The Guitar Player Repair Guide Review

Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine
Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine

   The most beloved possession any live musician will own and take care of is their instrument. Playing in a live band over the years I’ve seen guys play on the most beat up and improperly setup instruments you could imagine. They still loved them but they loved them even more when they were setup correctly. I’ve been setting my own guitars up now for about 20 years and I have become extremely good at it. My guitars really play silky smooth. I take the time to properly set up the string height, pickup height, neck relief and intonation as well as maintain my guitars very methodically. I set my students guitars up for them and they often say “I didn’t know my guitar could be so easy to play!”.

   Today I want to tell you about one of the most valuable books in my collection. It is by legendary guitar builder and repairman, Dan Erlewine. I bought his book “The Guitar Player Repair Guide” when I was about 19 years old and it has been very well used over the years. This book is packed with information about setting up, maintaining and repairing electric and acoustic guitars. It covers Fender style bridges, Floyd Rose style bridges and Les Paul style bridges. It goes in depth about how to setup each type of guitar as well.   Continue reading “The Guitar Player Repair Guide Review”

Perfect Club Speakers – JBL JRX125 Dual 15″ 2-Way Speaker

JBL JRX125 Speaker

Probably the most critical item that you will need to purchase as you become a performing live musician is a great pair of speakers. The success of your live band really depends on how well your sound is translating live and the speakers are the voicebox of your band. Today I’m going to tell you about my JBL JRX125 speakers and how well they have served my music.

I have owned my JBL JRX125’s for about 2 years now and have had no problems whatsoever with them. Visually the speakers are very nice looking with a rugged 18-guage steel mesh grille and a cloth covering. They have recessed handles on the sides and will accept both 1/4″ and Speakon connectors. The JBL nameplate on the grille and handles is nice and understated and keeps the speakers very professional looking.   Continue reading “Perfect Club Speakers – JBL JRX125 Dual 15″ 2-Way Speaker”

Fender Standard Jazz Bass Guitar Review

This is an incredible bargain on a great bass for beginners and professionals alike.

Fender Standard Jazz Bass - Midnight Wine

   I recently helped one of my students purchase a Fender Standard Jazz Bass guitar. He is going to be using it in his live band. Even though the Standard Jazz Bass is made in Mexico I was very impressed with the quality of the build of the Bass that he purchased. The Standard Jazz Bass has all the components that made the Fender Jazz Bass famous. It has two single coil pickups each with their own volume control and a single master tone control. This gives you the ability to mix the sound of the two pickups together in a multitude of different ways. It gives the Jazz Bass a lot of tonal options that you wouldn’t get with the Fender Precision Bass

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The Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster – My Favorite Guitar

Loaded with features right from the factory, the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster is the best guitar you can buy.

Matt With American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster

   Being a guitarist in a live band, I’m constantly asked “What guitar do you play?”. The truth is I have a modest guitar collection of about 12 guitars so I play a lot of different guitars. But there is one particular model that stands out above the rest. That is my beloved Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster. I actually have two American Deluxe Strats and A Jeff Beck Signature Strat that is very similar to an American Deluxe Stratocaster. The two I’d like to talk about today are my 2004 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster and my 2005 American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster. They are both very similar to each other and incredible guitars.

   I got the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster when it was released in 2004 because I had always wanted a collectible guitar and I love the Stratocaster. My Jeff Beck Signature Strat had been serving me well for about 9 years and I was looking for another good guitar. The reason I got the American Deluxe version rather than the American Standard version was because I absolutely love the feature set that is on the American Deluxe Stratocaster.

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My Stage Amp – The Fender Cyber-Twin SE

My stage amp is the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and it has been the best live amplifier I have ever used.

Fender Cyber-Twin SE Front

My main onstage guitar amplifier for the last couple years is the Fender Cyber-Twin SE. As a live guitarist this amplifier has been invaluable to me. Because I play in a cover band as well as an original band, I needed an amplifiereffects setup that could cover a wide range of different guitar sounds. At a gig I will use sounds ranging from a country twang to hard rocking Marshall type distortion to full on saturated mid-scooped distortion. I used to use a Digitech 2120 Valve Guitar System but it just didn’t have the punch and presence of an actual amplifier and it’s sound always left me wanting more power. When I was searching for a new amplifier I played a bunch of modeling effects units and amplifiers including the Line 6 POD, Boss GT-8 Effects Processor and the Line 6 Vetta 2 among others. None of those modeling devices gave me the playing response that the Fender Cyber-Twin SE did. The biggest thing I noticed was on the other modeling devices, whether I played light or heavy, or when I turned the guitar down or up, the sound stayed the same. The Fender Cyber-Twin SE responded to my playing touch, guitar volume adjustments and my picking attack. It simply breathes more than a standard DSP modeling amplifier. There’s a secret to how Fender achieved this with the Cyber-Twin SE.

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The Hohner Blues Harp

The Hohner Blues Harp is a very easy instrument to learn and play the blues on. Even Abraham Lincoln played the Harmonica.

Hohner Blues Harp Harmonica
Hohner Blues Harp

   Mathias Hohner started making harmonicas in his kitchen in Trossingen, Germany. Amazingly, Hohner harmonicas are still made at a factory in Trossingen, Germany after all these years. I don’t think there’s any question that the Hohner Harmonica has had a profound influence on American music. The harmonica is one of the easiest and most fun instruments I have ever learned how to play. I play the awesome Hohner Blues Harp harmonica.

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The Police – Salt Lake City Concert Review 7-19-08

Review of The Police in concert at Usana Ampitheatre, Salt Lake City, Utah on July 19, 2008.

The Police 2008 Tour

   I went and saw The Police play at Usana Ampitheatre in Salt Lake City on Saturday July 19. They are very close to the end of their 2007-2008 Reunion World Tour. It was a hot summer evening and there was a sellout crowd on-hand to listen to The Police play. I was very excited to hear this concert as The Police are one of my favorite bands and one of the few I’ve never had the opportunity to see play live.

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Judy Carmichael Jazz Pianist – Sundance Under The Stars Concert Review

Judy Carmichael At The Piano
Judy Carmichael

   On Saturday night I was invited to attend the Sundance Under The Stars summer music concert series. It’s in a small amphitheater setting just off the ski run at Sundance Ski Resort in Utah. This summer Sundance is featuring a handful of jazz artists playing in the absolutely stunning outdoor setting.

   It was my pleasure to listen to Judy Charmichael with a trio of jazz artists. Judy Charmichael is a master of jazz Stride Piano. The musicians who were playing in the jazz quartet were Continue reading “Judy Carmichael Jazz Pianist – Sundance Under The Stars Concert Review”