody lines inside
of one pluck of the string while

bending to different notes

with one finger really got my
heart thumping. I think this is
when Steve and I started our
We started hanging out a
lot. We would constantly crack
each other up. Man, Steve is
one funny mofo! He taught me
some Ted Greene-type harmonics and some great jazz/blues
chord turnarounds. You can hear
me messing with this stuff on
my Hot Licks DVD, or on YouTube after my clean version of
Drop in the Bucket. I would
play him things I was working
on, and he would give valuable
advice. He was a blues master
with so much soul and feeling,
and I wanted to soak it all up.
We loved and respected each
others playing and music. A
true musician finds beauty in
the best of all types of musical expression.
I grew up with an artist/
poet father who played classical guitar and both my parents thought that being a good
artist was the highest calling.
Steve just fit right in with my
family. He and his lovely wife,
Karen, often visit these days.
We have a blast and make each
other laugh with our nasty
sense of humor. Steve gives
my dad guitar lessons, and I
learn a lot too.
Jason Becker is a composer and guitarist whose work can be heard on
his solo albums, and with Cacophony and David Lee Roth. Check
out this sexy mans story in the
award-winning documentary Jason
Becker: Not Dead Yet. g

Jason and Steve hunter.


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

Over $300,000 in cash awards & prizes!

Entry fees help support the non-profit
John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

Sponsored by:


Lennon and John Lennon are trademarks of Yoko Ono Lennon. All artwork Yoko Ono Lennon. Licensed exclusively through Bag One Arts, Inc. Design: Baree Fehrenbach

Carl Verheyen on Performance
Giorgio armani Got Me Hired for a Film score!
Way b ac k i n 1 9 9 1 , i Wa s

doing a lot of movie score

work as a session player, and
I received a phone call from
a Hollywood contractor with
a question many of us would
love to hear.
She asked, Can you play
in the style of Eric Clapton?
I answered, What era?
This completely confused
her, because she knew of just
one Claptonthe 1980s
version. Back then, records
such as Behind the Sun (1985),
August (1986), and Journeyman


(1989) generated radio friendly

hits, and these songs were the
extent of her knowledge of his
discography. Over the phone,
I educated her about the Les
Paul that Eric played with
John Mayalls Bluesbreakers,
as well as the Cream era and
his wildly painted Gibson SG
known as The Fool (named
after the Dutch artists that
painted it). Then, I told her
about the ES-335 famous for
Crossroads and other amazing tones during Creams late60s run. Somehow, the vibrato

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

he got with that guitar is his

most wicked ever.
T h e r e w a s s o m e Te l e caster work on the Blind Faith
album of 1969, followed by
Browniea 56 two-tone
sunburst Stratocaster used on
Layla and Other Assorted Love
Songs. Throughout the 70s
and 80s, Clapton played the
parts guitar Strat known as
Blackie, as well as plenty
of other instruments.
So here it was in 1991, and
when you get a call like that
your second question has to
be, Why do you
need somebody
to sound like
The simple
explanation was
that EC was scoring the 1991
film Rush, the
story of small
town cops that
go undercover
to catch a major
drug dealer only
to get sucked
into the drug
culture (Gregg
Allman played a
drug lord in the
movie). Apparently, Eric had
to be in Milan,
Italy, that week
and wouldnt be
available to come
to Los Angeles to
fix a few musical
cues that had to
be changed. This

happens a lot in the movie

business. A director re-shoots
a scene, the original music
doesnt work anymore, and
a cleanup session is called
to rerecord the cue.
I decided to take the gig,
and, not one to take chances,
I brought the appropriate
guitar and amp for each of
the major Clapton periods I
described to the contractor.
At the session, the producer
sampled each rig, and we
decided on my own version
of Browniea 1958 twotone sunburst. Using a Fender
Princeton Reverb amp, I was
able to reproduce the Laylaera EC tones, which seemed to
work with the sounds Eric had
already tracked for the film.
When the movie came out,
I bought the soundtrack album
to see how my Clapton impersonation stacked up against the
real guy. It was pretty close
which only attests to my fanboy appreciation (especially of
Cream). During the session, I
got around to asking the producer, Why was Eric in Milan,
and not playing on the final
days of his film score?
He answered, He had an
appointment with his tailor,
Giorgio Armani.
Carl Verheyen is a crtically
acclaimed, Grammy-nominated
guitarist, vocalist, songwriter,
arranger, producer, clinician, educator, and tone master with 12
CDs, two live DVDs, and two
books released worldwide. g

