A Classic Fender Amp, The Fender Bassman

Fender Bassman

   I recently had the opportunity to play a ’59 Fender Bassman Reissue amplifier and I was really blown away with how amazing it sounded. As a guitarist you hear stories of the great amplifiers as you learn your craft and you hear the amplifiers on recordings. But there’s really nothing like playing the amps yourself and really being able to crank them all the way up. The thing about tube amplifiers is they give you more sweetness the harder you push them. Every tube amp I’ve played has had a sweet spot where the amplifier really sings.

   So I got to really push the ’59 Fender Bassman Reissue and let me tell you, it’s loud. But it sounds so damn good that you don’t care how loud it is. It’s ecstasy because it’s a sound that you recognize from all the recordings that have been made with this amplifier. I love it when an amplifier roars when you really hit your guitar hard and then quiets down and softens as you play softer and roll down your guitar volume. Continue reading “A Classic Fender Amp, The Fender Bassman”

Equipment Protection – The Furman PL-Plus II Power Conditioner

Furman PL-Plus II Power Conditioner with Voltmeter

   Being a guitar player and using very voltage sensitive amplifiers, I have always struggled with getting good clean power to my equipment. Bad power can cause all sorts of problems from strange noises to complete equipment failure. Today I’m going to recommend the power conditioner I use on my guitar rig, the
Furman PL-Plus II Power Conditioner with Voltmeter

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Take Care Of Your Hearing With Musicians Earplugs

Pete Townshend - Rock Induced Deafness

   One of the most important pieces of advice I can give to young musicians is simply to take good care of your hearing. I was diagnosed with a hearing loss when I was 16 years old and had only been playing in a band a couple of years. I was still pretty careless with my hearing for much of my early career. Finally the hearing specialists started telling me I needed hearing aids. That got my attention and I’ve been very careful with my hearing the last 15 years or so.

   The best thing I’ve done for my hearing is to get a pair of custom molded, sonic filter type earplugs made specially for musicians. I have the Westone ES49 Custom Fit Earplugs. Mine are a light tan color and are barely visible from the audience. They sound fantastic and because they are custom molded to my ear they’re extremely comfortable.

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Korg Pandora PX5D Multi-Effect Processor For Bass And Guitar

Korg Pandora PX5D
Korg PX5D Pandora

   I previously reviewed the Korg ToneWorks PX4D and gave it my highest recommendation because of the many applications that it has in your gear arsenal. To read that review click here. The latest and greatest offering in the Korg Pandora line is the:
Korg Pandora PX5D Guitar Multi Effects Processor Silver.

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Fender American Standard Precision Bass

Fender American Standard Precision Bass

   This is my favorite bass guitar of all time. It’s such a simple instrument with a simple design and setup that it’s surprising how many things there are to love about it. Body and scale wise it’s the bass version of the Fender Stratocaster. When it originally came out in 1951 it didn’t have the excellent body contouring that it has now. They gave the Precision Bass the comfortable body contouring in 1953. The Precision Bass actually helped spawn the design of the Fender Stratocaster. The Precision Bass was the first Fender offering to have the double cutaway design and the body contouring, both of which went on to be incorporated into the design of the Fender Stratocaster. The P-Bass is still selling today, 57 years after its introduction. It has helped shape the sound of all modern music.

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Learn Songs The Easy Way, Tascam MP-GT1

Tascam MP-GT1 Portable MP3 Guitar Trainer

   When I was first learning how to play songs by ear from the original recordings it was a huge struggle for me. I was trained to read music from a young age and playing by ear was a whole new world for me. I remember sitting on my bed and working on a song for several hours before I finally had it down. The hardest thing of all was learining how to play the guitar solos. The notes flew by so fast that I couldn’t begin to pick them out.

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The Best Guitar Picks – Clayton Acetal Standard Picks

Clayton Acetal Standard Guitar Picks

   I’ve used dozens of different types of guitar picks over the years in the quest to find a great guitar pick. I wanted a pick with the following qualities:

  • Non-slip, sweat resistant surface
  • Long lasting and break resistant
  • Good hardness for a sharp attack

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The Best Instrument Microphone – The Shure SM57

Review and recommendation of the Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone. It’s the best in the world at instrument micing.

Shure SM57 Microphone

   If you’ve been in any recording studio or seen any band live with microphones on the guitar amps, you’ll have seen the Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone. This mic is a dandy! (and I don’t say “dandy” very often). My experience with the Shure SM57 has been nothing but positive. The microphone is tougher than nails and my guitar amp sounds fantastic with my pair of SM57’s on it.

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Guitar Collecting

Fender American Deluxe 50th Anniversary Stratocaster
50th Anniversary Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster

   I am a guitar player so it goes without saying that I love guitars. I have 14 guitars and I would still like to have more. It’s really hard to pick just one favorite because they all have certain things they do well and each guitar comes with its own special vibe.         Continue reading “Guitar Collecting”

Practicing to a beat…not a metronome.

One thing that most musicians struggle with is playing accurately in a groove. It’s a huge necessity to be able to play things on the beat especially when you’re playing with other musicians. That rhythmic pulse is what keeps us all on the same page when we’re playing together in groups. I’ve played with bass players and guitar players that have a tough time even playing an eighth-note rhythm consistently. I myself struggle to play extremely fast guitar solos on the beat from time to time and it used to be a real struggle for me until I started practicing with a metronome. The metronome did me well but boy is it boring and irritating after a while.      Continue reading “Practicing to a beat…not a metronome.”