Snark SN-2 Clip On Tuner Review

The Snark-SN2 chromatic tuner makes tuning any instrument quick and easy. Tune guitars, bass, saxophone, trumpets, oboes, violins and more!

Snark SN-2 Chromatic Clip-On Tuner
Snark SN-2 Chromatic Clip-On Tuner

I’m always looking for good pieces of music equipment that will make my life easier playing in my live band. I’ve never been a fan of having to plug a tuner into my signal chain with my guitar. I also get tired of unplugging my guitar and then plugging it into a tuner over and over through a gig. Enter the Snark SN-2 digital clip-on tuner. This convenient tuner solves both of these problems easily.

The Snark SN-2 tuner clips directly onto your electric guitar or bass and senses the vibrations from the strings to give it an accurate reading of your instruments tuning. The Snark SN-2 will also clip onto any acoustic instrument including guitars, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, oboe or anything that vibrates. The Snark SN-2 also has a built-in microphone so you can tune keyboards with it as well. It’s a chromatic tuner with extended frequency range so it will read any note on the scale and tell you whether you are in tune or not.   Continue reading “Snark SN-2 Clip On Tuner Review”

My Favorite Electric Bass Guitar Strings

Dean Markley Blue Steel bass guitar strings have the perfect combination of excellent tone and high durability.

Electric Bass Guitar Strings
Dean Markley Blue Steel Bass Strings

   Over the years I’ve played several different instruments in various live bands. In fact, the first bar band I played in, I was playing the bass guitar. I really love to play the bass guitar and it’s one instrument that truly came naturally to me. Today I’m going to tell you about the strings I use on my bass guitar. 

   If you’ve read my post about Dean Markley Blue Steel Strings for electric guitar then I’m sure you won’t be surprised at all when I tell you that I prefer Dean Markley Blue Steel Strings for my bass guitar as well. In case you didn’t know, Dean Markley Blue Steel strings are cryogenically treated by dipping them in -320 degree liquid nitrogen. They are then packaged and sealed in their box ready for you to purchase.    Continue reading “My Favorite Electric Bass Guitar Strings”

Les Paul and Chet Atkins Perform “Caravan”

Les Paul and Chet Atkins perfom “Caravan” on the classic album titled Chester & Lester.

   I wanted to share some Les Paul music with you today to memorialize Les the best way there is, by listening to his music. This song is from the recording Les Paul did with Chet Atkins in 1975 and released in 1976, titled “Chester & Lester”. The song is called “Caravan” and was written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills and Juan Tizol. The interplay between Chet and Lester is wonderful to listen to.   Continue reading “Les Paul and Chet Atkins Perform “Caravan””

Deals And Promotions From Musician’s Friend – August 2009

Special deals and limited run equipment from Musician’s Friend for the month of August, 2009.

Randy Rhoads with Jackson prototype guitar.
Randy Rhoads with Jackson prototype guitar.

  There are a couple of really cool deals for guitarists going on right now at Musician’s Friend. One of the most legendary and influential guitarists of all time was Mr. Randy Rhoads. He rose to fame playing with Ozzy Osbourne as Ozzy launched his stellar solo career. The success of Ozzy’s early solo work can be highly credited to the phenomenal guitar work of Randy Rhoads. If you were lucky enough to see Randy Rhoads onstage in Ozzy’s live band it was an experience you’ll never forget.

   Before Randy’s untimely death, he designed his ultra-famous Randy Rhoads Signature Model guitar with Grover Jackson of Jackson Guitars. This guitar has been highly sought by guitarists that love the Randy Rhoads sound. Right now at Musician’s Friend you can score a deal on a limited run of this amazing guitar that are numbered and signed by luthier Mike Shannon. Just click the banner below to check it out:

Randy Rhodes Limited Edition Guitars

 Another great special going on right now at Musician’s Friend is the big sale on Line 6 equipment. Line 6 makes an excellent line of modeling amplifiers that can almost rival the sweet sounds of my Fender Cyber-Twin SE. When I was shopping for a new amp I narrowed it down to the Line 6 Vetta or the Fender Cyber-Twin SE. The Fender finally won out but it was a tough choice.

   If you’re in the market for some excellent gear from Line 6, now is the time to buy. The prices have been lowered and the deals have never been better. Just click on the banner below to see these nice discounts:

Price Cuts on Line 6 Gear at

Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups Video Demo

Video demo of the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster with Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups.

Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups
Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups

   The other day I wrote a review about the Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups that I have in both of my Fender American Deluxe Stratocasters. I love the sound of these pickups and they’ve been a huge success onstage in my live band.

   They are a bit warmer sounding than the classic vintage single-coil pickups but the fact that they are noiseless puts them way ahead in terms of live functionality than standard single-coil pickups. When you’re dealing with varying power conditions at every venue that you play in, not having to worry about your noisy single-coil pickups gives great peace of mind.