Craig Anderton on Technology
Playing nice with Vocals
T h e g u i Ta r - o r i e n T e d

singer/songwriter is as old a
paradigm as the guitar itself,
but theres an inherent conflict: Theres quite a bit of
frequency response overlap
between voice and guitar. The
usual solution is to play more
softly when singing, but then the
frequencies that dont overlap
are softer, too. Another option
when recording is to feed the
guitar signal into a compressor
or noise gate with sidechaining
capabilities, then use the mic
signal to drive the sidechain
input. This will compress or
reduce the guitar level (when
using a noise gate, you need to
set it for relatively little level
reduction, not a full gating
effect), but it also lowers all
frequenciesnot just those
in common with your voice.
However, theres yet another
approach I stumbled on when
designing an amp sim optimized for acoustic guitars with
piezo pickups (the sim was later
included with Cakewalk Sonar
as the Acoustic Piezo Amp).
This technique feeds a guitar
into a multiband compressor.
However, only a midrange
band is set to compressall
the other bands are bypassed
by setting their thresholds as
high as possible.
Set the midrange band to
cover a range similar to your
voice (around 200Hz to 1kHz)
with a fairly low threshold (Fig.
1). If youre not playing too
loudly, then the guitar level
will be below the threshold,


Fig. 1a multiband compressor set up to reduce the vocal frequencies as the guitar gets louder.

and the midrange level wont

be reduced. As the guitar level
gets louder, the guitars midrange will exceed the midrange
bands threshold and compress
in your vocal range, while leaving the higher and lower frequencies intact. Note that I often
raise the gain for the high and
low bands to add a little more
spice to the guitar. After all, if
a multiband compressor isnt
compressing, then its essentially a graphic equalizer.
The main caution is that
many multiband compressors
have a look ahead function

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

so they can prepare in advance

to catch peaks. The look ahead
time delays the audio, so if you
have a choice, choose a multiband compressor with minimal delay.
With software-based recording systems, advanced plug-in
jockeys can take this effect further to where it happens only
when youre singing. Split the
guitar into three tracks, with
an EQ in each band. You want
shelving response for the high
and low bands, and parametric
response for the midrange. Insert
a compressor with sidechaining

into the mid frequency band,

and feed the signal from your
vocal mic into the compressors
sidechain input. Now, the guitars midrange level will correlate only to your vocals. Pretty
cool, eh? Its almost like having
a robot sound engineer to dip
the guitar in just the right places
when youre singing.
Craig Anderton has played on
or produced more than 20 major
label releases, mastered hundreds of
tracks, and written dozens of books.
Check out some of his latest music at
youtube.com/thecraiganderton. g

Guitar Showcase

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


Guitar Showcase


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Guitar Showcase

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


Guitar Showcase


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5






"Ballsy and articulate!

The Overdrive Supreme
never fails to impress!"
-Guitar Player Magazine
In continuous production
for over 15 years. Proving
that killer tone is timeless.


5:59 PM

Guitar Showcase

This amp is killer!

-Al Di Meola

Since 2008 the Fuchs Overdrive Supreme has been

an integral part of Al Di Meolas live electric tone.
A true bona-fide guitar hero, Al Di Meola has won a
record eleven top guitar awards in Guitar Player Magazine,
more than any other player in history. Al is recognized
internationally as a guitar virtuoso of the highest order.
Hear the ODS in action on
Als new CD Elysium
Visit www.aldimeola.com for concert
& tour dates worldwide.

