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How Playing DRUMS Improves Your Guitar Playing and Makes You a More Well-Rounded Musician

Hey again fellow guitar lovers!  Last week I discussed how playing bass has made me a better, more well-rounded guitar player and musician, let's build on that! So again, if we travel back through time, we will see that only a few years after getting my first guitar, I acquired my first drum set; I believe I was about 16 and I used the set to track my own demos in the little studio I had built.The kit was awesome, an old Ludwig kit from the 1960's, and that kit would come with me to Nashville and become the...

How Playing Bass Improves Your Guitar Playing and Makes You a More Well-Rounded Musician

Howdy guitar gang!  It's January of 2021 as I pen this blog, I thank God for my gig playing bass at a local church.  Shoot, as musicians, ANY gig we get we should be grateful for.  Most clubs are gone, most concerts are gone, well, most live music is gone, so folks take what ya can get!  Shoot, do WHATEVER you can to keep your chops up and keep playing music with other real, flesh-n-blood musicians.  Sorry for my side-trip there, let's get to today's topic: why a guitar player NEEDS to spend...

How To Keep Your Guitar Chops Up While In Isolation

Holy Cow, gang ... did 2020 take a hard left turn into the dumpster or what?  I mean, seriously? Who the heck would have thought that isolating yourself from other humans would EVER become a SUGGESTED practice, right?  Psychology has been telling us for a century or so how dangerous isolation is to our mental well-being, and that's for "normal" people.  But we musicians are far from normal.  We need, DESPERATELY NEED, each other.  A one-man jam session, well ... isn't!  So to get started...

How To Host Socially Distanced Live Music Events

Musical friends, 2020 has been one heckuva challenging year for ALL of us involved in live events.  We can argue about just what the heck the truth is about this "pandemic", but ultimately that's not what matters when it comes to being a musician; what matters is how to keep the music flowing.  How to keep getting on stage, and keep entertaining folks ... and I ain't talking "virtual" here, that'll be covered in next weeks blog, I'm talking the real deal!  Let's talk about how one company, here in the...

Best Speaker upgrade for Blackstar HT5 / HT5R (MK1 or MK2)

Okay gang, last week we talked about the best speaker upgrade for the super versatile Blackstar HT Club-40, this week, let's talk about it's splendid little sibling, the HT5R.  In case you missed the memo, 5-watt tube amps are all the rage these days.  Almost all of em are single-ended amps with a single 6V6 or EL84, and Personally, I find most to just plain be too mushy in the bottom end; but this lil gal is different!  The HT5R (and the verb-less HT5) actually come about their 5-watts(ish) via a unique...

Best Speaker Upgrade For Blackstar HT Club 40

Folks, the Blackstar HT series Club 40 is a true thing of beauty.  Man, I love products made in Korea!  Move over Japan; Korea is the new Asian manufacturing mecca, and  Blackstar amps are certainly proof of this fact.  Honestly,  Blackstar doesn't make a BAD amp, but there is something just ...well ... downright perfect about the Club 40; if ya only had ONE amp and it was the Club 40, you'd be fine.  Let me point out right here and now, this is NOT a review of the amp, you'll find plenty...

Definative Answer: Should I wrap my strings around the tailpiece on my tune-o-matic style bridge?

So a couple weeks back a question came into one of the big forums that I see fly by all the time, and it seems like there is never a definitive answer, so I'm gonna give ya one ... right here, right now!  The question: Should I wrap my strings around the tailpiece on my tune-o-matic style bridge? The Answer: Maybe. Maybe I should elaborate, but I promise, I'll keep this short and to the point!  When you wrap around the tail piece (stop bar) of a tune-o-matic, or "Nashville" style bridge it DOES make the...

How Electric Guitar String Gauge Effects Tone: The quick, simple answer!

Howdy guitar gang.  Today's blog will be short & straight to the point (or at least I'll try my best ... really).  Last week I had an email come in from a pickup customer that basically said "an, your pickups sounded great on my guitar, but I switched from 9's to 7's and now the tone's really thin and almost ice-picky".  And all I could say was ... "duh"!!!  Okay, y'all know me, I had plenty more to say, and it went something like this: Generally, I tell folks to play the gauge that works best...

Evolution of Guitar Amps (Back to the Future Part 2)

Hi again fellow guitaraholics!  If you have not yet done so, you might want to begin by going back and reading last weeks blog on the evolution of guitar pickups, as it was kinda what sparked this idea.  While working on this young up and coming Nashville super-picker's Tele he asked a simple question I'd never heard before:  "What's the advantage of having a separate amp "head" with the electronics in it and a speaker cabinet with just speakers in it, versus just having it all in one combo amp?". ...

Evolution of Guitar Pickups (Back To The Future)

G'day fellow guitar mates! A couple days back I had a killer up & coming Nashville based guitar player in the shop for a pickup upgrade on his uber sweeeet 1968 Tele; it was a road I've been down way too many times.  The guitar was a sort of family heirloom, passed down from his father, a former Nashville pro, to him (a future Nashville pro :). Problem is, back in the 80's dad had yanked those "awful" vintage Tele pickups out and replaced them with the cool (for the day) active EMG pickups.  Hey, I can'...

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