   Today I’m posting up a couple of really good demo videos that feature the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster loaded with the SCN pickups. These videos are both really great examples of how the Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups sounds. You can also hear the Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups in the clips on my Fender Cyber-Twin SE Preset Patch download page.      Continue reading “Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups Video Demo”

Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Guitar Pickups Review

Get exceptional noiseless single-coil pickup tones from Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless guitar pickups.

Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups
Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups

My favorite electric guitar which I use as my main guitar onstage with my live band is the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster. I have two American Deluxe Stratocasters. One is the 2004, 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster and my other is a 2006 American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster. They’re both equipped stock with Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups.

One thing that I’ve always hated about traditional single coil pickups is the irritating 50/60 cycle hum that plague them. If you use a high gain amplifier or use any kind of compression, the hum is amplified and sounds even worse. I play a lot of high-gain, compressed sounds so the hum that comes with a traditional single coil pickup is unacceptable for a lot of what I play. Simply for the noiseless design, I have been very happy with the Fender SCN Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups.    Continue reading “Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Guitar Pickups Review”

Download Free Fender Cyber-Twin SE Preset Patch “LMC Mid Grind ’66”

Listen to a sound clip and download a free custom preset sound patch for your Fender Cyber-Twin SE Guitar Amplifier. This one is “LMC Mid Grind’66”

Fender Cyber-Twin SE Amplifier
Fender Cyber-Twin SE Amplifier

   Just in time for the weekend, here’s another free Fender Cyber-Twin SE preset patch for you to check out and download. I call this preset “LMC Mid Grind ’66” and it’s very loosely based on a Fender Super Reverb ’66 amplifier. I’ve made quite a few tweaks to this preset and I use it all the time in my live band. In fact, I like this preset so much that I put it in preset number P01 so that it’s the first sound that comes up when I turn on my Cyber-Twin SE.

   What I really love about the “LMC Mid Grind ’66” preset is how it lets the guitars true tone shine through. The sound of the guitar that you’re using will really determine how this preset patch will sound. It’s one of those special presets that will have guitarists naming the type of guitar you’re playing through the amplifier. A Stratocaster will sound like a Strat while a Les Paul will undeniably be a Les Paul. There are some presets that sound pretty much the same no matter what guitar you play through them but not “LMC Mid Grind ’66”.       Continue reading “Download Free Fender Cyber-Twin SE Preset Patch “LMC Mid Grind ’66””

Why Are Some Guitars Priced So Low And Some Priced So High?

There are several things that factor into guitar pricing. Find out why intruments that share the same name have such a wide price range.

Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster

One question I get asked all the time is “How come this Stratocaster costs so much more than that Stratocaster? Aren’t they both Fender Stratocasters?”. I get asked the same questions about various Gibson Les Paul guitars as well. As a matter of fact, every instrument that you find used in a live band such as drums, bass, guitar or keyboards have huge price ranges for instruments, that on the surface, appear very similar.       Continue reading “Why Are Some Guitars Priced So Low And Some Priced So High?”

Gibson Les Paul BFG Review

The Gibson Les Paul BFG is an American made Les Paul that has some very unique features and sounds great!

Gibson Les Paul BFG
Gibson Les Paul BFG

   As you know, I’m a Fender player and the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster is my main go-to guitar. But I do play some other guitars regularly onstage with my live band. I also believe that there are just some instances where a Gibson Les Paul is the best guitar to get a particular sound that the Fenders can’t do well. The Gibson Les Paul sound to me is buttery and creamy without a lot of the pop that you can get with a Fender.

   About 10 years ago I added a Gibson Les Paul Custom to my collection of guitars. I love that guitar but because it’s price has continued to climb over the years, I just can’t risk taking it out onstage anymore. I could never afford to replace it at it’s current market value so it stays home, cased up most of the time. I think that’s a sad, sad commentary on these outrageous guitar prices from Gibson and now Fender. It’s just a bummer to have an instrument that’s so expensive that nobody will ever see it played live onstage except in an arena.    Continue reading “Gibson Les Paul BFG Review”

Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster Review

The Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster is loaded with custom features at a bargain price. It’s the best MIM Stratocaster you can buy.

Fender Deluxe Player's Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Finish
Fender Deluxe Player's Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Finish

Even though I’m a skilled keyboard and bass player, I play electric guitar in my live band and the guitar is my main instrument. If I could, I’d buy a new guitar about every month. I can’t afford that so I get out and shop for them always looking for that next great instrument.

I like brand new guitars and I certainly haven’t bought into this whole “vintage instrument” craze. I believe that new guitars are being built better than ever before. It’s a lot more fun for me to get a new guitar and play it than to collect a vintage guitar and keep it in it’s case, un-played.    Continue reading “Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster Review”

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