Call 973-772-4420
or visit

j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


Guitar Showcase


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Guitar Showcase

Soft, finish-safe rubber bumpers

and foam sleeves gently cushion
instruments at all points of contact

Super Guitar Stand

Super Portable, Super Secure,

Super Fast Set-up, Super Affordable
Tubular steel legs
form a tripod base for
balance and security

Universal design fits either

full-body acoustic or solid-body
electric guitars and basses

Folds compactly to fit in many gig bags,

cases, purses, or pedal bags

Available now. Ask your favorite

music store for a demo.
For more information, visit www.hamiltonstands.com
j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


Guitar Showcase

Less is more
J. R

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5






Guitar Showcase

SMART TRACK pedalboard

The smart way to attach your pedals and keep them intact!

Featuring an innovative pedal xing system, plus

you can regulate tilt or level it out to suit any
stage setting by adjusting the back feet.
The modular design means you can build
your own pedalboard up to double the size.
Fully compatible with our Evo Track model
with Velcro strips.
Follow us!


2 Levels

No Velcro

Curved Deck

Lifetime Warranty
Patents Applied For

The New Holeyboard Std. MKII

SeaFoam Green

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Guitar Showcase


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Guitar Showcase



Tube Powered
Pedal Pre-amp

12AX7 preamp tube | clean ch. w/

volume control | OD ch. w/ gain and
volume control | shared 3-band eq
section | pre- & post fx loops | mon. out
with selectable output level | balanced
XLR DI output with speaker emulation |
9VDC/200mA power supply out



Finally its here the best and

easiest way to mount your
favorite, classic shaped
solidly to your


j u ly 2 0 1 5 / G u I TA R P l A y E R . C O M


Guitar Showcase

Reserve your 30th Anniversary

Limited Edition
Vibrato Bridge today!

John Mann and Paul Reed Smith made history in 1985

when they created the PRS Vibrato Bridge, a hallmark of the
PRS Custom 24. To celebrate, MannMade USA has issued
a 30th Anniversary Limited Edition of that legendary bridge.

Each one comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Dont miss out: Reserve
your 30th Anniversary
Vibrato Bridge now!

Three of the BEST guitar

makers on the planet.
And we have em ALL!



As well as other top brands.

See our full inventory at:






309 South Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090

908-301-0001 info@goldenageguitars.com


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Guitar Showcase


Reel-to-reel tape machines brought us some of the
fattest sounds imaginable. Deco brings this inspiration
back, giving you vintage tape effects from the earliest
recording studios. Tape Saturation fattens your tones
with luscious tape compression and subtle tape-driven
transparent overdrive. The Doubletracker thickens your
sound with syrupy slapback tape echoes, tape flanging,
and gorgeous
tape chorusing sounds.


Rails under the wound strings. Poles under

the plain strings. A revolutionary design from
Joe Naylor that tightens the lows and fattens
the highs, for exceptional clarity and punch
beyond conventional pickups. Check out
Railhammer pickups today at railhammer.com.
They will change the way you play.
Available at zZounds, AMS, and Musician's Friend.

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Guitar Showcase




Guitars & Lap Steels

A New

alifornia Crafted

since 1982
310.821.2888 www.AsherGuitars.com


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Guitar Showcase


June 27 & 28

Greater Philadelphia expo Center

Rte 422, Exit at Oaks 100 Station Ave, Oaks, PA
hundREdS Of dEAlERS, cOllEctORS
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Sat 105 and Sun 104

bring an instrument to sell
or trade! turn unused
Gear into CasH$$$
Sat $12/Sun $10

Get a new limited-edition t-shirt every

month featuring an iconic guitar shop.



Galaxie 4

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Guitar Showcase


The Skylark concept began with our love and appreciation
for classic home/student 60s American amps. These small
student amps deliver organic tube juice and vibe at real world
volumes making them super usable and super satisfying. Our
Skylark takes this fun utility a giant leap forward. Reverb, a built
in power attenuator, Hi/Low gain switch, and the extended range
presence control offer an incredible pallet of tones from the
Skylarks beautiful dove-tailed cabinet. 12 watts full power.


"Best Small Amp of 2014"

- tone quest magazine


"Desert Island Amp"

- vintage guitar magazine

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


The Serious Blues series covers:

Essential blues phrasing techniques such as trills, slides, and rakes.
Lead and rhythm techniques such as fills and call-and-response.
Expanding your groove pallet with shuffle, straight times, and12/8 feel.
Corresponding DVDs with live demonstrations of examples.

Also Available:
Serious Shred!

Scan here for a FREE

sample lesson!
Or visit alfred.com/serious-series

Photo By: Vincent Tijms




Guitar Bazaar

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Guitar Bazaar

masters of metal


FREE 20 Page Download Available!

268 Pages with color, 8.5 x 11,
Spiral Bound Guitar Practice Book.
For the most straight forward,
efficient, and effective method for
mastering scales and chords go to
www.fretcolors.com and purchase a
copy of The Color of Scales and
Chords. Color coded scale & chord
fret board diagrams are provided for
each and every mode of the
following scales:
Major Scale, Harmonic Minor,
Melodic Minor, Major/Minor
Pentatonic & Blues Scale


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Includes one free 12 issue Guitar Player
subscription and each quarter you will
receive three award winning bottles for
only $39.95 (plus S&H).

One preview issue of Guitar Aficionado
with your introductory membership!

Call 1-888-987- 4987 or visit GuitarAficionadoWineClub.com

Guitar Aficionado Wine Club is owned and operated by Wines That Rock

Product Spotlight
System 10 Stompbox Digital Wireless System

Backbone Guitar Products

Available Now
Featuring a rugged pedal-board mountable receiver with foot switch,
two switched TRS balanced outputs and an output mode selector,
the System 10 Stompbox provides unique functionality to guitarists.
$349.95 Street Price

Available Now
for Strats and Teles
CNC Machined Tone-Plate Resonance Expander is a direct bolt on replacement
for the stock neck mounting plate. No modifications required, easy installation.
Provides an additional Mass link in the resonance path between the neck and
the string ferules or tremelo.
MSRP: $69.99 - Enter CODE GPLAYER for a 15% introductory GP discount
(919) 477-9775

Vapor Shield Guitar Strings

La Bella Strings
Available Now
The future of coated strings...are not coated!
Guitar players no longer have to sacrifice tone using a conventionally coated string.
Our Vapor shield technology mutates the molecules of the string, creating a slick, low
friction surface resistant to grime and oil. No peeling or flaking after extended play!
Available for Acoustic, Electric guitar, and bass. Contact www.labella.com to purchase
these strings. Hand wound and treated in the U.S.A.
SRP: $10.95

Contemporary Guitar Improvisation

(Utilizing the Entire Fingerboard) Book & CD
by Marc Silver
Available Now
Since 1978, Contemporary Guitar Improvisation is THE classic book for learning
guitar improvisation. This innovative system is based on five basic fingering
patterns that form the foundation for improvising over virtually any chords,
in any key, across the entire fingerboard. All patterns are diagrammed, so
note-reading ability is not necessary. Recommended by guitar legend George
$42.00 USD (includes delivery in the U.S.)


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

Percolator 2W Tube Amp

Zeppelin Design Labs LLC
Available Now
Offered as DIY kit OR Ready-to-Play,
The Percolator features an all-tube
signal path designed around a
single NOS Compactron tube. The
single volume control delivers warm,
rich, clear tones at lower levels
and aggressive overdriven tones
at higher levels all at moderate
volume. 1x8 Speaker Cab available
separately. Also offered as a Combo.
Direct: Percolator Amp Kit $259;
Ready-to-Play $349

Gold Series
Gravity Guitar Picks
Available Now
The Gold Series is the new premium line offered by Gravity Guitar Picks. The
material is a high grade thermoplastic which is amazingly wear-resistant and
has a great grip. There is a sizable difference in volume when compared with a
normal pick, enabling you to cut through the mix. The Gold Series is available in 4
thicknesses: 1.0mm, 1.5mm, 2.5mm and 5mm.
MSRP $29

Product Spotlight
MannMade USA
Available Now
Fits vintage style Strat guitars with no mods. Steel block for that authentic Strat
stink! Increased tone and sustain. Push-in Arm. Patented mounting system
guaranteed to stay in tune. Smooth silky feel, less string breakage. All hardware
included. Made in USA.
MSRP: $160.00

Lil Luber/Groove Luber/Bench Luber

Big Bends LLC
Available Now
Big Bends LLC is proud to introduce the complete line of Nut Sauce tuning
lubricant applicators: the 0.5cc Lil Luber for the guitar hobbyist; the 1.5cc
Groove Luber for the serious player; and the 6cc Bench Luber for the guitar
tech or repair shop. Accept no imitation!
MSRP: Lil Luber $12.45, Groove Luber $24.95, Bench Luber 59.95

Monster Grips: The Ultimate Grip for Guitar Picks and More!
Monster Grips

StoneWorks Guitar Picks

StoneWorks Picks

Available Now
Monster Grips is a revolutionary guitar pick grip that is super grippy, non-sticky,
and stays clean. Surprisingly durable, yet ultra-thin, it is extremely comfortable
and is certain to enhance your playing experience.

Available Now
Handcrafted by Mike Stone from 100% natural stone. See for yourself
why players from all over the world love their StoneWorks Pick. Read
the reviews and then give us a try.

The Super-Vee BladeRunner

Super-Vee Tremolo Systems

Tuffies Heavy Duty 18-Gauge USA Made High Quality Instrument Cable
Hilltop Music Corporation

Available Now
The BladeRunner with patented technology gives your Stratocaster superior
tuning stability, improved clarity, and a marked boost in sustain. Unlike any
other tremolo, the BladeRunner delivers. Crafted in multiple finishes - six
screw, two-post and lefty.
MAP Price - $169.95 - $199.95

Available Now
This USA cable has everything a musician could want! Reduces electromagnetically
induced noise to less than 1/10 level of other two-conductor cables. Low capacitance
allows more brightness for lower treble setting. Neutrik HD plugs heat-shrink sealed
inside protects corrosion-free wire allowing conduction without resistance. Two-pole
gripper safely unplugs, and more!
MSRP: $29.99-$39.99
(865) 585-6575

J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Product Spotlight
Atomic Amplifiers
Available Now
AmpliFire is the complete professional digital guitar amp modeling processor in a pedal
featuring patented tube modeling powered by Studio Devil, custom speaker impulses
loadable via USB, and a full suite of effects. Meet your total amp rig replacement, direct
recording tool, and new pedal board addition... all in one!
MSRP: $599

SeaGlass Guitars, USA
Available Now
SeaGlass Guitars are handmade in Massachusetts by luthier Roger Mello.
The Route6jr is a Korina bodied setneck with a Hand-Rubbed oil finish. The
Route6A Carvetop features a chambered mahogany body with a carved maple
top and a nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
Route6jr: $1395
Route6A Carvetop: $2695

Mag-Lok Tremolo Anti-Deflection Device

The Super-Vee
Available Now
The revolutionary Mag-Lok design uses Rare Earth super magnets to securely
hold your tremolos zero position during hard finger string bends, but
transparently releases when using the whammy bar. It is truly the holy grail
for the ultimate in tuning stability on all tone block style tremolo systems including Floyd Rose. Installs in minutes with just a screw driver. Patent pending.
Price: $59.95


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / J U L Y 2 0 1 5

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J U LY 2 0 1 5 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M


Classic Ad

L es Pau Ls r i g ht- han d man tom doyLe Promised Lots of sonic oPtions a nd muscu La r to n es
in this ad from the April 1983 issue (which featured a very road-weary Keith Richards on the cover).


G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / j U L Y 2 0 1 5

MAtt BlAcKe t t

2015 PRS Guitars / photo by Marc Quigley

The S2 Vela: A New Breed

Born in our Maryland factory, the new S2 Vela is a wholly unique guitar for PRS.
Featuring a brand new plate and barrel style bridge, a Starla treble pickup and
an all new type-d singlecoil this guitar has all the spank, sparkle and vintage vibe
you could want. American made, reliable, great sounding and easy on the wallet.